WorldWideScience

Sample records for environmental enrichment differentially

  1. Differential Roles of Environmental Enrichment in Alzheimer’s Type of Neurodegeneration and Physiological Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir V. Salmin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Impairment of hippocampal adult neurogenesis in aging or degenerating brain is a well-known phenomenon caused by the shortage of brain stem cell pool, alterations in the local microenvironment within the neurogenic niches, or deregulation of stem cell development. Environmental enrichment (EE has been proposed as a potent tool to restore brain functions, to prevent aging-associated neurodegeneration, and to cure neuronal deficits seen in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we report our data on the effects of environmental enrichment on hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo and neurosphere-forming capacity of hippocampal stem/progenitor cells in vitro. Two models – Alzheimer’s type of neurodegeneration and physiological brain aging – were chosen for the comparative analysis of EE effects. We found that environmental enrichment greatly affects the expression of markers specific for stem cells, progenitor cells and differentiated neurons (Pax6, Ngn2, NeuroD1, NeuN in the hippocampus of young adult rats or rats with Alzheimer’s disease (AD model but less efficiently in aged animals. Application of time-lag mathematical model for the analysis of impedance traces obtained in real-time monitoring of cell proliferation in vitro revealed that EE could restore neurosphere-forming capacity of hippocampal stem/progenitor cells more efficiently in young adult animals (fourfold greater in the control group comparing to the AD model group but not in the aged rats (no positive effect of environmental enrichment at all. In accordance with the results obtained in vivo, EE was almost ineffective in the recovery of hippocampal neurogenic reserve in vitro in aged, but not in amyloid-treated or young adult, rats. Therefore, EE-based neuroprotective strategies effective in Aβ-affected brain could not be directly extrapolated to aged brain.

  2. Differential effects of social and physical environmental enrichment on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenes, Juan C; Lackinger, Martin; Höglinger, Günter U; Schratt, Gerhard; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Wöhr, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) exerts beneficial effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and anxiety/depression, leading to a brain that can counteract deficits underlying various brain disorders. Because the complexity of the EE commonly used makes it difficult to identify causal aspects, we examined possible factors using a 2 × 2 design with social EE (two vs. six rats) and physical EE (physically enriched vs. nonenriched). For the first time, we demonstrate that social and physical EE have differential effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication. Expectedly, physical EE promoted neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, but not in the subventricular zone, and, as a novel finding, affected microRNA expression levels, with the activity-dependent miR-124 and miR-132 being upregulated. Concomitant improvements in cognition were observed, yet social deficits were seen in the emission of prosocial 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) paralleled by a lack of social approach in response to them, consistent with the intense world syndrome/theory of autism. In contrast, social EE had only minor effects on brain plasticity and cognition, but led to increased prosocial 50-kHz USV emission rates and enhanced social approach behavior. Importantly, social deficits following physical EE were prevented by additional social EE. The finding that social EE has positive whereas physical EE has negative effects on social behavior indicates that preclinical studies focusing on EE as a potential treatment in models for neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by social deficits, such as autism, should include social EE in addition to physical EE, because its lack might worsen social deficits. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Environmental enrichment for aquatic animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcoran, Mike

    2015-05-01

    Aquatic animals are the most popular pets in the United States based on the number of owned pets. They are popular display animals and are increasingly used in research settings. Enrichment of captive animals is an important element of zoo and laboratory medicine. The importance of enrichment for aquatic animals has been slower in implementation. For a long time, there was debate over whether or not fish were able to experience pain or form long-term memories. As that debate has reduced and the consciousness of more aquatic animals is accepted, the need to discuss enrichment for these animals has increased. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Inoculation Stress Hypothesis of Environmental Enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crofton, Elizabeth J.; Zhang, Yafang; Green, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    One hallmark of psychiatric conditions is the vast continuum of individual differences in susceptibility vs. resilience resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental enrichment paradigm is an animal model that is useful for studying a range of psychiatric conditions, including protective phenotypes in addiction and depression models. The major question is how environmental enrichment, a non-drug and non-surgical manipulation, can produce such robust individual differences in such a wide range of behaviors. This paper draws from a variety of published sources to outline a coherent hypothesis of inoculation stress as a factor producing the protective enrichment phenotypes. The basic tenet suggests that chronic mild stress from living in a complex environment and interacting non-aggressively with conspecifics can inoculate enriched rats against subsequent stressors and/or drugs of abuse. This paper reviews the enrichment phenotypes, mulls the fundamental nature of environmental enrichment vs. isolation, discusses the most appropriate control for environmental enrichment, and challenges the idea that cortisol/corticosterone equals stress. The intent of the inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment is to provide a scaffold with which to build testable hypotheses for the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying these protective phenotypes and thus provide new therapeutic targets to treat psychiatric/neurological conditions. PMID:25449533

  5. Review of environmental enrichment for broiler chickens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch; Van de Weerd, H.A.; de Jong, I.C.

    2018-01-01

    and welfare of the different kinds of environmental enrichments in the production of broilers that have been described in the scientific literature. Environmental enrichment is defined as an improvement of the environment of captive animals, which increases the behavioral opportunities of the animal and leads...... to improvements of the biological function. This definition has been broadened to include practical and economic aspects, as any enrichment strategy that adversely affects the health of animals or that has too many economic or practical constraints will never be implemented on commercial farms and thus never...... benefit animals. Environmental enrichment for broilers often has the purpose of satisfying behavioral needs and/or stimulating the broilers to an increased level of activity, which among others will reduce the occurrence of leg problems. Potentially successful environmental enrichments for broiler...

  6. Environmental enrichment in farm, zoo, companion and experimental animals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vučinić Marijana

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper deals with environmental enrichment for domestic animals at farms, animals in zoos, experimental animals and pet animals. Also, the paper defines and describes different strategies of environmental enrichment. Environmental enrichment is a simple and effective mean of prevention of boredom, behavioral disorders as well as an effective mean of improving animal welfare in farm, zoo, companion and experimental animals. Different items and materials may be used for environmental enrichment. They need to be evaluated for use by taking into account the following: the species of an animal, its needs, habits and capabilities, the type of an enrichment device, the device's ability to stimulate the animal's interest and the safety of the device. Enrichment programmes should always include two forms of enrichment: behavioral enrichment and environmental enrichment. Enrichment comes in many forms such as structural or physical enrichment, sensory enrichment (auditory and olfactory stimulation, dietary enrichment, manipulatable enrichment and social enrichment.

  7. Omgevingsverrijking voor vleeskalkoenen = Environmental enrichment for turkeys

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldkamp, T.

    2012-01-01

    A desk study has been conducted to study the possible environmental enrichments in order to reduce injurious pecking behaviour in intact turkeys. Free hanging materials are attractive to turkeys and are technically and economically feasible. Perches and elevated platforms are less feasible.

  8. The development of repetitive motor behaviors in deer mice: Effects of environmental enrichment, repeated testing, and differential mediation by indirect basal ganglia pathway activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechard, Allison R; Bliznyuk, Nikolay; Lewis, Mark H

    2017-04-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms mediating the development of repetitive behaviors in human or animals. Deer mice reared with environmental enrichment (EE) exhibit fewer repetitive behaviors and greater indirect basal ganglia pathway activation as adults than those reared in standard cages. The developmental progression of these behavioral and neural circuitry changes has not been characterized. We assessed the development of repetitive behavior in deer mice using both a longitudinal and cohort design. Repeated testing negated the expected effect of EE, but cohort analyses showed that progression of repetitive behavior was arrested after 1 week of EE and differed significantly from controls after 3 weeks. Moreover, EE reductions in repetitive behavior were associated with increasing activation of indirect pathway nuclei in males across adolescence, but not females. These findings provide the first assessment of developmental trajectories within EE and support indirect pathway mediation of repetitive behavior in male deer mice. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis along the Dorsoventral Axis Contributes Differentially to Environmental Enrichment Combined with Voluntary Exercise in Alleviating Chronic Inflammatory Pain in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jie; Jiang, Ying-Ying; Xu, Ling-Chi; Ma, Long-Yu; Liu, Feng-Yu; Cui, Shuang; Cai, Jie; Liao, Fei-Fei; Wan, You; Yi, Ming

    2017-04-12

    Cognitive behavioral therapy, such as environmental enrichment combined with voluntary exercise (EE-VEx), is under active investigation as an adjunct to pharmaceutical treatment for chronic pain. However, the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of EE-VEx remain unclear. In mice with intraplantar injection of complete Freund's adjuvant, our results revealed that EE-VEx alleviated perceptual, affective, and cognitive dimensions of chronic inflammatory pain. These effects of EE-VEx on chronic pain were contingent on the occurrence of adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus in a functionally dissociated manner along the dorsoventral axis: neurogenesis in the ventral dentate gyrus participated in alleviating perceptual and affective components of chronic pain by EE-VEx, whereas neurogenesis in the dorsal dentate gyrus was involved in EE-VEx's cognitive-enhancing effects. Chronic inflammatory pain was accompanied by decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the dentate gyrus, which were reversed by EE-VEx. Overexpression of BDNF in the dentate gyrus mimicked the effects of EE-VEx. Our results demonstrate distinct contribution of adult hippocampal neurogenesis along the dorsoventral axis to EE-VEx's beneficial effects on different dimensions of chronic pain.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Environmental enrichment combined with voluntary exercise (EE-VEx) is under active investigation as an adjunct to pharmaceutical treatment for chronic pain, but its effectiveness and underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In a mouse model of inflammatory pain, the present study demonstrates that the beneficial effects of EE-VEx on chronic pain depend on adult neurogenesis with a dorsoventral dissociation along the hippocampal axis. Adult neurogenesis in the ventral dentate gyrus participates in alleviating perceptual and affective components of chronic pain by EE-VEx, whereas that in the dorsal pole is involved in EE-VEx's cognitive-enhancing effects in chronic pain

  10. Environmental enrichment in farm, zoo, companion and experimental animals

    OpenAIRE

    Vučinić Marijana

    2009-01-01

    The paper deals with environmental enrichment for domestic animals at farms, animals in zoos, experimental animals and pet animals. Also, the paper defines and describes different strategies of environmental enrichment. Environmental enrichment is a simple and effective mean of prevention of boredom, behavioral disorders as well as an effective mean of improving animal welfare in farm, zoo, companion and experimental animals. Different items and materials may be used for environmental enrichm...

  11. Differential enrichment of TTF-I and Tip5 in the T-like promoter structures of the rDNA contribute to the epigenetic response of Cyprinus carpio during environmental adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardocci, Gino; Simonet, Nicolas G; Navarro, Cristina; Längst, Gernot; Alvarez, Marco

    2016-08-01

    To ensure homeostasis, ectothermic organisms adapt to environmental variations through molecular mechanisms. We previously reported that during the seasonal acclimatization of the common carp Cyprinus carpio, molecular and cellular functions are reprogrammed, resulting in distinctive traits. Importantly, the carp undergoes a drastic rearrangement of nucleolar components during adaptation. This ultrastructural feature reflects a fine modulation of rRNA gene transcription. Specifically, we identified the involvement of the transcription termination factor I (TTF-I) and Tip-5 (member of nucleolar remodeling complex, NoRC) in the control of rRNA transcription. Our results suggest that differential Tip5 enrichment is essential for silencing carp ribosomal genes and that the T0 element is key for regulating the ribosomal gene during the acclimatization process. Interestingly, the expression and content of Tip5 were significantly higher in winter than in summer. Since carp ribosomal gene expression is lower in the winter than in summer, and considering that expression concomitantly occurs with nucleolar ultrastructural changes of the acclimatization process, these results indicate that Tip5 importantly contributes to silencing the ribosomal genes. In conclusion, the current study provides novel evidence on the contributions of TTF-I and NoRC in the environmental reprogramming of ribosomal genes during the seasonal adaptation process in carp.

  12. Loss of environmental enrichment increases vulnerability to cocaine addiction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nader, Joëlle; Chauvet, Claudia; Claudia, Chauvet; Rawas, Rana El; Favot, Laure; Jaber, Mohamed; Thiriet, Nathalie; Solinas, Marcello

    2012-01-01

    .... Early exposure to positive environmental conditions such as environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown to reduce the occurrence and the intensity of neurological and psychiatric disorders including drug addiction...

  13. Environmental Enrichment for Broiler Breeders: An Undeveloped Field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch; Jong, Ingrid de; van de Werd, Heleen A.

    2017-01-01

    of environmental enrichment for broiler breeders, which have been described in the scientific literature, on behavior and welfare. Environmental enrichment is defined as an improvement of the environment of captive animals, which increases the behavioral opportunities of the animal and leads to improvements...... in biological function. This definition has been broadened to include practical and economic aspects as any enrichment strategy that adversely affects the health of animals (e.g., environmental hygiene), or that has too many economic or practical constraints will never be implemented on commercial farms...... and thus never benefit animals. Environmental enrichment for broiler breeders often has the purpose of satisfying the behavioral motivations for feeding and foraging, resting, and/or encouraging normal sexual behavior. Potentially successful enrichments for broiler breeders are elevated resting places...

  14. Expert opinion regarding environmental enrichment materials for pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bracke, M.B.M.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this article is to report on the expert opinion regarding the provision of environmental enrichment for pigs. A questionnaire was sent to 53 pig welfare scientists who were asked to specify which enrichment materials they considered sufficient to ensure pig welfare; 68% responded. 89%

  15. Expansion of U. S. uranium enrichment capacity. Final environmental statement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1976-04-01

    Reasonably foreseeable environmental, social, economic, and technological costs and benefits of postulated expansion of U. S. enrichment capacity through the year 2000 and reasonably available alternatives to such expansion are described. Both the gas centrifuge and gaseous diffusion methods for the enrichment of uranium are considered in this impact assessment. (JGB)

  16. Environmental Enrichment for Broiler Breeders: An Undeveloped Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riber, Anja B; de Jong, Ingrid C; van de Weerd, Heleen A; Steenfeldt, Sanna

    2017-01-01

    Welfare problems, such as hunger, frustration, aggression, and abnormal sexual behavior, are commonly found in broiler breeder production. To prevent or reduce these welfare problems, it has been suggested to provide stimulating enriched environments. We review the effect of the different types of environmental enrichment for broiler breeders, which have been described in the scientific literature, on behavior and welfare. Environmental enrichment is defined as an improvement of the environment of captive animals, which increases the behavioral opportunities of the animal and leads to improvements in biological function. This definition has been broadened to include practical and economic aspects as any enrichment strategy that adversely affects the health of animals (e.g., environmental hygiene), or that has too many economic or practical constraints will never be implemented on commercial farms and thus never benefit animals. Environmental enrichment for broiler breeders often has the purpose of satisfying the behavioral motivations for feeding and foraging, resting, and/or encouraging normal sexual behavior. Potentially successful enrichments for broiler breeders are elevated resting places, cover panels, and substrate (for broiler breeders housed in cage systems). However, most of the ideas for environmental enrichment for broiler breeders need to be further developed and studied with respect to the use, the effect on behavior and welfare, and the interaction with genotype and production system. In addition, information on practical use and the economics of the production system is often lacking although it is important for application in practice.

  17. Guardians' Knowledge and Husbandry Practices of Feline Environmental Enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, Ana Margarida; Pontes, Joana; Pomba, Constança

    2016-01-01

    Feline environmental enrichment can prevent numerous disorders including anxiety, stress, obesity, and feline idiopathic cystitis. Despite its easy implementation and low cost, it has received little attention. The main goal of this study was to assess guardians' knowledge concerning feline environmental enrichment and husbandry practices. A questionnaire was given to 130 companion animal guardians at the Lisbon Veterinary Faculty's Teaching Hospital. The applications of 22 environmental enrichment measures related to food/water, litter box, and space/entertainment areas were evaluated. The majority of the households studied (74.6%) had a moderately enriched environment. Hygiene-related measures were those most adopted by guardians, while those requiring guardians' commitment or previous awareness were the least implemented. A rating scale was proposed and applied to assess feline domestic environmental quality.

  18. Small exotic companion mammal wellness management and environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilny, Anthony A

    2015-05-01

    Wellness management and environmental enrichment are important components of preventative veterinary medical care. Small exotic mammals represent a diverse group of pets with widely varying types of care, diet, and husbandry considerations; thus, environmental enrichment must go beyond the cage or tank design in order to provide proper mental fitness in meeting any pet's psychological needs. Addressing the pet's environmental, dietary, exercise, and social needs is vital to keeping these animals healthier and more disease resistant. The key to accomplishing this is largely impacted by the annual or biannual veterinary wellness visit and a commitment from the pet's owner. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Environmental enrichment reverses memory impairment induced by toluene in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Sergio; Solís-Guillén, Rocío Del Carmen; García-Jácome, David; Páez-Martínez, Nayeli

    2017-05-01

    Toluene is the main component of a variety of inhalants that are used for intoxication purposes. Alterations in memory have been reported in inhalant users; however, it is unclear whether these impairments could be reversed, and the mechanisms involved in the putative recovery. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to model the deleterious effects of toluene on memory in mice and to evaluate the effect of environmental enrichment on that response. In the second part of the study, the concentrations of glutamate and GABA, following chronic toluene exposure and after environmental enrichment treatment, were evaluated. Adolescent mice were exposed to either a single or repeated schedule of toluene administration and their responses to object recognition were analyzed. An independent group of mice was repeatedly exposed to toluene and then housed either under environmental enrichment or standard conditions for four weeks. At the end of the housing period, the rodents' performance in object recognition test, as well as the concentrations of neurotransmitters, were analyzed. The results showed that toluene caused memory impairment in mice that received a single or repeated solvent exposure. Remarkably, environmental enrichment could reverse memory deficits induced by repeated administration of toluene. Cessation of toluene exposure in mice in standard housing did not produce that response. The glutamate and GABA tissue contents were not involved in the effects of toluene or environmental enrichment of memory. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Preferences for nesting material as environmental enrichment for laboratory mice

    OpenAIRE

    VandeWeerd, HA; VanLoo, PLP; VanZutphen, LFM; Koolhaas, JM; Baumans, [No Value; Weerd, H.A. van de; Loo, P.L.P. van; Zutphen, L.F.M. van

    1997-01-01

    Behavioural and psychological needs of laboratory animals generally cannot adequately be met in standard laboratory cages. Environmental enrichment, which provides a more structured environment can enhance the well-being of laboratory animals. They may perform more of their species-specific behaviour and may control their environment in a better way. An easily applicable form of enrichment for laboratory mice is nesting material. Six different types of nesting materials were evaluated in a pr...

  1. USDA perspective on environmental enrichment for animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulpa-Eddy, Jodie A; Taylor, Sylvia; Adams, Kristina M

    2005-01-01

    This article provides a brief historical background of the events and circumstances that led to the 1985 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) amendments. It describes the development of the regulations promulgated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1991 as a result of these amendments, the reasoning given for the proposals, and the revisions that were made during the process. Information is included on USDA implementation of the regulations regarding exercise for dogs and environmental enhancement for nonhuman primates. Also mentioned briefly are the requirements for socialization of marine mammals and space requirements for certain other regulated warm-blooded species. These requirements apply to animal dealers (breeders and brokers), exhibitors, commercial transporters, and research facilities. The standards for exercise and environmental enhancement were different from any others previously contained in the AWA regulations, and required more research and understanding of species-specific needs by the regulated community. Finally, this article describes some of the initiatives being undertaken by the research community and USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS)-Animal Care to provide the necessary education and guidance indicated by the violation history data.

  2. Preferences for nesting material as environmental enrichment for laboratory mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VandeWeerd, HA; VanLoo, PLP; VanZutphen, LFM; Koolhaas, JM; Baumans, [No Value; Weerd, H.A. van de; Loo, P.L.P. van; Zutphen, L.F.M. van

    Behavioural and psychological needs of laboratory animals generally cannot adequately be met in standard laboratory cages. Environmental enrichment, which provides a more structured environment can enhance the well-being of laboratory animals. They may perform more of their species-specific

  3. Impact of enriched environment on murine T cell differentiation and gene expression profile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenza Rattazzi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available T cells are known to be plastic and to change their phenotype according to the cellular and biochemical milieu they are embedded in. In this study we transposed this concept at a macroscopic level assessing whether changes in the environmental housing conditions of C57/BL6 mice would influence the phenotype and function of T cells. Our study shows that exposure to two weeks in an enriched environment does not impact the T cell repertoire in vivo and causes no changes in the early TCR-driven activation events of these cells. Surprisingly, however, T cells from enriched mice showed a unique T helper effector-cell phenotype upon differentiation in vitro. This was featured by a significant reduction in their ability to produce IFN-γ and by an increased release of IL-10 and IL-17. Microarray analysis of these cells also revealed a unique gene fingerprint with key signaling pathways involved in autoimmunity being modulated. Together our results provide first evidence for a specific effect of enriched environment on T cell differentiation and its associated changes in gene expression profile. In addition, our study sheds new light on the possible mechanisms by which changes in environmental factors can significantly influence the immune response of the host and favor the resolution of the inflammatory response.

  4. Transgenerational effects of environmental enrichment on repetitive motor behavior development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechard, Allison R; Lewis, Mark H

    2016-07-01

    The favorable consequences of environmental enrichment (EE) on brain and behavior development are well documented. Much less is known, however, about transgenerational benefits of EE on non-enriched offspring. We explored whether transgenerational effects of EE might extend to the development of repetitive motor behaviors in deer mice. Repetitive motor behaviors are invariant patterns of movement that, across species, can be reduced by EE. We found that EE not only attenuated the development of repetitive behavior in dams, but also in their non-enriched offspring. Moreover, maternal behavior did not seem to mediate the transgenerational effect we found, although repetitive behavior was affected by reproductive experience. These data support a beneficial transgenerational effect of EE on repetitive behavior development and suggest a novel benefit of reproductive experience. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Behavioural Study of Captive Sloth Bears Using Environmental Enrichment Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Veeraselvam

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Effects of environmental enrichment on behavioural changes were studied in five captive sloth bears kept in confined enclosure at Zoological Park, Chennai, India. Behavioural categories like active, passive, and abnormal behaviours were taken for the study. The activity budget was recorded as a single animal scan. The detailed baseline data of 150 hours, over a period of 30 days, were collected. At baseline, bears exhibited passive and more abnormal behaviours. Similarly, after application of the environmental tools like honey-log, underground food pipes, and wobbling box in the enclosure, the data were collected for 150 hours (30 days. Increased active behaviours and decreased abnormal behaviours were observed and showed highly significant changes in the abnormal behaviour as a whole when compared to the baseline level. During the postenrichment period, the data that were collected for 150 hours (30 days showed no significant differences statistically between the behavioural categories. But certain level of difference was evident from the percentage of abnormal behaviours exhibited by individual bears. Among the enrichment devices, honey-log was the most preferred enrichment tool as revealed by the percentage of time spent by individual animal. The results show that application of enrichment tool continuously may bring long term effect in stereotypic behaviour.

  6. Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvanes, Anne Gro Vea; Moberg, Olav; Ebbesson, Lars O E; Nilsen, Tom Ole; Jensen, Knut Helge; Braithwaite, Victoria A

    2013-09-22

    Different kinds of experience during early life can play a significant role in the development of an animal's behavioural phenotype. In natural contexts, this influences behaviours from anti-predator responses to navigation abilities. By contrast, for animals reared in captive environments, the homogeneous nature of their experience tends to reduce behavioural flexibility. Studies with cage-reared rodents indicate that captivity often compromises neural development and neural plasticity. Such neural and behavioural deficits can be problematic if captive-bred animals are being reared with the intention of releasing them as part of a conservation strategy. Over the last decade, there has been growing interest in the use of environmental enrichment to promote behavioural flexibility in animals that are bred for release. Here, we describe the positive effects of environmental enrichment on neural plasticity and cognition in juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Exposing fish to enriched conditions upregulated the forebrain expression of NeuroD1 mRNA and improved learning ability assessed in a spatial task. The addition of enrichment to the captive environment thus promotes neural and behavioural changes that are likely to promote behavioural flexibility and improve post-release survival.

  7. Environmental Survey preliminary report, Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex, Piketon, Ohio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1987-08-01

    This report presents the preliminary findings from the first phase of the Environmental Survey of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex (PUEC), conducted August 4 through August 15, 1986. The Survey is being conducted by an interdisciplinary team of environmental specialists, led and managed by the Office of Environment, Safety and Health's Office of Environmental Audit. Team specialists are being supplied by a private contractor. The objective of the Survey is to identify environmental problems and areas of environmental regulation. It is being performed in accordance with the DOE Environmental Survey Manual. This phase of the Survey involves the review of existing site environmental data, observations of the operations performed at PUEC, and interviews with site personnel. The Survey team developed a Sampling and Analysis Plan to assist in further assessing certain of the environmental problems identified during its on-site activities. The Sampling and Analysis Plan will be executed by Argonne National Laboratory. When completed, the results will be incorporated into the PUEC Environmental Survey Interim Report. The Interim Report will reflect the final determinations of the PUEC Survey. 55 refs., 22 figs., 21 tabs.

  8. Economic and welfare benefits of environmental enrichment for broiler breeders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, E H; Estévez, I

    2008-01-01

    Designs to enrich the environment are crucial in the effort to fully address the biological needs of domestic animals. Although enrichment programs have been shown to improve health and welfare, little is known of their potential for application to commercial broiler breeder environments. We investigated the potential benefits of cover panels for broiler breeder reproductive performance in a commercial setting. This demonstration trial occurred on 5 commercial broiler breeder farms, each with a control and panel treatment room containing approximately 7,000 females and 800 males. Reproductive performance was measured from 25 to 60 wk by the number of eggs laid per female per week as well as weekly fertility and hatchability rates. The location of marked males was recorded weekly to quantify male movement. Access to cover panels improved egg production by 2.1% and maintained better hatchability and fertility throughout the breeding cycle (significant interactions of age and panel treatment) leading to an additional 4.5 chicks/female. Male home ranges, based on minimum convex polygons, were larger in the enriched (259 +/- 24.4 m(2)) vs. control flocks (184 +/- 23.1 m(2)). Providing enrichment in the form of cover panels improved reproductive performance, most likely by increasing males' mating opportunities and reducing female stress. We found a clear economic benefit to providing enrichment, an estimated $3 million if all breeder houses within the participating company were outfitted with the panels. These results demonstrate that environmental enrichment is not only beneficial for broiler breeder welfare, but can also be economically advantageous, resulting in a win-win situation for poultry welfare and production.

  9. Environmental Enrichment Therapy for Autism: Outcomes with Increased Access

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eyal Aronoff

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We have previously shown in two randomized clinical trials that environmental enrichment is capable of ameliorating symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD, and in the present study, we determined whether this therapy could be effective under real-world circumstances. 1,002 children were given daily Sensory Enrichment Therapy, by their parents, using personalized therapy instructions given over the Internet. Parents were asked to assess the symptoms of their child every 2 weeks for up to 7 months. An intention-to-treat analysis showed significant overall gains for a wide range of symptoms in these children, including learning, memory, anxiety, attention span, motor skills, eating, sleeping, sensory processing, self-awareness, communication, social skills, and mood/autism behaviors. The children of compliant caregivers were more likely to experience a significant improvement in their symptoms. The treatment was effective across a wide age range and there was equal progress reported for males and females, for USA and international subjects, for those who paid and those who did not pay for the therapy, and for individuals at all levels of initial symptom severity. Environmental enrichment, delivered via an online system, therefore appears to be an effective, low-cost means of treating the symptoms of ASD.

  10. Effects of environmental enrichment on the behavior of shelter dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herron, Meghan E; Kirby-Madden, Taylor M; Lord, Linda K

    2014-03-15

    To determine the effect of food-toy enrichment combined with cage-behavior training on desirable behaviors in shelter dogs and adoption rates. Randomized controlled clinical trial. 107 dogs. Dogs placed up for adoption in a municipal shelter were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (n = 48) or control group (59). Experimental group subjects were exposed to an environmental enrichment and training protocol consisting of twice-daily cage-behavior training and daily provision of a food-filled toy. Cage-behavior training included operant conditioning via positive reinforcement of desirable behaviors, including approaching the front of the cage, sitting or lying, and remaining quiet when approached. Behavioral observations were performed by a blinded observer in a scan-sampling technique on day 0 (first day on adoption floor) and again on day 3 for experimental (n = 26) and control (32) dogs. Body posture, location in cage, and other behavioral parameters were recorded. Adoption information and behavioral observation data were compared between groups. Compared with the control group, the experimental group had a significantly greater percentage of dogs with an increase in desirable behaviors of sitting or lying down (17/26 [65%] vs 7/32 [22%]) and being quiet (9/26 [35%] vs 4/32 [13%]) and a significantly greater percentage of dogs with a decrease in the undesirable behavior of jumping (15/26 [57%] vs 3/32 [9%]). Location in cage, fearfulness, and eye contact were not significantly different between groups. Survival analysis revealed no significant difference in adoption rates between groups. Results suggested that enrichment programs improve desirable behaviors and decrease undesirable behavior in shelter dogs, which may enhance welfare.

  11. Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Thermal Sensitivity in an Operant Orofacial Pain Assay

    OpenAIRE

    Rossi, Heather L.; Neubert, John K.

    2007-01-01

    Environmental enrichment reduces reactivity to stressor and could also modulate pain perception. In this study we sought to compare the effects of enriched and standard housing on temperature perception. In an operant assay, rats housed in an enriched environment exhibited significantly lower sensitivities to thermal stimuli and displayed less exploratory behavior in a rearing chamber. These findings indicate that environmental enrichment can significantly affect temperature perception, likel...

  12. Preferences for nesting material as environmental enrichment for laboratory mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Weerd, H A; Van Loo, P L; Van Zutphen, L F; Koolhaas, J M; Baumans, V

    1997-04-01

    Behavioural and psychological needs of laboratory animals generally cannot adequately be met in standard laboratory cages. Environmental enrichment, which provides a more structured environment can enhance the well-being of laboratory animals. They may perform more of their species-specific behaviour and may control their environment in a better way. An easily applicable form of enrichment for laboratory mice is nesting material. Six different types of nesting materials were evaluated in a preference test with male and female animals of two strains [C57BL/6J or BALB/c, n = 48]. No significant differences in preference were found between the strains or between the sexes. All mice showed a clear preference for cages with tissues or towels as compared to paper strips or no nesting material, and for cages with cotton string or wood-wool as compared to wood shavings or no nesting material. Paper-derived materials were preferred over wood-derived materials, although the results also suggest that the nature (paper or wood) of the nesting material is less important than its structure, which determines the nestability of the material. Nesting material may be a relatively simple method to contribute to the well-being of laboratory mice.

  13. Influence of environmental enrichment on the behavior and physiology of mice infected by Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Déborah Maria Moreira da Silva

    Full Text Available Abstract INTRODUCTION: Enriched environments normally increase behavioral repertoires and diminish the expression of abnormal behaviors and stress-related physiological problems in animals. Although it has been shown that experimental animals infected with microorganisms can modify their behaviors and physiology, few studies have evaluated how environmental enrichment affects these parameters. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of environmental enrichment on the behavior and physiology of confined mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. METHODS: The behaviors of 20 T. cruzi-infected mice and 20 non-infected mice were recorded during three treatments: baseline, enrichment, and post-enrichment. Behavioral data were collected using scan sampling with instantaneous recording of behavior every 30s, totaling 360h. Plasma TNF, CCL2, and IL-10 levels and parasitemia were also evaluated in infected enriched/non-enriched mice. Behavioral data were evaluated by Friedman’s test and physiological data by one-way ANOVA and area under the curve (AUC analysis. RESULTS: Results showed that environmental enrichment significantly increased exploratory behaviors and diminished inactivity. The use of environmental enrichment did not diminish circulating levels of TNF and IL-10 but diminished circulating levels of CCL2 and parasitemia. CONCLUSIONS: Positive behavioral and physiological effects of environmental enrichment were observed in mice living in enriched cages. Thus, environmental enrichment improved the welfare of these animals.

  14. The Effects of Differentiated Instruction and Enrichment Pedagogy on Reading Achievement in Five Elementary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Sally M.; McCoach, D. Betsy; Little, Catherine A.; Muller, Lisa M.; Kaniskan, R. Burcu

    2011-01-01

    This experimental study examined the effect of a differentiated, enriched reading program on students' oral reading fluency and comprehension using the schoolwide enrichment model-reading (SEM-R). Treatment and control conditions were randomly assigned to 63 teachers and 1,192 second through fifth grade students across five elementary schools.…

  15. Mercury enrichment indicates volcanic triggering of the Valanginian environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonnier, Guillaume; Morales, Chloé; Duchamp-Alphonse, Stéphanie; Westermann, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl

    2017-04-01

    The Valanginian stage (Early Cretaceous, ˜137-132 Ma) recorded an episode of pronounced palaeoenvironmental change, which is marked by a globally recorded positive δ13C excursion of 1.5 to 2‰ amplitude, also known as the "Weissert event or episode". Its onset near the early/late Valanginian boundary (B. campylotoxus-S. verrucosum ammonite Zones) coincides with a phase of warmer climate conditions associated with enhanced humidity, major changes in the evolution of marine plankton, and the drowning of tropical and subtropical marine shallow-water carbonate ecosystems. The globally recorded excursion indicates important transformations in the carbon cycle, which have tentatively been associated with Paraná-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP) volcanic activity. Incertainties in existing age models preclude, however, its positive identification as a trigger of Valanginian environmental change. Since very recently, mercury (Hg) chemostratigraphy offers the possibly to evaluate the role of LIP activity during major palaeoenvironmental perturbations. In this study we investigate the distribution of Hg contents in four Valanginian reference sections located in pelagic and hemipelagic environments in the Central Tethyan Realm (Lombardian Basin, Breggia section), the northern Tethyan margin (Vocontian Basin, Orpierre and Angles sections), and the narrow seaway connecting the Tethyan and Boreal Oceans (Polish Basin, Wawal core). All records show an enrichment in Hg concentrations at or near the onset of the Weissert Episode, with maximal values of 70.5 ppb at Angles, 59.5 ppb at Orpierre, 69.9 ppb at Wawal, and 17.0 ppb at Breggia. The persistence of the Hg anomaly in Hg/TOC and Hg/phyllosilicate ratios shows that organic-matter scavenging and/or adsorbtion onto clay minerals only played a limited role.We propose that volcanic outgassing was the primary source of the Hg enrichment and conclude that an important magmatic pulse triggered the Valanginian environmental

  16. Environmental enrichment and the sensory brain: the role of enrichment in remediating brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alwis, Dasuni S.; Rajan, Ramesh

    2014-01-01

    The brain's life-long capacity for experience-dependent plasticity allows adaptation to new environments or to changes in the environment, and to changes in internal brain states such as occurs in brain damage. Since the initial discovery by Hebb (1947) that environmental enrichment (EE) was able to confer improvements in cognitive behavior, EE has been investigated as a powerful form of experience-dependent plasticity. Animal studies have shown that exposure to EE results in a number of molecular and morphological alterations, which are thought to underpin changes in neuronal function and ultimately, behavior. These consequences of EE make it ideally suited for investigation into its use as a potential therapy after neurological disorders, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this review, we aim to first briefly discuss the effects of EE on behavior and neuronal function, followed by a review of the underlying molecular and structural changes that account for EE-dependent plasticity in the normal (uninjured) adult brain. We then extend this review to specifically address the role of EE in the treatment of experimental TBI, where we will discuss the demonstrated sensorimotor and cognitive benefits associated with exposure to EE, and their possible mechanisms. Finally, we will explore the use of EE-based rehabilitation in the treatment of human TBI patients, highlighting the remaining questions regarding the effects of EE. PMID:25228861

  17. Environmental enrichment reduces signs of boredom in caged mink.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca K Meagher

    thus be operationalized and assessed empirically in non-human animals. It can also be reduced by environmental enrichment.

  18. Environmental enrichment restores cognitive deficits induced by experimental childhood meningitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Barichello

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To evaluate the influence of environmental enrichment (EE on memory, cytokines, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF in the brain of adult rats subjected to experimental pneumococcal meningitis during infancy. Methods: On postnatal day 11, the animals received either artificial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF or Streptococcus pneumoniae suspension intracisternally at 1 × 106 CFU/mL and remained with their mothers until age 21 days. Animals were divided into the following groups: control, control + EE, meningitis, and meningitis + EE. EE began at 21 days and continued until 60 days of age (adulthood. EE consisted of a large cage with three floors, ramps, running wheels, and objects of different shapes and textures. At 60 days, animals were randomized and subjected to habituation to the open-field task and the step-down inhibitory avoidance task. After the tasks, the hippocampus and CSF were isolated for analysis. Results: The meningitis group showed no difference in performance between training and test sessions of the open-field task, suggesting habituation memory impairment; in the meningitis + EE group, performance was significantly different, showing preservation of habituation memory. In the step-down inhibitory avoidance task, there were no differences in behavior between training and test sessions in the meningitis group, showing aversive memory impairment; conversely, differences were observed in the meningitis + EE group, demonstrating aversive memory preservation. In the two meningitis groups, IL-4, IL-10, and BDNF levels were increased in the hippocampus, and BDNF levels in the CSF. Conclusions: The data presented suggest that EE, a non-invasive therapy, enables recovery from memory deficits caused by neonatal meningitis.

  19. Environmental enrichment reduces brain damage in hydrocephalic immature rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catalão, Carlos Henrique Rocha; Shimizu, Glaucia Yuri; Tida, Jacqueline Atsuko; Garcia, Camila Araújo Bernardino; Dos Santos, Antonio Carlos; Salmon, Carlos Ernesto Garrido; Rocha, Maria José Alves; da Silva Lopes, Luiza

    2017-06-01

    We investigate the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) on morphological alterations in different brain structures of pup rats submitted to hydrocephalus condition. Hydrocephalus was induced in 7-day-old pup rats by injection of 20% kaolin into the cisterna magna. Ventricular dilatation and magnetization transfer to analyze myelin were assessed by magnetic resonance. Hydrocephalic and control rats exposed to EE (n = 10 per group) were housed in cages with a tunnel, ramp, and colored plastic balls that would emit sound when touched. The walls of the housing were decorated with colored adhesive tape. Moreover, tactile and auditory stimulation was performed daily throughout the experiment. Hydrocephalic and control rats not exposed to EE (n = 10 per group) were allocated singly in standard cages. All animals were weighed daily and exposed to open-field conditions every 2 days until the end of the experiment when they were sacrificed and the brains removed for histology and immunohistochemistry. Solochrome cyanine staining was performed to assess the thickness of the corpus callosum. The glial fibrillary acidic protein method was used to evaluate reactive astrocytes, and the Ki67 method to assess cellular proliferation in the subventricular zone. The hydrocephalic animals exposed to EE showed better performance in Open Field tests (p magnetization transfer (p < 0.05). Finally, the EE group showed a reduction in reactive astrocytes by means of glial fibrillary acidic protein immunostaining and preservation of the proliferation potential of progenitor cells. The results suggest that EE can protect the developing brain against damaging effects caused by hydrocephalus.

  20. Putting the “E” in SPIDER: Evolving Trends in the Evaluation of Environmental Enrichment Efficacy in Zoological Settings

    OpenAIRE

    Christina Alligood; Katherine Leighty

    2015-01-01

    In their seminal paper on environmental enrichment, Mellen and MacPhee (2001) proposed a set of broad goals for enrichment in zoological settings, as well as a framework for enrichment programs. Since that time, the philosophy and practice of environmental enrichment in zoos has continued to grow. Here we review evaluations of enrichment efficacy in the literature since 2001, looking for trends in species, target behaviors, enrichment strategies, and analytic techniques and discussing progres...

  1. The effects of an environmental "enrichment" program on the behavior of institutionalized profoundly retarded children.

    OpenAIRE

    Horner, R D

    1980-01-01

    This study determined the effects of procedures designed to "enrich" the physical and social environment of an institutional ward on the "adaptive" and "maladaptive" child, adult, self, and object-directed behaviors of five profoundly retarded ambulatory females. Behavior observed in two treatment conditions, an environment "enriched" with toys and objects and an "enriched" environment coupled with differential reinforcement of adaptive behavior, was compared to behavior occurring in correspo...

  2. Impact of Environmental Enrichment Devices on NTP In Vivo Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, Sheba R; Morgan, Daniel L; Kissling, Grace E; Travlos, Gregory S; King-Herbert, Angela P

    2016-02-01

    The goal of this study was to determine whether the use of nesting material or polycarbonate shelters as enrichment devices would have an impact on end points commonly measured during the conduct of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) 13-week studies. The study design was consistent with the NTP 13-week toxicity studies. Harlan Sprague-Dawley (HSD) rats and their offspring and B6C3F1/N mice were assigned to control (unenriched) and enriched experimental groups. Body weight, food and water consumption, behavioral observations, fecal content, clinical pathology, gross pathology, organ weights, and histopathology were evaluated. Enriched male mice and male and female rats exhibited decreased feed intake without a subsequent decrease in body weight; this may have been the result of the nesting material reducing the effect of cold stress, thereby allowing for more efficient use of feed. There were statistical differences in some hematological parameters; however, these were not considered physiologically relevant since all values were within the normal range. Gross pathology and histopathological findings were background changes and were not considered enrichment-related. Nesting material and shelters were used frequently and consistently and allowed animals to display species-typical behavior. There was no significant impact on commonly measured end points in HSD rats and B6C3F1/N mice given enrichment devices. © The Author(s) 2016.

  3. Sex, Age, and Individual Differences in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Response to Environmental Enrichment

    OpenAIRE

    Holli C. Eskelinen; Kelley A. Winship; Jill L. Borger-Turner

    2015-01-01

    Application of environmental enrichment, as a means to successfully decrease undesired behaviors (e.g., stereotypic) and improve animal welfare, has been documented in a variety of zoological species. However, a dearth of empirical evidence exists concerning age, sex, and individual differences in response to various types of enrichment tools and activities in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This study involved a comparative assessment of enrichment participation of three r...

  4. The effect of environmental enrichment on the behavior of captive tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Kirsten R; Mikkelsen, L F; Hau, J

    2010-01-01

    The authors provided different forms of environmental enrichment to six old laboratory male tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) and studied the behavior of the monkeys during a baseline period and during three enrichment periods. Each observation period lasted 5 d, with an interval of 6 d betw...

  5. Nesting material as environmental enrichment has no adverse effects on behavior and physiology of laboratory mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VandeWeerd, HA; VanLoo, PLP; VanZutphen, LFM; Koolhaas, JM; Baumans, [No Value; Weerd, H.A. van de; Loo, P.L.P. van; Zutphen, L.F.M. van

    1997-01-01

    Environmental enrichment may improve the quality of life of captive animals by altering the environment of animals so that they are able to perform more of the behavior that is within the range of the animal's species specific repertoire. When enrichment is introduced into an animal's environment,

  6. STRAIN-SPECIFIC BEHAVIORAL-RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN THE MOUSE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VANDEWEERD, HA; BAUMANS, [No Value; KOOLHAAS, JM; VANZUTPHEN, LFM

    The influence of environmental enrichment on the behaviour of the mouse has been studied in two inbred strains (C57BL and BALB/c). Male mice of each of the two strains were subjected to behavioural tests after being housed for two months either under standard housing conditions or in an enriched

  7. Environmental Enrichment in Kennelled Pit Bull Terriers (Canis lupus familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiddie, Jenna; Bodymore, Anna; Dittrich, Alex

    2017-03-23

    Although social enrichment can be considered beneficial in helping dogs cope with the kennel environment, when taking individual needs into account, it places a large demand on the carers and may not be appropriate in under-resourced kennels. Some kennels are also designed in such a way that there is too much social interaction, in that individuals cannot choose to distance themselves from conspecifics. This study therefore aimed to assess the effects of easily accessible enrichment on the behaviour of kennelled Pit Bull Terrier type dogs rescued from a dog-fighting ring in the Philippines. Thirty-six dogs were allocated to one of three treatment groups following a matched-subject design: (i) cardboard bed provision; (ii) coconut provision; and (iii) visual contact with dogs housed in adjacent cages obstructed with cardboard partitions. Behavioural diversity and the duration and frequency of individual behaviours were analysed using linear mixed-effect models. Yawning frequencies and time spent lying down and sitting decreased during treatment. No particular treatment was more influential in these behavioural changes. In conclusion, enrichment, regardless of type, affected the dogs' behaviour, with some effects depending on the sex of the dogs. Therefore, it is possible to cheaply and sustainably enrich the lives of dogs living in highly constrained environments, however, further research is required to refine the methods used.

  8. Environmental Enrichment for Broiler Breeders: An Undeveloped Field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riber, Anja B.; Jong, de Ingrid; Weerd, van de Heleen A.; Steenfeldt, Sanna

    2017-01-01

    Welfare problems, such as hunger, frustration, aggression, and abnormal sexual behavior, are commonly found in broiler breeder production. To prevent or reduce these welfare problems, it has been suggested to provide stimulating enriched environments. We review the effect of the different types of

  9. Preferences for nest boxes as environmental enrichment for laboratory mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Weerd, HA; Van Loo, PLP; Van Zutphen, LFM; Koolhaas, JM; Baumans, [No Value

    In nature, mice live in burrows with nest chambers where they breed and may hide from predators. In the laboratory, a shelter or refuge is an easily applicable form of enrichment which may enhance the welfare of laboratory mice by giving them more control over their environment. Six nest boxes made

  10. Environmental enrichment extends photoreceptor survival and visual function in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Barone, Ilaria; Novelli, Elena; Piano, Ilaria; Gargini, Claudia; Strettoi, Enrica

    2012-01-01

    .... Environmental enrichment (EE), a novel neuroprotective strategy based on enhanced motor, sensory and social stimulation, has already been shown to exert beneficial effects in animal models of various disorders of the CNS...

  11. Sex, Age, and Individual Differences in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in Response to Environmental Enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holli C. Eskelinen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Application of environmental enrichment, as a means to successfully decrease undesired behaviors (e.g., stereotypic and improve animal welfare, has been documented in a variety of zoological species. However, a dearth of empirical evidence exists concerning age, sex, and individual differences in response to various types of enrichment tools and activities in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. This study involved a comparative assessment of enrichment participation of three resident, bottlenose dolphin populations, over the course of 17 months, with respect to sex and age class (calf, sub-adult, adult. Enrichment sessions were randomly assigned, conducted, and categorically assessed based on participation during seven, broad based enrichment classes (Object, Ingestible, Human, or a combination of the three. Overall, the proportion of participation in enrichment sessions was high (≥ 0.74, with individual differences in participation noted among the three populations. Sessions involving Humans and/or Ingestible items resulted in a significantly higher mean proportion of participation. Sub-adult and adult males were significantly more likely to participate in enrichment sessions, as well as engage in Human Interaction/Object sessions. Calves participated significantly more than adults or sub-adults across all enrichment classes with no noted differences between males and females. These data can serve as a tool to better understand the intricacies of bottlenose dolphin responses to enrichment in an effort to develop strategic enrichment plans with the goal of improving animal well-being and welfare.

  12. Does environmental enrichment reduce stress? An integrated measure of corticosterone from feathers provides a novel perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham D Fairhurst

    Full Text Available Enrichment is widely used as tool for managing fearfulness, undesirable behaviors, and stress in captive animals, and for studying exploration and personality. Inconsistencies in previous studies of physiological and behavioral responses to enrichment led us to hypothesize that enrichment and its removal are stressful environmental changes to which the hormone corticosterone and fearfulness, activity, and exploration behaviors ought to be sensitive. We conducted two experiments with a captive population of wild-caught Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana to assess responses to short- (10-d and long-term (3-mo enrichment, their removal, and the influence of novelty, within the same animal. Variation in an integrated measure of corticosterone from feathers, combined with video recordings of behaviors, suggests that how individuals perceive enrichment and its removal depends on the duration of exposure. Short- and long-term enrichment elicited different physiological responses, with the former acting as a stressor and birds exhibiting acclimation to the latter. Non-novel enrichment evoked the strongest corticosterone responses of all the treatments, suggesting that the second exposure to the same objects acted as a physiological cue, and that acclimation was overridden by negative past experience. Birds showed weak behavioral responses that were not related to corticosterone. By demonstrating that an integrated measure of glucocorticoid physiology varies significantly with changes to enrichment in the absence of agonistic interactions, our study sheds light on potential mechanisms driving physiological and behavioral responses to environmental change.

  13. Does Environmental Enrichment Reduce Stress? An Integrated Measure of Corticosterone from Feathers Provides a Novel Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairhurst, Graham D.; Frey, Matthew D.; Reichert, James F.; Szelest, Izabela; Kelly, Debbie M.; Bortolotti, Gary R.

    2011-01-01

    Enrichment is widely used as tool for managing fearfulness, undesirable behaviors, and stress in captive animals, and for studying exploration and personality. Inconsistencies in previous studies of physiological and behavioral responses to enrichment led us to hypothesize that enrichment and its removal are stressful environmental changes to which the hormone corticosterone and fearfulness, activity, and exploration behaviors ought to be sensitive. We conducted two experiments with a captive population of wild-caught Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) to assess responses to short- (10-d) and long-term (3-mo) enrichment, their removal, and the influence of novelty, within the same animal. Variation in an integrated measure of corticosterone from feathers, combined with video recordings of behaviors, suggests that how individuals perceive enrichment and its removal depends on the duration of exposure. Short- and long-term enrichment elicited different physiological responses, with the former acting as a stressor and birds exhibiting acclimation to the latter. Non-novel enrichment evoked the strongest corticosterone responses of all the treatments, suggesting that the second exposure to the same objects acted as a physiological cue, and that acclimation was overridden by negative past experience. Birds showed weak behavioral responses that were not related to corticosterone. By demonstrating that an integrated measure of glucocorticoid physiology varies significantly with changes to enrichment in the absence of agonistic interactions, our study sheds light on potential mechanisms driving physiological and behavioral responses to environmental change. PMID:21412426

  14. Environmental enrichment affects adrenocortical stress responses in the endangered black-footed ferret

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poessel, S.A.; Biggins, D.E.; Santymire, R.M.; Livieri, T.M.; Crooks, K.R.; Angeloni, L.

    2011-01-01

    Potential stressors of wildlife living in captivity, such as artificial living conditions and frequent human contact, may lead to a higher occurrence of disease and reduced reproductive function. One successful method used by wildlife managers to improve general well-being is the provision of environmental enrichment, which is the practice of providing animals under managed care with environmental stimuli. The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a highly-endangered carnivore species that was rescued from extinction by removal of the last remaining individuals from the wild to begin an ex situ breeding program. Our goal was to examine the effect of environmental enrichment on adrenocortical activity in ferrets by monitoring fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM). Results demonstrated that enrichment lowered FGM in juvenile male ferrets, while increasing it in adult females; enrichment had no effect on FGM in juvenile females and adult males. These results correspond with our findings that juvenile males interacted more with the enrichment items than did adult females. However, we did not detect an impact of FGM on the incidence of disease or on the ability of ferrets to become reproductive during the following breeding season. We conclude that an environmental enrichment program could benefit captive juvenile male ferrets by reducing adrenocortical activity. ?? 2011 Elsevier Inc.

  15. Standardisation of environmental enrichment for laboratory mice and rats: Utilisation, practicality and variation in experimental results

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baumans, V.; Loo, P.L.P. van; Pham, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Rats and mice are the most commonly used species as laboratory animal models of diseases in biomedical research. Environmental factors such as cage size, number of cage mates and cage structure such as environmental enrichment can affect the physiology and behavioural development of laboratory

  16. The impact of environmental enrichment on the outcome variability and scientific validity of laboratory animal studies.

    OpenAIRE

    Bayne, Kathryn; Würbel, Hanno

    2014-01-01

    It has been widely accepted for some time that species-appropriate environmental enrichment is important for the welfare of research animals, but its impact on research data initially received little attention. This has now changed, as the use of enrichment as one element of routine husbandry has expanded. In addition to its use in the care of larger research animals, such as nonhuman primates, it is now being used to improve the environments of small research animals, such as rodents, which ...

  17. Environmental Enrichment Reduces the Likelihood of Alopecia in Adult C57BL/6J Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechard, Allison; Meagher, Rebecca; Mason, Georgia

    2011-01-01

    Barbering (incessant grooming) is an abnormal behavior causing alopecia and commonly affects various strains of laboratory mice, including C57BL/6J. Barbering-induced alopecia is a potential symptom of brain impairment and can indicate a stressful environment. We compared alopecia prevalence and severity in mice housed in enriched or standard cages. Providing an enriched environment delayed the onset and reduced the prevalence and overall severity of alopecia in C57BL/6J mice. Husbandry methods that reduce adult alopecia are likely to promote the wellbeing of the animals. We suggest that environmental enrichment is a simple and economic way to reduce alopecia in mouse colonies. PMID:21439209

  18. Enrichment and Schwann Cell Differentiation of Neural Crest-derived Dental Pulp Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Zer, Heba; Apel, Christian; Heiland, Max; Friedrich, Reinhard E; Jung, Ole; Kroeger, Nadja; Eichhorn, Wolfgang; Smeets, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    As already described in previous studies, neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) can be found in adult human dental pulp. The present study investigated the methodology for enrichment and differentiation-induction of the above mentioned cells. Dental pulp was extracted from human wisdom teeth of four patients and subsequently cultured as explants on fibronectin-coated plates in neurobasal medium supplemented with B27, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin, l-glutamine and neuregulin-β1. The cells were then characterized by immunofluorescence, while their differentiation-potential was tested by the attempt to induce cells into different lineages, i.e. osteogenic, melanocytic and glial. The enriched cell population expressed nestin, CD271 and SOX10, which are well-known markers for NCSCs. Consequently, the cells were successfully induced to differentiate into osteoblasts, melanocytes and Schwann cells, expressing the corresponding differentiation markers. Human adult dental pulp contains a population of stem cells with neural crest ontogeny, which can thus be recruited for multiple regenerative therapies. Copyright © 2015 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.

  19. Assessing Video Presentations as Environmental Enrichment for Laboratory Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulon, Marion; Henry, Laurence; Perret, Audrey; Cousillas, Hugo; Hausberger, Martine; George, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of video presentations of natural landscapes on European starlings' (Sturnus vulgaris) stereotypic behaviours (SBs) and other abnormal repetitive behaviours (ARBs) and to evaluate the impact of past experience by comparing wild-caught and hand-reared starlings' reactions. Ten wild-caught and five hand-reared starlings were presented 1-hour videos of landscapes twice a day for five successive days, while a control group of eight wild-caught and four hand-reared starlings was presented a grey screen for the same amount of time. The analysis of the starlings' behaviour revealed that the video presentations of landscapes appeared to have a positive but limited and experience-dependent effect on starlings' SBs and other ARBs compared to the controls. Indeed, whereas video presentations seemed to modulate high rates of SBs and ARBs, they did not appear to be enriching enough to prevent the emergence or the development of SBs and ARBs in an impoverished environment. They even appeared to promote a particular type of SB (somersaulting) that is thought to be linked to escape motivation. The fact that this effect was observed in hand-reared starlings suggests that videos of landscapes could elicit motivation to escape even in birds that never experienced outdoor life. These results highlight the importance of investigating stereotypic behaviour both quantitatively and qualitatively in order to provide crucial clues on animal welfare. PMID:24827457

  20. Differential Gene Expression Profiling of Enriched Human Spermatogonia after Short- and Long-Term Culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Conrad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to provide a molecular signature for enriched adult human stem/progenitor spermatogonia during short-term (<2 weeks and long-term culture (up to more than 14 months in comparison to human testicular fibroblasts and human embryonic stem cells. Human spermatogonia were isolated by CD49f magnetic activated cell sorting and collagen−/laminin+ matrix binding from primary testis cultures obtained from ten adult men. For transcriptomic analysis, single spermatogonia-like cells were collected based on their morphology and dimensions using a micromanipulation system from the enriched germ cell cultures. Immunocytochemical, RT-PCR and microarray analyses revealed that the analyzed populations of cells were distinct at the molecular level. The germ- and pluripotency-associated genes and genes of differentiation/spermatogenesis pathway were highly expressed in enriched short-term cultured spermatogonia. After long-term culture, a proportion of cells retained and aggravated the “spermatogonial” gene expression profile with the expression of germ and pluripotency-associated genes, while in the majority of long-term cultured cells this molecular profile, typical for the differentiation pathway, was reduced and more genes related to the extracellular matrix production and attachment were expressed. The approach we provide here to study the molecular status of in vitro cultured spermatogonia may be important to optimize the culture conditions and to evaluate the germ cell plasticity in the future.

  1. Effects of environmental enrichment on cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial holeboard discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimberg-Henrici, Charlotte G E; Vermaak, Paul; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, F Josef

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated the effects of environmental enrichment on the cognitive performance of female conventional farm (growing) pigs in a spatial holeboard task. Ten pairs of littermates matched for weight were used. From each litter, one piglet was randomly assigned to a barren environment; the other was assigned to an enriched environment from 4 weeks of age. The enriched environment was double the size of the barren environment, had a floor covered with straw, a rooting area filled with peat, and one of the four different enrichment toys which were exchanged daily. Starting at 11 weeks of age, all pigs were tested in a spatial holeboard discrimination task in which 4 out of 16 holes were baited. Furthermore, basal salivary cortisol levels of all pigs were determined after the end of all testing. All pigs were able to acquire the pattern of baited holes (acquisition phase, 40 trials) and the diagonally mirrored pattern (reversal phase, 20 trials). During the acquisition phase, the reference memory performance of the enriched-housed pigs was better than that of their barren-housed littermates, i.e. they reduced visits to the unbaited set of holes. During the reversal phase, enriched-housed pigs had a better general working memory performance than the barren-housed pigs as indicated by reduced revisits to holes already visited during a trial, irrespective of whether they were of the baited or the unbaited set. The enriched-housed pigs also searched for the hidden bait faster during both phases. The environments did not affect basal salivary cortisol levels. In conclusion, environmental enrichment slightly improved the cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial learning task. We hypothesise that the long period of habituation to and testing in the holeboard acted as enrichment that partially reduced the effects of barren housing.

  2. The impact of environmental enrichment on the outcome variability and scientific validity of laboratory animal studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayne, K; Würbel, H

    2014-04-01

    It has been widely accepted for some time that species-appropriate environmental enrichment is important for the welfare of research animals, but its impact on research data initially received little attention. This has now changed, as the use of enrichment as one element of routine husbandry has expanded. In addition to its use in the care of larger research animals, such as nonhuman primates, it is now being used to improve the environments of small research animals, such as rodents, which are used in significantly greater numbers and in a wide variety of studies. Concern has been expressed that enrichment negatively affects both experimental validity and reproducibility. However, when a concise definition of enrichment is used, with a sound understanding of the biology and behaviour of the animal as well as the research constraints, it becomes clear that the welfare of research animals can be enhanced through environmental enrichment without compromising their purpose. Indeed, it is shown that the converse is true: the provision of suitable enrichment enhances the well-being of the animal, thereby refining the animal model and improving the research data. Thus, the argument is made that both the validity and reproducibility of the research are enhanced when proper consideration is given to the research animal's living environment and the animal's opportunities to express species-typical behaviours.

  3. Effects of Environmental Enrichment on the Fertility and Fecundity of Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wafer, Lemnique N; Jensen, V Behrana; Whitney, Jesse C; Gomez, Thomas H; Flores, Rene; Goodwin, Bradford S

    2016-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a popular vertebrate model in biomedical research, but information describing the effects of environmental enrichment on fertility and fecundity of zebrafish is sparse. In the current study, 18 breeding pairs were placed in divided 1.5-L breeding tanks containing 1 of 3 enrichment conditions: plastic grass (n = 6), plastic leaves (n = 6), or no enrichment (n = 6, control). The pairs were allowed to spawn for 3 h the next day, after which eggs were counted and breeding pairs were returned to holding tanks for use in subsequent sessions. Spawning sessions were repeated at 7-d intervals until the completion of 9 trials, with pairs rotating to a different condition at each interval. Total egg count (mean ± SEM) after 3 h was greater for zebrafish spawning in the grass environment (48.0 ± 7.7 eggs) than in the leaf or control environments (29.4 ± 5.3 and 20.4 ± 3.7 eggs, respectively). An interaction emerged between enrichment type and the age of the spawning pair on the number of fry at 6 d postfertilization (dpf). Initially, more fry were obtained from 110- and 160-dpf pairs with the grass enrichment, but from 173- and 180-dpf pairs there were more obtained with leaf enrichment than grass. A separate experiment showed that enrichment type did not have an effect on fry survivability. Overall, our data indicates that, under certain conditions, zebrafish fertility and fecundity are greater in a breeding tank containing environmental enrichment than in a bare tank. PMID:27177561

  4. Evaluation of Four Environmental Enrichment Procedures for Coatis (Nasua nasua in Captivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. Pereira

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Wild Animal Sorting Centers (WASC keeps animals that were captured from their natural habitat. These animals often suffer stress and may show atypical behavior due the difficulty encountered by them to adapt to captivity. In order to improve the quality of life of these animals was developed this work, in order to study the behavior of coatis subjected to different procedures of environmental enrichment. The study was conducted in WASC of Federal University of Visa, Visa-MG. Data were collected from the observation of two coatis submitted to four different procedures for environmental enrichment. The interaction with the objects of coatis enrichment was effective, stimulating behavioral changes in animals, demonstrating the success of the procedures applied

  5. Environmental enrichment attenuates hippocampal neuroinflammation and improves cognitive function during influenza infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurgens, Heidi A.; Johnson, Rodney W.

    2012-01-01

    Recent findings from our lab have shown that peripheral infection of adult mice with influenza A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus induces a neuroinflammatory response that is paralleled by loss of neurotrophic and glial regulatory factors in the hippocampus, and deficits in cognitive function. Environmental enrichment has been shown to exert beneficial effects on the brain and behavior in many central nervous system (CNS) disorders, but its therapeutic potential during peripheral viral infection remains unknown. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine if long-term continuous exposure to environmental enrichment could prevent and/or attenuate the negative effects of influenza infection on the hippocampus and spatial cognition. Mice were housed in enriched or standard conditions for 4 months, and continued to live in their respective environments throughout influenza infection. Cognitive function was assessed in a reversal learning version of the Morris water maze, and changes in hippocampal expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-α), neurotrophic (BDNF, NGF), and immunomodulatory (CD200, CX3CL1) factors were determined. We found that environmental enrichment reduced neuroinflammation and helped prevent the influenza-induced reduction in hippocampal CD200. These changes were paralleled by improved cognitive performance of enriched mice infected with influenza when compared to infected mice in standard housing conditions. Collectively, these data are the first to demonstrate the positive impact of environmental enrichment on the brain and cognition during peripheral viral infection, and suggest that enhanced modulation of the neuroimmune response may underlie these beneficial effects. PMID:22687335

  6. Effects of environmental enrichment on cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial holeboard discrimination task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grimberg-Henrici, Charlotte G E; Vermaak, Paul; Elizabeth Bolhuis, J; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, F Josef

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of environmental enrichment on the cognitive performance of female conventional farm (growing) pigs in a spatial holeboard task. Ten pairs of littermates matched for weight were used. From each litter, one piglet was randomly assigned to a barren environment; the

  7. Effect of environmental enrichment and territory on aggression in group-housed rabbit does

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rommers, J.M.; Reuvekamp, B.F.J.; Gunnink, H.; Jong, de I.C.

    2013-01-01

    Aggression between rabbit does can lead to severe injuries and impedes the application of group-housing on commercial farms. We studied the effect of environmental enrichment and territory on aggression in group-housed rabbit does. The group housing system consisted of four adjacent individual cages

  8. Weight development and serum biochemistry of rats offered hazelnuts as environmental enrichment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bollen, Peter; Durand, Anne Mette; Rasmussen, Camilla

    2010-01-01

    Novel food items, such as hazelnuts, are attractive as environmental enrichment, since they form a substrate for both foraging and gnawing behaviour. Hazelnuts are particularly rich in polyunsaturated fat. A hazelnut, weighing 2 g, contains 820 mg crude fat, contributing with 15% of the total int...

  9. Use of collard green stalks as environmental enrichment for cockatiels ( Nymphicus hollandicus kept in captivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.S.G. Carvalho

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of collard green stalks as environmental enrichment on the behavior of cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus maintained in captivity. Sixteen birds were housed individually in cages and fed a commercial diet for parrots and seed mix, with water ad libitum during 12 days in climatic chamber with temperature and relative humidity simulating tropical conditions. The animals (n = 8 were divided into two groups, control and enriched, and the experimental period was divided into two phases (during and after enrichment of four days each. The collard green stalks were used as enrichment only during the first period of the experiment, daily changed and maintained only during the day. The stalks increased the feed intake and decreased the sleep activities. No effect was observed on the body surface temperature, locomotion, maintenance and other resting activities. Small undesirable activities were detected. It was concluded that collard green stalks can be used as environmental enrichment, becoming part of food preferences of cockatiels. However, its use does not significantly alter the behavior of birds kept in captivity

  10. Proper housing conditions in experimental stroke studies—special emphasis on environmental enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mering, Satu; Jolkkonen, Jukka

    2015-01-01

    Environmental enrichment provides laboratory animals with novelty and extra space, allowing different forms of multisensory stimulation ranging from social grouping to enhanced motor activity. At the extreme end of the spectrum, one can have a super-enriched environment. Environmental enrichment is believed to result in improved cognitive and sensorimotor functions both in naïve rodents and in animals with brain lesions such as those occurring after a stroke. Robust behavioral effects in animals which have suffered a stroke are probably related not only to neuronal plasticity in the perilesional cortex but also in remote brain areas. There is emerging evidence to suggest that testing restorative therapies in an enriched environment can maximize treatment effects, e.g., the perilesional milieu seems to be more receptive to concomitant pharmacotherapy and/or cell therapy. This review provides an updated overview on the effect of an enriched environment in stroke animals from the practical points to be considered when planning experiments to the mechanisms explaining why combined therapies can contribute to behavioral improvement in a synergistic manner. PMID:25870536

  11. Proper housing conditions in experimental stroke studies – special emphasis on environmental enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satu eMering

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment provides laboratory animals with novelty and extra space, allowing different forms of multisensory stimulation ranging from social grouping to enhanced motor activity. At the extreme end of the spectrum, one can have a super-enriched environment. Environmental enrichment is believed to result in improved cognitive and sensorimotor functions both in naïve rodents and in animals with brain lesions such as those occurring after a stroke. Robust behavioral effects in animals which have suffered a stroke are probably related not only to neuronal plasticity in the perilesional cortex but also in remote brain areas. There is emerging evidence to suggest that testing restorative therapies in an enriched environment can maximize treatment effects, e.g., the perilesional milieu seems to be more receptive to concomitant pharmacotherapy and/or cell therapy. This review provides an updated overview on the effect of an enriched environment in stroke animals from the practical points to be considered when planning experiments to the mechanisms explaining why combined therapies can contribute to behavioral improvement in a synergistic manner.

  12. Behavioral effects of environmental enrichment on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) and gray seals (Halichoerus grypus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, S.A.; Bay, M.S.; Martin, M.L.; Hatfield, J.S.

    2002-01-01

    Zoos and aquariums have been incorporating environmental enrichment into their animal care programs for the past 30 years to increase mental stimulation and promote natural behaviors. However, most attempts to document the effects of enrichment on animal behavior have focused on terrestrial mammals. Staff at the National Aquarium in Baltimore conducted an investigation of the behavioral effects of enrichment on the seven harbor seals and two gray seals housed in the aquarium's outdoor seal exhibit. We expected that enrichment would change the amount of time the animals spent engaged in specific behaviors. The behaviors recorded were: resting in water, resting hauled out, maintenance, breeding display, breeding behavior, aggression, pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight. Activity levels (random swimming and exploration) were expected to increase, while stereotypic behaviors (pattern swimming) were expected to decrease. The frequency and duration of behaviors were documented for 90 hr in both the control phase (without enrichment) and the experimental phase (with enrichment). Statistically significant differences (P captivity. ?? 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. Behavioral effects of environmental enrichment on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) and gray seals (Hafichoerus grypus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, S.A.; Bay, M.S.; Martin, M.L.; Hatfield, J.S.

    2002-01-01

    Zoos and aquariums have been incorporating environmental enrichment into their animal care programs for the past 30 years to increase mental stimulation and promote natural behaviors. However, most attempts to document the effects of enrichment on animal behavior have focused on terrestrial mammals. Staff at the National Aquarium in Baltimore conducted an investigation of the behavioral effects of enrichment on the seven harbor seals and two gray seals housed in the aquarium's outdoor seal exhibit. We expected that enrichment would change the amount of time the animals spent engaged in specific behaviors. The behaviors recorded were: resting in water, resting hauled out, maintenance, breeding display, breeding behavior, aggression, pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight. Activity levels (random swimming and exploration) were expected to increase, while stereotypic behaviors (pattern swimming) were expected to decrease. The frequency and duration of behaviors were documented for 90 hr in both the control phase (without enrichment) and the experimental phase (with enrichment). Statistically significant differences (Pcaptivity.

  14. Captive coyotes compared to their counterparts in the wild: does environmental enrichment help?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivik, John A; Palmer, Gemma L; Gese, Eric M; Osthaus, Britta

    2009-01-01

    This article attempts to determine the effects of environment (captive or wild) and a simple form of environmental enrichment on the behavior and physiology of a nonhuman animal. Specifically, analyses first compared behavioral budgets and stereotypic behavior of captive coyotes (Canis latrans) in kennels and pens to their counterparts in the wild. Second, experiments examined the effect of a simple form of environmental enrichment for captive coyotes (food-filled bones) on behavioral budgets, stereotypies, and corticosteroid levels. Overall, behavioral budgets of captive coyotes in both kennels and pens were similar to those observed in the wild, but coyotes in captivity exhibited significantly more stereotypic behavior. Intermittently providing a bone generally lowered resting and increased foraging behaviors but did not significantly reduce stereotypic behavior or alter corticosteroid levels. Thus, coyote behavior in captivity can be similar to that exhibited in the wild; in addition, although enrichment can affect proportions of elicited behaviors, abnormal behaviors and corticosteroid levels may require more than a simple form of environmental enrichment for their reduction.

  15. Effects of environmental enrichment on d-amphetamine self-administration following nicotine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stairs, Dustin J; Ewin, Sarah E; Kangiser, Megan M; Pfaff, Markus N

    2017-10-01

    Adolescent nicotine exposure has been shown to lead to further psychostimulant use in adulthood. Previous preclinical research in rats has shown that environmental enrichment may protect against drug abuse vulnerability. The current study was designed to examine whether environmental enrichment can block the ability of adolescent nicotine exposure to increase d-amphetamine self-administration in adulthood. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were raised in either enriched conditions (ECs) or isolated conditions (ICs) and then injected with saline or nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, sc) for 7 days during adolescence. In adulthood rats were allowed to self-administer d-amphetamine under a fixed ratio (FR; 0, 0.006, 0.01, 0.02, 0.06, and 0.1 mg/kg/infusion) and progressive ratio (PR; 0, 0.006, 0.06, and 0.1 mg/kg/infusion) schedule of reinforcement. Nicotine-treated IC rats self-administered more d-amphetamine at 0.006, 0.01, and 0.02 mg/kg/infusion doses compared with their saline-treated IC counterparts regardless of the schedule maintaining behavior. This effect of nicotine was reversed in EC rats on a fixed ratio schedule. These findings indicate that environmental enrichment can limit the ability of adolescent nicotine exposure to increase vulnerability to other psychostimulant drugs, such as d-amphetamine. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. A feedback loop between the liver-enriched transcription factor network and mir-122 controls hepatocyte differentiation.

    OpenAIRE

    Laudadio, Ilaria; Manfroid, Isabelle; Achouri, Younes; Schmidt, Dominic; Wilson, Michael D; Cordi, Sabine; Thorrez, Lieven; Knoops, Laurent; Jacquemin, Patrick; Schuit, Frans; Pierreux, Christophe E; Odom, Duncan T; Peers, Bernard; Lemaigre, Frederic P

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Hepatocyte differentiation is controlled by liver-enriched transcription factors (LETFs). We investigated whether LETFs control microRNA expression during development and whether this control is required for hepatocyte differentiation. METHODS: Using in vivo DNA binding assays, we identified miR-122 as a direct target of the LETF hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF) 6. The role and mechanisms of the HNF6-miR-122 gene cascade in hepatocyte differentiation were studied in vivo and...

  17. Environmentally enriched male mink gain more copulations than stereotypic, barren-reared competitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Díez-León

    Full Text Available Wild carnivores in zoos, conservation breeding centres, and farms commonly live in relatively small, unstimulating enclosures. Under these captive conditions, in a range of species including giant pandas, black-footed ferrets, and European mink, male reproductive abilities are often poor. Such problems have long been hypothesized to be caused by these animals' housing conditions. We show for the first time that rearing under welfare-improving (i.e., highly valued and stress-reducing environmental enrichments enhances male carnivores' copulatory performance: in mate choice competitions, enriched male American mink (Neovison vison mated more often than non-enriched males. We screened for several potential mediators of this effect. First was physiological stress and its impact on reproductive physiology; second, stress-mediated changes in morphology and variables related to immunocompetence that could influence male attractiveness; and third, behavioural changes likely to affect social competence, particularly autistic-like excessive routine and repetition ('perseveration' as is reflected in the stereotypies common in captive animals. Consistent with physiological stress, excreted steroid metabolites revealed that non-enriched males had higher cortisol levels and lower androgen levels than enriched conspecifics. Their os penises (bacula also tended to be less developed. Consistent with reduced attractiveness, non-enriched males were lighter, with comparatively small spleens and a trend to greater fluctuating asymmetry. Consistent with impaired social competence, non-enriched males performed more stereotypic behaviour (e.g., pacing in their home cages. Of all these effects, the only significant predictor of copulation number was stereotypy (a trend suggesting that low bodyweights may also be influential: highly stereotypic males gained the fewest copulations. The neurophysiological changes underlying stereotypy thus handicap males sexually. We

  18. Environmentally enriched male mink gain more copulations than stereotypic, barren-reared competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez-León, María; Bowman, Jeff; Bursian, Steve; Filion, Hélène; Galicia, David; Kanefsky, Jeannette; Napolitano, Angelo; Palme, Rupert; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht; Scribner, Kim; Mason, Georgia

    2013-01-01

    Wild carnivores in zoos, conservation breeding centres, and farms commonly live in relatively small, unstimulating enclosures. Under these captive conditions, in a range of species including giant pandas, black-footed ferrets, and European mink, male reproductive abilities are often poor. Such problems have long been hypothesized to be caused by these animals' housing conditions. We show for the first time that rearing under welfare-improving (i.e., highly valued and stress-reducing) environmental enrichments enhances male carnivores' copulatory performance: in mate choice competitions, enriched male American mink (Neovison vison) mated more often than non-enriched males. We screened for several potential mediators of this effect. First was physiological stress and its impact on reproductive physiology; second, stress-mediated changes in morphology and variables related to immunocompetence that could influence male attractiveness; and third, behavioural changes likely to affect social competence, particularly autistic-like excessive routine and repetition ('perseveration') as is reflected in the stereotypies common in captive animals. Consistent with physiological stress, excreted steroid metabolites revealed that non-enriched males had higher cortisol levels and lower androgen levels than enriched conspecifics. Their os penises (bacula) also tended to be less developed. Consistent with reduced attractiveness, non-enriched males were lighter, with comparatively small spleens and a trend to greater fluctuating asymmetry. Consistent with impaired social competence, non-enriched males performed more stereotypic behaviour (e.g., pacing) in their home cages. Of all these effects, the only significant predictor of copulation number was stereotypy (a trend suggesting that low bodyweights may also be influential): highly stereotypic males gained the fewest copulations. The neurophysiological changes underlying stereotypy thus handicap males sexually. We hypothesise that

  19. Environmentally Enriched Male Mink Gain More Copulations than Stereotypic, Barren-Reared Competitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez-León, María; Bowman, Jeff; Bursian, Steve; Filion, Hélène; Galicia, David; Kanefsky, Jeannette; Napolitano, Angelo; Palme, Rupert; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht; Scribner, Kim; Mason, Georgia

    2013-01-01

    Wild carnivores in zoos, conservation breeding centres, and farms commonly live in relatively small, unstimulating enclosures. Under these captive conditions, in a range of species including giant pandas, black-footed ferrets, and European mink, male reproductive abilities are often poor. Such problems have long been hypothesized to be caused by these animals' housing conditions. We show for the first time that rearing under welfare-improving (i.e., highly valued and stress-reducing) environmental enrichments enhances male carnivores' copulatory performance: in mate choice competitions, enriched male American mink (Neovison vison) mated more often than non-enriched males. We screened for several potential mediators of this effect. First was physiological stress and its impact on reproductive physiology; second, stress-mediated changes in morphology and variables related to immunocompetence that could influence male attractiveness; and third, behavioural changes likely to affect social competence, particularly autistic-like excessive routine and repetition (‘perseveration’) as is reflected in the stereotypies common in captive animals. Consistent with physiological stress, excreted steroid metabolites revealed that non-enriched males had higher cortisol levels and lower androgen levels than enriched conspecifics. Their os penises (bacula) also tended to be less developed. Consistent with reduced attractiveness, non-enriched males were lighter, with comparatively small spleens and a trend to greater fluctuating asymmetry. Consistent with impaired social competence, non-enriched males performed more stereotypic behaviour (e.g., pacing) in their home cages. Of all these effects, the only significant predictor of copulation number was stereotypy (a trend suggesting that low bodyweights may also be influential): highly stereotypic males gained the fewest copulations. The neurophysiological changes underlying stereotypy thus handicap males sexually. We hypothesise

  20. Fostering and environmental enrichment ameliorate anxious behavior induced by early weaning in Balb/c mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Eri; Kikusui, Takefumi; Takeuchi, Yukari; Mori, Yuji

    2007-06-08

    Postnatal stimuli affect many aspects of physiological and behavioral development. In mice, earlier weaning augments anxiety, putatively as a result of removing mother-pup interactions during the weaning period. Here, we examined the ameliorating effects of social and environmental enrichment on anxiety related to early weaning. Mice weaned at postpartum day 14 were fostered by virgin females, who displayed some nursing behavior during the 1-week fostering period. In elevated plus-maze tests, 10-week-old pups reared with a foster mother spent more time in the open arms than early-weaned mice, and entered into the open arms at a rate between that of normally- and early-weaned mice. Subsequently, the mice from each rearing group were transferred into either standard housing or housing enriched with toys that were changed periodically. Elevated plus-maze tests were conducted again when the mice were 18 and 26 weeks old. The enriched environment increased the duration of time spent in the open arms, but the magnitude of the effect varied with the rearing condition. Furthermore, mice that lived in the enriched environment showed lower activity than those kept in standard housing. These results suggest that fostering after early weaning attenuates increases in anxiety levels, and maternal care during this period may be important in the development of an offspring's emotionality. Environmental stimuli in adulthood may act to blunt the effects deprivation in early life.

  1. Aggression and dominance in cichlids in resident-intruder tests: the role of environmental enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Nijman

    Full Text Available When establishing dominance residents have a greater likelihood to dominate intruders than vice versa, partially because the resident has more to loose that the intruder has to win. This is known as the prior residency effect. In environmentally rich environments this effect should be stronger than in poor environments. Recently Kadry & Barreto (2010, Neotrop Ichthyol 8: 329-332 tested this in the pearl cichlid Geophagus brasiliensis (17 test pairs and reported that environmental enrichment led to a reduction of aggression. We here present data on four other cichlids (332 test pairs showing a stronger prior residency effect in enriched conditions, and, for two species, an increase in aggression. We discuss possible reasons for the differences between studies, focussing on the relationship between aggression and dominance and sample size effects.

  2. Companion Animals Symposium: Environmental enrichment for companion, exotic, and laboratory animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, C L; Grandin, T; Irlbeck, N A

    2011-12-01

    Animal scientists have an extraordinary burden to promote the health and well-being of all animals in their care. Promoting species- or breed-appropriate behaviors through proper training and enrichment, regardless of animal housing, should be a paramount concern for all animal scientists working with exotic animals, laboratory animals, shelter animals, or privately owned pet animals. Developing ideal training and enrichment programs for any species begins with understanding basic behavior patterns and emotional systems of animals. The basic emotional systems in mammals have been extensively mapped; however, most of these studies are in the neuroscience literature and seldom read by animal science professionals. The emotional circuits for fear have been well documented through studies demonstrating that lesions to the amygdala will block both conditioned and unconditioned fear behaviors. Additionally, other core emotional systems including seeking (i.e., approaching a novel stimulus), rage, panic (e.g., separation stress), play, lust (i.e., sex drive), and care (e.g., mother-young nurturing behavior) have been identified. More recent neuroscience research has discovered the subcortical brain regions that drive different types of seeking behaviors. Research to increase the understanding of the emotional systems that drive both abnormal and normal animal behaviors could greatly improve animal welfare by making it possible to provide more effective environmental enrichment programs. Enrichment devices and methods could be specifically designed to enable the expression of highly motivated behaviors that are driven by emotional circuits in the brain. The objective of this paper is to increase awareness of animal scientists to the field of neuroscience studying animal emotions and the application of that science to improve the welfare of captive exotic animals, laboratory animals, and pets with environmental enrichment.

  3. Overexpression of DeltaFosB in nucleus accumbens mimics the protective addiction phenotype, but not the protective depression phenotype of environmental enrichment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yafang eZhang

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment produces protective addiction and depression phenotypes in rats. ΔFosB is a transcription factor that regulates reward in the brain and is induced by psychological stress as well as drugs of abuse. However, the role played by ΔFosB in the protective phenotypes of environmental enrichment has not been well studied. Here, we demonstrate that ΔFosB is differentially regulated in rats reared in an isolated condition (IC compared to those in an enriched condition (EC in response to restraint stress or cocaine. Chronic stress or chronic cocaine treatment each elevates ΔFosB protein levels in nucleus accumbens (NAc of IC rats, but not of EC rats due to an already elevated basal accumulation of ΔFosB seen under EC conditions. Viral-mediated overexpression of ΔFosB in NAc shell of pair-housed rats (i.e., independent of environmental enrichment/isolation increases operant responding for sucrose when motivated by hunger, but decreases responding in satiated animals. Moreover, ∆FosB overexpression decreases cocaine self-administration, enhances extinction of cocaine seeking, and decreases cocaine-induced reinstatement of intravenous cocaine self-administration, all behavioral findings consistent with the enrichment phenotype. In contrast, however, ∆FosB overexpression did not alter responses of pair-housed rats in several tests of anxiety- and depression-related behavior. Thus, accumulation of ΔFosB in NAc shell mimics the protective addiction phenotype, but not the protective depression phenotype of environmental enrichment.

  4. The Language Research Center's Computerized Test System for environmental enrichment and psychological assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washburn, D. A.; Rumbaugh, D. M.; Richardson, W. K.

    1992-01-01

    In the spring of 1987, we undertook to provide environmental enrichment to nonhuman primate subjects in ways that would complement and even contribute to the bio-behaviorial science that justified the monkeys' captivity. Of course, the psychological well-being of captive primates--and indeed all research species-- has been an area of intense research activity since the 1985 amendment of the Animal Welfare Act. This mandate for researchers to ensure the psychological, as well as physical, fitness of experimental animals catalyzed the humane and scientific interests of the research community. The contemporary literature is replete with proposed means both of assaying and of providing enrichment and well-being. Notwithstanding, consensus on either assessment or intervention has yet to be reached. The paradigm we employed was modelled after successful efforts with chimpanzees. An automated test system was constructed in which subjects responded to computer tasks by manipulating a joystick. The tasks, interactive game-like versions of many of the classic testing paradigms of cognitive and comparative psychology, permitted the controlled presentation of stimuli and demands without the required presence of a human experimenter. Despite significant barriers to the success, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and a variety of other primate species (including, of course, humans) have mastered the skills necessary for testing in this paradigm. Previous experiments have illustrated the utility of the test system for addressing questions of learning, memory, attention, perception, and motivation. Additional data have been reported to support the contention that the Language Research Center's Computerized Test System (LRC-CTS) serves its other raison d'etre--providing environmental enrichment and assessing psychological well-being. This paper is designed to augment previous descriptions of the technology and the paradigm for scientists and caretakers interested in environmental

  5. Plastic changes in striatal fast-spiking interneurons following hemicerebellectomy and environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bartolo, Paola; Gelfo, Francesca; Burello, Lorena; De Giorgio, Andrea; Petrosini, Laura; Granato, Alberto

    2011-09-01

    Recent findings suggest marked interconnections between the cerebellum and striatum, thus challenging the classical view of their segregated operation in motor control. Therefore, this study was aimed at further investigating this issue by analyzing the effects of hemicerebellectomy (HCb) on density and dendritic length of striatal fast-spiking interneurons (FSi). First, we analyzed the plastic rearrangements of striatal FSi morphology in hemicerebellectomized animals reared in standard conditions. Then, since environmental enrichment (EE) induces structural changes in experimental models of brain disease, we evaluated FSi morphology in lesioned animals exposed to an enriched environment after HCb. Although HCb did not affect FSi density, it progressively shrank dendritic branching of striatal FSi of both sides. These plastic changes, already evident 15 days after the cerebellar ablation, became very marked 30 days after the lesion. Such a relevant effect was completely abolished by postoperative enrichment. EE not only counteracted shrinkage of FSi dendritic arborization but also provoked a progressive increase in dendritic length which surpassed that of the controls as the enrichment period lengthened. These data confirm that the cerebellum and striatum are more interconnected than previously retained. Furthermore, cerebellar damage likely evokes a striatal response through cortical mediation. The EE probably modifies HCb-induced plastic changes in the striatum by increasing the efficiency of the cortical circuitry. This is the first study describing the morphological rearrangement of striatal FSi following a cerebellar lesion; it provides the basis for further studies aimed at investigating the mechanisms underlying cerebello-striatal "talking."

  6. Environmental enrichment of nonhuman primates, dogs and rabbits used in toxicology studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayne, Kathryn A L

    2003-01-01

    The increasing emphasis on the provision of environmental enrichment to laboratory animals, vis-à-vis the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC 1996), and a potential forthcoming policy from the USDA on the subject, can be difficult to accommodate in a toxicology research environment. A summary will be provided of current requirements and recommendations. Then, strategies for meeting regulatory requirements will be described for non-rodent animals used in toxicology research. These strategies will address methods of both social enrichment, such as pair or group housing, as well as non-social enrichment, such as cage furniture, food enrichments, and toys. In addition, the value of positive interactions with staff (e.g., through training paradigms or socialization programs) will also be discussed. Apparent in the discussion of these strategies will be an overarching recognition of the necessity to avoid introducing confounding variables into the research project and to avoid compromising animal health. The roles of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the attending veterinarian in helping scientists balance animal well-being, the scientific enterprise and the regulatory environment will be described.

  7. Human interaction as environmental enrichment for pair-housed wolves and wolf-dog crosses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrkam, Lindsay R; Verdi, Nicolle T; Wynne, Clive D L

    2014-01-01

    Private nonhuman animal sanctuaries are often financially limited in their ability to implement traditional environmental enrichment strategies. One possible solution may be to provide socialized animals with human interaction sessions. However, the merit of human interaction as enrichment has received little empirical attention to date. The present study aimed to evaluate whether human interaction could be enriching for socialized, pair-housed wolves and wolf-dog crosses at a private sanctuary. Observations of each subject were conducted in a reversal design to measure species-typical affiliation, activity levels, and aberrant behaviors when caretakers were both present and absent. The results demonstrate significantly higher levels of conspecific-directed affiliation and activity levels and reduced aberrant behavior when human interaction was available. Social play also increased when caregivers were present, supporting the hypothesis that play among conspecifics may be maintained by positive changes in an animal's environment. The potential for human interaction to be established as a scientifically validated, cost-effective enrichment strategy is supported by these findings.

  8. Assessing the effectiveness of environmental enrichment in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabienne, Delfour; Helen, Beyer

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment is often used to improve well-being and reduce stereotyped behaviors in animals under human care. However, the use of objects to enrich animal environments should not be considered to be effective until its success has been scientifically demonstrated. This study was conducted at Asterix Park in France in April 2009. The study investigated the use of 21 familiar objects with a group of six bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphin trainers introduced four different objects into the dolphin pool every day on a rotating basis. Using a focal-object sampling method, we collected and analyzed data from twenty-one 15 min sessions. The results revealed a positive correlation between interest behaviors and interactive behaviors. Some dolphins had "favorite toys". However, only 50% of objects elicited manipulative behaviors. These findings demonstrate that dolphins do not treat all objects provided to them as "toys". Behavioral changes in the animals subsequent to the introduction of objects do not necessarily indicate an enrichment effect of the objects; rather, the motivation for the dolphins' behaviors toward the objects must be investigated. The animals' behavior must be considered in light of the social context and of the animals' individual behavioral profiles. The relevance of a constructivist approach to evaluating the effectiveness of enrichment programs is discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. A preliminary study targeting neuronal pathways activated following environmental enrichment by resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Deborah M; Foxely, Sean; Lazarov, Orly

    2012-01-01

    We have shown that experience of transgenic mice harboring familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD)-linked AβPPswe/PS1ΔE9 in an enriched environment enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity and attenuates neuropathology. Nevertheless, the neuronal pathways activated following environmental enrichment underlying this effect are unknown. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we present preliminary evidence to show that transgenic mice, which had been housed in an enriched environment, show increased connectivity between CA1 and cortical areas compared to mice from standard housing. This is the first preliminary demonstration of live-activated neuronal pathways following environmental enrichment in FAD mice. Understanding the activated pathways may unravel the molecular mechanism underlying environmental enrichment-enhanced neuroplasticity in FAD.

  10. Effect of environmental enrichment and group size on behaviour and live weight in growing rabbits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Zucca

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research was to study the effects of group size and environmental enrichment on behaviour and growth of 108 hybrid growing rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus. We compared the behaviour (time budget and reactions to specific behavioural tests: “tonic immobility” and “emergence test” and live weight of growing rabbits housed in cages with a different number of rabbits per cage (2, 3 and 4; same density:14 rabbits/m2. Half of the cages were enriched with a wooden stick (Robinia Pseudoacacia, length: 20 cm – diameter: 6 cm, cylindrical hanging from the ceiling of the cage. The stick and number of animals per cage had no effect on weight gain or on behavioural tests responses. Interaction with the stick was significantly higher at the beginning of the growing period. Principal component analysis performed on the data for the whole period showed significant differences according to the treatments: increasing the number of rabbits per cage and introducing a wooden stick seemed to affect locomotor activity frequency and social interactions. Rabbits housed 3 and 4 per cage showed less lying behaviour and higher locomotor activity and sitting. The larger functional space allowance enabled rabbits to perform more natural behaviours compared to smaller cages (2 rabbits/cage. Environmental enrichment seems to be related to higher allogrooming behaviour frequency, which could indicate a social behaviour related to pheromonal olfactory stimulation and mutual recognition.

  11. A new selective enrichment procedure for isolating Pasteurella multocida from avian and environmental samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, M.K.; Cicnjak-Chubbs, L.; Gates, R.J.

    1994-01-01

    A selective enrichment procedure, using two new selective media, was developed to isolate Pasteurella multocida from wild birds and environmental samples. These media were developed by testing 15 selective agents with six isolates of P. multocida from wild avian origin and seven other bacteria representing genera frequently found in environmental and avian samples. The resulting media—Pasteurella multocida selective enrichment broth and Pasteurella multocida selective agar—consisted of a blood agar medium at pH 10 containing gentamicin, potassium tellurite, and amphotericin B. Media were tested to determine: 1) selectivity when attempting isolation from pond water and avian carcasses, 2) sensitivity for detection of low numbers of P. multocida from pure and mixed cultures, 3) host range specificity of the media, and 4) performance compared with standard blood agar. With the new selective enrichment procedure, P. multocida was isolated from inoculated (60 organisms/ml) pond water 84% of the time, whereas when standard blood agar was used, the recovery rate was 0%.

  12. Virtual Environmental Enrichment through Video Games Improves Hippocampal-Associated Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemenson, Gregory D; Stark, Craig E L

    2015-12-09

    The positive effects of environmental enrichment and their neural bases have been studied extensively in the rodent (van Praag et al., 2000). For example, simply modifying an animal's living environment to promote sensory stimulation can lead to (but is not limited to) enhancements in hippocampal cognition and neuroplasticity and can alleviate hippocampal cognitive deficits associated with neurodegenerative diseases and aging. We are interested in whether these manipulations that successfully enhance cognition (or mitigate cognitive decline) have similar influences on humans. Although there are many "enriching" aspects to daily life, we are constantly adapting to new experiences and situations within our own environment on a daily basis. Here, we hypothesize that the exploration of the vast and visually stimulating virtual environments within video games is a human correlate of environmental enrichment. We show that video gamers who specifically favor complex 3D video games performed better on a demanding recognition memory task that assesses participants' ability to discriminate highly similar lure items from repeated items. In addition, after 2 weeks of training on the 3D video game Super Mario 3D World, naive video gamers showed improved mnemonic discrimination ability and improvements on a virtual water maze task. Two control conditions (passive and training in a 2D game, Angry Birds), showed no such improvements. Furthermore, individual performance in both hippocampal-associated behaviors correlated with performance in Super Mario but not Angry Birds, suggesting that how individuals explored the virtual environment may influence hippocampal behavior. The hippocampus has long been associated with episodic memory and is commonly thought to rely on neuroplasticity to adapt to the ever-changing environment. In animals, it is well understood that exposing animals to a more stimulating environment, known as environmental enrichment, can stimulate neuroplasticity and

  13. Environmental enrichment promotes plasticity and visual acuity recovery in adult monocular amblyopic rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Tognini

    Full Text Available Loss of visual acuity caused by abnormal visual experience during development (amblyopia is an untreatable pathology in adults. In some occasions, amblyopic patients loose vision in their better eye owing to accidents or illnesses. While this condition is relevant both for its clinical importance and because it represents a case in which binocular interactions in the visual cortex are suppressed, it has scarcely been studied in animal models. We investigated whether exposure to environmental enrichment (EE is effective in triggering recovery of vision in adult amblyopic rats rendered monocular by optic nerve dissection in their normal eye. By employing both electrophysiological and behavioral assessments, we found a full recovery of visual acuity in enriched rats compared to controls reared in standard conditions. Moreover, we report that EE modulates the expression of GAD67 and BDNF. The non invasive nature of EE renders this paradigm promising for amblyopia therapy in adult monocular people.

  14. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of immunomodulation in the brain through environmental enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singhal, Gaurav; Jaehne, Emily J.; Corrigan, Frances; Baune, Bernhard T.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies on environmental enrichment (EE) have shown cytokines, cellular immune components [e.g., T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells], and glial cells in causal relationship to EE in bringing out changes to neurobiology and behavior. The purpose of this review is to evaluate these neuroimmune mechanisms associated with neurobiological and behavioral changes in response to different EE methods. We systematically reviewed common research databases. After applying all inclusion and exclusion criteria, 328 articles remained for this review. Physical exercise (PE), a form of EE, elicits anti-inflammatory and neuromodulatory effects through interaction with several immune pathways including interleukin (IL)-6 secretion from muscle fibers, reduced expression of Toll-like receptors on monocytes and macrophages, reduced secretion of adipokines, modulation of hippocampal T cells, priming of microglia, and upregulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 in central nervous system. In contrast, immunomodulatory roles of other enrichment methods are not studied extensively. Nonetheless, studies showing reduction in the expression of IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α in response to enrichment with novel objects and accessories suggest anti-inflammatory effects of novel environment. Likewise, social enrichment, though considered a necessity for healthy behavior, results in immunosuppression in socially defeated animals. This has been attributed to reduction in T lymphocytes, NK cells and IL-10 in subordinate animals. EE through sensory stimuli has been investigated to a lesser extent and the effect on immune factors has not been evaluated yet. Discovery of this multidimensional relationship between immune system, brain functioning, and EE has paved a way toward formulating environ-immuno therapies for treating psychiatric illnesses with minimal use of pharmacotherapy. While the immunomodulatory role of PE has been evaluated extensively, more research

  15. Antisolar differential rotation with surface lithium enrichment on the single K-giant V1192 Orionis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kővári, Zs.; Strassmeier, K. G.; Carroll, T. A.; Oláh, K.; Kriskovics, L.; Kővári, E.; Kovács, O.; Vida, K.; Granzer, T.; Weber, M.

    2017-10-01

    Context. Stars with about 1-2 solar masses at the red giant branch (RGB) represent an intriguing period of stellar evolution, I.e. when the convective envelope interacts with the fast-rotating core. During these mixing episodes freshly synthesized lithium can come up to the stellar surface along with high angular momentum material. This high angular momentum may alter the surface rotation pattern. Aims: The single rapidly rotating K-giant V1192 Ori is revisited to determine its surface differential rotation, lithium abundance, and basic stellar properties such as a precise rotation period. The aim is to independently verify the antisolar differential rotation of the star and possibly find a connection to the surface lithium abundance. Methods: We applied time-series Doppler imaging to a new multi-epoch data set. Altogether we reconstructed 11 Doppler images from spectroscopic data collected with the STELLA robotic telescope between 2007-2016. We used our inversion code iMap to reconstruct all stellar surface maps. We extracted the differential rotation from these images by tracing systematic spot migration as a function of stellar latitude from consecutive image cross-correlations. Results: The position of V1192 Ori in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram suggests that the star is in the helium core-burning phase just leaving the RGB bump. We measure A(Li)NLTE = 1.27, I.e. a value close to the anticipated transition value of 1.5 from Li-normal to Li-rich giants. Doppler images reveal extended dark areas arranged quasi-evenly along an equatorial belt. No cool polar spot is found during the investigated epoch. Spot displacements clearly suggest antisolar surface differential rotation with α = - 0.11 ± 0.02 shear coefficient. Conclusions: The surface Li enrichment and the peculiar surface rotation pattern may indicate a common origin. Based on data obtained with the STELLA robotic observatory in Tenerife, an AIP facility jointly operated by AIP and IAC.

  16. Linking environmental nutrient enrichment and disease emergence in humans and wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Townsend, Alan R; Cleveland, Cory C; Glibert, Patricia M; Howarth, Robert W; McKenzie, Valerie J; Rejmankova, Eliska; Ward, Mary H

    2010-01-01

    Worldwide increases in human and wildlife diseases have challenged ecologists to understand how large-scale environmental changes affect host-parasite interactions. One of the most profound changes to Earth's ecosystems is the alteration of global nutrient cycles, including those of phosphorus (P) and especially nitrogen (N). Along with the obvious direct benefits of nutrient application for food production, anthropogenic inputs of N and P can indirectly affect the abundance of infectious and noninfectious pathogens. The mechanisms underpinning observed correlations, however, and how such patterns vary with disease type, have long remained conjectural. Here, we highlight recent experimental advances to critically evaluate the relationship between environmental nutrient enrichment and disease. Given the interrelated nature of human and wildlife disease emergence, we include a broad range of human and wildlife examples from terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. We examine the consequences of nutrient pollution on directly transmitted, vector-borne, complex life cycle, and noninfectious pathogens, including West Nile virus, malaria, harmful algal blooms, coral reef diseases, and amphibian malformations. Our synthetic examination suggests that the effects of environmental nutrient enrichment on disease are complex and multifaceted, varying with the type of pathogen, host species and condition, attributes of the ecosystem, and the degree of enrichment; some pathogens increase in abundance whereas others decline or disappear. Nevertheless, available evidence indicates that ecological changes associated with nutrient enrichment often exacerbate infection and disease caused by generalist parasites with direct or simple life cycles. Observed mechanisms include changes in host/vector density, host distribution, infection resistance, pathogen virulence or toxicity, and the direct supplementation of pathogens. Collectively, these pathogens may be particularly

  17. Environmental enrichment intervention for Rett syndrome: an individually randomised stepped wedge trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downs, Jenny; Rodger, Jenny; Li, Chen; Tan, Xuesong; Hu, Nan; Wong, Kingsley; de Klerk, Nicholas; Leonard, Helen

    2018-01-10

    Rett syndrome is caused by a pathogenic mutation in the MECP2 gene with major consequences for motor and cognitive development. One of the effects of impaired MECP2 function is reduced production of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a protein required for normal neuronal development. When housed in an enriched environment, MECP2 null mice improved motor abilities and increased levels of BDNF in the brain. We investigated the effects of environmental enrichment on gross motor skills and blood BDNF levels in girls with Rett syndrome. A genetically variable group of 12 girls with a MECP2 mutation and younger than 6 years participated in a modified individually randomised stepped wedge design study. Assessments were conducted on five occasions, two during the baseline period and three during the intervention period. Gross motor function was assessed using the Rett Syndrome Gross Motor Scale (maximum score of 45) on five occasions, two during the baseline period and three during the intervention period. Blood levels of BDNF were measured at the two baseline assessments and at the end of the intervention period. The intervention comprised motor learning and exercise supplemented with social, cognitive and other sensory experiences over a six-month period. At the first assessment, the mean (SD) age of the children was 3 years (1 year 1 month) years ranging from 1 year 6 months to 5 years 2 months. Also at baseline, mean (SD) gross motor scores and blood BDNF levels were 22.7/45 (9.6) and 165.0 (28.8) ng/ml respectively. Adjusting for covariates, the enriched environment was associated with improved gross motor skills (coefficient 8.2, 95%CI 5.1, 11.2) and a 321.4 ng/ml (95%CI 272.0, 370.8) increase in blood BDNF levels after 6 months of treatment. Growth, sleep quality and mood were unaffected. Behavioural interventions such as environmental enrichment can reduce the functional deficit in Rett syndrome, contributing to the evidence-base for management and

  18. Brain neurotransmitters and hippocampal proteome in pigs under stress and environmental enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Arroyo

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Stress and wellbeing are psychological conditions that are mediated by the central nervous system. In the brain, stress is mediated mainly by the hypothalamus, which will activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis, leading to the secretion of cortisol, the paradigmatic stress hormone. Other brain areas as the amygdala, the hippocampus or the prefrontal cortex (PFC are involved in emotions such as happiness, anxiety and fear. Communication between brain areas is achieved by chemical neurotransmitters (NTs, which are secreted by presynaptic neurons to reach postsynaptic neurons, where they will cause a variation in membrane polarization and other cell signaling actions, leading to physiological responses. Amongst these NTs, catecholamines (noradrenaline and dopamine and serotonin play an important role. On the other hand, the adverse effects of stress may be counteracted by housing the individuals under environmental enrichment conditions. This long-term situation should have an effect, not only on NTs, but also on the brain proteome. Under the hypothesis that different stress situations will lead to changes in NT composition that will be specific for crucial brain areas, we have tested the effects of transport stress, handling stress at the slaughterhouse, and the stress-susceptible genotype (Ryr1 on the amine NT concentration in amygdala, hippocampus, PFC and hypothalamus of pigs. The effects of living under environmentally enriched or control conditions on the NT concentration in several brain regions and on the hippocampus proteome has been also analyzed. In conclusion, genetic factors as well as management conditions related to housing, transport and slaughterhouse alter in different degree the catecholaminergic and the serotoninergic neurotransmission in the brain, and give clues about how different individual types are able to react to external challenges. Likewise, environmental enrichment leads to changes in the proteome

  19. A combined enrichment and aptamer pulldown assay for Francisella tularensis detection in food and environmental matrices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise A Lamont

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative bacterium and causative agent of tularemia, is categorized as a Class A select agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to its ease of dissemination and ability to cause disease. Oropharyngeal and gastrointestinal tularemia may occur due to ingestion of contaminated food and water. Despite the concern to public health, little research is focused on F. tularensis detection in food and environmental matrices. Current diagnostics rely on host responses and amplification of F. tularensis genetic elements via Polymerase Chain Reaction; however, both tools are limited by development of an antibody response and limit of detection, respectively. During our investigation to develop an improved culture medium to aid F. tularensis diagnostics, we found enhanced F. tularensis growth using the spent culture filtrate. Addition of the spent culture filtrate allowed for increased detection of F. tularensis in mixed cultures of food and environmental matrices. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography (UPLC/MS analysis identified several unique chemicals within the spent culture supernatant of which carnosine had a matching m/z ratio. Addition of 0.625 mg/mL of carnosine to conventional F. tularensis medium increased the growth of F. tularensis at low inoculums. In order to further enrich F. tularensis cells, we developed a DNA aptamer cocktail to physically separate F. tularensis from other bacteria present in food and environmental matrices. The combined enrichment steps resulted in a detection range of 1-106 CFU/mL (starting inoculums in both soil and lettuce backgrounds. We propose that the two-step enrichment process may be utilized for easy field diagnostics and subtyping of suspected F. tularensis contamination as well as a tool to aid in basic research of F. tularensis ecology.

  20. Effects of preweaning environmental enrichment on hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in developing rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Cheng-Qiu; Zhong, Le; Yan, Chong-Huai; Tian, Ying; Shen, Xiao-Ming

    2017-02-15

    Previous studies have shown that environmental enrichment (EE) improves learning and memory in adult animals. However, the effects of preweaning EE (preEE) on hippocampus-dependent learning and memory as well as its possible mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we report that preEE enhanced the exploratory activity in rats immediately after weaning, and the EE group showed greater performance in a passive avoidance task than the control group (phippocampus-dependent learning and memory function as postweaning EE does, and the upregulated activation of the ERK signal transduction pathway may be the underlying molecular mechanism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Virtual Environmental Enrichment through Video Games Improves Hippocampal-Associated Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemenson, Gregory D.

    2015-01-01

    The positive effects of environmental enrichment and their neural bases have been studied extensively in the rodent (van Praag et al., 2000). For example, simply modifying an animal's living environment to promote sensory stimulation can lead to (but is not limited to) enhancements in hippocampal cognition and neuroplasticity and can alleviate hippocampal cognitive deficits associated with neurodegenerative diseases and aging. We are interested in whether these manipulations that successfully enhance cognition (or mitigate cognitive decline) have similar influences on humans. Although there are many “enriching” aspects to daily life, we are constantly adapting to new experiences and situations within our own environment on a daily basis. Here, we hypothesize that the exploration of the vast and visually stimulating virtual environments within video games is a human correlate of environmental enrichment. We show that video gamers who specifically favor complex 3D video games performed better on a demanding recognition memory task that assesses participants' ability to discriminate highly similar lure items from repeated items. In addition, after 2 weeks of training on the 3D video game Super Mario 3D World, naive video gamers showed improved mnemonic discrimination ability and improvements on a virtual water maze task. Two control conditions (passive and training in a 2D game, Angry Birds), showed no such improvements. Furthermore, individual performance in both hippocampal-associated behaviors correlated with performance in Super Mario but not Angry Birds, suggesting that how individuals explored the virtual environment may influence hippocampal behavior. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The hippocampus has long been associated with episodic memory and is commonly thought to rely on neuroplasticity to adapt to the ever-changing environment. In animals, it is well understood that exposing animals to a more stimulating environment, known as environmental enrichment, can

  2. Transgenerational transmission of pregestational and prenatal experience: maternal adversity, enrichment, and underlying epigenetic and environmental mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taouk, L; Schulkin, J

    2016-12-01

    Transgenerational transmission refers to positive and negative adaptations in brain function and behavior that affect following generations. In this paper, empirical findings regarding the transgenerational transmission of maternal adversity during three critical periods - childhood, pregestational adulthood and pregnancy - will be reviewed in terms of pregnancy outcomes, maternal care, offspring behavior and development, and physiological functioning. Research on the transgenerational transmission of enrichment and the implications for interventions to ameliorate the consequences of adversity will also be presented. In the final section, underlying epigenetic and environmental mechanisms that have been proposed to explain how experience is transferred across generations through transgenerational transmission will be reviewed. Directions for future research are suggested throughout.

  3. Disposition of highly enriched uranium obtained from the Republic of Kazakhstan. Environmental assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-05-01

    This EA assesses the potential environmental impacts associated with DOE`s proposal to transport 600 kg of Kazakhstand-origin HEU from Y-12 to a blending site (B&W Lynchburg or NFS Erwin), transport low-enriched UF6 blending stock from a gaseous diffusion plant to GE Wilmington and U oxide blending stock to the blending site, blending the HEU and uranium oxide blending stock to produce LEU in the form of uranyl nitrate, and transport the uranyl nitrate from the blending site to USEC Portsmouth.

  4. Nanoclay-Enriched Poly(ɛ-caprolactone) Electrospun Scaffolds for Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaharwar, Akhilesh K.; Mukundan, Shilpaa; Karaca, Elif; Dolatshahi-Pirouz, Alireza; Patel, Alpesh; Rangarajan, Kaushik; Mihaila, Silvia M.; Iviglia, Giorgio; Zhang, Hongbin

    2014-01-01

    Musculoskeletal tissue engineering aims at repairing and regenerating damaged tissues using biological tissue substitutes. One approach to achieve this aim is to develop osteoconductive scaffolds that facilitate the formation of functional bone tissue. We have fabricated nanoclay-enriched electrospun poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffolds for osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). A range of electrospun scaffolds is fabricated by varying the nanoclay concentrations within the PCL scaffolds. The addition of nanoclay decreases fiber diameter and increases surface roughness of electrospun fibers. The enrichment of PCL scaffold with nanoclay promotes in vitro biomineralization when subjected to simulated body fluid (SBF), indicating bioactive characteristics of the hybrid scaffolds. The degradation rate of PCL increases due to the addition of nanoclay. In addition, a significant increase in crystallization temperature of PCL is also observed due to enhanced surface interactions between PCL and nanoclay. The effect of nanoclay on the mechanical properties of electrospun fibers is also evaluated. The feasibility of using nanoclay-enriched PCL scaffolds for tissue engineering applications is investigated in vitro using hMSCs. The nanoclay-enriched electrospun PCL scaffolds support hMSCs adhesion and proliferation. The addition of nanoclay significantly enhances osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs on the electrospun scaffolds as evident by an increase in alkaline phosphates activity of hMSCs and higher deposition of mineralized extracellular matrix compared to PCL scaffolds. Given its unique bioactive characteristics, nanoclay-enriched PCL fibrous scaffold may be used for musculoskeletal tissue engineering. PMID:24842693

  5. Environmental enrichment does not influence hypersynchronous network activity in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte eBezzina

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The cognitive reserve hypothesis claims that the brain can overcome pathology by reinforcing preexistent processes or by developing alternative cognitive strategies. Epidemiological studies have revealed that this reserve can be built throughout life experiences as education or leisure activities. We previously showed that an early transient environmental enrichment durably improves memory performances in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, we evidenced a hypersynchronous brain network activity in young adult Tg2576 mice. As aberrant oscillatory activity can contribute to memory deficits, we wondered whether the long-lasting memory improvements observed after environmental enrichment were associated with a reduction of neuronal network hypersynchrony. Thus, we exposed non-transgenic and Tg2576 mice to standard or enriched housing conditions for 10 weeks, starting at 3 months of age. Two weeks after environmental enrichment period, Tg2576 mice presented similar seizure susceptibility to a GABA receptor antagonist. Immediately after and two weeks after this enrichment period, standard and enriched-housed Tg2576 mice did not differ with regards to the frequency of interictal spikes on their electroencephalographic recordings. Thus, the long-lasting effect of this environmental enrichment protocol on memory capacities in Tg2576 mice is not mediated by a reduction of their cerebral aberrant neuronal activity at early ages.

  6. Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Doublecortin and BDNF Expression along the Dorso-Ventral Axis of the Dentate Gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gualtieri, Fabio; Brégère, Catherine; Laws, Grace C; Armstrong, Elena A; Wylie, Nicholas J; Moxham, Theo T; Guzman, Raphael; Boswell, Timothy; Smulders, Tom V

    2017-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in the dentate gyrus is known to respond to environmental enrichment, chronic stress, and many other factors. The function of AHN may vary across the septo-temporal axis of the hippocampus, as different subdivisions are responsible for different functions. The dorsal pole regulates cognitive-related behaviors, while the ventral pole mediates mood-related responses through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, we investigate different methods of quantifying the effect of environmental enrichment on AHN in the dorsal and ventral parts of the dentate gyrus (dDG and vDG). To this purpose, 11-week-old female CD-1 mice were assigned for 8 days to one of two conditions: the Environmental Enrichment (E) group received (i) running wheels, (ii) larger cages, (iii) plastic tunnels, and (iv) bedding with male urine, while the Control (C) group received standard housing. Dorsal CA (Cornu Ammonis) and DG regions were larger in the E than the C animals. Distance run linearly predicted the volume of the dorsal hippocampus, as well as of the intermediate and ventral CA regions. In the dDG, the amount of Doublecortin (DCX) immunoreactivity was significantly higher in E than in C mice. Surprisingly, this pattern was the opposite in the vDG (C > E). Real-time PCR measurement of Dcx mRNA and DCX protein analysis using ELISA showed the same pattern. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) immunoreactivity and mRNA displayed no difference between E and C, suggesting that upregulation of DCX was not caused by changes in BDNF levels. BDNF levels were higher in vDG than in dDG, as measured by both methods. Bdnf expression in vDG correlated positively with the distance run by individual E mice. The similarity in the patterns of immunoreactivity, mRNA and protein for differential DCX expression and for BDNF distribution suggests that the latter two methods might be effective tools for more rapid quantification of AHN.

  7. Memory, learning, and participation of the cholinergic system in young rats exposed to environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Aline P A S; Silva, Kelly; Padovan, Cláudia Maria; Almeida, Sebastião Sousa; Fukuda, Marisa Tomoe Hebihara

    2014-02-01

    The present study demonstrates the consequences of animal exposure to an enriched environment compared to animals living in a standard environment regarding learning and space memory. Male albino Wistar rats were exposed to an enriched environment for 4 weeks after the lactation period and tested in the Morris water maze in the distal and proximal clue version and in the arena. In the former test, the animals were tested at 50 days of age with 12 daily trials on two consecutive days. At the end of each session, scopolamine at the dose of 0.6 mg/kg/ml or saline solution was injected intraperitoneally. Twenty-eight days after the first phase, a new test consisting of a single trial was held (retest). An independent group of animals receiving no drug was subjected to the arena test and to the proximal clue version of the Morris maze. In the distal clue version the results did not show differences between groups in the first phase of the experiment. After 28 days (retest), the animals reared in a standard environment and treated with scopolamine exhibited a significant increase in latency compared to the group receiving the same drug and stimulated and to the group receiving saline. The arena data demonstrated a significant increase in exploratory activity in the group of animals reared in an enriched environment. The proximal clue version of the Morris maze did not show differences between groups. The results of the present study indicate that animals exposed to environmental enrichment react less to the amnesic effects of scopolamine and show an increase in exploratory activity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Training bottlenose dolphins to overcome avoidance of environmental enrichment objects in order to stimulate play activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neto, Márcia P; Silveira, Miguel; Dos Santos, Manuel E

    2016-05-01

    Enrichment programs may contribute to the quality of life and stress reduction in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) kept in zoos and aquaria. The results of these programs are generally positive in terms of welfare, but the magnitude of their effects may vary greatly between individuals of the same species, especially when the enrichment plans are based on the introduction of manipulative objects. Some animals will interact spontaneously with novel objects, even without food rewards and in the absence of the trainers, while others show no interest or even aversion toward the objects. To determine if formal training can improve these conditions, we measured the effects of an operant conditioning program in the manipulation of objects by dolphins that initially avoided them. This program took place between April and October 2013 at Zoomarine Portugal. Subjects were two female and two male bottlenose dolphins (adults with ages from 17 to 35 years) that after a preliminary analysis showed avoidance or low interest in the manipulation of various toys. The level of interaction with introduced enrichment objects was observed before and after formal training to explore the toys (sixteen 20-min observation sessions per animal "before" and "after training"). In all subjects, an index of interest in object manipulation, in the absence of trainers, increased significantly after the application of the training techniques. The results show that an initial reinforcement program focused on the manipulation of toys may overcome resistance, improving the effects of environmental enrichment plans, and it is a potentially useful strategy to increase the welfare of some captive animals. Zoo Biol. 35:210-215, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Environmental Enrichment, Age, and PPARα Interact to Regulate Proliferation in Neurogenic Niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Martín, Margarita; Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Eduardo; Lorefice, Clara; Decara, Juan; Pavón, Francisco J.; Serrano, Antonia; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Suárez, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) ligands have been shown to modulate recovery after brain insults such as ischemia and irradiation by enhancing neurogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the genetic deletion of PPARα receptors on the proliferative rate of neural precursor cells (NPC) in the adult brain. The study was performed in aged Pparα−/− mice exposed to nutritional (treats) and environmental (games) enrichments for 20 days. We performed immunohistochemical analyses of cells containing the replicating cell DNA marker 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU+) and the immature neuronal marker doublecortin (Dcx+) in the main neurogenic zones of the adult brain: subgranular zone of dentate gyrus (SGZ), subventricular zone of lateral ventricles (SVZ), and/or hypothalamus. Results indicated a reduction in the number of BrdU+ cells in the neurogenic zones analyzed as well as Dcx+ cells in the SGZ during aging (2, 6, and 18 months). Pparα deficiency alleviated the age-related reduction of NPC proliferation (BrdU+ cells) in the SVZ of the 18-months-old mice. While no genotype effect on NPC proliferation was detected in the SGZ during aging, an accentuated reduction in the number of Dcx+ cells was observed in the SGZ of the 6-months-old Pparα−/− mice. Exposing the 18-months-old mice to nutritional and environmental enrichments reversed the Pparα−/−-induced impairment of NPC proliferation in the neurogenic zones analyzed. The enriched environment did not modify the number of SGZ Dcx+ cells in the 18 months old Pparα−/− mice. These results identify PPARα receptors as a potential target to counteract the naturally observed decline in adult NPC proliferation associated with aging and impoverished environments. PMID:27013951

  10. Effects of environmental enrichment and physical activity on neurogenesis in transgenic PS1/APP mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catlow, Briony J; Rowe, Amanda R; Clearwater, Courtney R; Mamcarz, Maggie; Arendash, Gary W; Sanchez-Ramos, Juan

    2009-02-23

    Rodents exposed to environmental enrichment show many differences, including improved cognitive performance, when compared to those living in standard (impoverished) housing. The purpose of the present study was to determine if a selective increase in neurogenesis occurred in cognitively-protected Tg mice raised in an enriched environment compared to those reared in physical activity housing. At weaning, double Tg APP+PS1 mice were placed into one of three environments: complete environmental enrichment (CE), enhanced physical activity (PA), or individual, impoverished housing (IMP). At 9-10 months of age, Tg mice were injected with BrdU (100 mg/kg BID) followed by euthanasia either 24 h or 2 weeks after the last injection. Unbiased estimates of BrdU positive cells in the hippocampal subgranular zone revealed a significant increase in cellular proliferation in Tg mice raised in CE or PA compared to Tg mice reared in IMP housing. However, counts of BrdU birth-dated cells 2 weeks after labeling showed no difference among the three groups, indicating decreased survival of cells in those groups (CE and PA) with higher cellular proliferation rates in the neurogenic niche. Counts of calretinin-expressing cells, a marker of immature neurons, also indicated no difference among the three groups of mice. In view of our prior study showing that enhanced cognitive activity (but not enhanced physical activity) protects Tg mice against cognitive impairment, the present results indicate that increased generation and survival of new neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus is not involved with the cognitively-protective effects of complete CE in Alzheimer's transgenic mice.

  11. Environmental enrichment, age and PPARα interact to regulate proliferation in neurogenic niches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarita ePerez-Martin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα ligands have been shown to modulate recovery after brain insults such as ischemia and irradiation by enhancing neurogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the genetic deletion of PPARα receptors on the proliferative rate of neural precursor cells (NPC in the adult brain. The study was performed in aged Pparα-/- mice exposed to nutritional (treats and environmental (games enrichments for 20 days. We performed immunohistochemical analyses of cells containing the replicating cell DNA marker 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU+ and the immature neuronal marker doublecortin (Dcx+ in the main neurogenic zones of the adult brain: subgranular zone of dentate gyrus (SGZ, subventricular zone of lateral ventricles (SVZ and/or hypothalamus. Results indicated a reduction in the number of BrdU+ cells in the neurogenic zones analyzed as well as Dcx+ cells in the SGZ during aging (2, 6, 18 months. Pparα deficiency alleviated the age-related reduction of NPC proliferation (BrdU+ cells in the SVZ of the 18-months-old mice. While no genotype effect on NPC proliferation was detected in the SGZ during aging, an accentuated reduction in the number of Dcx+ cells was observed in the SGZ of the 6-months-old Pparα-/- mice. Exposing the 18-months-old mice to nutritional and environmental enrichments reversed the Pparα-/--induced impairment of NPC proliferation in the neurogenic zones analyzed. The enriched environment did not modify the number of SGZ Dcx+ cells in the 18 months old Pparα-/- mice. These results identify PPARα receptors as a potential target to counteract the naturally observed decline in adult NPC proliferation associated with aging and impoverished environments.

  12. Environmental enrichment extends photoreceptor survival and visual function in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilaria Barone

    Full Text Available Slow, progressive rod degeneration followed by cone death leading to blindness is the pathological signature of all forms of human retinitis pigmentosa (RP. Therapeutic schemes based on intraocular delivery of neuroprotective agents prolong the lifetime of photoreceptors and have reached the stage of clinical trial. The success of these approaches depends upon optimization of chronic supply and appropriate combination of factors. Environmental enrichment (EE, a novel neuroprotective strategy based on enhanced motor, sensory and social stimulation, has already been shown to exert beneficial effects in animal models of various disorders of the CNS, including Alzheimer and Huntington disease. Here we report the results of prolonged exposure of rd10 mice, a mutant strain undergoing progressive photoreceptor degeneration mimicking human RP, to such an enriched environment from birth. By means of microscopy of retinal tissue, electrophysiological recordings, visual behaviour assessment and molecular analysis, we show that EE considerably preserves retinal morphology and physiology as well as visual perception over time in rd10 mutant mice. We find that protective effects of EE are accompanied by increased expression of retinal mRNAs for CNTF and mTOR, both factors known as instrumental to photoreceptor survival. Compared to other rescue approaches used in similar animal models, EE is highly effective, minimally invasive and results into a long-lasting retinal protection. These results open novel perspectives of research pointing to environmental strategies as useful tools to extend photoreceptor survival.

  13. Novel approaches to alcohol rehabilitation: Modification of stress-responsive brain regions through environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Terence Y; Hannan, Anthony J; Lawrence, Andrew J

    2018-02-22

    Relapse remains the most prominent hurdle to successful rehabilitation from alcoholism. The neural mechanisms underlying relapse are complex, but our understanding of the brain regions involved, the anatomical circuitry and the modulation of specific nuclei in the context of stress and cue-induced relapse have improved significantly in recent years. In particular, stress is now recognised as a significant trigger for relapse, adding to the well-established impact of chronic stress to escalate alcohol consumption. It is therefore unsurprising that the stress-responsive regions of the brain have also been implicated in alcohol relapse, such as the nucleus accumbens, amygdala and the hypothalamus. Environmental enrichment is a robust experimental paradigm which provides a non-pharmacological tool to alter stress response and, separately, alcohol-seeking behaviour and symptoms of withdrawal. In this review, we examine and consolidate the preclinical evidence that alcohol seeking behaviour and stress-induced relapse are modulated by environmental enrichment, and these are primarily mediated by modification of neural activity within the key nodes of the addiction circuitry. Finally, we discuss the limited clinical evidence that stress-reducing approaches such as mindfulness could potentially serve as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of alcoholism. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Putting the “E” in SPIDER: Evolving Trends in the Evaluation of Environmental Enrichment Efficacy in Zoological Settings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Alligood

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In their seminal paper on environmental enrichment, Mellen and MacPhee (2001 proposed a set of broad goals for enrichment in zoological settings, as well as a framework for enrichment programs. Since that time, the philosophy and practice of environmental enrichment in zoos has continued to grow. Here we review evaluations of enrichment efficacy in the literature since 2001, looking for trends in species, target behaviors, enrichment strategies, and analytic techniques and discussing progress toward the SPIDER vision and outstanding needs in the field. We selected 94 peer-reviewed and 121 non-peer-reviewed articles for review, representing enrichment strategies across a wide range of species. The number of peer-reviewed articles published per year was relatively stable, such that the cumulative number of articles has continued to rise over the thirteen-year review period. We echo the call issued by a number of authors for continued and improved evaluation of enrichment efficacy, and add a recommendation for further exploration of single-subject experimental designs. We also call for focus on a broader array of species and on specific areas of application including reintroduction.

  15. Differential neuronal plasticity in mouse hippocampus associated with various periods of enriched environment during postnatal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseiny, Salma; Pietri, Mariel; Petit-Paitel, Agnès; Zarif, Hadi; Heurteaux, Catherine; Chabry, Joëlle; Guyon, Alice

    2015-11-01

    Enriched environment (EE) is characterized by improved conditions for enhanced exploration, cognitive activity, social interaction and physical exercise. It has been shown that EE positively regulates the remodeling of neural circuits, memory consolidation, long-term changes in synaptic strength and neurogenesis. However, the fine mechanisms by which environment shapes the brain at different postnatal developmental stages and the duration required to induce such changes are still a matter of debate. In EE, large groups of mice were housed in bigger cages and were given toys, nesting materials and other equipment that promote physical activity to provide a stimulating environment. Weaned mice were housed in EE for 4, 6 or 8 weeks and compared with matched control mice that were raised in a standard environment. To investigate the differential effects of EE on immature and mature brains, we also housed young adult mice (8 weeks old) for 4 weeks in EE. We studied the influence of onset and duration of EE housing on the structure and function of hippocampal neurons. We found that: (1) EE enhances neurogenesis in juvenile, but not young adult mice; (2) EE increases the number of synaptic contacts at every stage; (3) long-term potentiation (LTP) and spontaneous and miniature activity at the glutamatergic synapses are affected differently by EE depending on its onset and duration. Our study provides an integrative view of the role of EE during postnatal development in various mechanisms of plasticity in the hippocampus including neurogenesis, synaptic morphology and electrophysiological parameters of synaptic connectivity. This work provides an explanation for discrepancies found in the literature about the effects of EE on LTP and emphasizes the importance of environment on hippocampal plasticity.

  16. Working and reference memory of pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) in a holeboard spatial discrimination task: the influence of environmental enrichment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, J.E.; Oostindjer, M.; Hoeks, C.W.F.; Haas, de E.N.; Bartels, A.C.; Ooms, M.; Kemp, B.

    2013-01-01

    Interest in cognitive research in pigs is increasing, but little is known about the impact of environmental conditions on pigs’ cognitive capabilities. The present study investigated the effect of environmental enrichment on cognitive performance of pigs in a holeboard spatial task, in which they

  17. Early natural stimulation through environmental enrichment accelerates neuronal development in the mouse dentate gyrus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Liu

    Full Text Available The dentate gyrus is the primary afferent into the hippocampal formation, with important functions in learning and memory. Granule cells, the principle neuronal type in the dentate gyrus, are mostly formed postnatally, in a process that continues into adulthood. External stimuli, including environmental enrichment, voluntary exercise and learning, have been shown to significantly accelerate the generation and maturation of dentate granule cells in adult rodents. Whether, and to what extent, such environmental stimuli regulate the development and maturation of dentate granule cells during early postnatal development is largely unknown. Furthermore, whether natural stimuli affect the synaptic properties of granule cells had been investigated neither in newborn neurons of the adult nor during early development. To examine the effect of natural sensory stimulation on the dentate gyrus, we reared newborn mice in an enriched environment (EE. Using immunohistochemistry, we showed that dentate granule cells from EE-reared mice exhibited earlier morphological maturation, manifested as faster peaking of doublecortin expression and elevated expression of mature neuronal markers (including NeuN, calbindin and MAP2 at the end of the second postnatal week. Also at the end of the second postnatal week, we found increased density of dendritic spines across the entire dentate gyrus, together with elevated levels of postsynaptic scaffold (post-synaptic density 95 and receptor proteins (GluR2 and GABA(ARγ2 of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Furthermore, dentate granule cells of P14 EE-reared mice had lower input resistances and increased glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic inputs. Together, our results demonstrate that EE-rearing promotes morphological and electrophysiological maturation of dentate granule cells, underscoring the importance of natural environmental stimulation on development of the dentate gyrus.

  18. Differential strand separation at critical temperature: A minimally disruptive enrichment method for low-abundance unknown DNA mutations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guha, Minakshi; Castellanos-Rizaldos, Elena; Liu, Pingfang; Mamon, Harvey; Makrigiorgos, G. Mike

    2013-01-01

    Detection of low-level DNA variations in the presence of wild-type DNA is important in several fields of medicine, including cancer, prenatal diagnosis and infectious diseases. PCR-based methods to enrich mutations during amplification have limited multiplexing capability, are mostly restricted to known mutations and are prone to polymerase or mis-priming errors. Here, we present Differential Strand Separation at Critical Temperature (DISSECT), a method that enriches unknown mutations of targeted DNA sequences purely based on thermal denaturation of DNA heteroduplexes without the need for enzymatic reactions. Target DNA is pre-amplified in a multiplex reaction and hybridized onto complementary probes immobilized on magnetic beads that correspond to wild-type DNA sequences. Presence of any mutation on the target DNA forms heteroduplexes that are subsequently denatured from the beads at a critical temperature and selectively separated from wild-type DNA. We demonstrate multiplexed enrichment by 100- to 400-fold for KRAS and TP53 mutations at multiple positions of the targeted sequence using two to four successive cycles of DISSECT. Cancer and plasma-circulating DNA samples containing traces of mutations undergo mutation enrichment allowing detection via Sanger sequencing or high-resolution melting. The simplicity, scalability and reliability of DISSECT make it a powerful method for mutation enrichment that integrates well with existing downstream detection methods. PMID:23258702

  19. TiO{sub 2}-enriched polymeric powder coatings support human mesenchymal cell spreading and osteogenic differentiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mozumder, Mohammad Sayem; Zhu, Jesse [Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B9 (Canada); Perinpanayagam, Hiran, E-mail: Hiran.Perinpanayagam@schulich.uwo.ca [Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5C1 (Canada)

    2011-06-15

    Novel polymeric powder coatings (PPC) were prepared by ultrafine powder coating technology and shown to support human mesenchymal cell attachment and growth. PPC surfaces enriched with nano-TiO{sub 2} (nTiO{sub 2}) showed enhanced cellular responses, and were compared to commercially pure titanium (cpTi). After cell attachment and growth, osteogenic differentiation and bone matrix formation ensures osseointegration for implantable biomaterials. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine if mesenchymal cells grown on PPC could undergo osteogenic differentiation by inducing Runx2 and bone matrix proteins, and then initiate mineralization. Atomic force microscopy revealed intricate three-dimensional micro-topographies, and the measures of nano-roughness and porosity were similar for all PPC surfaces. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the cells attached and spread out over all of the surfaces. After 1 week in osteogenic media, RT-PCR analysis showed the induction of Runx2, the up-regulation of type I collagen, and the initial detection of alkaline phosphatase and bone sialoprotein. After 4 weeks, Alizarin Red staining showed mineral deposition. However, cell spreading and osteogenic differentiation were significantly (P < 0.05) higher on the cpTi controls than on the PPC surfaces. Furthermore, spreading and differentiation were consistently higher on the titanium-enriched PPC-2, -3 and -4 than on the titanium-free PPC-1. Therefore, despite the presence of complex micro-topographies and nano-features, titanium-enrichment enhanced the cellular response, and pure titanium still provided the best substrate. These findings confirm the cytocompatibility of these novel polymeric coatings and suggest that titanium-enrichment and nTiO{sub 2} additives may enhance their performance.

  20. Euchromatin islands in large heterochromatin domains are enriched for CTCF binding and differentially DNA-methylated regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Bo

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The organization of higher order chromatin is an emerging epigenetic mechanism for understanding development and disease. We and others have previously observed dynamic changes during differentiation and oncogenesis in large heterochromatin domains such as Large Organized Chromatin K (lysine modifications (LOCKs, of histone H3 lysine-9 dimethylation (H3K9me2 or other repressive histone posttranslational modifications. The microstructure of these regions has not previously been explored. Results We analyzed the genome-wide distribution of H3K9me2 in two human pluripotent stem cell lines and three differentiated cells lines. We identified > 2,500 small regions with very low H3K9me2 signals in the body of LOCKs, which were termed as euchromatin islands (EIs. EIs are 6.5-fold enriched for DNase I Hypersensitive Sites and 8-fold enriched for the binding of CTCF, the major organizer of higher-order chromatin. Furthermore, EIs are 2–6 fold enriched for differentially DNA-methylated regions associated with tissue types (T-DMRs, reprogramming (R-DMRs and cancer (C-DMRs. Gene ontology (GO analysis suggests that EI-associated genes are functionally related to organ system development, cell adhesion and cell differentiation. Conclusions We identify the existence of EIs as a finer layer of epigenomic architecture within large heterochromatin domains. Their enrichment for CTCF sites and DNAse hypersensitive sites, as well as association with DMRs, suggest that EIs play an important role in normal epigenomic architecture and its disruption in disease.

  1. Environmental Enrichment Mitigates Detrimental Cognitive Effects of Ketogenic Diet in Weanling Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scichilone, John M; Yarraguntla, Kalyan; Charalambides, Ana; Harney, Jacob P; Butler, David

    2016-09-01

    For decades, the ketogenic diet has been an effective treatment of intractable epilepsy in children. Childhood epilepsy is pharmacoresistant in 25-40 % of patients taking the current prescribed medications. Chronic seizure activity has been linked to deficits in cognitive function and behavioral problems which negatively affect the learning abilities of the child. Recent studies suggest the ketogenic diet (KD), a high fat with low carbohydrate and protein diet, has adverse effects on cognition in weanling rats. The diet reduces circulating glucose levels to where energy metabolism is converted from glycolysis to burning fat and generating ketone bodies which has been suggested as a highly efficient source of energy for the brain. In contrast, when weanling rats are placed in an enriched environment, they exhibit increased spatial learning, memory, and neurogenesis. Thus, this study was done to determine if weanling rats being administered a KD in an environmental enrichment (EE) would still exhibit the negative cognitive effects of the diet previously observed. The present study suggests that an altered environment is capable of reducing the cognitive deficits in weanling rats administered a KD. Learning was improved with an EE. The effect of diet and environment on anxiety and depression suggests a significant reduction in anxiety with enrichment rearing. Interestingly, circulating energy substrate levels were increased in the EE groups along with brain-derived neurotrophic factor despite the least changes in weight gain. In light of numerous studies using KDs that seemingly have adverse effects on cognition, KD-induced reductions in excitotoxic events would not necessarily eliminate that negative aspect of seizures.

  2. Timing of Environmental Enrichment Affects Memory in the House Cricket, Acheta domesticus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather S Mallory

    Full Text Available Learning appears to be ubiquitous among animals, as it plays a key role in many behaviors including foraging and reproduction. Although there is some genetic basis for differences in learning ability and memory retention, environment also plays an important role, as it does for any other trait. For example, adult animals maintained in enriched housing conditions learn faster and remember tasks for longer than animals maintained in impoverished conditions. Such plasticity in adult learning ability has often been linked to plasticity in the brain, and studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms, stimuli, and consequences of adult behavioral and brain plasticity are numerous. However, the role of experiences during post-embryonic development in shaping plasticity in adult learning ability and memory retention remain relatively unexplored. Using the house cricket (Acheta domesticus as a model organism, we developed a protocol to allow the odor preference of a large number of crickets to be tested in a short period of time. We then used this new protocol to examine how enrichment or impoverishment at two developmental stages (either the last nymphal instar or young adult affected adult memory. Our results show that regardless of nymphal rearing conditions, crickets that experienced an enriched rearing condition as young adults performed better on a memory task than individuals that experienced an impoverished condition. Older adult crickets (more than 1 week post adult molt did not demonstrate differences in memory of the odor task, regardless of rearing condition as a young adult. Our results suggest that environmentally-induced plasticity in memory may be restricted to the young adult stage.

  3. Timing of Environmental Enrichment Affects Memory in the House Cricket, Acheta domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallory, Heather S; Howard, Aaron F; Weiss, Martha R

    2016-01-01

    Learning appears to be ubiquitous among animals, as it plays a key role in many behaviors including foraging and reproduction. Although there is some genetic basis for differences in learning ability and memory retention, environment also plays an important role, as it does for any other trait. For example, adult animals maintained in enriched housing conditions learn faster and remember tasks for longer than animals maintained in impoverished conditions. Such plasticity in adult learning ability has often been linked to plasticity in the brain, and studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms, stimuli, and consequences of adult behavioral and brain plasticity are numerous. However, the role of experiences during post-embryonic development in shaping plasticity in adult learning ability and memory retention remain relatively unexplored. Using the house cricket (Acheta domesticus) as a model organism, we developed a protocol to allow the odor preference of a large number of crickets to be tested in a short period of time. We then used this new protocol to examine how enrichment or impoverishment at two developmental stages (either the last nymphal instar or young adult) affected adult memory. Our results show that regardless of nymphal rearing conditions, crickets that experienced an enriched rearing condition as young adults performed better on a memory task than individuals that experienced an impoverished condition. Older adult crickets (more than 1 week post adult molt) did not demonstrate differences in memory of the odor task, regardless of rearing condition as a young adult. Our results suggest that environmentally-induced plasticity in memory may be restricted to the young adult stage.

  4. Spatial distribution, enrichment, and source of environmentally important elements in Batticaloa lagoon, Sri Lanka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adikaram, Madurya; Pitawala, Amarasooriya; Ishiga, Hiroaki; Jayawardana, Daham

    2017-01-01

    The present paper is the first documentation of distribution and contamination status of environmentally important elements of superficial sediments in the Batticaloa lagoon that is connected to the largest bay of the world. Surface sediment samples were collected from 34 sites covering all over the lagoon. Concentrations of elements such as As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Nb, Ni, Pb, Sc, Sr, Th, V, Y, Zn, and Zr were measured by X-ray florescence analysis. Geochemically, the lagoon has three different zones that were influenced mainly by fresh water sources, marine fronts, and intermediate mixing zones. The marine sediment quality standards indicate that Zr and Th values are exceeded throughout the lagoon. According to the freshwater sediment quality standards, Cr levels of all sampling sites exceed the threshold effect level (TEL) and 17 % of them are even above the probable effect level (PEL). Most sampling sites of the channel discharging areas show minor enrichment of Cu, Ni, and Zn with respect to the TEL. Contamination indices show that the lagoon mouth area is enriched with As. Statistical analysis implies that discharges from agricultural channel and marine fluxes of the lagoon effects on the spatial distribution of measured elements. Further research is required to understand the rate of contamination in the studied marine system.

  5. Environmental Enrichment Prevents Methamphetamine-Induced Spatial Memory Deficits and Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samira Hajheidari

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: This study was designed to examine the effect of environmental enrichment during methamphetamine (METH dependency and withdrawal on methamphetamine-induced spatial learning and memory deficits and obsessive-compulsive behavior.Method: Adult male Wistar rats (200 ± 10 g chronically received bi-daily doses of METH (2 mg/kg, sc, with 12 hours intervals for 14 days. Rats reared in standard (SE or enriched environment (EE during the development of dependence on METH and withdrawal. Then, they were tested for spatial learning and memory (the water maze, and obsessive-compulsive behavior as grooming behavior in METH-withdrawn rats.Results: The results revealed that the Sal/EE and METH/EE rats reared in EE spent more time in the target zone on the water maze and displayed significantly increased proximity to the platform compared to their control groups. METH withdrawn rats reared in EE displayed less grooming behavior than METH/SE group.Conclusion: Our findings revealed EE ameliorates METH-induced spatial memory deficits and obsessive-compulsive behavior in rats.

  6. Physical activity and environmental enrichment regulate the generation of neural precursors in the adult mouse substantia nigra in a dopamine-dependent manner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaissle Philipp

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a continuous loss of neurons within the substantia nigra (SN leading to a depletion of dopamine. Within the adult SN as a non-neurogenic region, cells with mainly oligodendrocytic precursor characteristics, expressing the neuro-glial antigen-2 (NG2 are continuously generated. Proliferation of these cells is altered in animal models of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Exercise and environmental enrichment re-increase proliferation of NG2+ cells in PD models, however, a possible mechanistic role of dopamine for this increase is not completely understood. NG2+ cells can differentiate into oligodendrocytes but also into microglia and neurons as observed in vitro suggesting a possible hint for endogenous regenerative capacity of the SN. We investigated the role of dopamine in NG2-generation and differentiation in the adult SN stimulated by physical activity and environmental enrichment. Results We used the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP-model for dopamine depletion and analysed newborn cells in the SN at different maturation stages and time points depending on voluntary physical activity, enriched environment and levodopa-treatment. We describe an activity- induced increase of new NG2-positive cells and also mature oligodendrocytes in the SN of healthy mice. Running and enriched environment refused to stimulate NG2-generation and oligodendrogenesis in MPTP-mice, an effect which could be reversed by pharmacological levodopa-induced rescue. Conclusion We suggest dopamine being a key regulator for activity-induced generation of NG2-cells and oliogodendrocytes in the SN as a potentially relevant mechanism in endogenous nigral cellular plasticity.

  7. Environmental enrichment alters neuronal processing in the nucleus accumbens core during appetitive conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, David A; Rebec, George V

    2009-03-09

    Although the core region of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) has been implicated in motor control and the acquisition of appetitive learning, these processes are altered by environmental experience. To assess how environment influences neuronal processing in NAcc core, we recorded single-unit activity during acquisition of an appetitive learning task in which rats reared in an environmentally enriched condition (EC) learned the operant response (nosepoke into a lit hole) for sucrose reinforcement faster than rats reared in an isolated condition (IC). In the first training session, even before the emergence of learning differences, core neurons were more likely to respond (increase or decrease activity) during the operant and consummatory responses in EC than IC rats. By the third training session, when learning differences emerged, EC neurons continued to be more responsive than IC neurons, but in very different ways: the response shifted to the cues that signaled trial onset (1900 Hz tone and green LED) and reward availability (4500 Hz tone and yellow LED). Cue-related responding, moreover, was dominated by neuronal excitations. In contrast, post-acquisition recordings revealed no EC-IC differences. Collectively, these results suggest that core neurons are initially more responsive to discrete, goal-directed movements in EC rats, but as learning materializes, the neuronal response shifts to the cues that predict these movements. Thus, environmental experience alters core neuronal processing of both motor- and sensory-related events but at different stages over the course of learning.

  8. Greater efficacy of preweaning than postweaning environmental enrichment on maze learning in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venable, N; Pinto-Hamuy, T; Arraztoa, J A; Contador, M T; Chellew, A; Perán, C; Valenzuela, X

    1988-11-01

    In order to assess the behavioural effects of environmental stimulation at different stages of development, two groups of rats were exposed to multisensory enrichment on days 10-24 (preweaning) or 25-39 (postweaning). Both groups had four 25-min sessions per day in a large cage with a variety of stimuli, in addition to 3 min of handling before each session. The mother of the preweaning group remained in the home cage during the stimulation sessions. A third group was maintained in a social condition. Testing in a Hebb-Williams maze started when the rats of the 3 groups were 100 days old. Error, latency and running time scores were lowest in the preweaning group.

  9. Access to litter during rearing and environmental enrichment during production reduce fearfulness in adult laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brantsaeter, Margrethe; Tahamtani, Fernanda M.; Nordgreen, Janicke

    2017-01-01

    as adult hens compared to birds reared without access to litter. The hypothesis was tested in a national on-farm study in commercial aviary flocks in Norway. Five rearing farmers divided the pullets into two groups within their rearing houses. While the chicks were enclosed inside the aviary rows during...... reared with paper) were visited. During the visit, the fearfulness of the adult birds was tested in a stationary person test and a novel object test. The data was analysed by ANOVA or logistic regression as appropriate. The access to litter during rearing did not influence the number of birds...... that approached within 25 cm of the stationary person (p = 0:51). All flocks, regardless of rearing treatment, had birds which came within 2 m of the stationary person. The latency to approach within 2 m of the stationary person tended to be influenced by provision of environmental enrichment as adults (p = 0...

  10. Differential effects of social and novelty enrichment on individual differences in impulsivity and behavioral flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Maya Zhe; Marshall, Andrew T; Kirkpatrick, Kimberly

    2017-06-01

    Early life experience profoundly impacts behavior and cognitive functions in rats. The present study investigated how the presence of conspecifics and/or novel objects, could independently influence individual differences in impulsivity and behavioral flexibility. Twenty-four rats were reared in an isolated condition, an isolated condition with a novel object, a pair-housed social condition, or a pair-housed social condition with a novel object. The rats were then tested on an impulsive choice task, a behavioral flexibility task, and an impulsive action task. Novelty enrichment produced an overall increase in impulsive choice, while social enrichment decreased impulsive choice in the absence of novelty enrichment and also produced an overall increase in impulsive action. In the behavioral flexibility task, social enrichment increased regressive errors, whereas both social and novelty enrichment reduced never-reinforced errors. Individual differences analyses indicated a significant relationship between performance in the behavioral flexibility and impulsive action tasks, which may reflect a common psychological correlate of action inhibition. Moreover, there was a relationship between delay sensitivity in the impulsive choice task and performance on the DRL and behavioral flexibility tasks, suggesting a dual role for timing and inhibitory processes in driving the interrelationship between these tasks. Overall, these results indicate that social and novelty enrichment produce distinct effects on impulsivity and adaptability, suggesting the need to parse out the different elements of enrichment in future studies. Further research is warranted to better understand how individual differences in sensitivity to enrichment affect individuals' interactions with and the resulting consequences of the rearing environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Comparative analysis of metagenomes from three methanogenic hydrocarbon-degrading enrichment cultures with 41 environmental samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Boonfei; Jane Fowler, S; Laban, Nidal Abu; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W; Foght, Julia; Gieg, Lisa M

    2015-01-01

    Methanogenic hydrocarbon metabolism is a key process in subsurface oil reservoirs and hydrocarbon-contaminated environments and thus warrants greater understanding to improve current technologies for fossil fuel extraction and bioremediation. In this study, three hydrocarbon-degrading methanogenic cultures established from two geographically distinct environments and incubated with different hydrocarbon substrates (added as single hydrocarbons or as mixtures) were subjected to metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to test whether these differences affect the genetic potential and composition of the communities. Enrichment of different putative hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in each culture appeared to be substrate dependent, though all cultures contained both acetate- and H2-utilizing methanogens. Despite differing hydrocarbon substrates and inoculum sources, all three cultures harbored genes for hydrocarbon activation by fumarate addition (bssA, assA, nmsA) and carboxylation (abcA, ancA), along with those for associated downstream pathways (bbs, bcr, bam), though the cultures incubated with hydrocarbon mixtures contained a broader diversity of fumarate addition genes. A comparative metagenomic analysis of the three cultures showed that they were functionally redundant despite their enrichment backgrounds, sharing multiple features associated with syntrophic hydrocarbon conversion to methane. In addition, a comparative analysis of the culture metagenomes with those of 41 environmental samples (containing varying proportions of methanogens) showed that the three cultures were functionally most similar to each other but distinct from other environments, including hydrocarbon-impacted environments (for example, oil sands tailings ponds and oil-affected marine sediments). This study provides a basis for understanding key functions and environmental selection in methanogenic hydrocarbon-associated communities. PMID:25734684

  12. Aggression and dominance in cichlids in resident-intruder tests: the role of environmental enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Nijman

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available When establishing dominance residents have a greater likelihood to dominate intruders than vice versa, partially because the resident has more to loose that the intruder has to win. This is known as the prior residency effect. In environmentally rich environments this effect should be stronger than in poor environments. Recently Kadry & Barreto (2010, Neotrop Ichthyol 8: 329-332 tested this in the pearl cichlid Geophagus brasiliensis (17 test pairs and reported that environmental enrichment led to a reduction of aggression. We here present data on four other cichlids (332 test pairs showing a stronger prior residency effect in enriched conditions, and, for two species, an increase in aggression. We discuss possible reasons for the differences between studies, focussing on the relationship between aggression and dominance and sample size effects.No estabelecimento de dominancia, residentes têm uma maior probabilidade de dominar os intrusos que vice-versa, em parte porque o residente tem mais a perder que o invasor tem a ganhar. Isto é conhecido como o efeito de residência prévia. Em ambientes ecologicamente ricos esse efeito deve ser mais forte do que em ambientes pobres. Recentemente Kadry & Barreto (2010, Neotrop. Ichthyol. 8: 329-332 testaram isso no cará Geophagus brasiliensis (17 pares de teste e relataram que o enriquecimento ambiental levou a uma redução de agressão. Aqui apresentamos dados de quatro outros ciclídeos (332 pares de teste, mostrando um efeito mais forte de residência prévia em condições enriquecidas, e, para duas espécies, o aumento da agressão. Discutimos possíveis razões para as diferenças entre os estudos, concentrando-nos sobre a relação entre agressão e dominação e os efeitos do tamanho da amostra.

  13. Environmental Enrichment Induces Pericyte and IgA-Dependent Wound Repair and Lifespan Extension in a Colon Tumor Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin D. Bice

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment (EE replicates mind-body therapy by providing complex housing to laboratory animals to improve their activity levels, behavior, and social interactions. Using a Tcf4Het/+ ApcMin/+-mediated model of colon tumorigenesis, we found that EE vastly improved the survival of tumor-bearing animals, with differential effect on tumor load in male compared to female animals. Analysis of Tcf4Het/+ ApcMin/+ males showed drastically reduced expression of circulating inflammatory cytokines and induced nuclear hormone receptor (NHR signaling, both of which are common in the wound repair process. Interestingly, EE provoked tumor wound repair resolution through revascularization, plasma cell recruitment and IgA secretion, replacement of glandular tumor structures with pericytes in a process reminiscent of scarring, and normalization of microbiota. These EE-dependent changes likely underlie the profound improvement in survival of colon-tumor-bearing Tcf4Het/+ ApcMin/+ males. Our studies highlight the exciting promise of EE in the design of future therapeutic strategies for colon cancer patients.

  14. The effects of environmental enrichment on depressive and anxiety-relevant behaviors in socially isolated prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grippo, Angela J; Ihm, Elliott; Wardwell, Joshua; McNeal, Neal; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Moenk, Deirdre A; Chandler, Danielle L; LaRocca, Meagan A; Preihs, Kristin

    2014-05-01

    Social isolation is associated with depression, anxiety, and negative health outcomes. Environmental enrichment, including environmental and cognitive stimulation with inanimate objects and opportunities for physical exercise, may be an effective strategy to include in treatment paradigms for affective disorders as a function of social isolation. In a rodent model-the socially monogamous prairie vole-we investigated the hypothesis that depression- and anxiety-related behaviors after social isolation would be prevented and remediated with environmental enrichment. Experiment 1 investigated the preventive effects of environmental enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered concurrently with social isolation. Experiment 2 investigated the remediating effects of enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered after a period of isolation. Behaviors were measured in three operational tests: open field, forced swim test (FST), and elevated plus maze. In isolated prairie voles, enrichment prevented depression-relevant (immobility in FST, group × housing interaction, p = .049) and anxiety-relevant behaviors (exploration in open field, group × housing interaction, p = .036; exploration in elevated plus maze, group × housing interaction, p = .049). Delayed enrichment also remediated these behaviors in isolated animals (immobility in FST, main effect of housing, p = .001; exploration in open field, main effect of housing, p = .047; exploration in elevated plus maze, main effect of housing, p = .001) and was slightly more effective than physical exercise alone in remediating anxiety-relevant behaviors. These findings provide insight into the beneficial effects of an enriched environment on depression- and anxiety-relevant behaviors using a translational rodent model of social isolation.

  15. The effects of environmental enrichment on depressive- and anxiety-relevant behaviors in socially isolated prairie voles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grippo, Angela J.; Ihm, Elliott; Wardwell, Joshua; McNeal, Neal; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L.; Moenk, Deirdre A.; Chandler, Danielle L.; LaRocca, Meagan A.; Preihs, Kristin

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Social isolation is associated with depression, anxiety and negative health outcomes. Environmental enrichment, including environmental and cognitive stimulation with inanimate objects and opportunities for physical exercise, may be an effective strategy to include in treatment paradigms for affective disorders as a function of social isolation. In a rodent model – the socially monogamous prairie vole – we investigated the hypothesis that depression- and anxiety-related behaviors following social isolation would be prevented and remediated with environmental enrichment. Methods Experiment 1 investigated the preventive effects of environmental enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered concurrently with social isolation. Experiment 2 investigated the remediating effects of enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered following a period of isolation. Behaviors were measured in 3 operational tests: open field; forced swim test; and elevated plus maze. Results In isolated prairie voles, enrichment prevented depression- (immobility in FST, group × housing interaction, P=0.049) and anxiety-relevant behaviors (exploration in open field, group × housing interaction, P=0.036; exploration in elevated plus maze, group × housing interaction, P=0.049). Delayed enrichment also remediated these behaviors in isolated animals (immobility in forced swim test, main effect of housing, P=0.001; exploration in open field, main effect of housing, P=0.047; exploration in elevated plus maze, main effect of housing, P=0.001), and was slightly more effective than physical exercise alone in remediating anxiety-relevant behaviors. Conclusions These findings provide insight into the beneficial effects of an enriched environment on depression- and anxiety-relevant behaviors using a translational rodent model of social isolation. PMID:24804886

  16. Role of Hypothalamic VGF in Energy Balance and Metabolic Adaption to Environmental Enrichment in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foglesong, Grant D; Huang, Wei; Liu, Xianglan; Slater, Andrew M; Siu, Jason; Yildiz, Vedat; Salton, Stephen R J; Cao, Lei

    2016-03-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE), a housing condition providing complex physical, social, and cognitive stimulation, leads to improved metabolic health and resistance to diet-induced obesity and cancer. One underlying mechanism is the activation of the hypothalamic-sympathoneural-adipocyte axis with hypothalamic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as the key mediator. VGF, a peptide precursor particularly abundant in the hypothalamus, was up-regulated by EE. Overexpressing BDNF or acute injection of BDNF protein to the hypothalamus up-regulated VGF, whereas suppressing BDNF signaling down-regulated VGF expression. Moreover, hypothalamic VGF expression was regulated by leptin, melanocortin receptor agonist, and food deprivation mostly paralleled to BDNF expression. Recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer of Cre recombinase to floxed VGF mice specifically decreased VGF expression in the hypothalamus. In contrast to the lean and hypermetabolic phenotype of homozygous germline VGF knockout mice, specific knockdown of hypothalamic VGF in male adult mice led to increased adiposity, decreased core body temperature, reduced energy expenditure, and impaired glucose tolerance, as well as disturbance of molecular features of brown and white adipose tissues without effects on food intake. However, VGF knockdown failed to block the EE-induced BDNF up-regulation or decrease of adiposity indicating a minor role of VGF in the hypothalamic-sympathoneural-adipocyte axis. Taken together, our results suggest hypothalamic VGF responds to environmental demands and plays an important role in energy balance and glycemic control likely acting in the melanocortin pathway downstream of BDNF.

  17. Evolution of the environmental justice movement: activism, formalization and differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colsa Perez, Alejandro; Grafton, Bernadette; Mohai, Paul; Hardin, Rebecca; Hintzen, Katy; Orvis, Sara

    2015-10-01

    To complement a recent flush of research on transnational environmental justice movements, we sought a deeper organizational history of what we understand as the contemporary environmental justice movement in the United States. We thus conducted in-depth interviews with 31 prominent environmental justice activists, scholars, and community leaders across the US. Today’s environmental justice groups have transitioned from specific local efforts to broader national and global mandates, and more sophisticated political, technological, and activist strategies. One of the most significant transformations has been the number of groups adopting formal legal status, and emerging as registered environmental justice organizations (REJOs) within complex partnerships. This article focuses on the emergence of REJOs, and describes the respondents’ views about the implications of this for more local grassroots groups. It reveals a central irony animating work across groups in today’s movement: legal formalization of many environmental justice organizations has made the movement increasingly internally differentiated, dynamic, and networked, even as the passage of actual national laws on environmental justice has proven elusive.

  18. Standardized environmental enrichment supports enhanced brain plasticity in healthy rats and prevents cognitive impairment in epileptic rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raafat P Fares

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage, which offers: (1 minimally stressful social interactions; (2 increased voluntary exercise; (3 multiple entertaining activities; (4 cognitive stimulation (maze exploration, and (5 novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week. The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories.

  19. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J Greco

    Full Text Available The management of African (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants' nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; p<0.001, and managed time increased by 20.2% for every year of age for both species. Enrichment, feeding, and exercise programs were evaluated using diversity indices, with mean scores across zoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli. The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses.

  20. Environmental enrichment induces early heroin abstinence in an animal conflict model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Joshua A; Galaj, Ewa; Eshak, Stephanie; Newman, Kristena L; Ranaldi, Robert

    2015-11-01

    Heroin addiction is a significant health and societal problem for which there is no highly effective long-term behavioral or pharmacological treatment. Therefore, strategies that support heroin abstinence should be a primary focus of heroin treatment research. To this end, the current study used an animal conflict model that captures the aversive consequences of drug seeking (as are typical in humans, e.g., incarceration and job loss) to induce abstinence. Using this abstinence model, we examined the capacity of environmental enrichment (EE) to facilitate abstinence in heroin seeking rats. The procedure consisted of two phases: drug self-administration (phase 1) and electric barrier application (phase 2) that resulted in abstinence. For phase 1, male rats were trained to self-administer intravenous heroin under a fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement. After self-administration was acquired, animals were housed either in EE or standard cages (non-EE control). During abstinence in phase 2, the electric barrier was introduced in the operant conditioning chambers by electrifying the floor area near the levers. We found that EE rats achieved abstinence (zero active lever presses for 3 consecutive sessions) in significantly fewer sessions than NEE rats. Further, EE rats abstained at significantly lower electric currents than NEE rats. EE facilitated abstinence in the conflict model. The current use of the abstinence-conflict model to investigate EE as a behavioral strategy to facilitate abstinence will help in the development of effective treatments for human addicts by bringing together the positive consequences of abstinent behavior in an enriched environment with the aversive consequences of drug seeking. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Additive effects of physical exercise and environmental enrichment on adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Fabel

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Voluntary physical exercise (wheel running, RUN and environmental enrichment (ENR both stimulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis but do so by different mechanisms. RUN induces precursor cell proliferation, whereas ENR exerts a survival-promoting effect on newborn cells. In addition, continued RUN prevented the physiologically occurring age-related decline in precursor cell in the dentate gyrus but did not lead to a corresponding increase in net neurogenesis. We hypothesized that in the absence of appropriate cognitive stimuli the potential for neurogenesis could not be realized but that an increased potential by proliferating precursor cells due to RUN could actually lead to more adult neurogenesis if an appropriate survival-promoting stimulus follows the exercise. We thus asked whether a sequential combination of RUN and ENR (RUNENR would show additive effects that are distinct from the application of either paradigm alone. We found that the effects of 10 days of RUN followed by 35 days of ENR were additive in that the combined stimulation yielded an approximately 30% greater increase in new neurons than either stimulus alone, which also increased neurogenesis. Surprisingly, this result indicates that although overall the amount of proliferating cells in the dentate gyrus is poorly predictive of net adult neurogenesis, an increased neurogenic potential nevertheless provides the basis for a greater efficiency of the same survival-promoting stimulus. We thus propose that physical activity can “prime” the neurogenic region of the dentate gyrus for increased neurogenesis in the case the animal is exposed to an additional cognitive stimulus, here represented by the enrichment paradigm.

  2. Environmental enrichment for neotropical primates in captivity Enriquecimento ambiental para primatas neotropicais em cativeiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanner Boere

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Captivity is an extreme non-natural environment for primates. The success of a breeding colony depends of management and veterinarian procedures which must rely on the knowledge of primates' behavioral needs. Environmental enrichment consists of a series of procedures that improve the quality of life of captive animals by meeting their ethological needs. Enrichment can reduce stress, while increasing animal well being in captivity. Suitable ethical conditions, incidences of behavioral disorders, minimal clinical interventions, low mortality, higher reproduction rates and cost/benefit relationship, reflect directly on the quality of captive breeding colonies. Anthropoids like Neotropical primates possess complex neural structures and relate, in a sophisticated manner, to the environment. This review reports important experiences on enrichment procedures for Neotropical primates and the physiological events which could explain improvement of animal well-being.Cativeiro é um ambiente de extremos não naturais para primatas. O sucesso de uma criação de primatas depende do manejo e de procedimentos veterinários que devem considerar as necessidades etológicas dos animais cativos. Enriquecimento ambiental é um conjunto de técnicas que modificam o ambiente, resultando em uma melhora na qualidade de vida dos animais, ao satisfazer as suas necessidades comportamentais. O enriquecimento pode diminuir o estresse e melhorar o bem-estar. Primatas neotropicais se caracterizam por complexas estruturas neurais e se relacionam de maneira sofisticada com o ambiente. O enriquecimento ambiental pode aumentar a qualidade de uma criação ao adequar o manejo a padrões éticos aceitáveis, estimular o repertório normal do comportamento, diminuir a casuística clínica, diminuir a mortalidade, incrementar a taxa reprodutiva e maximizar a relação custo/benefício em uma criação. Esta revisão relata experiências relevantes nos procedimentos de

  3. Enrichment Approach Versus Direct Instructional Approach and Their Effects on Differential Preschool Experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halasa, Ofelia

    This study represents a segment of an evaluation of the effects of two diametrically-opposed instructional strategies on inner-city kindergarten children who had varying preschool experiences. The child- and parent-oriented "enrichment" approach was used in one school while the teacher- and goal-oriented "direct instructional"…

  4. Short-term environmental enrichment exposure induces proliferation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in the prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Chunling; Zhang, Mengqi; Shang, Lei; Cynthia, Ngobe Akume; Li, Zhi; Yang, Zhenyu; Chen, Dan; Huang, Jufang; Xiong, Kun

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that doublecortin-positive immature neurons exist predominantly in the superficial layer of the cerebral cortex of adult mammals such as guinea pigs, and these neurons exhibit very weak properties of self-proliferation during adulthood under physiological conditions. To verify whether environmental enrichment has an impact on the proliferation and maturation of these immature neurons in the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs, healthy adult guinea pigs were subjected to short-term environmental enrichment. Animals were allowed to play with various cognitive and physical stimulating objects over a period of 2 weeks, twice per day, for 60 minutes each. Immunofluorescence staining results indicated that the number of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex was significantly increased after short-term environmental enrichment exposure. In addition, these doublecortin-positive cells co-expressed 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (a marker of cell proliferation), c-Fos (a marker of cell viability) and NeuN (a marker of mature neurons). Experimental findings showed that short-term environmental enrichment can induce proliferation, activation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs. PMID:25206818

  5. Effect of environmental enrichment devices on behaviors of single- and group-housed squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spring, S. E.; Clifford, J. O.; Tomko, D. L.

    1997-01-01

    Squirrel monkeys display an interest in novel places, habituate to new situations, and spend most of their daily activity in the wild in large groups engaging in feeding behaviors over a broad area. Captivity limits these behaviors and consequently may disrupt normal social organizations. In captivity, squirrel monkeys may exhibit stereotypical behaviors that are believed to indicate decreased psychologic well-being. When a monkey's behavior can be made to approach that seen in the wild, and stereotypical behaviors are minimal, it is assumed that psychologic well-being is adequate. Environmental enrichment devices have been used to address the Animal Welfare Act requirement that psychologic well-being of captive nonhuman primates be considered. The purpose of the study reported here was to examine whether various environmental enrichment devices improve the psychologic well-being of captive squirrel monkeys. In the study, we used behavioral observation to quantify the effectiveness of several environmental enrichment devices for reducing stereotypical behaviors in squirrel monkeys housed alone or in groups. Analysis of our results revealed that the environmental enrichment devices did not affect the expression of normal or stereotypical behaviors, but that the type of housing did.

  6. The seperate and interactive effects of handling and environmental enrichment on the behaviour and welfare of growing pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Day, J.E.L.; Spoolder, H.A.M.; Burfoot, A.; Chamberlain, H.L.; Edwards, S.A.

    2002-01-01

    The aim of this experiment was to determine the interactive effects of handling and environmental enrichment on the behaviour, performance and welfare of the growing/finishing pig. Groups of pigs were exposed to one of eight treatments arranged in a 2 x 4 factorial design with two levels of handling

  7. Reducing bumblefoot lesions in a group of captive Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus with the use of environmental enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Reisfeld

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Captive penguins are prone to pododermatitis (bumblefoot lesions due to sedentary habits, changes in normal activity patterns, prolonged time on hard and abrasive surfaces, and less time swimming in the water. Environmental enrichment allows the use of creative and ingenious techniques that aim to keep the captive animals occupied by increasing the range and the diversity of behavioral opportunities always respecting the ethological needs of the species. The main goal of this work was to use environmental enrichment techniques to reduce pododermatitis in a group of captive penguins. Five captive Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus that were showing bumblefoot lesions were followed during this project. To monitor the lesions, all animals were physically restraint 3 times a week over a period of 12 weeks. Environmental enrichment was introduced daily in the water with the goal of enhancing their time in the water for one extra hour daily. The results demonstrate that in a twelve weeks period, four animals showed significant reduction of the lesions in both feet and in two animals the lesions were completely healed. With these results we can conclude that aquatic environmental enrichment allowed this group of penguins to spend more time in the water, favoring the reduction of the bumblefoot lesions.

  8. Rapid analysis of organic microcontaminants in environmental water samples by trace enrichment and liquid chromatography on a single short column.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hogenboom, A.C.; Malmqvist, U.K.; Nolkrantz, K.; Vreuls, J.J.; Brinkman, U.A.T.

    1997-01-01

    On-column trace enrichment and liquid chromatography using a single short (20 mm length) high-pressure packed column was optimized for the rapid simultaneous identification and quantification of a wide range of organic microcontaminants in environmental water samples. The quality of different C,,

  9. Environmental Enrichment Rescues Binocular Matching of Orientation Preference in the Mouse Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Jared N; Chen, Hui; Gu, Yu; Cang, Jianhua

    2017-06-14

    Neural circuits are shaped by experience during critical periods of development. Sensory deprivation during these periods permanently compromises an organism's ability to perceive the outside world. In the mouse visual system, normal visual experience during a critical period in early life drives the matching of individual cortical neurons' orientation preferences through the two eyes, likely a key step in the development of binocular vision. Here, in mice of both sexes, we show that the binocular matching process is completely blocked by monocular deprivation spanning the entire critical period. We then show that 3 weeks of environmental enrichment (EE), a paradigm of enhanced sensory, motor, and cognitive stimulation, is sufficient to rescue binocular matching to the level seen in unmanipulated mice. In contrast, 6 weeks of conventional housing only resulted in a partial rescue. Finally, we use two-photon calcium imaging to track the matching process chronically in individual cells during EE-induced rescue. We find that for cells that are clearly dominated by one of the two eyes, the input representing the weaker eye changes its orientation preference to align with that of the dominant eye. These results thus reveal ocular dominance as a key driver of the binocular matching process, and suggest a model whereby the dominant input instructs the development of the weaker input. Such a mechanism may operate in the development of other systems that need to integrate inputs from multiple sources to generate normal neuronal functions.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Critical periods are developmental windows of opportunity that ensure the proper wiring of neural circuits, as well as windows of vulnerability when abnormal experience could cause lasting damage to the developing brain. In the visual system, critical period plasticity drives the establishment of binocularly matched orientation preferences in cortical neurons. Here, we show that binocular matching is completely

  10. ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT STRENGTHENS CORTICOCORTICAL INTERACTIONS AND REDUCES AMYLOID-β OLIGOMERS IN AGED MICE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eMainardi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain aging is characterized by global changes which are thought to underlie age-related cognitive decline. These include variations in brain activity and the progressive increase in the concentration of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ oligomers, directly impairing synaptic function and plasticity even in the absence of any neurodegenerative disorder. Considering the high social impact of the decline in brain performance associated to aging, there is an urgent need to better understand how it can be prevented or contrasted. Lifestyle components, such as social interaction, motor exercise and cognitive activity, are thought to modulate brain physiology and its susceptibility to age-related pathologies. However, the precise functional and molecular factors that respond to environmental stimuli and might mediate their protective action again pathological aging still need to be clearly identified. To address this issue, we exploited environmental enrichment (EE, a reliable model for studying the effect of experience on the brain based on the enhancement of cognitive, social and motor experience, in aged wild-type mice. We analyzed the functional consequences of EE on aged brain physiology by performing in vivo local field potential (LFP recordings with chronic implants. In addition, we also investigated changes induced by EE on molecular markers of neural plasticity and on the levels of soluble Aβ oligomers. We report that EE induced profound changes in the activity of the primary visual and auditory cortices and in their functional interaction. At the molecular level, EE enhanced plasticity by an upward shift of the cortical excitation/inhibition balance. In addition, EE reduced brain Aβ oligomers and increased synthesis of the Aβ-degrading enzyme neprilysin. Our findings strengthen the potential of EE procedures as a non-invasive paradigm for counteracting brain aging processes.

  11. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Miller, Lance J; Shepherdson, David J; Morfeld, Kari A; Andrews, Jeff; Baker, Anne M; Carlstead, Kathy; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    The management of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants' nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff) than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; pzoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli) to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli). The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses.

  12. Environmental enrichment reduces behavioural alterations induced by chronic stress in Japanese quail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurence, A; Houdelier, C; Calandreau, L; Arnould, C; Favreau-Peigné, A; Leterrier, C; Boissy, A; Lumineau, S

    2015-02-01

    Animals perceiving repeated aversive events can become chronically stressed. Chronic activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis can have deleterious consequences on physiological parameters (e.g. BW, blood chemistry) and behaviour (e.g. emotional reactivity, stereotypies, cognition). Environmental enrichment (EE) can be a mean to reduce animal stress and to improve welfare. The aim of this study was first, to assess the effects of EE in battery cages on the behaviour of young Japanese quail and second, to evaluate the impact of EE on quail exposed to chronic stress. The experiment involved quail housed in EE cages and submitted or not to a chronic stress procedure (CSP) (EE cages, control quail: n=16, CSP quail: n=14) and quail housed in standard cages and exposed or not to the CSP (standard non-EE cages, control quail: n=12, CSP quail: n=16). Our procedure consisted of repeated aversive events (e.g. ventilators, delaying access to food, physical restraint, noise) presented two to five times per 24 h, randomly, for 15 days. During CSP, EE improved quail's welfare as their stereotypic pacing decreased and they rested more. CSP decreased exploration in all quail. After the end of CSP, quail presented increased emotional reactivity in emergence test. However, the effect of EE varied with test. Finally, chronic stress effects on comfort behaviours in the emergence test were alleviated by EE. These results indicate that EE can alleviate some aspects of behavioural alterations induced by CSP.

  13. Effect of Environmental Enrichment on Singly- and Group-Housed Squirrel Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spring, Sarah E.; Clifford, James O.; Tomko, David L.; Hargens, Alan R. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Nonhuman primates display an interest in novel places, habituate to new situations, and spend most of their daily activity in the wild in large groups engaging in feeding behaviors. Captivity changes these behaviors, and disrupts normal social hierarchies. In captivity, animals may exhibit stereotypical behaviors which are thought to indicate decreased psychological well-being (PWB). If an animal's behaviors can be made to approach those seen in the wild, and stereotypical behaviors are minimal it is assumed that PWB is adequate. Environmental enrichment (EE) devices have been used to address the Animal Welfare Act's requirement that the PWB of captive nonhuman primates be considered. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether various EE devices improve the PWB of captive squirrel monkeys. The present study used behavioral observation to quantify the effectiveness of several EE devices in reducing stereotypical behaviors in squirrel monkeys housed singly or in groups. Results showed that the EE devices used did not affect the expression of normal or stereotypical behaviors, but that the type of housing did.

  14. Environmental Enrichment Attenuated Sevoflurane-Induced Neurotoxicity through the PPAR-γ Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yupeng Zhao

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Sevoflurane is the most widely used inhaled anesthetic. Environmental enrichment (EE can reverse sevoflurane-induced learning and memory impairment in young mice. However, the mechanism by which EE elicits this effect is unclear. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR regulatory pathway plays a critical role in the regulation of inflammation in central nervous system diseases. In this study, we investigated whether EE attenuates sevoflurane-induced learning and memory disability via the PPAR signaling pathway. Six-day-old mice were treated with 3% sevoflurane for 2 hours daily from postnatal day 6 (P6 to P8. Then, the mice were treated with EE. The effects of sevoflurane on learning and memory function, PPAR-γ expression in the brain, and the numbers of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling-positive cells and 5-bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells in the hippocampus were determined. Sevoflurane induced neuronal apoptosis and neurogenesis inhibition, which may impair learning and memory in young mice. Furthermore, sevoflurane downregulated PPAR-γ expression. Both EE and the PPAR-γ agonist, rosiglitazone, attenuated sevoflurane-induced neuronal apoptosis, neurogenesis inhibition, and learning and memory impairment. Our findings suggest that EE ameliorated sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity and learning and memory impairment through the PPAR-γ signaling pathway. PPAR-γ may be a potential therapeutic target for preventing or treating sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity.

  15. Effects of classical music as part of environmental enrichment in captive Mus musculus (Rodentia: Muridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Geraldo Pereira da Cruz

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available In the wild, animals are exposed to an ever-changing array of sensory stimuli. The captive environment, by contrast, is generally much more impoverished in terms of the cues it offers the animals housed within. In a bid to remedy this, and promote better welfare, mice (Mus musculus were exposed to two conditions: no auditory stimulation, and stimulation with classical music. In all experiments, a battery of behavior tests was used. The results demonstrated significantly decreased immobility in the forced swim, increased enclosed arm entries in the plus-maze, and decreased immobility in the open-field, in animals that had been pre-exposed to music 24h earlier, suggesting that changes in mouse motor activity were caused by classical music. This study led to the conclusion that environmental enrichment may have profound effects on the behavior of mice in behavioral tests, and that classical music can be a relatively simple method of contributing to the well-being of captive mice, but it can affect the results of experiments such as forced swimming.

  16. Influence of Environmental Factors on Biotic Responses to Nutrient Enrichment in Agricultural Streams1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maret, Terry R; Konrad, Christopher P; Tranmer, Andrew W

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (macrophyte (AQM) growth were not strongly related to concentrations of TN or TP. Pearson’s coefficient of determination (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes. PMID:22457568

  17. Influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrient enrichment in agricultural streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maret, Terry R.; Konrad, Christopher P.; Tranmer, Andrew W.

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes.

  18. Unconventional transcriptional response to environmental enrichment in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bredford Kerr

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rett syndrome (RTT is an X-linked postnatal neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2 and one of the leading causes of mental retardation in females. RTT is characterized by psychomotor retardation, purposeless hand movements, autistic-like behavior and abnormal gait. We studied the effects of environmental enrichment (EE on the phenotypic manifestations of a RTT mouse model that lacks MeCP2 (Mecp2(-/y. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that EE delayed and attenuated some neurological alterations presented by Mecp2(-/y mice and prevented the development of motor discoordination and anxiety-related abnormalities. To define the molecular correlate of this beneficial effect of EE, we analyzed the expression of several synaptic marker genes whose expression is increased by EE in several mouse models. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We found that EE induced downregulation of several synaptic markers, suggesting that the partial prevention of RTT-associated phenotypes is achieved through a non-conventional transcriptional program.

  19. Rehabilitative Success After Brain Trauma by Augmenting a Subtherapeutic Dose of Environmental Enrichment With Galantamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Tremblaye, Patricia B; Wellcome, Jody L; de Witt, Benjamin Wells; Cheng, Jeffrey P; Skidmore, Elizabeth R; Bondi, Corina O; Kline, Anthony E

    2017-11-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) confers benefits after traumatic brain injury (TBI) when provided daily for > 6 hours, but not 2 or 4 hours, which more accurately reflects the daily amount of clinical rehabilitation. The lack of benefit with sub-therapeutic EE suggests that augmentation with galantamine (GAL), which enhances cognition after TBI, may be indicated to confer benefits. To test the hypothesis that 2 and 4 hours of EE paired with GAL will provide benefits comparable to 24 hours of EE alone. Moreover, all EE groups will perform better than the standard (STD)-housed GAL group. Anesthetized rats received a TBI or sham injury and then were randomized to receive intraperitoneal injections of GAL (2 mg/kg) or saline vehicle (VEH; 1 mL/kg) beginning 24 hours after surgery and once daily while receiving EE for 2, 4, or 24 hours. Motor and cognitive assessments were conducted on postoperative days 1-5 and 14-19, respectively. Motor function was significantly improved in the TBI + 24-hour EE group versus the TBI + STD + VEH and TBI + STD + GAL groups ( P .05) and performed better than GAL alone ( P < .05). The findings support the hypothesis and have clinical relevance because, often, only brief rehabilitation may be available in the clinic and, thus, augmenting with a pharmacotherapy such as GAL may lead to outcomes that are significantly better than either therapy alone.

  20. Highly efficient differentiation and enrichment of spinal motor neurons derived from human and monkey embryonic stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamaki Wada

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There are no cures or efficacious treatments for severe motor neuron diseases. It is extremely difficult to obtain naïve spinal motor neurons (sMNs from human tissues for research due to both technical and ethical reasons. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs are alternative sources. Several methods for MN differentiation have been reported. However, efficient production of naïve sMNs and culture cost were not taken into consideration in most of the methods. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We aimed to establish protocols for efficient production and enrichment of sMNs derived from pluripotent stem cells. Nestin+ neural stem cell (NSC clusters were induced by Noggin or a small molecule inhibitor of BMP signaling. After dissociation of NSC clusters, neurospheres were formed in a floating culture containing FGF2. The number of NSCs in neurospheres could be expanded more than 30-fold via several passages. More than 33% of HB9+ sMN progenitor cells were observed after differentiation of dissociated neurospheres by all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA and a Shh agonist for another week on monolayer culture. HB9+ sMN progenitor cells were enriched by gradient centrifugation up to 80% purity. These HB9+ cells differentiated into electrophysiologically functional cells and formed synapses with myotubes during a few weeks after ATRA/SAG treatment. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The series of procedures we established here, namely neural induction, NSC expansion, sMN differentiation and sMN purification, can provide large quantities of naïve sMNs derived from human and monkey pluripotent stem cells. Using small molecule reagents, reduction of culture cost could be achieved.

  1. A feedback loop between the liver-enriched transcription factor network and miR-122 controls hepatocyte differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laudadio, Ilaria; Manfroid, Isabelle; Achouri, Younes; Schmidt, Dominic; Wilson, Michael D; Cordi, Sabine; Thorrez, Lieven; Knoops, Laurent; Jacquemin, Patrick; Schuit, Frans; Pierreux, Christophe E; Odom, Duncan T; Peers, Bernard; Lemaigre, Frédéric P

    2012-01-01

    Hepatocyte differentiation is controlled by liver-enriched transcription factors (LETFs). We investigated whether LETFs control microRNA expression during development and whether this control is required for hepatocyte differentiation. Using in vivo DNA binding assays, we identified miR-122 as a direct target of the LETF hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF) 6. The role and mechanisms of the HNF6-miR-122 gene cascade in hepatocyte differentiation were studied in vivo and in vitro by gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments, using developing mice and zebrafish as model organisms. HNF6 and its paralog Onecut2 are strong transcriptional stimulators of miR-122 expression. Specific levels of miR-122 were required for proper progression of hepatocyte differentiation; miR-122 stimulated the expression of hepatocyte-specific genes and most LETFs, including HNF6. This indicates that HNF6 and miR-122 form a positive feedback loop. Stimulation of hepatocyte differentiation by miR-122 was lost in HNF6-null mice, revealing that a transcription factor can mediate microRNA function. All hepatocyte-specific genes whose expression was stimulated by miR-122 bound HNF6 in vivo, confirming their direct regulation by this factor. Hepatocyte differentiation is directed by a positive feedback loop that includes a transcription factor (HNF6) and a microRNA (miR-122) that are specifically expressed in liver. These findings could lead to methods to induce differentiation of hepatocytes in vitro and improve our understanding of liver cell dedifferentiation in pathologic conditions. Copyright © 2012 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Companion Animals Symposium: Environmental enrichment for companion, exotic, and laboratory animals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Morris, C L; Grandin, T; Irlbeck, N A

    2011-01-01

    .... Promoting species- or breed-appropriate behaviors through proper training and enrichment, regardless of animal housing, should be a paramount concern for all animal scientists working with exotic...

  3. Effects of environmental enrichment on the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sorrells, A D; Corcoran-Gomez, K; Eckert, K A; Fahey, A G; Hoots, B L; Charleston, L B; Charleston, J S; Roberts, C R; Markowitz, H

    2009-01-01

    .... We evaluated four different housing conditions to determine the effects of what has been considered standard rodent enrichment and the exercise opportunities those environments allow on disease...

  4. Differential proteomic analysis of virus-enriched fractions obtained from plasma pools of patients with dengue fever or severe dengue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fragnoud, Romain; Flamand, Marie; Reynier, Frederic; Buchy, Philippe; Duong, Vasna; Pachot, Alexandre; Paranhos-Baccala, Glaucia; Bedin, Frederic

    2015-11-14

    Dengue is the most widespread mosquito-borne viral disease of public health concern. In some patients, endothelial cell and platelet dysfunction lead to life-threatening hemorrhagic dengue fever or dengue shock syndrome. Prognostication of disease severity is urgently required to improve patient management. The pathogenesis of severe dengue has not been fully elucidated, and the role of host proteins associated with viral particles has received little exploration. The proteomes of virion-enriched fractions purified from plasma pools of patients with dengue fever or severe dengue were compared. Virions were purified by ultracentrifugation combined with a water-insoluble polyelectrolyte-based technique. Following in-gel hydrolysis, peptides were analyzed by nano-liquid chromatography coupled to ion trap mass spectrometry and identified using data libraries. Both dengue fever and severe dengue viral-enriched fractions contained identifiable viral envelope proteins and host cellular proteins. Canonical pathway analysis revealed the identified host proteins are mainly involved in the coagulation cascade, complement pathway or acute phase response signaling pathway. Some host proteins were over- or under-represented in plasma from patients with severe dengue compared to patients with dengue fever. ELISAs were used to validate differential expression of a selection of identified host proteins in individual plasma samples of patients with dengue fever compared to patients with severe dengue. Among 22 host proteins tested, two could differentiate between dengue fever and severe dengue in two independent cohorts (olfactomedin-4: area under the curve (AUC), 0.958; and platelet factor-4: AUC, 0.836). A novel technique of virion-enrichment from plasma has allowed to identify two host proteins that have prognostic value for classifying patients with acute dengue who are more likely to develop a severe dengue. The impact of these host proteins on pathogenicity and disease outcome

  5. Enrichment and verification of differentially expressed miRNAs in bursa of Fabricius in two breeds of duck

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Luo

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective The bursa of Fabricius (BF is a central humoral immune organ belonging specifically to avians. Recent studies had suggested that miRNAs were active regulators involved in the immune processes. This study was to investigate the possible differences of the BF at miRNA level between two genetically disparate duck breeds. Methods Using Illumina next-generation sequencing, the miRNAs libraries of ducks were established. Results The results showed that there were 66 differentially expressed miRNAs and 28 novel miRNAs in bursa. A set of abundant miRNAs (i.e., let-7, miR-146a-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-17~92 which are involved in immunity and disease were detected and the predicted target genes of the novel miRNAs were associated with duck high anti-adversity ability. By gene ontology analysis and enriching KEGG pathway, the targets of differential expressed miRNAs were mainly involved in immunity and disease, supporting that there were differences in the BF immune functions between the two duck breeds. In addition, the metabolic pathway had the maximum enriched target genes and some enriched pathways that were related to cell cycle, protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis. It indicted that the difference of metabolism may be one of the reasons leading the immune difference between the BF of two duck breeds. Conclusion This data lists the main differences in the BF at miRNAs level between two genetically disparate duck breeds and lays a foundation to carry out molecular assisted breeding of poultry in the future.

  6. Transportation of foreign-owned enriched uranium from the Republic of Georgia. Environmental assessment for Project Partnership

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-03-31

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nonproliferation and National Security (NN) has prepared a classified environmental assessment to evaluate the potential environmental impact for the transportation of 5.26 kilograms of enriched uranium-235 in the form of nuclear fuel, from the Republic of Georgia to the United Kingdom. The nuclear fuel consists of primarily fresh fuel, but also consists of a small quantity (less than 1 kilogram) of partially-spent fuel. Transportation of the enriched uranium fuel would occur via US Air Force military aircraft under the control of the Defense Department European Command (EUCOM). Actions taken in a sovereign nation (such as the Republic of Georgia and the United Kingdom) are not subject to analysis in the environmental assessment. However, because the action would involve the global commons of the Black Sea and the North Sea, the potential impact to the global commons has been analyzed. Because of the similarities in the two actions, the Project Sapphire Environmental Assessment was used as a basis for assessing the potential impacts of Project Partnership. However, because Project Partnership involves a small quantity of partially-spent fuel, additional analysis was conducted to assess the potential environmental impacts and to consider reasonable alternatives as required by NEPA. The Project Partnership Environmental Assessment found the potential environmental impacts to be well below those from Project Sapphire.

  7. Environmental Enrichment Improves Behavioral Abnormalities in a Mouse Model of Angelman Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamal, Imran; Kumar, Vipendra; Vatsa, Naman; Singh, Brijesh Kumar; Shekhar, Shashi; Sharma, Ankit; Jana, Nihar Ranjan

    2017-09-01

    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder largely caused by the loss of function of maternally inherited UBE3A. UBE3A-maternal deficient mice (AS mice) exhibit many typical features of AS including cognitive and motor deficits but the underlying mechanism of these behavioral abnormalities is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that rearing of AS mice in the enriched environment for prolonged period significantly improved their cognitive and motor dysfunction. Enriched environment also restored elevated serum corticosterone level and reduced anxiety-like behaviors in these mice. Biochemical analysis further revealed restoration of altered levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glucocorticoid receptor, and phoshphorylated calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα in the hippocampus of AS mice maintained in the enriched environment. Enriched environment also significantly increased the number of parvalbumin-positive GABAergic interneuron in the hippocampus and basolateral amygdala of AS mice. These results indicate potential beneficial effect of enriched environment in the reversal of AS phenotype.

  8. Environmental enrichment reduces innate anxiety with no effect on depression-like behaviour in mice lacking the serotonin transporter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Jake; Li, Shanshan; Lanfumey, Laurence; Hannan, Anthony J; Renoir, Thibault

    2017-08-14

    Along with being the main target of many antidepressant medications, the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is known to be involved in the pathophysiology of depression and anxiety disorders. In line with this, mice with varying 5-HTT genotypes are invaluable tools to study depression- and anxiety-like behaviours as well as the mechanisms mediating potential therapeutics. There is clear evidence that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the aetiology of psychiatric disorders. In that regard, housing paradigms which seek to enhance cognitive stimulation and physical activity have been shown to exert beneficial effects in animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders. In the present study, we examined the effects of environmental enrichment on affective-like behaviours and sensorimotor gating function of 5-HTT knock-out (KO) mice. Using the elevated-plus maze and the light-dark box, we found that environmental enrichment ameliorated the abnormal innate anxiety of 5-HTT KO mice on both tests. In contrast, environmental enrichment did not rescue the depression-like behaviour displayed by 5-HTT KO mice in the forced-swim test. Finally, measuring pre-pulse inhibition, we found no effect of genotype or treatment on sensorimotor gating. In conclusion, our data suggest that environmental enrichment specifically reduces innate anxiety of 5-HTT KO mice with no amelioration of the depression-like behaviour. This has implications for the current use of clinical interventions for patients with symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Differential isotopic enrichment to facilitate characterization of asymmetric multimeric proteins using hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Devrishi; Tuske, Steve; Pascal, Bruce D; Bauman, Joseph D; Patel, Disha; Arnold, Eddy; Griffin, Patrick R

    2015-04-07

    Hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) coupled to mass spectrometry has emerged as a powerful tool for analyzing the conformational dynamics of protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions. Recent advances in instrumentation and methodology have expanded the utility of HDX for the analysis of large and complex proteins; however, asymmetric dimers with shared amino acid sequence present a unique challenge for HDX because assignment of peptides with identical sequence to their subunit of origin remains ambiguous. Here we report the use of differential isotopic labeling to facilitate HDX analysis of multimers using HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) as a model. RT is an asymmetric heterodimer of 51 kDa (p51) and 66 kDa (p66) subunits. The first 440 residues of p51 and p66 are identical. In this study differentially labeled RT was reconstituted from isotopically enriched ((15)N-labeled) p51 and unlabeled p66. To enable detection of (15)N-deuterated RT peptides, the software HDX Workbench was modified to follow a 100% (15)N model. Our results demonstrated that (15)N enrichment of p51 did not affect its conformational dynamics compared to unlabeled p51, but (15)N-labeled p51 did show different conformational dynamics than p66 in the RT heterodimer. Differential HDX-MS of isotopically labeled RT in the presence of the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) efavirenz (EFV) showed subunit-specific perturbation in the rate of HDX consistent with previously published results and the RT-EFV cocrystal structure.

  10. Environmental Enrichment Blunts Ethanol Consumption after Restraint Stress in C57BL/6 Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Marianno

    Full Text Available Elevated alcohol intake after abstinence is a key feature of the addiction process. Some studies have shown that environmental enrichment (EE affects ethanol intake and other reinforcing effects. However, different EE protocols may vary in their ability to influence alcohol consumption and stress-induced intake. The present study evaluated whether short (3 h or continuous (24 h EE protocols affect ethanol consumption after periods of withdrawal. Mice were challenged with stressful stimuli (24 h isolation and restraint stress to evaluate the effects of stress on drinking. Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to a two-bottle choice drinking-in-the-dark paradigm for 15 days (20% ethanol and water, 2 h/day, acquisition phase. Control mice were housed under standard conditions (SC. In the first experiment, one group of mice was housed under EE conditions 24 h/day (EE24h. In the second experiment, the exposure to EE was reduced to 3 h/day (EE3h. After the acquisition phase, the animals were deprived of ethanol for 6 days, followed by 2 h ethanol access once a week. Animals were tested in the elevated plus maze (EPM during ethanol withdrawal. During the last 2 weeks, the mice were exposed to 24 h ethanol access. A 1-h restraint stress test was performed immediately before the last ethanol exposure. EE24h but not EE3h increased anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal compared to controls. Neither EE24h nor EE3h affected ethanol consumption during the 2 h weekly exposure periods. However, EE24h and EE3h mice that were exposed to acute restraint stress consumed less ethanol than controls during a 24 h ethanol access. These results showed that EE reduces alcohol intake after an acute restraint stress.

  11. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, Brian J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Miller, Lance J.; Shepherdson, David J.; Morfeld, Kari A.; Andrews, Jeff; Baker, Anne M.; Carlstead, Kathy; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    The management of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants’ nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff) than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; pzoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli) to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli). The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses. PMID:27414654

  12. Differential effects of enriched environment at work on cognitive decline in old age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Then, Francisca S; Luck, Tobias; Luppa, Melanie; König, Hans-Helmut; Angermeyer, Matthias C; Riedel-Heller, Steffi G

    2015-05-26

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how different mentally demanding work conditions during the professional life-i.e., enriched environments at work-might influence the rate of cognitive decline in old age. Individuals (n = 1,054) of the Leipzig Longitudinal Study of the Aged, a representative population-based cohort study of individuals aged 75 years and older, underwent cognitive testing via the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in up to 6 measurement waves. Type and level of mentally demanding work conditions in the participants' former professional life were classified based on the O*NET job descriptor database. In multivariate mixed-model analyses (controlling for sociodemographic and health-related factors), a high level of mentally demanding work tasks stimulating verbal intelligence was significantly associated with a better cognitive functioning at baseline (on average 5 MMSE points higher) as well as a lower rate of cognitive decline (on average 2 MMSE points less) over the 8-year follow-up period compared with a low level. The rate of cognitive decline in old age was also significantly lower (on average 3 MMSE points less) in individuals who had a high level of mentally demanding work tasks stimulating executive functions than those who had a low level. The results suggest that a professional life enriched with work tasks stimulating verbal intelligence and executive functions may help to sustain a good cognitive functioning in old age (75+ years). The findings thus emphasize that today's challenging work conditions may also promote positive health effects. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.

  13. Environmental Enrichment, Performance, and Brain Injury in Male and Female Rats

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Brenda M

    2004-01-01

    ...) and physical enrichment (PE) on the cognitive performance of neurologically intact and brain-injured rats and to determine if there are gender differences in these effects. Measures of basic (i.e...

  14. Community differentiation and population enrichment of Sargasso Sea bacterioplankton in the euphotic zone of a mesoscale mode-water eddy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Craig E; Carlson, Craig A; Ewart, Courtney S; Halewood, Elisa R

    2014-03-01

    Eddies are mesoscale oceanographic features (∼ 200 km diameter) that can cause transient blooms of phytoplankton by shifting density isoclines in relation to light and nutrient resources. To better understand how bacterioplankton respond to eddies, we examined depth-resolved distributions of bacterial populations across an anticyclonic mode-water eddy in the Sargasso Sea. Previous work on this eddy has documented elevated phytoplankton productivity and diatom abundance within the eddy centre with coincident bacterial productivity and biomass maxima. We illustrate bacterial community shifts within the eddy centre, differentiating populations uplifted along isopycnals from those enriched or depleted at horizons of enhanced bacterial and primary productivity. Phylotypes belonging to the Roseobacter, OCS116 and marine Actinobacteria clades were enriched in the eddy core and were highly correlated with pigment-based indicators of diatom abundance, supporting developing hypotheses that members of these clades associate with phytoplankton blooms. Typical mesopelagic clades (SAR202, SAR324, SAR406 and SAR11 IIb) were uplifted within the eddy centre, increasing bacterial diversity in the lower euphotic zone. Typical surface oligotrophic clades (SAR116, OM75, Prochlorococcus and SAR11 Ia) were relatively depleted in the eddy centre. The biogeochemical context of a bloom-inducing eddy provides insight into the ecology of the diverse uncultured bacterioplankton dominating the oligotrophic oceans. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Environmental Enrichment Improves Spatial Learning and Memory in Vascular Dementia Rats with Activation of Wnt/β-Catenin Signal Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xinhao; Li, Tao; Zhang, Lina; Ma, Jingxi; Yu, Lehua; Li, Changqing; Niu, Lingchuan

    2017-01-13

    BACKGROUND Environmental enrichment (EE) has a beneficial effect on some neuropsychiatric disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether environmental enrichment could improve the spatial learning and memory in rats with vascular dementia (VaD) and the mechanism underpinning it. MATERIAL AND METHODS Bilateral common carotid occlusion (2-vessel occlusion [2VO]) was used to develop the animal model of vascular dementia. Adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were used in the experiment and were randomly divided into 4 groups: sham group, 2VO group, sham+EE group, and 2VO+EE group (n=19/group). The 2VO group and 2VO+EE group underwent bilateral common carotid occlusion. Two different housing conditions were used in this experiment: standard environment (SE) and enriched environment (EE). Rats in the sham group and 2VO group were put into SE cages for 4 weeks, while rats in the sham+EE group and 2VO+EE group were put in EE cages for 4 weeks. The Morris water maze and Y-maze were used to assess spatial learning and memory. Apoptosis was detected by TUNEL. The damage of neurons in the hippocampus was assessed by Nissl staining. The level of wnt pathway proteins were detected by Western blot. RESULTS Compared with the 2VO group, the rats in the 2VO+EE group had better behavioral performance, fewer apoptotic neurons, and more surviving neurons. Western blot analysis showed that the levels of wnt pathway proteins were higher in 2VO+EE rats than in the 2VO group. CONCLUSIONS Environmental enrichment can improve the spatial learning and memory in rats with vascular dementia, and the mechanism may be related to activation of the wnt/β-catenin signal pathway.

  16. Environmental Enrichment Decreases Asphyxia-Induced Neurobehavioral Developmental Delay in Neonatal Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kiss

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Perinatal asphyxia during delivery produces long-term disability and represents a major problem in neonatal and pediatric care. Numerous neuroprotective approaches have been described to decrease the effects of perinatal asphyxia. Enriched environment is a popular strategy to counteract nervous system injuries. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether enriched environment is able to decrease the asphyxia-induced neurobehavioral developmental delay in neonatal rats. Asphyxia was induced in ready-to-deliver mothers by removing the pups by caesarian section after 15 min of asphyxia. Somatic and neurobehavioral development was tested daily and motor coordination weekly. Our results show that rats undergoing perinatal asphyxia had a marked developmental delay and worse performance in motor coordination tests. However, pups kept in enriched environment showed a decrease in the developmental delay observed in control asphyctic pups. Rats growing up in enriched environment did not show decrease in weight gain after the first week and the delay in reflex appearance was not as marked as in control rats. In addition, the development of motor coordination was not as strikingly delayed as in the control group. Short-term neurofunctional outcome are known to correlate with long-term deficits. Our results thus show that enriched environment could be a powerful strategy to decrease the deleterious developmental effects of perinatal asphyxia.

  17. Effects of early adolescent environmental enrichment on cognitive dysfunction, prefrontal cortex development, and inflammatory cytokines after early life stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Prado, Carine H; Narahari, Tanya; Holland, Freedom H; Lee, Ha-Neul; Murthy, Shashi K; Brenhouse, Heather C

    2016-05-01

    Early postnatal stress such as maternal separation causes cognitive dysfunction later in life, including working memory deficits that are largely mediated by the prefrontal cortex. Maternal separation in male rats also yields a loss of parvalbumin-containing prefrontal cortex interneurons in adolescence, which may occur via inflammatory or oxidative stress mechanisms. Environmental enrichment can prevent several effects of maternal separation; however, effects of enrichment on prefrontal cortex development are not well understood. Here, we report that enrichment prevented cognitive dysfunction in maternally separated males and females, and prevented elevated circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines that was evident in maternally separated males, but not females. However, enrichment did not prevent parvalbumin loss or adolescent measures of oxidative stress. Significant correlations indicated that adolescents with higher oxidative damage and less prefrontal cortex parvalbumin in adolescence committed more errors on the win-shift task; therefore, maternal separation may affect cognitive dysfunction via aberrant interneuron development. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 58: 482-491, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Proteins differentially expressed in human beta-cells-enriched pancreatic islet cultures and human insulinomas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Terra, Letícia F; Teixeira, Priscila C; Wailemann, Rosangela A M

    2013-01-01

    In view of the great demand for human beta-cells for physiological and medical studies, we generated cell lines derived from human insulinomas which secrete insulin, C-peptide and express neuroendocrine and islet markers. In this study, we set out to characterize their proteomes, comparing them...... to those of primary beta-cells using DIGE followed by MS. The results were validated by Western blotting. An average of 1800 spots was detected with less than 1% exhibiting differential abundance. Proteins more abundant in human islets, such as Caldesmon, are involved in the regulation of cell......, a molecular snapshot of the orchestrated changes in expression of proteins involved in key processes which could be correlated with the altered phenotype of human beta-cells. Collectively our observations prompt research towards the establishment of bioengineered human beta-cells providing a new and needed...

  19. MiR-193b-365, a brown fat enriched microRNA cluster, is essential for brown fat differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lei; Xie, Huangming; Mori, Marcelo A; Alexander, Ryan; Yuan, Bingbing; Hattangadi, Shilpa M.; Liu, Qingqing; Kahn, C. Ronald; Lodish, Harvey F.

    2011-01-01

    Mammals have two principal types of fat. White adipose tissue (WAT) primarily serves to store extra energy as triglycerides, while brown adipose tissue (BAT) is specialized to burn lipids for heat generation and energy expenditure as a defense against cold and obesity 1, 2. Recent studies demonstrate that brown adipocytes arise in vivo from a Myf5-positive, myoblastic progenitor by the action of Prdm16 (PR domain containing 16). Here, we identified a brown fat-enriched miRNA cluster, miR-193b-365, as a key regulator of brown fat development. Blocking miR-193b and/or miR-365 in primary brown preadipocytes dramatically impaired brown adipocyte adipogenesis by enhancing Runx1t1 (runt-related transcription factor 1; translocated to, 1) expression whereas myogenic markers were significantly induced. Forced expression of miR-193b and/or miR-365 in C2C12 myoblasts blocked the entire program of myogenesis, and, in adipogenic condition, miR-193b induced myoblasts to differentiate into brown adipocytes. MiR-193b-365 was upregulated by Prdm16 partially through Pparα. Our results demonstrate that miR-193b-365 serves as an essential regulator for brown fat differentiation, in part by repressing myogenesis. PMID:21743466

  20. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the construction and operation of Claiborne Enrichment Center, Homer, Louisiana (Docket No. 70-3070)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeitoun, A. [Science Applications International Corp., Germantown, MD (United States)

    1994-08-01

    This two-volume Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in accordance with regulation 10 CFR Part 51, which implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Volume 1 contains the assessment of the potential environmental impacts for licensing the construction and operation of a proposed gaseous centrifuge enrichment facility to be built in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, by Louisiana Energy Services, LP. (LES). The proposed facility would have a production capacity of about 866 metric tons annually of up to 5 weight percent enriched UF{sub 6}, using a proven centrifuge technology. Included in the assessment are construction, both normal operations and potential accidents (internal and external events), and the eventual decontamination and decommissioning (D&D)- of the site. Issues addressed include the purpose and need for the facility, the alternatives to the proposed action, potential disposition of the tails, the site selection process, and environmental justice. The NRC staff concludes that the facility can be constructed and operated with small and acceptable impacts on the public and the environment. The FEIS supports issuance of a license to the applicant, Louisiana Energy Services, to authorize construction and operation of the proposed facility.

  1. Differential methylation between ethnic sub-groups reflects the effect of genetic ancestry and environmental exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galanter, Joshua M; Gignoux, Christopher R; Oh, Sam S; Torgerson, Dara; Pino-Yanes, Maria; Thakur, Neeta; Eng, Celeste; Hu, Donglei; Huntsman, Scott; Farber, Harold J; Avila, Pedro C; Brigino-Buenaventura, Emerita; LeNoir, Michael A; Meade, Kelly; Serebrisky, Denise; Rodríguez-Cintrón, William; Kumar, Rajesh; Rodríguez-Santana, Jose R; Seibold, Max A; Borrell, Luisa N; Burchard, Esteban G; Zaitlen, Noah

    2017-01-01

    Populations are often divided categorically into distinct racial/ethnic groups based on social rather than biological constructs. Genetic ancestry has been suggested as an alternative to this categorization. Herein, we typed over 450,000 CpG sites in whole blood of 573 individuals of diverse Hispanic origin who also had high-density genotype data. We found that both self-identified ethnicity and genetically determined ancestry were each significantly associated with methylation levels at 916 and 194 CpGs, respectively, and that shared genomic ancestry accounted for a median of 75.7% (IQR 45.8% to 92%) of the variance in methylation associated with ethnicity. There was a significant enrichment (p=4.2×10-64) of ethnicity-associated sites amongst loci previously associated environmental exposures, particularly maternal smoking during pregnancy. We conclude that differential methylation between ethnic groups is partially explained by the shared genetic ancestry but that environmental factors not captured by ancestry significantly contribute to variation in methylation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20532.001 PMID:28044981

  2. Reduced Cortical Thickness as an Outcome of Differential Sensitivity to Environmental Risks in Schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Habets, Petra; Marcelis, Machteld; Gronenschild, Ed; Drukker, Marian; van Os, Jim

    2011-01-01

    Background: The etiology of schizophrenia is thought to involve differential likely genetically mediated sensitivity to environmental exposures. However, examination of differential sensitivity in models of psychopathologic constructs is subject to bias because psychopathology itself may distort

  3. Reduced cortical thickness as an outcome of differential sensitivity to environmental risks in schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Habets, Petra; Marcelis, Machteld; Gronenschild, Ed; Drukker, Marjan; van Os, Jim; Kahn, René S.; Linszen, Don H.; Wiersma, Durk; Bruggerman, Richard; Cahn, Wiepke; de Haan, Lieuwe; Krabbendam, Lydia; Myin-Germeys, Inez

    2011-01-01

    The etiology of schizophrenia is thought to involve differential-likely genetically mediated-sensitivity to environmental exposures. However, examination of differential sensitivity in models of psychopathologic constructs is subject to bias because psychopathology itself may distort exposure

  4. Strength of preference for nesting material as environmental enrichment for laboratory mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Weerd, HA; Van Loo, PLP; Van Zutphen, LFM; Koolhaas, JM; Baumans, [No Value

    The present paper describes two experiments in which preferences of laboratory mice for materials which could serve as cage enrichment were investigated. In the first experiment, presence of nesting material (paper towel or tissue) and the presence of a nest box (perforated metal or clear perspex

  5. 76 FR 9054 - Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement for the AREVA Enrichment Services...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-16

    ... concentrations up to 5 percent by weight. The enriched uranium would be used to manufacture nuclear fuel for... resources, air quality, geology and soils, water resources, ecological resources, noise, transportation..., One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Members of the...

  6. Diversity of reductive dehalogenase genes from environmental samples and enrichment cultures identified with degenerate primer PCR screens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Audrey Hug

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Reductive dehalogenases are the critical enzymes for anaerobic organohalide respiration, a microbial metabolic process that has been harnessed for bioremediation efforts to resolve chlorinated solvent contamination in groundwater and is implicated in the global halogen cycle. Reductive dehalogenase sequence diversity is informative for the dechlorination potential of the site or enrichment culture. A suite of degenerate PCR primers targeting a comprehensive curated set of reductive dehalogenase genes was designed and applied to twelve DNA samples extracted from contaminated and pristine sites, as well as six enrichment cultures capable of reducing chlorinated compounds to non-toxic end-products. The amplified gene products from four environmental sites and two enrichment cultures were sequenced using Illumina HiSeq, and the reductive dehalogenase complement of each sample determined. The results indicate that the diversity of the reductive dehalogenase gene family is much deeper than is currently accounted for: one-third of the translated proteins have less than 70% pairwise amino acid identity to database sequences. Approximately 60% of the sequenced reductive dehalogenase genes were broadly distributed, being identified in four or more samples, and often in previously sequenced genomes as well. In contrast, 17% of the sequenced reductive dehalogenases were unique, present in only a single sample and bearing less than 90% pairwise amino acid identity to any previously identified proteins. Many of the broadly distributed reductive dehalogenases are uncharacterized in terms of their substrate specificity, making these intriguing targets for further biochemical experimentation. Finally, comparison of samples from a contaminated site and an enrichment culture derived from the same site eight years prior allowed examination of the effect of the enrichment process.

  7. Selection based on indirect genetic effects for growth, environmental enrichment and coping style affect the immune status of pigs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inonge Reimert

    Full Text Available Pigs living in intensive husbandry systems may experience both acute and chronic stress through standard management procedures and limitations in their physical and social environment, which may have implications for their immune status. Here, the effect of a new breeding method where pigs were selected on their heritable influence on their pen mates' growth, and environmental enrichment on the immune status of pigs was investigated. Hereto, 240 pigs with a relatively positive genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (+SBV and 240 pigs with a relatively negative genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (-SBV were housed in barren or straw-enriched pens from 4 to 23 weeks of age (n  =  80 pens in total. A blood sample was taken from the pigs before, three days after a 24 h regrouping test, and at week 22. In addition, effects of coping style, as assessed in a backtest, and gender were also investigated. Mainly, +SBV were found to have lower leukocyte, lymphocyte and haptoglobin concentrations than -SBV pigs. Enriched housed pigs had a lower neutrophil to lymphocyte (N:L ratio and lower haptoglobin concentrations, but had higher antibody titers specific for Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH than barren housed pigs. No interactions were found between SBV class and housing. Furthermore, pigs with a proactive coping style had higher alternative complement activity and, in the enriched pens, higher antibody titers specific for KLH than pigs with a reactive coping style. Lastly, females tended to have lower leukocyte, but higher haptoglobin concentrations than castrated males. Overall, these results suggest that +SBV pigs and enriched housed pigs were less affected by stress than -SBV and barren housed pigs, respectively. Moreover, immune activation might be differently organized in individuals with different coping styles and to a lesser extent in individuals of opposite genders.

  8. Selection Based on Indirect Genetic Effects for Growth, Environmental Enrichment and Coping Style Affect the Immune Status of Pigs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimert, Inonge; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Ursinus, Winanda W.; Kemp, Bas; Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Pigs living in intensive husbandry systems may experience both acute and chronic stress through standard management procedures and limitations in their physical and social environment, which may have implications for their immune status. Here, the effect of a new breeding method where pigs were selected on their heritable influence on their pen mates' growth, and environmental enrichment on the immune status of pigs was investigated. Hereto, 240 pigs with a relatively positive genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (+SBV) and 240 pigs with a relatively negative genetic effect on the growth of their pen mates (−SBV) were housed in barren or straw-enriched pens from 4 to 23 weeks of age (n  =  80 pens in total). A blood sample was taken from the pigs before, three days after a 24 h regrouping test, and at week 22. In addition, effects of coping style, as assessed in a backtest, and gender were also investigated. Mainly, +SBV were found to have lower leukocyte, lymphocyte and haptoglobin concentrations than -SBV pigs. Enriched housed pigs had a lower neutrophil to lymphocyte (N:L) ratio and lower haptoglobin concentrations, but had higher antibody titers specific for Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH) than barren housed pigs. No interactions were found between SBV class and housing. Furthermore, pigs with a proactive coping style had higher alternative complement activity and, in the enriched pens, higher antibody titers specific for KLH than pigs with a reactive coping style. Lastly, females tended to have lower leukocyte, but higher haptoglobin concentrations than castrated males. Overall, these results suggest that +SBV pigs and enriched housed pigs were less affected by stress than -SBV and barren housed pigs, respectively. Moreover, immune activation might be differently organized in individuals with different coping styles and to a lesser extent in individuals of opposite genders. PMID:25275507

  9. Applying behavior-analytic methodology to the science and practice of environmental enrichment in zoos and aquariums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alligood, Christina A; Dorey, Nicole R; Mehrkam, Lindsay R; Leighty, Katherine A

    2017-05-01

    Environmental enrichment in zoos and aquariums is often evaluated at two overlapping levels: published research and day-to-day institutional record keeping. Several authors have discussed ongoing challenges with small sample sizes in between-groups zoological research and have cautioned against the inappropriate use of inferential statistics (Shepherdson, , International Zoo Yearbook, 38, 118-124; Shepherdson, Lewis, Carlstead, Bauman, & Perrin, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147, 298-277; Swaisgood, , Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 139-162; Swaisgood & Shepherdson, , Zoo Biology, 24, 499-518). Multi-institutional studies are the typically-prescribed solution, but these are expensive and difficult to carry out. Kuhar ( Zoo Biology, 25, 339-352) provided a reminder that inferential statistics are only necessary when one wishes to draw general conclusions at the population level. Because welfare is assessed at the level of the individual animal, we argue that evaluations of enrichment efficacy are often instances in which inferential statistics may be neither necessary nor appropriate. In recent years, there have been calls for the application of behavior-analytic techniques to zoo animal behavior management, including environmental enrichment (e.g., Bloomsmith, Marr, & Maple, , Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 205-222; Tarou & Bashaw, , Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 189-204). Single-subject (also called single-case, or small-n) designs provide a means of designing evaluations of enrichment efficacy based on an individual's behavior. We discuss how these designs might apply to research and practice goals at zoos and aquariums, contrast them with standard practices in the field, and give examples of how each could be successfully applied in a zoo or aquarium setting. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Environmental Enrichment Protects against Functional Deficits caused by Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-01

    daily olfactory stimulation consisting of variously perfumed paper strips presented in the cage for 10 minutes (Maegele et al., 2005). The scents...to their original cages with cage mates. The EC animals were returned to their original cages, but no longer received additional enrichment, and...could not be attributed to motor deficits affecting swimming speed. On the last day of MWM testing, the platform ( originally in quadrant C) was

  11. Gonadal differentiation in reptiles exhibiting environmental sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohno, Satomi; Parrott, Benjamin B; Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Moore, Brandon C; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis

    2014-01-01

    As temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and homozygote or heterozygote genetic sex determination (GSD) exist in multiple reptilian taxa, they represent sex determination systems that have emerged de novo. Current investigations have revealed that the genetic mechanisms used by various reptilian species are similar to those used by other vertebrates. However, the recent completion or near completion of various reptilian genome projects suggests that new studies examining related species with and without TSD could begin to provide additional insight into the evolution of TSD and GSD in vertebrate ancestors. Major questions still remain concerning germ cell migration and specification, the differentiation of gonadal accessory cells, such as the Sertoli cells and granulosa cells of the developing testis and ovary, respectively, and the mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated during TSD events. Further, reptilian sentinels and their mechanisms of gonadogenesis will likely remain important indicator species for environmental health. Thus, ongoing and new investigations need to tie molecular information to gonadal morphogenesis and function in reptiles. Such data will not only provide important information for an understanding of the evolution of these phenomena in vertebrates, but could also provide an important understanding of the health of the environment around us.

  12. Impact of Different Forms of Environmental Enrichment on Foraging and Activity Levels in Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristie Charmoy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance of species-specific behaviors for animals in zoological institutions is of top priority, as this can help ensure high levels of animal welfare. Strict feeding schedules within institutions can often impact natural foraging behaviors of animals, as they are no longer required to seek out or manipulate food items. In the wild, western lowland gorillas would spend a majority of their time foraging. The goal of the current study was to examine the impact of different forms of environmental enrichment on activity and foraging levels in gorillas at the Brookfield Zoo. Results suggest that automatic belt feeders that can feed at randomized times, will have the largest impact on behavior of all enrichment tested. However, there were individual differences observed between animals and the level of impact on their behavior. Using enrichment to increase the amount of time that zoo-housed gorillas spend searching for, acquiring, and consuming food can increase their overall activity levels and shift their behavior towards a more naturalistic direction.

  13. A method to assess relative preference for training and environmental enrichment in captive wolves (Canis lupus and Canis lupus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorey, Nicole R; Mehrkam, Lindsay R; Tacey, Jay

    2015-11-01

    It is currently debated as to whether or not positive reinforcement training is enriching to captive animals. Although both husbandry training and environmental enrichment (EE) have been found to benefit animal welfare in captivity, to date, no systematic investigation has compared an animal's preference for performing a trained behavior to engaging freely with a stimuli provided as EE. In the current paper, we used four captive wolves to (1) test the efficacy of a paired-stimulus preference assessment to determine preference for engaging in a trained behavior as a choice; and to (2) use a paired-stimulus preference assessment to determine whether or not individuals prefer to engage in a previously trained behavior versus a previously encountered EE stimuli. Of the four subjects tested, visual inspection of the graphs revealed that two of the subjects preferred trained behavior stimuli and two of the subjects preferred EE stimuli; only one of the wolves had a statically higher preference for an EE stimulus over a trained behavior. We believe that letting the animals choose between these two events is the first step in answering the question of whether or not is training enriching, however more research needs to be done and suggestions for future research is discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Separation and enrichment of gold(III) from environmental samples prior to its flame atomic absorption spectrometric determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senturk, Hasan Basri; Gundogdu, Ali; Bulut, Volkan Numan; Duran, Celal; Soylak, Mustafa; Elci, Latif; Tufekci, Mehmet

    2007-10-22

    A simple and accurate method was developed for separation and enrichment of trace levels of gold in environmental samples. The method is based on the adsorption of Au(III)-diethyldithiocarbamate complex on Amberlite XAD-2000 resin prior to the analysis of gold by flame atomic absorption spectrometry after elution with 1 molL(-1) HNO3 in acetone. Some parameters including nitric acid concentration, eluent type, matrix ions, sample volume, sample flow rate and adsorption capacity were investigated on the recovery of gold(III). The recovery values for gold(III) and detection limit of gold were greater than 95% and 16.6 microgL(-1), respectively. The preconcentration factor was 200. The relative standard deviation of the method was gold in some environmental samples.

  15. Adolescent environmental enrichment prevents behavioral and physiological sequelae of adolescent chronic stress in female (but not male) rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Brittany L; Morano, Rachel L; Ulrich-Lai, Yvonne M; Myers, Brent; Solomon, Matia B; Herman, James P

    2017-11-22

    The late adolescent period is characterized by marked neurodevelopmental and endocrine fluctuations in the transition to early adulthood. Adolescents are highly responsive to the external environment, which enhances their ability to adapt and recover from challenges when given nurturing influences, but also makes them vulnerable to aberrant development when exposed to prolonged adverse situations. Female rats are particularly sensitive to the effects of chronic stress in adolescence, which manifests as passive coping strategies and blunted hypothalamo-pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) stress responses in adulthood. We sought to intervene by exposing adolescent rats to environmental enrichment (EE) immediately prior to and during chronic stress, hypothesizing that EE would minimize or prevent the long-term effects of stress that emerge in adult females. To test this, we exposed male and female rats to EE on postnatal days (PND) 33-60 and implemented chronic variable stress (CVS) on PND 40-60. CVS consisted of twice-daily unpredictable stressors. Experimental groups included: CVS/unenriched, unstressed/EE, CVS/EE and unstressed/unenriched (n = 10 of each sex/group). In adulthood, we measured behavior in the open field test and forced swim test (FST) and collected blood samples following the FST. We found that environmental enrichment given during the adolescent period prevented the chronic stress-induced transition to passive coping in the FST and reversed decreases in peak adrenocortical responsiveness observed in adult females. Adolescent enrichment had little to no effect on males or unstressed females tested in adulthood, indicating that beneficial effects are specific to females that were exposed to chronic stress.

  16. Seed-induced Aβ deposition is modulated by microglia under environmental enrichment in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler-Waldkirch, Stephanie; d'Errico, Paolo; Sauer, Jonas-Frederic; Erny, Daniel; Savanthrapadian, Shakuntala; Loreth, Desirée; Katzmarski, Natalie; Blank, Thomas; Bartos, Marlene; Prinz, Marco; Meyer-Luehmann, Melanie

    2018-01-17

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by severe neuronal loss as well as the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ), which ultimately leads to plaque formation. Although there is now a general agreement that the aggregation of Aβ can be initiated by prion-like seeding, the impact and functional consequences of induced Aβ deposits (Aβ seeding) on neurons still remain open questions. Here, we find that Aβ seeding, representing early stages of plaque formation, leads to a dramatic decrease in proliferation and neurogenesis in two APP transgenic mouse models. We further demonstrate that neuronal cell death occurs primarily in the vicinity of induced Aβ deposits culminating in electrophysiological abnormalities. Notably, environmental enrichment and voluntary exercise not only revives adult neurogenesis and reverses memory deficits but, most importantly, prevents Aβ seeding by activated, phagocytic microglia cells. Our work expands the current knowledge regarding Aβ seeding and the consequences thereof and attributes microglia an important role in diminishing Aβ seeding by environmental enrichment. © 2017 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  17. Measurement of extremely (2) H-enriched water samples by laser spectrometry: application to batch electrolytic concentration of environmental tritium samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassenaar, L I; Kumar, B; Douence, C; Belachew, D L; Aggarwal, P K

    2016-02-15

    Natural water samples artificially or experimentally enriched in deuterium ((2) H) at concentrations up to 10,000 ppm are required for various medical, environmental and hydrological tracer applications, but are difficult to measure using conventional stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Here we demonstrate that off-axis integrated cavity output (OA-ICOS) laser spectrometry, along with (2) H-enriched laboratory calibration standards and appropriate analysis templates, allows for low-cost, fast, and accurate determinations of water samples having δ(2) HVSMOW-SLAP values up to at least 57,000 ‰ (~9000 ppm) at a processing rate of 60 samples per day. As one practical application, extremely (2) H-enriched samples were measured by laser spectrometry and compared to the traditional (3) H Spike-Proxy method in order to determine tritium enrichment factors in the batch electrolysis of environmental waters. Highly (2) H-enriched samples were taken from different sets of electrolytically concentrated standards and low-level (enriched waters by laser spectrometry will facilitate the use of deuterium as a tracer in numerous environmental and other applications. For low-level tritium operations, this new analytical ability facilitated a 10-20 % increase in sample productivity through the elimination of spike standards and gravimetrics, and provides immediate feedback on electrolytic enrichment cell performance. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Defensive behaviors and prosencephalic neurogenesis in pigeons (Columba livia) are affected by environmental enrichment in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melleu, F F; Pinheiro, M V; Lino-de-Oliveira, C; Marino-Neto, J

    2016-05-01

    Neurogenesis in the adult brain appears to be phylogenetically conserved across the animal kingdom. In pigeons and other adult non-oscine birds, immature neurons are observed in several prosencephalic areas, suggesting that neurogenesis may participate in the control of different behaviors. The mechanisms controlling neurogenesis and its relevance to defensive behaviors in non-oscine birds remain elusive. Herein, the contribution of the environment to behavior and neurogenesis of pigeons was investigated. Adult pigeons (Columba livia, n = 6/group), housed in standard (SE) or enriched environment (EE) for 42 days, were exposed to an unfamiliar environment (UE) followed by presentation to a novel object (NO). Video recordings of UE+NO tests were analyzed and scored for latency, duration and frequency of angular head movements, peeping, grooming, immobility and locomotion. Twenty-four hours later, pigeons were submitted to the tonic immobility test (TI) and number of trials for TI and TI duration were scored, followed by euthanasia 2 h later. Brains were immunohistochemically processed to reveal doublecortin (DCX), a marker for newborn neurons. Compared to those housed in SE, the pigeons housed in EE responded to a NO with more immobility. In addition, the pigeons housed in EE presented longer TI, more DCX-immunoreactive (DCX-ir) cells in the hippocampus and fewer DCX-ir cells in the lateral striatum than those housed in SE. There was no correlation between the number of DCX-ir cells and the scores of immobility in behavioral tests. Together, these data suggest that enrichment favored behavioral inhibition and neurogenesis in the adult pigeons through different, parallel mechanisms.

  19. Postenrichment Population Differentials Using Buffered Listeria Enrichment Broth: Implications of the Presence of Listeria innocua on Listeria monocytogenes in Food Test Samples†

    Science.gov (United States)

    KEYS, ASHLEY L.; DAILEY, RACHEL C.; HITCHINS, ANTHONY D.; SMILEY, R. DERIKE

    2016-01-01

    The recovery of low levels of Listeria monocytogenes from foods is complicated by the presence of competing microorganisms. Nonpathogenic species of Listeria pose a particular problem because variation in growth rate during the enrichment step can produce more colonies of these nontarget cells on selective and/or differential media, resulting in a preferential recovery of nonpathogens, especially Listeria innocua. To gauge the extent of this statistical barrier to pathogen recovery, 10 isolates each of L. monocytogenes and L. innocua were propagated together from approximately equal initial levels using the current U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s enrichment procedure. In the 100 isolate pairs, an average 1.3-log decrease was found in the 48-h enrichment L. monocytogenes population when L. innocua was present. In 98 of the 100 isolate pairs, L. innocua reached higher levels at 48 h than did L. monocytogenes, with a difference of 0.2 to 2.4 log CFU/ml. The significance of these population differences was apparent by an increase in the difficulty of isolating L. monocytogenes by the streak plating method. L. monocytogenes went completely undetected in 18 of 30 enrichment cultures even after colony isolation was attempted on Oxoid chromogenic Listeria agar. This finding suggests that although both Listeria species were present on the plate, the population differential between them restricted L. monocytogenes to areas of the plate with confluent growth and that isolated individual colonies were only L. innocua. PMID:24215687

  20. Postenrichment population differentials using buffered Listeria enrichment broth: implications of the presence of Listeria innocua on Listeria monocytogenes in food test samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keys, Ashley L; Dailey, Rachel C; Hitchins, Anthony D; Smiley, R Derike

    2013-11-01

    The recovery of low levels of Listeria monocytogenes from foods is complicated by the presence of competing microorganisms. Nonpathogenic species of Listeria pose a particular problem because variation in growth rate during the enrichment step can produce more colonies of these nontarget cells on selective and/or differential media, resulting in a preferential recovery of nonpathogens, especially Listeria innocua. To gauge the extent of this statistical barrier to pathogen recovery, 10 isolates each of L. monocytogenes and L. innocua were propagated together from approximately equal initial levels using the current U. S. Food and Drug Administration's enrichment procedure. In the 100 isolate pairs, an average 1.3-log decrease was found in the 48-h enrichment L. monocytogenes population when L. innocua was present. In 98 of the 100 isolate pairs, L. innocua reached higher levels at 48 h than did L. monocytogenes, with a difference of 0.2 to 2.4 log CFU/ml. The significance of these population differences was apparent by an increase in the difficulty of isolating L. monocytogenes by the streak plating method. L. monocytogenes went completely undetected in 18 of 30 enrichment cultures even after colony isolation was attempted on Oxoid chromogenic Listeria agar. This finding suggests that although both Listeria species were present on the plate, the population differential between them restricted L. monocytogenes to areas of the plate with confluent growth and that isolated individual colonies were only L. innocua.

  1. Environmental Enrichment of Laboratory Rodents: The Answer Depends on the Question

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Massachusetts; 4Departments of Kinesiology , Anatomy & Physiology, College of Veterinary...uniformly applied across diverse situations and members of a species will be a difficult task.38 Another approach to the assessment of EE evaluates its...provide a superior model.34,60 Conclusions Achieving optimal housing conditions for animals is a laudable goal, whether applied to research settings

  2. Up-regulation of IGF-1 in the frontal cortex of piglets exposed to an environmentally enriched arena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Sarah M; Peters, Rebecca; Lawrence, Alistair B

    2017-05-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is widely used in the life sciences to study effects of environment on the brain. In pigs, despite lack of EE being a key welfare issue there is little understanding of brain effects of EE in pigs. This project aimed to study the effects of exposure to an EE arena on piglet behaviours and on brain gene expression levels with a focus on IGF-1 and related genes. Eight litters of large white×landrace×Hampshire piglets were farrowed and raised in a free farrowing system (PigSAFE). At 42days of age, 6pigletsperlitter were given access to an enriched arena with plentiful peat, straw and space, (in groups of 4 made up of stable pairs) for 15min per day on 5 consecutive days to allow them to habituate to the apparatus. Piglet behaviours were recorded in the arena for 15min periods on 3 consecutive days. On the final day only one pair of test piglets per litter was given access to the arena. Brain tissue was collected within 45min of the test from piglets exposed to the arena on the day and their non-exposed littermate controls. RNA was extracted from the frontal cortex and QRT-PCR for selected genes run on a Stratgene MX3005P. In both the home pen and the EE arena litters spent the largest proportion of time engaging in foraging behaviour which was significantly increased in the enriched arena (t7=5.35, df=6, p=0.001). There were decreases in non-running play (t7=4.82, p=0.002) and inactivity (t7=4.6, p=0.002) in the arena. A significant fold change increase (FC=1.07, t=4.42, p=0.002) was observed in IGF-1 gene expression in the frontal cortex of piglets exposed to the enriched arena compared to those not exposed on the day of culling. No change in expression was observed in CSF1, the IGF-1 receptor gene nor in any of the binding proteins tested (IGFBP1-6). There was a weak tendency for increased expression of the neurotrophic factor BDNF1 (fold change: 1.03; t7=1.54, p=0.1). We believe this work is the first to explore effects of EE on pig

  3. Environmental enrichment improves cognitive deficits in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR): relevance for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamplona, Fabrício A; Pandolfo, Pablo; Savoldi, Robson; Prediger, Rui Daniel S; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2009-10-01

    The interaction between genes and environment seems to be relevant for the development of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), one of the most prevalent childhood psychiatric diseases. The occurrence of ADHD is typically associated with poor academic performance, probably reflecting learning difficulties and/or cognitive impulsiveness. The inbred Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR) strain has often been considered as an animal model of ADHD, since they 'naturally' display the main ADHD symptomatology. Although pharmacological agents improve SHR's cognitive deficits, little is known about the involvement of environmental factors in SHR disabilities and to what extent 'protective' non-pharmacological factors may be considered as strategy for ADHD prevention. Here we investigated whether the rearing environment during neurodevelopment may counteract later cognitive deficits presented by adult SHR. Wistar (WIS) rats were also used to investigate whether the putative effects of environmental enrichment depend on a specific genetic background. The animals were reared in enriched environment (EE) or standard environment (SE) from the post-natal day 21 until 3 months of age (adulthood) and tested for cognitive and non-cognitive phenotypes. EE improved SHR's performance in open field habituation, water maze spatial reference, social and object recognition tasks, while non-cognitive traits, such as nociception and hypertension, were not affected by EE. Response of WIS rats was generally not affected by the present EE. These results show that the general low cognitive performance presented by SHR rats strongly depends on the rearing environment and they may suggest modifications of the familial environment as a putative preventive strategy to cope with ADHD.

  4. Post-weaning environmental enrichment, but not chronic maternal isolation, enhanced ethanol intake during periadolescence and early adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Rocio Berardo

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzed ethanol intake in male and female Wistar rats exposed to maternal separation (MS during infancy (postnatal days 1-21, PD1-21 and environmental enrichment (EE during adolescence (PD 21-42. Previous work revealed that MS enhances ethanol consumption during adulthood. It is still unknown if a similar effect is found during adolescence. Several studies, in turn, have revealed that EE reverses stress experiences, and reduces ethanol consumption and reinforcement; although others reported greater ethanol intake after EE. The interactive effects between these treatments upon ethanol’s effects and intake have yet to be explored. We assessed chronic ethanol intake and preference (twelve two-bottle daily sessions, spread across 30 days, 1st session on PD46 in rats exposed to MS and EE. The main finding was that male – but not female – rats that had been exposed to EE consumed more ethanol than controls given standard housing, an effect that was not affected by MS. Subsequent experiments assessed several factors associated with heightened ethanol consumption in males exposed to MS and EE; namely taste aversive conditioning and hypnotic-sedative consequences of ethanol. We also measured anxiety response in the light-dark box and in the elevated plus maze tests; and exploratory patterns of novel stimuli and behaviors indicative of risk assessment and risk-taking, via a modified version of the concentric square field (CSF test. Aversive conditioning, hypnosis and sleep time were similar in males exposed or not to environmental enrichment. EE males, however, exhibited heightened exploration of novel stimuli and greater risk taking behaviors in the CSF test. It is likely that the promoting effect of EE upon ethanol intake was due to these effects upon exploratory and risk-taking behaviors.

  5. Environmental enrichment induces behavioral recovery and enhanced hippocampal cell proliferation in an antidepressant-resistant animal model for PTSD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrikus Hendriksen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD can be considered the result of a failure to recover after a traumatic experience. Here we studied possible protective and therapeutic aspects of environmental enrichment (with and without a running wheel in Sprague Dawley rats exposed to an inescapable foot shock procedure (IFS. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: IFS induced long-lasting contextual and non-contextual anxiety, modeling some aspects of PTSD. Even 10 weeks after IFS the rats showed reduced locomotion in an open field. The antidepressants imipramine and escitalopram did not improve anxiogenic behavior following IFS. Also the histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor sodium butyrate did not alleviate the IFS induced immobility. While environmental enrichment (EE starting two weeks before IFS did not protect the animals from the behavioral effects of the shocks, exposure to EE either immediately after the shock or one week later induced complete recovery three weeks after IFS. In the next set of experiments a running wheel was added to the EE to enable voluntary exercise (EE/VE. This also led to reduced anxiety. Importantly, this behavioral recovery was not due to a loss of memory for the traumatic experience. The behavioral recovery correlated with an increase in cell proliferation in hippocampus, a decrease in the tissue levels of noradrenalin and increased turnover of 5-HT in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This animal study shows the importance of (physical exercise in the treatment of psychiatric diseases, including post-traumatic stress disorder and points out the possible role of EE in studying the mechanism of recovery from anxiety disorders.

  6. Differential Sensor for PH Monitoring of Environmental Objects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romanenko Sergey

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Differential pH sensor is proposed. Reference electrode and measuring electrode are the same type. Reference electrode is immersed in standard buffer solution with known pH value. The differential pH sensor has longer service life as compared with the traditionally used sensors with silver chloride reference electrode. Ultrasonic cleaning system is proposed to clean the primary measuring transducer from pollution that form as result of silting during long-term operation with the sensor.

  7. Differential Sensor for PH Monitoring of Environmental Objects

    OpenAIRE

    Romanenko Sergey; Radenkov Timofey; Newsky Egor; Kagirov Artur

    2016-01-01

    Differential pH sensor is proposed. Reference electrode and measuring electrode are the same type. Reference electrode is immersed in standard buffer solution with known pH value. The differential pH sensor has longer service life as compared with the traditionally used sensors with silver chloride reference electrode. Ultrasonic cleaning system is proposed to clean the primary measuring transducer from pollution that form as result of silting during long-term operation with the sensor.

  8. Molecular and environmental cues in cardiac differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramkisoensing, Arti Anushka

    2014-01-01

    In this thesis molecular and environmental cues in cardiac differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells were investigated. The main conclusions were that the cardiac differentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cells negatively correlates with donor age. This in its own shows a negative

  9. Environmental enrichment and gut inflammation modify stress-induced c-Fos expression in the mouse corticolimbic system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Reichmann

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment (EE has a beneficial effect on rodent behaviour, neuronal plasticity and brain function. Although it may also improve stress coping, it is not known whether EE influences the brain response to an external (psychological stressor such as water avoidance stress (WAS or an internal (systemic stressor such as gastrointestinal inflammation. This study hence explored whether EE modifies WAS-induced activation of the mouse corticolimbic system and whether this stress response is altered by gastritis or colitis. Male C67BL/6N mice were housed under standard or enriched environment for 9 weeks, after which they were subjected to a 1-week treatment with oral iodoacetamide to induce gastritis or oral dextran sulfate sodium to induce colitis. Following exposure to WAS the expression of c-Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, was measured by immunocytochemistry. EE aggravated experimentally induced colitis, but not gastritis, as shown by an increase in the disease activity score and the colonic myeloperoxidase content. In the brain, EE enhanced the WAS-induced activation of the dentate gyrus and unmasked an inhibitory effect of gastritis and colitis on WAS-evoked c-Fos expression within this part of the hippocampus. Conversely, EE inhibited the WAS-evoked activation of the central amygdala and prevented the inhibitory effect of gastritis and colitis on WAS-evoked c-Fos expression in this region. EE, in addition, blunted the WAS-induced activation of the infralimbic cortex and attenuated the inhibitory effect of gastritis and colitis on WAS-evoked c-Fos expression in this area. These data reveal that EE has a region-specific effect on stress-induced c-Fos expression in the corticolimbic system, which is likely to improve stress resilience. The response of the prefrontal cortex - amygdala - hippocampus circuitry to psychological stress is also modified by the systemic stress of gut inflammation, and this interaction between external

  10. Effects of shelter type, early environmental enrichment and weather conditions on free-range behaviour of slow-growing broiler chickens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stadig, L.M.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Ampe, B.; Reubens, B.; Tuyttens, F.A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Free-range use by broiler chickens is often limited, whereas better use of the free-range area could benefit animal welfare. Use of free-range areas could be stimulated by more appropriate shelter or environmental enrichment (by decreasing birds’ fearfulness). This study aimed to assess the

  11. Environmental enrichment increases doublecortin-associated new neurons and decreases neuronal death without modifying anxiety-like behavior in mice chronically exposed to toluene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paez-Martinez, Nayeli; Flores-Serrano, Zoraida; Ortiz-Lopez, Leonardo; Ramirez-Rodriguez, Gerardo

    2013-11-01

    Toluene misuse is a health problem worldwide with broad effects at the level of the central nervous system; however, therapeutic alternatives for inhalant abusers are limited. Chronic use of volatile substances is associated with different neurological and cognitive alterations, being anxiety a psychiatric condition with high prevalence. At cellular level toluene reduces neurogenesis and induces neuronal death. On the other hand, environmental enrichment has demonstrated to produce positive effects at behavioral and neuronal levels. Thus, the aim of the present work was to model alterations occasioned after repeated exposure to toluene (anxiety, reduction in neurogenesis - measured as doublecortin-labeled cells - and neuronal death). Subsequently, the influence of environmental enrichment on these effects was evaluated. Adolescent mice were exposed to toluene vapors from 1 to 4 weeks. Effects on anxiety were evaluated with the burying behavior test, whereas neurogenesis and hippocampal cell death were analyzed with immunohistochemistry, using anti-doublecortin or anti-active-Caspase-3 antibodies, respectively. Results showed that chronic toluene exposure increased anxiety in the burying behavior test; additionally, toluene decreased neurogenesis and enhanced neuronal death. Environmental enrichment (EE) enhanced the anxiety like response in air-exposed mice but did not modify the toluene anxiety response. Additionally, EE enhanced neurogenesis in toluene-pretreated animals at the same level to that found in animals unexposed to toluene and decreased neuronal death. Overall, the present study showed that environmental enrichment positively impacts some effects produced by repeated exposure to toluene. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Environmental enrichment of young adult rats (Rattus norvegicus) in different sensory modalities has long-lasting effects on their ability to learn via specific sensory channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolivo, Vassilissa; Taborsky, Michael

    2017-05-01

    Sensory modalities individuals use to obtain information from the environment differ among conspecifics. The relative contributions of genetic divergence and environmental plasticity to this variance remain yet unclear. Numerous studies have shown that specific sensory enrichments or impoverishments at the postnatal stage can shape neural development, with potential lifelong effects. For species capable of adjusting to novel environments, specific sensory stimulation at a later life stage could also induce specific long-lasting behavioral effects. To test this possibility, we enriched young adult Norway rats with either visual, auditory, or olfactory cues. Four to 8 months after the enrichment period we tested each rat for their learning ability in 3 two-choice discrimination tasks, involving either visual, auditory, or olfactory stimulus discrimination, in a full factorial design. No sensory modality was more relevant than others for the proposed task per se, but rats performed better when tested in the modality for which they had been enriched. This shows that specific environmental conditions encountered during early adulthood have specific long-lasting effects on the learning abilities of rats. Furthermore, we disentangled the relative contributions of genetic and environmental causes of the response. The reaction norms of learning abilities in relation to the stimulus modality did not differ between families, so interindividual divergence was mainly driven by environmental rather than genetic factors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. On-line trace enrichment of polar pesticides in environmental waters by reversed-phase liquid chromatography-diode array detection-particle beam mass spectrometry.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brinkman, U.A.T.; Marcé, R.M.; Prosen, H.; Crespo, C.; Calull, M.; Borrull, F.

    1995-01-01

    The determination of a group of pesticides by RPLC-diode array detection, coupled on-line to particle beam MS, is developed for the analysis of different environmental water. On-line trace enrichment of 100 ml of sample on a PLRP-S precolumn allows the determination of most pesticides at levels

  14. Lack of cardiac differentiation in c-kit-enriched porcine bone marrow and spleen hematopoietic cell cultures using 5-azacytidine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.L. Ramirez (Mario); T. McMorrow (Tara); T.M. Sanderson (Thomas M.); C.J. Lancos (C.); Y.-L. Tseng (Y.); D.K.C. Cooper (David); F.J.M.F. Dor (Frank)

    2005-01-01

    textabstractThe adult spleen is a source of early hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). We therefore studied whether culturing spleen or bone marrow (BM) HSC in medium containing 5-azacytidine could induce a cardiac phenotype. c-kit enrichment and depletion of adult pig spleen and BM mononuclear cells

  15. Environmental Enrichment for Sucker and Weaner Pigs: The Effect of Enrichment Block Shape on the Behavioural Interaction by Pigs with the Blocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jade A. Winfield

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This experiment tested the effect of enrichment-block shape on oro-nasal contact by young pigs, and possible habituation to the blocks. Nineteen litters (197 piglets were randomly allocated to one of three block-shape treatments: Cube, Brick, or Wedge. Oro-nasal contact with blocks was infrequent before 25 days of age. Thereafter, contact steadily increased, suggesting enrichment blocks may not need to be provided until week 4 of lactation. Brick-shaped blocks attracted more oro-nasal contact than the cube and wedge shapes (p = 0.002. Oro-nasal contact was more frequent (p < 0.001 during the first 24 h after block introduction than when blocks were four days old. From 25 to 60 days of age, oro-nasal bouts were longer (p = 0.014 during the first 30 min of exposure to a fresh block, than for the remainder of the 24 h, or on day 4 after block replacement. Therefore, habituation to blocks may have occurred by 24 h after block introduction. Brick-shaped blocks may present a wider surface for oro-nasal contact, where multiple pigs could simultaneously interact with the block. We speculate that simultaneous interaction with brick-shaped blocks may be similar to a litter co-operatively massaging the sow’s udder prior to suckling bouts.

  16. Environmental Enrichment for Sucker and Weaner Pigs: The Effect of Enrichment Block Shape on the Behavioural Interaction by Pigs with the Blocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfield, Jade A; Macnamara, Greg F; Macnamara, Ben L F; Hall, Evelyn J S; Ralph, Cameron R; O'Shea, Cormac J; Cronin, Greg M

    2017-11-27

    This experiment tested the effect of enrichment-block shape on oro-nasal contact by young pigs, and possible habituation to the blocks. Nineteen litters (197 piglets) were randomly allocated to one of three block-shape treatments: Cube, Brick, or Wedge. Oro-nasal contact with blocks was infrequent before 25 days of age. Thereafter, contact steadily increased, suggesting enrichment blocks may not need to be provided until week 4 of lactation. Brick-shaped blocks attracted more oro-nasal contact than the cube and wedge shapes (p = 0.002). Oro-nasal contact was more frequent (p < 0.001) during the first 24 h after block introduction than when blocks were four days old. From 25 to 60 days of age, oro-nasal bouts were longer (p = 0.014) during the first 30 min of exposure to a fresh block, than for the remainder of the 24 h, or on day 4 after block replacement. Therefore, habituation to blocks may have occurred by 24 h after block introduction. Brick-shaped blocks may present a wider surface for oro-nasal contact, where multiple pigs could simultaneously interact with the block. We speculate that simultaneous interaction with brick-shaped blocks may be similar to a litter co-operatively massaging the sow's udder prior to suckling bouts.

  17. Development of magnetic graphene @hydrophilic polydopamine for the enrichment and analysis of phthalates in environmental water samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xianying; Song, Guoxin; Deng, Chunhui

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic graphene @hydrophilic polydopamine composites were successfully fabricated via a simple solvothermal reaction and self-polymerization of dopamine. Benefit from the excellent characteristics of strong magnetic responsivity, super-hydrophilicity and abundant π-electron system, the prepared material showed great potential as a magnetic solid phase extraction (MSPE) sorbent. In this work, six kinds of phthalates (PAEs) were selected as the target analytes to evaluate the extraction ability of the adsorbents combined with MSPE-GC-MS. And various extraction parameters were optimized by selecting the pH value of samples, the amount of sorbents, adsorption and desorption time, the type and volume of eluting solution. Meanwhile, the whole extraction process could be finished in 30 min. Under the optimized conditions, validations of the method were evaluated as well. And the results presented excellent linearity with a wide range of 50-20,000 μg/L (R(2)>0.9991). The detection of limits were in the range from 0.05-5 μg/L (S/N=3). Therefore, the novel magnetic graphene@polydopamine composites were successfully used as the sorbents for the enrichment and analysis of PAEs in real water samples. This proposed method provided a simple, efficient and sensitive approach for the determination of aromatic compounds in real environmental samples. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Traumatic brain injury and post-acute decline: what role does environmental enrichment play? A scoping review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana eFrasca

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. While a number of studies provide evidence of neural and cognitive decline in traumatic brain injury (TBI survivors during the post-acute stages of injury, there is a dearth of research on the possible mechanisms underlying this decline. The purposes of this paper, therefore, are to (1 examine evidence that environmental enrichment (EE can influence long-term outcome following TBI, and (2 examine the nature of post-acute environments, whether they vary in degree of EE, and what impact these variations have on outcomes.Methods. We conducted a scoping review to identify studies on EE in animals and humans, and post-discharge experiences that relate to barriers to recovery.Results. Ninety-six articles that met inclusion criteria demonstrated the benefits of EE on brain and behaviour in healthy and brain-injured animals and humans. Nineteen papers on post-discharge experiences provided evidence that variables such as insurance coverage, financial and social support, home therapy, and transition from hospital to home, also play a vital role in regaining independence. Conclusion. There is evidence to suggest that lack of EE, whether from lack of resources or limited ability to engage in such environments, may play a role in post-recovery cognitive and neural decline. Maximizing EE in the post-acute stages of TBI may improve long-term outcomes for the individual, their family and society.

  19. Environmental Enrichment Improves Behavior, Cognition, and Brain Functional Markers in Young Senescence-Accelerated Prone Mice (SAMP8).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griñan-Ferré, Christian; Pérez-Cáceres, David; Gutiérrez-Zetina, Sofía Martínez; Camins, Antoni; Palomera-Avalos, Verónica; Ortuño-Sahagún, Daniel; Rodrigo, M Teresa; Pallàs, M

    2016-05-01

    The environment in which organisms live can greatly influence their development. Consequently, environmental enrichment (EE) is progressively recognized as an important component in the improvement of brain function and development. It has been demonstrated that rodents raised under EE conditions exhibit favorable neuroanatomical effects that improve their learning, spatial memory, and behavioral performance. Here, by using senescence-accelerated prone mice (SAMP8) and these as a model of adverse genetic conditions for brain development, we determined the effect of EE by raising these mice during early life under favorable conditions. We found a better generalized performance of SAMP8 under EE in the results of four behavioral and learning tests. In addition, we demonstrated broad molecular correlation in the hippocampus by an increase in NeuN and Ki67 expression, as well as an increase in the expression of neurotrophic factors, such as pleiotrophin (PTN) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), with a parallel decrease in neurodegenerative markers such as GSK3, amyloid-beta precursor protein, and phosphorylated beta-catenin, and a reduction of SBDP120, Bax, GFAP, and interleukin-6 (IL-6), resulting in a neuroprotective panorama. Globally, it can be concluded that EE applied to SAMP8 at young ages resulted in epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that give rise to significant beneficial effects at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels during brain development, particularly in the hippocampus.

  20. The Development of Environmentally Friendly Technologies of Using Coals and Products of Their Enrichment in the Form of Coal Water Slurries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murko, Vasily; Hamalainen, Veniamin

    2017-11-01

    The article presents the current state of the technology for production and combustion of fuel coal water slurries in Russia and foreign countries. Experimental and industrial facilities show the technological and economic efficiency of using this technology for disposal of wastes resulting after coal processing and enrichment. The feasibility studies of use of the technology at large Kuzbass thermal power stations are presented. The possibility of solving a serious environmental problem of reducing storage of the most toxic waste of coal enrichment in the location areas of coal washing plants and coal mining enterprises is demonstrated.

  1. CO2 enrichment and carbon partitioning to phenolics: do plant responses accord better with the protein competition or the growth-differentiation balance models?

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.J. Mattson; R. Julkunen-Tiitto; D.A. Herms

    2005-01-01

    Rising levels of atmospheric CO2 can alter plant growth and partitioning to secondary metabolites. The protein competition model (PCM) and the extended growth/differentiation balance model (GDBe) are similar but alternative models that address ontogenetic and environmental effects on whole-plant carbon partitioning to the...

  2. Environmental enrichment causes a global potentiation of neuronal responses across stimulus complexity and lamina of sensory cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dasuni Sathsara Alwis

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Enriched social and physical housing produces many molecular, anatomical, electrophysiological and behaviour benefits even in adult animals. Much less is known of its effects on cortical electrophysiology, especially in how sensory cortex encodes the altered environment, and extant studies have generally been restricted to neurons in input laminae in sensory cortex. To extend the understanding of how an enriched environment alters the way in which cortex views the world, we investigated enrichment-induced changes in neuronal encoding of sensory stimuli across all laminae of the rat barrel cortex receiving input from the face whisker tactile system. Animals were housed in Enriched (n=13 or Isolated housing (n=13 conditions for 8 weeks before extracellular recordings were obtained from barrel cortex in response to simple whisker deflections and whisker motions modelling movements seen in awake animals undertaking a variety of different tasks. Enrichment resulted in increases in neuronal responses to all stimuli, ranging from those modelling exploratory behaviour through to discrimination behaviours. These increases were seen throughout the cortex from supragranular layers through to input Layer 4 and for some stimuli, in infragranular Layer 5. The observed enrichment-induced effect is consistent with the postulate that enrichment causes shift in cortical excitatory/inhibitory balance, and we demonstrate this is greatest in supragranular layers. However we also report that the effects are non-selective for stimulus parameters across a range of stimuli except for one modelling the likely use of whiskers by the rats in the enriched housing.

  3. Neuroprotective effects of cognitive enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milgram, Norton W; Siwak-Tapp, Christina T; Araujo, Joseph; Head, Elizabeth

    2006-08-01

    Cognitive enrichment early in life, as indicated by level of education, complexity of work environment or nature of leisure activities, appears to protect against the development of age-associated cognitive decline and also dementia. These effects are more robust for measures of crystallized intelligence than for measures of fluid intelligence and depend on the ability of the brain to compensate for pathological changes associated with aging. This compensatory ability is referred to as cognitive reserve. The cognitive reserve hypothesis suggests that cognitive enrichment promotes utilization of available functions. Alternatively, late life cognitive changes in cognition may be linked to a factor, such as cholinergic dysfunction, that is also present early in life and contributes to the reduced levels of early life cognitive enrichment. Beneficial effects of environmental enrichment early in life have also been observed in rodents and primates. Research with rodents indicates that these changes have structural correlates, which likely include increased synapses in specific brain regions. Dogs also show age-dependent cognitive decline, and both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies indicate that this decline can be attenuated by cognitive enrichment. Furthermore, cognitive enrichment has differential effects, improving some functions more than others. From a neurobiological perspective, behavioral enrichment in the dog may act to promote neurogenesis later in life. This can be distinguished from nutritional interventions with antioxidants, which appear to attenuate the development of neuropathology. These results suggest that a combination of behavioral and nutritional or pharmacological interventions may be optimal for reducing the rate of age-dependent cognitive decline.

  4. Effects of collagen membranes enriched with in vitro-differentiated N1E-115 cells on rat sciatic nerve regeneration after end-to-end repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fornaro Michele

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Peripheral nerves possess the capacity of self-regeneration after traumatic injury but the extent of regeneration is often poor and may benefit from exogenous factors that enhance growth. The use of cellular systems is a rational approach for delivering neurotrophic factors at the nerve lesion site, and in the present study we investigated the effects of enwrapping the site of end-to-end rat sciatic nerve repair with an equine type III collagen membrane enriched or not with N1E-115 pre-differentiated neural cells. After neurotmesis, the sciatic nerve was repaired by end-to-end suture (End-to-End group, end-to-end suture enwrapped with an equine collagen type III membrane (End-to-EndMemb group; and end-to-end suture enwrapped with an equine collagen type III membrane previously covered with neural cells pre-differentiated in vitro from N1E-115 cells (End-to-EndMembCell group. Along the postoperative, motor and sensory functional recovery was evaluated using extensor postural thrust (EPT, withdrawal reflex latency (WRL and ankle kinematics. After 20 weeks animals were sacrificed and the repaired sciatic nerves were processed for histological and stereological analysis. Results showed that enwrapment of the rapair site with a collagen membrane, with or without neural cell enrichment, did not lead to any significant improvement in most of functional and stereological predictors of nerve regeneration that we have assessed, with the exception of EPT which recovered significantly better after neural cell enriched membrane employment. It can thus be concluded that this particular type of nerve tissue engineering approach has very limited effects on nerve regeneration after sciatic end-to-end nerve reconstruction in the rat.

  5. Mineralogy and crystallization history of a highly differentiated REE-enriched hypabyssal rhyolite: Round Top laccolith, Trans-Pecos, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, L. Christine; Elliott, Brent A.; Kyle, J. Richard

    2017-09-01

    The Round Top hypabyssal rhyolite laccolith is a highly evolved magmatic system, enriched in incompatible elements including REE [Rare Earth Element(s)], U, Be, and F. The Round Top intrusion is part of a series of Paleogene intrusions emplaced as the Sierra Blanca Complex. These intrusions are situated within long-lived, complex tectonic regimes that have been subjected to regional compression and subduction, punctuated by extensional bimodal volcanism. The enrichment in the rhyolite that comprises Round Top is the result of the prolonged removal of compatible elements from the source magma chamber through the emplacement of earlier magmatic events. With the emplacement of each sequential laccolith, the F-rich source magma became more enriched in incompatible elements, with increasing HREE [Heavy Rare Earth Elements(s)] concentrations. The emplacement of Round Top as a laccolith (versus that of an extrusive rhyolitic flow) facilitated the retention of the volatile-rich vapor phase within the magma, forming ubiquitous REE-bearing minerals, mainly yttrofluorite and yttrocerite. The high temperature mineral-vapor phase alteration of the feldspar groundmass was essential to the formation of REE minerals, where the pervasive open pore space was occupied by the late-crystallizing minerals. These late-forming REE-bearing minerals also occur as crystals associated with other accessory and trace phases, as inclusions within other phases, along grain boundaries, and along fractures and within voids. The rhyolite at Round Top and other laccolith intrusions in the Sierra Blanca Complex represent a new sub-type of magmatic rare earth element hosting system.

  6. Effects of environmental enrichment and stereotypic behavior on maternal behavior and infant viability in a model carnivore, the American mink (Neovison vison).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez-León, María; Mason, Georgia

    2016-01-01

    In several species, stress compromises maternal behaviors that are important for infant viability (e.g. licking and grooming). Understanding how stress in captivity affects maternal behavior could therefore be beneficial, especially for carnivores in zoos and breeding centers where infant mortality is often high. We used a model carnivore--American mink--to test two hypotheses, namely that maternal investment and/or behavior is i. improved by environmental enrichment; and ii. compromised by stereotypic behavior. We observed 22 females raised in an indoor facility, 9 enriched, 13 non-enriched. At birth, and at post-natal day 20 when altricial infants were still fully dependent on their mothers, the following offspring variables were recorded: litter size, infant mortality, litter sex ratio (post-natal day 1), and weight. Maternal behavior was assessed by recording nest shape (post-natal day 1), and the frequency of licking and grooming (post-natal days 1-7). Non-enriched females stereotyped more, had female-skewed litters at birth, and tended to make poorer, flatter nests. Maternal licking and grooming showed large, stable individual differences, but appeared unaffected by enrichment. High levels of maternal stereotypic behavior predicted slower offspring growth, replicating previous findings for farmed mink. Nevertheless, enrichment did not significantly increase infant growth rates nor decrease infant mortality. Due to small sample sizes, our study now needs replicating, particularly to explore the potential benefits of enrichment on nest building, sex ratio effects, and the implications of maternal licking and grooming for offspring stress reactivity. Findings could then apply to endangered mustelids like the European mink. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. The Therapeutic Efficacy of Environmental Enrichment and Methylphenidate Alone and in Combination after Controlled Cortical Impact Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leary, Jacob B; Bondi, Corina O; LaPorte, Megan J; Carlson, Lauren J; Radabaugh, Hannah L; Cheng, Jeffrey P; Kline, Anthony E

    2017-01-15

    Environmental enrichment (EE) and methylphenidate (MPH) independently confer significant benefit to behavioral recovery after controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury. Given that combinational therapies may be more clinically translatable than monotherapies, the aim of the current study was to test the hypothesis that a combined treatment regimen of EE and MPH would provide greater therapeutic efficacy than either one alone. Anesthetized adult male rats received either a CCI of moderate severity or sham injury and were then randomly assigned to EE or standard (STD) housing where they received either intraperitoneal (ip) MPH (5 mg/kg) or vehicle (VEH; 1.0 mL/kg; ip) beginning 24 h after injury and once daily for 19 days. Motor and cognitive assessments were conducted on post-injury days 1-5 and 14-19, respectively. No differences were observed in sham controls regardless of treatments, and thus their data were pooled. The traumatic brain injury (TBI)+EE+VEH and TBI+EE+MPH groups exhibited enhanced beam balance and beam walk performance relative to the TBI+STD+VEH group (p  0.05). No effect of MPH treatment alone was observed in either motor task. In contrast, MPH improved spatial learning and memory when presented alone and also when combined with EE relative to VEH-treated STD controls (p  0.05). These data replicate previous findings that both EE and MPH confer cognitive benefits after TBI and extend the findings by revealing that combining EE and MPH does not produce effects greater than either treatment alone, which does not support the hypothesis. The lack of an additive effect may be because of the robustness of the EE.

  8. Combining the Antipsychotic Drug Haloperidol and Environmental Enrichment after Traumatic Brain Injury Is a Double-Edged Sword.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folweiler, Kaitlin A; Bondi, Corina O; Ogunsanya, Elizabeth A; LaPorte, Megan J; Leary, Jacob B; Radabaugh, Hannah L; Monaco, Christina M; Kline, Anthony E

    2017-01-15

    Environmental enrichment (EE) confers significant benefits after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI). In contrast, the antipsychotic drug (APD) haloperidol (HAL) exerts deleterious effects on neurobehavioral and cognitive recovery. Neurorehabilitation and management of agitation, however, are integral components of the treatment strategy for patients with TBI. Hence, the goal of this study was to determine how the two therapeutic approaches interact and influence motor and cognitive recovery. Anesthetized adult male rats received a controlled cortical impact (2.8 mm tissue deformation at 4 m/sec) or sham injury and then were provided HAL (0.5 mg/kg; intraperitoneally [IP]) or vehicle (VEH; 1 mL/kg; IP) commencing 24 h after surgery and once daily for 19 days while housed in EE or standard (STD) conditions. Beam balance/walk and Morris water maze performance were assessed on post-injury days 1-5 and 14-19, respectively, followed immediately by quantification of cortical lesion volumes. The data revealed both expected and unexpected findings. It was not surprising that the TBI groups receiving EE performed significantly better than those in STD housing and that the TBI + STD + HAL group performed worse than the TBI + STD + VEH group (p  0.05). The potential clinical implications of these findings suggest that administering HAL to patients undergoing neurorehabilitation may be a double-edged sword because agitation must be controlled before rehabilitation can be safely initiated and executed, but its use may compromise therapeutic efficacy.

  9. Benefits of a ball and chain: simple environmental enrichments improve welfare and reproductive success in farmed American mink (Neovison vison).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meagher, Rebecca K; Ahloy Dallaire, Jamie; Campbell, Dana L M; Ross, Misha; Møller, Steen H; Hansen, Steffen W; Díez-León, María; Palme, Rupert; Mason, Georgia J

    2014-01-01

    Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains) identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E) with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE) control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: 'late E'). Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male), and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites). E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness ('late E' females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm), effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type ('Demis'), similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a.) and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets) often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical enrichments.

  10. Benefits of a ball and chain: simple environmental enrichments improve welfare and reproductive success in farmed American mink (Neovison vison.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca K Meagher

    Full Text Available Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: 'late E'. Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male, and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites. E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness ('late E' females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm, effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type ('Demis', similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a. and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical

  11. Differentiated Application Of Astreintes On Environmental Law For Guarantee The Effectiveness Of Your Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magno Federici Gomes

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available On the present article, is discussed an institute and function of the daily fine as an instrument for effecting specific guardianship of obligations in environmental law. The problem resides in consequences of a previous calculation, the so-called pecuniary roof, of the daily fine of the obligations to make, inhibit and deliver in procedural guardianship environmental differentiated. The research methodology used was the documentary theorist, with a qualitative bibliographical technique. The conclusion points to the impossibility of setting a roof for such daily fines, given the specificities of environmental law.

  12. CD13 and ROR2 Permit Isolation of Highly Enriched Cardiac Mesoderm from Differentiating Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhys J.P. Skelton

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The generation of tissue-specific cell types from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs is critical for the development of future stem cell-based regenerative therapies. Here, we identify CD13 and ROR2 as cell-surface markers capable of selecting early cardiac mesoderm emerging during hESC differentiation. We demonstrate that the CD13+/ROR2+ population encompasses pre-cardiac mesoderm, which efficiently differentiates to all major cardiovascular lineages. We determined the engraftment potential of CD13+/ROR2+ in small (murine and large (porcine animal models, and demonstrated that CD13+/ROR2+ progenitors have the capacity to differentiate toward cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts, smooth muscle, and endothelial cells in vivo. Collectively, our data show that CD13 and ROR2 identify a cardiac lineage precursor pool that is capable of successful engraftment into the porcine heart. These markers represent valuable tools for further dissection of early human cardiac differentiation, and will enable a detailed assessment of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac lineage cells for potential clinical applications.

  13. Differentiation of Xylella fastidiosa strains via multilocus sequence analysis of environmentally mediated genes (MLSA-E).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Jennifer K; Havird, Justin C; De La Fuente, Leonardo

    2012-03-01

    Isolates of the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa are genetically very similar, but studies on their biological traits have indicated differences in virulence and infection symptomatology. Taxonomic analyses have identified several subspecies, and phylogenetic analyses of housekeeping genes have shown broad host-based genetic differences; however, results are still inconclusive for genetic differentiation of isolates within subspecies. This study employs multilocus sequence analysis of environmentally mediated genes (MLSA-E; genes influenced by environmental factors) to investigate X. fastidiosa relationships and differentiate isolates with low genetic variability. Potential environmentally mediated genes, including host colonization and survival genes related to infection establishment, were identified a priori. The ratio of the rate of nonsynonymous substitutions to the rate of synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) was calculated to select genes that may be under increased positive selection compared to previously studied housekeeping genes. Nine genes were sequenced from 54 X. fastidiosa isolates infecting different host plants across the United States. Results of maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian phylogenetic (BP) analyses are in agreement with known X. fastidiosa subspecies clades but show novel within-subspecies differentiation, including geographic differentiation, and provide additional information regarding host-based isolate variation and specificity. dN/dS ratios of environmentally mediated genes, though fastidiosa isolates. Discovering the genetic relationships between X. fastidiosa isolates will provide new insights into the epidemiology of populations of X. fastidiosa, allowing improved disease management in economically important crops.

  14. Enhanced computational methods for quantifying the effect of geographic and environmental isolation on genetic differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Botta, Filippo; Eriksen, Casper; Fontaine, Michaël C.

    2015-01-01

    Motivation In a recent paper, Bradburd et al. [2013] proposed a model to quantify the relative effect of geographic and environmental distance on genetic differentiation. Here, we enhance this method in several ways. Results (i) We modify the covariance model so as to fit better with mainstream...

  15. The Role of Environmental Factors in Beginning Teachers' Professional Learning Related to Differentiated Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Neve, Debbie; Devos, Geert

    2016-01-01

    Little research has investigated factors that facilitate beginning teachers' participation in professional learning activities related to differentiated instruction (DI). This study examines environmental factors for DI learning activities in a sample of 272 beginning teachers from 72 primary schools. Multilevel analyses show that teacher…

  16. GAME (Goals - Activity - Motor Enrichment): protocol of a single blind randomised controlled trial of motor training, parent education and environmental enrichment for infants at high risk of cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Catherine; Novak, Iona; Dale, Russell C; Guzzetta, Andrea; Badawi, Nadia

    2014-10-07

    Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability of childhood and early detection is possible using evidence based assessments. Systematic reviews indicate early intervention trials rarely demonstrate efficacy for improving motor outcomes but environmental enrichment interventions appear promising. This study is built on a previous pilot study and has been designed to assess the effectiveness of a goal - oriented motor training and enrichment intervention programme, "GAME", on the motor outcomes of infants at very high risk of cerebral palsy (CP) compared with standard community based care. A two group, single blind randomised controlled trial (n = 30) will be conducted. Eligible infants are those diagnosed with CP or designated "at high risk of CP" on the basis of the General Movements Assessment and/or abnormal neuroimaging. A physiotherapist and occupational therapist will deliver home-based GAME intervention at least fortnightly until the infant's first birthday. The intervention aims to optimize motor function and engage parents in developmental activities aimed at enriching the home learning environment. Primary endpoint measures will be taken 16 weeks after intervention commences with the secondary endpoint at 12 months and 24 months corrected age. The primary outcome measure will be the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale second edition. Secondary outcomes measures include the Gross Motor Function Measure, Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development - Infant Scale, and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Parent well-being will be monitored using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale. This paper presents the background, design and intervention protocol of a randomised trial of a goal driven, motor learning approach with customised environmental interventions and parental education for young infants at high risk of cerebral palsy. This trial is registered on the Australian

  17. Effect of environmental enrichment exposure on neuronal morphology of streptozotocin-induced diabetic and stressed rat hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narendra Pamidi

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Environmental enrichment (EE exposure is known to influence the structural changes in the neuronal network of hippocampus. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of EE exposure on the streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic and stressed rat hippocampus. Methods: Male albino rats of Wistar strain (4-5 weeks old were grouped into normal control (NC, vehicle control (VC, diabetes (DI, diabetes + stress (DI + S, diabetes + EE (DI + E, and diabetes + stress + EE (DI + S + E groups (n = 8 in each group. Rats were exposed to stress and EE after inducing diabetes with STZ (40 mg/kg. Rats were sacrificed on Day 30 and brain sections were processed for cresyl violet staining to quantify the number of surviving neurons in the CA1, CA3, and dentate hilus (DH regions of hippocampus. Results: A significant (p < 0.001 decrease in the number of survived neurons was noticed in DI (CA1, 34.06 ± 3.2; CA3, 36.1 ± 3.62; DH, 9.83 ± 2.02 as well as DI + S (CA1, 14.03 ± 3.12; CA3, 20.27 ± 4.09; DH, 6.4 ± 1.21 group rats compared to NC rats (CA1, 53.64 ± 2.96; CA3, 62.1 ± 3.34; DH, 21.11 ± 1.03. A significant (p < 0.001 increase in the number of survived neurons was observed in DI + E (CA1, 42.3 ± 3.66; CA3, 46.73 ± 4.74; DH, 17.03 ± 2.19 and DI + S + E (CA1, 29.69 ± 4.47; CA3, 36.73 ± 3.89; DH, 12.23 ± 2.36 group rats compared to DI and DI + S groups, respectively. Conclusions: EE exposure significantly reduced the amount of neuronal damage caused by complications of diabetes and stress to the neurons of hippocampus.

  18. Effects of shelter type, early environmental enrichment and weather conditions on free-range behaviour of slow-growing broiler chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadig, L M; Rodenburg, T B; Ampe, B; Reubens, B; Tuyttens, F A M

    2017-06-01

    Free-range use by broiler chickens is often limited, whereas better use of the free-range area could benefit animal welfare. Use of free-range areas could be stimulated by more appropriate shelter or environmental enrichment (by decreasing birds' fearfulness). This study aimed to assess the effects of shelter type, early environmental enrichment and weather conditions on free-range use. Three production rounds with 440 slow-growing broiler chickens (Sasso T451) were carried out. Birds were housed indoors in four groups (two with males, two with females) from days 0 to 25, during which two of the groups received environmental enrichment. At day 23 birds' fearfulness was assessed with a tonic immobility (TI) test (n=100). At day 25 all birds were moved (in mixed-sex groups) to mobile houses, and provided with free-range access from day 28 onwards. Each group could access a range consisting for 50% of grassland with 21 artificial shelters (ASs, wooden A-frames) and for 50% of short rotation coppice (SRC) with willow (dense vegetation). Free-range use was recorded by live observations at 0900, 1300 and 1700 h for 15 to 21 days between days 28 and 63. For each bird observed outside the shelter type (AS or SRC), distance from the house (0 to 2, 2 to 5, >5 m) and its behaviour (only rounds 2 and 3) were recorded. Weather conditions were recorded by four weather stations. On average, 27.1% of the birds were observed outside at any given moment of observation. Early environmental enrichment did not decrease fearfulness as measured by the TI test. It only had a minor effect on the percentage of birds outside (0.4% more birds outside). At all distances from the house, SRC was preferred over AS. In AS, areas closer to the house were preferred over farther ones, in SRC this was less pronounced. Free-range use increased with age and temperature and decreased with wind speed. In AS, rainfall and decreasing solar radiation were related to finding more birds outside, whereas the

  19. Differential representation of sunflower ESTs in enriched organ-specific cDNA libraries in a small scale sequencing project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heinz Ruth A

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Subtractive hybridization methods are valuable tools for identifying differentially regulated genes in a given tissue avoiding redundant sequencing of clones representing the same expressed genes, maximizing detection of low abundant transcripts and thus, affecting the efficiency and cost effectiveness of small scale cDNA sequencing projects aimed to the specific identification of useful genes for breeding purposes. The objective of this work is to evaluate alternative strategies to high-throughput sequencing projects for the identification of novel genes differentially expressed in sunflower as a source of organ-specific genetic markers that can be functionally associated to important traits. Results Differential organ-specific ESTs were generated from leaf, stem, root and flower bud at two developmental stages (R1 and R4. The use of different sources of RNA as tester and driver cDNA for the construction of differential libraries was evaluated as a tool for detection of rare or low abundant transcripts. Organ-specificity ranged from 75 to 100% of non-redundant sequences in the different cDNA libraries. Sequence redundancy varied according to the target and driver cDNA used in each case. The R4 flower cDNA library was the less redundant library with 62% of unique sequences. Out of a total of 919 sequences that were edited and annotated, 318 were non-redundant sequences. Comparison against sequences in public databases showed that 60% of non-redundant sequences showed significant similarity to known sequences. The number of predicted novel genes varied among the different cDNA libraries, ranging from 56% in the R4 flower to 16 % in the R1 flower bud library. Comparison with sunflower ESTs on public databases showed that 197 of non-redundant sequences (60% did not exhibit significant similarity to previously reported sunflower ESTs. This approach helped to successfully isolate a significant number of new reported sequences

  20. Hunting the subset-specific genes of neuroblastoma: expression profiling and differential screening of the full-length-enriched oligo-capping cDNA libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohira, M; Shishikura, T; Kawamoto, T; Inuzuka, H; Morohashi, A; Takayasu, H; Kageyama, H; Takada, N; Takahashi, M; Sakiyama, S; Suzuki, Y; Sugano, S; Kuma, H; Nozawa, I; Nakagawara, A

    2000-12-01

    Neuroblastoma (NBL) has a distinct nature in different prognostic subgroups. To understand the molecular mechanism of NBL's genesis and biology as well as that of the neural crest development, we constructed full-length-enriched cDNA libraries by an oligo-capping method from two different subsets of primary NBL, one with favorable biology and the other with MYCN amplification. Sequencing analysis of these libraries revealed that the expression profile was markedly different between both subsets. To identify the genes differentially expressed between the subsets, semi-quantitative RT-PCR analyses are proceeding. So far, 54 transcripts have been found to be expressed at high levels in favorable NBLs, and significantly at low levels in unfavorable NBLs. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. The investigation of neonatal MK-801 administration and physical environmental enrichment on emotional and cognitive functions in adult Balb/c mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akillioglu, Kubra; Babar Melik, Emine; Melik, Enver; Kocahan, Sayad

    2012-09-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play an important role in brain maturation and developmental processes. It is known that growing up in an enriched environment has effects on emotional and cognitive performance. In our study, we evaluated the effects of physically enriched environment on the emotional and cognitive functions of the adult brain in the setting of previous NMDA receptor hypoactivity during the critical developmental period of the nervous system. In this study, NMDA receptor blockade was induced 5-10 days postnatally (PD5-10) using MK-801 in mice Balb/c (twice a day 0.25 mg/kg, for 5 days, intraperitoneal). MK-801 was given to developing mice living in a standard (SE) and an enrichment environment (EE) and once the animals reached adulthood, emotional behaviors were evaluated using an open field test (OF) and an elevated plus maze (EPM) test whereas cognitive processes were evaluated using the Morris water-maze (MWM). The EE group showed decreased locomotor activity (pincreased exploratory behaviour (pincreased the fear of height (pactivity (pincrease in fear of heights/anxiety-like behaviour with NMDA receptor blockade was not reversed by EE. NMDA receptor blockade during the critical period of development led to deterioration in the emotional and cognitive processes during adulthood. An enriched environmental did not reverse the deleterious effects of the NMDA receptor blockade on emotional and cognitive functions. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation of CD105-positive enriched rat synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells in three-dimensional porous scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qi Jun; Chen Anmin; You Hongbo; Li Kunpeng; Zhang Di; Guo Fengjing, E-mail: fjguo@tjh.tjmu.edu.cn [Department of Orthopedics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030 (China)

    2011-02-15

    Stem cell-based tissue engineering has provided an alternative strategy to treat cartilage lesions, and synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (SMSCs) are considered as a promising cell source for cartilage repair. In this study, the SMSCs were isolated from rat synovium, and CD105-positive (CD105{sup +}) cells were enriched using magnetic activated cell sorting. Sorted cells were subsequently seeded onto the chitosan-alginate composite three-dimensional (3D) porous scaffolds and cultured in chondrogenic culture medium in the presence of TGF-{beta}{sub 3} and BMP-2 for 2 weeks in vitro. After 2 weeks in culture, scanning electron microscopy results showed that cells attached and proliferated well on scaffolds, and secreted extracellular matrix were also observed. From day 7 to day 14, the total DNA and glucosaminoglycan content of the cells cultured in scaffolds were found to have increased significantly, and cell cycle analyses revealed that the percentage of cells in the S and G2/M phases increased and the percentage of cells in the G0/G1 phase decreased. Compared with non-sorted cells, the sorted cells cultured in scaffolds underwent more chondrogenic differentiation, as evidenced by higher expression of type II collagen and Sox9 at the protein and mRNA levels. The results suggest that CD105{sup +} enriched SMSCs may be a potential cell source for cartilage tissue engineering, and the chitosan-alginate composite 3D porous scaffold could provide a favorable microenvironment for supporting proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation of cells.

  3. Benefits of a Ball and Chain: Simple Environmental Enrichments Improve Welfare and Reproductive Success in Farmed American Mink (Neovison vison)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meagher, Rebecca K.; Ahloy Dallaire, Jamie; Campbell, Dana L. M.; Ross, Misha; Møller, Steen H.; Hansen, Steffen W.; Díez-León, María; Palme, Rupert; Mason, Georgia J.

    2014-01-01

    Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains) identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E) with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE) control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: ‘late E’). Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male), and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites). E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness (‘late E’ females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm), effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type (‘Demis’), similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a.) and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets) often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical

  4. Environmental enrichment has antidepressant-like action without improving learning and memory deficits in olfactory bulbectomized rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriksen, H.; Meulendijks, D.; Douma, T.N.; Bink, D.I.; Breuer, M.E.; Westphal, K.G.; Olivier, B.; Oosting, R.S.

    2012-01-01

    Depression, especially in the elderly, is associated with poor cognitive functioning. Exercise has received much attention in the treatment for depression and also dementia. Here we studied the effect of an enriched environment combined with voluntary exercise (EE/VE) on the olfactory bulbectomized

  5. Standardising the assessment of environmental enrichment and tail-docking legal requirements for finishing pigs in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hothersall, B.; Whistance, L.K.; Zedlacher, H.; Algers, B.; Andersson, E.; Bracke, M.B.M.; Courboulay, V.; Ferrari, P.; Leeb, C.; Mullan, S.; Nowicki, J.; Meunier-Salaün, M.C.; Schwarz, T.; Stadig, L.; Main, D.

    2016-01-01

    An online training package providing a concise synthesis of the scientific data underpinning EU legislation on enrichment and tail-docking of pigs was produced in seven languages, with the aim of improving consistency of professional judgements regarding legislation compliance on farms. In total,

  6. Proteomics of differential extraction fractions enriched for chromatin-binding proteins from colon adenoma and carcinoma tissues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knol, Jaco C; de Wit, Meike; Albrethsen, Jakob

    2014-01-01

    of colorectal cancer (CRC) progression. METHODS: CB protein-containing fractions were biochemically extracted from human colorectal tissues, including carcinomas with chromosomal instability (CIN), carcinomas with microsatellite instability (MIN), and adenomas. The CB proteins were subjected to label-free LC......BACKGROUND: Altered nuclear and genomic structure and function are hallmarks of cancer cells. Research into nuclear proteins in human tissues could uncover novel molecular processes in cancer. Here, we examine biochemical tissue fractions containing chromatin-binding (CB) proteins in the context......-MS/MS and the data were analyzed by bioinformatics. RESULTS: Over 1700 proteins were identified in the CB fraction from colonic tissues, including 938 proteins associated with nuclear annotation. Of the latter, 169 proteins were differential between adenomas and carcinomas. In this adenoma...

  7. Targeted gene enrichment and high-throughput sequencing for environmental biomonitoring: a case study using freshwater macroinvertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowle, Eddy J; Pochon, Xavier; C Banks, Jonathan; Shearer, Karen; Wood, Susanna A

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have advocated biomonitoring using DNA techniques. In this study, two high-throughput sequencing (HTS)-based methods were evaluated: amplicon metabarcoding of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (COI) mitochondrial gene and gene enrichment using MYbaits (targeting nine different genes including COI). The gene-enrichment method does not require PCR amplification and thus avoids biases associated with universal primers. Macroinvertebrate samples were collected from 12 New Zealand rivers. Macroinvertebrates were morphologically identified and enumerated, and their biomass determined. DNA was extracted from all macroinvertebrate samples and HTS undertaken using the illumina miseq platform. Macroinvertebrate communities were characterized from sequence data using either six genes (three of the original nine were not used) or just the COI gene in isolation. The gene-enrichment method (all genes) detected the highest number of taxa and obtained the strongest Spearman rank correlations between the number of sequence reads, abundance and biomass in 67% of the samples. Median detection rates across rare (5%) taxa were highest using the gene-enrichment method (all genes). Our data indicated primer biases occurred during amplicon metabarcoding with greater than 80% of sequence reads originating from one taxon in several samples. The accuracy and sensitivity of both HTS methods would be improved with more comprehensive reference sequence databases. The data from this study illustrate the challenges of using PCR amplification-based methods for biomonitoring and highlight the potential benefits of using approaches, such as gene enrichment, which circumvent the need for an initial PCR step. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Environmental assessment: Transfer of normal and low-enriched uranium billets to the United Kingdom, Hanford Site, Richland, Washington

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    Under the auspices of an agreement between the U.S. and the United Kingdom, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has an opportunity to transfer approximately 710,000 kilograms (1,562,000 pounds) of unneeded normal and low-enriched uranium (LEU) to the United Kingdom; thus, reducing long-term surveillance and maintenance burdens at the Hanford Site. The material, in the form of billets, is controlled by DOE`s Defense Programs, and is presently stored as surplus material in the 300 Area of the Hanford Site. The United Kingdom has expressed a need for the billets. The surplus uranium billets are currently stored in wooden shipping containers in secured facilities in the 300 Area at the Hanford Site (the 303-B and 303-G storage facilities). There are 482 billets at an enrichment level (based on uranium-235 content) of 0.71 weight-percent. This enrichment level is normal uranium; that is, uranium having 0.711 as the percentage by weight of uranium-235 as occurring in nature. There are 3,242 billets at an enrichment level of 0.95 weight-percent (i.e., low-enriched uranium). This inventory represents a total of approximately 532 curies. The facilities are routinely monitored. The dose rate on contact of a uranium billet is approximately 8 millirem per hour. The dose rate on contact of a wooden shipping container containing 4 billets is approximately 4 millirem per hour. The dose rate at the exterior of the storage facilities is indistinguishable from background levels.

  9. Enhanced computational methods for quantifying the effect of geographic and environmental isolation on genetic differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Botta, Filippo; Eriksen, Casper; Fontaine, Michaël C.

    2015-01-01

    Motivation In a recent paper, Bradburd et al. [2013] proposed a model to quantify the relative effect of geographic and environmental distance on genetic differentiation. Here, we enhance this method in several ways. Results (i) We modify the covariance model so as to fit better with mainstream...... that allows users to assess which model (e.g. with or without an environment effect) is most suited, (iv) we extend the program to handle several environmental variables jointly, (v) we code all our MCMC algorithms in a mix of compiled languages which allows us to decrease computing time by at least one order...

  10. A factor(s) secreted from MIN-6 beta-cells stimulates differentiation of definitive endoderm enriched embryonic stem cells towards a pancreatic lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uroić, Daniela S; Baudouin, Grégory; Ferguson, Laura A; Docherty, Hilary M; Vallier, Ludovic; Docherty, Kevin

    2010-10-26

    In the mouse the developing pancreas is controlled by contact with, and signalling molecules secreted from, surrounding cells. These factors are best studied using explant cultures of embryonic tissue. The present study was undertaken to determine whether embryonic stem (ES) cells could be used as an alternative model in vitro system to investigate the role of cell-cell interactions in the developing pancreas. Transwell culture experiments showed that MIN-6 beta-cells secreted a factor or factors that promoted differentiation of ES cell derived definitive endoderm enriched cells towards a pancreatic fate. Further studies using MIN-6 condition medium showed that the factor(s) involved was restricted to MIN-6 cells, could be concentrated with ammonium sulphate, and was sensitive to heat treatment, suggesting that it was a protein or peptide. Further analyses showed that insulin or proinsulin failed to mimic the effects of the conditioned media. Collectively, these results suggest that beta-cells secrete a factor(s) capable of controlling their own differentiation and maturation. The culture system described here presents unique advantages in the identification and characterisation of these factors. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. An Evolutionary Perspective on Family Studies: Differential Susceptibility to Environmental Influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Sarah; Belsky, Jay

    2016-12-01

    An evolutionary perspective of human development provides the basis for the differential-susceptibility hypothesis which stipulates that individuals should differ in their susceptibility to environmental influences, with some being more affected than others by both positive and negative developmental experiences and environmental exposures. This paper reviews evidence consistent with this claim while revealing that temperamental and genetic characteristics play a role in distinguishing more and less susceptible individuals. The differential-susceptibility framework under consideration is contrasted to the traditional diathesis-stress view that "vulnerability" traits predispose some to being disproportionately affected by (only) adverse experiences. We raise several issues stimulated by the literature that need to be clarified in further research. Lastly, we suggest that therapy may differ in its effects depending on an individual's susceptibility. © 2015 Family Process Institute.

  12. Can green consumerism replace environmental regulation? A differentiated-products example

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eriksson, Clas [Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7013, S-750 07 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2004-09-01

    This paper assumes that consumers are willing to pay an extra premium for a good if it has a low impact on the environment. We examine if a little dose of such idealistic behavior has a large impact on the market equilibrium, and to what extent it can replace the environmental regulation. The analysis is carried out in a model with product differentiation, where consumers differ in their preferences for product quality. Consumers' willingness to pay the environmental premium may be uniformly or non-uniformly distributed. Green consumerism will only be modestly influential in both cases, despite the fact that product differentiation leads to relaxed competition and increased profits, and thereby creates leverage.

  13. Suppressive effects of saponin-enriched extracts from quinoa on 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Yang; Zhu, Yingying; Gao, Yue; Shi, Zhenxing; Hu, Yibo; Ren, Guixing

    2015-10-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of quinoa saponins (QS) on the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. QS inhibited triglyceride (TG) accumulation in the mature adipocytes, evidenced by oil-red O staining and intracellular quantification. Real time-PCR analysis and western blot analysis showed that QS significantly down-regulated the mRNA and protein expression of key adipogenic transcription factors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPα), however, they had no significant effect on CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (C/EBPβ) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein delta (C/EBPδ) which are the upstream regulators for adipogenesis compared with mature adipocytes. QS also reduced mRNA and protein expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) related to the late stage of adipogenesis. Furthermore, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), adipocyte protein 2 (aP2) and glucose transporter 4 (Glut4), as adipocyte specific genes, were decreased in mature adipocytes by QS treatment. These findings indicate that QS are capable of suppressing adipogenesis and therefore they seem to be natural bioactive factors effective in adipose tissue mass modulation.

  14. Clustering based gene expression feature selection method: A computational approach to enrich the classifier efficiency of differentially expressed genes

    KAUST Repository

    Abusamra, Heba

    2016-07-20

    The native nature of high dimension low sample size of gene expression data make the classification task more challenging. Therefore, feature (gene) selection become an apparent need. Selecting a meaningful and relevant genes for classifier not only decrease the computational time and cost, but also improve the classification performance. Among different approaches of feature selection methods, however most of them suffer from several problems such as lack of robustness, validation issues etc. Here, we present a new feature selection technique that takes advantage of clustering both samples and genes. Materials and methods We used leukemia gene expression dataset [1]. The effectiveness of the selected features were evaluated by four different classification methods; support vector machines, k-nearest neighbor, random forest, and linear discriminate analysis. The method evaluate the importance and relevance of each gene cluster by summing the expression level for each gene belongs to this cluster. The gene cluster consider important, if it satisfies conditions depend on thresholds and percentage otherwise eliminated. Results Initial analysis identified 7120 differentially expressed genes of leukemia (Fig. 15a), after applying our feature selection methodology we end up with specific 1117 genes discriminating two classes of leukemia (Fig. 15b). Further applying the same method with more stringent higher positive and lower negative threshold condition, number reduced to 58 genes have be tested to evaluate the effectiveness of the method (Fig. 15c). The results of the four classification methods are summarized in Table 11. Conclusions The feature selection method gave good results with minimum classification error. Our heat-map result shows distinct pattern of refines genes discriminating between two classes of leukemia.

  15. Genome-wide Anaplasma phagocytophilum AnkA-DNA interactions are enriched in intergenic regions and gene promoters and correlate with infection-induced differential gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Stephen Dumler

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Anaplasma phagocytophilum, an obligate intracellular prokaryote, infects neutrophils and alters cardinal functions via reprogrammed transcription. Large contiguous regions of neutrophil chromosomes are differentially expressed during infection. Secreted A. phagocytophilum effector AnkA transits into the neutrophil or granulocyte nucleus to complex with DNA in heterochromatin across all chromosomes. AnkA binds to gene promoters to dampen cis-transcription and also has features of matrix attachment region (MAR-binding proteins that regulate three-dimensional chromatin architecture and coordinate transcriptional programs encoded in topologically-associated chromatin domains. We hypothesize that identification of additional AnkA binding sites will better delineate how A. phagocytophilum infection results in reprogramming of the neutrophil genome. Using AnkA-binding ChIP-seq, we showed that AnkA binds broadly throughout all chromosomes in a reproducible pattern, especially at: i intergenic regions predicted to be matrix attachment regions (MARs; ii within predicted lamina-associated domains; and iii at promoters ≤3,000 bp upstream of transcriptional start sites. These findings provide genome-wide support for AnkA as a regulator of cis-gene transcription. Moreover, the dominant mark of AnkA in distal intergenic regions known to be AT-enriched, coupled with frequent enrichment in the nuclear lamina, provides strong support for its role as a MAR-binding protein and genome re-organizer. AnkA must be considered a prime candidate to promote neutrophil reprogramming and subsequent functional changes that belie improved microbial fitness and pathogenicity.

  16. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the construction and operation of Claiborne Enrichment Center, Homer, Louisiana (Docket No. 70-3-70). Volume 2, Public comments and NRC response

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeitoun, A. [Science Applications International Corp., Germantown, MD (United States)

    1994-08-01

    The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) (Volume 1), was prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in accordance with regulation 10 CFR Part 51, which implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to assess the potential environmental impacts for licensing the construction and operation of a proposed gaseous centrifuge enrichment facility to be built in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana by Louisiana Energy Services, L.P. (LES). The proposed facility would have a production capacity of about 866 metric tons annually of up to 5 weight percent enriched UF{sub 6}, using a proven centrifuge technology. Included in the assessment are co on, both normal operations and potential accidents (internal and external events), and the eventual decontamination and decommissioning of the site. In order to help assure that releases from the operation of the facility and potential impacts on the public are as low as reasonably achievable, an environmental monitoring program was developed by LES to detect significant changes in the background levels of uranium around the site. Other issues addressed include the purpose and need for the facility, the alternatives to the proposed action, potential disposition of the tails, the site selection process, and environmental justice. The NRC staff concludes that the facility can be constructed and operated with small and acceptable impacts on the public and the environment, and proposes to issue a license to the applicant, Louisiana Energy Services, to authorize construction and operation of the proposed facility. The letters in this Appendix have been divided into three sections. Section One contains letters to which the NRC responded by addressing specific comments. Section Two contains the letters that concerned the communities of Forest Grove and Center Springs. Section Three is composed of letters that required no response. These letters were generally in support of the facility.

  17. Environmental assessment for the purchase of Russian low enriched uranium derived from the dismantlement of nuclear weapons in the countries of the former Soviet Union

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-01-01

    The United States is proposing to purchase from the Russian Federation low enriched uranium (LEU) derived from highly enriched uranium (HEU) resulting from the dismantlement of nuclear weapons in the countries of the former Soviet Union. The purchase would be accomplished through a proposed contract requiring the United States to purchase 15,250 metric tons (tonnes) of LEU (or 22,550 tonnes of UF{sub 6}) derived from blending 500 metric tones uranium (MTU) of HEU from nuclear warheads. The LEU would be in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF{sub 6}) and would be converted from HEU in Russia. The United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) is the entity proposing to undertake the contract for purchase, sale, and delivery of the LEU from the Russian Federation. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is negotiating the procedure for gaining confidence that the LEU is derived from HEU that is derived from dismantled nuclear weapons (referred to as ``transparency),`` and would administer the transparency measures for the contract. There are six environments that could potentially be affected by the proposed action; marine (ocean); US ports of entry; truck or rail transportation corridors; the Portsmouth GDP; the electric power industry; and the nuclear fuel cycle industry. These environmental impacts are discussed.

  18. Environmental enrichment and brain repair: harnessing the therapeutic effects of cognitive stimulation and physical activity to enhance experience-dependent plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, A J

    2014-02-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) increases levels of novelty and complexity, inducing enhanced sensory, cognitive and motor stimulation. In wild-type rodents, EE has been found to have a range of effects, such as enhancing experience-dependent cellular plasticity and cognitive performance, relative to standard-housed controls. Whilst environmental enrichment is of course a relative term, dependent on the nature of control environmental conditions, epidemiological studies suggest that EE has direct clinical relevance to a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. EE has been demonstrated to induce beneficial effects in animal models of a wide variety of brain disorders. The first evidence of beneficial effects of EE in a genetically targeted animal model was generated using Huntington's disease transgenic mice. Subsequent studies found that EE was also therapeutic in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, consistent with epidemiological studies of relevant environmental modifiers. EE has also been found to ameliorate behavioural, cellular and molecular deficits in animal models of various neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, depression, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. This review will focus on the effects of EE observed in animal models of neurodegenerative brain diseases, at molecular, cellular and behavioural levels. The proposal that EE may act synergistically with other approaches, such as drug and cell therapies, to facilitate brain repair will be discussed. I will also discuss the therapeutic potential of 'enviromimetics', drugs which mimic or enhance the therapeutic effects of cognitive activity and physical exercise, for both neuroprotection and brain repair. © 2013 British Neuropathological Society.

  19. Differential impact in young and older individuals of blue-enriched white light on circadian physiology and alertness during sustained wakefulness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabel, Virginie; Reichert, Carolin F; Maire, Micheline; Schmidt, Christina; Schlangen, Luc J M; Kolodyazhniy, Vitaliy; Garbazza, Corrado; Cajochen, Christian; Viola, Antoine U

    2017-08-08

    We tested the effect of different lights as a countermeasure against sleep-loss decrements in alertness, melatonin and cortisol profile, skin temperature and wrist motor activity in healthy young and older volunteers under extendend wakefulness. 26 young [mean (SE): 25.0 (0.6) y)] and 12 older participants [(mean (SE): 63.6 (1.3) y)] underwent 40-h of sustained wakefulness during 3 balanced crossover segments, once under dim light (DL: 8 lx), and once under either white light (WL: 250 lx, 2,800 K) or blue-enriched white light (BL: 250 lx, 9,000 K) exposure. Subjective sleepiness, melatonin and cortisol were assessed hourly. Skin temperature and wrist motor activity were continuously recorded. WL and BL induced an alerting response in both the older (p = 0.005) and the young participants (p = 0.021). The evening rise in melatonin was attentuated under both WL and BL only in the young. Cortisol levels were increased and activity levels decreased in the older compared to the young only under BL (p = 0.0003). Compared to the young, both proximal and distal skin temperatures were lower in older participants under all lighting conditions. Thus the color temperature of normal intensity lighting may have differential effects on circadian physiology in young and older individuals.

  20. Direct Measurement of Initial Enrichment and Burn-up of Spent Fuel Assembly with a Differential Die-Away Technique Based Instrument

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henzl, Vladimir [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Swinhoe, Martyn T. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Tobin, Stephen J. [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-07-16

    A key objective of the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) is to utilize non-destructive assay (NDA) techniques to determine the elemental plutonium (Pu) content in a commercial-grade nuclear spent fuel assembly (SFA). In the third year of the NGSI Spent Fuel NDA project, the research focus is on the integration of a few NDA techniques. One of the reoccurring challenges to the accurate determination of Pu content has been the explicit dependence of the measured signal on the presence of neutron absorbers which build up in the assembly in accordance with its operating and irradiation history. The history of any SFA is often summarized by the parameters of burn-up (BU), initial enrichment (IE) and cooling time (CT). While such parameters can typically be provided by the operator, the ability to directly measure and verify them would significantly enhance the autonomy of the IAEA inspectorate. Within this paper, we demonstrate that an instrument based on a Differential Die-Away technique is in principle capable of direct measurement of IE and, should the CT be known, also the BU.

  1. Behavioural differentiation induced by environmental variation when crossing a toxic zone in an amoeba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunita, Itsuki; Ueda, Kei-Ichi; Akita, Dai; Kuroda, Shigeru; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki

    2017-09-01

    Organisms choose from among various courses of action in response to a wide variety of environmental conditions and the mechanism by which various behaviours are induced is an open question. Interesting behaviour was recently reported: that a unicellular organism of slime mold Physarum polycephalum known as an amoeba had multiple responses (crossing, returning, etc) when the amoeba encounters a zone with toxic levels of quinine, even under carefully controlled conditions. We here examined this elegant example in more detail to obtain insight into behavioural differentiation. We found that the statistical distribution of passage times across a quinine zone switch from unimodal to bimodal (with peaks corresponding to fast crossing and no crossing) when a periodic light stimulation to modulate a biorhythm in amoeba is applied homogeneously across the space, even under the same level of chemical stimuli. Based on a mathematical model for cell movement in amoeba, we successfully reproduced the stimulation-induced differentiation, which was observed experimentally. These dynamics may be explained by a saddle structure around a canard solution. Our results imply that the differentiation of behavioural types in amoeba is modified step-by-step via the compounding of stimulation inputs. The complex behaviour like the differentiation in amoeba may provide a basis for understanding the mechanism of behaviour selection in higher animals from an ethological perspective.

  2. Enhanced computational methods for quantifying the effect of geographic and environmental isolation on genetic differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Botta, Filippo; Eriksen, Casper; Fontaine, Michaël C.

    2015-01-01

    1. In a recent paper, Bradburd et al. (Evolution, 67, 2013, 3258) proposed a model to quantify the relative effect of geographic and environmental distance on genetic differentiation. Here, we enhance this method in several ways. 2. We modify the covariance model so as to fit better with mainstream...... procedure that allows users to assess which model (e.g. with or without an environment effect) is most suited. We code all our MCMC algorithms in a mix of compiled languages which allows us to decrease computing time by at least one order of magnitude. We propose an approximate inference and model selection...

  3. Expanding the scope of environmental risk assessment to better include differential vulnerability and susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Joel; Bellinger, David; Glass, Thomas

    2011-12-01

    The central paradigm of the Environmental Protection Agency is risk assessment. We examined how differential responses across population groups could be better integrated into the environmental risk assessment process, providing tools to achieve greater equity in health status in addition to risk reduction. Such integration was difficult with paradigms like reference dose and was easier with consideration of dose-response curves, which incorporated nontrivial effects observed at low doses for common exposures. We identified 6 assumptions implicit in standard chemical risk assessments that should changed: (1) risk independence, (2) risk averaging, (3) risk nontransferability, (4) risk synchrony, (5) risk accumulation and chaining, and (6) quantification of numbers of persons above certain thresholds or limit values sufficient to characterize risk.

  4. The effects of environmental enrichment and age-related differences on inhibitory avoidance in zebrafish (Danio rerio Hamilton)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manuel, R.; Gorissen, M.; Stokkermans, M.; Zethof, J.; Ebbesson, L.O.E.; Vis, van de J.W.; Flik, G.; Bos, van den R.

    2015-01-01

    The inhibitory avoidance paradigm allows the study of mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation in zebrafish (Danio rerio Hamilton). For zebrafish, the physiology and behavior associated with this paradigm are as yet poorly understood. We therefore assessed the effects of environmental

  5. Bamboo charcoal as a novel solid-phase microextraction coating material for enrichment and determination of eleven phthalate esters in environmental water samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ru-Song; Liu, Yan-Long; Zhou, Jia-Bin; Chen, Xiang-Feng; Wang, Xia

    2013-05-01

    This study demonstrates the potential of bamboo charcoal as a novel and inexpensive solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coating material for enrichment and determination of organic pollutants in water samples. Bamboo charcoal was prepared and used as a SPME coating material. Eleven phthalate esters (PAEs) were used as model analytes, and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used for separation and detection. Important extraction conditions (ionic strength, stirring rate, and extraction time) and desorption conditions (desorption temperature and time) were systematically investigated and optimized. Linearity of 0.1-100 μg L(-1) and correlation coefficients of 0.9992-0.9998 were obtained under optimum conditions. Inter-day and intra-day repeatability were 2.15-9.93 % and 1.89-9.85 %, respectively, and fiber-to-fiber reproducibility was 5.42-9.66 %. On the basis of a chromatographic signal-to-baseline noise ratio of three, the limits of detection reached 0.004-0.023 μg L(-1). Satisfactory results were achieved when the bamboo coating was used for determination of 11 PAEs in real water samples. The experimental results indicate that bamboo charcoal has significant potential as a SPME coating material for rapid enrichment and sensitive determination of organic pollutants in environmental samples.

  6. Environmental enrichment improves learning and memory and long-term potentiation in young adult rats through a mechanism requiring mGluR5 signaling and sustained activation of p70s6k.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hullinger, Rikki; O'Riordan, Kenneth; Burger, Corinna

    2015-11-01

    Previous studies from our lab have demonstrated that mild cognitive impairments identified early in life are predictive of cognitive deficits that develop with age, suggesting that enhancements in cognition at an early age can provide a buffer against age-related cognitive decline. Environmental enrichment has been shown to improve learning and memory in the rodent, but the impact of enrichment on synaptic plasticity and the molecular mechanisms behind enrichment are not completely understood. To address these unresolved issues, we have housed 2-month old rats in environmentally enriched (EE), socially enriched (SE), or standard housing (SC) and conducted tests of learning and memory formation at various time intervals. Here we demonstrate that animals that have been exposed to one month of social or environmental enrichment demonstrate enhanced learning and memory relative to standard housed controls. However, we have found that after 4months EE animals perform better than both SE and SC groups and demonstrate an enhanced hippocampal LTP. Our results demonstrate that this LTP is dependent on mGluR5 signaling, activation of ERK and mTOR signaling cascades, and sustained phosphorylation of p70s6 kinase, thus providing a potential target mechanism for future studies of cognitive enhancement in the rodent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Differential proteomic response of Sydney rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) to prolonged environmental stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melwani, A R; Thompson, E L; Raftos, D A

    2016-04-01

    Exposure to prolonged environmental stress can have impacts on the cellular homeostasis of aquatic organisms. The current study employed two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) to test whether exposure to impaired water quality conditions in the Sydney Harbour estuary has significantly altered the proteomes of the resident Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata). Adult S. glomerata were sampled from four bays in the estuary. Each bay consisted of a "high-impact" site adjacent to point sources of chemical contamination (e.g., storm drains/canals or legacy hotspots) and a "low-impact" site located ∼5km away from point sources. A mixture of environmental stressors differed significantly between high- and low-impact sites. Specifically, PAHs, PCBs, tributyltin, Pb, and Zn were significantly elevated in oyster tissues from high-impact sites, together with depleted dissolved oxygen and low pH in the water column. A 2-DE proteomics analysis subsequently identified 238 protein spots across 24 2-DE gels, of which 27-50 spots differed significantly in relative intensity between high- and low-impact sites per bay. Twenty-five percent of the differential spots were identified in more than one bay. The identities of 80 protein spots were determined by mass spectrometry. HSP 70, PPIB, and radixin were the three most highly expressed differential proteins. Despite the largely unique proteomes evident in each bay, functional annotations revealed that half of the differentially expressed proteins fell into just two subcellular functional categories-energy metabolism and the cytoskeleton. These findings provide a framework to further investigate adaptation of cellular mechanisms to prolonged stress in S. glomerata. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Differentially Expressed Genes in Endometrium and Corpus Luteum of Holstein Cows Selected for High and Low Fertility Are Enriched for Sequence Variants Associated with Fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Stephen G; Pryce, Jennie E; Hayes, Ben J; Chamberlain, Amanda J; Kemper, Kathryn E; Berry, Donagh P; McCabe, Matt; Cormican, Paul; Lonergan, Pat; Fair, Trudee; Butler, Stephen T

    2016-01-01

    Despite the importance of fertility in humans and livestock, there has been little success dissecting the genetic basis of fertility. Our hypothesis was that genes differentially expressed in the endometrium and corpus luteum on Day 13 of the estrous cycle between cows with either good or poor genetic merit for fertility would be enriched for genetic variants associated with fertility. We combined a unique genetic model of fertility (cattle that have been selected for high and low fertility and show substantial difference in fertility) with gene expression data from these cattle and genome-wide association study (GWAS) results in ∼20,000 cattle to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) regions and sequence variants associated with genetic variation in fertility. Two hundred and forty-five QTL regions and 17 sequence variants associated primarily with prostaglandin F2alpha, steroidogenesis, mRNA processing, energy status, and immune-related processes were identified. Ninety-three of the QTL regions were validated by two independent GWAS, with signals for fertility detected primarily on chromosomes 18, 5, 7, 8, and 29. Plausible causative mutations were identified, including one missense variant significantly associated with fertility and predicted to affect the protein function of EIF4EBP3. The results of this study enhance our understanding of 1) the contribution of the endometrium and corpus luteum transcriptome to phenotypic fertility differences and 2) the genetic architecture of fertility in dairy cattle. Including these variants in predictions of genomic breeding values may improve the rate of genetic gain for this critical trait. © 2016 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  9. Prenatal stress in rat causes long-term spatial memory deficit and hippocampus MRI abnormality: differential effects of postweaning enriched environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lui, Chun Chung; Wang, Jia-Yi; Tain, You-Lin; Chen, Yu-Chieh; Chang, Kow-Aung; Lai, Ming-Chi; Huang, Li-Tung

    2011-02-01

    Prenatal stress (PS) can cause long-term hippocampus alternations in structure and plasticity in adult offspring. Enriched environment (EE) has an effect in rescuing a variety of neurological disorders. Pregnant dams were left undisturbed (prenatal control, PC) or restrained 6h per day from days 14 to 21 (prenatal stress, PS). Control and prenatal stressed offspring rats were subjected to a standard rearing environment (SE) or an EE on postnatal days 22-120 (PC/SE PC/EE, PS/SE, and PS/EE; n=5, each group). At ∼4 months of age, all rats underwent Morris water maze test and brain MRI examination. Hippocampi were then dissected for biochemical analyses, including, Western blot for NMDA receptor (NR) subunits and synaptophysin and RT-PCR forβ1 integrin and tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA). MRI showed all 5 rats in the PS/SE group and 5 in the PS/EE group exhibited increased signals in bilateral hippocampus and increased T2 time in the PS/SE group. Exposure to EE treatment on postnatal days 22-120 counteracted the deficit in spatial memory and increased NR1 protein expression, but it did not affect the rate of high signals and increased T2 time, decreased NR2, synaptophysin, β1 integrin and t-PA mRNA expressions in PS adult offspring. The results of this study indicate PS in rats causes long-term spatial memory deficits and gross hippocampus pathology. Postnatal EE treatment has differential benefits in terms of spatial learning, signaling molecules, and gross hippocampus pathology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Enrichment, geo-accumulation and risk surveillance of toxic metals for different environmental compartments from Mehmood Booti dumping site, Lahore city, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiman, Umme; Mahmood, Adeel; Waheed, Sidra; Malik, Riffat Naseem

    2016-02-01

    The present study was designed to probe the levels of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cr, Mn, Cu, Ni, Zn and Fe) for different environmental matrices (ground water, wastewater, sediment, soil, dust and leachates). Impact of solid waste dumping site on nearby human population has also been assessed. The results revealed that concentration of Pb, Fe, Cd, Mn and Cu surpassed the permissible limits of World Health Organization (WHO) and US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in water, soil, sediments, while aforesaid metals in wastewater were above the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS). Our results for enrichment factor (EF) and geo-accumulation (I(geo)) values revealed that soils and sediments were contaminated with Cd, Pb, Ni and Mn. The Cd content caused a considerably high potential ecological risk (E(r)(i) ≥ 320) in soil and sediments. Pb and Cd caused high health risk (HR > 1) to local residents via dust and drinking water intake. Potential cancer risk for Pb was higher than USEPA standard values (1.0E-06-1.0E-04) through water intake. The Mehmood Booti dumping site is a potential source of toxic pollutants contamination to the surrounding population. It is recommended to take proper actions for its management to resolve this issue. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Efficient Enrichment and Self-Assembly of Hybrid Nanoparticles into Removable and Magnetic SERS Substrates for Sensitive Detection of Environmental Pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Siying; Li, Yong; Huang, Hao; Li, Penghui; Guo, Zhinan; Luo, Qian; Wang, Zhe; Chu, Paul K; Li, Jia; Yu, Xue-Feng

    2017-03-01

    A structure consisting of a low surface energy substrate and low surface tension liquid is designed and prepared by taking advantage of perfluorinated fluid infusion into the porous Teflon membrane. This slippery platform allows efficient enrichment and self-assembly of hybrid nanoparticles and the assembled structure can be detached from the membrane. A macroscale superlattice array of Au nanorods doped with magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles is obtained by suppressing the outward capillary flow and coffee-ring effect during evaporative self-assembly. In SERS (surface enhanced Raman scattering) detection of environmental pollutants including thiram, diquat and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the removable plasmonic superlattice array with magnetic properties enables rapid separation of analytes from the solution resulting in excellent sensitivity and detection limits down to the nanomolar level. The self-assembly strategy shows great potential in the fabrication of removable 3D plasmonic superlattice arrays for SERS detections.

  12. Transcription in space--environmental vs. genetic effects on differential immune gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenz, Tobias L

    2015-09-01

    Understanding how organisms adapt to their local environment is one of the key goals in molecular ecology. Adaptation can be achieved through qualitative changes in the coding sequence and/or quantitative changes in gene expression, where the optimal dosage of a gene's product in a given environment is being selected for. Differences in gene expression among populations inhabiting distinct environments can be suggestive of locally adapted gene regulation and have thus been studied in different species (Whitehead & Crawford ; Hodgins-Davis & Townsend ). However, in contrast to a gene's coding sequence, its expression level at a given point in time may depend on various factors, including the current environment. Although critical for understanding the extent of local adaptation, it is usually difficult to disentangle the heritable differences in gene regulation from environmental effects. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Stutz et al. () describe an experiment in which they reciprocally transplanted three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) between independent pairs of small and large lakes. Their experimental design allows them to attribute differences in gene expression among sticklebacks either to lake of origin or destination lake. Interestingly, they find that translocated sticklebacks show a pattern of gene expression more similar to individuals from the destination lake than to individuals from the lake of origin, suggesting that expression of the targeted genes is more strongly regulated by environmental effects than by genetics. The environmental effect by itself is not entirely surprising; however, the relative extent of it is. Especially when put in the context of local adaptation and population differentiation, as done here, these findings cast a new light onto the heritability of differential gene expression and specifically its relative importance during population divergence and ultimately ecological speciation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons

  13. Life-long environmental enrichment counteracts spatial learning, reference and working memory deficits in middle-aged rats subjected to perinatal asphyxia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo eGaleano

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Continuous environmental stimulation induced by exposure to enriched environment (EE has yielded cognitive benefits in different models of brain injury. Perinatal asphyxia results from a lack of oxygen supply to the fetus and is associated with long-lasting neurological deficits. However, the effects of EE in middle-aged rats suffering perinatal asphyxia are unknown. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess whether life-long exposure to EE could counteract the cognitive and behavioral alterations in middle-aged asphyctic rats. Experimental groups consisted of rats born vaginally (CTL, by cesarean section (C+, or by C+ following 19 min of asphyxia at birth (PA. At weaning, rats were assigned to standard (SE or enriched environment (EE for 18 months. During the last month of housing, animals were submitted to a behavioral test battery including Elevated Plus Maze, Open Field, Novel Object Recognition and Morris water maze (MWM. Results showed that middle-aged asphyctic rats, reared in SE, exhibited an impaired performance in the spatial reference and working memory versions of the MWM. EE was able to counteract these cognitive impairments. Moreover, EE improved the spatial learning performance of middle-aged CTL and C+ rats. On the other hand, all groups reared in SE did not differ in locomotor activity and anxiety levels, while EE reduced locomotion and anxiety, regardless of birth condition. Recognition memory was altered neither by birth condition nor by housing environment. These results support the importance of environmental stimulation across the lifespan to prevent cognitive deficits induced by perinatal asphyxia.

  14. Effect of environmental enrichment and herbal compound supplementation on physiological stress indicators (chromogranin A, cortisol and tumour necrosis factor-α) in growing pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casal, N; Manteca, X; Escribano, D; Cerón, J J; Fàbrega, E

    2017-07-01

    Stress response induces physiological, behavioural, immunological and biochemical changes that directly affect health and well-being. Provision of environmental enrichment and herbal compounds may reduce stress in current commercial pig husbandry systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of providing different environmental enrichment materials (EE) and a herbal compound (HC) on physiological indicators of acute and chronic stress in growing pigs (salivary cortisol and chromogranin A (CgA), hair cortisol and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)). Salivary cortisol and CgA have been reported as biomarkers basically of acute stress, whereas hair cortisol and TNF-α have been more related to chronic stress. For this purpose, eight groups of seven pigs each (14 pigs/treatment, 56 pigs in total) were used: (a) two EE groups, (b) two groups supplemented with HC, (c) two groups provided both with EE and HC and (d) two control groups. Samples of hair, saliva and blood were taken to measure cortisol (in hair and saliva), CgA (in saliva) and TNF-α (in blood) at three different times: before starting the experiment (T0), and after 1 (T1) or 2 months (T2) of providing the materials and herbal compound. No differences were found at T0 in salivary or hair cortisol, CgA or TNF-α, whilst at T2, the control group showed significant increased concentrations of CgA and hair cortisol, when compared with the rest of the treatments (Pcortisol and salivary CgA (r=0.48, Pcortisol and CgA may be proper non-invasive tools to detect stress, specially associated with factors of chronic exposure.

  15. Life-long environmental enrichment counteracts spatial learning, reference and working memory deficits in middle-aged rats subjected to perinatal asphyxia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeano, Pablo; Blanco, Eduardo; Logica Tornatore, Tamara M. A.; Romero, Juan I.; Holubiec, Mariana I.; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Capani, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Continuous environmental stimulation induced by exposure to enriched environment (EE) has yielded cognitive benefits in different models of brain injury. Perinatal asphyxia results from a lack of oxygen supply to the fetus and is associated with long-lasting neurological deficits. However, the effects of EE in middle-aged rats suffering perinatal asphyxia are unknown. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess whether life-long exposure to EE could counteract the cognitive and behavioral alterations in middle-aged asphyctic rats. Experimental groups consisted of rats born vaginally (CTL), by cesarean section (C+), or by C+ following 19 min of asphyxia at birth (PA). At weaning, rats were assigned to standard (SE) or enriched environment (EE) for 18 months. During the last month of housing, animals were submitted to a behavioral test battery including Elevated Plus Maze, Open Field, Novel Object Recognition and Morris water maze (MWM). Results showed that middle-aged asphyctic rats, reared in SE, exhibited an impaired performance in the spatial reference and working memory versions of the MWM. EE was able to counteract these cognitive impairments. Moreover, EE improved the spatial learning performance of middle-aged CTL and C+ rats. On the other hand, all groups reared in SE did not differ in locomotor activity and anxiety levels, while EE reduced locomotion and anxiety, regardless of birth condition. Recognition memory was altered neither by birth condition nor by housing environment. These results support the importance of environmental stimulation across the lifespan to prevent cognitive deficits induced by perinatal asphyxia. PMID:25601829

  16. GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION AND HETEROZYGOSITY IN PINYON PINE ASSOCIATED WITH RESISTANCE TO HERBIVORY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mopper, Susan; Mitton, Jeffry B; Whitham, Thomas G; Cobb, Neil S; Christensen, Kerry M

    1991-06-01

    Arizona's Sunset Crater began erupting in 1064 AD and for the next 200 years buried over 2,000 km2 in ash, cinders, and lava. Soil analyses indicate that pinyon pines (Pinus edulis) currently colonizing the cinder fields are faced with a highly stressful environment. Many of these pinyons suffer chronic, intense insect herbivory that reduces plant growth and eliminates female cone production. In contrast, herbivory among pinyons growing in neighboring sandy-loam soils is minimal. Furthermore, numerous trees within the heavily infested cinder field population suffer relatively low herbivory and maintain normal growth and reproduction. We used four polymorphic enzymes to examine the relationship between herbivore attack, environmental stress and genotypes of the adjacent cinder field, and sandy-loam soil pinyon populations. Our results demonstrate that 1) resistant trees display significant genetic differences and are more heterozygous for two enzymes associated with herbivory than susceptible trees; and 2) the cinder-soil pinyons exhibit significant genetic differences and are more heterozygous for an enzyme associated with environmental stress than the neighboring sandy-loam soil pinyons. We conclude that heterozygosity of specific or closely linked loci may facilitate pinyon resistance to herbivory and environmental stress, and that strong selection across narrow geographic boundaries resulted in rapid genetic differentiation of pinyon populations. © 1991 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Differential genetic and environmental influences on developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior from adolescence to young adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yao; Cleveland, H Harrington

    2015-12-01

    Little research has investigated differential genetic and environmental influences on different developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior. This study examined genetic and environmental influences on liabilities of being in life-course-persistent (LCP) and adolescent-limited (AL) type delinquent groups from adolescence to young adulthood while considering nonviolent and violent delinquency subtypes and gender differences. A genetically informative sample (n = 356, 15-16 years) from the first three waves of In-Home Interview of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health was used, with 94 monozygotic and 84 dizygotic pairs of same-sex twins (50% male). Biometric liability threshold models were fit and found that the male-specific LCP type class, chronic, showed more genetic influences, while the AL type classes, decliner and desister, showed more environmental influences. Genetic liability and shared environment both influence the persistence of antisocial behavior. The development of female antisocial behavior appears to be influenced more by shared environment. Copyright © 2015 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Prenatal and Early Postnatal Environmental Enrichment Reduce Acute Cell Death and Prevent Neurodevelopment and Memory Impairments in Rats Submitted to Neonatal Hypoxia Ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán-Carabali, L E; Arcego, D M; Odorcyk, F K; Reichert, L; Cordeiro, J L; Sanches, E F; Freitas, L D; Dalmaz, C; Pagnussat, A; Netto, C A

    2017-05-18

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is an experimental strategy to attenuate the negative effects of different neurological conditions including neonatal hypoxia ischemia encephalopathy (HIE). The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of prenatal and early postnatal EE in animals submitted to neonatal HIE model at postnatal day (PND) 3. Wistar rats were housed in EE or standard conditions (SC) during pregnancy and lactation periods. Pups of both sexes were assigned to one of four experimental groups, considering the early environmental conditions and the injury: SC-Sham, SC-HIE, EE-sham, and EE-HIE. The offspring were euthanized at two different time points: 48 h after HIE for biochemical analyses or at PND 67 for histological analyses. Behavioral tests were performed at PND 7, 14, 21, and 60. Offspring from EE mothers had better performance in neurodevelopmental and spatial memory tests when compared to the SC groups. HIE animals showed a reduction of IGF-1 and VEGF in the parietal cortex, but no differences in BDNF and TrkB levels were found. EE-HIE animals showed reduction in cell death, lower astrocyte reactivity, and an increase in AKTp levels in the hippocampus and parietal cortex. In addition, the EE was also able to prevent the hippocampus tissue loss. Altogether, present findings point to the protective potential of the prenatal and early postnatal EE in attenuating molecular and histological damage, as well as the neurodevelopmental impairments and the cognitive deficit, caused by HIE insult at PND 3.

  19. Differential uptake and oxidative stress response in zebrafish fed a single dose of the principal copper and zinc enriched sub-cellular fractions of Gammarus pulex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khan, Farhan R., E-mail: f.khan@nhm.ac.uk [Nutritional Sciences Division, King' s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH (United Kingdom); Bury, Nicolas R.; Hogstrand, Christer [Nutritional Sciences Division, King' s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH (United Kingdom)

    2010-09-15

    The sub-cellular compartmentalisation of trace metals and its effect on trophic transfer and toxicity in the aquatic food chain has been a subject of growing interest. In the present study, the crustacean Gammarus pulex was exposed to either 11 {mu}g Cu l{sup -1}, added solely as the enriched stable isotope {sup 65}Cu, or 660 {mu}g Zn l{sup -1}, radiolabeled with 2MBq {sup 65}Zn, for 16 days. Post-exposure the heat stable cytosol containing metallothionein-like proteins (MTLP) and a combined granular and exoskeletal (MRG + exo) fractions were isolated by differential centrifugation, incorporated into gelatin and fed to zebrafish as a single meal. Assimilation efficiency (AE) and intestinal lipid peroxidation, as malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the retention of the MTLP-Zn (39.0 {+-} 6.4%) and MRG + exo-Zn (17.2 {+-} 3.7%) and of this zinc retained by the zebrafish a significantly greater proportion of the MTLP-Zn feed had been transported away from the site of uptake. For {sup 65}Cu, although the results pointed towards greater bioavailability of the MTLP fraction compared to MRG + exo during the slow elimination phase (24-72 h) these results were not significant (p = 0.155). Neither zinc feed provoked a lipid peroxidation response in the intestinal tissue of zebrafish compared to control fish (gelatin fed), but both {sup 65}Cu labeled feeds did. The greater effect was exerted by the MRG + exo (2.96 {+-} 0.29 nmol MDA mg protein{sup -1}) feed which three-fold greater than control (p < 0.01) and almost twice the MDA concentration of the MTLP feed (1.76 {+-} 0.21 nmol MDA mg protein{sup -1}, p < 0.05). The oxidative stress response produced by Zn and Cu is in keeping with their respective redox potentials; Zn being oxidatively inert and Cu being redox active. These results are similar, in terms of bioavailability and stress response of each feed, to those in our previous study in which {sup 109}Cd labeled G

  20. 7C.02: TRAINING AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT TO COUNTERACT COGNITIVE DECLINE: TRAIN THE BRAIN - EFFECTS ON CAROTID STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stea, F; Bruno, R; Ghiadoni, L; Faita, F; Di Lascio, N; Del Turco, S; Maffei, L; Tognoni, G; Taddei, S; Picano, E; Sicari, R

    2015-06-01

    Physical activity is beneficial to vascular health; on the other hand, vascular damage is associated with cognitive impairment. Both physical activity and a cognitively stimulating environment are known to delay the onset of dementia. The Train The Brain study evaluates the effectiveness of a comprehensive program of physical training and mental activity in delaying cognitive decline in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment, at the same time investigating the relationship between physical, vascular, neurological, and cognitive fitness : Elders age 65-89 were recruited with the help of family physicians and territorial services. All participants underwent a neurological and cardiologic evaluation. In the vascular study, carotid pressure was measured with the SphygmoCor system (AtCor, Australia); longitudinal ultrasound scans of the common carotid were performed and 10-second video clips were recorded to be analyzed offline through the Cardiovascular Suite software (Quipu srl, Italy), with the computation of diameter, intima-media thickness, wall cross-sectional area, distensibility coefficient, compliance, stiffness, and elastic modulus. Subjects classified as mild cognitive impairment at the neurological examination were randomized either to standard care, or a 7-month program of physical training and environmental stimulation (lectures, games, music, social activities) three hours a week. The evaluation was then repeated. Data were obtained for 57 patients who underwent training (T) and 30 controls (C). The only significant difference at baseline was in the distensibility coefficient (p = 0.045).(Figure is included in full-text article.)Vessel diameter increased in C and decreased in T; distensibility decreased in C; all carotid parameters were influenced by the combination of time and treatment, in a diverging trend, at a statistically significant level, while there was no effect on pressure. Introducing arterial pressures as covariates did not affect

  1. Forensic source differentiation of petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic hydrocarbons in Canadian oil sands environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhendi; Yang, C; Parrott, J L; Frank, R A; Yang, Z; Brown, C E; Hollebone, B P; Landriault, M; Fieldhouse, B; Liu, Y; Zhang, G; Hewitt, L M

    2014-04-30

    To facilitate monitoring efforts, a forensic chemical fingerprinting methodology has been applied to characterize and differentiate pyrogenic (combustion derived) and biogenic (organism derived) hydrocarbons from petrogenic (petroleum derived) hydrocarbons in environmental samples from the Canadian oil sands region. Between 2009 and 2012, hundreds of oil sands environmental samples including water (snowmelt water, river water, and tailings pond water) and sediments (from river beds and tailings ponds) have been analyzed. These samples were taken from sites where assessments of wild fish health, invertebrate communities, toxicology and detailed chemistry are being conducted as part of the Canada-Alberta Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan (JOSMP). This study describes the distribution patterns and potential sources of PAHs from these integrated JOSMP study sites, and findings will be linked to responses in laboratory bioassays and in wild organisms collected from these same sites. It was determined that hydrocarbons in Athabasca River sediments and waters were most likely from four sources: (1) petrogenic heavy oil sands bitumen; (2) biogenic compounds; (3) petrogenic hydrocarbons of other lighter fuel oils; and (4) pyrogenic PAHs. PAHs and biomarkers detected in snowmelt water samples collected near mining operations imply that these materials are derived from oil sands particulates (from open pit mines, stacks and coke piles). Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Environmentally selected aphid variants in clonality context display differential patterns of methylation in the genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude Pasquier

    Full Text Available Heritability of acquired phenotypic traits is an adaptive evolutionary process that appears more complex than the basic allele selection guided by environmental pressure. In insects, the trans-generational transmission of epigenetic marks in clonal and/or sexual species is poorly documented. Aphids were used as a model to explore this feature because their asexual phase generates a stochastic and/or environment-oriented repertoire of variants. The a priori unchanged genome in clonal individuals prompts us to hypothesize whether covalent methyl DNA marks might be associated to the phenotypic variability and fitness selection. The full differential transcriptome between two environmentally selected clonal variants that originated from the same founder mother was mapped on the entire genomic scaffolds, in parallel with the methyl cytosine distribution. Data suggest that the assortments of heavily methylated DNA sites are distinct in these two clonal phenotypes. This might constitute an epigenetic mechanism that confers the robust adaptation of insect species to various environments involving clonal reproduction.

  3. Environmental enrichment does not impact on tumor growth in mice [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/18c

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Westwood

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The effect of environmental enrichment (EE on a variety of physiologic and disease processes has been studied in laboratory mice. During EE, a large group of mice are housed in larger cages than the standard cage and are given toys and equipment, enabling more social contact, and providing a greater surface area per mouse, and a more stimulating environment. Studies have been performed into the effect of EE on neurogenesis, brain injury, cognitive capacity, memory, learning, neuronal pathways, diseases such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, social defeat, emotionality, depression, drug addiction, alopecia, and stereotypies. In the cancer field, three papers have reported effects on mice injected with tumors and housed in enriched environments compared with those housed in standard conditions. One paper reported a significant decrease in tumor growth in mice in EE housing. We attempted to replicate this finding in our animal facility, because the implications of repeating this finding would have profound implications for how we house all our mice in our studies on cancer. We were unable to reproduce the results in the paper in which B16F10 subcutaneous tumors of mice housed in EE conditions were smaller than those of mice housed in standard conditions. The differences in results could have been due to the different growth rate of the B16F10 cultures from the different laboratories, the microbiota of the mice housed in the two animal facilities, variations in noise and handling between the two facilities, food composition, the chemical composition of the cages or the detergents used for cleaning, or a variety of other reasons. EE alone does not appear to consistently result in decreased tumor growth, but other factors would appear to be able to counteract or inhibit the effects of EE on cancer progression.

  4. The use of environmental monitoring as a technique to identify isotopic enrichment activities; O uso da monitoracao ambiental como tecnica de identificacao de atividades de enriquecimento isotopico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buchmann, Jose Henrique

    2000-07-01

    The use of environmental monitoring as a technique to identify activities related to the nuclear fuel cycle has been proposed, by international organizations, as an additional measure to the safeguards agreements in force. The elements specific for each kind of nuclear activity, or nuclear signatures, inserted in the ecosystem by several transfer paths, can be intercepted with better or worse ability by different live organisms. Depending on the kind of signature of interest, the anthropogenic material identification and quantification require the choice of adequate biologic indicators and, mainly, the use of sophisticated techniques associated with elaborate sample treatments. This work demonstrates the technical viability of using pine needles as bioindicators of nuclear signatures associated with uranium enrichment activities. Additionally, it proposes the use of a technique widely diffused nowadays in the scientific community, the High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (HR-ICP-MS), to identify the signature corresponding to that kind of activities in the ecosystem. It can be also found a description of a methodology recently being applied in analytical chemistry,based on uncertainties estimates metrological concepts, used to calculate the uncertainties associated with the obtained measurement results. Nitric acid solutions with a concentration of 0.3 mol.kg{sup -1}, used to wash pine needles sampled near facilities that manipulate enriched uranium and containing only 0.1 {mu}g.kg{sup -1} of uranium, exhibit a {sup 235} U: {sup 238} U isotopic abundance ratio of 0.0092{+-}0.0002, while solutions originated from samples collected at places located more than 200 km far from activities related to the nuclear fuel cycle exhibit a value of 0.0074{+-}0.0002 for this abundance ratio. Similar results were obtained for samples collected in different places permit to confirm the presence of anthropogenic uranium and demonstrate the viability of using

  5. Evaluation of 309 environmental chemicals using a mouse embryonic stem cell adherent cell differentiation and cytotoxicity assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, Kelly J; Barrier, Marianne; Jeffay, Susan; Nichols, Harriette P; Kleinstreuer, Nicole C; Singh, Amar V; Reif, David M; Sipes, Nisha S; Judson, Richard S; Dix, David J; Kavlock, Robert; Hunter, Edward S; Knudsen, Thomas B

    2011-01-01

    The vast landscape of environmental chemicals has motivated the need for alternative methods to traditional whole-animal bioassays in toxicity testing. Embryonic stem (ES) cells provide an in vitro model of embryonic development and an alternative method for assessing developmental toxicity. Here, we evaluated 309 environmental chemicals, mostly food-use pesticides, from the ToxCast™ chemical library using a mouse ES cell platform. ES cells were cultured in the absence of pluripotency factors to promote spontaneous differentiation and in the presence of DMSO-solubilized chemicals at different concentrations to test the effects of exposure on differentiation and cytotoxicity. Cardiomyocyte differentiation (α,β myosin heavy chain; MYH6/MYH7) and cytotoxicity (DRAQ5™/Sapphire700™) were measured by In-Cell Western™ analysis. Half-maximal activity concentration (AC₅₀) values for differentiation and cytotoxicity endpoints were determined, with 18% of the chemical library showing significant activity on either endpoint. Mining these effects against the ToxCast Phase I assays (∼500) revealed significant associations for a subset of chemicals (26) that perturbed transcription-based activities and impaired ES cell differentiation. Increased transcriptional activity of several critical developmental genes including BMPR2, PAX6 and OCT1 were strongly associated with decreased ES cell differentiation. Multiple genes involved in reactive oxygen species signaling pathways (NRF2, ABCG2, GSTA2, HIF1A) were strongly associated with decreased ES cell differentiation as well. A multivariate model built from these data revealed alterations in ABCG2 transporter was a strong predictor of impaired ES cell differentiation. Taken together, these results provide an initial characterization of metabolic and regulatory pathways by which some environmental chemicals may act to disrupt ES cell growth and differentiation.

  6. Evaluation of 309 environmental chemicals using a mouse embryonic stem cell adherent cell differentiation and cytotoxicity assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly J Chandler

    Full Text Available The vast landscape of environmental chemicals has motivated the need for alternative methods to traditional whole-animal bioassays in toxicity testing. Embryonic stem (ES cells provide an in vitro model of embryonic development and an alternative method for assessing developmental toxicity. Here, we evaluated 309 environmental chemicals, mostly food-use pesticides, from the ToxCast™ chemical library using a mouse ES cell platform. ES cells were cultured in the absence of pluripotency factors to promote spontaneous differentiation and in the presence of DMSO-solubilized chemicals at different concentrations to test the effects of exposure on differentiation and cytotoxicity. Cardiomyocyte differentiation (α,β myosin heavy chain; MYH6/MYH7 and cytotoxicity (DRAQ5™/Sapphire700™ were measured by In-Cell Western™ analysis. Half-maximal activity concentration (AC₅₀ values for differentiation and cytotoxicity endpoints were determined, with 18% of the chemical library showing significant activity on either endpoint. Mining these effects against the ToxCast Phase I assays (∼500 revealed significant associations for a subset of chemicals (26 that perturbed transcription-based activities and impaired ES cell differentiation. Increased transcriptional activity of several critical developmental genes including BMPR2, PAX6 and OCT1 were strongly associated with decreased ES cell differentiation. Multiple genes involved in reactive oxygen species signaling pathways (NRF2, ABCG2, GSTA2, HIF1A were strongly associated with decreased ES cell differentiation as well. A multivariate model built from these data revealed alterations in ABCG2 transporter was a strong predictor of impaired ES cell differentiation. Taken together, these results provide an initial characterization of metabolic and regulatory pathways by which some environmental chemicals may act to disrupt ES cell growth and differentiation.

  7. Environmental and Historical Determinants of Patterns of Genetic Differentiation in Wild Soybean (Glycine soja Sieb. et Zucc).

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Shui-Lian; Wang, Yun-Sheng; Li, De-Zhu; Yi, Ting-Shuang

    2016-03-08

    Wild soybean, the direct progenitor of cultivated soybean, inhabits a wide distribution range across the mainland of East Asia and the Japanese archipelago. A multidisciplinary approach combining analyses of population genetics based on 20 nuclear microsatellites and one plastid locus were applied to reveal the genetic variation of wild soybean, and the contributions of geographical, environmental factors and historic climatic change on its patterns of genetic differentiation. High genetic diversity and significant genetic differentiation were revealed in wild soybean. Wild soybean was inferred to be limited to southern and central China during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and experienced large-scale post-LGM range expansion into northern East Asia. A substantial northward range shift has been predicted to occur by the 2080s. A stronger effect of isolation by environment (IBE) versus isolation by geographical distance (IBD) was found for genetic differentiation in wild soybean, which suggested that environmental factors were responsible for the adaptive eco-geographical differentiation. This study indicated that IBE and historical climatic change together shaped patterns of genetic variation and differentiation of wild soybean. Different conservation measures should be implemented on different populations according to their adaptive potential to future changes in climate and human-induced environmental changes.

  8. Investigation of feasibility of bamboo charcoal as solid-phase extraction adsorbent for the enrichment and determination of four phthalate esters in environmental water samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ru-Song; Wang, Xia; Yuan, Jin-Peng; Lin, Jin-Ming

    2008-03-07

    This paper demonstrates, for the first time, that adsorptive potential of bamboo charcoal for solid-phase extraction of phthalate esters was investigated. The four phthalate esters, dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), are quantitatively adsorbed on a bamboo charcoal packed cartridge, then the analytes retained on the cartridge are quantitatively desorbed with optimum amounts of acetone. Finally, the analytes in the eluant acetone are determined by high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detectior. Important parameters influencing the extraction efficiency, such as eluant and its volume, flow rate of sample, sample volume, pH, the amount of adsorbent and ionic strength were investigated and optimized in detail. Under the optimum conditions, the limits of detection were 0.35-0.43 microg/L for four phthalate esters. The proposed method has been applied to the analysis of rainwater and tap water samples. And satisfactory spiked recoveries were obtained in the range of 75.0-114.2%. All the results indicated that the bamboo charcoal has great potential as a novel adsorbent material for the enrichment and determination of phthalate esters in real environmental water samples.

  9. Impact of Environmental Enrichment on Perineuronal Nets in the Prefrontal Cortex following Early and Late Abstinence from Sucrose Self-Administration in Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Slaker

    Full Text Available Perineuronal nets (PNNs are aggregates of extracellular matrix that form structures surrounding a subset of GABAergic interneurons. The staining intensity of PNNs appears to be related to plasticity. Environmental enrichment (EE influences plasticity during adulthood: EE decreases the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse and diminishes both drug- and sucrose-seeking behavior. We determined the impact of EE on PNN intensity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC in rats trained to self-administer sucrose. We examined the number and intensity of PNNs within the prelimbic (PL, infralimbic (IL, and orbitofrontal (OF regions of the mPFC of adult Long-Evans rats that were trained for sucrose self-administration followed by acute or chronic EE during abstinence and a cue-induced reinstatement test. Rats exposed to EE prior to a cue-induced reinstatement of sucrose seeking had an increase in PNN staining compared with rats in standard housing. Conversely, naïve rats given 1 day of EE had a decrease in PNN intensity in the PL, no change in the IL, and an increase in the OF. Our findings demonstrate that EE increases PNN intensity in the mPFC after sucrose training, suggesting that training enhances the ability of EE to increase PNN intensity. We further demonstrate an interaction between time of abstinence, duration of EE exposure, and cue-induced reinstatement. Our results suggest that increased PNN intensity after EE may alter the excitatory/inhibitory balance of mPFC neurons such that rats are less responsive to a sucrose cue.

  10. Environmental enrichment decreases avoidance responses in the elevated T-maze and delta FosB immunoreactivity in anxiety-related brain regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Danielle A; Souza, Thaissa M O; de Andrade, José S; Silva, Mariana F S; Antunes, Hanna K M; Sueur-Maluf, Luciana Le; Céspedes, Isabel C; Viana, Milena B

    2018-02-12

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is an animal management technique, which seems to improve adaptation to the experimental conditions of housing in laboratory animals. Previous studies have pointed to different beneficial effects of the procedure in the treatment of several disorders, including psychiatric conditions such as depression. The anxiolytic effects induced by EE, on the other hand, are not as clear. In fact, it has been proposed that EE acts as a mild stressor agent. To better understand the relationship of EE with anxiety-related responses, the present study exposed rats to one week of EE and subsequently tested these animals in the inhibitory avoidance and escape tasks of the elevated T-maze (ETM). In clinical terms, these responses have been respectively related to generalized anxiety and panic disorder. All animals were tested in an open field, immediately after the ETM, for locomotor activity assessment. Additionally, analysis of delta FosB protein immunoreactivity (FosB-ir) was used to map areas activated by EE exposure and plasma corticosterone measurements were performed. The results obtained demonstrate that exposure to EE for one week impaired avoidance responses, an anxiolytic-like effect, without altering escape reactions. Also, in animals submitted to the avoidance task EE exposure decreased FosB-ir in the cingulate cortex, dorsolateral and intermediate lateral septum, hippocampus (cornus of Ammon), anterior and dorsomedial hypothalamus, medial and basolateral amygdala and ventral region of the dorsal raphe nucleus. Although no behavioral differences were observed in animals submitted to the escape task, EE exposure also decreased FosB-ir in the cingulate cortex, hippocampus (dentate gyrus), lateral amygdala, paraventricular, anterior and ventromedial hypothalamus, dorsomedial periaqueductal gray and ventral and dorsal region of the dorsal raphe. No changes in corticosterone levels, however, were observed. These results contribute to a better

  11. Differentiating enteric Escherichia coli from environmental bacteria through the putative glucosyltransferase gene (ycjM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Daiyong; Zhang, Ning; Mustapha, Azlin; Xu, Dong; Wuliji, Tumen; Farley, Mary; Yang, John; Hua, Bin; Liu, Fengjing; Zheng, Guolu

    2014-09-15

    This study is to tackle the challenge posed by the "naturalized" Escherichia coli population against the worldwide practice of E. coli-based water quality monitoring. In the literature, the putative glucosyltransferase gene (ycjM) of E. coli has been identified in silico to be one of the 114 genes specific to enteric E. coli. Based on the sequence of E. coli K-12 MG1655, a PCR assay (ycjPCR) targeting ycjM was developed in this study. As demonstrated by the ycjPCR assay using 367 E. coli strains isolated from animal feces, 97.2% of the isolates carried the ycjM with variations from 93.9% to 100% among nine different host sources, but none of the 17 strains of non-E. coli bacteria and only 23.0% of the environment-isolated cryptic Escherichia strains contained the ycjM. These data experimentally confirmed ycjM to be enteric specific. Our study also showed that the ycjPCR assay was superior to the commonly used tuf- or uidA-based PCR methods in differentiating enteric E. coli from ß-D-glucuronidase-positive environmental bacteria. Furthermore, study on 190 E. coli isolates from water samples, using EPA Method 1603 followed by bacterial identification with Biolog MicroStation™ and ycjPCR assay, indicated that the prevalence of ycjM in the E. coli water isolates had a significant (p < 0.05, odds ratio ) spatial variation from 69.6% to 93.8%. These data suggest that E. coli profile using EPA Method 1603 or other ß-D-glucuronidase-activity-based methods may need further analysis using the ycjM profile to accurately determinate fecal pollution in water. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Local cerebral glucose utilization in rats exposed to an enriched environment: a comparison to impoverishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Läck, A K; Gill, K E; Porrino, L J

    2010-10-01

    Environmental enrichment and environmental impoverishment have been shown to differentially alter brain function. Here, we investigate the effects of enrichment vs. impoverishment on cerebral use of glucose in rodents. Rats were housed from postnatal day 28 to day 58 in either a socially and environmentally enriched environment or an impoverished environment devoid of other rats or environmental stimuli. Locomotor activity was measured at the end of the enrichment/impoverishment period. Following the duration of the exposure to these environments, cerebral metabolic rate of glucose utilization was determined using quantitative 2-[(14)C]deoxyglucose autoradiography in 37 brain regions in the cerebral cortex, forebrain, brain stem and thalamus. There were no differences in locomotor activity between the conditions. The nucleus accumbens core and shell had significantly higher rates of glucose utilization in enriched compared to impoverished animals. These data suggest that environment has a significant effect on brain function which may help to explain the beneficial and protective effects of enrichment against drug abuse and addiction. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The relationships between chemical and genetic differentiation and environmental factors across the distribution of Erigeron breviscapus (Asteraceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Li

    Full Text Available AIMS: Erigeron breviscapus (Vant. Hand.-Mazz. is an important, widely used Chinese herb with scutellarin, 1,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid and erigoster B being its major active compounds. We aimed to resolve the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on the concentrations of these compounds and to determine appropriate cultivation methods to improve the yields of the four compounds in this herb. METHODS: In order to detect the major genetic and natural environmental factors affecting the yields of these four compounds, we applied AFLP markers to investigate the population genetic differentiation and HPLC to measure the concentrations of four major active compounds among 23 wild populations which were located across almost the entire distribution of this species in China. The meteorological data including annual average temperature, annual average precipitation and annual average hours of sunshine were collected. The relationships among the concentrations of four compounds and environmental factors and genetic differentiation were studied. IMPORTANT FINDINGS: Low intraspecific genetic differentiation is detected, and there is no obvious correlation between the genetic differentiation and the contents of the chemical compounds. We investigated the correlation between the concentrationsof four compounds (scutellarin, 1,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid and erigoster B and environmental factors. Concentrations of two compounds (1,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid were correlated with environmental factors. The concentration of 1,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid is positively correlated with latitude, and is negatively correlated with the annual average temperature. The concentration of 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid is positively correlated with annual average precipitation. Therefore, changing cultivation conditions may significantly improve the yields of these two compounds. We found the concentration

  14. Phenotypic differentiation is associated with gender plasticity and its responsive delay to environmental changes in Alternanthera philoxeroides--phenotypic differentiation in alligator weed.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Liu

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is common in many taxa, and it may increase an organism's fitness in heterogeneous environments. However, in some cases, the frequency of environmental changes can be faster than the ability of the individual to produce new adaptive phenotypes. The importance of such a time delay in terms of individual fitness and species adaptability has not been well studied. Here, we studied gender plasticity of Alternanthera philoxeroides to address this issue through a reciprocal transplant experiment. We observed that the genders of A. philoxeroides were plastic and reversible between monoclinous and pistillody depending on habitats, the offspring maintained the maternal genders in the first year but changed from year 2 to 5, and there was a cubic relationship between the rate of population gender changes and environmental variations. This relationship indicates that the species must overcome a threshold of environmental variations to switch its developmental path ways between the two genders. This threshold and the maternal gender stability cause a significant delay of gender changes in new environments. At the same time, they result in and maintain the two distinct habitat dependent gender phenotypes. We also observed that there was a significant and adaptive life-history differentiation between monoclinous and pistillody individuals and the gender phenotypes were developmentally linked with the life-history traits. Therefore, the gender phenotypes are adaptive. Low seed production, seed germination failure and matching phenotypes to habitats by gender plasticity indicate that the adaptive phenotypic diversity in A. philoxeroides may not be the result of ecological selection, but of gender plasticity. The delay of the adaptive gender phenotype realization in changing environments can maintain the differentiation between gender systems and their associated life-history traits, which may be an important component in evolution of novel

  15. Effect of environmentally-relevant concentrations of nonylphenol on sexual differentiation in zebrafish: a multi-generational study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Dong; Chen, Qi; He, Ning; Diao, Pan-Pan; Jia, Li-Xing; Duan, Shun-Shan

    2017-02-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) is a persistent environmental chemical that can disrupt the organism’s endocrine system, and is detected in the surface water and sea. In this study, we investigated whether NP can alter transcriptional expression of sexual differentiation-related genes. Three generations of zebrafish were exposed to 0, 2, 20 and 200 μg·L-1 of NP, and transcriptional expression of sexual differentiation genes were assessed in 10, 20 and 40 dpf in the F1 and F2 generations. Growth of zebrafish exposed to 200 μg·L-1 of NP was inhibited at 125 dpf in the F1 generation. 20 μg·L-1 of NP resulted in 80% females in the F1 generation, but had no effect on the F2 generation. In terms of the sexual differentiation genes, the transcriptional expression of cyp19a1a and esr1 genes were upregulated in 20 μg·L-1 of NP in the F1 generation. But expression of the sexual differentiation genes were not affected in the F2 generation. Overall, NP could affect sexual differentiation and gene transcriptional expression in the F1 generation. The tolerance of contaminant in the offsprings was improved at low concentration.

  16. Certification of Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility Activities in Differentiated Duopoly Market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liuwei Zhao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, by environmental Nongovernmental Organizations certification we research corporate social responsibility in the impacts of competition structures on corporate incentives. The research explained that, to induce firms to adopt certified environmental corporate social responsibility, the certifier will set a standard lower than the optimal one. The environmental certification corporate social standard is equal to that in Cournot competition and Bertrand competition, but Bertrand competition structure will make the firm get more benefits than Cournot competition. In addition, the research also shows that firms and consumers all will get benefit from environmental corporate social responsibility.

  17. VEGF reverts the cognitive impairment induced by a focal traumatic brain injury during the development of rats raised under environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortuzar, N; Rico-Barrio, I; Bengoetxea, H; Argandoña, E G; Lafuente, J V

    2013-06-01

    The role of VEGF in the nervous system is extensive; apart from its angiogenic effect, VEGF has been described as a neuroprotective, neurotrophic and neurogenic molecule. Similar effects have been described for enriched environment (EE). Moreover, both VEGF and EE have been related to improved spatial memory. Our aim was to investigate the neurovascular and cognitive effects of intracerebrally-administered VEGF and enriched environment during the critical period of the rat visual cortex development. Results showed that VEGF infusion as well as enriched environment induced neurovascular and cognitive effects in developing rats. VEGF administration produced an enhancement during the learning process of enriched animals and acted as an angiogenic factor both in primary visual cortex (V1) and dentate gyrus (DG) in order to counteract minipump implantation-induced damage. This fact revealed that DG vascularization is critical for normal learning. In contrast to this enriched environment acted on the neuronal density of the DG and V1 cortex, and results showed learning enhancement only in non-operated rats. In conclusion, VEGF administration only has effects if damage is observed due to injury. Once control values were reached, no further effects appeared, showing a ceiling effect. Our results strongly support that in addition to neurogenesis, vascularization plays a pivotal role for learning and memory. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Differential Effects of Environmental and Genetic Factors on T and B Cell Immune Traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aguirre-Gamboa, Raul; Joosten, Irma; Urbano, Paulo C. M.; van der Molen, Renate G.; van Rijssen, Esther; van Cranenbroek, Bram; Oosting, Marije; Smeekens, Sanne; Jaeger, Martin; Zorro, Maria; Withoff, Sebo; van Herwaarden, Antonius E.; Sweep, Fred C. G. J.; Netea, Romana T.; Swertz, Morris A.; Franke, Lude; Xavier, Ramnik J.; Joosten, Leo A. B.; Netea, Mihai G.; Wijmenga, Cisca; Kumar, Vinod; Li, Yang; Koenen, Hans J. P. M.

    2016-01-01

    Effective immunity requires a complex network of cellular and humoral components that interact with each other and are influenced by different environmental and host factors. We used a systems biology approach to comprehensively assess the impact of environmental and genetic factors on immune cell

  19. Differential effects of genetic vs. environmental quality in Drosophila melanogaster suggest multiple forms of condition dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonduriansky, Russell; Mallet, Martin A; Arbuthnott, Devin; Pawlowsky-Glahn, Vera; Egozcue, Juan José; Rundle, Howard D

    2015-04-01

    Condition is a central concept in evolutionary ecology, but the roles of genetic and environmental quality in condition-dependent trait expression remain poorly understood. Theory suggests that condition integrates genetic, epigenetic and somatic factors, and therefore predicts alignment between the phenotypic effects of genetic and environmental quality. To test this key prediction, we manipulated both genetic (mutational) and environmental (dietary) quality in Drosophila melanogaster and examined responses in morphological and chemical (cuticular hydrocarbon, CHC) traits in both sexes. While the phenotypic effects of diet were consistent among genotypes, effects of mutation load varied in magnitude and direction. Average effects of diet and mutation were aligned for most morphological traits, but non-aligned for the male sexcombs and CHCs in both sexes. Our results suggest the existence of distinct forms of condition dependence, one integrating both genetic and environmental effects and the other purely environmental. We propose a model to account for these observations. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Differential regulation of c-di-GMP metabolic enzymes by environmental signals modulates biofilm formation in Yersinia pestis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gai-Xian eRen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP is essential for Yersinia pestis biofilm formation, which is important for flea-borne blockage-dependent plague transmission. Two diguanylate cyclases (DGCs, HmsT and HmsD and one phosphodiesterase (PDE, HmsP are responsible for the synthesis and degradation of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Here, we systematically analyzed the effect of various environmental signals on regulation of the biofilm phenotype, the c-di-GMP levels, and expression of HmsT, HmsD and HmsP in Y. pestis. Biofilm formation was higher in the presence of nonlethal high concentration of CaCl2, MgCl2, CuSO4, sucrose, sodium dodecyl sulfonate, or dithiothreitol, and was lower in the presence of FeCl2 or NaCl. In addition, we found that HmsD plays a major role in biofilm formation in acidic or redox environments. These environmental signals differentially regulated expression of HmsT, HmsP and HmsD, resulting in changes in the intracellular levels of c-di-GMP in Y. pestis. Our results suggest that bacteria can sense various environmental signals, and differentially regulates their DGCs and PDEs to coordinately regulate and adapt metabolism of c-di-GMP and biofilm formation to changing environments.

  1. Simultaneous Identification of Two Cyclohexanone Oxidation Genes from an Environmental Brevibacterium Isolate Using mRNA Differential Display

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzostowicz, Patricia C.; Gibson, Katharine L.; Thomas, Stuart M.; Blasko, Mary Sue; Rouvière, Pierre E.

    2000-01-01

    The technique of mRNA differential display was used to identify simultaneously two metabolic genes involved in the degradation of cyclohexanone in a new halotolerant Brevibacterium environmental isolate. In a strategy based only on the knowledge that cyclohexanone oxidation was inducible in this strain, the mRNA population of cells exposed to cyclohexanone was compared to that of control cells using reverse transcription-PCR reactions primed with a collection of 81 arbitrary oligonucleotides. Three DNA fragments encoding segments of flavin monooxygenases were isolated with this technique, leading to the identification of the genes of two distinct cyclohexanone monooxygenases, the enzymes responsible for the oxidation of cyclohexanone. Each monooxygenase was expressed in Escherichia coli and characterized. This work validates the application of mRNA differential display for the discovery of new microbial metabolic genes. PMID:10894733

  2. Vertically Differentiating Environmental Standards: The Case of the Marine Stewardship Council

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bush, S.R.; Oosterveer, P.J.M.

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the externally-led vertical differentiation of third-party certification standards using the case of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). We analyze this process in two dimensions. First, fisheries employ strategies to capture further market value from fishing practices that go

  3. Hurricane Katrina-linked environmental injustice: race, class, and place differentials in attitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adeola, Francis O; Picou, J Steven

    2017-04-01

    Claims of environmental injustice, human neglect, and racism dominated the popular and academic literature after Hurricane Katrina struck the United States in August 2005. A systematic analysis of environmental injustice from the perspective of the survivors remains scanty or nonexistent. This paper presents, therefore, a systematic empirical analysis of the key determinants of Katrina-induced environmental injustice attitudes among survivors in severely affected parishes (counties) in Louisiana and Mississippi three years into the recovery process. Statistical models based on a random sample of survivors were estimated, with the results revealing significant predictors such as age, children in household under 18, education, homeownership, and race. The results further indicate that African-Americans were more likely to perceive environmental injustice following Katrina than their white counterparts. Indeed, the investigation reveals that there are substantial racial gaps in measures of environmental injustice. The theoretical, methodological, and applied policy implications of these findings are discussed. © 2017 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2017.

  4. Molecular mechanisms governing differential robustness of development and environmental responses in plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lachowiec, Jennifer; Queitsch, Christine; Kliebenstein, Daniel James

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Robustness to genetic and environmental perturbation is a salient feature of multicellular organisms. Loss of developmental robustness can lead to severe phenotypic defects and fitness loss. However, perfect robustness, i.e. no variation at all, is evolutionarily unfit as organisms must...... be able to change phenotype to properly respond to changing environments and biotic challenges. Plasticity is the ability to adjust phenotypes predictably in response to specific environmental stimuli, which can be considered a transient shift allowing an organism to move from one robust phenotypic state...... for the robustness of specific developmental states also has to be built such that it enables plastic yet robust shifts in response to environmental changes. In plants, the interactions and functions of signal transduction pathways activated by phytohormones and the tendency for plants to tolerate whole...

  5. Metabolic and functional phenotypic profiling of Drosophila melanogaster reveals reduced sex differentiation under stressful environmental conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørsted, Michael; Malmendal, Anders; Muñoz, Joaquin

    2017-01-01

    Strong sexual dimorphism is commonly observed across species and e.g. trade-offs between reproduction and maintenance are thought to explain this dimorphism. Here we test how the metabolic and functional phenotypic responses to varying types of environmental stress differ in male and female...... rearing regimes were investigated using NMR metabolomics and assessed for body mass and viability. Our results showed that environmental stress leads to reduced sexual dimorphism in both metabolic composition and body mass compared to the level of dimorphism observed at benign conditions. This reduced...

  6. Novel environmental enrichment may provide a tool for rapid assessment of animal personality: a case study with giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, David M; Svoke, Joseph T

    2008-01-01

    Historically, the assessment of nonhuman animal personality has included a variety of methods--from direct behavioral observations in a variety of test situations to assessments provided by animal caretakers or trainers. Careful observation of how animals in zoos interact with novel enrichment may provide reliable insight into their personality. This study sought to describe a process for evaluating whether different methods of assessing personality result in similar conclusions. The study exposed 4 giant pandas at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Zoo Atlanta to 10 novel enrichment items and recorded their behavior. Keepers also rated each panda on 23 behavioral characteristics on a survey. The study obtained individual behavior profiles for each panda. Significant differences across individuals in both the novel enrichment trials and keeper surveys formed the basis for the profiles. These methods also provided some insight into differences between the sexes that--based on the natural history of giant pandas--are qualitatively similar to what would be expected. The study found some consistency between assessment methods. However, there is a need for further study to validate these measures in a larger sample of giant pandas.

  7. Genomic islands as a marker to differentiate between clinical and environmental Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thanatchaporn Bartpho

    Full Text Available Burkholderia pseudomallei, as a saprophytic bacterium that can cause a severe sepsis disease named melioidosis, has preserved several extra genes in its genome for survival. The sequenced genome of the organism showed high diversity contributed mainly from genomic islands (GIs. Comparative genome hybridization (CGH of 3 clinical and 2 environmental isolates, using whole genome microarrays based on B. pseudomallei K96243 genes, revealed a difference in the presence of genomic islands between clinical and environmental isolates. The largest GI, GI8, of B. pseudomallei was observed as a 2 sub-GI named GIs8.1 and 8.2 with distinguishable %GC content and unequal presence in the genome. GIs8.1, 8.2 and 15 were found to be more common in clinical isolates. A new GI, GI16c, was detected on chromosome 2. Presences of GIs8.1, 8.2, 15 and 16c were evaluated in 70 environmental and 64 clinical isolates using PCR assays. A combination of GIs8.1 and 16c (positivity of either GI was detected in 70% of clinical isolates and 11.4% of environmental isolates (P0.05. Some virulence genes located in the absent GIs and the difference of GIs seems to contribute less to bacterial virulence. The PCR detection of 2 GIs could be used as a cost effective and rapid tool to detect potentially virulent isolates that were contaminated in soil.

  8. Differential effects of environmental chemicals and food contaminants on adipogenesis, biomarker release and PPARγ activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taxvig, Camilla; Sørensen, Karin Dreisig; Boberg, Julie

    2012-01-01

    Eleven environmental relevant chemicals were investigated for their ability to affect adipogenesis in vitro, biomarker release from adipocytes and PPARα and γ activation. We found that butylparaben stimulated adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and increased release of leptin, adiponectin and resis...

  9. Differential Effects of Personality Traits and Environmental Predictors on Reproductive and Creative Imagination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Chaoyun; Chang, Chi-Cheng; Hsu, Yuling

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to analyze the effects of both personality and environmental variables on the imagination of video/film major university students; and (2) to test the mediator effect resulting from the variable of social climate. The results of this study supported both indicators of imaginative capabilities and…

  10. Environmental cues from CNS, PNS, and ENS cells regulate CNS progenitor differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brännvall, Karin; Corell, Mikael; Forsberg-Nilsson, Karin

    2008-01-01

    Cellular origin and environmental cues regulate stem cell fate determination. Neuroepithelial stem cells form the central nervous system (CNS), whereas neural crest stem cells generate the peripheral (PNS) and enteric nervous system (ENS). CNS neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) fate determination...

  11. Environmental conditions differentially affect neurobehavioral outcomes in a mouse model of sepsis-associated encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Mu-Huo; Tang, Hui; Luo, Dan; Qiu, Li-Li; Jia, Min; Yuan, Hong-Mei; Feng, Shan-Wu; Yang, Jian-Jun

    2017-01-01

    Brain dysfunction remains a common complication after sepsis development and is an independent risk factor for a poorer prognosis and an increased mortality. Here we tested the hypothesis that the behavioral outcomes after lipopolysaccharides (LPS) administration are exacerbated by an impoverished environment (IE) and alleviated by an enriched environment (EE), respectively. Mice were randomly allocated in a standard environment (SE), an EE, or an IE for 4 weeks after LPS or normal saline (NS) administration. Neurobehavioral alternations were assessed by the open field, novel objective recognition, and fear conditioning tests. The expressions of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-10), ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1 (IBA1)-positive cells as well as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine-labeled cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, and the number of dendritic spines in the hippocampal CA1 were determined. Our results showed that the some of the neurocognitive abnormalities induced by LPS administration can be aggravated by stressful conditions such as IE but alleviated by EE. These neurocognitive alternations were accompanied by significant changes in biomarkers of immune response and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In summary, our study confirmed the negative impact of IE and the positive effects of EE on the cognitive function after LPS administration, with potential implications to the basis of sepsis-related cognitive impairments in the critically ill patients. PMID:29137271

  12. Differential responses of Miocene rodent metacommunities to global climatic changes were mediated by environmental context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Fernando; Gómez Cano, Ana Rosa; Cantalapiedra, Juan L; Domingo, M Soledad; Domingo, Laura; Menéndez, Iris; Flynn, Lawrence J; Hernández Fernández, Manuel

    2018-02-06

    The study of how long-term changes affect metacommunities is a relevant topic, that involves the evaluation of connections among biological assemblages across different spatio-temporal scales, in order to fully understand links between global changes and macroevolutionary patterns. We applied multivariate statistical analyses and diversity tests using a large data matrix of rodent fossil sites in order to analyse long-term faunal changes. Late Miocene rodent faunas from southwestern Europe were classified into metacommunities, presumably sharing ecological affinities, which followed temporal and environmental non-random assembly and disassembly patterns. Metacommunity dynamics of these faunas were driven by environmental changes associated with temperature variability, but there was also some influence from the aridity shifts described for this region during the late Miocene. Additionally, while variations in the structure of rodent assemblages were directly influenced by global climatic changes in the southern province, the northern sites showed a pattern of climatic influence mediated by diversity-dependent processes.

  13. Differential effects of severe water stress on linear and cyclic electron fluxes through Photosystem I in spinach leaf discs in CO(2)-enriched air.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Husen; Oguchi, Riichi; Hope, Alexander B; Barber, James; Chow, Wah Soon

    2008-10-01

    Linear and cyclic electron fluxes through Photosystem I in 1% CO(2) were quantified in spinach leaf tissue under severe water stress. Using actinic light with a peak at 697 nm for preferential light absorption by Photosystem I while also stimulating Photosystem II to improve redox poising, the cyclic electron flux after 60 s of illumination was a substantial proportion (33-44%) of the total electron flux through PSI at irradiances up to ~1,070 micromol photons m(-2) s(-1). At the maximum irradiance, the cyclic electron flux changed little with the progressive water loss from leaf tissue up to ~60%; by contrast, the linear electron flux was approximately halved. A reason for this differential effect of water stress on the capacity for cyclic and linear electron flow could be the increased crowding of soluble proteins in the stroma due to chloroplast shrinkage. Indeed the confinement of soluble proteins to a smaller chloroplast volume was indicated by cryo-scanning electron microscopy. It is known that the diffusion coefficient of large proteins is decreased when the background concentration of small proteins is raised; by contrast, the diffusion coefficient of small proteins is not affected by increasing the concentration of a large protein (Muramatsu and Minton in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 85:2984-2988, 1988). Therefore, we suggest that linear electron flow, being coupled to the Calvin-Benson cycle, is limited by the diffusion of large macromolecules, especially the ribulose 1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase complex. By contrast, cyclic electron flow, involving relatively small macromolecules such as ferredoxin, is less susceptible to inhibition by crowding in the stroma.

  14. Differential Bacteriostatic Effects of Sucralose on Various Species of Environmental Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Omran, Arthur; Baker, Ronald; Coughlin, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Sucralose was developed as a low-cost artificial sweetener that is nonmetabolizable and can withstand changes in pH and temperature. It is not degraded by the wastewater treatment process and thus has been found in waste water, estuaries, rivers and the Gulf Stream. Since the molecule can withstand heat, acidification, and microbial degradation, it is accumulating in the environment. The highest concentration of environmental sucralose detected to date is 300 ng/L. Our lab has isolated six ba...

  15. When environmental changes do not cause geographic separation of fauna: differential responses of Baikalian invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fazalova Varvara

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While the impact of climate fluctuations on the demographic histories of species caused by changes in habitat availability is well studied, populations of species from systems without geographic isolation have received comparatively little attention. Using CO1 mitochondrial sequences, we analysed phylogeographic patterns and demographic histories of populations of five species (four gastropod and one amphipod species co-occurring in the southwestern shore of Lake Baikal, an area where environmental oscillations have not resulted in geographical isolation of habitats. Results Species with stronger habitat preferences (gastropods B. turriformis, B. carinata and B. carinatocostata exhibit rather stable population sizes through their evolutionary history, and their phylogeographic pattern indicates moderate habitat fragmentation. Conversely, species without strong habitat preference (gastropod M. herderiana and amphipod G. fasciatus exhibit haplotype networks with a very abundant and widespread central haplotype and a big number of singleton haplotypes, while their reconstructed demographic histories show a population expansion starting about 25-50 thousand years ago, a period marked by climate warming and increase in diatom abundance as inferred from bottom-lake sedimentary cores. Conclusions In agreement with previous studies, we found that species reacted differently to the same environmental changes. Our results highlight the important role of dispersal ability and degree of ecological specialization in defining a species' response to environmental changes.

  16. The endocannabinoid transport inhibitor AM404 differentially modulates recognition memory in rats depending on environmental aversiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrizia eCampolongo

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid compounds may influence both emotional and cognitive processes depending on the level of environmental aversiveness at the time of drug administration. However, the mechanisms responsible for these responses remain to be elucidated. The present experiments investigated the effects induced by the endocannabinoid transport inhibitor AM404 (0.5-5 mg/kg, i.p. on bothemotional and cognitive performances of rats tested in a Spatial Open Field task and subjected to different experimental settings, named High Arousal and Low Arousal conditions. The two different experimental conditions influenced emotional reactivity independently of drug administration. Indeed, vehicle-treated rats exposed to the Low Arousal condition spent more time in the centre of the arena than vehicle-treated rats exposed to the High Arousal context. Conversely, the different arousal conditions did not affect the cognitive performances of vehicle-treated animals such as the capability to discriminate a spatial displacement of the objects or an object substitution.AM404 administration did not alter the locomotor activity of the animals exposed to both environmental conditions. Interestingly, AM404 administration increased the emotional reactivity of rats exposed to the High Arousal condition but did not influence emotionality of rats exposed to the Low Arousal condition. Moreover, AM404 administration influenced the cognitive parameters depending on the level of emotional arousal: it impaired the capability of rats exposed to the High Arousal condition to recognize a novel object while it did not induce any impairing effect in rats exposed to the Low Arousal condition.These findings suggest that drugs which enhance the endocannabinoid signalling induce different effects on recognition memory performance depending on the level of emotional arousal induced by the environmental conditions.

  17. A child's view: social and physical environmental features differentially predict parent and child perceived neighborhood safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côté-Lussier, Carolyn; Jackson, Jonathan; Kestens, Yan; Henderson, Melanie; Barnett, Tracie A

    2015-02-01

    Parent and child perceived neighborhood safety predicts child health outcomes such as sleep quality, asthma, physical activity, and psychological distress. Although previous studies identify environmental predictors of parent perceived safety, little is known about predictors of child perceived safety. This study aims to identify the social and physical environmental neighborhood features that predict child and parent perceived neighborhood safety and, simultaneously, to assess the association between child and parent perceptions. Data were from the QUebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth (QUALITY) cohort, an ongoing study of Caucasian children (aged 8-10 years) with a parental history of obesity, and their biological parents from Québec, Canada. Measures of social and physical neighborhood features were collected using a spatial data infrastructure and in-person audits. Structural equation modeling was used to test direct and indirect associations between neighborhood features, child and parent perceived safety. Results suggest that among children (N = 494), trees and lighting were positively associated with perceived neighborhood safety, whereas a high proportion of visible minorities was associated with poorer perceived safety. Parents' perceptions of safety were more strongly tied to indicators of disorder and a lack of community involvement, and to traffic. Child perceived safety was partly explained by parent perceived safety, suggesting moderate concordance between perceptions. Although associated with each other, parent and child perceived safety seemed to be determined by distinct environmental features. Though this study focused on determinants of child and parent perceived safety, future research investigating the impact of neighborhood safety on child health should consider both child and parent perspectives.

  18. A differential evolution-based routing algorithm for environmental monitoring wireless sensor networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaofang; Xu, Lizhong; Wang, Huibin; Song, Jie; Yang, Simon X

    2010-01-01

    The traditional Low Energy Adaptive Cluster Hierarchy (LEACH) routing protocol is a clustering-based protocol. The uneven selection of cluster heads results in premature death of cluster heads and premature blind nodes inside the clusters, thus reducing the overall lifetime of the network. With a full consideration of information on energy and distance distribution of neighboring nodes inside the clusters, this paper proposes a new routing algorithm based on differential evolution (DE) to improve the LEACH routing protocol. To meet the requirements of monitoring applications in outdoor environments such as the meteorological, hydrological and wetland ecological environments, the proposed algorithm uses the simple and fast search features of DE to optimize the multi-objective selection of cluster heads and prevent blind nodes for improved energy efficiency and system stability. Simulation results show that the proposed new LEACH routing algorithm has better performance, effectively extends the working lifetime of the system, and improves the quality of the wireless sensor networks.

  19. A Novel Open Tubular Capillary Electrochromatographic Method for Differentiating the DNA Interaction Affinity of Environmental Contaminants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia D'Ulivo

    Full Text Available The interaction of chemicals with DNA may lead to genotoxicity, mutation or carcinogenicity. A simple open tubular capillary electrochromatographic method is proposed to rapidly assess the interaction affinity of three environmental contaminants (1,4-phenylenediamine, pyridine and 2,4-diaminotoluene to DNA by measuring their retention in the capillaries coated with DNA probes. DNA oligonucleotide probes were immobilized on the inner wall of a fused silica capillary that was first derivatized with 3-(aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTES. The difference in retention times and factors was considered as the difference in interaction affinity of the contaminants to the DNA probes. The interaction of the contaminants with both double-stranded (dsDNA and single-stranded DNA (ssDNA coatings was compared. Retention factors of 1,4-phenylenediamine, pyridine and 2,4-diaminotoluene in the capillary coated with ssDNA probe were 0.29, 0.42, and 0.44, respectively. A similar trend was observed in the capillary coated with dsDNA, indicating that 2,4-diaminotoluene has the highest affinity among the three contaminants. The relative standard deviation (RSD for the retention factors was in the range of 0.05-0.69% (n = 3. The results demonstrated that the developed technique could be applied for preliminary screening purpose to provide DNA interaction affinity information of various environmental contaminants.

  20. A Novel Open Tubular Capillary Electrochromatographic Method for Differentiating the DNA Interaction Affinity of Environmental Contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ulivo, Lucia; Feng, Yong-Lai

    2016-01-01

    The interaction of chemicals with DNA may lead to genotoxicity, mutation or carcinogenicity. A simple open tubular capillary electrochromatographic method is proposed to rapidly assess the interaction affinity of three environmental contaminants (1,4-phenylenediamine, pyridine and 2,4-diaminotoluene) to DNA by measuring their retention in the capillaries coated with DNA probes. DNA oligonucleotide probes were immobilized on the inner wall of a fused silica capillary that was first derivatized with 3-(aminopropyl)-triethoxysilane (APTES). The difference in retention times and factors was considered as the difference in interaction affinity of the contaminants to the DNA probes. The interaction of the contaminants with both double-stranded (dsDNA) and single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) coatings was compared. Retention factors of 1,4-phenylenediamine, pyridine and 2,4-diaminotoluene in the capillary coated with ssDNA probe were 0.29, 0.42, and 0.44, respectively. A similar trend was observed in the capillary coated with dsDNA, indicating that 2,4-diaminotoluene has the highest affinity among the three contaminants. The relative standard deviation (RSD) for the retention factors was in the range of 0.05-0.69% (n = 3). The results demonstrated that the developed technique could be applied for preliminary screening purpose to provide DNA interaction affinity information of various environmental contaminants.

  1. Identification of Immunological Biomarkers Which May Differentiate Latent Tuberculosis from Exposure to Environmental Nontuberculous Mycobacteria in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crampin, Amelia C.; Chisambo, Christina; Kanyika, James; Houben, Rein; Ndhlovu, Richard; Mzembe, Themba; Lalor, Maeve K.; Saul, Jacky; Branson, Keith; Stanley, Carolynne; Ngwira, Bagrey; French, Neil; Ottenhoff, Tom H.; Dockrell, Hazel M.; Gorak-Stolinska, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    A positive gamma interferon (IFN-γ) response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis early secretory antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6)/culture filtrate protein-10 (CFP-10) has been taken to indicate latent tuberculosis (TB) infection, but it may also be due to exposure to environmental nontuberculous mycobacteria in which ESAT-6 homologues are present. We assessed the immune responses to M. tuberculosis ESAT-6 and cross-reactive responses to ESAT-6 homologues of Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium kansasii. Archived culture supernatant samples from children at 3 years post-BCG vaccination were tested for cytokine/chemokine responses to M. tuberculosis antigens. Furthermore, the IFN-γ responses to M. tuberculosis antigens were followed up for 40 children at 8 years post-BCG vaccination, and 15 TB patients were recruited as a control group for the M. tuberculosis ESAT-6 response in Malawi. IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) on supernatants from diluted whole-blood assays, IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot) assays, QuantiFERON TB Gold-In Tube tests, and multiplex bead assays were performed. More than 45% of the responders to M. tuberculosis ESAT-6 showed IFN-γ responses to M. avium and M. kansasii ESAT-6. In response to M. tuberculosis ESAT-6/CFP-10, interleukin 5 (IL-5), IL-9, IL-13, and IL-17 differentiated the stronger IFN-γ responders to M. tuberculosis ESAT-6 from those who preferentially responded to M. kansasii and M. avium ESAT-6. A cytokine/chemokine signature of IL-5, IL-9, IL-13, and IL-17 was identified as a putative immunological biosignature to differentiate latent TB infection from exposure to M. avium and M. kansasii in Malawian children, indicating that this signature might be particularly informative in areas where both TB and exposure to environmental nontuberculous mycobacteria are endemic. PMID:24285818

  2. Differential response to environmental and nutritional factors of high-quality tomato varieties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglesias, María José; García-López, Jesús; Collados-Luján, Juan Fernando; López-Ortiz, Fernando; Díaz, Manuel; Toresano, Fernando; Camacho, Francisco

    2015-06-01

    The effect of salinity and silicon treatments on the marketable quality of four Marmande tomato varieties was investigated through conventional quality attributes and (1)H HRMAS NMR spectroscopy. Following variations in ripening through the content of GABA deduced from NMR was crucial for understanding the effects of environmental and nutritional factors. NMR data also lead to a new taste index, which increases from December to January. For Raf, Delizia and Conquista varieties, it was associated to ripening. In Tigre tomatoes the change, exclusively due to the decrease in sourness, does not affect the GABA content. The effect of the harvest day was more pronounced than treatments. However, increasing electrical conductivity seems an efficient alternative for improving fruit quality of Raf tomatoes harvest under non-optimal conditions. Silicon addition appears to reinforce the effect of light intensity on the quantity of photoassimilates available to the fruits without a clear effect on organoleptic quality. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Differential bacteriostatic effects of sucralose on various species of environmental bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omran, Arthur; Baker, Ronald; Coughlin, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Sucralose was developed as a low-cost artificial sweetener that is nonmetabolizable and can withstand changes in pH and temperature. It is not degraded by the wastewater treatment process and thus has been found in waste water, estuaries, rivers and the Gulf Stream. Since the molecule can withstand heat, acidification, and microbial degradation, it is accumulating in the environment. The highest concentration of environmental sucralose detected to date is 300 ng/L. Our lab has isolated six bacterial species from areas that have been exposed to sucralose. We then cultured these isolates in the presence of sucralose looking for potential sucralose metabolism or growth acceleration. Instead we found something very interesting, bacteriostatic effects exhibited on all six isolates. This inhibition was directly proportional to the concentration of sucralose exposure. The efficiency of the growth inhibition seemed to be species specific, with various concentrations inhibiting each organism differently.

  4. Identification of differentially expressed genes in hepatopancreas of oriental river prawn, Macrobrachium nipponense exposed to environmental hypoxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shengming; Xuan, Fujun; Ge, Xianping; Fu, Hongtuo; Zhu, Jian; Zhang, Shiyong

    2013-10-25

    Hypoxia represents a major physiological challenge for prawn culture, and the hepatopancreas plays an important role in these processes. Here, we applied high-throughput sequencing technology to detect the gene expression profile of the hepatopancreas in M. nipponense in response to hypoxia for 3h and hypoxia for 24h. Gene expression profiling identified 1925 genes that were significantly up- or down-regulated by dissolved oxygen availability. Functional categorization of the differentially expressed genes revealed that oxygen transport, electron transport chain, reactive oxygen species generation/scavenging, and immune response were the differentially regulated processes occurring during environmental hypoxia. Finally, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction using six genes independently verified the tag-mapped results. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed, for the first time, hemocyanin protein expression as significant hypoxia-specific signatures in prawns, which opens the way for in depth molecular studies of hypoxia exposure. The analysis of changes in hepatic gene expression in oriental river prawn provides a preliminary basis for a better understanding of the molecular response to hypoxia exposures. Crown Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.

  5. Historical Planktothrix diversity across seven Norwegian lakes implies environmentally driven niche differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia eKyle

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Non-ribosomal synthetase-produced cyanopeptoline oligopeptides enables differentiation of subpopulations of the cyanobacterial genus Planktothrix into chemotypes. It is unknown what influences the population structuring of these chemotypes. Sediment cores from seven lakes in southern Norway allowed temporal reconstruction of chemotype diversity from sites where there is only fragmented historical information. Sediment DNA was amplified using primers designed to specify the chemotype variations found within the cyanopeptoline ociB gene cluster. Findings indicate that of the seven lakes studied, only two lakes had Planktothrix populations containing all four of the most common Norwegian chemotypes. We used Principle Component and Kendall tau analysis to investigate the ability of monitoring data to predict chemotype diversity, and to identify possible biotic or abiotic barriers to chemotype dispersal. The best predictor was a negative relationship between number of chemotypes present in a lake and the concentration of chlorophyll a in the top 0 – 4 meters. At low chlorophyll a concentrations, light penetration is typically deeper, which could allow light tolerant Planktothrix to move deeper into the colder waters. Recent research findings have suggested this allows for a window of opportunity for Planktothrix to escape parasitism. With this added cold, light-constrained niche, more chemotypes might find refuge. The resulting increase in chemotype diversity within Planktothrix populations could present a greater defense against parasitism when conditions varied, such as by seasonal light changes.

  6. Vertically Differentiating Environmental Standards: The Case of the Marine Stewardship Council

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon R. Bush

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the externally-led vertical differentiation of third-party certification standards using the case of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC. We analyze this process in two dimensions. First, fisheries employ strategies to capture further market value from fishing practices that go beyond their initial conditions for certification and seek additional recognition for these activities through co-labelling with, amongst others, international NGOs. Second, fisheries not yet able to meet the requirements of MSC standards are being enrolled in NGO and private sector sponsored Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs, providing an alternative route to global markets. In both cases the credibility and authority of the MSC is challenged by new coalitions of market actors opening up new strategies for capturing market value and/or improving the conditions of international market access. Through the lens of global value chains, the results offer new insights on how such standards not only influence trade and markets, but are also starting to change their internal governance in response to threats to their credibility by actors and modes of coordination in global value chains.

  7. Differentiation Borrelia Species in Environmental Samples with High-Resolution DNA Melting Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wodecka, Beata; Skotarczak, Bogumiła

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato includes at least 20 species in the world, and half of these are found in Europe. The usefulness of high resolution melting (HRM) analysis of DNA denaturation curves has been assessed for differentiation of Borrelia species. HRM protocol for Borrelia species was used to examine the 77 DNA extracts selected from earlier studies with the use of three different molecular markers: flaB, rplL, and groEL. The studies revealed that the best marker is the groEL gene, which enables identification of 8 Borrelia species, including B. miyamotoi from the relapsing fever borreliae group and 7 of B. burgdorferi s.l. complex (B. garinii, B, afzelii, B. burgdorferi s.s., B. valaisiana, B. lusitaniae, B. bissetii, B. spielmanii). The HRM method, when compared with other PCR variants with regard to the reduced time of analysis, is an alternative for the procedures used in the molecular diagnostics of borreliosis including testing of blood samples or saved Ixodes ticks for the presence and genotyping of Borrelia burgdorferi after biting a patient.

  8. DNA methylation is differentially associated with environmental cadmium exposure based on sex and smoking status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virani, Shama; Rentschler, Katie M; Nishijo, Muneko; Ruangyuttikarn, Werawan; Swaddiwudhipong, Witaya; Basu, Niladri; Rozek, Laura S

    2016-02-01

    The adverse health effects of cadmium (Cd) are well known in human populations; however, much of what is known about biological mechanisms of Cd comes from in vitro and animal studies. The adverse health outcomes due to high levels of Cd exposure in the population of Mae Sot, Thailand have been extensively characterized. Here, for the first time, this population is being studied in an epigenetic context. The objective of this study was to characterize the association between DNA methylation markers and Cd exposure, taking into account sex and smoking differences, in an adult population at an increased risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes from high body burden of Cd. One hundred and sixty-nine residents from known exposure areas of Mae Sot, Thailand and one hundred residents from non-exposed areas nearby were surveyed in 2012. Urine and blood samples were collected for measurement of urinary Cd (UCd) and DNA methylation of Cd-related markers (DNMT3B, MGMT, LINE-1, MT2A). UCd levels were 7 times higher in the exposed compared to the unexposed populations (exposed median: 7.4 μg/L, unexposed median: 1.0 μg/L, p smoking status. In summary, environmental Cd exposure is associated with gene-specific DNA methylation in a sex and smoking dependent manner. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Detection of toxigenic vibrio cholera from environmental water samples by an enrichment broth cultivation-pit-stop semi-nested PCR procedure

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Theron, J

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available A pit-stop semi-nested PCR assay for the detection of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae in environmental water samples was developed and its performance evaluated. The PCR technique amplifies sequences within the cholera toxin operon specific for toxigenic...

  10. Bromine enrichment in marsh sediments as a marker of environmental changes driven by Grand Solar Minima and anthropogenic activity (Caminha, NW of Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, J; Fatela, F; Leorri, E; Araújo, M F; Moreno, F; De la Rosa, J; Freitas, M C; Valente, T; Corbett, D R

    2015-02-15

    A sediment core collected in Caminha tidal marsh, NW Portugal, was used to assess bromine (Br) signal over the last ca. 1,700 years. The Br temporal variability reflects its close relationship with soil/sediment organic matter (OM) and also alterations in Br biogeochemical recycling in marsh environment. The highest Br enrichment in sediments was found during the Maunder Solar Minimum, a major solar event characterized by lower irradiance (TSI) and temperature, increased cloudiness and albedo. The obtained results suggest that those climate-induced changes weakened the natural mechanisms that promote Br biochemical transformations, driven by both living plants metabolism and plant litter degradation, with the ensuing generation of volatile methyl bromide (CH3Br). It seems that the prevailing climate conditions during the Maunder favoured the retention of more Br in marsh ecosystem, ultimately decreasing the biogenic Br emissions to the atmosphere. During the 20th century, the Br pattern in sediments appears to mirror likewise anthropogenic sources. The significant correlation (pmarsh. Although man-made brominated compounds are being phased-out since the inception of the 1992 Montreal Protocol, the Caminha tidal marsh sedimentary record showed that Br levels only started to decline after 2002. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Environmental enrichment aides in functional recovery following unilateral controlled cortical impact of the forelimb sensorimotor area however intranasal administration of nerve growth factor does not.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Jennica; Pionk, Timothy; Hiatt, Ivy; Geeck, Katalin; Smith, Jeffrey S

    2015-06-01

    An injury to the forelimb sensorimotor cortex results in the impairment of motor function in animals. Recent research has suggested that intranasal administration of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein naturally found in the brain, and placement into enriched environments (EE) improves motor and cognitive function after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of this study was to determine whether NGF, EE, or the combination of both was beneficial in the recovery of motor function following TBI. Uninjured animals had fewer foot faults than injured animals, displaying a lesion effect. Injured animals housed in EE were shown to have fewer foot faults whether or not they received NGF. Injured animals also displayed an increased reliance on the non-impaired limb further validating a lesion effect. EE is an effective treatment on the recovery of motor function after a TBI. Intranasal administration of NGF was found to not be an effective treatment for functional motor recovery after a TBI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of long-term environmental enrichment on anxiety, memory, hippocampal plasticity and overall brain gene expression in C57BL6 mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Hüttenrauch

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available There is ample evidence that physical activity exerts positive effects on a variety of brain functions by facilitating neuroprotective processes and influencing neuroplasticity. Accordingly, numerous studies have shown that continuous exercise can successfully diminish or prevent the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease in transgenic mouse models. However, the long-term effect of physical activity on brain health of aging WT mice has not been studied in detail yet. Here, we show that prolonged physical and cognitive stimulation, mediated by an enriched environment (EE paradigm for a duration of eleven months, leads to reduced anxiety and improved spatial reference memory in C57BL6 wildtype (WT mice. While the number of CA1 pyramidal neurons remained unchanged between standard housed (SH and EE mice, the number of dentate gyrus (DG neurons, as well as the CA1 and DG volume were significantly increased in EE mice. A whole-brain deep sequencing transcriptome analysis, carried out to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed effects, revealed an up-regulation of a variety of genes upon EE, mainly associated with synaptic plasticity and transcription regulation. The present findings corroborate the impact of continuous physical activity as a potential prospective route in the prevention of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders.

  13. Multidimensional cost-benefit analysis to guide evidence-based environmental enrichment: providing bedding and foraging substrate to pen-housed monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Allyson J; Corcoran, Christopher A; Hardy, Vickie A; Miller, Leslie R; Pierre, Peter J

    2010-09-01

    Refinement of animal care and housing is an important shared goal-and challenge-of the team of research, veterinary, and animal care personnel charged with ensuring the wellbeing of laboratory animals. This study addresses 2 issues central to decision-making and implementation of environmental enhancement: methods for useful and comprehensive cost analysis and evaluation of engineering, husbandry, and facilities considerations. The study was undertaken to analyze the feasibility and cost of providing wood shavings as a floor cover for pen-housed monkeys. The beneficial effects of bedding for the welfare of laboratory-housed animals have long been validated. Our study illustrates a workable team-based procedure for comprehensive cost analysis of an important environmental enhancement and demonstrates that the animal welfare benefit is accompanied by decreased husbandry costs. An engineering solution to the potential challenge that wood shavings pose in terms of clogging water pipes was successful. Another successful outcome was the reduction in water (estimated at 192,000 gal annually) and chemicals used to clean housing areas. Emphasis on rigorous evaluation and objective measures of cost and benefit, as well as inclusion of the many factors and teams involved in animal research, holds strong potential for building a better foundation from which to contribute effective changes and improvements in laboratory animal welfare. Taken together, the findings of this study demonstrate that team-based, integrative, and scientific evaluation of environmental enhancement is an effective approach to guide selection of strategies with maximal potential for improving animal welfare.

  14. Multidimensional Cost–Benefit Analysis to Guide Evidence-Based Environmental Enrichment: Providing Bedding and Foraging Substrate to Pen-Housed Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Allyson J; Corcoran, Christopher A; Hardy, Vickie A; Miller, Leslie R; Pierre, Peter J

    2010-01-01

    Refinement of animal care and housing is an important shared goal—and challenge—of the team of research, veterinary, and animal care personnel charged with ensuring the wellbeing of laboratory animals. This study addresses 2 issues central to decision-making and implementation of environmental enhancement: methods for useful and comprehensive cost analysis and evaluation of engineering, husbandry, and facilities considerations. The study was undertaken to analyze the feasibility and cost of providing wood shavings as a floor cover for pen-housed monkeys. The beneficial effects of bedding for the welfare of laboratory-housed animals have long been validated. Our study illustrates a workable team-based procedure for comprehensive cost analysis of an important environmental enhancement and demonstrates that the animal welfare benefit is accompanied by decreased husbandry costs. An engineering solution to the potential challenge that wood shavings pose in terms of clogging water pipes was successful. Another successful outcome was the reduction in water (estimated at 192,000 gal annually) and chemicals used to clean housing areas. Emphasis on rigorous evaluation and objective measures of cost and benefit, as well as inclusion of the many factors and teams involved in animal research, holds strong potential for building a better foundation from which to contribute effective changes and improvements in laboratory animal welfare. Taken together, the findings of this study demonstrate that team-based, integrative, and scientific evaluation of environmental enhancement is an effective approach to guide selection of strategies with maximal potential for improving animal welfare. PMID:20858357

  15. Preparation of polydopamine coated Fe₃O₄ nanoparticles and their application for enrichment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from environmental water samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yixuan; Wang, Saihua; Niu, Hongyun; Ma, Yurong; Zeng, Tao; Cai, Yaqi; Meng, Zhaofu

    2013-03-29

    Core/shell structured magnetic Fe3O4/polydopamine (Fe3O4/PDA) nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized and developed as a magnetic solid-phase extraction (SPE) adsorbent in dispersion mode for the determination of trace polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in environmental samples. The Fe3O4/PDA synthetic procedure is simple and involves no organic solvents. Only 20mg of Fe3O4/PDA adsorbents are required to extract PAHs from 500mL water samples. The adsorption attains equilibrium rapidly and analysts are eluted with acetonitrile readily. The extraction efficiency is not influenced by salt concentrations up to 300mM and pH values over the range 4-11. Under optimized conditions, the detection limits of PAHs are in the range of 0.5-1.9ngL(-1). The accuracy of the method is evaluated by the recoveries of PAHs from environmental samples. Good recoveries (76.4-107%) with low relative standard deviations from 1.0% to 9.7% are achieved. Comparison study shows that the recoveries of target PAHs are low when they are extracted using traditional SPE method even with the addition of methanol or tetrabutylammonium bromide surfactants in water samples, suggesting great application potential of magnetic SPE method to preconcentrate highly hydrophobic contaminants (such as PAHs) from large volume of water samples. This new SPE method provides several advantages, such as simplicity, low environmental impact, high extraction efficiency, high breakthrough volumes, convenient extraction procedure, and short analysis time. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. County-level environmental quality is differentially associated with individual- and county-level infant mortality by race

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human health is affected by simultaneous exposure to stressors and amenities, but research typically considers single exposures. In order to account for multiple ambient environmental conditions, we constructed an Environmental Quality Index (EQI) using principle components analy...

  17. Influence of environmental enrichment on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses to single-dose nicotine, continuous nicotine by osmotic mini-pumps, and nicotine withdrawal by mecamylamine in male and female rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skwara, Amanda J.; Karwoski, Tracy E.; Czambel, R. Kenneth; Rubin, Robert T.; Rhodes, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we determined the effects of environmental enrichment (EE; Kong Toys® and Nestlets®) on sexually diergic HPA axis responses to single-dose nicotine (NIC), single-dose NIC following continuous NIC administration for two weeks, and NIC withdrawal by single-dose mecamylamine (MEC) in male and female rats. Blood sampling occurred before and after MEC and NIC administrations for the determination of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT). Supporting and extending our previous findings, EE appeared to produce anxiolytic effects by reducing hormone responses: Male and female rats housed with EE had lower baseline ACTH and significantly lower HPA axis responses to the mild stress of saline (SAL) injection than did those housed without EE. The sexually diergic responses to single dose NIC, continuous NIC, and MEC-induced NIC withdrawal were reduced by EE in many male and female groups. ACTH responses to continuous NIC and MEC-induced NIC withdrawal were blunted to a greater extent in female EE groups than in male EE groups, suggesting that females are more sensitive to the anxiolytic effects of EE. Because EE lowered stress-responsive hormones of the HPA axis in most groups, EE may be a useful intervention for stress reduction in animal models of NIC addiction. As well, the effectiveness of EE in animal studies of NIC withdrawal may enlighten human studies addressing coping styles and tobacco cessation in men and women. PMID:22705101

  18. NEAT: an efficient network enrichment analysis test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Signorelli, Mirko; Vinciotti, Veronica; Wit, Ernst C

    2016-09-05

    Network enrichment analysis is a powerful method, which allows to integrate gene enrichment analysis with the information on relationships between genes that is provided by gene networks. Existing tests for network enrichment analysis deal only with undirected networks, they can be computationally slow and are based on normality assumptions. We propose NEAT, a test for network enrichment analysis. The test is based on the hypergeometric distribution, which naturally arises as the null distribution in this context. NEAT can be applied not only to undirected, but to directed and partially directed networks as well. Our simulations indicate that NEAT is considerably faster than alternative resampling-based methods, and that its capacity to detect enrichments is at least as good as the one of alternative tests. We discuss applications of NEAT to network analyses in yeast by testing for enrichment of the Environmental Stress Response target gene set with GO Slim and KEGG functional gene sets, and also by inspecting associations between functional sets themselves. NEAT is a flexible and efficient test for network enrichment analysis that aims to overcome some limitations of existing resampling-based tests. The method is implemented in the R package neat, which can be freely downloaded from CRAN ( https://cran.r-project.org/package=neat ).

  19. SeqEnrich: A tool to predict transcription factor networks from co-expressed Arabidopsis and Brassica napus gene sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Michael G; Walker, Philip L; Pulgar-Vidal, Nadège C; Belmonte, Mark F

    2017-01-01

    Transcription factors and their associated DNA binding sites are key regulatory elements of cellular differentiation, development, and environmental response. New tools that predict transcriptional regulation of biological processes are valuable to researchers studying both model and emerging-model plant systems. SeqEnrich predicts transcription factor networks from co-expressed Arabidopsis or Brassica napus gene sets. The networks produced by SeqEnrich are supported by existing literature and predicted transcription factor-DNA interactions that can be functionally validated at the laboratory bench. The program functions with gene sets of varying sizes and derived from diverse tissues and environmental treatments. SeqEnrich presents as a powerful predictive framework for the analysis of Arabidopsis and Brassica napus co-expression data, and is designed so that researchers at all levels can easily access and interpret predicted transcriptional circuits. The program outperformed its ancestral program ChipEnrich, and produced detailed transcription factor networks from Arabidopsis and Brassica napus gene expression data. The SeqEnrich program is ideal for generating new hypotheses and distilling biological information from large-scale expression data.

  20. Ecological comparison of cellular stress responses among populations - normalizing RT-qPCR values to investigate differential environmental adaptations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Koenigstein, Stefan; Pöhlmann, Kevin; Held, Christoph; Abele, Doris

    2013-01-01

    Rising temperatures and other environmental factors influenced by global climate change can cause increased physiological stress for many species and lead to range shifts or regional population extinctions...

  1. Psittacine wellness management and environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupley, Agnes E; Simone-Freilicher, Elisabeth

    2015-05-01

    The goal of this article is to present practical ways to provide a healthier lifestyle to the commonly kept companion psittacine pets. Necessary information for bird owners to provide for the physical and mental health of their bird is presented. This information is exquisitely important for people keeping birds as pets to know and apply. It is the exotic veterinarian's responsibility to educate clients on how to provide properly for the pet's mental and physical well-being. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Environmental

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawsan M. Aboul Ezz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Rotifers are one of the most common, abundant components of plankton in the coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea, which means that they can be used as bio-indicators and provide useful information on the long-term dynamics of the El-Mex Bay ecosystem. Rotifera species were quantitatively and qualitatively assessed in the El-Mex Bay, west of Alexandria at eight stations to study spatial, temporal, dominance, and abundance of the rotifer community and their relation with changes in environmental conditions. Samples were collected seasonally from autumn 2011 to autumn 2012. Ecological parameters were determined and correlated with total rotifers abundance to gain information about the forces that structure the rotifer community in this dynamic environment. A total of 38 rotifer species were identified belonging to 16 genera within 12 families and 3 orders under one class and contributed about 12.1% of the total zooplankton in the study area with an average of 1077 specimens/m3. Maximum density was observed in summer 2012 with an average of 1445 specimens/m3. During autumn 2011 rotifers appeared in low density (434 specimens/m3. The predominant species Ascomorpha saltans, Brachionus urceolaris, Synchaeta oblonga, Synchaeta okai, Synchaeta pectinata and Synchaeta tremula were recorded in all study stations of the bay. Salinity, temperature, depth, and chlorophyll-a concentration were the most important environmental factors co-related with the abundance of rotifers in the El-Mex Bay. A significant positive correlation between the total rotifer abundance and chlorophyll-a was observed during winter 2012 and summer 2012 (r = 0.763 and r = 0.694, respectively, at p ⩽ 0.05.

  3. Opting for Assets to Enrich Pre-School Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eloff, I.; de Wet, A.

    2009-01-01

    This research entailed an ethnographic study that sought assets and resources to enrich pre-school learning in a community challenged by poverty. The aim of this research was to identify personal and environmental assets that could be used to enrich pre-school learning within this context--instead of focusing on needs and deficiencies. The assets…

  4. The Effects of Environmental Factors on Smooth Muscle Cells Differentiation from Adipose-Derived Stem Cells and Esophagus Tissues Engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Fang

    Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are increasingly being used for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) can be differentiated from ASCs. Oxygen is a key factor influencing the stem cell differentiation. Tissue engineered esophagus has been a preferred solution......) and biochemical factor stimulation on SMCs differentiation were studied. The results showed that combined treatments promoted the late SMC-specific marker smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (MHC) expression. In the third part, the potential for using ASCs to replace SMCs to regenerate the smooth muscle layer...... of esophagus was studied. Our results showed that both SMCs and ASCs could attach on the porcine esophageal acellular matrix (EAM) scaffold in vitro after 24 hours and survive until 7 days. Thus ASCs might be a substitute for SMCs in the construction of tissue engineered esophageal muscle layer....

  5. A Child’s View: Social and Physical Environmental Features Differentially Predict Parent and Child Perceived Neighborhood Safety

    OpenAIRE

    Côté-Lussier, Carolyn; Jackson, Jonathan; Kestens, Yan; Henderson, Melanie; Barnett, Tracie A.

    2014-01-01

    Parent and child perceived neighborhood safety predicts child health outcomes such as sleep quality, asthma, physical activity, and psychological distress. Although previous studies identify environmental predictors of parent perceived safety, little is known about predictors of child perceived safety. This study aims to identify the social and physical environmental neighborhood features that predict child and parent perceived neighborhood safety and, simultaneously, to assess the associatio...

  6. Oxygen enrichment incineration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jeong Guk; Yang, Hee Chul; Park, Geun Il; Kim, Joon Hyung

    2000-10-01

    Oxygen enriched combustion technology has recently been used in waste incineration. To apply the oxygen enrichment on alpha-bearing waste incineration, which is being developed, a state-of-an-art review has been performed. The use of oxygen or oxygen-enriched air instead of air in incineration would result in increase of combustion efficiency and capacity, and reduction of off-gas product. Especially, the off-gas could be reduced below a quarter, which might reduce off-gas treatment facilities, and also increase an efficiency of off-gas treatment. However, the use of oxygen might also lead to local overheating and high nitrogen oxides (NOx) formation. To overcome these problems, an application of low NOx oxy-fuel burner and recycling of a part of off-gas to combustion chamber have been suggested.

  7. Uranium Conversion & Enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karpius, Peter Joseph [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-02-06

    The isotopes of uranium that are found in nature, and hence in ‘fresh’ Yellowcake’, are not in relative proportions that are suitable for power or weapons applications. The goal of conversion then is to transform the U3O8 yellowcake into UF6. Conversion and enrichment of uranium is usually required to obtain material with enough 235U to be usable as fuel in a reactor or weapon. The cost, size, and complexity of practical conversion and enrichment facilities aid in nonproliferation by design.

  8. Quantitative structure-activity relationship correlation between molecular structure and the Rayleigh enantiomeric enrichment factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jammer, S; Rizkov, D; Gelman, F; Lev, O

    2015-08-01

    It was recently demonstrated that under environmentally relevant conditions the Rayleigh equation is valid to describe the enantiomeric enrichment - conversion relationship, yielding a proportional constant called the enantiomeric enrichment factor, εER. In the present study we demonstrate a quantitative structure-activity relationship model (QSAR) that describes well the dependence of εER on molecular structure. The enantiomeric enrichment factor can be predicted by the linear Hansch model, which correlates biological activity with physicochemical properties. Enantioselective hydrolysis of sixteen derivatives of 2-(phenoxy)propionate (PPMs) have been analyzed during enzymatic degradation by lipases from Pseudomonas fluorescens (PFL), Pseudomonas cepacia (PCL), and Candida rugosa (CRL). In all cases the QSAR relationships were significant with R(2) values of 0.90-0.93, and showed high predictive abilities with internal and external validations providing QLOO(2) values of 0.85-0.87 and QExt(2) values of 0.8-0.91. Moreover, it is demonstrated that this model enables differentiation between enzymes with different binding site shapes. The enantioselectivity of PFL and PCL was dictated by electronic properties, whereas the enantioselectivity of CRL was determined by lipophilicity and steric factors. The predictive ability of the QSAR model demonstrated in the present study may serve as a helpful tool in environmental studies, assisting in source tracking of unstudied chiral compounds belonging to a well-studied homologous series.

  9. Size-differentiated REE characteristics and environmental significance of aeolian sediments in the Ili Basin of Xinjiang, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiuling; Song, Yougui; Li, Jinchan; Fang, Hong; Li, Zhizhong; Liu, Xiuming; Li, Yue; Orozbaev, Rustam

    2017-08-01

    Aeolian loess in the Ili Basin is an important geological archive for studying the changes in paleoclimate and sources of dust particles. Size-differentiated rare earth elements (REE) may help to distinguish potential dust sources. This study investigates the size-differentiated REE characteristics from three sites including the Zhaosu loess and the Kekdala desert sediments from the Ili Basin, and the Chaona loess from the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Our results show that the patterns of variation of the REE characteristics in different size fractions can act as improved source tracers for aeolian sediments. Moreover, the REE characteristics of the CLP due to the post-depositional chemical weathering. The REE characteristics of coarse fractions are effective tracers for tracking changes in proximal dust sources and regional boundary level circulations. Our study has implications for identifying the exact source(s) of the Ili loess, which is helpful to understand paleoclimate changes and westerly circulation patterns in Central Asia.

  10. Nutrient enrichment increases mortality of mangroves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E Lovelock

    Full Text Available Nutrient enrichment of the coastal zone places intense pressure on marine communities. Previous studies have shown that growth of intertidal mangrove forests is accelerated with enhanced nutrient availability. However, nutrient enrichment favours growth of shoots relative to roots, thus enhancing growth rates but increasing vulnerability to environmental stresses that adversely affect plant water relations. Two such stresses are high salinity and low humidity, both of which require greater investment in roots to meet the demands for water by the shoots. Here we present data from a global network of sites that documents enhanced mortality of mangroves with experimental nutrient enrichment at sites where high sediment salinity was coincident with low rainfall and low humidity. Thus the benefits of increased mangrove growth in response to coastal eutrophication is offset by the costs of decreased resilience due to mortality during drought, with mortality increasing with soil water salinity along climatic gradients.

  11. Individual and environmental factors influencing questionable development among low-income children: differential impact during infancy versus early childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Gyungjoo; McCreary, Linda; Kim, Mi Ja; Park, Chang Gi; Yang, Soo

    2012-12-01

    From the holistic environmental perspective, individual and environmental influences on low-income children's questionable development were identified and examined as to differences in the influences according to the child's developmental stage of infancy (age 0-35 months) or early childhood (age 36-71 months). This study was a cross-sectional comparative design using negative binominal regression analysis to identify predictors of questionable development separately for each developmental stage. The sample was comprised of 952 children (357 in infancy and 495 in early childhood) from low-income families in South Korea. Predictors included individual factors: child's age and gender; proximal environmental influences: family factors (family health conditions, primary caregiver, child-caregiver relationship, depression in primary caregiver) and institution factors (daycare enrollment, days per week in daycare); and distal environmental influences: income/resources factors (family income, personal resources and social resources); and community factors (perceived child-rearing environment). The outcome variable was questionable development. Significant contributors to questionable development in the infancy group were age, family health conditions, and personal resources; in the early childhood group, significant contributors were gender, family health conditions, grandparent as a primary caregiver, child-caregiver relationships, daycare enrollment, and personal resources. Factors influencing children's questionable development may vary by developmental stage. It is important to consider differences in individual and environmental influences when developing targeted interventions to ensure that children attain their optimal developmental goals at each developmental stage. Understanding this may lead nursing professionals to design more effective preventive interventions for low-income children.

  12. Differential effects of landscape-level environmental features on genetic structure in three codistributed tree species in Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelchau, Monica F; Hamrick, J L

    2012-10-01

    Landscape genetic studies use spatially explicit population genetic information to determine the physical and environmental causes of population genetic structure on regional scales. Comparative studies that identify common barriers to gene flow across multiple species within a community are important to both understand the evolutionary trajectories of populations and prioritize habitat conservation. Here, we use a comparative landscape genetic approach to ask whether gradients in temperature or precipitation seasonality structure genetic variation across three codistributed tree species in Central America, or whether a simpler (geographic distance) or more complex, species-specific environmental niche model is necessary to individually explain population genetic structure. Using descriptive statistics and causal modelling, we find that different factors best explain genetic distance in each of the three species: environmental niche distance in Bursera simaruba, geographic distance in Ficus insipida and historical barriers to gene flow or cryptic reproductive barriers for Brosimum alicastrum. This study confirms suggestions from previous studies of Central American tree species that imply that population genetic structure of trees in this region is determined by complex interactions of both historical and current barriers to gene flow. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Phosphopeptide enrichment by IEF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccarrone, Giuseppina; Kolb, Nikolaus; Teplytska, Larysa; Birg, Isabel; Zollinger, Richard; Holsboer, Florian; Turck, Christoph W

    2006-11-01

    In our efforts to improve the identification of phosphopeptides by MS we have used peptide IEF on IPG strips. Phosphopeptides derived from trypsin digests of single proteins as well as complex cellular protein mixtures can be enriched by IEF and recovered in excellent yields at the acidic end of an IPG strip. IPG peptide fractionation in combination with MS/MS analysis has allowed us to identify phosphopeptides from tryptic digests of a cellular protein extract.

  14. Long-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of progesterone and norgestrel affects sex differentiation in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yan-Qiu; Huang, Guo-Yong; Liu, Shuang-Shuang; Zhao, Jian-Liang; Yang, Yuan-Yuan; Chen, Xiao-Wen; Tian, Fei; Jiang, Yu-Xia; Ying, Guang-Guo

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of progestins on the sex differentiation of zebrafish by measuring the sex ratio and transcriptions of genes related to sex differentiation (Amh, Dmrt1, Figa, Sox9a and Sox9b genes) as well as sex hormone levels and transcriptional expression profiles along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes in juvenile zebrafish. Exposure of zebrafish to 4, 33, 63ngL(-1) progesterone (P4) or 4, 34, 77ngL(-1) norgestrel (NGT) started at 20 days post fertilization (dpf) and ended at 60 dpf. The results showed that exposure to P4 caused a significant increase in proportion of females as well as significant down-regulation of Amh gene and up-regulation of Figa at a concentration of 63ngL(-1). However, the shift in the sex ratio toward males was observed following exposure to 34 and 77ngL(-1) NGT, which came along with the significant induction of Dmrt1 gene and inhibition of Figa gene. The sex hormones in exposed fish were measured with estrone being detected only in the fish exposed to the highest P4 concentration; whereas estradiol and androstenedione were detected only in the fish of the control and lowest NGT concentration. Furthermore, the increase in females was associated with the significant up-regulation of several key genes controlling the synthesis of sex hormones (i.e., Cyp17, Cyp19a1a and Hsd3b) following exposure to 63ngL(-1) P4 whereas the significant down-regulation of Cyp11a1, Cyp17, Cyp19a1a and Hsd3b genes was observed in the male-biased populations caused by 34 and 77ngL(-1) NGT. The overall results imply that both P4 and NGT could significantly affect sex differentiation in zebrafish, and that changes may be reflected by altered sex hormone levels and transcriptional expression profiles of genes related to synthesis of sex hormones. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Quantification of Human and Animal Viruses to Differentiate the Origin of the Fecal Contamination Present in Environmental Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sílvia Bofill-Mas

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Many different viruses are excreted by humans and animals and are frequently detected in fecal contaminated waters causing public health concerns. Classical bacterial indicator such as E. coli and enterococci could fail to predict the risk for waterborne pathogens such as viruses. Moreover, the presence and levels of bacterial indicators do not always correlate with the presence and concentration of viruses, especially when these indicators are present in low concentrations. Our research group has proposed new viral indicators and methodologies for determining the presence of fecal pollution in environmental samples as well as for tracing the origin of this fecal contamination (microbial source tracking. In this paper, we examine to what extent have these indicators been applied by the scientific community. Recently, quantitative assays for quantification of poultry and ovine viruses have also been described. Overall, quantification by qPCR of human adenoviruses and human polyomavirus JC, porcine adenoviruses, bovine polyomaviruses, chicken/turkey parvoviruses, and ovine polyomaviruses is suggested as a toolbox for the identification of human, porcine, bovine, poultry, and ovine fecal pollution in environmental samples.

  16. Metabolic and functional phenotypic profiling of Drosophila melanogaster reveals reduced sex differentiation under stressful environmental conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørsted, Michael; Malmendal, Anders; Muñoz, Joaquin

    2017-01-01

    sexual dimorphism in stressful environment might be caused by a lower investment in sex specific characteristics in harsh environments, and our results provide support for the longstanding idea that ecological factors are important for shaping sexual dimorphism and possibly sexual selection.......Strong sexual dimorphism is commonly observed across species and e.g. trade-offs between reproduction and maintenance are thought to explain this dimorphism. Here we test how the metabolic and functional phenotypic responses to varying types of environmental stress differ in male and female...... Drosophila melanogaster (Diptera: Drosophilidae), and how this impacts the magnitude of sexual dimorphism. Experimental stressors that we exposed flies to during development were heat stress, poor nutrition, high acidity, high levels of ammonia and ethanol. Emerged male and female flies from the different...

  17. Absence of genetic differentiation in the coral Pocillopora verrucosa along environmental gradients of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Robitzch, Vanessa S.N.

    2015-02-11

    The Red Sea is the world\\'s northernmost tropical sea. The 2000 km long, but narrow basin creates distinct environmental conditions along its latitudinal spread. The Red Sea displays a pronounced salinity gradient from 41 to 37 PSU (north to south) with an opposing temperature gradient from 21 to 27°C in the north to 27–33.8°C in the south. The Red Sea further displays a decreasing nutrient gradient from south to north that can also influence underwater light fields due to higher phytoplankton content and turbidity. Despite this strong variation in temperature, salinity, nutrients, and light conditions, the Red Sea supports large and diverse coral reef ecosystems along its nearly entire coastline. Only few studies have targeted whether these prevailing gradients affect genetic connectivity of reef organisms in the Red Sea. In this study, we sampled the abundant reef-building coral Pocillopora verrucosa from 10 reefs along a latitudinal gradient in the Red Sea covering an area of more than 850 km. We used nine Pocillopora microsatellite markers to assess the underlying population genetic structure and effective population size. To assure the exclusion of cryptic species, all analyzed specimens were chosen from a single mitochondrial lineage. Despite large distances between sampled regions covering pronounced, but smooth temperature and salinity gradients, no significant genetic population structure was found. Rather, our data indicate panmixia and considerable gene flow among regions. The absence of population subdivision driven by environmental factors and over large geographic distances suggests efficient larval dispersal and successful settlement of recruits from a wide range of reef sites. It also advocates, broadcast spawning as the main reproductive strategy of Pocillopora verrucosa in the Red Sea as reflected by the absence of clones in sampled colonies. These factors might explain the success of Pocillopora species throughout the Indo-Pacific and

  18. Absence of genetic differentiation in the coral Pocillopora verrucosa along environmental gradients of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa eRobitzch

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The Red Sea is the world’s northernmost tropical sea. The 2,000 km long, but narrow basin creates distinct environmental conditions along its latitudinal spread. The Red Sea displays a pronounced salinity gradient from 41 to 37 PSU (north to south with an opposing temperature gradient from 21-27°C in the north to 27-33.8°C in the south. The Red Sea further displays a decreasing nutrient gradient from south to north that can also influence underwater light fields due to higher phytoplankton content and turbidity. Despite this strong variation in temperature, salinity, nutrients, and light conditions, the Red Sea supports large and diverse coral reef ecosystems along its nearly entire coastline. Only few studies have targeted whether these prevailing gradients affect genetic connectivity of reef organisms in the Red Sea. In this study, we sampled the abundant reef-building coral Pocillopora verrucosa from ten reefs along a latitudinal gradient in the Red Sea covering an area of more than 850 km. We used nine Pocillopora microsatellite markers to assess the underlying population genetic structure and effective population size. To assure the exclusion of cryptic species, all analyzed specimens were chosen from a single mitochondrial lineage. Despite large distances between sampled regions covering pronounced, but smooth temperature and salinity gradients, no significant genetic population structure was found. Rather, our data indicate panmixia and considerable gene flow among regions. The absence of population subdivision driven by environmental factors and over large geographic distances suggests efficient larval dispersal and successful settlement of recruits from a wide range of reef sites. It also advocates, broadcast spawning as the main reproductive strategy of Pocillopora verrucosa in the Red Sea as reflected by the absence of clones in sampled colonies. These factors might explain the success of Pocillopora species throughout the Indo

  19. Differential responses to environmental challenge by common carp Cyprinus carpio highlight the importance of coping style in integrative physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, S; Ribas, L; Morera Capdevila, D; Callol, A; Huntingford, F A; Pilarczyk, M; Kadri, S; MacKenzie, S

    2016-03-01

    Common carp Cyprinus carpio displaying proactive or reactive stress coping styles were acclimated to two environmental regimes (low oxygen and low temperature), and selected groups were tested for response to an inflammatory challenge (Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide, LPS). Plasma glucose and lactate levels were measured, as were selected C. carpio-specific messenger (m)RNA transcript abundance, including cortisol receptor (CR), enolase (ENO), glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and interleukin-1-beta (IL1β) was measured in individual whole brain samples. Basal levels (in sham injected fish held in normoxic conditions at 25° C) of plasma lactate and glucose differed between coping styles, being significantly lower in proactive individuals. Both variables increased in response to LPS challenge, with the exception of plasma glucose in reactive fish held in hypoxia. Baseline levels of gene expression under control conditions were significantly different for GAPDH between behavioural phenotypes. The responses to experimental challenge were sometimes diametrically opposed between stress-coping styles in a transcript-specific manner. For CR and GAPDH, for example, the response to LPS injection in hypoxia were opposite between proactive and reactive animals. Proactive fish showed decreased CR and increased GAPDH, whereas reactive showed the opposite response. These results further highlight that screening for stress-coping styles prior to experiments in adaptive physiology can significantly affect the interpretation of data obtained. Further, this leads to a more finely tuned analytical output providing an improved understanding of variation in individual responses to both environmental and inflammatory challenge. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  20. Individuality, phenotypic differentiation, dormancy and ‘persistence’ in culturable bacterial systems: commonalities shared by environmental, laboratory, and clinical microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas; Potgieter, Marnie; Pretorius, Etheresia

    2015-01-01

    For bacteria, replication mainly involves growth by binary fission. However, in a very great many natural environments there are examples of phenotypically dormant, non-growing cells that do not replicate immediately and that are phenotypically ‘nonculturable’ on media that normally admit their growth. They thereby evade detection by conventional culture-based methods. Such dormant cells may also be observed in laboratory cultures and in clinical microbiology. They are usually more tolerant to stresses such as antibiotics, and in clinical microbiology they are typically referred to as ‘persisters’. Bacterial cultures necessarily share a great deal of relatedness, and inclusive fitness theory implies that there are conceptual evolutionary advantages in trading a variation in growth rate against its mean, equivalent to hedging one’s bets. There is much evidence that bacteria exploit this strategy widely. We here bring together data that show the commonality of these phenomena across environmental, laboratory and clinical microbiology. Considerable evidence, using methods similar to those common in environmental microbiology, now suggests that many supposedly non-communicable, chronic and inflammatory diseases are exacerbated (if not indeed largely caused) by the presence of dormant or persistent bacteria (the ability of whose components to cause inflammation is well known). This dormancy (and resuscitation therefrom) often reflects the extent of the availability of free iron. Together, these phenomena can provide a ready explanation for the continuing inflammation common to such chronic diseases and its correlation with iron dysregulation. This implies that measures designed to assess and to inhibit or remove such organisms (or their access to iron) might be of much therapeutic benefit. PMID:26629334

  1. Short-term alpha- or gamma-delta-enriched tocopherol oil supplementation differentially affects the expression of proinflammatory mediators: selective impacts on characteristics of protein tyrosine nitration in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted H. Elsasser

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available While vitamin E has been used for decades in cattle diets, the principle form used traditionally is the synthetic α-isoform acetate or succinate and largely no data exist on the biological partitioning or functionality of the major naturally occurring γ- and δ-isoforms in cattle. Using tyrosine 3’-nitrated protein (pNT as a biomarker of nitrosative cell stress, we sought to evaluate the effectiveness of short-term feeding supplementation of high content natural α-tocopherol (α-T, 96% α-isomer compared to high content γ- and δ-enriched low α-content mixed tocopherol oils (γ-T, ~70% γ-, 20% δ-, <5% α-isoform to mitigate systemic and hepatic aspects of the proinflammatory response to endotoxin (LPS. Calves fed diets supplemented with α-T, γ-T for five days or no tocopherol supplement (T0E were challenged with a low-level of LPS (0.25 μg/kg, iv, E. coli 055:B5 sufficient to effect a liver nitration response. As fed, α-T or γ-T increased plasma and liver content of the respective tocopherols reflecting their relative abundance in the respective diets. Plasma or tissue mediators and biomarkers of the proinflammatory response [plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α, P<0.001, nitrate+nitrite (NOx, P<0.01, and serum amyloid A (SAA, P<0.001], and general liver content of pNT (P<0.005 increased after LPS. LPS-mediated increases in TNF-α were not dif- ferent between diet treatments; both plasma NOx (P<0.05 and generalized liver pNT (P<0.03 responses were attenuated significantly in α-T and γ-T versus T0E calves. Plasma SAA was significantly decreased in γ-T calves at 24 h post-LPS relative to responses in α-T or T0E calves. The nitration of the mitochondrial proteins 24 h post-LPS was not only attenuated in α-T and γ-T vs T0E, but also the mitigating effect of γ-T on these specific nitration events was greater than that of α-T (P<0.01. Results are consistent with the concept that short-term α-T or

  2. Ascaris suum NADH-methemo(myo)globin reductase systems recovering differential functions of hemoglobin and myoglobin, adapting to environmental hypoxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takamiya, Shinzaburo; Hashimoto, Muneaki; Kazuno, Saiko; Kikkawa, Mika; Yamakura, Fumiyuki

    2009-09-01

    We reported previously that Ascaris suum cytochrome b5, specifically expressed in this nematode at the adult stage and dually localized in extracellular perienteric fluid and hypodermis, is involved in both perienteric NADH-methemoglobin and cytosolic NADH-metmyoglobin reduction, where cytochrome b5 functions as an electron carrier between NADH-mediated cytochrome b5 reductase and substrates, methemo(myo)globins to reduce the nonfunctional globins back to functional ferrous hemo(myo)globins. To further characterize NADH-methemo(myo)globin reductase systems, the midpoint potentials of A. suum perienteric hemoglobin and body wall myoglobin, as well as the affinities of Ascaris methemoglobin and metmyoglobin toward cytochrome b5, were evaluated using potentiometric titration and surface plasmon resonance techniques, respectively. Midpoint potentials of +7.2 mV and +19.5 mV were obtained for Ascaris perienteric hemoglobin and body wall myoglobin, respectively. The affinities of Ascaris perienteric methemoglobin and body wall metmyoglobin toward the nematode cytochrome b5 were comparable to that for mammalian hemoglobin and cytochrome b5; association constants were 0.585 x 10(3) M(-1) and 2.32 x 10(3) M(-1), respectively, with rapid equilibration kinetics. These observations highlight the physiological importance of A. suum perienteric NADH-methemoglobin and cytosolic metmyoglobin reductase systems. Differential roles of A. suum perienteric hemoglobin and body wall myoglobin are also discussed from the viewpoint of oxygen homeostasis under hypoxic conditions.

  3. Differential bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls associated with environmental particles: Microplastic in comparison to wood, coal and biochar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckingham, B; Ghosh, U

    2017-01-01

    Microplastic particles are increasingly being discovered in diverse habitats and a host of species are found to ingest them. Since plastics are known to sorb hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) there is a question of what risk of chemical exposure is posed to aquatic biota from microplastic-associated contaminants. We investigate bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from polypropylene microplastic by measuring solid-water distribution coefficients, gut fluid solubilization, and bioaccumulation using sediment invertebrate worms as a test system. Microplastic-associated PCBs are placed in a differential bioavailability framework by comparing the results to several other natural and anthrogenic particles, including wood, coal, and biochar. PCB distribution coefficients for polypropylene were higher than natural organic materials like wood, but in the range of lipids and sediment organic carbon, and smaller than black carbons like coal and biochars. Gut fluid solubilization potential increased in the order: coal microplastics in sediments had an overall impact of reducing bioavailability and transfer of HOCs to sediment-ingesting organisms. Since the vast majority of sediment and suspended particles in the environment are natural organic and inorganic materials, pollutant transfer through particle ingestion will be dominated by these particles and not microplastics. Therefore, these results support the conclusion that in most cases the transfer of organic pollutants to aquatic organisms from microplastic in the diet is likely a small contribution compared to other natural pathways of exposure. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Human Melatonin and Alerting Response to Blue-Enriched Light Depend on a Polymorphism in the Clock Gene PER3

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chellappa, Sarah L; Viola, Antoine U; Schmidt, Christina; Bachmann, Valérie; Gabel, Virginie; Maire, Micheline; Reichert, Carolin F; Valomon, Amandine; Götz, Thomas; Landolt, Hans-Peter; Cajochen, Christian

    2012-01-01

    ...: Here we investigated whether blue-enriched polychromatic light impacts differentially on melatonin and subjective and objective alertness in healthy participants genotyped for the PERIOD3 (PER3...

  5. Skull and limb morphology differentially track population history and environmental factors in the transition to agriculture in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Stock, Jay T; Pinhasi, Ron

    2013-09-22

    The Neolithic transition in Europe was a complex mosaic spatio-temporal process, involving both demic diffusion from the Near East and the cultural adoption of farming practices by indigenous hunter-gatherers. Previous analyses of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and Early Neolithic farmers suggest that cranial shape variation preserves the population history signature of the Neolithic transition. However, the extent to which these same demographic processes are discernible in the postcranium is poorly understood. Here, for the first time, crania and postcranial elements from the same 11 prehistoric populations are analysed together in an internally consistent theoretical and methodological framework. Results show that while cranial shape reflects the population history differences between Mesolithic and Neolithic lineages, relative limb dimensions exhibit significant congruence with environmental variables such as latitude and temperature, even after controlling for geography and time. Also, overall limb size is found to be consistently larger in hunter-gatherers than farmers, suggesting a reduction in size related to factors other than thermoregulatory adaptation. Therefore, our results suggest that relative limb dimensions are not tracking the same demographic population history as the cranium, and point to the strong influence of climatic, dietary and behavioural factors in determining limb morphology, irrespective of underlying neutral demographic processes.

  6. Use of a marker plasmid to examine differential rates of growth and death between clinical and environmental strains of Vibrio vulnificus in experimentally infected mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starks, Angela M; Bourdage, Keri L; Thiaville, Patrick C; Gulig, Paul A

    2006-07-01

    dextran-treated mice replicated extremely rapidly over the first 4 h of infection with doubling times of approximately 15-28 min. In contrast, one of the environmental strains exhibited a reduced early growth rate. These results demonstrate that differences in virulence among naturally occurring V. vulnificus can be explained by diverse abilities to replicate rapidly in or resist defences of the host. The marker plasmid pGTR902 should be useful for examining virulence of bacteria in terms of differentiating growth verses death in animal hosts for most Gram-negative bacteria.

  7. Detection of Listeria spp. using ACTERO listeria enrichment media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claveau, David; Olishevskyy, Sergiy; Giuffre, Michael; Martinez, Gabriela

    2014-01-01

    ACTERO Listeria Enrichment Media (ACTERO Listeria) is a selective medium developed for a single-step recovery and enrichment of Listeria spp. from environmental samples. Robustness testing of the ACTERO Listeria medium demonstrated good performance when minor changes were introduced to the incubation temperature and time. All 54 Listeria strains tested, representing the most frequently isolated Listeria species from food (L. monocytogenes, L. ivanovii, L. seeligeri, L. welshimeri, and L. grayi), were successfully enriched in ACTERO Listeria. None of the 30 nontarget strains tested in the exclusivity study was recovered after incubation in ACTERO Listeria. Recovery of Listeria was consistent across three independently produced lots of the ACTERO Listeria, and the prepared medium was stable for 45 days when stored at 4 degrees C in the dark. Matrix studies performed with environmental sponge samples from plastic and stainless steel surfaces demonstrated similar recovery of Listeria spp. in a single-step enrichment using ACTERO Listeria from plastic, and significantly better recovery from stainless steel surfaces when compared to the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service reference method. The results of this study prove that ACTERO Listeria Enrichment Media can be effectively used in replacement of the two-step enrichment suggested by the reference method without affecting the recovery of Listeria spp. from environmental samples.

  8. Thermal breeder fuel enrichment zoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capossela, Harry J.; Dwyer, Joseph R.; Luce, Robert G.; McCoy, Daniel F.; Merriman, Floyd C.

    1992-01-01

    A method and apparatus for improving the performance of a thermal breeder reactor having regions of higher than average moderator concentration are disclosed. The fuel modules of the reactor core contain at least two different types of fuel elements, a high enrichment fuel element and a low enrichment fuel element. The two types of fuel elements are arranged in the fuel module with the low enrichment fuel elements located between the high moderator regions and the high enrichment fuel elements. Preferably, shim rods made of a fertile material are provided in selective regions for controlling the reactivity of the reactor by movement of the shim rods into and out of the reactor core. The moderation of neutrons adjacent the high enrichment fuel elements is preferably minimized as by reducing the spacing of the high enrichment fuel elements and/or using a moderator having a reduced moderating effect.

  9. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and mRNA expression are altered by perinatal arsenic exposure in mice and restored by brief exposure to enrichment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina R Tyler

    Full Text Available Arsenic is a common and pervasive environmental contaminant found in drinking water in varying concentrations depending on region. Exposure to arsenic induces behavioral and cognitive deficits in both human populations and in rodent models. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA standard for the allotment of arsenic in drinking water is in the parts-per-billion range, yet our lab has shown that 50 ppb arsenic exposure during development can have far-reaching consequences into adulthood, including deficits in learning and memory, which have been linked to altered adult neurogenesis. Given that the morphological impact of developmental arsenic exposure on the hippocampus is unknown, we sought to evaluate proliferation and differentiation of adult neural progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus after 50 ppb arsenic exposure throughout the perinatal period of development in mice (equivalent to all three trimesters in humans using a BrdU pulse-chase assay. Proliferation of the neural progenitor population was decreased by 13% in arsenic-exposed mice, but was not significant. However, the number of differentiated cells was significantly decreased by 41% in arsenic-exposed mice compared to controls. Brief, daily exposure to environmental enrichment significantly increased proliferation and differentiation in both control and arsenic-exposed animals. Expression levels of 31% of neurogenesis-related genes including those involved in Alzheimer's disease, apoptosis, axonogenesis, growth, Notch signaling, and transcription factors were altered after arsenic exposure and restored after enrichment. Using a concentration previously considered safe by the EPA, perinatal arsenic exposure altered hippocampal morphology and gene expression, but did not inhibit the cellular neurogenic response to enrichment. It is possible that behavioral deficits observed during adulthood in animals exposed to arsenic during development derive from the lack of differentiated neural

  10. The methylation levels of the H19 differentially methylated region in human umbilical cords reflect newborn parameters and changes by maternal environmental factors during early pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyaso, Hidenobu; Sakurai, Kenichi; Takase, Shunya; Eguchi, Akifumi; Watanabe, Masahiro; Fukuoka, Hideoki; Mori, Chisato

    2017-08-01

    H19 is a tumor-suppressor gene, and changes in the methylation of the H19-differential methylation region (H19-DMR) are related to human health. However, little is known about the factors that regulate the methylation levels of H19-DMR. Several recent studies have shown that maternal environmental factors during pregnancy, such as smoking, drinking, chemical exposure, and nutrient intake, can alter the methylation levels of several genes in fetal tissues. In this study, we examined the effects of maternal factors on changes in the methylation levels of H19-DMR in the human umbilical cord (UC), an extra-embryonic tissue. Participants from the Chiba study of Mother and Children's Health (C-MACH) were enrolled in this study. Genomic DNA was extracted from UC samples, and the methylation level of H19-DMR was evaluated by methylation-sensitive high resolution melting analysis. Individual maternal and paternal factors and clinical information for newborns at birth were examined using questionnaires prepared in the C-MACH study, a brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire (BDHQ) during early pregnancy (gestational age of 12 weeks), and medical records. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that reduced H19-DMR methylation (human UC tissues could be modulated by maternal factors during early pregnancy and may affect fetal and newborn growth. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Methanogenesis from acetate: enrichment studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baresi, L; Mah, R A; Ward, D M; Kaplan, I R

    1978-01-01

    An acetate enrichment culture was initiated by inoculating anaerobic sludge from a mesophilic methane digestor into a mineral salts medium with calcium acetate as the sole carbon and energy source. This enrichment was maintained indefinitely by weekly transfer into medium of the same composition. A study of this enrichment disclosed an unexpected age-dependent inhibition of methanogenesis by H2 and formate which apparently differed from the inhibition by chloroform and benzyl viologen. This age-dependent inhibition indicated that microbial interactions of the mixed enrichment population may play a regulatory role in methane formation. Futhermore, stimulation of methanogenesis in the acetate enrichment by addition of yeast extract showed a nutrient limitation which indicated that syntrophic interactions leading to formation of growth factors may also occur. A model is presented to illustrate the possible interrelationships between methanogenic and nonmethanogenic bacteria in their growth and formation of methane and carbon dioxide from acetate. Images PMID:697356

  12. Hydrogen-enriched fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roser, R. [NRG Technologies, Inc., Reno, NV (United States)

    1998-08-01

    NRG Technologies, Inc. is attempting to develop hardware and infrastructure that will allow mixtures of hydrogen and conventional fuels to become viable alternatives to conventional fuels alone. This commercialization can be successful if the authors are able to achieve exhaust emission levels of less than 0.03 g/kw-hr NOx and CO; and 0.15 g/kw-hr NMHC at full engine power without the use of exhaust catalysts. The major barriers to achieving these goals are that the lean burn regimes required to meet exhaust emissions goals reduce engine output substantially and tend to exhibit higher-than-normal total hydrocarbon emissions. Also, hydrogen addition to conventional fuels increases fuel cost, and reduces both vehicle range and engine output power. Maintaining low emissions during transient driving cycles has not been demonstrated. A three year test plan has been developed to perform the investigations into the issues described above. During this initial year of funding research has progressed in the following areas: (a) a cost effective single-cylinder research platform was constructed; (b) exhaust gas speciation was performed to characterize the nature of hydrocarbon emissions from hydrogen-enriched natural gas fuels; (c) three H{sub 2}/CH{sub 4} fuel compositions were analyzed using spark timing and equivalence ratio sweeping procedures and finally; (d) a full size pick-up truck platform was converted to run on HCNG fuels. The testing performed in year one of the three year plan represents a baseline from which to assess options for overcoming the stated barriers to success.

  13. Uranium Enrichment Safeguards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demuth, Scott F. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Trahan, Alexis Chanel [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-06-26

    DIV of facility layout, material flows, and other information provided in the DIQ. Material accountancy through an annual PIV and a number of interim inventory verifications, including UF6 cylinder identification and counting, NDA of cylinders, and DA on a sample collection of UF6. Application of C/S technologies utilizing seals and tamper-indicating devices (TIDs) on cylinders, containers, storage rooms, and IAEA instrumentation to provide continuity of knowledge between inspection. Verification of the absence of undeclared material and operations, especially HEU production, through SNRIs, LFUA of cascade halls, and environmental swipe sampling

  14. Enrichment and training improve cognition in rats with cortical malformations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle R Jenks

    Full Text Available Children with malformations of cortical development (MCD frequently have associated cognitive impairments which reduce quality of life. We hypothesized that cognitive deficits associated with MCD can be improved with environmental manipulation or additional training. The E17 methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM exposure model bears many anatomical hallmarks seen in human MCDs as well as similar behavioral and cognitive deficits. We divided control and MAM exposed Sprague-Dawley rats into enriched and non-enriched groups and tested performance in the Morris water maze. Another group similarly divided underwent sociability testing and also underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scans pre and post enrichment. A third group of control and MAM rats without enrichment were trained until they reached criterion on the place avoidance task. MAM rats had impaired performance on spatial tasks and enrichment improved performance of both control and MAM animals. Although MAM rats did not have a deficit in sociability they showed similar improvement with enrichment as controls. MRI revealed a whole brain volume decrease with MAM exposure, and an increase in both MAM and control enriched volumes in comparison to non-enriched animals. In the place avoidance task, MAM rats required approximately 3 times as long to reach criterion as control animals, but with additional training were able to reach control performance. Environmental manipulation and additional training can improve cognition in a rodent MCD model. We therefore suggest that patients with MCD may benefit from appropriate alterations in educational strategies, social interaction and environment. These factors should be considered in therapeutic strategies.

  15. Enrichment and isolation of microbial strains degrading bioplastic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) degrading bacterial strains were isolated from various environmental sites rich in plastic wastes by using the enrichment culture technique. Among the various isolated strains, the selected potent PVA degrading bacterial strains were tentatively characterized as Bacillus and Pseudomonas sp.

  16. Enrichment and isolation of microbial strains degrading bioplastic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    acer

    2015-07-08

    Jul 8, 2015 ... Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) degrading bacterial strains were isolated from various environmental sites rich in plastic wastes by using the enrichment culture technique. Among the various isolated strains, the selected potent PVA degrading bacterial strains were tentatively characterized as Bacillus and.

  17. Environmental Enrichment Prevent the Juvenile Hypoxia-Induced Developmental Loss of Parvalbumin-Immunoreactive Cells in the Prefrontal Cortex and Neurobehavioral Alterations Through Inhibition of NADPH Oxidase-2-Derived Oxidative Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Mingqiang; Wu, Jing; Huo, Lan; Luo, Liang; Song, Xi; Fan, Fei; Lu, Yiming; Liang, Dong

    2016-12-01

    We compared the expression of phenotype of parvalbumin (PV)-immunoreactive cells in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of juvenile rats reared in enriched environment (EE) after daily intermittent hypoxia (IH) exposure to those reared in standard environment (SE) and investigated the involvement of NADPH oxidase-2 (NOX2)-derived oxidative stress in the IH-induced neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral consequences in a juvenile rat model of obstructive sleep apnea. Postnatal day 21 (P21) rats were exposed to IH or room air 8 h daily for 14 consecutive days. After the daily exposure, the rats were raised in SE or EE. In the PFC of P34 rats, we determined the impact (i) of IH exposures on NOX2-derived oxidative stress and PV immunoreactivity, (ii) of pharmacological NOX2 inhibition on IH-induced oxidative stress and PV immunoreactivity, and (iii) of EE on the IH-induced oxidative stress and PV immunoreactivity. Behavioral testing of psychiatric anxiety was carried out consecutively in the open-field test and elevated plus maze at P35 and P36. The results showed IH exposures increased NOX2 expression in the PFC of P34 rats, which was accompanied with elevation of NOX activity and indirect markers of oxidative stress (4-HNE). IH exposures increased 4-HNE immunoreactivity in cortical PV cells, which was accompanied with reduction of PV immunoreactivity. Treatment of IH rats with the antioxidant/NOX inhibitor apocynin prevented the PV cells loss in the PFC and reversed the IH-induced psychiatric anxiety. EE attenuated the NOX2-derived oxidative stress and reversed the PV-immunoreactivity reduction in the PFC induced by IH. Our data suggest that EE might prevent the juvenile hypoxia-induced developmental loss of PV cells in the PFC and attenuate the neurobehavioral alterations through inhibition of NOX2-derived oxidative stress.

  18. Behavioral Effects of Enrichment and Nicotine in Male Sprague Dawley Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-01

    activity, increased habituation to a novel environment, decreased voluntary exercise. Rats in the physically-enriched group had increased voluntary ... voluntary exercise. Environmental enrichment prolonged nicotine’s effects through nicotine cessation. Enrichment’s effects on body weight could not...68 Euthanasia ................................................................................................... 68 DATA ANALYTIC STRATEGY FOR

  19. Semantic enrichment for medical ontologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yugyung; Geller, James

    2006-04-01

    The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) contains two separate but interconnected knowledge structures, the Semantic Network (upper level) and the Metathesaurus (lower level). In this paper, we have attempted to work out better how the use of such a two-level structure in the medical field has led to notable advances in terminologies and ontologies. However, most ontologies and terminologies do not have such a two-level structure. Therefore, we present a method, called semantic enrichment, which generates a two-level ontology from a given one-level terminology and an auxiliary two-level ontology. During semantic enrichment, concepts of the one-level terminology are assigned to semantic types, which are the building blocks of the upper level of the auxiliary two-level ontology. The result of this process is the desired new two-level ontology. We discuss semantic enrichment of two example terminologies and how we approach the implementation of semantic enrichment in the medical domain. This implementation performs a major part of the semantic enrichment process with the medical terminologies, with difficult cases left to a human expert.

  20. Enrichment options for African painted dogs (Lycaon pictus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloutier, Tammy L; Packard, Jane M

    2014-01-01

    Best practices for carnivore enrichment encourage the diversity of species-typical behaviors, increased activity, and reduced stereotypic behavior; ideally considering the life-history and behavior of each species. African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), or painted dogs, are social carnivores that have large home ranges and complex pack dynamics (e.g., variation in group size, relatedness, etc.). As there are relatively few studies on painted dog enrichment, the goal of this study was to compile a list of enrichment options used by institutions participating in the species survival plan (SSP). Representatives were asked to describe social groups (n = 45), enclosures (n = 21), enrichment practices (options, delivery frequency, perceived success), and overall best practices. Respondents (61%, n = 23) reported using options for all six enrichment categories recommended by the Canid Taxon Advisory Group: environmental enrichment devices, habitat, sensory, food, behavioral, and social. Perceived success was significantly higher for the food category, followed by the sensory and behavioral categories. All respondents reported delivering enrichment at least multiple times a month, and most reported multiple times per week. Enclosure size did not differ significantly for mixed-sex groups (n = 28) compared to single-sex groups (n = 17). We discuss respondents' suggestions for best practices and the need to record data to compare perceived success with actual behavioral effects, controlling for variation in group size and composition. Overall, respondents recommended a flexible approach, since not all painted dogs and groups respond in the same way to the enrichment options. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Selective enrichment media bias the types of Salmonella enterica strains isolated from mixed strain cultures and complex enrichment broths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorski, Lisa

    2012-01-01

    For foodborne outbreak investigations it can be difficult to isolate the relevant strain from food and/or environmental sources. If the sample is contaminated by more than one strain of the pathogen the relevant strain might be missed. In this study mixed cultures of Salmonella enterica were grown in one set of standard enrichment media to see if culture bias patterns emerged. Nineteen strains representing four serogroups and ten serotypes were compared in four-strain mixtures in Salmonella-only and in cattle fecal culture enrichment backgrounds using Salmonella enrichment media. One or more strain(s) emerged as dominant in each mixture. No serotype was most fit, but strains of serogroups C2 and E were more likely to dominate enrichment culture mixtures than strains of serogroups B or C1. Different versions of Rappaport-Vassiliadis (RV) medium gave different patterns of strain dominance in both Salmonella-only and fecal enrichment culture backgrounds. The fittest strains belonged to serogroups C1, C2, and E, and included strains of S. Infantis, S. Thompson S. Newport, S. 6,8:d:-, and S. Give. Strains of serogroup B, which included serotypes often seen in outbreaks such as S. Typhimurium, S. Saintpaul, and S. Schwarzengrund were less likely to emerge as dominant strains in the mixtures when using standard RV as part of the enrichment. Using a more nutrient-rich version of RV as part of the protocol led to a different pattern of strains emerging, however some were still present in very low numbers in the resulting population. These results indicate that outbreak investigations of food and/or other environmental samples should include multiple enrichment protocols to ensure isolation of target strains of Salmonella.

  2. Enrichment of light hydrocarbon mixture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Dali [Los Alamos, NM; Devlin, David [Santa Fe, NM; Barbero, Robert S [Santa Cruz, NM; Carrera, Martin E [Naperville, IL; Colling, Craig W [Warrenville, IL

    2011-11-29

    Light hydrocarbon enrichment is accomplished using a vertically oriented distillation column having a plurality of vertically oriented, nonselective micro/mesoporous hollow fibers. Vapor having, for example, both propylene and propane is sent upward through the distillation column in between the hollow fibers. Vapor exits neat the top of the column and is condensed to form a liquid phase that is directed back downward through the lumen of the hollow fibers. As vapor continues to ascend and liquid continues to countercurrently descend, the liquid at the bottom of the column becomes enriched in a higher boiling point, light hydrocarbon (propane, for example) and the vapor at the top becomes enriched in a lower boiling point light hydrocarbon (propylene, for example). The hollow fiber becomes wetted with liquid during the process.

  3. Fuento: functional enrichment for bioinformatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weichselbaum, David; Zagrovic, Bojan; Polyansky, Anton A

    2017-08-15

    The currently available functional enrichment software focuses mostly on gene expression analysis, whereby server- and graphical-user-interface-based tools with specific scope dominate the field. Here we present an efficient, user-friendly, multifunctional command-line-based functional enrichment tool (fu-en-to), tailored for the bioinformatics researcher. Source code and binaries freely available for download at github.com/DavidWeichselbaum/fuento, implemented in C ++ and supported on Linux and OS X. newant@gmail.com or bojan.zagrovic@univie.ac.at.

  4. The influence of feeding enrichment on the behavior of small felids (Carnivora: Felidae) in captivity

    OpenAIRE

    Resende, Letícia S.; Remy, Gabriella L.; Valdir de Almeida Ramos Jr; Artur Andriolo

    2009-01-01

    Animals in captivity are frequently exposed to environmental deprivation resulting in abnormal behaviors that indicate distress. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the "surprise pack" environmental enrichment technique in improving the welfare of small neotropical felids in captivity. In order to accomplish this, we used five individuals from the Rio de Janeiro Zoo. The experiment was divided into three steps corresponding to: I) period prior to the enrichment, II) per...

  5. Variable oxygen/nitrogen enriched intake air system for internal combustion engine applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poola, Ramesh B.; Sekar, Ramanujam R.; Cole, Roger L.

    1997-01-01

    An air supply control system for selectively supplying ambient air, oxygen enriched air and nitrogen enriched air to an intake of an internal combustion engine includes an air mixing chamber that is in fluid communication with the air intake. At least a portion of the ambient air flowing to the mixing chamber is selectively diverted through a secondary path that includes a selectively permeable air separating membrane device due a differential pressure established across the air separating membrane. The permeable membrane device separates a portion of the nitrogen in the ambient air so that oxygen enriched air (permeate) and nitrogen enriched air (retentate) are produced. The oxygen enriched air and the nitrogen enriched air can be selectively supplied to the mixing chamber or expelled to atmosphere. Alternatively, a portion of the nitrogen enriched air can be supplied through another control valve to a monatomic-nitrogen plasma generator device so that atomic nitrogen produced from the nitrogen enriched air can be then injected into the exhaust of the engine. The oxygen enriched air or the nitrogen enriched air becomes mixed with the ambient air in the mixing chamber and then the mixed air is supplied to the intake of the engine. As a result, the air being supplied to the intake of the engine can be regulated with respect to the concentration of oxygen and/or nitrogen.

  6. Response of the brain to enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARIAN C. DIAMOND

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Before 1960, the brain was considered by scientists to be immutable, subject only to genetic control. In the early sixties, however, investigators were seriously speculating that environmental influences might be capable of altering brain structure. By 1964, two research laboratories proved that the morphology and chemistry or physiology of the brain could be experientially altered (Bennett et al. 1964, Hubel and Wiesel 1965. Since then, the capacity of the brain to respond to environmental input, specifically "enrichment,'' has become an accepted fact among neuroscientists, educators and others. In fact, the demonstration that environmental enrichment can modify structural components of the rat brain at any age altered prevailing presumptions about the brain's plasticity (Diamond et al. 1964, Diamond 1988. The cerebral cortex, the area associated with higher cognitive processing, is more receptive than other parts of the brain to environmental enrichment. The message is clear: Although the brain possesses a relatively constant macrostructural organization, the ever-changing cerebral cortex, with its complex microarchitecture of unknown potential, is powerfully shaped by experiences before birth, during youth and, in fact, throughout life. It is essential to note that enrichment effects on the brain have consequences on behavior. Parents, educators, policy makers, and individuals can all benefit from such knowledge.Antes de 1960, os cientistas consideravam o encéfalo como imutável, sujeito apenas ao controle genético. Entretanto, no início dos anos 60, alguns pesquisadores especulavam seriamente que influências ambientais podiam ser capazes de alterar a estrutura cerebral. Por volta de 1964, dois laboratórios de pesquisa demonstraram que a morfologia e a química ou a fisiologia do cérebro poderia ser modificada pela experiência (Bennett et al. 1964, Hubel e Wiesel 1965. Desde então, a capacidade do cérebro a responder para responder a

  7. Enrichment proteomics challenges and perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Song, Wei

    2016-01-01

    This thesis is based on two technology projects from the Centre for BioSystems Genomics (CBSG), entitled ‘Comparative proteomics on Plant Pathogen interactions through enrichment of the N-glycoproteome and tagged-glycoproteome’ (TD7) and ‘Plasma Membrane proteomics for Plant

  8. Meadow enriched ACP process algebras

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bergstra, J.A.; Middelburg, C.A.

    2009-01-01

    We introduce the notion of an ACP process algebra. The models of the axiom system ACP are the origin of this notion. ACP process algebras have to do with processes in which no data are involved. We also introduce the notion of a meadow enriched ACP process algebra, which is a simple generalization

  9. Nematode Indicators of Organic Enrichment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferris, H.; Bongers, A.M.T.

    2006-01-01

    The organisms of the soil food web, dependent on resources from plants or on amendment from other sources, respond characteristically to enrichment of their environment by organic matter. Primary consumers of the incoming substrate, including bacteria, fungi, plant-feeding nematodes, annelids, and

  10. The influence of feeding enrichment on the behavior of small felids (Carnivora: Felidae in captivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letícia S. Resende

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Animals in captivity are frequently exposed to environmental deprivation resulting in abnormal behaviors that indicate distress. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the "surprise pack" environmental enrichment technique in improving the welfare of small neotropical felids in captivity. In order to accomplish this, we used five individuals from the Rio de Janeiro Zoo. The experiment was divided into three steps corresponding to: I period prior to the enrichment, II period in which the animals were being submitted to enrichment stimuli, and III period after the enrichment. In phase II, we observed a significant reduction in abnormal behavior compared to phases I and III. Only in phase II did the animals demonstrate the following behaviors: predation, social interaction and territory demarcation. However, in this same phase, the mean time spent interacting with the enrichment throughout the day showed a decrease.

  11. Differential responses in ammonia excretion, sodium fluxes and gill permeability explain different sensitivities to acute high environmental ammonia in three freshwater teleosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liew, Hon Jung; Sinha, Amit Kumar; Nawata, C Michele; Blust, Ronny; Wood, Chris M; De Boeck, Gudrun

    2013-01-15

    We examined the acute physiological responses to high environmental ammonia (HEA), particularly the linkages between branchial ammonia fluxes and unidirectional Na(+) fluxes, as well as urea excretion, cortisol, and indicators of gill permeability in three freshwater teleosts differing in their sensitivities to ammonia; the highly sensitive salmonid Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout), the less sensitive cyprinid Cyprinus carpio (common carp) and the highly resistant cyprinid Carassius auratus (goldfish). Fish were acutely exposed to two sub-lethal ammonia concentrations (as NH(4)HCO(3)) at pH 7.9: 1 mM for a period of 12 h, identical for all species, and 5 mM for the cyprinids and 1.4 mM for the trout for 3 h. Elevation of plasma cortisol at both levels of HEA was apparent in all species. At 1 mM, ammonia excretion (J(amm)) was inhibited to a greater extent in trout than cyprinids and concurrently a significantly higher plasma ammonia level was evident in trout. However J(amm) was reversed in all species at 5 or 1.4 mM. Goldfish showed a significant increase in urea excretion rate (J(urea)) during HEA exposure. In carp and trout, neither level of HEA elevated J(urea) but urea production was increased as evidenced by a considerable elevation of plasma urea. At 1mM HEA, Na(+) imbalance became progressively more severe in trout and carp due to a stimulation of unidirectional Na(+) efflux (J(out)(Na)) without a concomitant increase in unidirectional Na(+) influx (J(in)(Na)). Additionally, a transient reduction of J(in)(Na) was evident in trout. Goldfish showed an opposite trend for J(out)(Na) with reduced efflux rates and a positive Na(+) balance during the first few hours of HEA. However, after 12 h of exposure, both J(in)(Na) and J(out)(Na) were also increased in both carp and goldfish, whereas only J(out)(Na) was increased in trout, leading to a net Na(+) loss. Na(+) homeostasis was entirely disrupted in all three species when subjected to the 5 or 1.4 mM ammonia

  12. COMPARATIVE STUDIES ON MITOCHONDRIA ISOLATED FROM NEURON-ENRICHED AND GLIA-ENRICHED FRACTIONS OF RABBIT AND BEEF BRAIN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamberger, Anders; Blomstrand, Christian; Lehninger, Albert L.

    1970-01-01

    Fractions enriched in neuronal and glial cells were obtained from dispersions of whole beef brain and rabbit cerebral cortex by large-scale density gradient centrifugation procedures. The fractions were characterized by appropriate microscopic observation. Mitochondria were then isolated from these fractions by differential centrifugation of their homogenates. The two different types of mitochondria were characterized with respect to certain enzyme activities, respiratory rate, rate of protein synthesis, and their buoyant density in sucrose gradients. The mitochondria from the neuron-enriched fraction were distinguished by a higher rate of incorporation of amino acids into protein, higher cytochrome oxidase activity, and a higher buoyant density in sucrose density gradients. Mitochondria from the glia-enriched fraction showed relatively high monoamine oxidase and Na+- and K+-stimulated ATPase activities. The rates of oxidation of various substrates and the acceptor control ratios did not differ appreciably between the two types of mitochondria. The difference in the buoyant density of mitochondria isolated from the neuron-enriched and glia-enriched cell fractions was utilized in attempts to separate neuronal and glial mitochondria from the mixed mitochondria obtained from whole brain homogenates in shallow sucrose gradients. The appearance of two peaks of cytochrome oxidase, monoamine oxidase, and protein concentration in such gradients shows the potential feasibility of such an approach. PMID:5513605

  13. 5 CFR Appendix A to Subpart E of... - Schedule of Environmental Differentials Paid for Exposure to Various Degrees of Hazards, Physical...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... which results in exposure of the skin, eyes or respiratory system to irritating fibrous glass particles... MANAGEMENT CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS Premium Pay and Differentials Pt. 532, Subpt. E... charges —Loading, assembly, and packing of hand-held signals, smoke signals, and colored marker signals...

  14. Selenium Enrichment of Horticultural Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Puccinelli

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of some crops to accumulate selenium (Se is crucial for human nutrition and health. Selenium has been identified as a cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is a catalyzer in the reduction of peroxides that can damage cells and tissues, and can act as an antioxidant. Plants are the first link in the food chain, which ends with humans. Increasing the Se quantity in plant products, including leafy and fruity vegetables, and fruit crops, without exceeding the toxic threshold, is thus a good way to increase animal and human Se intake, with positive effects on long-term health. In many Se-enriched plants, most Se is in its major organic form. Given that this form is more available to humans and more efficient in increasing the selenium content than inorganic forms, the consumption of Se-enriched plants appears to be beneficial. An antioxidant effect of Se has been detected in Se-enriched vegetables and fruit crops due to an improved antioxidative status and to a reduced biosynthesis of ethylene, which is the hormone with a primary role in plant senescence and fruit ripening. This thus highlights the possible positive effect of Se in preserving a longer shelf-life and longer-lasting quality.

  15. Selenium Enrichment of Horticultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puccinelli, Martina; Malorgio, Fernando; Pezzarossa, Beatrice

    2017-06-04

    The ability of some crops to accumulate selenium (Se) is crucial for human nutrition and health. Selenium has been identified as a cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is a catalyzer in the reduction of peroxides that can damage cells and tissues, and can act as an antioxidant. Plants are the first link in the food chain, which ends with humans. Increasing the Se quantity in plant products, including leafy and fruity vegetables, and fruit crops, without exceeding the toxic threshold, is thus a good way to increase animal and human Se intake, with positive effects on long-term health. In many Se-enriched plants, most Se is in its major organic form. Given that this form is more available to humans and more efficient in increasing the selenium content than inorganic forms, the consumption of Se-enriched plants appears to be beneficial. An antioxidant effect of Se has been detected in Se-enriched vegetables and fruit crops due to an improved antioxidative status and to a reduced biosynthesis of ethylene, which is the hormone with a primary role in plant senescence and fruit ripening. This thus highlights the possible positive effect of Se in preserving a longer shelf-life and longer-lasting quality.

  16. Evaluation of Methyl-Binding Domain Based Enrichment Approaches Revisited.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolina A Aberg

    Full Text Available Methyl-binding domain (MBD enrichment followed by deep sequencing (MBD-seq, is a robust and cost efficient approach for methylome-wide association studies (MWAS. MBD-seq has been demonstrated to be capable of identifying differentially methylated regions, detecting previously reported robust associations and producing findings that replicate with other technologies such as targeted pyrosequencing of bisulfite converted DNA. There are several kits commercially available that can be used for MBD enrichment. Our previous work has involved MethylMiner (Life Technologies, Foster City, CA, USA that we chose after careful investigation of its properties. However, in a recent evaluation of five commercially available MBD-enrichment kits the performance of the MethylMiner was deemed poor. Given our positive experience with MethylMiner, we were surprised by this report. In an attempt to reproduce these findings we here have performed a direct comparison of MethylMiner with MethylCap (Diagenode Inc, Denville, NJ, USA, the best performing kit in that study. We find that both MethylMiner and MethylCap are two well performing MBD-enrichment kits. However, MethylMiner shows somewhat better enrichment efficiency and lower levels of background "noise". In addition, for the purpose of MWAS where we want to investigate the majority of CpGs, we find MethylMiner to be superior as it allows tailoring the enrichment to the regions where most CpGs are located. Using targeted bisulfite sequencing we confirmed that sites where methylation was detected by either MethylMiner or by MethylCap indeed were methylated.

  17. Organic enrichment and benthic fauna–Some ecological consideration.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ansari, Z.A.; Ingole, B.S.; Abidi, S.A.H.

    hypothesis with some variation in tropical condition. [Keywords: Benthic fauna, Indicators, Organic enrichment, Climate change] * Corresponding author: Introduction Seas around India and its coastal marine ecosystems have become quite vulnerable... and are increasingly affected by environmental stress created by input of pollutants1. Large number of studies related to benthos and pollution have been carried in Indian seas (see review by Raman2). These pollutants may contribute to climate change. Indicator...

  18. Histological differences in the adrenal glands and cortisol levels of suckling dairy goat kids in enriched and non-enriched environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas-Trigueros, A P; Candanosa-Aranda, I E; Ducoing-Watty, A E; Gutiérrez-Molotla, J; Galindo, F; Sisto-Burt, A M

    2017-12-01

    Intensive production systems can negatively affect the welfare of goats. Environmental enrichment techniques can be used to reduce stress. The aim of this study was analyze the effect of environmental enrichment on the histological characteristics of adrenal glands, cortisol levels and weekly weight gain of suckling Alpine French male kids under confinement. A randomised design was used to test the effect of the treatment. The animals (n=20) were randomly assigned to two treatments (enriched and non-enriched) with two replicates each. Enrichment elements included elevated sacks of henequen, trunks, tires and coconuts. The cortisol levels were measured weekly. Male kids were euthanized when their weight reached 10kg, and immediately after euthanasia, samples of the adrenal glands were collected. The adrenal glands were weighed and measured, and histological sections were taken and fixed. Four hundred cells were measured from each animal, with two blind measurements taken from each sample. There were no significant differences between experimental groups (P>0.05) in the weigh, size, the area of cells from the glomerulosa and fasciculata areas of the adrenal glands, the cortisol levels and weekly weight gain. However, there were histological differences between the glomerular and fascicular zones of the left and right adrenal glands of the different groups (Pstress and recommend the use of environmental enrichment as a means to reduce stress. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. ToNER: A tool for identifying nucleotide enrichment signals in feature-enriched RNA-seq data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Promworn, Yuttachon; Kaewprommal, Pavita; Shaw, Philip J; Intarapanich, Apichart; Tongsima, Sissades; Piriyapongsa, Jittima

    2017-01-01

    Biochemical methods are available for enriching 5' ends of RNAs in prokaryotes, which are employed in the differential RNA-seq (dRNA-seq) and the more recent Cappable-seq protocols. Computational methods are needed to locate RNA 5' ends from these data by statistical analysis of the enrichment. Although statistical-based analysis methods have been developed for dRNA-seq, they may not be suitable for Cappable-seq data. The more efficient enrichment method employed in Cappable-seq compared with dRNA-seq could affect data distribution and thus algorithm performance. We present Transformation of Nucleotide Enrichment Ratios (ToNER), a tool for statistical modeling of enrichment from RNA-seq data obtained from enriched and unenriched libraries. The tool calculates nucleotide enrichment scores and determines the global transformation for fitting to the normal distribution using the Box-Cox procedure. From the transformed distribution, sites of significant enrichment are identified. To increase power of detection, meta-analysis across experimental replicates is offered. We tested the tool on Cappable-seq and dRNA-seq data for identifying Escherichia coli transcript 5' ends and compared the results with those from the TSSAR tool, which is designed for analyzing dRNA-seq data. When combining results across Cappable-seq replicates, ToNER detects more known transcript 5' ends than TSSAR. In general, the transcript 5' ends detected by ToNER but not TSSAR occur in regions which cannot be locally modeled by TSSAR. ToNER uses a simple yet robust statistical modeling approach, which can be used for detecting RNA 5'ends from Cappable-seq data, in particular when combining information from experimental replicates. The ToNER tool could potentially be applied for analyzing other RNA-seq datasets in which enrichment for other structural features of RNA is employed. The program is freely available for download at ToNER webpage (http://www4a.biotec.or.th/GI/tools/toner) and Git

  20. ToNER: A tool for identifying nucleotide enrichment signals in feature-enriched RNA-seq data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuttachon Promworn

    Full Text Available Biochemical methods are available for enriching 5' ends of RNAs in prokaryotes, which are employed in the differential RNA-seq (dRNA-seq and the more recent Cappable-seq protocols. Computational methods are needed to locate RNA 5' ends from these data by statistical analysis of the enrichment. Although statistical-based analysis methods have been developed for dRNA-seq, they may not be suitable for Cappable-seq data. The more efficient enrichment method employed in Cappable-seq compared with dRNA-seq could affect data distribution and thus algorithm performance.We present Transformation of Nucleotide Enrichment Ratios (ToNER, a tool for statistical modeling of enrichment from RNA-seq data obtained from enriched and unenriched libraries. The tool calculates nucleotide enrichment scores and determines the global transformation for fitting to the normal distribution using the Box-Cox procedure. From the transformed distribution, sites of significant enrichment are identified. To increase power of detection, meta-analysis across experimental replicates is offered. We tested the tool on Cappable-seq and dRNA-seq data for identifying Escherichia coli transcript 5' ends and compared the results with those from the TSSAR tool, which is designed for analyzing dRNA-seq data. When combining results across Cappable-seq replicates, ToNER detects more known transcript 5' ends than TSSAR. In general, the transcript 5' ends detected by ToNER but not TSSAR occur in regions which cannot be locally modeled by TSSAR.ToNER uses a simple yet robust statistical modeling approach, which can be used for detecting RNA 5'ends from Cappable-seq data, in particular when combining information from experimental replicates. The ToNER tool could potentially be applied for analyzing other RNA-seq datasets in which enrichment for other structural features of RNA is employed. The program is freely available for download at ToNER webpage (http://www4a

  1. Network-based functional enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poirel Christopher L

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many methods have been developed to infer and reason about molecular interaction networks. These approaches often yield networks with hundreds or thousands of nodes and up to an order of magnitude more edges. It is often desirable to summarize the biological information in such networks. A very common approach is to use gene function enrichment analysis for this task. A major drawback of this method is that it ignores information about the edges in the network being analyzed, i.e., it treats the network simply as a set of genes. In this paper, we introduce a novel method for functional enrichment that explicitly takes network interactions into account. Results Our approach naturally generalizes Fisher’s exact test, a gene set-based technique. Given a function of interest, we compute the subgraph of the network induced by genes annotated to this function. We use the sequence of sizes of the connected components of this sub-network to estimate its connectivity. We estimate the statistical significance of the connectivity empirically by a permutation test. We present three applications of our method: i determine which functions are enriched in a given network, ii given a network and an interesting sub-network of genes within that network, determine which functions are enriched in the sub-network, and iii given two networks, determine the functions for which the connectivity improves when we merge the second network into the first. Through these applications, we show that our approach is a natural alternative to network clustering algorithms. Conclusions We presented a novel approach to functional enrichment that takes into account the pairwise relationships among genes annotated by a particular function. Each of the three applications discovers highly relevant functions. We used our methods to study biological data from three different organisms. Our results demonstrate the wide applicability of our methods. Our algorithms are

  2. Enriched Environment Increases PCNA and PARP1 Levels in Octopus vulgaris Central Nervous System: First Evidence of Adult Neurogenesis in Lophotrochozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertapelle, Carla; Polese, Gianluca; Di Cosmo, Anna

    2017-06-01

    Organisms showing a complex and centralized nervous system, such as teleosts, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, and among invertebrates, crustaceans and insects, can adjust their behavior according to the environmental challenges. Proliferation, differentiation, migration, and axonal and dendritic development of newborn neurons take place in brain areas where structural plasticity, involved in learning, memory, and sensory stimuli integration, occurs. Octopus vulgaris has a complex and centralized nervous system, located between the eyes, with a hierarchical organization. It is considered the most "intelligent" invertebrate for its advanced cognitive capabilities, as learning and memory, and its sophisticated behaviors. The experimental data obtained by immunohistochemistry and western blot assay using proliferating cell nuclear antigen and poli (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 as marker of cell proliferation and synaptogenesis, respectively, reviled cell proliferation in areas of brain involved in learning, memory, and sensory stimuli integration. Furthermore, we showed how enriched environmental conditions affect adult neurogenesis. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. NEAT : an efficient network enrichment analysis test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Signorelli, Mirko; Vinciotti, Veronica; Wit, Ernst C

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Network enrichment analysis is a powerful method, which allows to integrate gene enrichment analysis with the information on relationships between genes that is provided by gene networks. Existing tests for network enrichment analysis deal only with undirected networks, they can be

  4. Exposure to Enriched Environment Decreases Neurobehavioral Deficits Induced by Neonatal Glutamate Toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kiss

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment is a popular strategy to enhance motor and cognitive performance and to counteract the effects of various harmful stimuli. The protective effects of enriched environment have been shown in traumatic, ischemic and toxic nervous system lesions. Monosodium glutamate (MSG is a commonly used taste enhancer causing excitotoxic effects when given in newborn animals. We have previously demonstrated that MSG leads to a delay in neurobehavioral development, as shown by the delayed appearance of neurological reflexes and maturation of motor coordination. In the present study we aimed at investigating whether environmental enrichment is able to decrease the neurobehavioral delay caused by neonatal MSG treatment. Newborn pups were treated with MSG subcutaneously on postnatal days 1, 5 and 9. For environmental enrichment, we placed rats in larger cages, supplemented with different toys that were altered daily. Normal control and enriched control rats received saline treatment only. Physical parameters such as weight, day of eye opening, incisor eruption and ear unfolding were recorded. Animals were observed for appearance of reflexes such as negative geotaxis, righting reflexes, fore- and hindlimb grasp, fore- and hindlimb placing, sensory reflexes and gait. In cases of negative geotaxis, surface righting and gait, the time to perform the reflex was also recorded daily. For examining motor coordination, we performed grid walking, footfault, rope suspension, rota-rod, inclined board and walk initiation tests. We found that enriched environment alone did not lead to marked alterations in the course of development. On the other hand, MSG treatment caused a slight delay in reflex development and a pronounced delay in weight gain and motor coordination maturation. This delay in most signs and tests could be reversed by enriched environment: MSG-treated pups kept under enriched conditions showed no weight retardation, no reflex delay in

  5. Bovine sperm plasma membrane proteomics through biotinylation and subcellular enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasvandik, Sergo; Sillaste, Gerly; Velthut-Meikas, Agne; Mikelsaar, Aavo-Valdur; Hallap, Triin; Padrik, Peeter; Tenson, Tanel; Jaakma, Ülle; Kõks, Sulev; Salumets, Andres

    2015-06-01

    A significant proportion of mammalian fertilization is mediated through the proteomic composition of the sperm surface. These protein constituents can present as biomarkers to control and regulate breeding of agricultural animals. Previous studies have addressed the bovine sperm cell apical plasma membrane (PM) proteome with nitrogen cavitation enrichment. Alternative workflows would enable to expand the compositional data more globally around the entire sperm's surface. We used a cell surface biotin-labeling in combination with differential centrifugation to enrich sperm surface proteins. Using nano-LC MS/MS, 338 proteins were confidently identified in the PM-enriched proteome. Functional categories of sperm-egg interaction, protein turnover, metabolism as well as molecular transport, spermatogenesis, and signal transduction were represented by proteins with high quantitative signal in our study. A highly significant degree of enrichment was found for transmembrane and PM-targeted proteins. Among them, we also report proteins previously not described on bovine sperm (CPQ, CD58, CKLF, CPVL, GLB1L3, and LPCAT2B) of which CPQ and CPVL cell surface localization was further validated. A descriptive overview of the bovine sperm PM integral and peripheral proteins is provided to complement future studies on animal reproduction and its relation to sperm cell surface. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001096 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD001096). © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Differential effects of the computer-tailored FATaintPHAT programme on dietary behaviours according to sociodemographic, cognitive and home environmental factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ezendam, N.P.M.; Brug, J.; Borsboom, G.; van Empelen, P.; Oenema, A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Objective To explore whether the effects on dietary behaviours of a computer-tailored intervention aimed to prevent excessive weight gain among adolescents, FATaintPHAT, were moderated by sociodemographic, cognitive and home environmental factors. Design A two-group cluster randomized

  7. Differential effects of the computer-tailored FATaintPHAT programme on dietary behaviours according to sociodemographic, cognitive and home environmental factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ezendam, N.P.M.; Burg, J.; Borsboom, G.; Empelen, P.van; Oenema, A.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To explore whether the effects on dietary behaviours of a computer-tailored intervention aimed to prevent excessive weight gain among adolescents, FATaintPHAT, were moderated by sociodemographic, cognitive and home environmental factors. DESIGN: A two-group cluster randomized trial.

  8. Pale and dark reddish melanic tawny owls differentially regulate the level of blood circulating POMC prohormone in relation to environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roulin, Alexandre; Emaresi, Guillaume; Bize, Pierre; Gasparini, Julien; Piault, Romain; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse

    Knowledge of the hormonal pathway controlling genotype-specific norms of reaction would shed light on the ecological factors to which each genotype is adapted. Environmentally mediated changes in the sign and magnitude of covariations between heritable melanin-based colouration and fitness

  9. Pilot project "The zoo goes to school", enriching the classroom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel Mendes

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Environmental education does not only occur in formal institutions, and yes has been widely disseminated among non formal spaces of education, which complements its ecological and social nature. Zoos are the institutions that play an important role in environmental education, raising awareness and preparing citizens to act in the critically and ethical society, committed to the environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the environmental perception of students in 7th grade of elementary school in Municipal Elementary School Jardelino Ramos, in partnership with the Zoo, University of Caxias do Sul. Twenty-four questionnaires were applied in order to diagnose the environmental perception of students through four questions regarding activities at the zoo. After it was contextualized and discussed on the topics: zoos and their history, function, animals and their enclosures, technical education and environmental enrichment. To complement the enrichment technique discussed in class, the students sewed materials that were later added to the precincts of animals chosen for themselves. A week after the project is completed was held again the questionnaire to verify the results obtained from the project. These were analyzed, discussed and compared through graphs, which show that the objectives were achieved and the didactics used was efficient, as described in the article.

  10. Enriching Orphans’ Potentials through Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Intelligence Enrichment Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurulwahida Hj Azid

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Orphans are considered a minority and they should be given a greater emphasis so that they do not feel left out and can build their own lives without a sense of humility. This does not mean that the orphans should be pampered instead they should be given the confidence and motivation to strive for success in later life. Humility among orphans can be associated with interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. This study aims to evaluate the impact of problem-solving activity treatment based on the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. 46 students from two orphanages were involved as the treatment group. The research design used was a one-group pretest-posttest design applied through a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Enrichment activities that provided interpersonal and intrapersonal skills as evidenced in this study should be carried out regularly at orphanages. Our study has proven that orphans‟ rights to learn cannot be neglected and „no child left behind „policy needs to be carried through by everybody involved with orphans‟ well-being. Teachers and carers need to be trained to use these enrichment activities at their orphanages to help maximize the orphans‟ potentials.

  11. Development of a method for the control of an environmentally friendly cultivation of energy crops at provincial level using a differentiated premium payment; Entwicklung einer Methodik zur Steuerung eines umweltschonenden Energiepflanzenanbaus auf Landesebene durch eine differenzierte Praemienzahlung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greiff, Kathrin Britta

    2012-07-01

    Facing the global challenge of climate change and finiteness of fossil resources renewable resources are becoming more and more important at present. At the moment, biomass is the most important renewable resource in Germany. The rising cultivation of energy crops, supported by political instruments, has a negative environmental impact on the natural resources soil, water and biodiversity. The existing agricultural legislation can not avoid such negative environmental impact. Thus, it seems reasonable to realign the existing support scheme for energy crop use to a system that operates regional and crop specific but includes the whole agricultural sector as well. Such a newly designed system could be realised by a differentiated premium. This instrument is most suitable to prevent environmental damage due to the advantages of a regional use and a differentiation of crop species. The aim of this work has been to identify an easy applicable and transferable control mechanism for an environmental friendly support scheme of energy crops and also to develop and test a method as basis for this control mechanism. The design of a regional and crop specific premium has been described as a possible political instrument. The method has been developed and tested within a case study for Bavaria, one of Germany's federal states. For the investigation the level of agrarian production regions has been chosen. For each region it has been assessed which crops should and which ones should not be cultivated. For this, the actual environmental risk for the agricultural activity has been calculated by using landscape analysis on the basis of environmental risk assessment. Agrarian statistics (InVeKos) and digital GIS-based site data has been used as data base. With this data base it has been possible to illustrate the environmental risk for the natural resources soil, water and biodiversity in sufficient exactness. The comparison of the periods 1994-96 and 2005-07 approved that the

  12. 76 FR 11523 - Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-02

    ... COMMISSION Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility.... Craig M. White. In this 10 CFR part 70 proceeding regarding the request of applicant AREVA Enrichment... Safeguards Information for Contention Preparation; In the Matter of AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle...

  13. Selenium enrichment of table eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, D C; Cheng, K M

    2010-10-01

    Selenium is an essential trace element with a recommended dietary allowance for human adults of 55 μg/d. However, there is evidence that greater dietary intakes may have possible health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of cancer. Several studies have shown the feasibility of enriching eggs using organic Se and that Se-enriched eggs are an effective way to supplement human diets. However, few studies have examined the response of egg Se concentration to high (>1 μg/g) dietary organic Se intake by the laying hens. The objective of the current study is to examine the effect of higher dietary organic Se levels on production, egg mass, and egg Se levels. These were assessed by feeding 3 breeds of laying hens (Barred Plymouth Rock, Lohmann Brown, Lohmann White) a basal diet containing 0.3 μg of Se/g of diet as Na2SeO3. Into this diet, Se yeast (SelenoSource AF 600), an organic source of Se, was added at 1.0, 2.4, or 5.1 μg of Se/g of diet for 4 wk. Feed consumption, egg production, and egg mass were not affected by the dietary Se concentration in all 3 breeds. Within the range of Se levels employed in the laying hens' diet, egg Se content increased linearly as dietary levels of Se increased. The results of this study indicate that feeding up to 5.1 µg/g of Se will not affect egg production and the welfare of the laying hen and is a practical way of producing Se-enriched eggs for the consumers.

  14. Boron enrichment in martian clay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Stephenson

    Full Text Available We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration.

  15. Boron Enrichment in Martian Clay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Kazuhide; Freeland, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration. PMID:23762242

  16. Environmental Enrichment in Kennelled Pit Bull Terriers (Canis lupus familiaris)

    OpenAIRE

    Kiddie, Jenna; Bodymore, Anna; Alex, Dittrich

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary Rescue shelters, although set-up with good intentions, may lead to poor welfare of the animals that they house, especially when the shelter organisation is under-resourced. This study therefore investigated the behavioural effects of cheap and locally accessible objects added to the cages of rescued Pit Bull Terrier type dogs in the Philippines to determine whether it is possible for shelter organisations with limited funds and staffing to improve the welfare of their dogs with...

  17. The Behavioral Effects of Environmental Enrichment in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-03-30

    obesity epidemic facing our nation has been largely attributed to overindulgence in “ junk food ” or “fast food .” Second, examining different types of...diabetes, 25 eating disorders, obesity ). Food Consumption and Body Weight are widely used in rodent experiments and they can be measured... foods could provide valuable information regarding the extent of the body weight effect. For example, because junk food is preferred by rats

  18. Environmental enrichment for laboratory mice: preferences and consequences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weerd, Heleen Ariane van de

    1996-01-01

    Current laboratory housing systems have mainly been developed on the basis of ergonomic and economic factors. These systems provide adequate, basic physiological requirements of animals, but only marginally fulfil other needs, such as the performance of natural behaviour or social interactions.

  19. Afleidingsmateriaal voor varkens breed gewogen = Practical aspects of environmental enrichment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zonderland, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    Het verstrekken van afleidingsmateriaal dient om het welzijn van varkens te verbeteren, maar moet daarnaast ook voor een varkenshouder praktisch toepasbaar zijn. In deze rapportage worden de praktische aspecten van een tiental afleidingsmaterialen beschreven

  20. The Environmental Deposition of Some Elements Enrichment Using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The purpose of the study is to evaluate the elemental concentration and determine the environment as well as the prevailing conditions under which the elements were deposited. The elemental concentration was determined with Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) model 969 unicam series. From the lithos tratigraphic ...

  1. Separate enrichment analysis of pathways for up- and downregulated genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Guini; Zhang, Wenjing; Li, Hongdong; Shen, Xiaopei; Guo, Zheng

    2014-03-06

    Two strategies are often adopted for enrichment analysis of pathways: the analysis of all differentially expressed (DE) genes together or the analysis of up- and downregulated genes separately. However, few studies have examined the rationales of these enrichment analysis strategies. Using both microarray and RNA-seq data, we show that gene pairs with functional links in pathways tended to have positively correlated expression levels, which could result in an imbalance between the up- and downregulated genes in particular pathways. We then show that the imbalance could greatly reduce the statistical power for finding disease-associated pathways through the analysis of all-DE genes. Further, using gene expression profiles from five types of tumours, we illustrate that the separate analysis of up- and downregulated genes could identify more pathways that are really pertinent to phenotypic difference. In conclusion, analysing up- and downregulated genes separately is more powerful than analysing all of the DE genes together.

  2. Arsenic in the environment: enrichments in the Slovenian soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateja Gosar

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Arsenic, a toxic element with metalloid properties, is found in detectable concentrations in environmental samples. In nature it is enriched in metal (sulphide ore deposits, mainly as arsenides of Cu, Ni and Fe. Arsenic compounds are used mainly in agricultureand forestry as pesticides and herbicides. The ecosystem can be contaminated with arsenic via both natural and anthropogenic sources. Uses of arsenic contaminated water present so far the greatest health hazard. Occurrences of mining related arsenic problems havealso been recorded in many parts of the world.The impact of mining and metallurgic industry with regard to arsenic contents in soils in some potentially contaminated areas in Slovenia is discussed. Enriched contents of arsenic were found in Mežica. Arsenic correlates very well with lead, zinc and other heavymetals which are enriched as a result of long lasting lead production in the area. Also in Celje and Jesenice arsenic has the same distribution pattern as other anthropogenically introduced pollutants. In Idrija there are some slightly arsenic enriched areas, but there is no correlation with mercury, so the origin of arsenic in not clear yet.

  3. Anticipatory activity and stereotypical behaviour in American mink (Mustela vison) in three housing systems differing in the amount of enrichments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vinke, C.M.; Bos, van den R.; Spruijt, B.M.

    2004-01-01

    The present study aimed to measure anticipatory activity in farmed mink (Mustela vison) to study the effects of the presence of environmental enrichments in three housing systems differing in cage structure and in the amount of enrichments. In studies on laboratory rats, anticipatory activity is

  4. Positive environmental modification of depressive phenotype and abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in female C57BL/6J mice during abstinence from chronic ethanol consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terence Y Pang

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Depression is a commonly reported co-morbidity during rehabilitation from alcohol use disorders and its presence is associated with an increased likelihood of relapse. Interventions which impede the development of depression could be of potential benefit if incorporated into treatment programs. We previously demonstrated an ameliorative effect of physical exercise on depressive behaviours in a mouse model of alcohol abstinence. Here, we show that environmental enrichment (cognitive and social stimulation has a similar beneficial effect. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis is a key physiological system regulating stress responses and its dysregulation has been separably implicated in the pathophysiology of depression and addiction disorders. We performed a series of dexamethasone challenges and found that mice undergoing 2 weeks of alcohol abstinence had significantly greater corticosterone and ACTH levels following a DEX-CRH challenge compared to water controls. Environmental enrichment during alcohol abstinence corrected the abnormal DEX-CRH corticosterone response despite a further elevation of ACTH levels. Examination of gene expression revealed abstinence-associated alterations in glucocorticoid receptor (Gr, corticotrophin releasing hormone (Crh and pro-opiomelanocortin (Pomc1 mRNA levels which were differentially modulated by environmental enrichment. Overall, our study demonstrates a benefit of environmental enrichment on alcohol abstinence-associated depressive behaviours and HPA axis dysregulation.

  5. Stalking the LREE-enriched component in ureilites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, Cyrena Anne; Lugmair, Guenter W.

    1993-01-01

    Ureilites contain a LREE-enriched component whose origin and identity are unknown, but which may have been introduced into 4.55 Ga olivine + pyroxene assemblages at various times in the period 4.55 - 3.74 Ga. This component is volumetrically minor, inhomogeneously distributed, and can be removed with concentrated HNO3, which suggests that it may be contained in minor, interstitial phases not previously recognized in ureilites. There is evidence, however, that not all of this component is leachable. Whole rock samples of Kenna, Novo Urei, and ALHA77257 form a Nd-143/Nd-144-Sm-147/Nd-144 line with a slope corresponding to an age of 3.74 Ga. Although this line could be a mixing line, with one end-member being the LREE-enriched component and the other being a 4.55 Ga olivine + pyroxene assemblage, the observation that a pyroxene separate from Kenna plots on the line suggests that the LREE-enriched component at least partially equilibrated with the olivine and pyroxene and that the line is an isochron. We performed a leaching experiment on Kenna, using various acids and concentrations, in an attempt to isolate the LREE-enriched component and differentiate between possible hosts for it, and to determine whether all of it is leachable. Our results suggest that most of the LREE-enriched component is surface-sited, rather than contained in a discrete mineral. However, some of it is not readily leachable because it equilibrated with Kenna olivine + pyroxene at 3.79 plus or minus 0.05 Ga.

  6. Nutrient enrichment, biodiversity loss, and consequent declines in ecosystem productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Reich, Peter B; Tilman, David; Hobbie, Sarah E; Polasky, Stephen; Binder, Seth

    2013-07-16

    Anthropogenic drivers of environmental change often have multiple effects, including changes in biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functioning. It remains unknown whether such shifts in biodiversity and species composition may, themselves, be major contributors to the total, long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers on ecosystem functioning. Moreover, although numerous experiments have shown that random losses of species impact the functioning of ecosystems, human-caused losses of biodiversity are rarely random. Here we use results from long-term grassland field experiments to test for direct effects of chronic nutrient enrichment on ecosystem productivity, and for indirect effects of enrichment on productivity mediated by resultant species losses. We found that ecosystem productivity decreased through time most in plots that lost the most species. Chronic nitrogen addition also led to the nonrandom loss of initially dominant native perennial C4 grasses. This loss of dominant plant species was associated with twice as great a loss of productivity per lost species than occurred with random species loss in a nearby biodiversity experiment. Thus, although chronic nitrogen enrichment initially increased productivity, it also led to loss of plant species, including initially dominant species, which then caused substantial diminishing returns from nitrogen fertilization. In contrast, elevated CO2 did not decrease grassland plant diversity, and it consistently promoted productivity over time. Our results support the hypothesis that the long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers of environmental change on ecosystem functioning can strongly depend on how such drivers gradually decrease biodiversity and restructure communities.

  7. Can sediment total organic carbon and grain size be used to diagnose organic enrichment in estuaries?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelletier, Marguerite C; Campbell, Daniel E; Ho, Kay T; Burgess, Robert M; Audette, Charles T; Detenbeck, Naomi E

    2011-03-01

    Eutrophication (i.e., nutrient enrichment, organic enrichment, and oxygen depletion) is one of the most common sources of impairment in Clean Water Act 303(d)-listed waters in the United States. Although eutrophication can eventually cause adverse effects to the benthos, it may be difficult to diagnose. Sediment organic carbon (OC) content has been used as an indicator of enrichment in sediments, but the amount of surface area available for carbon adsorption must be considered. We investigated the utility of the relationship between OC and sediment grain size as an indicator of eutrophication. Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program was used to test this relationship. However, anthropogenic contaminants are also capable of causing adverse effects to the benthos and often co-occur with elevated levels of OC. Contaminant analysis and toxicity tests were not consistently related to enrichment status as defined by relationship between total OC and grain size. Although variability in response occurred, reflecting the variance in the water column factors (dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a, and nutrients) and limited sample sizes, the data supported the hypothesis that sites designated as enriched were eutrophied. Dissolved oxygen levels were reduced at enriched sites, whereas chlorophyll a and nutrients were higher at enriched sites. This suggests that the relationship of OC to grain size can be used as a screening tool to diagnose eutrophication. Copyright © 2010 SETAC.

  8. Canine and feline enrichment in the home and kennel: a guide for practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Sarah; Wilson, Clare

    2014-05-01

    As general veterinary practitioners, we have a duty of care that applies not only to the physical health needs of our patients but also to their mental well-being. Advising clients about how to enrich their home and kennel environments is an important part of fulfilling that duty of care and will also enrich the relationship between the veterinary practitioner and client. This article discusses how to optimize welfare for dogs and cats in the home and kenneled environments through appropriate environmental enrichment and understanding of species-typical behavioral requirements. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Hatchery tank enrichment affects cortisol levels and shelter-seeking in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Näslund, Joacim; Rosengren, Malin; Del Villar, Diego

    2013-01-01

    (Salmo salar) from three different environmental treatments (barren environment, plastic tube enrichment, and plastic shredding enrichment) with regard to plasma cortisol levels, shelter-seeking behaviour, and fin deterioration. Basal plasma cortisol levels were higher in barren-reared fish, indicating...... higher stress levels, while no differences were found in acute cortisol response after a 30 min confinement test. Shelter-seeking was higher in salmon reared in enriched tanks when tested alone, but not when tested in small groups. Barren-reared fish had higher levels of fin deterioration over winter...

  10. Microbial community and function of enrichment cultures with methane and toluene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yao; Xia, Fang-Fang; Tian, Bao-Hu; Li, Wei; He, Ruo

    2014-04-01

    The interaction effect of co-existence of toluene and CH4 on community and activity of methanotrophs and toluene-degrading bacteria was characterized in three consortia enriched with CH4 and toluene (MT), toluene (T), and CH4 (M), respectively, in this study. The CH4 oxidation activity in the enrichment culture of MT was significantly lower than that of M at the end of the experiment (P = 0.001). The toluene degradation rate could be enhanced by continuous addition of CH4 and toluene in the initial days, but it was inhibited in the later days. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA genes showed that Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were dominant in the three enriched consortia, but the community of methanotrophs and toluene-degrading bacteria was significantly affected by the co-existence of CH4 and toluene. Both Methylosinus (91.8 %) and Methylocystis (8.2 %) were detected in the enrichment culture of MT, while only Methylocystis species were detected in M. The toluene-degrading bacteria including Burkholderia, Flavobacteria, Microbacterium, and Azoarcus were all detected in the enrichment culture of T. However, only Azoarcus was found in the enrichment culture of MT. Significantly higher contents of extracellular polymeric substances polysaccharose and protein in the enrichment culture of MT than that of T and M suggested that a higher environmental stress occurred in the enrichment culture of MT.

  11. Evaluation of oxygen-enrichment system for alternative fuel vehicles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poola, R.B.; Sekar, R.R.; Ng, H.K.

    1995-12-01

    This report presents results on the reduction in exhaust emissions achieved by using oxygen-enriched intake air on a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) that used Indolene and M85 as test fuels. The standard federal test procedure (FTP) and the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) off-cycle (REP05) test were followed. The report also provides a review of literature on the oxygen membrane device and design considerations. It presents information on the sources and contributions of cold-phase emissions to the overall exhaust emissions from light-duty vehicles (LDVs) and on the various emission standards and present-day control technologies under consideration. The effects of oxygen-enriched intake air on FTP and off-cycle emissions are discussed on the basis of test results. Conclusions are drawn from the results and discussion, and different approaches for the practical application of this technology in LDVs are recommended.

  12. Differential environmental impacts on small and medium size rivers from center of São Paulo State, Brazil, and regional management perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Caroline dos Reis Oliveira

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available AIM: This study aimed to evaluate, comparatively, the influence of distinct environmental impacts in the watershed on the rivers Capivara, Lavapés, Araquá and Pardo and the transference of effects downstream. METHODS: The limnological/water quality study was carried out in rainy (March/2007 and dry (September/2007 seasons, considering 17 sampling stations. RESULTS: Variables such as channel width and depth, water velocity and temperature increased towards the river's mouth; water transparency, velocity and dissolved oxygen were higher in the upstream regions. Light penetration was total at most sampling stations and pH was predominantly acid. The sampling stations impacted by pollution sources, Lavapés and Araquá Rivers, exhibited higher values of electric conductivity, suspended solids, total nitrogen, nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, total dissolved phosphorus, BOD, and thermotolerant coliforms. Higher values of electric conductivity, turbidity and suspended solids were observed in the rainy season, whereas higher chlorophyll concentrations occurred in the dry season. The Lavapés River exhibits the worst environmental condition, while Capivara River is under better state of conservation. This study shows that it is urgent the implementation of measures for preservation and restoration of these regional aquatic ecosystems. All studied rivers were influenced by seasonal variation, sewage discharges and by watershed use and occupation. The TSI is a good analysis tool. The studied rivers export organic matter and TN, TP and SS loads to Tietê and Paranapanema rivers. CONCLUSIONS: This study show the importance of river management and that the accelerated degradation of the river systems indicates the little progress of the Brazilian legislation in terms of preservation and good management practices and that the interface between science, law, management and conservation need to be improved.

  13. Phylogeographic analysis and environmental niche modeling of the plain-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster) reveals low levels of genetic and ecological differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makowsky, Robert; Marshall, John C; McVay, John; Chippindale, Paul T; Rissler, Leslie J

    2010-06-01

    Species that exhibit geographically defined phenotypic variation traditionally have been divided into subspecies. Subspecies based on phenotypic features may not comprise monophyletic groups due to selection, gene flow, and/or convergent evolution. In many taxonomic groups the number of species once designated as widespread is dwindling rapidly, and many workers reject the concept of subspecies altogether. We tested whether currently recognized subspecies in the plain-bellied watersnake Nerodia erythrogaster are concordant with relationships based on mitochondrial markers, and whether it represents a single widespread species. The range of this taxon spans multiple potential biogeographic barriers (especially the Mississippi and Apalachicola Rivers) that correspond with lineage breaks in many species, including other snakes. We sequenced three mitochondrial genes (NADH-II, Cyt-b, Cox-I) from 156 geo-referenced specimens and developed ecological niche models using Maxent and spatially explicit climate data to examine historical and ecological factors affecting variation in N. erythrogaster across its range. Overall, we found little support for the recognized subspecies as either independent evolutionary lineages or geographically circumscribed units and conclude that although some genetic and niche differentiation has occurred, most populations assigned to N. erythrogaster appear to represent a single, widespread species. However, additional sampling and application of nuclear markers are necessary to clarify the status of the easternmost populations. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Short-term enrichment makes male rats more attractive, more defensive and alters hypothalamic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rupshi Mitra

    Full Text Available Innate behaviors are shaped by contingencies built during evolutionary history. On the other hand, environmental stimuli play a significant role in shaping behavior. In particular, a short period of environmental enrichment can enhance cognitive behavior, modify effects of stress on learned behaviors and induce brain plasticity. It is unclear if modulation by environment can extend to innate behaviors which are preserved by intense selection pressure. In the present report we investigate this issue by studying effects of relatively short (14-days environmental enrichment on two prominent innate behaviors in rats, avoidance of predator odors and ability of males to attract mates. We show that enrichment has strong effects on both the innate behaviors: a enriched males were more avoidant of a predator odor than non-enriched controls, and had a greater rise in corticosterone levels in response to the odor; and b had higher testosterone levels and were more attractive to females. Additionally, we demonstrate decrease in dendritic length of neurons of ventrolateral nucleus of hypothalamus, important for reproductive mate-choice and increase in the same in dorsomedial nucleus, important for defensive behavior. Thus, behavioral and hormonal observations provide evidence that a short period of environmental manipulation can alter innate behaviors, providing a good example of gene-environment interaction.

  15. Beneficial effects of enriched environment following status epilepticus in immature rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faverjon, S; Silveira, D C; Fu, D D; Cha, B H; Akman, C; Hu, Y; Holmes, G L

    2002-11-12

    There is increasing evidence that enriching the environment can improve cognitive and motor deficits following a variety of brain injuries. Whether environmental enrichment can improve cognitive impairment following status epilepticus (SE) is not known. To determine whether the environment in which animals are raised influences cognitive function in normal rats and rats subjected to SE. Rats (n = 100) underwent lithium-pilocarpine-induced SE at postnatal (P) day 20 and were then placed in either an enriched environment consisting of a large play area with toys, climbing objects, and music, or in standard vivarium cages for 30 days. Control rats (n = 32) were handled similarly to the SE rats but received saline injections instead of lithium-pilocarpine. Rats were then tested in the water maze, a measure of visual-spatial memory. A subset of the rats were killed during exposure to the enriched or nonenriched environment and the brains examined for dentate granule cell neurogenesis using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and phosphorylated cyclic AMP response element binding protein (pCREB) immunostaining, a brain transcription factor important in long-term memory. Both control and SE rats exposed to the enriched environment performed significantly better than the nonenriched group in the water maze. There was a significant increase in neurogenesis and pCREB immunostaining in the dentate gyrus in both control and SE animals exposed to the enriched environment compared to the nonenriched groups. Environmental enrichment resulted in no change in SE-induced histologic damage. Exposure to an enriched environment in weanling rats significantly improves visual-spatial learning. Even following SE, an enriched environment enhances cognitive function. An increase in neurogenesis and activation of transcription factors may contribute to this enhanced visual-spatial memory.

  16. Enrichment and Analysis of Intact Phosphoproteins in Arabidopsis Seedlings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uma K Aryal

    Full Text Available Protein phosphorylation regulates diverse cellular functions and plays a key role in the early development of plants. To complement and expand upon previous investigations of protein phosphorylation in Arabidopsis seedlings we used an alternative approach that combines protein extraction under non-denaturing conditions with immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography (IMAC enrichment of intact phosphoproteins in Rubisco-depleted extracts, followed by identification using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS. In-gel trypsin digestion and analysis of selected gel spots identified 144 phosphorylated peptides and residues, of which only 18 phosphopeptides and 8 phosphosites were found in the PhosPhAt 4.0 and P3DB Arabidopsis thaliana phosphorylation site databases. More than half of the 82 identified phosphoproteins were involved in carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthesis/respiration or oxidative stress response mechanisms. Enrichment of intact phosphoproteins prior to 2-DE and LC-MS/MS appears to enhance detection of phosphorylated threonine and tyrosine residues compared with methods that utilize peptide-level enrichment, suggesting that the two approaches are somewhat complementary in terms of phosphorylation site coverage. Comparing results for young seedlings with those obtained previously for mature Arabidopsis leaves identified five proteins that are differentially phosphorylated in these tissues, demonstrating the potential of this technique for investigating the dynamics of protein phosphorylation during plant development.

  17. [Psychoeducational intervention in high ability: intellectual functioning and extracurricular enrichment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sastre-Riba, Sylvia

    2014-02-24

    The 'new paradigm' defines the high intellectual ability as a potential that should crystallize progressively throughout development. Its main feature is a high intellectual initial multidimensional potential, which is transformed so that, being a person with high intellectual ability is the result of a developmental process from a neurobiological substrate and the incidence of variables (psychosocial and education) which determines its manifestation more or less stable and optimal to excellence. It is interesting to know the effectiveness of psychoeducational intervention of the extracurricular enrichment programs and their effects on the expression of differential functioning and the optimization of the management of cognitive resources that lead to excellence. An extracurricular enrichment program is described and evaluated through: 1) the stability of the intellectual measures; 2) the satisfaction level of participants and families. Participants are 58 high ability students on the enrichment program and 25 parents. Intellectual profiles are obtained on T1-T2 and calculated their stability by regression analysis, the CSA and CSA-P questionnaires were applied in order to know the participants and families' satisfaction measure. Results show the basic stability of intellectual profiles with five cases of instability among the 58 profiles obtained, and a high satisfaction with the results obtained in the domain of cognitive and personal management among the participants.

  18. Differential Effects of Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase (PI4K and 3-Kinase (PI3K Inhibitors on Stomatal Responses to Environmental Signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koh Iba

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Specific cellular components including products of phosphatidylinositol (PI metabolism play an important role as signaling molecules in stomatal responses to environmental signals. In this study, pharmacological inhibitors of a set of cellular components, including PI4-kinase (PI4K and PI3K, were used to investigate stomatal closure in response to CO2, darkness, and abscisic acid (ABA. Treatment with PAO, a specific inhibitor of PI4K, specifically inhibited the stomatal response to CO2 compared with that to darkness and ABA. In contrast, treatment with LY294002, a PI3K-specific inhibitor, specifically inhibited the stomatal response to darkness compared with that to CO2 and ABA. The specific inhibitory effects of PAO and LY294002 were also observed as changes in the spatial density of dot-like structures labeled by green fluorescent protein-tagged PATROL1, a protein that controls stomatal aperture possibly via regulation of H+-ATPase amount in guard cell plasma membranes. Our results suggest an important role for PI4K and PI3K in the CO2 and darkness signal transduction pathways, respectively, that mediate PATROL1 dynamics.

  19. Stochastic and Differential Activation of σB and PrfA in Listeria monocytogenes at the Single Cell Level under Different Environmental Stress Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guldimann, Claudia; Guariglia-Oropeza, Veronica; Harrand, Sophia; Kent, David; Boor, Kathryn J; Wiedmann, Martin

    2017-01-01

    During host infection, the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes must sense and respond to rapidly changing environmental conditions. Two transcriptional regulators, the alternative sigma factor B (σB) and the Positive Regulatory Factor A (PrfA), are key contributors to the transcriptomic responses that enable bacterial survival in the host gastrointestinal tract and invasion of host duodenal cells. Increases in temperature and osmolarity induce activity of these proteins; such conditions may be encountered in food matrices as well as within the host gastrointestinal tract. Differences in PrfA and σB activity between individual cells might affect the fate of a cell during host invasion, therefore, we hypothesized that PrfA and σB activities differ among individual cells under heat and salt stress. We used fluorescent reporter fusions to determine the relative proportions of cells with active σB or PrfA following exposure to 45°C heat or 4% NaCl. Activities of both PrfA and σB were induced stochastically, with fluorescence levels ranging from below detection to high among individual cells. The proportion of cells with active PrfA was significantly higher than the proportion with active σB under all tested conditions; under some conditions, nearly all cells had active PrfA. Our findings further support the growing body of evidence illustrating the stochastic nature of bacterial gene expression under conditions that are relevant for host invasion via food-borne, oral infection.

  20. Differential manifolds

    CERN Document Server

    Kosinski, Antoni A

    2007-01-01

    The concepts of differential topology form the center of many mathematical disciplines such as differential geometry and Lie group theory. Differential Manifolds presents to advanced undergraduates and graduate students the systematic study of the topological structure of smooth manifolds. Author Antoni A. Kosinski, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Rutgers University, offers an accessible approach to both the h-cobordism theorem and the classification of differential structures on spheres.""How useful it is,"" noted the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, ""to have a single, sho

  1. Differential systems

    CERN Document Server

    Thomas, Joseph Miller

    1937-01-01

    The main goal of this book is to present the theory of systems of partial differential equations and the theory of Pfaffian systems so as to exhibit clearly the relations between them. In presenting the theory of Pfaffian systems, the author develops, in detail, the theories of Grassmann algebras and rings with differentiation. In particular, following Grassmann and É. Cartan, he introduces and freely uses what is now known as a ring of differential forms with functional coefficients. In presenting the theory of systems of partial differential equations, the author concentrates on the existenc

  2. Neurogenesis-independent antidepressant-like effects of enriched environment is dependent on adiponectin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolas, Sarah; Veyssière, Julie; Gandin, Carine; Zsürger, Nicole; Pietri, Mariel; Heurteaux, Catherine; Glaichenhaus, Nicolas; Petit-Paitel, Agnès; Chabry, Joëlle

    2015-07-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) that combines voluntary physical exercise, sensory and social stimuli, causes profound changes in rodent brain at molecular, anatomical and behavioral levels. Here, we show that EE efficiently reduces anxiety and depression-like behaviors in a mouse model of depression induced by long-term administration of corticosterone. Mechanisms underlying EE-related beneficial effects remain largely unexplored; however, our results point toward adiponectin, an adipocyte-secreted protein, as a main contributor. Indeed, adiponectin-deficient (adipo(-/-)) mice did not benefit from all the EE-induced anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects as evidenced by their differential responses in a series of behavioral tests. Conversely, a single intravenous injection of exogenous adiponectin restored the sensitivity of adipo(-/-) mice to EE-induced behavioral benefits. Interestingly, adiponectin depletion did not prevent the hippocampal neurogenesis induced by EE. Therefore, antidepressant properties of adiponectin are likely to be related to changes in signaling in the hypothalamus rather than through hippocampal-neurogenesis mechanisms. Additionally, EE did not modify the plasma levels of adiponectin but may favor the passage of adiponectin from the blood to the cerebrospinal fluid. Our findings provide advances in the understanding of the anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects of EE and highlight adiponectin as a pivotal mediator. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Student science enrichment training program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandhu, S.S.

    1994-08-01

    This is a report on the Student Science Enrichment Training Program, with special emphasis on chemical and computer science fields. The residential summer session was held at the campus of Claflin College, Orangeburg, SC, for six weeks during 1993 summer, to run concomitantly with the college`s summer school. Fifty participants selected for this program, included high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. The students came from rural South Carolina and adjoining states which, presently, have limited science and computer science facilities. The program focused on high ability minority students, with high potential for science engineering and mathematical careers. The major objective was to increase the pool of well qualified college entering minority students who would elect to go into science, engineering and mathematical careers. The Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and engineering at Claflin College received major benefits from this program as it helped them to expand the Departments of Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science as a result of additional enrollment. It also established an expanded pool of well qualified minority science and mathematics graduates, which were recruited by the federal agencies and private corporations, visiting Claflin College Campus. Department of Energy`s relationship with Claflin College increased the public awareness of energy related job opportunities in the public and private sectors.

  4. 75 FR 52996 - Areva Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility); Notice of Atomic Safety and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-30

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Areva Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility); Notice of Atomic Safety and... Board (Board) in the above-captioned Areva Enrichment Services proceeding is hereby reconstituted by...

  5. 76 FR 387 - Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-04

    ... COMMISSION Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC (Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility... Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility (EREF)--in Bonneville County, Idaho; and (2) the receipt, possession, use... site at http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/arevanc.html . These and other documents relating...

  6. 76 FR 53494 - In the Matter of United States Enrichment Corporation; Paducah Gaseous Enrichment Plant...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-26

    ... COMMISSION In the Matter of United States Enrichment Corporation; Paducah Gaseous Enrichment Plant; Confirmatory Order (Effective Immediately) I The United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), a subsidiary of USEC Inc., is the holder of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission...

  7. 21 CFR 137.350 - Enriched rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 1,000 milligrams of calcium (Ca). Calcium carbonate derived from the use of this substance in milling rice, when present in quantities that furnish less than 500 milligrams of calcium (Ca) per pound... enriched rice unless such enriched rice is labeled to show it contains the optional ingredient calcium...

  8. Enrichment Monitor for 235U Fuel Tubes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winn, W.G.

    2001-08-22

    This report describes the performance of this prototype y-monitor of 235 Uranium enrichment. In this proposed method y-rates associated with 235U and 232U are correlated with enrichment. Instrumentation for appraising fuel tubes with this method has been assembled and tested.

  9. Enrichment of high ammonia tolerant methanogenic culture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fotidis, Ioannis; Karakashev, Dimitar Borisov; Proietti, Nicolas

    of the current study was to isolate and identify methanogenic cultures tolerant to high ammonia concentrations. A mixed methanogenic population was stepwise exposed to ammonia concentrations (1 to 9.26 g NH4+-N L-1) during an enrichment process with successive batch cultivations. The methanogenic population...... microbial community composition. The outcome of the enrichment process was a mesophilic aceticlastic methanogenic enriched culture able to withstand high ammonia loads and utilize acetate and form methane stoichiometrically. FISH analysis showed that the methanogens of the enriched culture belonged...... exclusively to strict aceticlastic methanogens. Results obtained in this study, demonstrated for the first time that strictly aceticlastic methanogens, derived from an enriched culture, can efficiently produce methane under high ammonia levels....

  10. Enriching an effect calculus with linear types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Egger, Jeff; Møgelberg, Rasmus Ejlers; Simpson, Alex

    2009-01-01

    We define an ``enriched effect calculus'' by conservatively extending  a type theory for computational effects with primitives from linear logic. By doing so, we obtain a generalisation of linear type theory, intended as a formalism for expressing linear aspects of effects. As a worked example, we...... formulate  linearly-used continuations in the enriched effect calculus. These are captured by a fundamental translation of the enriched effect calculus into itself, which extends existing call-by-value and call-by-name linearly-used CPS translations. We show that our translation is involutive. Full...... completeness results for the various linearly-used CPS translations  follow. Our main results, the conservativity of enriching the effect calculus with linear primitives, and the involution property of the fundamental translation, are proved using a category-theoretic semantics for the enriched effect calculus...

  11. Environmental taxes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ekins, P.; Andersen, Mikael Skou; Vos, H.

    include those on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in Sweden, on toxic waste in Germany, on water pollution in The Netherlands, and the tax differentials on leaded fuel and 'cleaner' diesel fuel in Sweden.3.Taxes as such have potential negative impacts on competitiveness and on employment, Most barriers...... and information. 4.As environmental concerns move from point-source emissions and problems, such as industrial emissions from pipelines and chimneys, to include more diffuse and mobile sources of pollution, such as solid waste, or from the agricultural and transport sectors, there is increased scope...

  12. Differentiating knowledge, differentiating (occupational) practice

    OpenAIRE

    Hordern, J

    2016-01-01

    This paper extends arguments for differentiating knowledge into conceptualisations of occupational practice. It is argued that specialised forms of knowledge and practice require recognition and differentiation in ways that many contemporary approaches to practice theory deny. Drawing on Hager’s interpretation of MacIntyre is it suggested that occupational practices are differentiated from non-occupational practices by their ‘purposiveness’, and by how their internal and external goods relate...

  13. Constraint Differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mödersheim, Sebastian Alexander; Basin, David; Viganò, Luca

    2010-01-01

    We introduce constraint differentiation, a powerful technique for reducing search when model-checking security protocols using constraint-based methods. Constraint differentiation works by eliminating certain kinds of redundancies that arise in the search space when using constraints to represent...

  14. Differential equations

    CERN Document Server

    Barbu, Viorel

    2016-01-01

    This textbook is a comprehensive treatment of ordinary differential equations, concisely presenting basic and essential results in a rigorous manner. Including various examples from physics, mechanics, natural sciences, engineering and automatic theory, Differential Equations is a bridge between the abstract theory of differential equations and applied systems theory. Particular attention is given to the existence and uniqueness of the Cauchy problem, linear differential systems, stability theory and applications to first-order partial differential equations. Upper undergraduate students and researchers in applied mathematics and systems theory with a background in advanced calculus will find this book particularly useful. Supplementary topics are covered in an appendix enabling the book to be completely self-contained.

  15. Deuterium enrichment of interstellar dusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Ankan; Chakrabarti, Sandip Kumar; Majumdar, Liton; Sahu, Dipen

    2016-07-01

    High abundance of some abundant and simple interstellar species could be explained by considering the chemistry that occurs on interstellar dusts. Because of its simplicity, the rate equation method is widely used to study the surface chemistry. However, because the recombination efficiency for the formation of any surface species is highly dependent on various physical and chemical parameters, the Monte Carlo method is best suited for addressing the randomness of the processes. We carry out Monte-Carlo simulation to study deuterium enrichment of interstellar grain mantle under various physical conditions. Based on the physical properties, various types of clouds are considered. We find that in diffuse cloud regions, very strong radiation fields persists and hardly a few layers of surface species are formed. In translucent cloud regions with a moderate radiation field, significant number of layers would be produced and surface coverage is mainly dominated by photo-dissociation products such as, C, CH_3, CH_2D, OH and OD. In the intermediate dense cloud regions (having number density of total hydrogen nuclei in all forms ˜2 × 10^4 cm^{-3}), water and methanol along with their deuterated derivatives are efficiently formed. For much higher density regions (˜10^6 cm^{-3}), water and methanol productions are suppressed but surface coverage of CO, CO_2, O_2, O_3 are dramatically increased. We find a very high degree of fractionation of water and methanol. Observational results support a high fractionation of methanol but surprisingly water fractionation is found to be low. This is in contradiction with our model results indicating alternative routes for de-fractionation of water.

  16. Effects of Weaning and Spatial Enrichment on Behavior of Turkish Saanen Goat Kids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cemil Tölü

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available As is in all economic activities, the highest yield per unit area is the main goal in animal production, while addressing the temperamental needs of animals often is ignored. Animal welfare is not only an ethical fact; it also has an economic value. Spatial environmental enrichment contributes positively to animal welfare by addressing their behavioral and mental requirements. The present study was conducted to determine the effects of weaning and spatial environmental arrangements on behaviors of goat-kids. Experimental groups were arranged in structured and unstructured spatial environments. Roughage feeder, semi-automatic concentrate feeder, bunk, bridge, and wood block were placed in the structured environment. No equipment was placed in the unstructured environment and paddock sides were enclosed with an iron sheet to prevent bipedal stance and to provide environmental isolation. In the study 10 male and 10 female Turkish Saanen goat kids were used in each group. Spatial environmental arrangements did not have significant impacts on the growth performance of kids (p>0.05. All objects in the structured group were accepted by the kids. Average use ratios of roughage feeder, semi-automatic concentrate feeder, bunk, bridge and wood block were observed as 19.3%, 14.0%, 12.6%, 3.8%, and 0.7%, respectively. There were significant differences between before- and after-weaning in use of all objects except for underneath bridge (p≤0.05. Concentrate feed consumption, locomotion, and resting behaviors in kids showed significant differences by structural group and growth period. Roughage consumption was similar between groups, while it differed by growth period (p≤0.05. Interaction frequency was significantly higher in structured group (p = 0.0023. Playing behavior significantly differentiated based on the growth period rather than on groups (p≤0.05. Playing behavior significantly decreased after weaning. Abnormal oral activity was significantly

  17. Alternative and enriched housing systems for breeding does: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZS. Szendrő

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The main results and observations on group and individually housed rabbit does were reviewed by Szendrő and McNitt in 2012, but in recent years several new papers in this field have been published. This provides a new opportunity to summarise the current knowledge on alternative housing systems for breeding does. In Switzerland, rabbit does are generally housed in group systems. The recently legislated Belgian and Dutch housing systems will be converted step by step into group housing systems. Recent research demonstrated that with semi-group housing systems much better performance levels are possible than with the Swiss group housing system. However, solutions to eliminate aggression, stress and injuries which are common among rabbit does in group housing systems have yet to be found. Some authors are of the opinion that individual cages are too small and allow limited possibilities for movement and social contact. Positive results were seen when platforms were inserted into the cages and the possibility for movement increased. The does and their kits could jump up and down using the platforms. Using footrests, the incidence of sore hocks declined. Several environmental enrichments which increase the well-being of rabbit does can also be used. These enriched cages (equipped with platforms, footrests, gnawing sticks, etc. are fully in line with animal welfare requirements. Increasing the size of cages and enriching them increases the production cost and the meat will be more expensive.

  18. Efficacy of 3 Types of Foraging Enrichment for Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottlieb, Daniel H; Ghirardo, Stephanie; Minier, Darren E; Sharpe, Nicole; Tatum, Lindsay; McCowan, Brenda

    2011-01-01

    Primate facilities provide environmental enrichment to improve animal wellbeing, increase opportunities for expression of species-typical behaviors, and decrease the occurrence of stereotypic behaviors. The current study assessed the efficacy of 3 types of foraging enrichment: puzzle balls, supertubes, and shakers. We assigned 48 rhesus macaques to 3 experimental groups, each of which received (after a 3-wk baseline observation period) 1 of the 3 enrichment devices intermittently for 3 wk. Observations were collected during 10-min sessions by using 1–0 sampling with 15-s intervals (480 h total). Observations were collected at the same 10 specified time points each week during the baseline period and after enrichment. Data were analyzed by using generalized linear mixed-effects modeling under the assumption that the underlying response followed a Poisson distribution. Foraging behavior increased significantly in all 3 groups and remained increased in some groups when enrichment was removed after 43 h. The 3 enrichment devices had different effects on individual expression of stereotypy: supertubes decreased it, shakers increased it, and puzzle balls led to a decrease followed by an increase. We present potential reasons for the changes in stereotypy and postulate a likely balance between the beneficial and negative effects of enrichment in any given environment. PMID:22330782

  19. The effect of structural enrichment in hatchery tanks on the morphology of two neotropical fish species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah de Oliveira Saraiva

    Full Text Available Reared fish differ from wild fish in several aspects, including morphology, because they are adapted to captive conditions that are totally different from natural conditions. To minimize the influence of the hatchery environment on the morphology of fish, the use of environmental enrichment through the incorporation of natural designs in captivity, has been proposed. In the present study, we performed the physical structuring of fish farming tanks to verify the enrichment effect on the morphology of two species of neotropical fishes: Prochilodus lineatus and Brycon orbignyanus. Each species was subjected to four different treatments over two months: tanks with submersed logs, with artificial aquatic plants, with both structures and without any structure. Results showed that the structural enrichment had a strong effect on the morphology of the cultured fish, which varied with each species analyzed and with the type of structural complexity added to the tanks. There was an increase of morphological variability in the population of P. lineatus and an increase of the average length in the population of B. orbignyanus. This shows that the environmental enrichment is capable to induce morphological differentiation through phenotypic plasticity, probably generating phenotypes more adapted to exploiting a complex environment. Peixes cultivados diferem de peixes selvagens em vários aspectos, incluindo morfologia, pois são adaptados às condições de cativeiro, que são totalmente diferentes das condições naturais. Para minimizar a influência do meio de cultivo sobre a morfologia dos peixes, o enriquecimento ambiental, através da incorporação de 'designs' naturais em cativeiro, tem sido proposto. No presente estudo, foi realizada a estruturação física de tanques de piscicultura para verificar o efeito deste tipo de enriquecimento ambiental sobre a morfologia de duas espécies de peixes neotropicais: Prochilodus lineatus e Brycon orbignyanus

  20. Comparative study on gene set and pathway topology-based enrichment methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayerlová, Michaela; Jung, Klaus; Kramer, Frank; Klemm, Florian; Bleckmann, Annalen; Beißbarth, Tim

    2015-10-22

    Enrichment analysis is a popular approach to identify pathways or sets of genes which are significantly enriched in the context of differentially expressed genes. The traditional gene set enrichment approach considers a pathway as a simple gene list disregarding any knowledge of gene or protein interactions. In contrast, the new group of so called pathway topology-based methods integrates the topological structure of a pathway into the analysis. We comparatively investigated gene set and pathway topology-based enrichment approaches, considering three gene set and four topological methods. These methods were compared in two extensive simulation studies and on a benchmark of 36 real datasets, providing the same pathway input data for all methods. In the benchmark data analysis both types of methods showed a comparable ability to detect enriched pathways. The first simulation study was conducted with KEGG pathways, which showed considerable gene overlaps between each other. In this study with original KEGG pathways, none of the topology-based methods outperformed the gene set approach. Therefore, a second simulation study was performed on non-overlapping pathways created by unique gene IDs. Here, methods accounting for pathway topology reached higher accuracy than the gene set methods, however their sensitivity was lower. We conducted one of the first comprehensive comparative works on evaluating gene set against pathway topology-based enrichment methods. The topological methods showed better performance in the simulation scenarios with non-overlapping pathways, however, they were not conclusively better in the other scenarios. This suggests that simple gene set approach might be sufficient to detect an enriched pathway under realistic circumstances. Nevertheless, more extensive studies and further benchmark data are needed to systematically evaluate these methods and to assess what gain and cost pathway topology information introduces into enrichment analysis. Both

  1. GOrilla: a tool for discovery and visualization of enriched GO terms in ranked gene lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steinfeld Israel

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since the inception of the GO annotation project, a variety of tools have been developed that support exploring and searching the GO database. In particular, a variety of tools that perform GO enrichment analysis are currently available. Most of these tools require as input a target set of genes and a background set and seek enrichment in the target set compared to the background set. A few tools also exist that support analyzing ranked lists. The latter typically rely on simulations or on union-bound correction for assigning statistical significance to the results. Results GOrilla is a web-based application that identifies enriched GO terms in ranked lists of genes, without requiring the user to provide explicit target and background sets. This is particularly useful in many typical cases where genomic data may be naturally represented as a ranked list of genes (e.g. by level of expression or of differential expression. GOrilla employs a flexible threshold statistical approach to discover GO terms that are significantly enriched at the top of a ranked gene list. Building on a complete theoretical characterization of the underlying distribution, called mHG, GOrilla computes an exact p-value for the observed enrichment, taking threshold multiple testing into account without the need for simulations. This enables rigorous statistical analysis of thousand of genes and thousands of GO terms in order of seconds. The output of the enrichment analysis is visualized as a hierarchical structure, providing a clear view of the relations between enriched GO terms. Conclusion GOrilla is an efficient GO analysis tool with unique features that make a useful addition to the existing repertoire of GO enrichment tools. GOrilla's unique features and advantages over other threshold free enrichment tools include rigorous statistics, fast running time and an effective graphical representation. GOrilla is publicly available at: http://cbl-gorilla.cs.technion.ac.il

  2. Pre-reproductive maternal enrichment influences offspring developmental trajectories: motor behavior and neurotrophin expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola eCaporali

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment is usually applied immediately after weaning or in adulthood, with strong effects on CNS anatomy and behavior. To examine the hypothesis that a pre-reproductive environmental enrichment of females could affect the motor development of their offspring, female rats were reared in an enriched environment from weaning to sexual maturity, while other female rats used as controls were reared under standard conditions. Following mating with standard-reared males, all females were housed individually. To evaluate the eventual transgenerational influence of positive pre-reproductive maternal experiences, postural and motor development of male pups was analyzed from birth to weaning. Moreover, expression of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor in different brain regions was evaluated at birth and weaning.Pre-reproductive environmental enrichment of females affected the offspring motor development, as indicated by the earlier acquisition of complex motor abilities displayed by the pups of enriched females. The earlier acquisition of motor abilities was associated with enhanced neurotrophin levels in striatum and cerebellum. In conclusion, maternal positive experiences were transgenerationally transmitted, and influenced offspring phenotype at both behavioral and biochemical levels.

  3. Pre-reproductive maternal enrichment influences offspring developmental trajectories: motor behavior and neurotrophin expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caporali, Paola; Cutuli, Debora; Gelfo, Francesca; Laricchiuta, Daniela; Foti, Francesca; De Bartolo, Paola; Mancini, Laura; Angelucci, Francesco; Petrosini, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Environmental enrichment is usually applied immediately after weaning or in adulthood, with strong effects on CNS anatomy and behavior. To examine the hypothesis that a pre-reproductive environmental enrichment of females could affect the motor development of their offspring, female rats were reared in an enriched environment from weaning to sexual maturity, while other female rats used as controls were reared under standard conditions. Following mating with standard-reared males, all females were housed individually. To evaluate the eventual transgenerational influence of positive pre-reproductive maternal experiences, postural and motor development of male pups was analyzed from birth to weaning. Moreover, expression of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor in different brain regions was evaluated at birth and weaning. Pre-reproductive environmental enrichment of females affected the offspring motor development, as indicated by the earlier acquisition of complex motor abilities displayed by the pups of enriched females. The earlier acquisition of motor abilities was associated with enhanced neurotrophin levels in striatum and cerebellum. In conclusion, maternal positive experiences were transgenerationally transmitted, and influenced offspring phenotype at both behavioral and biochemical levels.

  4. Differential games

    CERN Document Server

    Friedman, Avner

    2006-01-01

    This volume lays the mathematical foundations for the theory of differential games, developing a rigorous mathematical framework with existence theorems. It begins with a precise definition of a differential game and advances to considerations of games of fixed duration, games of pursuit and evasion, the computation of saddle points, games of survival, and games with restricted phase coordinates. Final chapters cover selected topics (including capturability and games with delayed information) and N-person games.Geared toward graduate students, Differential Games will be of particular interest

  5. Profile of World Uranium Enrichment Programs - 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laughter, Mark D [ORNL

    2007-11-01

    It is generally agreed that the most difficult step in building a nuclear weapon is acquiring weapons grade fissile material, either plutonium or highly enriched uranium (HEU). Plutonium is produced in a nuclear reactor, while HEU is produced using a uranium enrichment process. Enrichment is also an important step in the civil nuclear fuel cycle, in producing low enriched uranium (LEU) for use in fuel for nuclear reactors. However, the same equipment used to produce LEU for nuclear fuel can also be used to produce HEU for weapons. Safeguards at an enrichment plant are the array of assurances and verification techniques that ensure uranium is only enriched to LEU, no undeclared LEU is produced, and no uranium is enriched to HEU or secretly diverted. There are several techniques for enriching uranium. The two most prevalent are gaseous diffusion, which uses older technology and requires a lot of energy, and gas centrifuge separation, which uses more advanced technology and is more energy efficient. Gaseous diffusion plants (GDPs) provide about 40% of current world enrichment capacity, but are being phased out as newer gas centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs) are constructed. Estimates of current and future enrichment capacity are always approximate, due to the constant upgrades, expansions, and shutdowns occurring at enrichment plants, largely determined by economic interests. Currently, the world enrichment capacity is approximately 53 million kg-separative work units (SWU) per year, with 22 million in gaseous diffusion and 31 million in gas centrifuge plants. Another 23 million SWU/year of capacity are under construction or planned for the near future, almost entirely using gas centrifuge separation. Other less-efficient techniques have also been used in the past, including electromagnetic and aerodynamic separations, but these are considered obsolete, at least from a commercial perspective. Laser isotope separation shows promise as a possible enrichment technique

  6. Effect of Listeria seeligeri or Listeria welshimeri on Listeria monocytogenes detection in and recovery from buffered Listeria enrichment broth☆

    OpenAIRE

    DAILEY, RACHEL C.; Welch, Lacinda J.; Hitchins, Anthony D.; Smiley, R. Derike

    2014-01-01

    The presence of multiple species of Listeria in regulated food products is not uncommon and can complicate the recovery of Listeria monocytogenes particularly on a non-differentiating medium. The potential complications of Listeria seeligeri and Listeria welshimeri on the recovery of L. monocytogenes from inoculated food test samples using the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) selective enrichment procedure was investigated. Post-enrichment enumeration, in the absence of food product,...

  7. Nonlinear partial differential equations: Integrability, geometry and related topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasil'shchik, Joseph; Rubtsov, Volodya

    2017-03-01

    Geometry and Differential Equations became inextricably entwined during the last one hundred fifty years after S. Lie and F. Klein's fundamental insights. The two subjects go hand in hand and they mutually enrich each other, especially after the "Soliton Revolution" and the glorious streak of Symplectic and Poisson Geometry methods in the context of Integrability and Solvability problems for Non-linear Differential Equations.

  8. Differential topology

    CERN Document Server

    Mukherjee, Amiya

    2015-01-01

    This book presents a systematic and comprehensive account of the theory of differentiable manifolds and provides the necessary background for the use of fundamental differential topology tools. The text includes, in particular, the earlier works of Stephen Smale, for which he was awarded the Fields Medal. Explicitly, the topics covered are Thom transversality, Morse theory, theory of handle presentation, h-cobordism theorem, and the generalised Poincaré conjecture. The material is the outcome of lectures and seminars on various aspects of differentiable manifolds and differential topology given over the years at the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta, and at other universities throughout India. The book will appeal to graduate students and researchers interested in these topics. An elementary knowledge of linear algebra, general topology, multivariate calculus, analysis, and algebraic topology is recommended.

  9. Differential Geometry

    CERN Document Server

    Stoker, J J

    2011-01-01

    This classic work is now available in an unabridged paperback edition. Stoker makes this fertile branch of mathematics accessible to the nonspecialist by the use of three different notations: vector algebra and calculus, tensor calculus, and the notation devised by Cartan, which employs invariant differential forms as elements in an algebra due to Grassman, combined with an operation called exterior differentiation. Assumed are a passing acquaintance with linear algebra and the basic elements of analysis.

  10. Training versus engagement as paths to cognitive enrichment with aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L; Payne, Brennan R; Roberts, Brent W; Kramer, Arthur F; Morrow, Daniel G; Payne, Laura; Hill, Patrick L; Jackson, Joshua J; Gao, Xuefei; Noh, Soo Rim; Janke, Megan C; Parisi, Jeanine M

    2014-12-01

    While a training model of cognitive intervention targets the improvement of particular skills through instruction and practice, an engagement model is based on the idea that being embedded in an intellectually and socially complex environment can impact cognition, perhaps even broadly, without explicit instruction. We contrasted these 2 models of cognitive enrichment by randomly assigning healthy older adults to a home-based inductive reasoning training program, a team-based competitive program in creative problem solving, or a wait-list control. As predicted, those in the training condition showed selective improvement in inductive reasoning. Those in the engagement condition, on the other hand, showed selective improvement in divergent thinking, a key ability exercised in creative problem solving. On average, then, both groups appeared to show ability-specific effects. However, moderators of change differed somewhat for those in the engagement and training interventions. Generally, those who started either intervention with a more positive cognitive profile showed more cognitive growth, suggesting that cognitive resources enabled individuals to take advantage of environmental enrichment. Only in the engagement condition did initial levels of openness and social network size moderate intervention effects on cognition, suggesting that comfort with novelty and an ability to manage social resources may be additional factors contributing to the capacity to take advantage of the environmental complexity associated with engagement. Collectively, these findings suggest that training and engagement models may offer alternative routes to cognitive resilience in late life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Geochemical assessment of fluoride enrichment and nitrate ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    62

    , M.P. India. Email- sunil16sster@gmail.com. Abstract-. This systematic study was carried out with objective to delineate the various sources responsible for NO3. - contamination and F- enrichment by utilizing statistical and graphical methods.

  12. Contamination with depleted or enriched uranium differently affects steroidogenesis metabolism in rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grignard, Elise; Gueguen, Yann; Grison, Stephane; Lobaccaro, Jean-Marc A; Gourmelon, Patrick; Souidi, Maamar

    2008-01-01

    Uranium is a naturally occurring heavy metal found in the Earth's crust. It is an alpha-emitter radioactive element from the actinide group that presents both radiotoxicant and chemotoxicant properties. Some studies revealed that uranium could affect the reproductive system. To distinguish chemical versus radiological effects of uranium on the metabolism of the steroids in the testis, rats were contaminated via their drinking water with depleted or enriched uranium. Animals were exposed to radionuclides for 9 months at a dose of 40 mg/L (560 Bq/L for depleted uranium, 1680 Bq/L for enriched uranium). Whereas depleted uranium did not seem to significantly affect the production of testicular steroid hormones in rats, enriched uranium significantly increased the level of circulating testosterone by 2.5-fold. Enriched uranium contamination led to significant increases in the mRNA levels of StAR (Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory protein; 3-fold, p = .001), cyp11a1 (cytochrome P45011a1; 2.2-fold, p modified following enriched uranium contamination. Altogether, these results show for the first time a differential effect among depleted or enriched uranium contamination on testicular steroidogenesis. It appears that the deleterious effects of uranium are mainly due to the radiological activity of the compound.

  13. Coping personality type and environment enrichment affect aggression at weaning in pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Melotti, L.; Oostindjer, M.; Bolhuis, J.E.; Held, S.; Mendl, M.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of different environmental treatments and personality types on aggression at mixing of newly weaned domestic piglets. From birth to weaning, 16 litters were housed with their dams in either barren (B) or larger, substrate-enriched (E) environments. At 15 days old,

  14. Gene Set Enrichment Analyses : Lessons learned from the heart failure phenotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tragante, Vinicius; Gho, Johannes M. I. H.; Felix, Janine F.; Vasan, Ramachandran S.; Smith, Nicholas L.; Voight, Benjamin F.; Palmer, Colin; van der Harst, Pim; Moore, Jason H.; Asselbergs, Folkert W.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Genetic studies for complex diseases have predominantly discovered main effects at individual loci, but have not focused on genomic and environmental contexts important for a phenotype. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) aims to address this by identifying sets of genes or biological

  15. Challenges when developing omega-3 enriched foods

    OpenAIRE

    JACOBSEN Charlotte

    2010-01-01

    Due to the polyunsaturated nature of omega-3 fatty acids, lipid oxidation is a major challenge when developing omega-3 enriched foods. In multiphase food systems, several factors can affect lipid oxidation and efficacy of antioxidants, added to prevent lipid oxidation. This review discusses the influence of important factors such as oil quality, delivery systems for omega-3 fatty acids, processing conditions, composition of the food matrix on lipid oxidation in different omega-3 enriched food...

  16. Robust de novo pathway enrichment with KeyPathwayMiner 5

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alcaraz, Nicolas; List, Markus; Dissing-Hansen, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Identifying functional modules or novel active pathways, recently termed de novo pathway enrichment, is a computational systems biology challenge that has gained much attention during the last decade. Given a large biological interaction network, KeyPathwayMiner extracts connected subnetworks...... that are enriched for differentially active entities from a series of molecular profiles encoded as binary indicator matrices. Since interaction networks constantly evolve, an important question is how robust the extracted results are when the network is modified. We enable users to study this effect through...

  17. Entry Facilitation by Environmental Groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Made, Allard; Schoonbeek, Lambert

    We consider a model of vertical product differentiation where consumers care about the environmental damage their consumption causes. An environmental group is capable of increasing consumers' environmental concern via a costly campaign. We show that the prospect of such a campaign can induce entry

  18. Enrichr: interactive and collaborative HTML5 gene list enrichment analysis tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Edward Y; Tan, Christopher M; Kou, Yan; Duan, Qiaonan; Wang, Zichen; Meirelles, Gabriela Vaz; Clark, Neil R; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2013-04-15

    System-wide profiling of genes and proteins in mammalian cells produce lists of differentially expressed genes/proteins that need to be further analyzed for their collective functions in order to extract new knowledge. Once unbiased lists of genes or proteins are generated from such experiments, these lists are used as input for computing enrichment with existing lists created from prior knowledge organized into gene-set libraries. While many enrichment analysis tools and gene-set libraries databases have been developed, there is still room for improvement. Here, we present Enrichr, an integrative web-based and mobile software application that includes new gene-set libraries, an alternative approach to rank enriched terms, and various interactive visualization approaches to display enrichment res