WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolving agent populations

  1. The Evolving Military Learner Population: A Review of the Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Kate; Vignare, Karen

    2015-01-01

    This literature review examines the evolving online military learner population with emphasis on current generation military learners, who are most frequently Post-9/11 veterans. The review synthesizes recent scholarly and grey literature on military learner demographics and attributes, college experiences, and academic outcomes against a backdrop…

  2. Selective Attention and Control of Action: Comparative Psychology of an Artificial, Evolved Agent and People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Robert; Ward, Ronnie

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the selective attention abilities of a simple, artificial, evolved agent and considered implications of the agent's performance for theories of selective attention and action. The agent processed two targets in continuous time, catching one and then the other. This task required many cognitive operations, including prioritizing…

  3. Dynamical community structure of populations evolving on genotype networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capitán, José A.; Aguirre, Jacobo; Manrubia, Susanna

    2015-01-01

    Neutral evolutionary dynamics of replicators occurs on large and heterogeneous networks of genotypes. These networks, formed by all genotypes that yield the same phenotype, have a complex architecture that conditions the molecular composition of populations and their movements on genome spaces. Here we consider as an example the case of populations evolving on RNA secondary structure neutral networks and study the community structure of the network revealed through dynamical properties of the population at equilibrium and during adaptive transients. We unveil a rich hierarchical community structure that, eventually, can be traced back to the non-trivial relationship between RNA secondary structure and sequence composition. We demonstrate that usual measures of modularity that only take into account the static, topological structure of networks, cannot identify the community structure disclosed by population dynamics

  4. An Agent-Based Model of Evolving Community Flood Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonn, Gina L; Guikema, Seth D

    2017-11-17

    Although individual behavior plays a major role in community flood risk, traditional flood risk models generally do not capture information on how community policies and individual decisions impact the evolution of flood risk over time. The purpose of this study is to improve the understanding of the temporal aspects of flood risk through a combined analysis of the behavioral, engineering, and physical hazard aspects of flood risk. Additionally, the study aims to develop a new modeling approach for integrating behavior, policy, flood hazards, and engineering interventions. An agent-based model (ABM) is used to analyze the influence of flood protection measures, individual behavior, and the occurrence of floods and near-miss flood events on community flood risk. The ABM focuses on the following decisions and behaviors: dissemination of flood management information, installation of community flood protection, elevation of household mechanical equipment, and elevation of homes. The approach is place based, with a case study area in Fargo, North Dakota, but is focused on generalizable insights. Generally, community mitigation results in reduced future damage, and individual action, including mitigation and movement into and out of high-risk areas, can have a significant influence on community flood risk. The results of this study provide useful insights into the interplay between individual and community actions and how it affects the evolution of flood risk. This study lends insight into priorities for future work, including the development of more in-depth behavioral and decision rules at the individual and community level. © 2017 Society for Risk Analysis.

  5. EVOLVE

    CERN Document Server

    Deutz, André; Schütze, Oliver; Legrand, Pierrick; Tantar, Emilia; Tantar, Alexandru-Adrian

    2017-01-01

    This book comprises nine selected works on numerical and computational methods for solving multiobjective optimization, game theory, and machine learning problems. It provides extended versions of selected papers from various fields of science such as computer science, mathematics and engineering that were presented at EVOLVE 2013 held in July 2013 at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The internationally peer-reviewed papers include original work on important topics in both theory and applications, such as the role of diversity in optimization, statistical approaches to combinatorial optimization, computational game theory, and cell mapping techniques for numerical landscape exploration. Applications focus on aspects including robustness, handling multiple objectives, and complex search spaces in engineering design and computational biology.

  6. DNA motif alignment by evolving a population of Markov chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Chengpeng

    2009-01-30

    Deciphering cis-regulatory elements or de novo motif-finding in genomes still remains elusive although much algorithmic effort has been expended. The Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method such as Gibbs motif samplers has been widely employed to solve the de novo motif-finding problem through sequence local alignment. Nonetheless, the MCMC-based motif samplers still suffer from local maxima like EM. Therefore, as a prerequisite for finding good local alignments, these motif algorithms are often independently run a multitude of times, but without information exchange between different chains. Hence it would be worth a new algorithm design enabling such information exchange. This paper presents a novel motif-finding algorithm by evolving a population of Markov chains with information exchange (PMC), each of which is initialized as a random alignment and run by the Metropolis-Hastings sampler (MHS). It is progressively updated through a series of local alignments stochastically sampled. Explicitly, the PMC motif algorithm performs stochastic sampling as specified by a population-based proposal distribution rather than individual ones, and adaptively evolves the population as a whole towards a global maximum. The alignment information exchange is accomplished by taking advantage of the pooled motif site distributions. A distinct method for running multiple independent Markov chains (IMC) without information exchange, or dubbed as the IMC motif algorithm, is also devised to compare with its PMC counterpart. Experimental studies demonstrate that the performance could be improved if pooled information were used to run a population of motif samplers. The new PMC algorithm was able to improve the convergence and outperformed other popular algorithms tested using simulated and biological motif sequences.

  7. International Conference “Ultraviolet Properties of Evolved Stellar Populations

    CERN Document Server

    Chavez Dagostino, Miguel

    2009-01-01

    This book presents an up-to-date collection of reviews and contributed articles in the field of ultraviolet astronomy. Its content has been mainly motivated by the recent access to the rest frame UV light of distant red galaxies, gained through large optical facilities. This driveway has derived in a renewed interest on the stars that presumably dominate or have important effects on the integrated UV properties of evolved systems of the nearby and faraway Universe. The topics included in this volume extend from the fresh spectroscopic analyses of high redshift early-type galaxies observed with the 8-10m class telescopes to the fundamental outcomes from various satellites, from the long-lived International Ultraviolet Explorer to current facilities, such as the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. This is one of the few volumes published in recent years devoted to UV astronomical research and the only one dedicated to the properties of evolved stellar populations at these wavelengths. This contemporary panorama will be ...

  8. Adaptive synonymous mutations in an experimentally evolved Pseudomonas fluorescens population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bailey, Susan; Hinz, Aaron; Kassen, Rees

    2014-01-01

    Conventional wisdom holds that synonymous mutations, nucleotide changes that do not alter the encoded amino acid, have no detectable effect on phenotype or fitness. However, a growing body of evidence from both comparative and experimental studies suggests otherwise. Synonymous mutations have been...... shown to impact gene expression, protein folding and fitness, however, direct evidence that they can be positively selected, and so contribute to adaptation, is lacking. Here we report the recovery of two beneficial synonymous single base pair changes that arose spontaneously and independently...... in an experimentally evolved population of Pseudomonas fluorescens. We show experimentally that these mutations increase fitness by an amount comparable to non-synonymous mutations and that the fitness increases stem from increased gene expression. These results provide unequivocal evidence that synonymous mutations...

  9. Selective attention and control of action: comparative psychology of an artificial, evolved agent and people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Robert; Ward, Ronnie

    2008-10-01

    This study examined the selective attention abilities of a simple, artificial, evolved agent and considered implications of the agent's performance for theories of selective attention and action. The agent processed two targets in continuous time, catching one and then the other. This task required many cognitive operations, including prioritizing the first target (T1) over the second (T2); selectively focusing responses on T1, while preventing T2 from interfering with responses; creating a memory for the unselected T2 item, so that it could be efficiently processed later; and reallocating processing towards T2 after catching T1. The evolved agent demonstrated all these abilities. Analysis shows that the agent used reactive inhibition to selectively focus behavior. That is, the more salient T2, the more strongly responses towards T2 were inhibited and the slower the agent was to subsequently reallocate processing towards T2. Reactive inhibition was also suggested in two experiments with people, performing a virtually identical catch task. The presence of reactive inhibition in the simple agent and in people suggests that it is an important mechanism for selective processing.

  10. Keeping current with the evolving makeup of the Pennsylvania population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldman, H Barry

    2010-01-01

    The changing residential population of the Pennsylvania requires continued monitoring if health practitioners are to maintain an awareness of the individuals in their community. A review of federal agency reports provides a general overview of Pennsylvania and national demographic and health factor characteristics.

  11. Knowledge extraction from evolving spiking neural networks with rank order population coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltic, Snjezana; Kasabov, Nikola

    2010-12-01

    This paper demonstrates how knowledge can be extracted from evolving spiking neural networks with rank order population coding. Knowledge discovery is a very important feature of intelligent systems. Yet, a disproportionally small amount of research is centered on the issue of knowledge extraction from spiking neural networks which are considered to be the third generation of artificial neural networks. The lack of knowledge representation compatibility is becoming a major detriment to end users of these networks. We show that a high-level knowledge can be obtained from evolving spiking neural networks. More specifically, we propose a method for fuzzy rule extraction from an evolving spiking network with rank order population coding. The proposed method was used for knowledge discovery on two benchmark taste recognition problems where the knowledge learnt by an evolving spiking neural network was extracted in the form of zero-order Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy IF-THEN rules.

  12. Integration of Life Cycle Assessment Into Agent-Based Modeling : Toward Informed Decisions on Evolving Infrastructure Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davis, C.B.; Nikoli?, I.; Dijkema, G.P.J.

    2009-01-01

    A method is presented that allows for a life cycle assessment (LCA) to provide environmental information on an energy infrastructure system while it evolves. Energy conversion facilities are represented in an agent-based model (ABM) as distinct instances of technologies with owners capable of making

  13. Evolvable Work-Practice Interfaces Between Humans and Agents, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA science researchers and payload specialists will be supported in their tasks by increasingly complex computational components. Whether these are agents...

  14. Quasispecies-like behavior observed in catalytic RNA populations evolving in a test tube.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz Arenas, Carolina; Lehman, Niles

    2010-03-23

    During the RNA World, molecular populations were probably very small and highly susceptible to the force of strong random drift. In conjunction with Muller's Ratchet, this would have imposed difficulties for the preservation of the genetic information and the survival of the populations. Mechanisms that allowed these nascent populations to overcome this problem must have been advantageous. Using continuous in vitro evolution experimentation with an increased mutation rate imposed by MnCl2, it was found that clonal 100-molecule populations of ribozymes clearly exhibit certain characteristics of a quasispecies. This is the first time this has been seen with a catalytic RNA. Extensive genotypic sampling from two replicate lineages was gathered and phylogenetic networks were constructed to elucidate the structure of the evolving RNA populations. A common distribution was found in which a mutant sequence was present at high frequency, surrounded by a cloud of mutant with lower frequencies. This is a typical distribution of quasispecies. Most of the mutants in these clouds were connected by short Hamming distance values, indicating their close relatedness. The quasispecies nature of mutant RNA clouds facilitates the recovery of genotypes under pressure of being removed from the population by random drift. The empirical populations therefore evolved a genotypic resiliency despite a high mutation rate by adopting the characteristics of quasispecies, implying that primordial RNA pools could have used this strategy to avoid extinction.

  15. Quasispecies-like behavior observed in catalytic RNA populations evolving in a test tube

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lehman Niles

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During the RNA World, molecular populations were probably very small and highly susceptible to the force of strong random drift. In conjunction with Muller's Ratchet, this would have imposed difficulties for the preservation of the genetic information and the survival of the populations. Mechanisms that allowed these nascent populations to overcome this problem must have been advantageous. Results Using continuous in vitro evolution experimentation with an increased mutation rate imposed by MnCl2, it was found that clonal 100-molecule populations of ribozymes clearly exhibit certain characteristics of a quasispecies. This is the first time this has been seen with a catalytic RNA. Extensive genotypic sampling from two replicate lineages was gathered and phylogenetic networks were constructed to elucidate the structure of the evolving RNA populations. A common distribution was found in which a mutant sequence was present at high frequency, surrounded by a cloud of mutant with lower frequencies. This is a typical distribution of quasispecies. Most of the mutants in these clouds were connected by short Hamming distance values, indicating their close relatedness. Conclusions The quasispecies nature of mutant RNA clouds facilitates the recovery of genotypes under pressure of being removed from the population by random drift. The empirical populations therefore evolved a genotypic resiliency despite a high mutation rate by adopting the characteristics of quasispecies, implying that primordial RNA pools could have used this strategy to avoid extinction.

  16. Death and population dynamics affect mutation rate estimates and evolvability under stress in bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenoy, Antoine; Bonhoeffer, Sebastian

    2018-05-01

    The stress-induced mutagenesis hypothesis postulates that in response to stress, bacteria increase their genome-wide mutation rate, in turn increasing the chances that a descendant is able to better withstand the stress. This has implications for antibiotic treatment: exposure to subinhibitory doses of antibiotics has been reported to increase bacterial mutation rates and thus probably the rate at which resistance mutations appear and lead to treatment failure. More generally, the hypothesis posits that stress increases evolvability (the ability of a population to generate adaptive genetic diversity) and thus accelerates evolution. Measuring mutation rates under stress, however, is problematic, because existing methods assume there is no death. Yet subinhibitory stress levels may induce a substantial death rate. Death events need to be compensated by extra replication to reach a given population size, thus providing more opportunities to acquire mutations. We show that ignoring death leads to a systematic overestimation of mutation rates under stress. We developed a system based on plasmid segregation that allows us to measure death and division rates simultaneously in bacterial populations. Using this system, we found that a substantial death rate occurs at the tested subinhibitory concentrations previously reported to increase mutation rate. Taking this death rate into account lowers and sometimes removes the signal for stress-induced mutagenesis. Moreover, even when antibiotics increase mutation rate, we show that subinhibitory treatments do not increase genetic diversity and evolvability, again because of effects of the antibiotics on population dynamics. We conclude that antibiotic-induced mutagenesis is overestimated because of death and that understanding evolvability under stress requires accounting for the effects of stress on population dynamics as much as on mutation rate. Our goal here is dual: we show that population dynamics and, in particular, the

  17. Hybrid weeds! Agent biotypes!: Montana's ever-evolving toadflax biological control soap opera

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. E. Sing; D. K. Weaver; S. M. Ward; J. Milan; C. L. Jorgensen; R. A. Progar; A. Gassmann; I. Tooevski

    2013-01-01

    An exotic toadflax stem mining weevil conventionally identified as Mecinus janthinus Germar has become widely established on Dalmatian toadflax [Linaria dalmatica (Linnaeus) Miller] in western North America, although agent density and control efficacy are highly variable across release sites (De Clerck-Floate & Miller, 2002; McClay & Hughes, 2007; Van Hezewijk...

  18. Quantifying selection in evolving populations using time-resolved genetic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illingworth, Christopher J. R.; Mustonen, Ville

    2013-01-01

    Methods which uncover the molecular basis of the adaptive evolution of a population address some important biological questions. For example, the problem of identifying genetic variants which underlie drug resistance, a question of importance for the treatment of pathogens, and of cancer, can be understood as a matter of inferring selection. One difficulty in the inference of variants under positive selection is the potential complexity of the underlying evolutionary dynamics, which may involve an interplay between several contributing processes, including mutation, recombination and genetic drift. A source of progress may be found in modern sequencing technologies, which confer an increasing ability to gather information about evolving populations, granting a window into these complex processes. One particularly interesting development is the ability to follow evolution as it happens, by whole-genome sequencing of an evolving population at multiple time points. We here discuss how to use time-resolved sequence data to draw inferences about the evolutionary dynamics of a population under study. We begin by reviewing our earlier analysis of a yeast selection experiment, in which we used a deterministic evolutionary framework to identify alleles under selection for heat tolerance, and to quantify the selection acting upon them. Considering further the use of advanced intercross lines to measure selection, we here extend this framework to cover scenarios of simultaneous recombination and selection, and of two driver alleles with multiple linked neutral, or passenger, alleles, where the driver pair evolves under an epistatic fitness landscape. We conclude by discussing the limitations of the approach presented and outlining future challenges for such methodologies.

  19. Replaying Evolution to Test the Cause of Extinction of One Ecotype in an Experimentally Evolved Population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline B Turner

    Full Text Available In a long-term evolution experiment with Escherichia coli, bacteria in one of twelve populations evolved the ability to consume citrate, a previously unexploited resource in a glucose-limited medium. This innovation led to the frequency-dependent coexistence of citrate-consuming (Cit+ and non-consuming (Cit- ecotypes, with Cit-bacteria persisting on the exogenously supplied glucose as well as other carbon molecules released by the Cit+ bacteria. After more than 10,000 generations of coexistence, however, the Cit-lineage went extinct; cells with the Cit-phenotype dropped to levels below detection, and the Cit-clade could not be detected by molecular assays based on its unique genotype. We hypothesized that this extinction was a deterministic outcome of evolutionary change within the population, specifically the appearance of a more-fit Cit+ ecotype that competitively excluded the Cit-ecotype. We tested this hypothesis by re-evolving the population from a frozen population sample taken within 500 generations of the extinction and from another sample taken several thousand generations earlier, in each case for 500 generations and with 20-fold replication. To our surprise, the Cit-type did not go extinct in any of these replays, and Cit-cells also persisted in a single replicate that was propagated for 2,500 generations. Even more unexpectedly, we showed that the Cit-ecotype could reinvade the Cit+ population after its extinction. Taken together, these results indicate that the extinction of the Cit-ecotype was not a deterministic outcome driven by competitive exclusion by the Cit+ ecotype. The extinction also cannot be explained by demographic stochasticity alone, as the population size of the Cit-ecotype should have been many thousands of cells even during the daily transfer events. Instead, we infer that the extinction must have been caused by a rare chance event in which some aspect of the experimental conditions was inadvertently perturbed.

  20. Selective Advantage of Recombination in Evolving Protein Populations:. a Lattice Model Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Paul D.; Pollock, David D.; Goldstein, Richard A.

    Recent research has attempted to clarify the contributions of several mutational processes, such as substitutions or homologous recombination. Simplistic, tractable protein models, which determine the compact native structure phenotype from the sequence genotype, are well-suited to such studies. In this paper, we use a lattice-protein model to examine the effects of point mutation and homologous recombination on evolving populations of proteins. We find that while the majority of mutation and recombination events are neutral or deleterious, recombination is far more likely to be beneficial. This results in a faster increase in fitness during evolution, although the final fitness level is not significantly changed. This transient advantage provides an evolutionary advantage to subpopulations that undergo recombination, allowing fixation of recombination to occur in the population.

  1. Reduced swimming performance repeatedly evolves upon loss of migration in landlocked populations of Alewife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velotta, Jonathan P.; McCormick, Stephen; Jones, Andrew W.; Schultz, Eric T.

    2018-01-01

    Whole-organism performance tasks are accomplished by the integration of morphological traits and physiological functions. Understanding how evolutionary change in morphology and physiology influences whole-organism performance will yield insight into the factors that shape its own evolution. We demonstrate that nonmigratory populations of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) have evolved reduced swimming performance in parallel, compared with their migratory ancestor. In contrast to theoretically and empirically based predictions, poor swimming among nonmigratory populations is unrelated to the evolution of osmoregulation and occurs despite the fact that nonmigratory alewives have a more fusiform (torpedo-like) body shape than their ancestor. Our results suggest that elimination of long-distance migration from the life cycle has shaped performance more than changes in body shape and physiological regulatory capacity.

  2. Evolving perspectives of the role of novel agents in androgen-independent prostate cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujith Kalmadi

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Metastatic androgen-independent prostate cancer presents an intriguing clinical challenge, with a subtle interaction between hormone-responsive and refractory tumor cell elements. The treatment of advanced prostate carcinoma, which had remained stagnant for several decades following the understanding of the link between androgenic stimulation and carcinogenesis, has now started to make steady headway with chemotherapy and targeted approaches. Metastatic prostate cancer is almost always treated with initial androgen deprivation, in various forms. However, despite such treatment androgen-independent prostate cancer cells eventually emerge and progress to threaten life. The therapeutic objectives for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer are to maintain the quality of life and prolong survival. The out-dated nihilistic dogma of deferring chemotherapy until the most advanced stages in advanced prostate cancer is now falling by the wayside with the development of newer effective, tolerable agents.

  3. Population synthesis and x-ray properties of passively evolving galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Renzini, A.

    1989-01-01

    In this review some evolutionary processes in galaxies will be considered which may be less exciting than other phenomena such as starburst activities, galactic interactions, merging, or cannibalism. The discussion will rather be restricted to passively evolving stellar populations, i.e. to what may happen when all giant molecular clouds have blown away, when every shower of star formation has ceased, and stars just shine, age, and eventually die. Only this passive evolution is in fact subject to laws that - at least in principle - can be rigorously formulated, while star formation processes, because of the prominent role played by chaotic hydrodynamics, rather resemble meteorological events. In Section 2 some fundamental properties of simple stellar populations are introduced. These can be regarded as the basic laws controlling the evolution of stellar populations, once that they have condensed from the diffused medium. In Section 3 the primary requirements that acceptable evolutionary population synthesis should fulfil are then briefly recalled, and, finally, in Section 4 some of the basic laws are put at play in an attempt to discuss the evolution over cosmological times of the X-ray properties of elliptical galaxies. (author)

  4. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duneau, David; Luijckx, Pepijn; Ruder, Ludwig F; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-12-18

    Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration), which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts.

  5. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duneau David

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. Results We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. Conclusions We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration, which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts.

  6. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. Results We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. Conclusions We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration), which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts. PMID:23249484

  7. Autonomous Agent-Based Systems and Their Applications in Fluid Dynamics, Particle Separation, and Co-evolving Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graeser, Oliver

    This thesis comprises three parts, reporting research results in Fluid Dynamics (Part I), Particle Separation (Part II) and Co-evolving Networks (Part III). Part I deals with the simulation of fluid dynamics using the lattice-Boltzmann method. Microfluidic devices often feature two-dimensional, repetitive arrays. Flows through such devices are pressure-driven and confined by solid walls. We have defined new adaptive generalised periodic boundary conditions to represent the effects of outer solid walls, and are thus able to exploit the periodicity of the array by simulating the flow through one unit cell in lieu of the entire device. The so-calculated fully developed flow describes the flow through the entire array accurately, but with computational requirements that are reduced according to the dimensions of the array. Part II discusses the problem of separating macromolecules like proteins or DNA coils. The reliable separation of such molecules is a crucial task in molecular biology. The use of Brownian ratchets as mechanisms for the separation of such particles has been proposed and discussed during the last decade. Pressure-driven flows have so far been dismissed as possible driving forces for Brownian ratchets, as they do not generate ratchet asymmetry. We propose a microfluidic design that uses pressure-driven flows to create asymmetry and hence allows particle separation. The dependence of the asymmetry on various factors of the microfluidic geometry is discussed. We further exemplify the feasibility of our approach using Brownian dynamics simulations of particles of different sizes in such a device. The results show that ratchet-based particle separation using flows as the driving force is possible. Simulation results and ratchet theory predictions are in excellent agreement. Part III deals with the co-evolution of networks and dynamic models. A group of agents occupies the nodes of a network, which defines the relationship between these agents. The

  8. Population-based resequencing of experimentally evolved populations reveals the genetic basis of body size variation in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas L Turner

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Body size is a classic quantitative trait with evolutionarily significant variation within many species. Locating the alleles responsible for this variation would help understand the maintenance of variation in body size in particular, as well as quantitative traits in general. However, successful genome-wide association of genotype and phenotype may require very large sample sizes if alleles have low population frequencies or modest effects. As a complementary approach, we propose that population-based resequencing of experimentally evolved populations allows for considerable power to map functional variation. Here, we use this technique to investigate the genetic basis of natural variation in body size in Drosophila melanogaster. Significant differentiation of hundreds of loci in replicate selection populations supports the hypothesis that the genetic basis of body size variation is very polygenic in D. melanogaster. Significantly differentiated variants are limited to single genes at some loci, allowing precise hypotheses to be formed regarding causal polymorphisms, while other significant regions are large and contain many genes. By using significantly associated polymorphisms as a priori candidates in follow-up studies, these data are expected to provide considerable power to determine the genetic basis of natural variation in body size.

  9. Special Agents Can Promote Cooperation in the Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Han, Jing; Han, Huawei

    2011-01-01

    Cooperation is ubiquitous in our real life but everyone would like to maximize her own profits. How does cooperation occur in the group of self-interested agents without centralized control? Furthermore, in a hostile scenario, for example, cooperation is unlikely to emerge. Is there any mechanism to promote cooperation if populations are given and play rules are not allowed to change? In this paper, numerical experiments show that complete population interaction is unfriendly to cooperation in the finite but end-unknown Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma (RPD). Then a mechanism called soft control is proposed to promote cooperation. According to the basic idea of soft control, a number of special agents are introduced to intervene in the evolution of cooperation. They comply with play rules in the original group so that they are always treated as normal agents. For our purpose, these special agents have their own strategies and share knowledge. The capability of the mechanism is studied under different settings. We find that soft control can promote cooperation and is robust to noise. Meanwhile simulation results demonstrate the applicability of the mechanism in other scenarios. Besides, the analytical proof also illustrates the effectiveness of soft control and validates simulation results. As a way of intervention in collective behaviors, soft control provides a possible direction for the study of reciprocal behaviors. PMID:22216202

  10. Biobanks in the United States: how to identify an undefined and rapidly evolving population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Gregory J; Whipple, Warren; Cadigan, R Jean; Henderson, Gail E

    2012-12-01

    As part of a larger organizational study, we sought to survey biobanks in the United States. However, we encountered two problems with this population. First, no common definition of biobanks exists. Second, no census is available of these facilities from which to sample in order to implement a survey. In light of these problems, we employed a multifaceted approach using electronic searches of PubMed, RePORTER, and Google. In addition, we systematically searched for biobanks housed within universities that have NIH-designated Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). We expanded this part of the search by looking for biobanks among all members of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). Finally, we added banks to our database found previously by other researchers and banks found via correspondence with our colleagues. Our search strategy produced a database of 624 biobanks for which we were able to confirm contact information in order to conduct our online survey. Another 140 biobanks were identified but did not respond to our requests to confirm their existence or contact information. In order to maximize both the uniqueness of banks found and the greatest return on effort for each search, we suggest targeting resources that are already organized. In our work, these included the CTSA, AAMC, and part of the Google searches. We contend that our search provides a model for analysis of new fields of research and/or rapidly evolving industries. Furthermore, our approach demonstrates that with the appropriate tools it is possible to develop a systematic and comprehensive database to investigate undefined populations.

  11. Understanding the time dependence of atomic level populations in evolving plasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Judge, Philip G.

    2005-01-01

    The time dependence of atomic level populations in evolving plasmas is studied using an eigenfunction expansion of the non-LTE rate equations. The work aims to develop understanding without the need for, and as an aid to, numerical solutions. The discussion is mostly limited to linear systems, especially those for optically thin plasmas, but the implicitly non-linear case of non-LTE radiative transfer is briefly discussed. Eigenvalue spectra for typical atomic systems are examined using results compiled by Hearon. Diagonal dominance and sign symmetry of rate matrices show that just one eigenvalue is zero (corresponding to the equilibrium state), that the remaining eigenvalues have negative real parts, and that oscillations, if any, are necessarily damped. Gershgorin's theorems are used to show that many eigenvalues are determined by the radiative lifetimes of certain levels, because of diagonal dominance. With other properties, this demonstrates the existence of both 'slow' and 'fast' time-scales, where the 'slow' evolution is controlled by properties of meta-stable levels. It is shown that, when collisions are present, Rydberg states contribute only 'fast' eigenvalues. This justifies use of the quasi-static approximation, in which atoms containing just meta-stable levels can suffice to determine the atomic evolution on time-scales long compared with typical radiative lifetimes. Analytic solutions for two- and three-level atoms are used to examine the basis of earlier intuitive ideas, such as the 'ionizing plasma' approximation. The power and limitations of Gershgorin's theorems are examined through examples taken from the solar atmosphere. The methods should help in the planning and interpretation of both experimental and numerical experiments in which atomic evolution is important. While the examples are astrophysical, the methods and results are applicable to plasmas in general

  12. Inheritance of evolved clethodim resistance in Lolium rigidum populations from Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saini, Rupinder Kaur; Malone, Jenna; Gill, Gurjeet; Preston, Christopher

    2017-08-01

    In Australia, the extensive use of clethodim for the control of Lolium rigidum has resulted in the evolution of many clethodim-resistant L. rigidum populations. Five clethodim-resistant populations of L. rigidum were analysed for the inheritance of clethodim resistance. Reciprocal crosses were made between resistant (R) and susceptible (S) populations. Within crosses, dose-responses of reciprocal F 1 families of all populations except A61 were similar to each other, indicating that clethodim resistance in these populations is encoded on the nuclear genome. The level of dominance observed in the dose-response experiments ranged from partial to complete within the herbicide rate used. In the A61 population, within each cross, the response of F 1 from the maternal and paternal parent was different, indicating that resistance is inherited through the female parent. All backcross populations segregated in a different manner. Only one population, FP, fitted a single-gene model (1:1). Two populations fitted two-gene models: a 3:1 inheritance model for F4 and a 1:3 inheritance model for A91. For population E2, no clear pattern of inheritance was determined, suggesting more complex inheritance. The results of this study indicate that different patterns of clethodim resistance in L. rigidum exist. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. Constraining the Population of Small Close-in Planets Around Evolved Intermediate Mass Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Amber; Johnson, John Asher

    2018-01-01

    Intermediate mass stars ( > 1.3 M_Sun) have high occurrence rates of Jupiter mass planets in predominately long period orbits (~1.0 AU). There is a prominent planet gap, known as the ‘Planet Desert’, for low mass planets (Super-Earth, Neptune) < 0.5 AU from subgiants, the evolved counterpart to intermediate mass stars. Thus far, using current radial velocity methods, we have not been able to detect short period planets around subgiants due to noise from p-mode oscillations perhaps mimicking radial velocity signals (~5 m/s) in this planetary regime. Here we present techniques and preliminary results with regards to finding low mass, short period planets around subgiants and its implications for the Planet Desert.

  14. Topology of evolving, mutagenized viral populations: quasispecies expansion, compression, and operation of negative selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojosnegros, Samuel; Agudo, Rubén; Sierra, Macarena; Briones, Carlos; Sierra, Saleta; González-López, Claudia; Domingo, Esteban; Cristina, Juan

    2008-07-17

    The molecular events and evolutionary forces underlying lethal mutagenesis of virus (or virus extinction through an excess of mutations) are not well understood. Here we apply for the first time phylogenetic methods and Partition Analysis of Quasispecies (PAQ) to monitor genetic distances and intra-population structures of mutant spectra of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) quasispecies subjected to mutagenesis by base and nucleoside analogues. Phylogenetic and PAQ analyses have revealed a highly dynamic variation of intrapopulation diversity of FMDV quasispecies. The population diversity first suffers striking expansions in the presence of mutagens and then compressions either when the presence of the mutagenic analogue was discontinued or when a mutation that decreased sensitivity to a mutagen was selected. The pattern of mutations found in the populations was in agreement with the behavior of the corresponding nucleotide analogues with FMDV in vitro. Mutations accumulated at preferred genomic sites, and dn/ds ratios indicate the operation of negative (or purifying) selection in populations subjected to mutagenesis. No evidence of unusually elevated genetic distances has been obtained for FMDV populations approaching extinction. Phylogenetic and PAQ analysis provide adequate procedures to describe the evolution of viral sequences subjected to lethal mutagenesis. These methods define the changes of intra-population structure more precisely than mutation frequencies and Shannon entropies. PAQ is very sensitive to variations of intrapopulation genetic distances. Strong negative (or purifying) selection operates in FMDV populations subjected to enhanced mutagenesis. The quantifications provide evidence that extinction does not imply unusual increases of intrapopulation complexity, in support of the lethal defection model of virus extinction.

  15. Topology of evolving, mutagenized viral populations: quasispecies expansion, compression, and operation of negative selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sierra Saleta

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The molecular events and evolutionary forces underlying lethal mutagenesis of virus (or virus extinction through an excess of mutations are not well understood. Here we apply for the first time phylogenetic methods and Partition Analysis of Quasispecies (PAQ to monitor genetic distances and intra-population structures of mutant spectra of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV quasispecies subjected to mutagenesis by base and nucleoside analogues. Results Phylogenetic and PAQ analyses have revealed a highly dynamic variation of intrapopulation diversity of FMDV quasispecies. The population diversity first suffers striking expansions in the presence of mutagens and then compressions either when the presence of the mutagenic analogue was discontinued or when a mutation that decreased sensitivity to a mutagen was selected. The pattern of mutations found in the populations was in agreement with the behavior of the corresponding nucleotide analogues with FMDV in vitro. Mutations accumulated at preferred genomic sites, and dn/ds ratios indicate the operation of negative (or purifying selection in populations subjected to mutagenesis. No evidence of unusually elevated genetic distances has been obtained for FMDV populations approaching extinction. Conclusion Phylogenetic and PAQ analysis provide adequate procedures to describe the evolution of viral sequences subjected to lethal mutagenesis. These methods define the changes of intra-population structure more precisely than mutation frequencies and Shannon entropies. PAQ is very sensitive to variations of intrapopulation genetic distances. Strong negative (or purifying selection operates in FMDV populations subjected to enhanced mutagenesis. The quantifications provide evidence that extinction does not imply unusual increases of intrapopulation complexity, in support of the lethal defection model of virus extinction.

  16. The Dynamics of Population, Built-up Areas and their Evolving Associations in Gridded Population across Time and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, F. R.; Gaughan, A. E.; Tatem, A. J.; Linard, C.; Sorichetta, A.; Nieves, J. J.; Reed, P.

    2017-12-01

    Gridded population data is commonly used to understand the `now' of hazard risk and mitigation management, health and disease modelling, and global change-, economic-, environmental-, and sustainability-related research. But to understand how human population change at local to global scales influences and is influenced by environmental changes requires novel ways of treating data and statistically describing associations of measured population counts with associated covariates. One of the most critical components in such gridded estimates is the relationship between built-up areas and population located in these areas. This relationship is rarely static and accurately estimating changes in built-areas through time and the changing human population around them is critical when applying gridded population datasets in studies of other environmental change. The research presented here discusses these issues in the context of multitemporal, gridded population data, using new technologies and sources of remotely-sensed and modeled built-up areas. We discuss applications of these data in environmental analyses and intercomparisons with other such data across scales.

  17. The effect of trait type and strength of selection on heritability and evolvability in an island bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Keller, Lukas F; Postma, Erik

    2014-11-01

    The heritability (h(2) ) of fitness traits is often low. Although this has been attributed to directional selection having eroded genetic variation in direct proportion to the strength of selection, heritability does not necessarily reflect a trait's additive genetic variance and evolutionary potential ("evolvability"). Recent studies suggest that the low h(2) of fitness traits in wild populations is caused not by a paucity of additive genetic variance (VA ) but by greater environmental or nonadditive genetic variance (VR ). We examined the relationship between h(2) and variance-standardized selection intensities (i or βσ ), and between evolvability (IA :VA divided by squared phenotypic trait mean) and mean-standardized selection gradients (βμ ). Using 24 years of data from an island population of Savannah sparrows, we show that, across diverse traits, h(2) declines with the strength of selection, whereas IA and IR (VR divided by squared trait mean) are independent of the strength of selection. Within trait types (morphological, reproductive, life-history), h(2) , IA , and IR are all independent of the strength of selection. This indicates that certain traits have low heritability because of increased residual variance due to the age at which they are expressed or the multiple factors influencing their expression, rather than their association with fitness. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. Biological control agents elevate hantavirus by subsidizing deer mouse populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Ragan M. Callaway

    2006-01-01

    Biological control of exotic invasive plants using exotic insects is practiced under the assumption that biological control agents are safe if they do not directly attack non-target species. We tested this assumption by evaluating the potential for two host-specific biological control agents (Urophora spp.), widely established in North America for spotted...

  19. Chandra Detection of an Evolved Population of Young Stars in Serpens South

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winston, E.; Wolk, S. J.; Gutermuth, R.; Bourke, T. L.

    2018-06-01

    We present a Chandra study of the deeply embedded Serpens South star-forming region, examining cluster structure and disk properties at the earliest stages. In total, 152 X-ray sources are detected. Combined with Spitzer and 2MASS photometry, 66 X-ray sources are reliably matched to an IR counterpart. We identify 21 class I, 6 flat spectrum, 16 class II, and 18 class III young stars; 5 were unclassified. Eighteen sources were variable in X-rays, 8 exhibiting flare-like emission and one source being periodic. The cluster’s X-ray luminosity distance was estimated: the best match was to the nearer distance of 260 pc for the front of the Aquila Rift complex. The ratio of N H to A K is found to be ∼0.68 × 1022, similar to that measured in other young low-mass regions, but lower than that measured in the interstellar medium and high-mass clusters (∼(1.6–2) × 1022). We find that the spatial distribution closely follows that of the dense filament from which the stars have formed, with the class II population still strongly associated with the filament. There are four subclusters in the field, with three forming knots in the filament, and a fourth to the west, which may not be associated but may be contributing to the distributed class III population. A high percentage of diskless class IIIs (upper limit 30% of classified X-ray sources) in such a young cluster could indicate that processing of disks is influenced by the cluster environment and is not solely dependent on timescale.

  20. Evolving perspectives on caribou population dynamics, have we got it right yet?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.T. Bergerud

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The roles of food, weather and predation are compared between sedentary and migratory caribou herds. Sedentary herds disperse (space out at calving time while the cows of migratory herds move in masse (space away to calving grounds to reduce predation risk. The sedentary ecotype calves on ranges near open water if tree cover is present or in rugged topography in the absence of tree cover. The migratory ecotype aggregates on calving grounds located on alpine mountain plateaus or on the tundra north of the Arctic tree line. The two herds with the greatest densities in North America, the sedentary Slate Islands Herd and the migratory George River Herd both had changes in abundance that followed summer food problems. The hypothesis that winter lichen supplies determine abundance and set the carrying capacity is rejected. Lichens are not a necessary food for caribou. A review of the mortality of young calves documented in the past 30 years provides no support for the hypothesis that hypothermia is a common mortality problem. Young calves documented can be born inviable at birth if their dams are severely malnourished. The migratory caribou in North America reached peak numbers in the 1980s after wolf populations were heavily harvested in the 1970s. The sedentary ecotype is frequently regulated by wolf predation that affects both recruitment (R and the mortality of adults (M. The balance between R/M schedules commonly occurs when R (calves represents, about 15% of the herd and when numbers (prorated to the area of the dispersed annual range approximate 0.06 caribou/km2. Population limitation of migratory herds by predation has occurred in the NWT and in several herds in Alaska but only when wolf densities were > 6.5/1000 km2. Wolf predation halted the growth of the George River Herd in 1980 but then wolves contracted rabies and the herd again increased and degraded spring/summer ranges. The reduced summer phytomass resulted in lower birth rates and

  1. Effects of Orbital Lifetime Reduction on the Long-Term Earth Satellite Population as Modeled by EVOLVE 4.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krisko, Paula H.; Opiela, John N.; Liou, Jer-Chyi; Anz-Meador, Phillip D.; Theall, Jeffrey R.

    1999-01-01

    The latest update of the NASA orbital debris environment model, EVOLVE 4.0, has been used to study the effect of various proposed debris mitigation measures, including the NASA 25-year guideline. EVOLVE 4.0, which includes updates of the NASA breakup, solar activity, and the orbit propagator models, a GEO analysis option, and non-fragmentation debris source models, allows for the statistical modeling and predicted growth of the particle population >1 mm in characteristic length in LEO and GEO orbits. The initial implementation of this &odel has been to study the sensitivity of the overall LEO debris environment to mitigation measures designed to limit the lifetime of intact objects in LEO orbits. The mitigation measures test matrix for this study included several commonly accepted testing schemes, i.e., the variance of the maximum LEO lifetime from 10 to 50 years, the date of the initial implementation of this policy, the shut off of all explosions at some specified date, and the inclusion of disposal orbits. All are timely studies in that all scenarios have been suggested by researchers and satellite operators as options for the removal of debris from LEO orbits.

  2. Maintaining evolvability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, James F

    2008-12-01

    Although molecular methods, such as QTL mapping, have revealed a number of loci with large effects, it is still likely that the bulk of quantitative variability is due to multiple factors, each with small effect. Typically, these have a large additive component. Conventional wisdom argues that selection, natural or artificial, uses up additive variance and thus depletes its supply. Over time, the variance should be reduced, and at equilibrium be near zero. This is especially expected for fitness and traits highly correlated with it. Yet, populations typically have a great deal of additive variance, and do not seem to run out of genetic variability even after many generations of directional selection. Long-term selection experiments show that populations continue to retain seemingly undiminished additive variance despite large changes in the mean value. I propose that there are several reasons for this. (i) The environment is continually changing so that what was formerly most fit no longer is. (ii) There is an input of genetic variance from mutation, and sometimes from migration. (iii) As intermediate-frequency alleles increase in frequency towards one, producing less variance (as p --> 1, p(1 - p) --> 0), others that were originally near zero become more common and increase the variance. Thus, a roughly constant variance is maintained. (iv) There is always selection for fitness and for characters closely related to it. To the extent that the trait is heritable, later generations inherit a disproportionate number of genes acting additively on the trait, thus increasing genetic variance. For these reasons a selected population retains its ability to evolve. Of course, genes with large effect are also important. Conspicuous examples are the small number of loci that changed teosinte to maize, and major phylogenetic changes in the animal kingdom. The relative importance of these along with duplications, chromosome rearrangements, horizontal transmission and polyploidy

  3. An Empirical Study of AI Population Dynamics with Million-agent Reinforcement Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Yaodong; Yu, Lantao; Bai, Yiwei; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Weinan; Wen, Ying; Yu, Yong

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we conduct an empirical study on discovering the ordered collective dynamics obtained by a population of artificial intelligence (AI) agents. Our intention is to put AI agents into a simulated natural context, and then to understand their induced dynamics at the population level. In particular, we aim to verify if the principles developed in the real world could also be used in understanding an artificially-created intelligent population. To achieve this, we simulate a large-sc...

  4. Measurably evolving populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drummond, Alexei James; Pybus, Oliver George; Rambaut, Andrew

    2003-01-01

    The availability of nucleotide and amino acid sequences sampled at different points in time has fostered the development of new statistical methods that exploit this temporal dimension. Such sequences enable us to observe evolution in action and to estimate the rate and magnitude of evolutionary ...

  5. Language competition in a population of migrating agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipowska, Dorota; Lipowski, Adam

    2017-05-01

    Influencing various aspects of human activity, migration is associated also with language formation. To examine the mutual interaction of these processes, we study a Naming Game with migrating agents. The dynamics of the model leads to formation of low-mobility clusters, which turns out to break the symmetry of the model: although the Naming Game remains symmetric, low-mobility languages are favored. High-mobility languages are gradually eliminated from the system, and the dynamics of language formation considerably slows down. Our model is too simple to explain in detail language competition of migrating human communities, but it certainly shows that languages of settlers are favored over nomadic ones.

  6. An agent-based computational model for tuberculosis spreading on age-structured populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graciani Rodrigues, C. C.; Espíndola, Aquino L.; Penna, T. J. P.

    2015-06-01

    In this work we present an agent-based computational model to study the spreading of the tuberculosis (TB) disease on age-structured populations. The model proposed is a merge of two previous models: an agent-based computational model for the spreading of tuberculosis and a bit-string model for biological aging. The combination of TB with the population aging, reproduces the coexistence of health states, as seen in real populations. In addition, the universal exponential behavior of mortalities curves is still preserved. Finally, the population distribution as function of age shows the prevalence of TB mostly in elders, for high efficacy treatments.

  7. SURVEYING THE AGENTS OF GALAXY EVOLUTION IN THE TIDALLY STRIPPED, LOW METALLICITY SMALL MAGELLANIC CLOUD (SAGE-SMC). II. COOL EVOLVED STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyer, Martha L.; Meixner, Margaret; Gordon, Karl D.; Shiao, Bernie; Srinivasan, Sundar; Van Loon, Jacco Th.; McDonald, Iain; Kemper, F.; Zaritsky, Dennis; Block, Miwa; Engelbracht, Charles W.; Misselt, Karl; Babler, Brian; Bracker, Steve; Meade, Marilyn; Whitney, Barbara; Hora, Joe; Robitaille, Thomas; Indebetouw, Remy; Sewilo, Marta

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the infrared (IR) properties of cool, evolved stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), including the red giant branch (RGB) stars and the dust-producing red supergiant (RSG) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars using observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope Legacy program entitled 'Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution in the Tidally Stripped, Low Metallicity SMC', or SAGE-SMC. The survey includes, for the first time, full spatial coverage of the SMC bar, wing, and tail regions at IR wavelengths (3.6-160 μm). We identify evolved stars using a combination of near-IR and mid-IR photometry and point out a new feature in the mid-IR color-magnitude diagram that may be due to particularly dusty O-rich AGB stars. We find that the RSG and AGB stars each contribute ∼20% of the global SMC flux (extended + point-source) at 3.6 μm, which emphasizes the importance of both stellar types to the integrated flux of distant metal-poor galaxies. The equivalent SAGE survey of the higher-metallicity Large Magellanic Cloud (SAGE-LMC) allows us to explore the influence of metallicity on dust production. We find that the SMC RSG stars are less likely to produce a large amount of dust (as indicated by the [3.6] - [8] color). There is a higher fraction of carbon-rich stars in the SMC, and these stars appear to reach colors as red as their LMC counterparts, indicating that C-rich dust forms efficiently in both galaxies. A preliminary estimate of the dust production in AGB and RSG stars reveals that the extreme C-rich AGB stars dominate the dust input in both galaxies, and that the O-rich stars may play a larger role in the LMC than in the SMC.

  8. Population level analysis of evolved mutations underlying improvements in plant hemicellulose and cellulose fermentation by Clostridium phytofermentans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Supratim Mukherjee

    Full Text Available The complexity of plant cell walls creates many challenges for microbial decomposition. Clostridium phytofermentans, an anaerobic bacterium isolated from forest soil, directly breaks down and utilizes many plant cell wall carbohydrates. The objective of this research is to understand constraints on rates of plant decomposition by Clostridium phytofermentans and identify molecular mechanisms that may overcome these limitations.Experimental evolution via repeated serial transfers during exponential growth was used to select for C. phytofermentans genotypes that grow more rapidly on cellobiose, cellulose and xylan. To identify the underlying mutations an average of 13,600,000 paired-end reads were generated per population resulting in ∼300 fold coverage of each site in the genome. Mutations with allele frequencies of 5% or greater could be identified with statistical confidence. Many mutations are in carbohydrate-related genes including the promoter regions of glycoside hydrolases and amino acid substitutions in ABC transport proteins involved in carbohydrate uptake, signal transduction sensors that detect specific carbohydrates, proteins that affect the export of extracellular enzymes, and regulators of unknown specificity. Structural modeling of the ABC transporter complex proteins suggests that mutations in these genes may alter the recognition of carbohydrates by substrate-binding proteins and communication between the intercellular face of the transmembrane and the ATPase binding proteins.Experimental evolution was effective in identifying molecular constraints on the rate of hemicellulose and cellulose fermentation and selected for putative gain of function mutations that do not typically appear in traditional molecular genetic screens. The results reveal new strategies for evolving and engineering microorganisms for faster growth on plant carbohydrates.

  9. Genome shuffling of Saccharomyces cerevisiae through recursive population mating to evolve tolerance to inhibitors of Spent Sulfite Liquor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, V.J.J.; Pinel, D.J.; D' aoust, F. [Concordia Univ., Montreal, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences; Bajwa, P.K.; Trevors, J.T.; Lee, H. [Guelph Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Environmental Biology

    2009-07-01

    The biochemical steps in the conversion of cellulosics to biofuels include the pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation of substrates into a final product. Fermentation of lignocellulosic substrates derived from waste biomass requires metabolic engineering. A biochemical flow chart from the Tembec Biorefinery plant was presented in which Spent Sulfite Liquor (SSL) was used to add value to the pulp and paper industry. The sugars contained in this carbohydrate-rich effluent from sulfite pulping were used to produce ethanol. A robust, ethanologenic microorganism that can withstand the substrate toxicity was needed. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is currently used for the production of ethanol from SSL. This yeast will succumb to toxicity and inhibition, particularly in the most inhibitor rich forms of SSL such as hardwood SSL (HWSSL). A genome shuffling method was therefore developed to create a better SSL fermenting strain. This method was designed to improve polygenic traits by generating pools of mutants with improved phenotypes, followed by iterative recombination between their genomes. Through 5 rounds of recursive mating and screening, 3 strains that could survive and grow in undiluted HWSSL were obtained. The study demonstrated that the tolerance of these strains to SSL translates into an increased capacity to produce ethanol over time using this substrate, due to continued viability of the yeast population. Phenotypic analysis of the three strains revealed that the genome shuffling approach successfully co-evolved tolerance to acetic acid, NaCl (osmotic) and HMF. A systems biology analysis of strain R57 was initiated in order to establish the genetic basis for HWSSL tolerance. tabs., figs.

  10. Simulating the Reproductive Behavior of a Region’s Population with an Agent-Based Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeriy Leonidovich Makarov

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The research analyses the impact of the inequality of demographic transition on socio-demographic characteristics of the regional population and on the dynamics of these characteristics. The study was conducted with the help of computer-based experiments (simulations, which was run on the original agent-based model. The model is an artificial society, and personal characteristics of its members are set so that they could represent age-demographic structure of a simulate region. The agents are divided into two subgroups, which differ in their reproductive strategy. The first group has traditional strategy with high birth rate. The second group has considerably lower birth rate, observed in the modern developed societies. The model uses stochastic approaches to imitate the principle processes of population growth: mortality and morbidity. Mortality is set according to age-sex specific mortality coefficients, which do not differ across the population as a whole. New agents (child births appear as a choice of agents – women of reproductive age, and the choice depends on the subgroup. The overall age and social structure of the region is aggregated across individual agents. A number of experiments has been carried out with the model utilization. This allowed forecasting the size and structure of the population of a given region. The results of the experiments have revealed that despite its simplicity, the developed agent-based model well predicts the initial conditions in the region (e.g. age-demographic and social structure. The model shows good fit in terms of estimating the dynamics of major characteristics of the population.

  11. Mechanistic origin of dragon-kings in a population of competing agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, N.; Tivnan, B.

    2012-05-01

    We analyze the mechanistic origins of the extreme behaviors that arise in an idealized model of a population of competing agents, such as traders in a market. These extreme behaviors exhibit the defining characteristics of `dragon-kings'. Our model comprises heterogeneous agents who repeatedly compete for some limited resource, making binary choices based on the strategies that they have in their possession. It generalizes the well-known Minority Game by allowing agents whose strategies have not made accurate recent predictions, to step out of the competition until their strategies improve. This generates a complex dynamical interplay between the number V of active agents (mimicking market volume) and the imbalance D between the decisions made (mimicking excess demand). The wide spectrum of extreme behaviors which emerge, helps to explain why no unique relationship has been identified between the price and volume during real market crashes and rallies.

  12. Population pharmacokinetic (PK) analysis of laromustine, an emerging alkylating agent, in cancer patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassar, Ala F; Wisnewski, Adam V; King, Ivan

    2017-05-01

    1. Alkylating agents are capable of introducing an alkyl group into nucleophilic sites on DNA or RNA through covalent bond. Laromustine is an active member of a relatively new class of sulfonylhydrazine prodrugs under development as antineoplastic alkylating agents, and displays significant single-agent activity. 2. This is the first report of the population pharmacokinetic analysis of laromustine, 106 patients, 66 with hematologic malignancies and 40 with solid tumors, participated in five clinical trials worldwide. Of these, 104 patients were included in the final NONMEM analysis. 3. The population estimates for total clearance (CL) and volume of distribution of the central compartment (V 1 ) were 96.3 L/h and 45.9 L, associated with high inter-patient variability of 52.9% and 79.8% and inter-occasion variability of 26.7% and 49.3%, respectively. The population estimates for Q and V 2 were 73.2 L/h and 29.9 L, and inter-patient variability in V 2 was 63.1%, respectively. 4. The estimate of V ss (75.8 L) exceeds total body water, indicating that laromustine is distributed to tissues. The half-life is short, less than 1 h, reflecting rapid clearance. Population PK analysis showed laromustine pharmacokinetics to be independent of dose and organ function with no effect on subsequent dosing cycles.

  13. Genome-wide analysis of allele frequency change in sunflower crop-wild hybrid populations evolving under natural conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hybridization is known to occur between cultivated and wild populations of numerous plant species. This represents a major mechanism by which a wild population’s genetic structure and evolutionary dynamics could be altered. Studying crop-derived alleles in wild populations is also relevant to assess...

  14. Gossip-based solutions for discrete rendezvous in populations of communicating agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollander, Christopher D; Wu, Annie S

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the rendezvous problem is to construct a method that enables a population of agents to agree on a spatial (and possibly temporal) meeting location. We introduce the buffered gossip algorithm as a general solution to the rendezvous problem in a discrete domain with direct communication between decentralized agents. We compare the performance of the buffered gossip algorithm against the well known uniform gossip algorithm. We believe that a buffered solution is preferable to an unbuffered solution, such as the uniform gossip algorithm, because the use of a buffer allows an agent to use multiple information sources when determining its desired rendezvous point, and that access to multiple information sources may improve agent decision making by reinforcing or contradicting an initial choice. To show that the buffered gossip algorithm is an actual solution for the rendezvous problem, we construct a theoretical proof of convergence and derive the conditions under which the buffered gossip algorithm is guaranteed to produce a consensus on rendezvous location. We use these results to verify that the uniform gossip algorithm also solves the rendezvous problem. We then use a multi-agent simulation to conduct a series of simulation experiments to compare the performance between the buffered and uniform gossip algorithms. Our results suggest that the buffered gossip algorithm can solve the rendezvous problem faster than the uniform gossip algorithm; however, the relative performance between these two solutions depends on the specific constraints of the problem and the parameters of the buffered gossip algorithm.

  15. Gossip-based solutions for discrete rendezvous in populations of communicating agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D Hollander

    Full Text Available The objective of the rendezvous problem is to construct a method that enables a population of agents to agree on a spatial (and possibly temporal meeting location. We introduce the buffered gossip algorithm as a general solution to the rendezvous problem in a discrete domain with direct communication between decentralized agents. We compare the performance of the buffered gossip algorithm against the well known uniform gossip algorithm. We believe that a buffered solution is preferable to an unbuffered solution, such as the uniform gossip algorithm, because the use of a buffer allows an agent to use multiple information sources when determining its desired rendezvous point, and that access to multiple information sources may improve agent decision making by reinforcing or contradicting an initial choice. To show that the buffered gossip algorithm is an actual solution for the rendezvous problem, we construct a theoretical proof of convergence and derive the conditions under which the buffered gossip algorithm is guaranteed to produce a consensus on rendezvous location. We use these results to verify that the uniform gossip algorithm also solves the rendezvous problem. We then use a multi-agent simulation to conduct a series of simulation experiments to compare the performance between the buffered and uniform gossip algorithms. Our results suggest that the buffered gossip algorithm can solve the rendezvous problem faster than the uniform gossip algorithm; however, the relative performance between these two solutions depends on the specific constraints of the problem and the parameters of the buffered gossip algorithm.

  16. Evidence of Field-Evolved Resistance to Bifenthrin in Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) Populations in Western Nebraska and Kansas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Adriano E; Wang, Haichuan; Zukoff, Sarah N; Meinke, Lance J; French, B Wade; Siegfried, Blair D

    2015-01-01

    Pyrethroid insecticides have been used to control larvae or adults of the western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, a key pest of field corn in the United States. In response to reports of reduced efficacy of pyrethroids in WCR management programs in southwestern areas of Nebraska and Kansas the present research was designed to establish a baseline of susceptibility to the pyrethroid insecticide, bifenthrin, using susceptible laboratory populations and to compare this baseline with susceptibility of field populations. Concentration-response bioassays were performed to estimate the baseline susceptibility. From the baseline data, a diagnostic concentration (LC99) was determined and used to test adults of both laboratory and field populations. Larval susceptibility was also tested using both laboratory and field populations. Significant differences were recorded in adult and larval susceptibility among WCR field and laboratory populations. The highest LC50 for WCR adults was observed in populations from Keith 2 and Chase Counties, NE, with LC50s of 2.2 and 1.38 μg/vial, respectively, and Finney County 1, KS, with 1.43 μg/vial, as compared to a laboratory non-diapause population (0.24 μg/vial). For larvae, significant differences between WCR field and laboratory populations were also recorded. Significant differences in mortalities at the diagnostic bifenthrin concentration (LC99) were observed among WCR adult populations with western Corn Belt populations exhibiting lower susceptibility to bifenthrin, especially in southwestern Nebraska and southwestern Kansas. This study provides evidence that resistance to bifenthrin is evolving in field populations that have been exposed for multiple years to pyrethroid insecticides. Implications to sustainable rootworm management are discussed.

  17. Evidence of Field-Evolved Resistance to Bifenthrin in Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte Populations in Western Nebraska and Kansas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriano E Pereira

    Full Text Available Pyrethroid insecticides have been used to control larvae or adults of the western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, a key pest of field corn in the United States. In response to reports of reduced efficacy of pyrethroids in WCR management programs in southwestern areas of Nebraska and Kansas the present research was designed to establish a baseline of susceptibility to the pyrethroid insecticide, bifenthrin, using susceptible laboratory populations and to compare this baseline with susceptibility of field populations. Concentration-response bioassays were performed to estimate the baseline susceptibility. From the baseline data, a diagnostic concentration (LC99 was determined and used to test adults of both laboratory and field populations. Larval susceptibility was also tested using both laboratory and field populations. Significant differences were recorded in adult and larval susceptibility among WCR field and laboratory populations. The highest LC50 for WCR adults was observed in populations from Keith 2 and Chase Counties, NE, with LC50s of 2.2 and 1.38 μg/vial, respectively, and Finney County 1, KS, with 1.43 μg/vial, as compared to a laboratory non-diapause population (0.24 μg/vial. For larvae, significant differences between WCR field and laboratory populations were also recorded. Significant differences in mortalities at the diagnostic bifenthrin concentration (LC99 were observed among WCR adult populations with western Corn Belt populations exhibiting lower susceptibility to bifenthrin, especially in southwestern Nebraska and southwestern Kansas. This study provides evidence that resistance to bifenthrin is evolving in field populations that have been exposed for multiple years to pyrethroid insecticides. Implications to sustainable rootworm management are discussed.

  18. HIV Maintains an Evolving and Dispersed Population in Multiple Tissues during Suppressive Combined Antiretroviral Therapy in Individuals with Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Rebecca; Lamers, Susanna L; Nolan, David J; Maidji, Ekaterina; Faria, N R; Pybus, Oliver G; Dollar, James J; Maruniak, Samuel A; McAvoy, Andrew C; Salemi, Marco; Stoddart, Cheryl A; Singer, Elyse J; McGrath, Michael S

    2016-10-15

    While combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) can result in undetectable plasma viral loads, it does not eradicate HIV infection. Furthermore, HIV-infected individuals while on cART remain at an increased risk of developing serious comorbidities, such as cancer, neurological disease, and atherosclerosis, suggesting that during cART, tissue-based HIV may contribute to such pathologies. We obtained DNA and RNA env, nef, and pol sequences using single-genome sequencing from postmortem tissues of three HIV(+) cART-treated (cART(+)) individuals with undetectable viral load and metastatic cancer at death and performed time-scaled Bayesian evolutionary analyses. We used a sensitive in situ hybridization technique to visualize HIV gag-pol mRNA transcripts in cerebellum and lymph node tissues from one patient. Tissue-associated virus evolved at similar rates in cART(+) and cART-naive (cART(-)) patients. Phylogenetic trees were characterized by two distinct features: (i) branching patterns consistent with constant viral evolution and dispersal among tissues and (ii) very recently derived clades containing both DNA and RNA sequences from multiple tissues. Rapid expansion of virus near death corresponded to wide-spread metastasis. HIV RNA(+) cells clustered in cerebellum tissue but were dispersed in lymph node tissue, mirroring the evolutionary patterns observed for that patient. Activated, infiltrating macrophages were associated with HIV RNA. Our data provide evidence that tissues serve as a sanctuary for wild-type HIV during cART and suggest the importance of macrophages as an alternative reservoir and mechanism of virus spread. Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) reduces plasma HIV to undetectable levels; however, removal of cART results in plasma HIV rebound, thus highlighting its inability to entirely rid the body of infection. Additionally, HIV-infected individuals on cART remain at high risk of serious diseases, which suggests a contribution from residual HIV. In

  19. Water availability as an agent of selection in introduced populations of Arabidopsis thaliana: impacts on flowering time evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, Amanda J; McGoey, Brechann V; Stinchcombe, John R

    2015-01-01

    Flowering is one of the most influential events in the life history of a plant and one of the main determinants of reproductive investment and lifetime fitness. It is also a highly complex trait controlled by dozens of genes. Understanding the selective pressures influencing time to flowering, and being able to reliably predict how it will evolve in novel environments, are unsolved challenges for plant evolutionary geneticists. Using the model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, we examined the impact of simulated high and low winter precipitation levels on the flowering time of naturalized lines from across the eastern portion of the introduced North American range, and the fitness consequences of early versus late flowering. Flowering time order was significantly correlated across two environments-in a previous common garden experiment and in environmental chambers set to mimic mid-range photoperiod and temperature conditions. Plants in low water flowered earlier, had fewer basal branches and produced fewer fruits. Selection in both treatments favored earlier flowering and more basal branches. Our analyses revealed an interaction between flowering time and water treatment for fitness, where flowering later was more deleterious for fitness in the low water treatment. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that differences in winter precipitation levels are one of the selective agents underlying a flowering time cline in introduced A. thaliana populations.

  20. Water availability as an agent of selection in introduced populations of Arabidopsis thaliana: impacts on flowering time evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda J. Stock

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Flowering is one of the most influential events in the life history of a plant and one of the main determinants of reproductive investment and lifetime fitness. It is also a highly complex trait controlled by dozens of genes. Understanding the selective pressures influencing time to flowering, and being able to reliably predict how it will evolve in novel environments, are unsolved challenges for plant evolutionary geneticists. Using the model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, we examined the impact of simulated high and low winter precipitation levels on the flowering time of naturalized lines from across the eastern portion of the introduced North American range, and the fitness consequences of early versus late flowering. Flowering time order was significantly correlated across two environments—in a previous common garden experiment and in environmental chambers set to mimic mid-range photoperiod and temperature conditions. Plants in low water flowered earlier, had fewer basal branches and produced fewer fruits. Selection in both treatments favored earlier flowering and more basal branches. Our analyses revealed an interaction between flowering time and water treatment for fitness, where flowering later was more deleterious for fitness in the low water treatment. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that differences in winter precipitation levels are one of the selective agents underlying a flowering time cline in introduced A. thaliana populations.

  1. Environmental agents and erectile dysfunction: a study in a consulting population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Alejandro; Giami, Alain; Multigner, Luc

    2002-01-01

    We evaluated chemical and physical environmental agents as risk factors for erectile dysfunction among a consulting population. We studied 199 men who sought medical help for erectile disorders between 1996 and 1998 in 3 andrology units in the Litoral Sur region of Argentina. Patients were evaluated by monitoring nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity, and were classified as having normal (n = 26), irregular (dissociation, short episode or low amplitude, n = 146), or flat erectile pattern (n = 26). Exposure to environmental agents was assessed by a detailed interview, and 4 groups were constituted: nonexposed, pesticide-exposed, solvent-exposed, and heat-exposed. A multivariate polytomous logistic regression model was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for association between quality of nocturnal erections and exposure groups adjusted for confounding factors. Exposure to environmental agents was a risk factor for a flat erectile pattern (OR 7.1, 95% CI 1.5-33.0 for pesticides; OR 12.2, 95% CI 1.2-124.8 for solvents; and OR 1.7, 95% CI 0.3-9.4 for heat). Associations were much weaker for an irregular erectile pattern (OR 1.8, 95% CI 0.5-6.7 for pesticides; OR 2.1, 95% CI 0.3-17.9 for solvents; and OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.4-4.0 for heat). Our results suggest that environmental agents constitute a risk factor for erectile dysfunction by interfering with erectile ability.

  2. Self-emergence of Lexicon Consensus in a Population of Autonomous Agents by Means of Evolutionary Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maravall, Darío; de Lope, Javier; Domínguez, Raúl

    In Multi-agent systems, the study of language and communication is an active field of research. In this paper we present the application of evolutionary strategies to the self-emergence of a common lexicon in a population of agents. By modeling the vocabulary or lexicon of each agent as an association matrix or look-up table that maps the meanings (i.e. the objects encountered by the agents or the states of the environment itself) into symbols or signals we check whether it is possible for the population to converge in an autonomous, decentralized way to a common lexicon, so that the communication efficiency of the entire population is optimal. We have conducted several experiments, from the simplest case of a 2×2 association matrix (i.e. two meanings and two symbols) to a 3×3 lexicon case and in both cases we have attained convergence to the optimal communication system by means of evolutionary strategies. To analyze the convergence of the population of agents we have defined the population's consensus when all the agents (i.e. the 100% of the population) share the same association matrix or lexicon. As a general conclusion we have shown that evolutionary strategies are powerful enough optimizers to guarantee the convergence to lexicon consensus in a population of autonomous agents.

  3. Multi-Agent Inference in Social Networks: A Finite Population Learning Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jianqing; Tong, Xin; Zeng, Yao

    When people in a society want to make inference about some parameter, each person may want to use data collected by other people. Information (data) exchange in social networks is usually costly, so to make reliable statistical decisions, people need to trade off the benefits and costs of information acquisition. Conflicts of interests and coordination problems will arise in the process. Classical statistics does not consider people's incentives and interactions in the data collection process. To address this imperfection, this work explores multi-agent Bayesian inference problems with a game theoretic social network model. Motivated by our interest in aggregate inference at the societal level, we propose a new concept, finite population learning , to address whether with high probability, a large fraction of people in a given finite population network can make "good" inference. Serving as a foundation, this concept enables us to study the long run trend of aggregate inference quality as population grows.

  4. Field-evolved resistance to imidacloprid and ethiprole in populations of brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens collected from across South and East Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrood, William T; Zimmer, Christoph T; Gorman, Kevin J; Nauen, Ralf; Bass, Chris; Davies, Thomas G E

    2016-01-01

    We report on the status of imidacloprid and ethiprole resistance in Nilaparvata lugens Stål collected from across South and East Asia over the period 2005-2012. A resistance survey found that field populations had developed up to 220-fold resistance to imidacloprid and 223-fold resistance to ethiprole, and that many of the strains collected showed high levels of resistance to both insecticides. We also found that the cytochrome P450 CYP6ER1 was significantly overexpressed in 12 imidacloprid-resistant populations tested when compared with a laboratory susceptible strain, with fold changes ranging from ten- to 90-fold. In contrast, another cytochrome P450 CYP6AY1, also implicated in imidacloprid resistance, was underexpressed in ten of the populations and only significantly overexpressed (3.5-fold) in a single population from India compared with the same susceptible strain. Further selection of two of the imidacloprid-resistant field strains correlated with an approximate threefold increase in expression of CYP6ER1. We conclude that overexpression of CYP6ER1 is associated with field-evolved resistance to imidacloprid in brown planthopper populations in five countries in South and East Asia. © 2015 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

  5. Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) agent Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae in brown trout populations in Estonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Megha; Vasemägi, Anti

    2014-05-13

    Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) caused by the myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae is a serious parasitic disease threatening both farmed and wild salmonid populations, but very little is currently known about the distribution of the parasite in the Baltic Sea region. In this study we (1) report the development of a novel multiplex PCR method for fast and reliable screening of T. bryosalmonae; (2) use this multiplex PCR method to show that the PKD agent T. bryosalmonae is widespread in natural brown trout Salmo trutta L. populations in Estonia; (3) evaluate monthly and yearly variation of T. bryosalmonae prevalence in juvenile trout; (4) assess T. bryosalmonae prevalence in different age-classes of fish (0+ vs. 1+ and older) and report the presence of the PKD agent in the kidneys of returning sea trout spawners; and (5) suggest the freshwater bryozoan Plumatella fungosa as a putative invertebrate host of T. bryosalmonae in Estonia. Our results demonstrate a highly heterogeneous distribution of T. bryosalmonae at the micro-geographic scale, indicating that PKD could have an important negative effect on recruitment in Estonian brown trout populations.

  6. Comparing methods of targeting obesity interventions in populations: An agent-based simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Rahmatollah; Jalalpour, Mehdi; Glass, Thomas A

    2017-12-01

    Social networks as well as neighborhood environments have been shown to effect obesity-related behaviors including energy intake and physical activity. Accordingly, harnessing social networks to improve targeting of obesity interventions may be promising to the extent this leads to social multiplier effects and wider diffusion of intervention impact on populations. However, the literature evaluating network-based interventions has been inconsistent. Computational methods like agent-based models (ABM) provide researchers with tools to experiment in a simulated environment. We develop an ABM to compare conventional targeting methods (random selection, based on individual obesity risk, and vulnerable areas) with network-based targeting methods. We adapt a previously published and validated model of network diffusion of obesity-related behavior. We then build social networks among agents using a more realistic approach. We calibrate our model first against national-level data. Our results show that network-based targeting may lead to greater population impact. We also present a new targeting method that outperforms other methods in terms of intervention effectiveness at the population level.

  7. Investigating Biological Control Agents for Controlling Invasive Populations of the Mealybug Pseudococcus comstocki in France.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thibaut Malausa

    Full Text Available Pseudococcus comstocki (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae is a mealybug species native to Eastern Asia and present as an invasive pest in northern Italy and southern France since the start of the century. It infests apple and pear trees, grapevines and some ornamental trees. Biocontrol programmes against this pest proved successful in central Asia and North America in the second half of the 20th century. In this study, we investigated possible biocontrol agents against P. comstocki, with the aim of developing a biocontrol programme in France. We carried out systematic DNA-barcoding at each step in the search for a specialist parasitoid. First we characterised the French target populations of P. comstocki. We then identified the parasitoids attacking P. comstocki in France. Finally, we searched for foreign mealybug populations identified a priori as P. comstocki and surveyed their hymenopteran parasitoids. Three mealybug species (P. comstocki, P. viburni and P. cryptus were identified during the survey, together with at least 16 different parasitoid taxa. We selected candidate biological control agent populations for use against P. comstocki in France, from the species Allotropa burrelli (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae and Acerophagus malinus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae. The coupling of molecular and morphological characterisation for both pests and natural enemies facilitated the programme development and the rejection of unsuitable or generalist parasitoids.

  8. The Evolving Nature of Infective Endocarditis in Spain: A Population-Based Study (2003 to 2014).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmos, Carmen; Vilacosta, Isidre; Fernández-Pérez, Cristina; Bernal, José L; Ferrera, Carlos; García-Arribas, Daniel; Pérez-García, Carlos N; San Román, J Alberto; Maroto, Luis; Macaya, Carlos; Elola, Francisco J

    2017-12-05

    Little information exists regarding population-based epidemiological changes in infective endocarditis (IE) in Europe. This study sought to analyze temporal trends in IE in Spain from 2003 to 2014. This retrospective, population-based, temporal trend study analyzed the incidence, epidemiological and clinical characteristics, and outcome of all patients discharged from hospitals included in the Spanish National Health System with a diagnosis of IE, from January 2003 to December 2014. Overall, 16,867 episodes of IE were identified during the study period, 66.3% in men. The rate of IE significantly increased, from 2.72 in 2003 to 3.49 per 100,000 person-years in 2014, and this rise was higher among older adults. The most frequent microorganisms were staphylococci (28.7%), followed by streptococci (20.4%) and enterococci (13.1%). Twenty-three percent of patients underwent cardiac surgery. The in-hospital mortality rate was 20.4%. Throughout the study period, the proportion of patients with previously known heart valve disease and diabetes mellitus significantly increased, whereas the prevalence of intravenous drug use decreased. Regarding microorganisms, Staphylococcus aureus and streptococci slightly declined, whereas coagulase-negative staphylococci and enterococci consistently increased over the years. In-hospital complications and cardiac surgery rates significantly increased across the years. The risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rate diminished (0.2% per year) during the study period. The incidence of IE episodes significantly increased over the decade of the study period, particularly among older adults. Relevant changes in clinical and microbiological profile included older patients with more comorbidity and a rise in enterococci and coagulase-negative staphylococcal infections. Adjusted mortality rates slightly declined over the study period. Copyright © 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights

  9. BSim: an agent-based tool for modeling bacterial populations in systems and synthetic biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas E Gorochowski

    Full Text Available Large-scale collective behaviors such as synchronization and coordination spontaneously arise in many bacterial populations. With systems biology attempting to understand these phenomena, and synthetic biology opening up the possibility of engineering them for our own benefit, there is growing interest in how bacterial populations are best modeled. Here we introduce BSim, a highly flexible agent-based computational tool for analyzing the relationships between single-cell dynamics and population level features. BSim includes reference implementations of many bacterial traits to enable the quick development of new models partially built from existing ones. Unlike existing modeling tools, BSim fully considers spatial aspects of a model allowing for the description of intricate micro-scale structures, enabling the modeling of bacterial behavior in more realistic three-dimensional, complex environments. The new opportunities that BSim opens are illustrated through several diverse examples covering: spatial multicellular computing, modeling complex environments, population dynamics of the lac operon, and the synchronization of genetic oscillators. BSim is open source software that is freely available from http://bsim-bccs.sf.net and distributed under the Open Source Initiative (OSI recognized MIT license. Developer documentation and a wide range of example simulations are also available from the website. BSim requires Java version 1.6 or higher.

  10. Characterization of field-evolved resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis-derived Cry1F δ-endotoxin in Spodoptera frugiperda populations from Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrasena, Desmi I; Signorini, Ana M; Abratti, Gustavo; Storer, Nicholas P; Olaciregui, Magdalena L; Alves, Analiza P; Pilcher, Clinton D

    2018-03-01

    Transgenic maize (Zea mays L.) event TC1507 (Herculex ® I insect protection), expressing Cry1F δ-endotoxin derived from Bacillus thuringiensis var. aizawai, was commercialized in 2003 in the Americas. Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) susceptibility to Cry1F was monitored annually across several regions in Argentina using diagnostic concentration bioassays. Reduced performance of TC1507 maize against S. frugiperda was reported in 2013. A resistant population was established in the laboratory and the dominance of Cry1F resistance was characterized. During 2012-2015, high-survivorship of several populations was observed in the resistance monitoring program. Reciprocal crosses of a Cry1F-resistant population with a Cry1F-susceptible population were evaluated to calculate effective dominance (D ML ) based on mortality levels observed at 100 µg/ml Cry1F. Two additional dominance levels (D LC and D EC ) were calculated using lethal (LC 50 ) or effective concentration (EC 50 ) derived from concentration-response bioassays. Estimates indicated that Cry1F resistance in S. frugiperda in Argentina was either highly recessive (D ML = 0.005) or incompletely recessive (D LC frugiperda Cry1F field-evolved resistance in Argentina. The resistance to Cry1F in S. frugiperda populations collected in Argentina, is autosomal and incompletely recessive similar to the resistance reported in Brazil. © 2017 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley © Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley © Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

  11. Genome scans on experimentally evolved populations reveal candidate regions for adaptation to plant resistance in the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eoche-Bosy, D; Gautier, M; Esquibet, M; Legeai, F; Bretaudeau, A; Bouchez, O; Fournet, S; Grenier, E; Montarry, J

    2017-09-01

    Improving resistance durability involves to be able to predict the adaptation speed of pathogen populations. Identifying the genetic bases of pathogen adaptation to plant resistances is a useful step to better understand and anticipate this phenomenon. Globodera pallida is a major pest of potato crop for which a resistance QTL, GpaV vrn , has been identified in Solanum vernei. However, its durability is threatened as G. pallida populations are able to adapt to the resistance in few generations. The aim of this study was to investigate the genomic regions involved in the resistance breakdown by coupling experimental evolution and high-density genome scan. We performed a whole-genome resequencing of pools of individuals (Pool-Seq) belonging to G. pallida lineages derived from two independent populations having experimentally evolved on susceptible and resistant potato cultivars. About 1.6 million SNPs were used to perform the genome scan using a recent model testing for adaptive differentiation and association to population-specific covariables. We identified 275 outliers and 31 of them, which also showed a significant reduction in diversity in adapted lineages, were investigated for their genic environment. Some candidate genomic regions contained genes putatively encoding effectors and were enriched in SPRYSECs, known in cyst nematodes to be involved in pathogenicity and in (a)virulence. Validated candidate SNPs will provide a useful molecular tool to follow frequencies of virulence alleles in natural G. pallida populations and define efficient strategies of use of potato resistances maximizing their durability. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. THE MASS-LOSS RETURN FROM EVOLVED STARS TO THE LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD. VI. LUMINOSITIES AND MASS-LOSS RATES ON POPULATION SCALES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riebel, D.; Meixner, M.; Srinivasan, S.; Sargent, B.

    2012-01-01

    We present results from the first application of the Grid of Red Supergiant and Asymptotic Giant Branch ModelS (GRAMS) model grid to the entire evolved stellar population of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). GRAMS is a pre-computed grid of 80,843 radiative transfer models of evolved stars and circumstellar dust shells composed of either silicate or carbonaceous dust. We fit GRAMS models to ∼30,000 asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and red supergiant (RSG) stars in the LMC, using 12 bands of photometry from the optical to the mid-infrared. Our published data set consists of thousands of evolved stars with individually determined evolutionary parameters such as luminosity and mass-loss rate. The GRAMS grid has a greater than 80% accuracy rate discriminating between oxygen- and carbon-rich chemistry. The global dust injection rate to the interstellar medium (ISM) of the LMC from RSGs and AGB stars is on the order of 2.1 × 10 –5 M ☉ yr –1 , equivalent to a total mass injection rate (including the gas) into the ISM of ∼6 × 10 –3 M ☉ yr –1 . Carbon stars inject two and a half times as much dust into the ISM as do O-rich AGB stars, but the same amount of mass. We determine a bolometric correction factor for C-rich AGB stars in the K s band as a function of J – K s color, BC K s = -0.40(J-K s ) 2 + 1.83(J-K s ) + 1.29. We determine several IR color proxies for the dust mass-loss rate (M-dot d ) from C-rich AGB stars, such as log M-dot d = (-18.90/((K s -[8.0])+3.37) - 5.93. We find that a larger fraction of AGB stars exhibiting the 'long-secondary period' phenomenon are more O-rich than stars dominated by radial pulsations, and AGB stars without detectable mass loss do not appear on either the first-overtone or fundamental-mode pulsation sequences.

  13. Evolving cellular automata for diversity generation and pattern recognition: deterministic versus random strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Menezes, Marcio Argollo; Brigatti, Edgardo; Schwämmle, Veit

    2013-01-01

    Microbiological systems evolve to fulfil their tasks with maximal efficiency. The immune system is a remarkable example, where the distinction between self and non-self is made by means of molecular interaction between self-proteins and antigens, triggering affinity-dependent systemic actions. Specificity of this binding and the infinitude of potential antigenic patterns call for novel mechanisms to generate antibody diversity. Inspired by this problem, we develop a genetic algorithm where agents evolve their strings in the presence of random antigenic strings and reproduce with affinity-dependent rates. We ask what is the best strategy to generate diversity if agents can rearrange their strings a finite number of times. We find that endowing each agent with an inheritable cellular automaton rule for performing rearrangements makes the system more efficient in pattern-matching than if transformations are totally random. In the former implementation, the population evolves to a stationary state where agents with different automata rules coexist. (paper)

  14. Evolving trends in the epidemiology, resource utilization, and outcomes of pregnancy-associated severe sepsis: a population-based cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oud, Lavi; Watkins, Phillip

    2015-06-01

    Infections are a well-known complication of pregnancy. However, pregnancy-associated severe sepsis (PASS) has not been as well-characterized, with limited population-level data reported to date. We performed a population-based study of the evolving patterns of the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, resource utilization, and outcomes of PASS in Texas over the past decade. The Texas Inpatient Public Use Data File was used to identify pregnancy-associated hospitalizations and PASS hospitalizations for the years 2001 - 2010. The Texas Center for Health Statistics reports of live births, abortions and fetal deaths, and a previously reported population-based, age-specific linkage study on miscarriage were used to derive the annual total estimated pregnancies (TEPs). The incidence, demographics, clinical characteristics, resource utilization and outcomes of PASS were examined. Logistic regression modeling was used to explore the predictors of PASS and its associated mortality. There were 4,060,201 pregnancy-associated hospitalizations and 1,007 PASS hospitalizations during study period. The incidence of PASS was increased by 236% over the past decade, rising from 11 to 26 hospitalizations per 100,000 TEPs. The key changes between 2001 - 2002 and 2009 - 2010 within PASS hospitalizations included: admission to ICU 78% vs. 90% (P = 0.002); development of ≥ 3 organ failures 9% vs. 35% (P < 0.0001); and inflation-adjusted median hospital charges (2,010 dollars) $64,034 vs. $89,895 (P = 0.0141). Hospital mortality (11%) remained unchanged during study period. Chronic liver disease (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 41.4) and congestive heart failure (CHF) (aOR 20.5) were associated with the highest risk of PASS, in addition to black race, poverty, drug abuse, and lack of health insurance. The highest risk of death was among women with HIV infection (aOR 45.5), need for mechanical ventilation (aOR 4.5), drug abuse (aOR 3.0), and lacking health insurance (aOR 2.9). The incidence

  15. The Itch-Producing Agents Histamine and Cowhage Activate Separate Populations of Primate Spinothalamic Tract Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Steve; Zhang, Xijing; Yoon, Chul H.; Khasabov, Sergey G.; Simone, Donald A.; Giesler, Glenn J.

    2010-01-01

    Itch is an everyday sensation, but when associated with disease or infection it can be chronic and debilitating. Several forms of itch can be blocked using antihistamines, but others cannot and these constitute an important clinical problem. Little information is available on the mechanisms underlying itch that is produced by nonhistaminergic mechanisms. We examined the responses of spinothalamic tract neurons to histaminergic and, for the first time, nonhistaminergic forms of itch stimuli. Fifty-seven primate spinothalamic tract (STT) neurons were identified using antidromic activation techniques and examined for their responses to histamine and cowhage, the nonhistaminergic itch-producing spicules covering the pod of the legume Mucuna pruriens. Each examined neuron had a receptive field on the hairy skin of the hindlimb and responded to noxious mechanical stimulation. STT neurons were tested with both pruritogens applied in a random order and we found 12 that responded to histamine and seven to cowhage. Each pruritogen-responsive STT neuron was activated by the chemical algogen capsaicin and two-thirds responded to noxious heat stimuli, demonstrating that these neurons convey chemical, thermal, and mechanical nociceptive information as well. Histamine or cowhage responsive STT neurons were found in both the marginal zone and the deep dorsal horn and were classified as high threshold and wide dynamic range. Unexpectedly, histamine and cowhage never activated the same cell. Our results demonstrate that the spinothalamic tract contains mutually exclusive populations of neurons responsive to histamine or the nonhistaminergic itch-producing agent cowhage. PMID:17855615

  16. Technical specifications for monitoring Community trends in zoonotic agents in foodstuffs and animal populations on request from EFSA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borck Høg, Birgitte; Chriél, Mariann; Korsgaard, Helle

    of criteria for the selection of the zoonotic agent/animal or food category combinations where trend analyses would be justified. Based on data available from 2004 to 2007, the following combinations are suggested for trend analyses: Salmonella in fresh broiler and pig meat, flocks of laying hens and broilers......Technical specifications are proposed for the monitoring of temporal trends in zoonotic agents in animal and food populations at Community or Member State group level in the framework of Directive 2003/99/EC. Two types of trend monitoring are identified: trend watching, which covers general...

  17. Patterns of antimicrobial agent prescription in a sentinel population of canine and feline veterinary practices in the United Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, D A; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, F; Dawson, S; Jones, P H; Noble, P J M; Pinchbeck, G L; Williams, N J; Radford, A D

    2017-06-01

    Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly important global health threat and the use of antimicrobial agents is a key risk factor in its development. This study describes antimicrobial agent prescription (AAP) patterns over a 2year period using electronic health records (EHRs) from booked consultations in a network of 457 sentinel veterinary premises in the United Kingdom. A semi-automated classification methodology was used to map practitioner defined product codes in 918,333 EHRs from 413,870 dogs and 352,730 EHRs from 200,541 cats, including 289,789 AAPs. AAP as a proportion of total booked consultations was more frequent in dogs (18.8%, 95% confidence interval, CI, 18.2-19.4) than cats (17.5%, 95% CI 16.9-18.1). Prescription of topical antimicrobial agents was more frequent in dogs (7.4%, 95% CI 7.2-7.7) than cats (3.2%, 95% CI 3.1-3.3), whilst prescription of systemic antimicrobial agents was more frequent in cats (14.8%, 95% CI 14.2-15.4) than dogs (12.2%, 95% CI 11.7-12.7). A decreasing temporal pattern was identified for prescription of systemic antimicrobial agents in dogs and cats. Premises which prescribed antimicrobial agents frequently for dogs also prescribed frequently for cats. AAP was most frequent during pruritus consultations in dogs and trauma consultations in cats. Clavulanic acid potentiated amoxicillin was the most frequently prescribed antimicrobial agent in dogs (28.6% of prescriptions, 95% CI 27.4-29.8), whereas cefovecin, a third generation cephalosporin, was the most frequently prescribed antimicrobial agent in cats (36.2%, 95% CI 33.9-38.5). This study demonstrated patterns in AAP over time and for different conditions in a population of companion animals in the United Kingdom. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Evolvable synthetic neural system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  19. Effects of biological control agents and exotic plant invasion on deer mouse populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yvette K. Ortega; Dean E. Pearson; Kevin S. McKelvey

    2004-01-01

    Exotic insects are commonly introduced as biological control agents to reduce densities of invasive exotic plants. Although current biocontrol programs for weeds take precautions to minimize ecological risks, little attention is paid to the potential nontarget effects of introduced food subsidies on native consumers. Previous research demonstrated that two gall flies (...

  20. The Primary Care Leadership Track at the Duke University School of Medicine: creating change agents to improve population health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheline, Barbara; Tran, Anh N; Jackson, Joseph; Peyser, Bruce; Rogers, Susan; Engle, Deborah

    2014-10-01

    Physicians need training in community engagement, leadership, and population health to prepare them to work with partners within the community and to adapt medical care to address population health needs. With an overall goal of training primary care practitioners to be change agents for improving population health, the Duke University School of Medicine launched the Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT) in 2011. The four-year PCLT curriculum requires students to contribute to existing community health initiatives, perform community-engaged research, and participate in leadership training. The clinical curriculum incorporates a longitudinal approach to allow students to follow patient outcomes. In addition, students regularly interact with faculty to explore population health issues, review patient cases, and adjust individual learning opportunities as needed. The first cohort of PCLT students will graduate in 2015. Prospective comparisons with traditional track students are planned on performance on standardized tests and career choices. The authors created the PCLT as a laboratory in which students can engage with the community and explore solutions to address the health of the public and the future delivery of health care. To meet the goal of training change agents, PCLT leaders need to expand opportunities for students to learn from providers and organizations that are successfully bridging the gap between medical care and public health.

  1. Impact of different policies on unhealthy dietary behaviors in an urban adult population: an agent-based simulation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Donglan; Giabbanelli, Philippe J; Arah, Onyebuchi A; Zimmerman, Frederick J

    2014-07-01

    Unhealthy eating is a complex-system problem. We used agent-based modeling to examine the effects of different policies on unhealthy eating behaviors. We developed an agent-based simulation model to represent a synthetic population of adults in Pasadena, CA, and how they make dietary decisions. Data from the 2007 Food Attitudes and Behaviors Survey and other empirical studies were used to calibrate the parameters of the model. Simulations were performed to contrast the potential effects of various policies on the evolution of dietary decisions. Our model showed that a 20% increase in taxes on fast foods would lower the probability of fast-food consumption by 3 percentage points, whereas improving the visibility of positive social norms by 10%, either through community-based or mass-media campaigns, could improve the consumption of fruits and vegetables by 7 percentage points and lower fast-food consumption by 6 percentage points. Zoning policies had no significant impact. Interventions emphasizing healthy eating norms may be more effective than directly targeting food prices or regulating local food outlets. Agent-based modeling may be a useful tool for testing the population-level effects of various policies within complex systems.

  2. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Christopher J; Ros, Vera I D; Stevenson, Brian; Sniegowski, Paul D; Brisson, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide an experimentally tractable system to test whether natural selection has favored mechanisms that increase evolvability. Many antigenic variation systems consist of paralogous unexpressed 'cassettes' that recombine into an expression site to rapidly alter the expressed protein. Importantly, the magnitude of antigenic change is a function of the genetic diversity among the unexpressed cassettes. Thus, evidence that selection favors among-cassette diversity is direct evidence that natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability. We used the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, as a model to test the prediction that natural selection favors amino acid diversity among unexpressed vls cassettes and thereby promotes evolvability in a primary surface antigen, VlsE. The hypothesis that diversity among vls cassettes is favored by natural selection was supported in each B. burgdorferi strain analyzed using both classical (dN/dS ratios) and Bayesian population genetic analyses of genetic sequence data. This hypothesis was also supported by the conservation of highly mutable tandem-repeat structures across B. burgdorferi strains despite a near complete absence of sequence conservation. Diversification among vls cassettes due to natural selection and mutable repeat structures promotes long-term antigenic evolvability of VlsE. These findings provide a direct demonstration that molecular mechanisms that enhance evolvability of surface antigens are an evolutionary adaptation. The molecular evolutionary processes identified here can serve as a model for the evolution of antigenic evolvability in many pathogens which utilize similar strategies to establish chronic infections.

  3. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Graves

    Full Text Available The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide an experimentally tractable system to test whether natural selection has favored mechanisms that increase evolvability. Many antigenic variation systems consist of paralogous unexpressed 'cassettes' that recombine into an expression site to rapidly alter the expressed protein. Importantly, the magnitude of antigenic change is a function of the genetic diversity among the unexpressed cassettes. Thus, evidence that selection favors among-cassette diversity is direct evidence that natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability. We used the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, as a model to test the prediction that natural selection favors amino acid diversity among unexpressed vls cassettes and thereby promotes evolvability in a primary surface antigen, VlsE. The hypothesis that diversity among vls cassettes is favored by natural selection was supported in each B. burgdorferi strain analyzed using both classical (dN/dS ratios and Bayesian population genetic analyses of genetic sequence data. This hypothesis was also supported by the conservation of highly mutable tandem-repeat structures across B. burgdorferi strains despite a near complete absence of sequence conservation. Diversification among vls cassettes due to natural selection and mutable repeat structures promotes long-term antigenic evolvability of VlsE. These findings provide a direct demonstration that molecular mechanisms that enhance evolvability of surface antigens are an evolutionary adaptation. The molecular evolutionary processes identified here can serve as a model for the evolution of antigenic evolvability in many pathogens which utilize similar strategies to establish

  4. Entrainment and Control of Bacterial Populations: An in Silico Study over a Spatially Extended Agent Based Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mina, Petros; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira; Bernardo, Mario di

    2016-07-15

    We extend a spatially explicit agent based model (ABM) developed previously to investigate entrainment and control of the emergent behavior of a population of synchronized oscillating cells in a microfluidic chamber. Unlike most of the work in models of control of cellular systems which focus on temporal changes, we model individual cells with spatial dependencies which may contribute to certain behavioral responses. We use the model to investigate the response of both open loop and closed loop strategies, such as proportional control (P-control), proportional-integral control (PI-control) and proportional-integral-derivative control (PID-control), to heterogeinities and growth in the cell population, variations of the control parameters and spatial effects such as diffusion in the spatially explicit setting of a microfluidic chamber setup. We show that, as expected from the theory of phase locking in dynamical systems, open loop control can only entrain the cell population in a subset of forcing periods, with a wide variety of dynamical behaviors obtained outside these regions of entrainment. Closed-loop control is shown instead to guarantee entrainment in a much wider region of control parameter space although presenting limitations when the population size increases over a certain threshold. In silico tracking experiments are also performed to validate the ability of classical control approaches to achieve other reference behaviors such as a desired constant output or a linearly varying one. All simulations are carried out in BSim, an advanced agent-based simulator of microbial population which is here extended ad hoc to include the effects of control strategies acting onto the population.

  5. Numeric, Agent-based or System dynamics model? Which modeling approach is the best for vast population simulation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimler, Richard; Tomaskova, Hana; Kuhnova, Jitka; Dolezal, Ondrej; Pscheidl, Pavel; Kuca, Kamil

    2018-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common mental illnesses. It is posited that more than 25 % of the population is affected by some mental disease during their lifetime. Treatment of each patient draws resources from the economy concerned. Therefore, it is important to quantify the potential economic impact. Agent-based, system dynamics and numerical approaches to dynamic modeling of the population of the European Union and its patients with Alzheimer's disease are presented in this article. Simulations, their characteristics, and the results from different modeling tools are compared. The results of these approaches are compared with EU population growth predictions from the statistical office of the EU by Eurostat. The methodology of a creation of the models is described and all three modeling approaches are compared. The suitability of each modeling approach for the population modeling is discussed. In this case study, all three approaches gave us the results corresponding with the EU population prediction. Moreover, we were able to predict the number of patients with AD and, based on the modeling method, we were also able to monitor different characteristics of the population. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  6. Genetic Diversity and Population Differentiation of the Causal Agent of Citrus Black Spot in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ester Wickert

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important diseases that affect sweet orange orchards in Brazil is the Citrus Black Spot that is caused by the fungus Guignardia citricarpa. This disease causes irreparable losses due to the premature falling of fruit, as well as its severe effects on the epidermis of ripe fruit that renders them unacceptable at the fresh fruit markets. Despite the fact that the fungus and the disease are well studied, little is known about the genetic diversity and the structure of the fungi populations in Brazilian orchards. The objective of this work was study the genetic diversity and population differentiation of G. citricarpa associated with four sweet orange varieties in two geographic locations using DNA sequence of ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region from fungi isolates. We observed that different populations are closely related and present little genetic structure according to varieties and geographic places with the highest genetic diversity distributed among isolates of the same populations. The same haplotypes were sampled in different populations from the same and different orange varieties and from similar and different origins. If new and pathogenic fungi would become resistant to fungicides, the observed genetic structure could rapidly spread this new form from one population to others.

  7. Phylogenetic Analysis of Entomoparasitic Nematodes, Potential Control Agents of Flea Populations in Natural Foci of Plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koshel, E. I.; Aleshin, V. V.; Eroshenko, G. A.; Kutyrev, V. V.

    2014-01-01

    Entomoparasitic nematodes are natural control agents for many insect pests, including fleas that transmit Yersinia pestis, a causative agent of plague, in the natural foci of this extremely dangerous zoonosis. We examined the flea samples from the Volga-Ural natural focus of plague for their infestation with nematodes. Among the six flea species feeding on different rodent hosts (Citellus pygmaeus, Microtus socialis, and Allactaga major), the rate of infestation varied from 0 to 21%. The propagation rate of parasitic nematodes in the haemocoel of infected fleas was very high; in some cases, we observed up to 1,000 juveniles per flea specimen. Our study of morphology, life cycle, and rDNA sequences of these parasites revealed that they belong to three distinct species differing in the host specificity. On SSU and LSU rRNA phylogenies, these species representing three genera (Rubzovinema, Psyllotylenchus, and Spilotylenchus), constitute a monophyletic group close to Allantonema and Parasitylenchus, the type genera of the families Allantonematidae and Parasitylenchidae (Nematoda: Tylenchida). We discuss the SSU-ITS1-5.8S-LSU rDNA phylogeny of the Tylenchida with a special emphasis on the suborder Hexatylina. PMID:24804197

  8. Adaptive response to DNA-damaging agents in natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations from "Evolution Canyon", Mt. Carmel, Israel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel A Lidzbarsky

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural populations of most organisms, especially unicellular microorganisms, are constantly exposed to harsh environmental factors which affect their growth. UV radiation is one of the most important physical parameters which influences yeast growth in nature. Here we used 46 natural strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolated from several natural populations at the "Evolution Canyon" microsite (Nahal Oren, Mt. Carmel, Israel. The opposing slopes of this canyon share the same geology, soil, and macroclimate, but they differ in microclimatic conditions. The interslope differences in solar radiation (200%-800% more on the "African" slope caused the development of two distinct biomes. The south-facing slope is sunnier and has xeric, savannoid "African" environment while the north-facing slope is represented by temperate, "European" forested environment. Here we studied the phenotypic response of the S. cerevisiae strains to UVA and UVC radiations and to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS in order to evaluate the interslope effect on the strains' ability to withstand DNA-damaging agents.We exposed our strains to the different DNA-damaging agents and measured survival by counting colony forming units. The strains from the "African" slope were more resilient to both UVA and MMS than the strains from the "European" slope. In contrast, we found that there was almost no difference between strains (with similar ploidy from the opposite slopes, in their sensitivity to UVC radiation. These results suggest that the "African" strains are more adapted to higher solar radiation than the "European" strains. We also found that the tetraploids strains were more tolerant to all DNA-damaging agents than their neighboring diploid strains, which suggest that high ploidy level might be a mechanism of adaptation to high solar radiation.Our results and the results of parallel studies with several other organisms, suggest that natural selection appears to select, at a

  9. Evolution of Mindsight and Psychological Commitment among Strategically Interacting Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitry Rtischev

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available We study the evolution of strategic psychological capabilities in a population of interacting agents. Specifically, we consider agents which are either blind or with mindsight, and either transparent or opaque. An agent with mindsight can observe the psychological makeup of a transparent agent, i.e., its logic, emotions, commitments and other elements that determine how it chooses actions. A blind agent cannot observe and opaque agents cannot be observed. Our assumption that mindsight and transparency are costly and optional exposes a middle ground between standard game theory without mindsight and evolution of preferences theory with obligatory and costless mindsight. We show that the only evolutionarily stable monomorphic population is one in which all agents are blind, opaque, and act-rational. We find that mindsight, transparency, and rule-rational commitments may evolve, albeit only in a portion of the population that fluctuates in size over generations. We reexamine the Ultimatum and Trust games in light of our findings and demonstrate that an evolved population of agents can differ significantly from a population of simplistic payoff-maximizers in terms of psychological traits and economic outcomes.

  10. Prevalence of acid-reducing agents (ARA) in cancer populations and ARA drug-drug interaction potential for molecular targeted agents in clinical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smelick, Gillian S; Heffron, Timothy P; Chu, Laura; Dean, Brian; West, David A; Duvall, Scott L; Lum, Bert L; Budha, Nageshwar; Holden, Scott N; Benet, Leslie Z; Frymoyer, Adam; Dresser, Mark J; Ware, Joseph A

    2013-11-04

    Acid-reducing agents (ARAs) are the most commonly prescribed medications in North America and Western Europe. There are currently no data describing the prevalence of their use among cancer patients. However, this is a paramount question due to the potential for significant drug-drug interactions (DDIs) between ARAs, most commonly proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and orally administered cancer therapeutics that display pH-dependent solubility, which may lead to decreased drug absorption and decreased therapeutic benefit. Of recently approved orally administered cancer therapeutics, >50% are characterized as having pH-dependent solubility, but there are currently no data describing the potential for this ARA-DDI liability among targeted agents currently in clinical development. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the prevalence of ARA use among different cancer populations and (2) investigate the prevalence of orally administered cancer therapeutics currently in development that may be liable for an ARA-DDI. To address the question of ARA use among cancer patients, a retrospective cross-sectional analysis was performed using two large healthcare databases: Thomson Reuters MarketScan (N = 1,776,443) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA, N = 1,171,833). Among all cancer patients, the total prevalence proportion of ARA use (no. of cancer patients receiving an ARA/total no. of cancer patients) was 20% and 33% for the MarketScan and VA databases, respectively. PPIs were the most commonly prescribed agent, comprising 79% and 65% of all cancer patients receiving a prescription for an ARA (no. of cancer patients receiving a PPI /no. of cancer patients receiving an ARA) for the MarketScan and VA databases, respectively. To estimate the ARA-DDI liability of orally administered molecular targeted cancer therapeutics currently in development, two publicly available databases, (1) Kinase SARfari and (2) canSAR, were examined. For those orally administered

  11. Vulvovaginitis in a pediatric population: relationship among etiologic agents, age and Tanner staging of breast development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giugno, Silvina; Risso, Paula; Ocampo, Dolores; Rahman, Gisel; Rubinstein, Dra Anahí V

    2014-02-01

    Vulvovaginitis accounts for 25% of all pediatric gynecology consultations. To assess the etiology of vulvovaginitis based on age and Tanner staging of breast development. Descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted between January 1st and December 31st, 2011. Patients with vulvovaginitis were assessed based on two outcome measures: age group (GI: 0 to 8.9 years old, GII: 9 to 15.9 years old, and GIII: 16 to 18 years old), and the Tanner staging of breast development (I, II-III, IV-V). Results. Two hundred and twenty-nine patients were included, 78 girls in the GI group, 134 in the GII group, and 17 in the GIII group; 81 girls were classified as TI, 36 as TII-III, and 112 as TIV-V based on Tanner staging. Shigella and Oxyuris were the most commonly found etiologic agents in younger girls. Candida albicans, other Candida species, Gardnerella and Ureaplasma urealyticum were the germs most commonly observed in older patients. Oxyuris was predominant in prepubertal girls, while Candida albicans, in postpubertal girls. Hormonal influence was more relevant than the patient's age in terms of vulvovaginitis etiology.

  12. The Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi, the Causal Agent of Chagas Disease, in Texas Rodent Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleman, Adriana; Guerra, Trina; Maikis, Troy J; Milholland, Matthew T; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Forstner, Michael R J; Hahn, Dittmar

    2017-03-01

    Rodent species were assessed as potential hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, from five sites throughout Texas in sylvan and disturbed habitats. A total of 592 rodents were captured, resulting in a wide taxonomic representation of 11 genera and 15 species. Heart samples of 543 individuals were successfully analyzed by SybrGreen-based quantitative PCR (qPCR) targeting a 166 bp fragment of satellite DNA of T. cruzi. Eight rodents representing six species from six genera and two families were infected with T. cruzi. This is the first report of T. cruzi in the pygmy mouse (Baiomys taylori) and the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) for the USA. All infected rodents were from the southernmost site (Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area). No differences in pathogen prevalence existed between disturbed habitats (5 of 131 tested; 3.8%) and sylvan habitats (3 of 40 tested; 7.5%). Most positives (n = 6, 16% prevalence) were detected in late winter with single positives in both spring (3% prevalence) and fall (1% prevalence). Additionally, 30 Triatoma insects were collected opportunistically from sites in central Texas. Fifty percent of these insects, i.e., 13 T. gerstaeckeri (68%), and two T. lecticularia (100%) were positive for T. cruzi. Comparative sequence analyses of 18S rRNA of samples provided identical results with respect to detection of the presence or absence of T. cruzi and assigned T. cruzi from rodents collected in late winter to lineage TcI. T. cruzi from Triatoma sp. and rodents from subsequent collections in spring and fall were different, however, and could not be assigned to other lineages with certainty.

  13. Antihypertensive agents and risk of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dementia: a population-based prospective study (NEDICES).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Elan D; Benito-León, Julián; Bermejo-Pareja, Félix

    2009-01-01

    Recent interest in antihypertensive agents, especially calcium channel blockers, has been sparked by the notion that these medications may be neuroprotective. A modest literature, with mixed results, has examined whether these medications might lower the odds or risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) or dementia. There are no data for essential tremor (ET). To examine the association between antihypertensive use (defined broadly and by individual subclasses) and ET, PD and dementia. For each disorder, we used cross-sectional data (association with prevalent disease) and prospective data (association with incident disease). Prospective population-based study in Spain enrolling 5,278 participants at baseline. Use of antihypertensive medications (aside from beta-blockers) was similar in prevalent ET cases and controls. Baseline use of antihypertensive agents was not associated with reduced risk of incident ET. Antihypertensive medication use was not associated with prevalent or incident PD. Calcium channel blocker use was marginally reduced in prevalent dementia cases (OR(adjusted) = 0.63, p = 0.06) but was not associated with reduced risk of incident dementia (RR(adjusted) = 1.02, p = 0.95). We did not find evidence of a protective effect of antihypertensive medications in these three neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Movement disorders in elderly users of risperidone and first generation antipsychotic agents: a Canadian population-based study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Vasilyeva

    Full Text Available Despite concerns over the potential for severe adverse events, antipsychotic medications remain the mainstay of treatment of behaviour disorders and psychosis in elderly patients. Second-generation antipsychotic agents (SGAs; e.g., risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine have generally shown a better safety profile compared to the first-generation agents (FGAs; e.g., haloperidol and phenothiazines, particularly in terms of a lower potential for involuntary movement disorders. Risperidone, the only SGA with an official indication for the management of inappropriate behaviour in dementia, has emerged as the antipsychotic most commonly prescribed to older patients. Most clinical trials evaluating the risk of movement disorders in elderly patients receiving antipsychotic therapy have been of limited sample size and/or of relatively short duration. A few observational studies have produced inconsistent results.A population-based retrospective cohort study of all residents of the Canadian province of Manitoba aged 65 and over, who were dispensed antipsychotic medications for the first time during the time period from April 1, 2000 to March 31, 2007, was conducted using Manitoba's Department of Health's administrative databases. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the risk of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS in new users of risperidone compared to new users of FGAs.After controlling for potential confounders (demographics, comorbidity and medication use, risperidone use was associated with a lower risk of EPS compared to FGAs at 30, 60, 90 and 180 days (adjusted hazard ratios [HR] 0.38, 95% CI: 0.22-0.67; 0.45, 95% CI: 0.28-0.73; 0.50, 95% CI: 0.33-0.77; 0.65, 95% CI: 0.45-0.94, respectively. At 360 days, the strength of the association weakened with an adjusted HR of 0.75, 95% CI: 0.54-1.05.In a large population of elderly patients the use of risperidone was associated with a lower risk of EPS compared to FGAs.

  15. Epidemiology of postoperative endophthalmitis in an Asian population: 11-year incidence and effect of intracameral antibiotic agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Colin S H; Wong, Hon Kiat; Yang, Francine P

    2012-03-01

    To describe the incidence of postoperative endophthalmitis after cataract surgery in a multiethnic Asian population over an 11-year period, compare the endophthalmitis rates before and after the use of intracameral antibiotic agents, and identify potential risk factors for endophthalmitis. Department of Ophthalmology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore. Cohort study. The incidence and risk factors for postoperative endophthalmitis in patients who had cataract surgery over 11 years were reviewed. Subconjunctival antibiotic agents only were administered over 7 years; in the subsequent 4 years, intracameral cefazolin (1.0 mg/0.1 mL) was used. The overall incidence of postoperative endophthalmitis in 50,177 was 0.042%. Over the 7 years without intracameral antibiotics, the endophthalmitis rate was 0.064% (19/29,539). With the use of intracameral cefazolin, the incidence decreased to 0.01% (2/20,638) (multivariate odds ratio [OR], 13.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.15-58.58; P<.001). The independent risk factors for endophthalmitis were age (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.01-1.09; P=.025) and male sex (0.06% versus 0.02%; OR, 2.96; 95% CI; 1.15-7.65; P=.025). There was a significant reduction in the rate of postoperative endophthalmitis in a multiethnic Asian population with the use of intracameral cefazolin. Men and older patients were at a higher risk for endophthalmitis. No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Copyright © 2012 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Cardiovascular Disease Burden: Evolving Knowledge of Risk Factors in Myocardial Infarction and Stroke through Population-Based Research and Perspectives in Global Prevention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GUSTAVO B.F. OLIVEIRA

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Current knowledge and research perspectives on the top ranking causes of mortality worldwide, i.e., ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases have developed rapidly. In fact, until recently, it was considered that only half of the myocardial infarctions were due to traditional risk factors such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking and diabetes. In addition, most of the available evidence of incidence, risk factors, and clinical outcomes, if not all of it, was derived from studies conducted in developed countries, which included lower proportion of female individuals and with low ethnic diversity. Recent reports by the WHO have provided striking public health information, i.e., the global burden of cardiovascular mortality for the next decades is expected to predominantly occur among developing countries. Therefore, multi-ethnic population-based research including prospective cohorts and, when appropriate, case-control studies, is warranted. These studies should be specifically designed to ascertain key public health measures such as geographic variations in noncommunicable diseases, diagnosis of traditional and potential newly discovered risk factors, causes of death and disability, and gaps for improvement in healthcare prevention (both primary and secondary and specific treatments. As an example, a multinational, multiethnic population-based cohort study is the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE study, which is the largest global initiative of 150,000 adults aged 35-70 yrs, looking at environmental, societal and biological influences on obesity and chronic health conditions such as ischemic heart disease, stroke and cancer among urban and rural communities in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, with national, community, household and individual-level data. Implementation of population-based strategies is crucial to optimizing limited health system resources while improving care and cardiovascular morbidity

  17. Design of an Agent-Based Model to Examine Population-Environment Interactions in Nang Rong District, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Stephen J; Malanson, George P; Entwisle, Barbara; Rindfuss, Ronald R; Mucha, Peter J; Heumann, Benjamin W; McDaniel, Philip M; Frizzelle, Brian G; Verdery, Ashton M; Williams, Nathalie; Xiaozheng, Yao; Ding, Deng

    2013-05-01

    The design of an Agent-Based Model (ABM) is described that integrates Social and Land Use Modules to examine population-environment interactions in a former agricultural frontier in Northeastern Thailand. The ABM is used to assess household income and wealth derived from agricultural production of lowland, rain-fed paddy rice and upland field crops in Nang Rong District as well as remittances returned to the household from family migrants who are engaged in off-farm employment in urban destinations. The ABM is supported by a longitudinal social survey of nearly 10,000 households, a deep satellite image time-series of land use change trajectories, multi-thematic social and ecological data organized within a GIS, and a suite of software modules that integrate data derived from an agricultural cropping system model (DSSAT - Decision Support for Agrotechnology Transfer) and a land suitability model (MAXENT - Maximum Entropy), in addition to multi-dimensional demographic survey data of individuals and households. The primary modules of the ABM are the Initialization Module, Migration Module, Assets Module, Land Suitability Module, Crop Yield Module, Fertilizer Module, and the Land Use Change Decision Module. The architecture of the ABM is described relative to module function and connectivity through uni-directional or bi-directional links. In general, the Social Modules simulate changes in human population and social networks, as well as changes in population migration and household assets, whereas the Land Use Modules simulate changes in land use types, land suitability, and crop yields. We emphasize the description of the Land Use Modules - the algorithms and interactions between the modules are described relative to the project goals of assessing household income and wealth relative to shifts in land use patterns, household demographics, population migration, social networks, and agricultural activities that collectively occur within a marginalized environment that

  18. Genetic admixture studies on four in situ evolved, two migrant and twenty-one ethnic populations of Tamil Nadu, south India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhasini, G; Sonaa, E; Shila, S; Srikumari, C R; Jayaraman, G; Ramesh, A

    2011-08-01

    We analysed the genetic structure of ≈ 1000 samples representing 27 ethnic groups settled in Tamil Nadu, south India, derived from two linguistic families (Dravidians and Indo-Europeans) representing four religious groups (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Jainism) using 11 mtDNA markers. Out of 27 ethnic groups, four are in situ populations (Anglo-Indian, Labbai Muslim, Nadar Christian and south Indian Jain) and two are migrants (Gypsy and north Indian Jain) from north India to Tamil Nadu, and 21 are native ethnic groups. Six of the markers we used were monomorphic (HaeIII663, HpaI3592, AluI5176, AluI7025, AluI13262, 9-bp deletion) and five markers were polymorphic (DdeI10394, AluI10397, HinfI12308, HincII13259 and HaeIII16517). Haplogroup frequencies, genetic affinities and admixture analysis are based on the genotype data of polymorphic markers observed in these populations. Haplogroup frequencies indicate that various ethnic groups entered Tamil Nadu during different time periods. Genetic affinities and admixture estimates revealed that the ethnic groups possessing advanced knowledge of farming cluster in a branch (C), and could be the late arrived settlers as agriculture, was introduced to this region at about 5 to 3 thousand years ago. In situ ethnic groups appear to have arisen at various times as a result of the prevailing dominant socio-cultural forces. Hierarchical Hindu caste system created many ethnic groups in the history of its existence; some of them became isolated for considerable period of time. Over all, among Tamil ethnic groups, in spite of caste systems' rigidity, built in flexibility in the system in the form of hypergamy and hypogamy had allowed maternal gene flow between them.

  19. Fitting and Phenomenology in Type IA Supernova Cosmology: Generalized Likelihood Analyses for Multiple Evolving Populations and Observations of Near-Infrared Lightcurves Including Host Galaxy Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponder, Kara A.

    In the late 1990s, Type Ia supernovae (SNeIa) led to the discovery that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate due to dark energy. Since then, many different tracers of acceleration have been used to characterize dark energy, but the source of cosmic acceleration has remained a mystery. To better understand dark energy, future surveys such as the ground-based Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the space-based Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope will collect thousands of SNeIa to use as a primary dark energy probe. These large surveys will be systematics limited, which makes it imperative for our insight regarding systematics to dramatically increase over the next decade for SNeIa to continue to contribute to precision cosmology. I approach this problem by improving statistical methods in the likelihood analysis and collecting near infrared (NIR) SNeIa with their host galaxies to improve the nearby data set and search for additional systematics. Using more statistically robust methods to account for systematics within the likelihood function can increase accuracy in cosmological parameters with a minimal precision loss. Though a sample of at least 10,000 SNeIa is necessary to confirm multiple populations of SNeIa, the bias in cosmology is ˜ 2 sigma with only 2,500 SNeIa. This work focused on an example systematic (host galaxy correlations), but it can be generalized for any systematic that can be represented by a distribution of multiple Gaussians. The SweetSpot survey gathered 114 low-redshift, NIR SNeIa that will act as a crucial anchor sample for the future high redshift surveys. NIR observations are not as affected by dust contamination, which may lead to increased understanding of systematics seen in optical wavelengths. We obtained spatially resolved spectra for 32 SweetSpot host galaxies to test for local host galaxy correlations. For the first time, we probe global host galaxy correlations with NIR brightnesses from the current literature

  20. The population of early-type galaxies: how it evolves with time and how it differs from passive and late-type galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamburri, S.; Saracco, P.; Longhetti, M.; Gargiulo, A.; Lonoce, I.; Ciocca, F.

    2014-10-01

    Aims: There are two aims to our analysis. On the one hand we are interested in addressing whether a sample of morphologically selected early-type galaxies (ETGs) differs from a sample of passive galaxies in terms of galaxy statistics. On the other hand we study how the relative abundance of galaxies, the number density, and, the stellar mass density for different morphological types change over the redshift range 0.6 ≤ z ≤ 2.5. Methods: From the 1302 galaxies brighter than Ks(AB) = 22 selected from the GOODS-MUSIC catalogue, we classified the ETGs, i.e. elliptical (E) and spheroidal galaxies (E/S0), on the basis of their morphology and the passive galaxies on the basis of their specific star formation rate (sSFR ≤ 10-11 yr-1). Since the definition of a passive galaxy depends on the model parameters assumed to fit the spectral energy distribution of the galaxy, in addition to the assumed sSFR threshold, we probed the dependence of this definition and selection on the stellar initial mass function (IMF). Results: We find that spheroidal galaxies cannot be distinguished from the other morphological classes on the basis of their low star formation rate, irrespective of the IMF adopted in the models. In particular, we find that a large fraction of passive galaxies (>30%) are disc-shaped objects and that the passive selection misses a significant fraction (~26%) of morphologically classified ETGs. Using the sample of 1302 galaxies morphologically classified into spheroidal galaxies (ETGs) and non-spheroidal galaxies (LTGs), we find that the fraction of these two morphological classes is constant over the redshift range 0.6 ≤ z ≤ 2.5, being 20-30% the fraction of ETGs and 70-80% the fraction of LTGs. However, at z mass density of the whole population of massive galaxies increase by almost a factor of ~10 between 0.6 ≤ z ≤ 2.5, with a faster increase of these densities for the ETGs than for the LTGs. Finally, we find that the number density of the highest

  1. Mentoring: An Evolving Relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Michelle; Florczak, Kristine L

    2017-04-01

    The column concerns itself with mentoring as an evolving relationship between mentor and mentee. The collegiate mentoring model, the transformational transcendence model, and the humanbecoming mentoring model are considered in light of a dialogue with mentors at a Midwest university and conclusions are drawn.

  2. Methods Evolved by Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montessori, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Montessori's idea of the child's nature and the teacher's perceptiveness begins with amazing simplicity, and when she speaks of "methods evolved," she is unveiling a methodological system for observation. She begins with the early childhood explosion into writing, which is a familiar child phenomenon that Montessori has written about…

  3. Overall survival patterns in patients with multiple myeloma in the era of novel agents and the role of initial clinical presentation and comorbidities: A population-based study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oortgiesen, Berdien; Van Roon, Eric N.; Joosten, Peter; Kibbelaar, Robby; Storm, Huib; Hovenga, Sjoerd; Van Rees, Bas P.; Woolthuis, Gerhard; Veeger, Nic J. G. M.; Hoogendoorn, Mels

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Clinical trials have shown improved response rates, progression-free survival and overall survival (OS) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) when using the novel agents thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib. However, outcome data provided by population-based registries, reflecting

  4. Orthogonally Evolved AI to Improve Difficulty Adjustment in Video Games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hintze, Arend; Olson, Randal; Lehman, Joel Anthony

    2016-01-01

    Computer games are most engaging when their difficulty is well matched to the player's ability, thereby providing an experience in which the player is neither overwhelmed nor bored. In games where the player interacts with computer-controlled opponents, the difficulty of the game can be adjusted...... not only by changing the distribution of opponents or game resources, but also through modifying the skill of the opponents. Applying evolutionary algorithms to evolve the artificial intelligence that controls opponent agents is one established method for adjusting opponent difficulty. Less-evolved agents...... (i.e. agents subject to fewer generations of evolution) make for easier opponents, while highly-evolved agents are more challenging to overcome. In this publication we test a new approach for difficulty adjustment in games: orthogonally evolved AI, where the player receives support from collaborating...

  5. Diversity Generation in Evolving Microbial Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markussen, Trine

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) offer opportunities to study bacterial evolution and adaptation in natural environments. Significantly phenotypic and genomic changes of P. aeruginosa have been observed during chronic infection. While P. aeruginosa...... bacterial genome sequencing, phenotypic profiling and unique sampling materials which included clonal bacterial isolates sampled for more than 4 decades from chronically infected CF patients, we were able to investigate the diversity generation of the clinical important and highly successful P. aeruginosa...... DK1 clone type during chronic airway infection in CF patients. We show here that diversification of P. aeruginosa DK1 occurs through the emergence of coexisting subpopulations with distinct phenotypic and genomic features and demonstrate that this diversification was a result of niche specialization...

  6. EVOLVE 2014 International Conference

    CERN Document Server

    Tantar, Emilia; Sun, Jian-Qiao; Zhang, Wei; Ding, Qian; Schütze, Oliver; Emmerich, Michael; Legrand, Pierrick; Moral, Pierre; Coello, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    This volume encloses research articles that were presented at the EVOLVE 2014 International Conference in Beijing, China, July 1–4, 2014.The book gathers contributions that emerged from the conference tracks, ranging from probability to set oriented numerics and evolutionary computation; all complemented by the bridging purpose of the conference, e.g. Complex Networks and Landscape Analysis, or by the more application oriented perspective. The novelty of the volume, when considering the EVOLVE series, comes from targeting also the practitioner’s view. This is supported by the Machine Learning Applied to Networks and Practical Aspects of Evolutionary Algorithms tracks, providing surveys on new application areas, as in the networking area and useful insights in the development of evolutionary techniques, from a practitioner’s perspective. Complementary to these directions, the conference tracks supporting the volume, follow on the individual advancements of the subareas constituting the scope of the confe...

  7. Agent-based modeling traction force mediated compaction of cell-populated collagen gels using physically realistic fibril mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, James W; Gooch, Keith J

    2014-02-01

    Agent-based modeling was used to model collagen fibrils, composed of a string of nodes serially connected by links that act as Hookean springs. Bending mechanics are implemented as torsional springs that act upon each set of three serially connected nodes as a linear function of angular deflection about the central node. These fibrils were evaluated under conditions that simulated axial extension, simple three-point bending and an end-loaded cantilever. The deformation of fibrils under axial loading varied <0.001% from the analytical solution for linearly elastic fibrils. For fibrils between 100 μm and 200 μm in length experiencing small deflections, differences between simulated deflections and their analytical solutions were <1% for fibrils experiencing three-point bending and <7% for fibrils experiencing cantilever bending. When these new rules for fibril mechanics were introduced into a model that allowed for cross-linking of fibrils to form a network and the application of cell traction force, the fibrous network underwent macroscopic compaction and aligned between cells. Further, fibril density increased between cells to a greater extent than that observed macroscopically and appeared similar to matrical tracks that have been observed experimentally in cell-populated collagen gels. This behavior is consistent with observations in previous versions of the model that did not allow for the physically realistic simulation of fibril mechanics. The significance of the torsional spring constant value was then explored to determine its impact on remodeling of the simulated fibrous network. Although a stronger torsional spring constant reduced the degree of quantitative remodeling that occurred, the inclusion of torsional springs in the model was not necessary for the model to reproduce key qualitative aspects of remodeling, indicating that the presence of Hookean springs is essential for this behavior. These results suggest that traction force mediated matrix

  8. Evolving Procurement Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bals, Lydia; Laine, Jari; Mugurusi, Godfrey

    Procurement has to find further levers and advance its contribution to corporate goals continuously. This places pressure on its organization in order to facilitate its performance. Therefore, procurement organizations constantly have to evolve in order to match these demands. A conceptual model...... and external contingency factors and having a more detailed look at the structural dimensions chosen, beyond the well-known characteristics of centralization, formalization, participation, specialization, standardization and size. From a theoretical perspective, it opens up insights that can be leveraged...

  9. Symbiotic Composition and Evolvability

    OpenAIRE

    Watson, Richard A.; Pollack, Jordan B.

    2001-01-01

    Several of the Major Transitions in natural evolution, such as the symbiogenic origin of eukaryotes from prokaryotes, share the feature that existing entities became the components of composite entities at a higher level of organisation. This composition of pre-adapted extant entities into a new whole is a fundamentally different source of variation from the gradual accumulation of small random variations, and it has some interesting consequences for issues of evolvability. In this paper we p...

  10. Evolvable Neural Software System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    The Evolvable Neural Software System (ENSS) is composed of sets of Neural Basis Functions (NBFs), which can be totally autonomously created and removed according to the changing needs and requirements of the software system. The resulting structure is both hierarchical and self-similar in that a given set of NBFs may have a ruler NBF, which in turn communicates with other sets of NBFs. These sets of NBFs may function as nodes to a ruler node, which are also NBF constructs. In this manner, the synthetic neural system can exhibit the complexity, three-dimensional connectivity, and adaptability of biological neural systems. An added advantage of ENSS over a natural neural system is its ability to modify its core genetic code in response to environmental changes as reflected in needs and requirements. The neural system is fully adaptive and evolvable and is trainable before release. It continues to rewire itself while on the job. The NBF is a unique, bilevel intelligence neural system composed of a higher-level heuristic neural system (HNS) and a lower-level, autonomic neural system (ANS). Taken together, the HNS and the ANS give each NBF the complete capabilities of a biological neural system to match sensory inputs to actions. Another feature of the NBF is the Evolvable Neural Interface (ENI), which links the HNS and ANS. The ENI solves the interface problem between these two systems by actively adapting and evolving from a primitive initial state (a Neural Thread) to a complicated, operational ENI and successfully adapting to a training sequence of sensory input. This simulates the adaptation of a biological neural system in a developmental phase. Within the greater multi-NBF and multi-node ENSS, self-similar ENI s provide the basis for inter-NBF and inter-node connectivity.

  11. Evolved H II regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Churchwell, E.

    1975-01-01

    A probable evolutionary sequence of H II regions based on six distinct types of observed objects is suggested. Two examples which may deviate from this idealized sequence, are discussed. Even though a size-mean density relation of H II regions can be used as a rough indication of whether a nebula is very young or evolved, it is argued that such a relation is not likely to be useful for the quantitative assignment of ages to H II regions. Evolved H II regions appear to fit into one of four structural types: rings, core-halos, smooth structures, and irregular or filamentary structures. Examples of each type are given with their derived physical parameters. The energy balance in these nebulae is considered. The mass of ionized gas in evolved H II regions is in general too large to trace the nebula back to single compact H II regions. Finally, the morphological type of the Galaxy is considered from its H II region content. 2 tables, 2 figs., 29 refs

  12. Adaptation of Escherichia coli to glucose promotes evolvability in lactose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Kelly N; Castillo, Gerardo; Wünsche, Andrea; Cooper, Tim F

    2016-02-01

    The selective history of a population can influence its subsequent evolution, an effect known as historical contingency. We previously observed that five of six replicate populations that were evolved in a glucose-limited environment for 2000 generations, then switched to lactose for 1000 generations, had higher fitness increases in lactose than populations started directly from the ancestor. To test if selection in glucose systematically increased lactose evolvability, we started 12 replay populations--six from a population subsample and six from a single randomly selected clone--from each of the six glucose-evolved founder populations. These replay populations and 18 ancestral populations were evolved for 1000 generations in a lactose-limited environment. We found that replay populations were initially slightly less fit in lactose than the ancestor, but were more evolvable, in that they increased in fitness at a faster rate and to higher levels. This result indicates that evolution in the glucose environment resulted in genetic changes that increased the potential of genotypes to adapt to lactose. Genome sequencing identified four genes--iclR, nadR, spoT, and rbs--that were mutated in most glucose-evolved clones and are candidates for mediating increased evolvability. Our results demonstrate that short-term selective costs during selection in one environment can lead to changes in evolvability that confer longer term benefits. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. The dynamic influence of human resources on evidence-based intervention sustainability and population outcomes: an agent-based modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Virginia R; Hoffer, Lee D; Combs, Todd B; Margaret Dolcini, M

    2018-06-05

    Sustaining evidence-based interventions (EBIs) is an ongoing challenge for dissemination and implementation science in public health and social services. Characterizing the relationship among human resource capacity within an agency and subsequent population outcomes is an important step to improving our understanding of how EBIs are sustained. Although human resource capacity and population outcomes are theoretically related, examining them over time within real-world experiments is difficult. Simulation approaches, especially agent-based models, offer advantages that complement existing methods. We used an agent-based model to examine the relationships among human resources, EBI delivery, and population outcomes by simulating provision of an EBI through a hypothetical agency and its staff. We used data from existing studies examining a widely implemented HIV prevention intervention to inform simulation design, calibration, and validity. Once we developed a baseline model, we used the model as a simulated laboratory by systematically varying three human resource variables: the number of staff positions, the staff turnover rate, and timing in training. We tracked the subsequent influence on EBI delivery and the level of population risk over time to describe the overall and dynamic relationships among these variables. Higher overall levels of human resource capacity at an agency (more positions) led to more extensive EBI delivery over time and lowered population risk earlier in time. In simulations representing the typical human resource investments, substantial influences on population risk were visible after approximately 2 years and peaked around 4 years. Human resources, especially staff positions, have an important impact on EBI sustainability and ultimately population health. A minimum level of human resources based on the context (e.g., size of the initial population and characteristics of the EBI) is likely needed for an EBI to have a meaningful impact on

  14. Impact of Different Policies on Unhealthy Dietary Behaviors in an Adult Population of Los Angeles County: An Agent-Based Simulation Model

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Donglan

    2014-01-01

    A typical American diet is comprised of too much high-calorie foods and insufficient fruits and vegetables. Many theories and models targeting unhealthy dietary behaviors focus exclusively on people as individuals, while behavior theories such as multi-level theory of population health emphasize the social component in human cognitive habits and behaviors, providing an alternative paradigm to understand dietary behaviors. This dissertation incorporates those behavioral theories into an agent-...

  15. Estimated general population control limits for unitary agents in drinking water, milk, soil, and unprocessed food items

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watson, A.P.; Adams, J.D.; Cerar, R.J.; Hess, T.L.; Kistner, S.L.; Leffingwell, S.S.; MacIntosh, R.G.; Ward, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    In the event of an unplanned release of chemical agent during any stage of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), the potential exists for contamination of drinking water, forage crops, grains, garden produce, and livestock. Persistent agents such as VX or sulfur mustard pose the greatest human health concern for reentry. This White Paper has been prepared to provide technical bases for these decisions by developing working estimates of agent control limits in selected environmental media considered principal sources of potential human exposure. To date, control limits for public exposure to unitary agents have been established for atmospheric concentrations only. The current analysis builds on previous work to calculate working estimates of control limits for ingestion and dermal exposure to potentially contaminated drinking water, milk, soil, and unprocessed food items such as garden produce. Information characterizing agent desorption from, and detection on or in, contaminated porous media are presently too developed to permit reasonable estimation of dermal exposure from this source. Thus, dermal contact with potentially contaminated porous surfaces is not considered in this document.

  16. Evolving Procurement Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bals, Lydia; Laiho, Aki; Laine, Jari

    Procurement has to find further levers and advance its contribution to corporate goals continuously. This places pressure on its organization in order to facilitate its performance. Therefore, Procurement organizations constantly have to evolve in order to match these demands. A conceptual model...... is presented and results of a first case study discussed. The findings highlight the importance of taking a contingency perspective on Procurement organization, understanding the internal and internal contingency factors. From a theoretical perspective, it opens up insights that can be furthermore leveraged...... in future studies in the fields of hybrid procurement organizations, global sourcing organizations as well as international procurement offices (IPOs). From a practical standpoint, an assessment of external and internal contingencies provides the opportunity to consciously match organization to its...

  17. Diffusion between evolving interfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juntunen, Janne; Merikoski, Juha

    2010-01-01

    Diffusion in an evolving environment is studied by continuous-time Monte Carlo simulations. Diffusion is modeled by continuous-time random walkers on a lattice, in a dynamic environment provided by bubbles between two one-dimensional interfaces driven symmetrically towards each other. For one-dimensional random walkers constrained by the interfaces, the bubble size distribution dominates diffusion. For two-dimensional random walkers, it is also controlled by the topography and dynamics of the interfaces. The results of the one-dimensional case are recovered in the limit where the interfaces are strongly driven. Even with simple hard-core repulsion between the interfaces and the particles, diffusion is found to depend strongly on the details of the dynamical rules of particles close to the interfaces.

  18. Using stylized agent-based models for population-environment research: A case study from the Galápagos Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian W; Breckheimer, Ian; McCleary, Amy L; Guzmán-Ramirez, Liza; Caplow, Susan C; Jones-Smith, Jessica C; Walsh, Stephen J

    2010-05-01

    Agent Based Models (ABMs) are powerful tools for population-environment research but are subject to trade-offs between model complexity and abstraction. This study strikes a compromise between abstract and highly specified ABMs by designing a spatially explicit, stylized ABM and using it to explore policy scenarios in a setting that is facing substantial conservation and development challenges. Specifically, we present an ABM that reflects key Land Use / Land Cover (LULC) dynamics and livelihood decisions on Isabela Island in the Galápagos Archipelago of Ecuador. We implement the model using the NetLogo software platform, a free program that requires relatively little programming experience. The landscape is composed of a satellite-derived distribution of a problematic invasive species (common guava) and a stylized representation of the Galápagos National Park, the community of Puerto Villamil, the agricultural zone, and the marine area. The agent module is based on publicly available data and household interviews, and represents the primary livelihoods of the population in the Galápagos Islands - tourism, fisheries, and agriculture. We use the model to enact hypothetical agricultural subsidy scenarios aimed at controlling invasive guava and assess the resulting population and land cover dynamics. Findings suggest that spatially explicit, stylized ABMs have considerable utility, particularly during preliminary stages of research, as platforms for (1) sharpening conceptualizations of population-environment systems, (2) testing alternative scenarios, and (3) uncovering critical data gaps.

  19. Why did heterospory evolve?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Kurt B; Burd, Martin

    2017-08-01

    The primitive land plant life cycle featured the production of spores of unimodal size, a condition called homospory. The evolution of bimodal size distributions with small male spores and large female spores, known as heterospory, was an innovation that occurred repeatedly in the history of land plants. The importance of desiccation-resistant spores for colonization of the land is well known, but the adaptive value of heterospory has never been well established. It was an addition to a sexual life cycle that already involved male and female gametes. Its role as a precursor to the evolution of seeds has received much attention, but this is an evolutionary consequence of heterospory that cannot explain the transition from homospory to heterospory (and the lack of evolutionary reversal from heterospory to homospory). Enforced outcrossing of gametophytes has often been mentioned in connection to heterospory, but we review the shortcomings of this argument as an explanation of the selective advantage of heterospory. Few alternative arguments concerning the selective forces favouring heterospory have been proposed, a paucity of attention that is surprising given the importance of this innovation in land plant evolution. In this review we highlight two ideas that may lead us to a better understanding of why heterospory evolved. First, models of optimal resource allocation - an approach that has been used for decades in evolutionary ecology to help understand parental investment and other life-history patterns - suggest that an evolutionary increase in spore size could reach a threshold at which small spores yielding small, sperm-producing gametophytes would return greater fitness per unit of resource investment than would large spores and bisexual gametophytes. With the advent of such microspores, megaspores would evolve under frequency-dependent selection. This argument can account for the appearance of heterospory in the Devonian, when increasingly tall and complex

  20. Antimicrobial activity of ceftaroline and other anti-infective agents against microbial pathogens recovered from the surgical intensive care patient population: a prevalence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmiston, Charles E; Krepel, Candace J; Leaper, David; Ledeboer, Nathan A; Mackey, Tami-Lea; Graham, Mary Beth; Lee, Cheong; Rossi, Peter J; Brown, Kellie R; Lewis, Brian D; Seabrook, Gary R

    2014-12-01

    Ceftaroline is a new parenteral cephalosporin agent with excellent activity against methicillin-sensitive (MSSA) and resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Critically ill surgical patients are susceptible to infection, often by multi-drug-resistant pathogens. The activity of ceftaroline against such pathogens has not been described. Three hundred thirty-five consecutive microbial isolates were collected from surgical wounds or abscesses, respiratory, urine, and blood cultures from patients in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) of a major tertiary medical center. Using Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) standard methodology and published breakpoints, all aerobic, facultative anaerobic isolates were tested against ceftaroline and selected comparative antimicrobial agents. All staphylococcal isolates were susceptible to ceftaroline at a breakpoint of ≤1.0 mcg/mL. In addition, ceftaroline exhibited excellent activity against all streptococcal clinical isolates and non-ESBL-producing strains of Enterobacteriaceae (93.5%) recovered from SICU patients. Ceftaroline was inactive against ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and selective gram-negative anaerobic bacteria. At present, ceftaroline is the only cephalosporin agent that is active against community and healthcare-associated MRSA. Further studies are needed to validate the benefit of this novel broad-spectrum anti-infective agent for the treatment of susceptible serious infections in the SICU patient population.

  1. Evolving a photosynthetic organelle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakayama Takuro

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The evolution of plastids from cyanobacteria is believed to represent a singularity in the history of life. The enigmatic amoeba Paulinella and its 'recently' acquired photosynthetic inclusions provide a fascinating system through which to gain fresh insight into how endosymbionts become organelles. The plastids, or chloroplasts, of algae and plants evolved from cyanobacteria by endosymbiosis. This landmark event conferred on eukaryotes the benefits of photosynthesis - the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy - and in so doing had a huge impact on the course of evolution and the climate of Earth 1. From the present state of plastids, however, it is difficult to trace the evolutionary steps involved in this momentous development, because all modern-day plastids have fully integrated into their hosts. Paulinella chromatophora is a unicellular eukaryote that bears photosynthetic entities called chromatophores that are derived from cyanobacteria and has thus received much attention as a possible example of an organism in the early stages of organellogenesis. Recent studies have unlocked the genomic secrets of its chromatophore 23 and provided concrete evidence that the Paulinella chromatophore is a bona fide photosynthetic organelle 4. The question is how Paulinella can help us to understand the process by which an endosymbiont is converted into an organelle.

  2. Fat: an evolving issue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John R. Speakman

    2012-09-01

    Work on obesity is evolving, and obesity is a consequence of our evolutionary history. In the space of 50 years, we have become an obese species. The reasons why can be addressed at a number of different levels. These include separating between whether the primary cause lies on the food intake or energy expenditure side of the energy balance equation, and determining how genetic and environmental effects contribute to weight variation between individuals. Opinion on whether increased food intake or decreased energy expenditure drives the obesity epidemic is still divided, but recent evidence favours the idea that food intake, rather than altered expenditure, is most important. There is more of a consensus that genetics explains most (probably around 65% of weight variation between individuals. Recent advances in genome-wide association studies have identified many polymorphisms that are linked to obesity, yet much of the genetic variance remains unexplained. Finding the causes of this unexplained variation will be an impetus of genetic and epigenetic research on obesity over the next decade. Many environmental factors – including gut microbiota, stress and endocrine disruptors – have been linked to the risk of developing obesity. A better understanding of gene-by-environment interactions will also be key to understanding obesity in the years to come.

  3. Evolving a photosynthetic organelle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Takuro; Archibald, John M

    2012-04-24

    The evolution of plastids from cyanobacteria is believed to represent a singularity in the history of life. The enigmatic amoeba Paulinella and its 'recently' acquired photosynthetic inclusions provide a fascinating system through which to gain fresh insight into how endosymbionts become organelles.The plastids, or chloroplasts, of algae and plants evolved from cyanobacteria by endosymbiosis. This landmark event conferred on eukaryotes the benefits of photosynthesis--the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy--and in so doing had a huge impact on the course of evolution and the climate of Earth 1. From the present state of plastids, however, it is difficult to trace the evolutionary steps involved in this momentous development, because all modern-day plastids have fully integrated into their hosts. Paulinella chromatophora is a unicellular eukaryote that bears photosynthetic entities called chromatophores that are derived from cyanobacteria and has thus received much attention as a possible example of an organism in the early stages of organellogenesis. Recent studies have unlocked the genomic secrets of its chromatophore 23 and provided concrete evidence that the Paulinella chromatophore is a bona fide photosynthetic organelle 4. The question is how Paulinella can help us to understand the process by which an endosymbiont is converted into an organelle.

  4. Communicability across evolving networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grindrod, Peter; Parsons, Mark C; Higham, Desmond J; Estrada, Ernesto

    2011-04-01

    Many natural and technological applications generate time-ordered sequences of networks, defined over a fixed set of nodes; for example, time-stamped information about "who phoned who" or "who came into contact with who" arise naturally in studies of communication and the spread of disease. Concepts and algorithms for static networks do not immediately carry through to this dynamic setting. For example, suppose A and B interact in the morning, and then B and C interact in the afternoon. Information, or disease, may then pass from A to C, but not vice versa. This subtlety is lost if we simply summarize using the daily aggregate network given by the chain A-B-C. However, using a natural definition of a walk on an evolving network, we show that classic centrality measures from the static setting can be extended in a computationally convenient manner. In particular, communicability indices can be computed to summarize the ability of each node to broadcast and receive information. The computations involve basic operations in linear algebra, and the asymmetry caused by time's arrow is captured naturally through the noncommutativity of matrix-matrix multiplication. Illustrative examples are given for both synthetic and real-world communication data sets. We also discuss the use of the new centrality measures for real-time monitoring and prediction.

  5. Evolving Concepts of Asthma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Anuradha; Wenzel, Sally E.

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of asthma has evolved over time from a singular disease to a complex of various phenotypes, with varied natural histories, physiologies, and responses to treatment. Early therapies treated most patients with asthma similarly, with bronchodilators and corticosteroids, but these therapies had varying degrees of success. Similarly, despite initial studies that identified an underlying type 2 inflammation in the airways of patients with asthma, biologic therapies targeted toward these type 2 pathways were unsuccessful in all patients. These observations led to increased interest in phenotyping asthma. Clinical approaches, both biased and later unbiased/statistical approaches to large asthma patient cohorts, identified a variety of patient characteristics, but they also consistently identified the importance of age of onset of disease and the presence of eosinophils in determining clinically relevant phenotypes. These paralleled molecular approaches to phenotyping that developed an understanding that not all patients share a type 2 inflammatory pattern. Using biomarkers to select patients with type 2 inflammation, repeated trials of biologics directed toward type 2 cytokine pathways saw newfound success, confirming the importance of phenotyping in asthma. Further research is needed to clarify additional clinical and molecular phenotypes, validate predictive biomarkers, and identify new areas for possible interventions. PMID:26161792

  6. UKAEA'S evolving contract philosophy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicol, R. D.

    2003-01-01

    The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has gone through fundamental change over the last ten years. At the heart of this change has been UKAEA's relationship with the contracting and supply market. This paper describes the way in which UKAEA actively developed the market to support the decommissioning programme, and how the approach to contracting has evolved as external pressures and demands have changed. UKAEA's pro-active approach to industry has greatly assisted the development of a healthy, competitive market for services supporting decommissioning in the UK. There have been difficult changes and many challenges along the way, and some retrenchment was necessary to meet regulatory requirements. Nevertheless, UKAEA has sustained a high level of competition - now measured in terms of competed spend as a proportion of competable spend - with annual out-turns consistently over 80%. The prime responsibility for market development will pass to the new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in 2005, as the owner, on behalf of the Government, of the UK's civil nuclear liabilities. The preparatory work for the NDA indicates that the principles established by UKAEA will be carried forward. (author)

  7. On-lattice agent-based simulation of populations of cells within the open-source Chaste framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueredo, Grazziela P; Joshi, Tanvi V; Osborne, James M; Byrne, Helen M; Owen, Markus R

    2013-04-06

    Over the years, agent-based models have been developed that combine cell division and reinforced random walks of cells on a regular lattice, reaction-diffusion equations for nutrients and growth factors; and ordinary differential equations for the subcellular networks regulating the cell cycle. When linked to a vascular layer, this multiple scale model framework has been applied to tumour growth and therapy. Here, we report on the creation of an agent-based multi-scale environment amalgamating the characteristics of these models within a Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) Exemplar Project. This project enables reuse, integration, expansion and sharing of the model and relevant data. The agent-based and reaction-diffusion parts of the multi-scale model have been implemented and are available for download as part of the latest public release of Chaste (Cancer, Heart and Soft Tissue Environment; http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/chaste/), part of the VPH Toolkit (http://toolkit.vph-noe.eu/). The environment functionalities are verified against the original models, in addition to extra validation of all aspects of the code. In this work, we present the details of the implementation of the agent-based environment, including the system description, the conceptual model, the development of the simulation model and the processes of verification and validation of the simulation results. We explore the potential use of the environment by presenting exemplar applications of the 'what if' scenarios that can easily be studied in the environment. These examples relate to tumour growth, cellular competition for resources and tumour responses to hypoxia (low oxygen levels). We conclude our work by summarizing the future steps for the expansion of the current system.

  8. On-lattice agent-based simulation of populations of cells within the open-source Chaste framework

    KAUST Repository

    Figueredo, G. P.

    2013-02-21

    Over the years, agent-based models have been developed that combine cell division and reinforced random walks of cells on a regular lattice, reaction-diffusion equations for nutrients and growth factors; and ordinary differential equations for the subcellular networks regulating the cell cycle. When linked to a vascular layer, this multiple scale model framework has been applied to tumour growth and therapy. Here, we report on the creation of an agent-based multi-scale environment amalgamating the characteristics of these models within a Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) Exemplar Project. This project enables reuse, integration, expansion and sharing of the model and relevant data. The agent-based and reaction-diffusion parts of the multi-scale model have been implemented and are available for download as part of the latest public release of Chaste (Cancer, Heart and Soft Tissue Environment; http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/chaste/), part of the VPH Toolkit (http://toolkit.vph-noe.eu/). The environment functionalities are verified against the original models, in addition to extra validation of all aspects of the code. In this work, we present the details of the implementation of the agent-based environment, including the system description, the conceptual model, the development of the simulation model and the processes of verification and validation of the simulation results. We explore the potential use of the environment by presenting exemplar applications of the \\'what if\\' scenarios that can easily be studied in the environment. These examples relate to tumour growth, cellular competition for resources and tumour responses to hypoxia (low oxygen levels). We conclude our work by summarizing the future steps for the expansion of the current system.

  9. Urinary tract infection in pregnant population, which empirical antimicrobial agent should be specified in each of the three trimesters?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unlu, Bekir Serdar; Yildiz, Yunus; Keles, Ibrahim; Kaba, Metin; Kara, Halil; Tasin, Cuma; Erkilinc, Selcuk; Yildirim, Gulcin

    2014-05-01

    We aimed to investigate the bacterial profile and the adequacy of antimicrobial treatment in pregnant women with urinary tract infection. This retrospective observational study was conducted with 753 pregnant women who needed hospitalization because of UTI in each of the three trimesters. Midstream urine culture and antimicrobial susceptibility tests were evaluated. E. Coli was the most frequently isolated bacterial agent (82.2%), followed by Klebsiella spp. (11.2%). In each of the three trimesters, E. Coli remained the most frequently isolated bacterium (86%, 82.2%, 79.5%, respectively), followed by Klebsiella spp. (9%, 11.6%, 12.2%, respectively). Enterococcus spp. were isolated as a third microbial agent, with 43 patients (5.7%) in the three trimesters. The bacteria were found to be highly sensitive to fosfomycin, with 98-99% sensitivity for E.Coli and 88-89% for Klebsiella spp. and for Enterococcus spp. 93-100% nitrofurantoin sensitivity for each of the three trimesters. We demonstrated that E. Coli and Klebsiella spp. are the most common bacterial agents isolated from urine culture of pregnant women with UTI in each of the three trimesters. We consider fosfomycin to be the most adequate first-line treatment regimen due to high sensitivity to the drug, ease of use and safety for use in pregnancy

  10. Is exposure to Agent Orange a risk factor for hepatocellular cancer?-A single-center retrospective study in the U.S. veteran population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Padmini; Hazratjee, Nyla; Opris, Dan; Agrawal, Sangeeta; Markert, Ronald

    2016-06-01

    factors for HCC development in this U.S. veteran population. There was no significant association between exposure to Agent Orange and HCC, although larger studies are needed in the U.S. military veteran population to evaluate further this toxic herbicide from the Vietnam War era.

  11. The efficacy of targeted health agents education to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis in a rural population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla, Eduardo; Molina, Juan; Kamis, Danielle; Calvo, Maria; Stratton, Lee; Strejilevich, Sergio; Aleman, Gabriela Gonzalez; Guerrero, Gonzalo; Bourdieu, Mercedes; Conesa, Horacio A; Escobar, Javier I; de Erausquin, Gabriel A

    2015-02-01

    The duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is a key determinant in the severity of symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. DUP is a modifiable factor that if reduced can improve patient outcome and treatment response. We sought to decrease DUP in rural Argentina by instituting annual training of local health agents to better identify signs of mental illness and offer earlier intervention. DUP was estimated using Schedules of Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN). Ongoing training was correlated with a reduction in DUP. Reducing DUP through better screening can decrease the psychosocial burden of disease and improve the trajectory of psychosis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Evolutionary game theory using agent-based methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adami, Christoph; Schossau, Jory; Hintze, Arend

    2016-12-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a successful mathematical framework geared towards understanding the selective pressures that affect the evolution of the strategies of agents engaged in interactions with potential conflicts. While a mathematical treatment of the costs and benefits of decisions can predict the optimal strategy in simple settings, more realistic settings such as finite populations, non-vanishing mutations rates, stochastic decisions, communication between agents, and spatial interactions, require agent-based methods where each agent is modeled as an individual, carries its own genes that determine its decisions, and where the evolutionary outcome can only be ascertained by evolving the population of agents forward in time. While highlighting standard mathematical results, we compare those to agent-based methods that can go beyond the limitations of equations and simulate the complexity of heterogeneous populations and an ever-changing set of interactors. We conclude that agent-based methods can predict evolutionary outcomes where purely mathematical treatments cannot tread (for example in the weak selection-strong mutation limit), but that mathematics is crucial to validate the computational simulations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Evolvable mathematical models: A new artificial Intelligence paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grouchy, Paul

    We develop a novel Artificial Intelligence paradigm to generate autonomously artificial agents as mathematical models of behaviour. Agent/environment inputs are mapped to agent outputs via equation trees which are evolved in a manner similar to Symbolic Regression in Genetic Programming. Equations are comprised of only the four basic mathematical operators, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as input and output variables and constants. From these operations, equations can be constructed that approximate any analytic function. These Evolvable Mathematical Models (EMMs) are tested and compared to their Artificial Neural Network (ANN) counterparts on two benchmarking tasks: the double-pole balancing without velocity information benchmark and the challenging discrete Double-T Maze experiments with homing. The results from these experiments show that EMMs are capable of solving tasks typically solved by ANNs, and that they have the ability to produce agents that demonstrate learning behaviours. To further explore the capabilities of EMMs, as well as to investigate the evolutionary origins of communication, we develop NoiseWorld, an Artificial Life simulation in which interagent communication emerges and evolves from initially noncommunicating EMM-based agents. Agents develop the capability to transmit their x and y position information over a one-dimensional channel via a complex, dialogue-based communication scheme. These evolved communication schemes are analyzed and their evolutionary trajectories examined, yielding significant insight into the emergence and subsequent evolution of cooperative communication. Evolved agents from NoiseWorld are successfully transferred onto physical robots, demonstrating the transferability of EMM-based AIs from simulation into physical reality.

  14. On the Critical Role of Divergent Selection in Evolvability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Lehman

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available An ambitious goal in evolutionary robotics is to evolve increasingly complex robotic behaviors with minimal human design effort. Reaching this goal requires evolutionary algorithms that can unlock from genetic encodings their latent potential for evolvability. One issue clouding this goal is conceptual confusion about evolvability, which often obscures the aspects of evolvability that are important or desirable. The danger from such confusion is that it may establish unrealistic goals for evolvability that prove unproductive in practice. An important issue separate from conceptual confusion is the common misalignment between selection and evolvability in evolutionary robotics. While more expressive encodings can represent higher-level adaptations (e.g. sexual reproduction or developmental systems that increase long-term evolutionary potential (i.e. evolvability, realizing such potential requires gradients of fitness and evolvability to align. In other words, selection is often a critical factor limiting increasing evolvability. Thus, drawing from a series of recent papers, this article seeks to both (1 clarify and focus the ways in which the term evolvability is used within artificial evolution, and (2 argue for the importance of one type of selection, i.e. divergent selection, for enabling evolvability. The main argument is that there is a fundamental connection between divergent selection and evolvability (on both the individual and population level that does not hold for typical goal-oriented selection. The conclusion is that selection pressure plays a critical role in realizing the potential for evolvability, and that divergent selection in particular provides a principled mechanism for encouraging evolvability in artificial evolution.

  15. Disgust: Evolved function and structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tybur, J.M.; Lieberman, D.; Kurzban, R.; DeScioli, P.

    2013-01-01

    Interest in and research on disgust has surged over the past few decades. The field, however, still lacks a coherent theoretical framework for understanding the evolved function or functions of disgust. Here we present such a framework, emphasizing 2 levels of analysis: that of evolved function and

  16. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graves, C.J.; Ros, V.I.D.; Stevenson, B.; Sniegowski, P.D.; Brisson, D.

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide

  17. Prevalance of aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut in Ghana: Population structure, distribution, and toxigenicity of the causal agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut is perennial in Ghana with substantial health and economic burden on the population. The present study examined for the first time the prevalence of aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut in major producing regions across three agroecological zo...

  18. Combined effects of biocontrol agents and soil amendments on soil microbial populations, plant growth and incidence of charcoal rot of cowpea and wilt of cumin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijeta SINGH

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Field experiments were conducted for 2 years to determine the effectiveness of combined use of two biocontrol agents, Bacillus firmus and Aspergillus versicolor for control of Macrophomina phaseolina induced charcoal rot of cowpea and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cumini induced wilt of cumin. The lowest level of plant mortality (3‒4% due to charcoal rot of cowpea was recorded when bacterium coated seeds were sown in radish compost amended soil compared to the non-amended soil (13.8‒20.5%, but this was not significantly better than some other treatments. Cowpea roots from B. firmus coated seeds had better nodulation than any of the individual A. versicolor treatments. Although B. firmus coated seeds + A. versicolor + farmyard manure resulted in maximum nodulation this was not significantly different to B. firmus seed coating. Root colonization by the combined biocontrol agent treatments was better than the individual biocontrol agent treatments. Combining A. versicolor with farmyard manure supported the maximum populations of total fungi and actinomycetes. In both winter seasons, the lowest incidence of wilt (1.0‒5.2% on cumin was recorded when A. versicolor was amended with neem compost compared to the non-amended soil (5.7‒10.5%. Maximum colonization of A. versicolor on roots was observed in B. firmus + A. versicolor + farmyard manure amended plots. During both years, the treatment combination of A. versicolor in neem compost amended plots resulted in maximum populations of fungi, bacteria and A. versicolor in the soil, which was greater than in the non-amended soil. Significant increases in disease control were not recorded after single or repeated delivery of A. versicolor. These results suggest that combining B. firmus as seed coatings with A. versicolor as soil applications gives improved control of M. phaseolina and Fusarium induced diseases on legume and seed spice crops in arid soils.

  19. [Biological agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Koichi

    2009-03-01

    There are two types of biological agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins. Among the latter, etanercept, a recombinant fusion protein of soluble TNF receptor and IgG was approved in 2005 in Japan. The post-marketing surveillance of 13,894 RA patients revealed the efficacy and safety profiles of etanercept in the Japanese population, as well as overseas studies. Abatacept, a recombinant fusion protein of CTLA4 and IgG, is another biological agent for RA. Two clinical trials disclosed the efficacy of abatacept for difficult-to-treat patients: the AIM for MTX-resistant cases and the ATTAIN for patients who are resistant to anti-TNF. The ATTEST trial suggested abatacept might have more acceptable safety profile than infliximab. These biologics are also promising for the treatment of RA for not only relieving clinical symptoms and signs but retarding structural damage.

  20. Hyperthermia and chemotherapy agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roizin-Towle, L.; Hall, E.J.

    1981-01-01

    The use of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer dates back to the late 19th century, but the modern era of chemotherapy drugs was ushered in during the 1940's with the development of the polyfunctional alkylating agent. Since then, numerous classes of drugs have evolved and the combined use of antineoplastic agents with other treatment modalities such as radiation or heat, remains a large relatively unexplored area. This approach, combining local hyperthermia with chemotherapy agents affords a measure of targeting and selective toxicity not previously available for drugs. In this paper, the effects of adriamycin, bleomycin and cis-platinum are examined. The adjuvant use of heat may also reverse the resistance of hypoxic cells noted for some chemotherapy agents

  1. Spacetimes containing slowly evolving horizons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kavanagh, William; Booth, Ivan

    2006-01-01

    Slowly evolving horizons are trapping horizons that are ''almost'' isolated horizons. This paper reviews their definition and discusses several spacetimes containing such structures. These include certain Vaidya and Tolman-Bondi solutions as well as (perturbatively) tidally distorted black holes. Taking into account the mass scales and orders of magnitude that arise in these calculations, we conjecture that slowly evolving horizons are the norm rather than the exception in astrophysical processes that involve stellar-scale black holes

  2. SIMULATING AN EVOLUTIONARY MULTI-AGENT BASED MODEL OF THE STOCK MARKET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana MARICA

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The paper focuses on artificial stock market simulations using a multi-agent model incorporating 2,000 heterogeneous agents interacting on the artificial market. The agents interaction is due to trading activity on the market through a call auction trading mechanism. The multi-agent model uses evolutionary techniques such as genetic programming in order to generate an adaptive and evolving population of agents. Each artificial agent is endowed with wealth and a genetic programming induced trading strategy. The trading strategy evolves and adapts to the new market conditions through a process called breeding, which implies that at each simulation step, new agents with better trading strategies are generated by the model, from recombining the best performing trading strategies and replacing the agents which have the worst performing trading strategies. The simulation model was build with the help of the simulation software Altreva Adaptive Modeler which offers a suitable platform for financial market simulations of evolutionary agent based models, the S&P500 composite index being used as a benchmark for the simulation results.

  3. Robustness to Faults Promotes Evolvability: Insights from Evolving Digital Circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milano, Nicola; Nolfi, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate how the need to cope with operational faults enables evolving circuits to find more fit solutions. The analysis of the results obtained in different experimental conditions indicates that, in absence of faults, evolution tends to select circuits that are small and have low phenotypic variability and evolvability. The need to face operation faults, instead, drives evolution toward the selection of larger circuits that are truly robust with respect to genetic variations and that have a greater level of phenotypic variability and evolvability. Overall our results indicate that the need to cope with operation faults leads to the selection of circuits that have a greater probability to generate better circuits as a result of genetic variation with respect to a control condition in which circuits are not subjected to faults.

  4. A neighbourhood evolving network model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cao, Y.J.; Wang, G.Z.; Jiang, Q.Y.; Han, Z.X.

    2006-01-01

    Many social, technological, biological and economical systems are best described by evolved network models. In this short Letter, we propose and study a new evolving network model. The model is based on the new concept of neighbourhood connectivity, which exists in many physical complex networks. The statistical properties and dynamics of the proposed model is analytically studied and compared with those of Barabasi-Albert scale-free model. Numerical simulations indicate that this network model yields a transition between power-law and exponential scaling, while the Barabasi-Albert scale-free model is only one of its special (limiting) cases. Particularly, this model can be used to enhance the evolving mechanism of complex networks in the real world, such as some social networks development

  5. Revisiting Robustness and Evolvability: Evolution in Weighted Genotype Spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partha, Raghavendran; Raman, Karthik

    2014-01-01

    Robustness and evolvability are highly intertwined properties of biological systems. The relationship between these properties determines how biological systems are able to withstand mutations and show variation in response to them. Computational studies have explored the relationship between these two properties using neutral networks of RNA sequences (genotype) and their secondary structures (phenotype) as a model system. However, these studies have assumed every mutation to a sequence to be equally likely; the differences in the likelihood of the occurrence of various mutations, and the consequence of probabilistic nature of the mutations in such a system have previously been ignored. Associating probabilities to mutations essentially results in the weighting of genotype space. We here perform a comparative analysis of weighted and unweighted neutral networks of RNA sequences, and subsequently explore the relationship between robustness and evolvability. We show that assuming an equal likelihood for all mutations (as in an unweighted network), underestimates robustness and overestimates evolvability of a system. In spite of discarding this assumption, we observe that a negative correlation between sequence (genotype) robustness and sequence evolvability persists, and also that structure (phenotype) robustness promotes structure evolvability, as observed in earlier studies using unweighted networks. We also study the effects of base composition bias on robustness and evolvability. Particularly, we explore the association between robustness and evolvability in a sequence space that is AU-rich – sequences with an AU content of 80% or higher, compared to a normal (unbiased) sequence space. We find that evolvability of both sequences and structures in an AU-rich space is lesser compared to the normal space, and robustness higher. We also observe that AU-rich populations evolving on neutral networks of phenotypes, can access less phenotypic variation compared to

  6. Evolving fuzzy rules for relaxed-criteria negotiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Kwang Mong

    2008-12-01

    In the literature on automated negotiation, very few negotiation agents are designed with the flexibility to slightly relax their negotiation criteria to reach a consensus more rapidly and with more certainty. Furthermore, these relaxed-criteria negotiation agents were not equipped with the ability to enhance their performance by learning and evolving their relaxed-criteria negotiation rules. The impetus of this work is designing market-driven negotiation agents (MDAs) that not only have the flexibility of relaxing bargaining criteria using fuzzy rules, but can also evolve their structures by learning new relaxed-criteria fuzzy rules to improve their negotiation outcomes as they participate in negotiations in more e-markets. To this end, an evolutionary algorithm for adapting and evolving relaxed-criteria fuzzy rules was developed. Implementing the idea in a testbed, two kinds of experiments for evaluating and comparing EvEMDAs (MDAs with relaxed-criteria rules that are evolved using the evolutionary algorithm) and EMDAs (MDAs with relaxed-criteria rules that are manually constructed) were carried out through stochastic simulations. Empirical results show that: 1) EvEMDAs generally outperformed EMDAs in different types of e-markets and 2) the negotiation outcomes of EvEMDAs generally improved as they negotiated in more e-markets.

  7. Biological Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... E-Tools Safety and Health Topics / Biological Agents Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... 202) 693-2300 if additional assistance is required. Biological Agents Menu Overview In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. ...

  8. A rat model of nerve agent exposure applicable to the pediatric population: The anticonvulsant efficacies of atropine and GluK1 antagonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Steven L; Aroniadou-Anderjaska, Vassiliki; Figueiredo, Taiza H; Prager, Eric M; Almeida-Suhett, Camila P; Apland, James P; Braga, Maria F M

    2015-04-15

    Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) after nerve agent exposure induces status epilepticus (SE), which causes brain damage or death. The development of countermeasures appropriate for the pediatric population requires testing of anticonvulsant treatments in immature animals. In the present study, exposure of 21-day-old (P21) rats to different doses of soman, followed by probit analysis, produced an LD50 of 62μg/kg. The onset of behaviorally-observed SE was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in brain AChE activity; rats who did not develop SE had significantly less reduction of AChE activity in the basolateral amygdala than rats who developed SE. Atropine sulfate (ATS) at 2mg/kg, administered 20 min after soman exposure (1.2×LD50), terminated seizures. ATS at 0.5mg/kg, given along with an oxime within 1 min after exposure, allowed testing of anticonvulsants at delayed time-points. The AMPA/GluK1 receptor antagonist LY293558, or the specific GluK1 antagonist UBP302, administered 1h post-exposure, terminated SE. There were no degenerating neurons in soman-exposed P21 rats, but both the amygdala and the hippocampus were smaller than in control rats at 30 and 90days post-exposure; this pathology was not present in rats treated with LY293558. Behavioral deficits present at 30 days post-exposure, were also prevented by LY293558 treatment. Thus, in immature animals, a single injection of atropine is sufficient to halt nerve agent-induced seizures, if administered timely. Testing anticonvulsants at delayed time-points requires early administration of ATS at a low dose, sufficient to counteract only peripheral toxicity. LY293558 administered 1h post-exposure, prevents brain pathology and behavioral deficits. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Minority games, evolving capitals and replicator dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galla, Tobias; Zhang, Yi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    We discuss a simple version of the minority game (MG) in which agents hold only one strategy each, but in which their capitals evolve dynamically according to their success and in which the total trading volume varies in time accordingly. This feature is known to be crucial for MGs to reproduce stylized facts of real market data. The stationary states and phase diagram of the model can be computed, and we show that the ergodicity breaking phase transition common for MGs, and marked by a divergence of the integrated response, is present also in this simplified model. An analogous majority game turns out to be relatively void of interesting features, and the total capital is found to diverge in time. Introducing a restraining force leads to a model akin to the replicator dynamics of evolutionary game theory, and we demonstrate that here a different type of phase transition is observed. Finally we briefly discuss the relation of this model with one strategy per player to more sophisticated minority games with dynamical capitals and several trading strategies per agent

  10. EvoCommander: A Novel Game Based on Evolving and Switching Between Artificial Brains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jallov, D.; Risi, S.; Togelius, J.

    2016-01-01

    Neuroevolution (i.e. evolving artificial neural networks (ANNs) through evolutionary algorithms) has shown promise in evolving agents and robot controllers, which display complex behaviours and can adapt to their environments. These properties are also relevant to video games, since they can...

  11. Evolving phenotypic networks in silico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, Paul

    2014-11-01

    Evolved gene networks are constrained by natural selection. Their structures and functions are consequently far from being random, as exemplified by the multiple instances of parallel/convergent evolution. One can thus ask if features of actual gene networks can be recovered from evolutionary first principles. I review a method for in silico evolution of small models of gene networks aiming at performing predefined biological functions. I summarize the current implementation of the algorithm, insisting on the construction of a proper "fitness" function. I illustrate the approach on three examples: biochemical adaptation, ligand discrimination and vertebrate segmentation (somitogenesis). While the structure of the evolved networks is variable, dynamics of our evolved networks are usually constrained and present many similar features to actual gene networks, including properties that were not explicitly selected for. In silico evolution can thus be used to predict biological behaviours without a detailed knowledge of the mapping between genotype and phenotype. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Ranking in evolving complex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Hao; Mariani, Manuel Sebastian; Medo, Matúš; Zhang, Yi-Cheng; Zhou, Ming-Yang

    2017-05-01

    Complex networks have emerged as a simple yet powerful framework to represent and analyze a wide range of complex systems. The problem of ranking the nodes and the edges in complex networks is critical for a broad range of real-world problems because it affects how we access online information and products, how success and talent are evaluated in human activities, and how scarce resources are allocated by companies and policymakers, among others. This calls for a deep understanding of how existing ranking algorithms perform, and which are their possible biases that may impair their effectiveness. Many popular ranking algorithms (such as Google's PageRank) are static in nature and, as a consequence, they exhibit important shortcomings when applied to real networks that rapidly evolve in time. At the same time, recent advances in the understanding and modeling of evolving networks have enabled the development of a wide and diverse range of ranking algorithms that take the temporal dimension into account. The aim of this review is to survey the existing ranking algorithms, both static and time-aware, and their applications to evolving networks. We emphasize both the impact of network evolution on well-established static algorithms and the benefits from including the temporal dimension for tasks such as prediction of network traffic, prediction of future links, and identification of significant nodes.

  13. The effect of increasing water temperatures on Schistosoma mansoni transmission and Biomphalaria pfeifferi population dynamics: an agent-based modelling study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicky McCreesh

    Full Text Available There is increasing interest in the control and elimination of schistosomiasis. Little is known, however, about the likely effects of increasing water-body temperatures on transmission.We have developed an agent-based model of the temperature-sensitive stages of the Schistosoma and intermediate host snail life-cycles, parameterised using data from S. mansoni and Biomphalaria pfeifferi laboratory and field-based observations. Infection risk is calculated as the number of cercariae in the model, adjusted for their probability of causing infection.The number of snails in the model is approximately constant between 15-31°C. Outside this range, snail numbers drop sharply, and the snail population cannot survive outside the range 14-32°C. Mean snail generation time decreases with increasing temperature from 176 days at 14°C to 46 days at 26°C. Human infection risk is highest between 16-18°C and 1pm and 6-10pm in calm water, and 20-25°C and 12-4pm in flowing water. Infection risk increases sharply when temperatures increase above the minimum necessary for sustained transmission.The model suggests that, in areas where S. mansoni is already endemic, warming of the water at transmission sites will have differential effects on both snails and parasites depending on abiotic properties of the water-body. Snail generation times will decrease in most areas, meaning that snail populations will recover faster from natural population reductions and from snail-control efforts. We suggest a link between the ecological properties of transmission sites and infection risk which could significantly affect the outcomes of interventions designed to alter water contact behaviour--proposing that such interventions are more likely to reduce infection levels at river locations than lakes, where infection risk remains high for longer. In cooler areas where snails are currently found, increasing temperatures may significantly increase infection risk, potentially leading

  14. A rat model of nerve agent exposure applicable to the pediatric population: The anticonvulsant efficacies of atropine and GluK1 antagonists

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Steven L., E-mail: stevenmiller17@gmail.com [Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Program in Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Aroniadou-Anderjaska, Vassiliki, E-mail: vanderjaska@usuhs.edu [Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Program in Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Figueiredo, Taiza H., E-mail: taiza.figueiredo.ctr@usuhs.edu [Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Prager, Eric M., E-mail: eric.prager683@gmail.com [Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Program in Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Almeida-Suhett, Camila P., E-mail: camilapalmeida@gmail.com [Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Program in Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 (United States); Apland, James P., E-mail: james.p.apland.civ@mail.mil [Neurotoxicology Branch, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); and others

    2015-04-15

    Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) after nerve agent exposure induces status epilepticus (SE), which causes brain damage or death. The development of countermeasures appropriate for the pediatric population requires testing of anticonvulsant treatments in immature animals. In the present study, exposure of 21-day-old (P21) rats to different doses of soman, followed by probit analysis, produced an LD{sub 50} of 62 μg/kg. The onset of behaviorally-observed SE was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in brain AChE activity; rats who did not develop SE had significantly less reduction of AChE activity in the basolateral amygdala than rats who developed SE. Atropine sulfate (ATS) at 2 mg/kg, administered 20 min after soman exposure (1.2 × LD{sub 50}), terminated seizures. ATS at 0.5 mg/kg, given along with an oxime within 1 min after exposure, allowed testing of anticonvulsants at delayed time-points. The AMPA/GluK1 receptor antagonist LY293558, or the specific GluK1 antagonist UBP302, administered 1 h post-exposure, terminated SE. There were no degenerating neurons in soman-exposed P21 rats, but both the amygdala and the hippocampus were smaller than in control rats at 30 and 90 days post-exposure; this pathology was not present in rats treated with LY293558. Behavioral deficits present at 30 days post-exposure, were also prevented by LY293558 treatment. Thus, in immature animals, a single injection of atropine is sufficient to halt nerve agent-induced seizures, if administered timely. Testing anticonvulsants at delayed time-points requires early administration of ATS at a low dose, sufficient to counteract only peripheral toxicity. LY293558 administered 1 h post-exposure, prevents brain pathology and behavioral deficits. - Highlights: • The LD{sub 50} of soman was determined in postnatal-day-21 rats. • Rats with no seizures after 1.2XLD{sub 50} soman had less reduction of AChE in the amygdala. • Atropine sulfate (ATS) at 2 mg/kg, given at 20 min after

  15. A rat model of nerve agent exposure applicable to the pediatric population: The anticonvulsant efficacies of atropine and GluK1 antagonists

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, Steven L.; Aroniadou-Anderjaska, Vassiliki; Figueiredo, Taiza H.; Prager, Eric M.; Almeida-Suhett, Camila P.; Apland, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) after nerve agent exposure induces status epilepticus (SE), which causes brain damage or death. The development of countermeasures appropriate for the pediatric population requires testing of anticonvulsant treatments in immature animals. In the present study, exposure of 21-day-old (P21) rats to different doses of soman, followed by probit analysis, produced an LD 50 of 62 μg/kg. The onset of behaviorally-observed SE was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in brain AChE activity; rats who did not develop SE had significantly less reduction of AChE activity in the basolateral amygdala than rats who developed SE. Atropine sulfate (ATS) at 2 mg/kg, administered 20 min after soman exposure (1.2 × LD 50 ), terminated seizures. ATS at 0.5 mg/kg, given along with an oxime within 1 min after exposure, allowed testing of anticonvulsants at delayed time-points. The AMPA/GluK1 receptor antagonist LY293558, or the specific GluK1 antagonist UBP302, administered 1 h post-exposure, terminated SE. There were no degenerating neurons in soman-exposed P21 rats, but both the amygdala and the hippocampus were smaller than in control rats at 30 and 90 days post-exposure; this pathology was not present in rats treated with LY293558. Behavioral deficits present at 30 days post-exposure, were also prevented by LY293558 treatment. Thus, in immature animals, a single injection of atropine is sufficient to halt nerve agent-induced seizures, if administered timely. Testing anticonvulsants at delayed time-points requires early administration of ATS at a low dose, sufficient to counteract only peripheral toxicity. LY293558 administered 1 h post-exposure, prevents brain pathology and behavioral deficits. - Highlights: • The LD 50 of soman was determined in postnatal-day-21 rats. • Rats with no seizures after 1.2XLD 50 soman had less reduction of AChE in the amygdala. • Atropine sulfate (ATS) at 2 mg/kg, given at 20 min after soman, blocked

  16. Revealing evolved massive stars with Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvaramadze, V. V.; Kniazev, A. Y.; Fabrika, S.

    2010-06-01

    Massive evolved stars lose a large fraction of their mass via copious stellar wind or instant outbursts. During certain evolutionary phases, they can be identified by the presence of their circumstellar nebulae. In this paper, we present the results of a search for compact nebulae (reminiscent of circumstellar nebulae around evolved massive stars) using archival 24-μm data obtained with the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer. We have discovered 115 nebulae, most of which bear a striking resemblance to the circumstellar nebulae associated with luminous blue variables (LBVs) and late WN-type (WNL) Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars in the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We interpret this similarity as an indication that the central stars of detected nebulae are either LBVs or related evolved massive stars. Our interpretation is supported by follow-up spectroscopy of two dozen of these central stars, most of which turn out to be either candidate LBVs (cLBVs), blue supergiants or WNL stars. We expect that the forthcoming spectroscopy of the remaining objects from our list, accompanied by the spectrophotometric monitoring of the already discovered cLBVs, will further increase the known population of Galactic LBVs. This, in turn, will have profound consequences for better understanding the LBV phenomenon and its role in the transition between hydrogen-burning O stars and helium-burning WR stars. We also report on the detection of an arc-like structure attached to the cLBV HD 326823 and an arc associated with the LBV R99 (HD 269445) in the LMC. Partially based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Centre, Calar Alto, jointly operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). E-mail: vgvaram@mx.iki.rssi.ru (VVG); akniazev@saao.ac.za (AYK); fabrika@sao.ru (SF)

  17. The 'E' factor -- evolving endodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, M J

    2013-03-01

    Endodontics is a constantly developing field, with new instruments, preparation techniques and sealants competing with trusted and traditional approaches to tooth restoration. Thus general dental practitioners must question and understand the significance of these developments before adopting new practices. In view of this, the aim of this article, and the associated presentation at the 2013 British Dental Conference & Exhibition, is to provide an overview of endodontic methods and constantly evolving best practice. The presentation will review current preparation techniques, comparing rotary versus reciprocation, and question current trends in restoration of the endodontically treated tooth.

  18. Population structure of the soft tick Ornithodoros maritimus and its associated infectious agents within a colony of its seabird host Larus michahellis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlene Dupraz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The epidemiology of vector-borne zoonoses depends on the movement of both hosts and vectors, which can differ greatly in intensity across spatial scales. Because of their life history traits and small size, vector dispersal may be frequent, but limited in distance. However, little information is available on vector movement patterns at local spatial scales, and particularly for ticks, transmitting the greatest diversity of recognized infectious agents. To test the degree to which ticks can disperse and disseminate pathogens at local scales, we investigated the temporal dynamics and population structure of the soft tick Ornithodoros maritimus within a colony of its seabird host, the Yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis. Ticks were repeatedly sampled at a series of nests during the host breeding season. In half of the nests, ticks were collected (removal sampling, in the other half, ticks were counted and returned to the nest. A subsample of ticks was screened for known bacteria, viruses and parasites using a high throughput real-time PCR system to examine their distribution within the colony. The results indicate a temporal dynamic in the presence of tick life stages over the season, with the simultaneous appearance of juvenile ticks and hatched chicks, but no among-nest spatial structure in tick abundance. Removal sampling significantly reduced tick numbers, but only from the fourth visit onward. Seven bacterial isolates, one parasite species and one viral isolate were detected but no spatial structure in their presence within the colony was found. These results suggest weak isolation among nests and that tick dispersal is likely frequent enough to quickly recolonize locally-emptied patches and disseminate pathogens across the colony. Vector-mediated movements at local scales may therefore play a key role in pathogen emergence and needs to be considered in conjunction with host movements for predicting pathogen circulation and for establishing

  19. Bacterial agents and sensitivity pattern of neonatal conjuctivitis in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: In Africa alone, between 1000 – 4000 children are blinded annually by conjunctivitis. In view of the changing aetiological agents documented in other parts of the world and evolving resistance of infective agents to therapeutic agents, the present study was designed to define the bacterial agents, their antibiotic ...

  20. Benefits of pre-release population genetics: a case study using Psyttalia lounsburyi, a biocontrol agent of the olive fruit fly in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    From a pest management perspective, limited knowledge on the genetics of released biocontrol agents has been repeatedly considered as one possible cause of failures in classical biological control. Introduced biocontrol agents are expected to experience a loss in genetic diversity as the result of s...

  1. Seroprevalence and risk factors for Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever in the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius population in Algeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed H. Benaissa

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Query (Q fever is a globally distributed zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterial agent for which ruminants are the most prevalent natural reservoir. Data regarding Q fever infection in camels in Algeria are limited. Therefore, a survey to detect seroprevalence of C. burnetii antibodies was conducted among healthy camel populations in a vast area in southeastern Algeria to determine distribution of the Q fever causative organism and to identify risk factors associated with infection. Between January and March 2016, blood samples were collected from 184 camels and serum samples were subsequently analysed using a commercial Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA kit. At the time of blood collection, a questionnaire investigating 13 potential predisposing factors associated with C. burnetii seropositivity was completed for every dromedary camel and herd. Results were analysed by a chi-square (χ2 test and multivariate logistic regression. The seroprevalence of C. burnetii at the animal level was 71.2% (95% CI: 65.2–78.3 and 85.3% (95% CI: 72.8–97.8 at the herd level. At the animal level, differences in seroprevalence were observed because of herd size, animal age, animal sex, presence of ticks and contact with other herds. A multivariable logistic regression model identified three main risk factors associated with individual seropositivity: (1 age class > 11 years (OR = 8.81, 95% CI: 2.55–30.41, (2 herd size > 50 head (OR = 4.46, 95% CI: 1.01–19.59 and (3 infestation with ticks (OR 2.2; 95% CI: 1.1–4.5. This study of seroprevalence of C. burnetii infection in camels in Algeria revealed a high seroprevalence of Q fever in camel populations in southeastern Algeria and provided strong evidence that Q fever represents an economic, public health and veterinary concern. Appropriate measures should be taken to prevent the spread of C. burnetii and to reduce the risk of Q fever in farm animals and humans in this agro

  2. Hormonal evaluation of the infertile male: has it evolved?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sussman, Ernest M; Chudnovsky, Aleksander; Niederberger, Craig S

    2008-05-01

    An endocrinologic evaluation of patients who have male-factor infertility has clearly evolved and leads to specific diagnoses and treatment strategies in a large population of infertile men. A well-considered endocrine evaluation is especially essential with the ever-growing popularity of assisted reproductive techniques and continued refinements with intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

  3. Peripartum hysterectomy: an evolving picture.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Turner, Michael J

    2012-02-01

    Peripartum hysterectomy (PH) is one of the obstetric catastrophes. Evidence is emerging that the role of PH in modern obstetrics is evolving. Improving management of postpartum hemorrhage and newer surgical techniques should decrease PH for uterine atony. Rising levels of repeat elective cesarean deliveries should decrease PH following uterine scar rupture in labor. Increasing cesarean rates, however, have led to an increase in the number of PHs for morbidly adherent placenta. In the case of uterine atony or rupture where PH is required, a subtotal PH is often sufficient. In the case of pathological placental localization involving the cervix, however, a total hysterectomy is required. Furthermore, the involvement of other pelvic structures may prospectively make the diagnosis difficult and the surgery challenging. If resources permit, PH for pathological placental localization merits a multidisciplinary approach. Despite advances in clinical practice, it is likely that peripartum hysterectomy will be more challenging for obstetricians in the future.

  4. Infrared spectroscopy of evolved objects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aitken, D.K.; Roche, P.F.

    1984-01-01

    In this review, the authors are concerned with spectroscopic observations of evolved objects made in the wavelength range 1-300μm. Spectroscopic observations can conveniently be divided into studies of narrow lines, bands and broader continua. The vibrational frequencies of molecular groups fall mainly in this spectral region and appear as vibration-rotation bands from the gas phase, and as less structured, but often broader, features from the solid state. Many ionic lines, including recombination lines of abundant species and fine structure lines of astrophysically important ions also appear in this region. The continuum can arise from a number of mechanisms - photospheric emission, radiation from dust, free-free transitions in ionized gas and non-thermal processes. (Auth.)

  5. Higher rates of sex evolve in spatially heterogeneous environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becks, Lutz; Agrawal, Aneil F

    2010-11-04

    The evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction has puzzled biologists for decades. Although this field is rich in hypotheses, experimental evidence is scarce. Some important experiments have demonstrated differences in evolutionary rates between sexual and asexual populations; other experiments have documented evolutionary changes in phenomena related to genetic mixing, such as recombination and selfing. However, direct experiments of the evolution of sex within populations are extremely rare (but see ref. 12). Here we use the rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus, which is capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction, to test recent theory predicting that there is more opportunity for sex to evolve in spatially heterogeneous environments. Replicated experimental populations of rotifers were maintained in homogeneous environments, composed of either high- or low-quality food habitats, or in heterogeneous environments that consisted of a mix of the two habitats. For populations maintained in either type of homogeneous environment, the rate of sex evolves rapidly towards zero. In contrast, higher rates of sex evolve in populations experiencing spatially heterogeneous environments. The data indicate that the higher level of sex observed under heterogeneity is not due to sex being less costly or selection against sex being less efficient; rather sex is sufficiently advantageous in heterogeneous environments to overwhelm its inherent costs. Counter to some alternative theories for the evolution of sex, there is no evidence that genetic drift plays any part in the evolution of sex in these populations.

  6. [Alkylating agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourquier, Philippe

    2011-11-01

    With the approval of mechlorethamine by the FDA in 1949 for the treatment of hematologic malignancies, alkylating agents are the oldest class of anticancer agents. Even though their clinical use is far beyond the use of new targeted therapies, they still occupy a major place in specific indications and sometimes represent the unique option for the treatment of refractory diseases. Here, we are reviewing the major classes of alkylating agents and their mechanism of action, with a particular emphasis for the new generations of alkylating agents. As for most of the chemotherapeutic agents used in the clinic, these compounds are derived from natural sources. With a complex but original mechanism of action, they represent new interesting alternatives for the clinicians, especially for tumors that are resistant to conventional DNA damaging agents. We also briefly describe the different strategies that have been or are currently developed to potentiate the use of classical alkylating agents, especially the inhibition of pathways that are involved in the repair of DNA lesions induced by these agents. In this line, the development of PARP inhibitors is a striking example of the recent regain of interest towards the "old" alkylating agents.

  7. Estimated general population control limits for unitary agents in drinking water, milk, soil, and unprocessed food items. For use in reentry decision-making

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watson, A.P.; Adams, J.D.; Cerar, R.J.; Hess, T.L.; Kistner, S.L.; Leffingwell, S.S.; MacIntosh, R.G.; Ward, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    In the event of an unplanned release of chemical agent during any stage of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), the potential exists for contamination of drinking water, forage crops, grains, garden produce, and livestock. Persistent agents such as VX or sulfur mustard pose the greatest human health concern for reentry. This White Paper has been prepared to provide technical bases for these decisions by developing working estimates of agent control limits in selected environmental media considered principal sources of potential human exposure. To date, control limits for public exposure to unitary agents have been established for atmospheric concentrations only. The current analysis builds on previous work to calculate working estimates of control limits for ingestion and dermal exposure to potentially contaminated drinking water, milk, soil, and unprocessed food items such as garden produce. Information characterizing agent desorption from, and detection on or in, contaminated porous media are presently too developed to permit reasonable estimation of dermal exposure from this source. Thus, dermal contact with potentially contaminated porous surfaces is not considered in this document.

  8. CERN internal communication is evolving

    CERN Multimedia

    2016-01-01

    CERN news will now be regularly updated on the CERN People page (see here).      Dear readers, All over the world, communication is becoming increasingly instantaneous, with news published in real time on websites and social networks. In order to keep pace with these changes, CERN's internal communication is evolving too. From now on, you will be informed of what’s happening at CERN more often via the “CERN people” page, which will frequently be updated with news. The Bulletin is following this trend too: twice a month, we will compile the most important articles published on the CERN site, with a brand-new layout. You will receive an e-mail every two weeks as soon as this new form of the Bulletin is available. If you have interesting news or stories to share, tell us about them through the form at: https://communications.web.cern.ch/got-story-cern-website​. You can also find out about news from CERN in real time...

  9. Economies Evolve by Energy Dispersal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanley Salthe

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Economic activity can be regarded as an evolutionary process governed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The universal law, when formulated locally as an equation of motion, reveals that a growing economy develops functional machinery and organizes hierarchically in such a way as to tend to equalize energy density differences within the economy and in respect to the surroundings it is open to. Diverse economic activities result in flows of energy that will preferentially channel along the most steeply descending paths, leveling a non-Euclidean free energy landscape. This principle of 'maximal energy dispersal‘, equivalent to the maximal rate of entropy production, gives rise to economic laws and regularities. The law of diminishing returns follows from the diminishing free energy while the relation between supply and demand displays a quest for a balance among interdependent energy densities. Economic evolution is dissipative motion where the driving forces and energy flows are inseparable from each other. When there are multiple degrees of freedom, economic growth and decline are inherently impossible to forecast in detail. Namely, trajectories of an evolving economy are non-integrable, i.e. unpredictable in detail because a decision by a player will affect also future decisions of other players. We propose that decision making is ultimately about choosing from various actions those that would reduce most effectively subjectively perceived energy gradients.

  10. Recommendation in evolving online networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Zeng, An; Shang, Ming-Sheng

    2016-02-01

    Recommender system is an effective tool to find the most relevant information for online users. By analyzing the historical selection records of users, recommender system predicts the most likely future links in the user-item network and accordingly constructs a personalized recommendation list for each user. So far, the recommendation process is mostly investigated in static user-item networks. In this paper, we propose a model which allows us to examine the performance of the state-of-the-art recommendation algorithms in evolving networks. We find that the recommendation accuracy in general decreases with time if the evolution of the online network fully depends on the recommendation. Interestingly, some randomness in users' choice can significantly improve the long-term accuracy of the recommendation algorithm. When a hybrid recommendation algorithm is applied, we find that the optimal parameter gradually shifts towards the diversity-favoring recommendation algorithm, indicating that recommendation diversity is essential to keep a high long-term recommendation accuracy. Finally, we confirm our conclusions by studying the recommendation on networks with the real evolution data.

  11. Evolving Capabilities for Virtual Globes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glennon, A.

    2006-12-01

    Though thin-client spatial visualization software like Google Earth and NASA World Wind enjoy widespread popularity, a common criticism is their general lack of analytical functionality. This concern, however, is rapidly being addressed; standard and advanced geographic information system (GIS) capabilities are being developed for virtual globes--though not centralized into a single implementation or software package. The innovation is mostly originating from the user community. Three such capabilities relevant to the earth science, education, and emergency management communities are modeling dynamic spatial phenomena, real-time data collection and visualization, and multi-input collaborative databases. Modeling dynamic spatial phenomena has been facilitated through joining virtual globe geometry definitions--like KML--to relational databases. Real-time data collection uses short scripts to transform user-contributed data into a format usable by virtual globe software. Similarly, collaborative data collection for virtual globes has become possible by dynamically referencing online, multi-person spreadsheets. Examples of these functions include mapping flows within a karst watershed, real-time disaster assessment and visualization, and a collaborative geyser eruption spatial decision support system. Virtual globe applications will continue to evolve further analytical capabilities, more temporal data handling, and from nano to intergalactic scales. This progression opens education and research avenues in all scientific disciplines.

  12. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: evolving concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Jay H; Moua, Teng; Daniels, Craig E; Hartman, Thomas E; Yi, Eunhee S; Utz, James P; Limper, Andrew H

    2014-08-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) occurs predominantly in middle-aged and older adults and accounts for 20% to 30% of interstitial lung diseases. It is usually progressive, resulting in respiratory failure and death. Diagnostic criteria for IPF have evolved over the years, and IPF is currently defined as a disease characterized by the histopathologic pattern of usual interstitial pneumonia occurring in the absence of an identifiable cause of lung injury. Understanding of the pathogenesis of IPF has shifted away from chronic inflammation and toward dysregulated fibroproliferative repair in response to alveolar epithelial injury. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is likely a heterogeneous disorder caused by various interactions between genetic components and environmental exposures. High-resolution computed tomography can be diagnostic in the presence of typical findings such as bilateral reticular opacities associated with traction bronchiectasis/bronchiolectasis in a predominantly basal and subpleural distribution, along with subpleural honeycombing. In other circumstances, a surgical lung biopsy may be needed. The clinical course of IPF can be unpredictable and may be punctuated by acute deteriorations (acute exacerbation). Although progress continues in unraveling the mechanisms of IPF, effective therapy has remained elusive. Thus, clinicians and patients need to reach informed decisions regarding management options including lung transplant. The findings in this review were based on a literature search of PubMed using the search terms idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and usual interstitial pneumonia, limited to human studies in the English language published from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2013, and supplemented by key references published before the year 2000. Copyright © 2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The evolving patient population at Europe's busiest maternity unit

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Heir, MP

    2011-02-01

    Institute of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, RCPI Four Provinces Meeting Junior Obstetrics & Gynecology Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Dublin Matenity Hospitals Report Meeting Friday 26th Nov 2010

  14. Evolving expectations from international organisations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruiz Lopez, C.

    2008-01-01

    The author stated that implementation of the geological disposal concept requires a strategy that provides national decision makers with sufficient confidence in the level of long-term safety and protection ultimately achieved. The concept of protection against harm has a broader meaning than radiological protection in terms of risk and dose. It includes the protection of the environment and socio-economic interests of communities. She recognised that a number of countries have established regulatory criteria already, and others are now discussing what constitutes a proper regulatory test and suitable time frame for judging the safety of long-term disposal. Each regulatory programme seeks to define reasonable tests of repository performance, using protection criteria and safety approaches consistent with the culture, values and expectations of the citizens of the country concerned. This means that there are differences in how protection and safety are addressed in national approaches to regulation and in the bases used for that. However, as was recognised in the Cordoba Workshop, it would be important to reach a minimum level of consistency and be able to explain the differences. C. Ruiz-Lopez presented an overview of the development of international guidance from ICRP, IAEA and NEA from the Cordoba workshop up to now, and positions of independent National Advisory Bodies. The evolution of these guidelines over time demonstrates an evolving understanding of long-term implications, with the recognition that dose and risk constraints should not be seen as measures of detriment beyond a few hundred years, the emphasis on sound engineering practices, and the introduction of new concepts and approaches which take into account social and economical aspects (e.g. constrained optimisation, BAT, managerial principles). In its new recommendations, ICRP (draft 2006) recognizes. in particular, that decision making processes may depend on other societal concerns and considers

  15. Evolving Neural Turing Machines for Reward-based Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greve, Rasmus Boll; Jacobsen, Emil Juul; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    An unsolved problem in neuroevolution (NE) is to evolve artificial neural networks (ANN) that can store and use information to change their behavior online. While plastic neural networks have shown promise in this context, they have difficulties retaining information over longer periods of time...... version of the double T-Maze, a complex reinforcement-like learning problem. In the T-Maze learning task the agent uses the memory bank to display adaptive behavior that normally requires a plastic ANN, thereby suggesting a complementary and effective mechanism for adaptive behavior in NE....

  16. Chemical Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... CR) see Riot Control Agents Digitalis Distilled mustard (HD) see Sulfur mustard E Ethylene glycol F Fentanyls and other opioids H Hydrazine Hydrofluoric acid (hydrogen fluoride) Hydrogen chloride Hydrogen cyanide (AC) Hydrogen ...

  17. Programming adaptive control to evolve increased metabolite production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Howard H; Keasling, Jay D

    2013-01-01

    The complexity inherent in biological systems challenges efforts to rationally engineer novel phenotypes, especially those not amenable to high-throughput screens and selections. In nature, increased mutation rates generate diversity in a population that can lead to the evolution of new phenotypes. Here we construct an adaptive control system that increases the mutation rate in order to generate diversity in the population, and decreases the mutation rate as the concentration of a target metabolite increases. This system is called feedback-regulated evolution of phenotype (FREP), and is implemented with a sensor to gauge the concentration of a metabolite and an actuator to alter the mutation rate. To evolve certain novel traits that have no known natural sensors, we develop a framework to assemble synthetic transcription factors using metabolic enzymes and construct four different sensors that recognize isopentenyl diphosphate in bacteria and yeast. We verify FREP by evolving increased tyrosine and isoprenoid production.

  18. Evolving Technologies: A View to Tomorrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamarkin, Molly; Rodrigo, Shelley

    2011-01-01

    Technology leaders must participate in strategy creation as well as operational delivery within higher education institutions. The future of higher education--the view to tomorrow--is irrevocably integrated and intertwined with evolving technologies. This article focuses on two specific evolving technologies: (1) alternative IT sourcing; and (2)…

  19. Evolvability Search: Directly Selecting for Evolvability in order to Study and Produce It

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mengistu, Henok; Lehman, Joel Anthony; Clune, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    of evolvable digital phenotypes. Although some types of selection in evolutionary computation indirectly encourage evolvability, one unexplored possibility is to directly select for evolvability. To do so, we estimate an individual's future potential for diversity by calculating the behavioral diversity of its...... immediate offspring, and select organisms with increased offspring variation. While the technique is computationally expensive, we hypothesized that direct selection would better encourage evolvability than indirect methods. Experiments in two evolutionary robotics domains confirm this hypothesis: in both...... domains, such Evolvability Search produces solutions with higher evolvability than those produced with Novelty Search or traditional objective-based search algorithms. Further experiments demonstrate that the higher evolvability produced by Evolvability Search in a training environment also generalizes...

  20. Satellite DNA: An Evolving Topic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido-Ramos, Manuel A

    2017-09-18

    Satellite DNA represents one of the most fascinating parts of the repetitive fraction of the eukaryotic genome. Since the discovery of highly repetitive tandem DNA in the 1960s, a lot of literature has extensively covered various topics related to the structure, organization, function, and evolution of such sequences. Today, with the advent of genomic tools, the study of satellite DNA has regained a great interest. Thus, Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), together with high-throughput in silico analysis of the information contained in NGS reads, has revolutionized the analysis of the repetitive fraction of the eukaryotic genomes. The whole of the historical and current approaches to the topic gives us a broad view of the function and evolution of satellite DNA and its role in chromosomal evolution. Currently, we have extensive information on the molecular, chromosomal, biological, and population factors that affect the evolutionary fate of satellite DNA, knowledge that gives rise to a series of hypotheses that get on well with each other about the origin, spreading, and evolution of satellite DNA. In this paper, I review these hypotheses from a methodological, conceptual, and historical perspective and frame them in the context of chromosomal organization and evolution.

  1. Fiscal and monetary policies in complex evolving economies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dosi, G.; Fagiolo, G.; Napoletano, M.; Roventini, A.; Treibich, T.G.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we explore the effects of alternative combinations of fiscal and monetary policies under different income distribution regimes. In particular, we aim at evaluating fiscal rules in economies subject to banking crises and deep recessions. We do so using an agent-based model populated by

  2. Sex determination: ways to evolve a hermaphrodite.

    OpenAIRE

    Braendle , Christian; Félix , Marie-Anne

    2006-01-01

    Most species of the nematode genus Caenorhabditis reproduce through males and females; C. elegans and C. briggsae, however, produce self-fertile hermaphrodites instead of females. These transitions to hermaphroditism evolved convergently through distinct modifications of germline sex determination mechanisms.

  3. WSC-07: Evolving the Web Services Challenge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blake, M. Brian; Cheung, William K.W.; Jaeger, Michael C.; Wombacher, Andreas

    Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is an evolving architectural paradigm where businesses can expose their capabilities as modular, network-accessible software services. By decomposing capabilities into modular services, organizations can share their offerings at multiple levels of granularity

  4. Marshal: Maintaining Evolving Models, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — SIFT proposes to design and develop the Marshal system, a mixed-initiative tool for maintaining task models over the course of evolving missions. Marshal-enabled...

  5. Satcom access in the Evolved Packet Core

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cano Soveri, M.D.; Norp, A.H.J.; Popova, M.P.

    2011-01-01

    Satellite communications (Satcom) networks are increasingly integrating with terrestrial communications networks, namely Next Generation Networks (NGN). In the area of NGN the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is a new network architecture that can support multiple access technologies. When Satcom is

  6. Satcom access in the evolved packet core

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cano, M.D.; Norp, A.H.J.; Popova, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    Satellite communications (Satcom) networks are increasingly integrating with terrestrial communications networks, namely Next Generation Networks (NGN). In the area of NGN the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is a new network architecture that can support multiple access technologies. When Satcom is

  7. A model for ultrasound contrast agent in a phantom vessel

    KAUST Repository

    Qamar, Adnan; Samtaney, Ravi

    2014-01-01

    A theoretical framework to model the dynamics of Ultrasound Contrast Agent (UCA) inside a phantom vessel is presented. The model is derived from the reduced Navier-Stokes equation and is coupled with the evolving flow field solution inside

  8. Co-evolving prisoner's dilemma: Performance indicators and analytic approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, W.; Choi, C. W.; Li, Y. S.; Xu, C.; Hui, P. M.

    2017-02-01

    Understanding the intrinsic relation between the dynamical processes in a co-evolving network and the necessary ingredients in formulating a reliable theory is an important question and a challenging task. Using two slightly different definitions of performance indicator in the context of a co-evolving prisoner's dilemma game, it is shown that very different cooperative levels result and theories of different complexity are required to understand the key features. When the payoff per opponent is used as the indicator (Case A), non-cooperative strategy has an edge and dominates in a large part of the parameter space formed by the cutting-and-rewiring probability and the strategy imitation probability. When the payoff from all opponents is used (Case B), cooperative strategy has an edge and dominates the parameter space. Two distinct phases, one homogeneous and dynamical and another inhomogeneous and static, emerge and the phase boundary in the parameter space is studied in detail. A simple theory assuming an average competing environment for cooperative agents and another for non-cooperative agents is shown to perform well in Case A. The same theory, however, fails badly for Case B. It is necessary to include more spatial correlation into a theory for Case B. We show that the local configuration approximation, which takes into account of the different competing environments for agents with different strategies and degrees, is needed to give reliable results for Case B. The results illustrate that formulating a proper theory requires both a conceptual understanding of the effects of the adaptive processes in the problem and a delicate balance between simplicity and accuracy.

  9. Evolving effective incremental SAT solvers with GP

    OpenAIRE

    Bader, Mohamed; Poli, R.

    2008-01-01

    Hyper-Heuristics could simply be defined as heuristics to choose other heuristics, and it is a way of combining existing heuristics to generate new ones. In a Hyper-Heuristic framework, the framework is used for evolving effective incremental (Inc*) solvers for SAT. We test the evolved heuristics (IncHH) against other known local search heuristics on a variety of benchmark SAT problems.

  10. Finding evolved stars in the inner Galactic disk with Gaia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiroga-Nuñez, L. H.; van Langevelde, H. J.; Pihlström, Y. M.; Sjouwerman, L. O.; Brown, A. G. A.

    2018-04-01

    The Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamical Evolution (BAaDE) survey will provide positions and line-of-sight velocities of ~20, 000 evolved, maser bearing stars in the Galactic plane. Although this Galactic region is affected by optical extinction, BAaDE targets may have Gaia cross-matches, eventually providing additional stellar information. In an initial attempt to cross-match BAaDE targets with Gaia, we have found more than 5,000 candidates. Of these, we may expect half to show SiO emission, which will allow us to obtain velocity information. The cross-match is being refined to avoid false positives using different criteria based on distance analysis, flux variability, and color assessment in the mid- and near-IR. Once the cross-matches can be confirmed, we will have a unique sample to characterize the stellar population of evolved stars in the Galactic bulge, which can be considered fossils of the Milky Way formation.

  11. Perspectives on why digital ecologies matter: combining population genetics and ecologically informed agent-based models with GIS for managing dipteran livestock pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Steven L

    2014-10-01

    It is becoming clear that handling the inherent complexity found in ecological systems is an essential task for finding ways to control insect pests of tropical livestock such as tsetse flies, and old and new world screwworms. In particular, challenging multivalent management programs, such as Area Wide Integrated Pest Management (AW-IPM), face daunting problems of complexity at multiple spatial scales, ranging from landscape level processes to those of smaller scales such as the parasite loads of individual animals. Daunting temporal challenges also await resolution, such as matching management time frames to those found on ecological and even evolutionary temporal scales. How does one deal with representing processes with models that involve multiple spatial and temporal scales? Agent-based models (ABM), combined with geographic information systems (GIS), may allow for understanding, predicting and managing pest control efforts in livestock pests. This paper argues that by incorporating digital ecologies in our management efforts clearer and more informed decisions can be made. I also point out the power of these models in making better predictions in order to anticipate the range of outcomes possible or likely. Copyright © 2014 International Atomic Energy Agency 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Comparison of Dosage Requirement of Erythropoietin Stimulating Agent (ESA in Maintenance of Hemoglobin Concentration in patients undergoing twice weekly versus thrice weekly Hemodialysis in Pakistani Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osama Kunwer Naveed

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Anemia is one of the major complications of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD undergoing hemodialysis (HD and is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy and also increases morbidity and mortality. Anemia in patients with CKD can be due to two major reasons; iron deficiency or erythropoietin insufficiency. Erythropoietin Stimulating Agent (ESAs administration is the mainstay in treating anemia if the patient is iron sufficient. However, higher doses of ESAs have been associated with increased cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events. We conducted this study to see how much erythropoietin is required in our setting in iron sufficient patients to maintain hemoglobin(Hb  level and the effect of dialysis frequency on ESA doses.  Methods and Findings: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Department of Nephrology at Ziauddin University Hospital. Patients’ charts were reviewed for Hb levels and doses of ESA to maintain Hb between 10-12 mg/dl. Patients were excluded if they had iron deficiency, malignancy, were on immunosuppressive agents, had renal transplant, and with Hb >12 mg/dl or <10 mg/dl and their ferritin levels, transferrin saturation, hemoglobin concentration, frequency of hemodialysis and ESA dosage were monitored. We also compared these variables between patients undergoing hemodialysis thrice weekly with those undergoing hemodialysis twice a week. A total of 105 patients were analyzed. 24 were excluded as they did not match the inclusion criteria. 81 patients were included in the study. 36 (44.4% were males and 45 (55.6% were females. Mean age of the patient was 56.47 ± 11.72 years. The average dose of ESA was 106.91 ± 61.47 for patients undergoing hemodialysis thrice weekly and 183.94 ± 116.71 for patients undergoing hemodialysis twice a week. Significant difference was found to exist between dosage of patients undergoing thrice weekly dialysis versus twice weekly dialysis(p=<0.001.  Our study has limitations

  13. Is the Risk of Preterm Birth and Low Birth Weight Affected by the Use of Antidepressant Agents during Pregnancy? A Population-Based Investigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Cantarutti

    Full Text Available Untreated depression during pregnancy increases the risk of morbidity and mortality in the mother and child. Therefore, specific treatments are required for this population.The study aimed to investigating the effect of antidepressant medication used during pregnancy with reference to the risk of preterm birth (PTB and low birth weight (LBW.A population-based study was carried out with data provided by the healthcare utilization database of Lombardy, an Italian region with about ten million inhabitants. The study included 384,673 births from 2005 to 2010. Maternal use of antidepressants before and during pregnancy was investigated. Log-binomial regression was used to estimate the association between the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, compared to the non-use or use just before pregnancy, and the prevalence ratio of PTB and LBW.Women who used antidepressants during pregnancy had a 20% (95% CI: 10-40% increased prevalence of both PTB and LBW compared to those who never used antidepressants. There was no evidence that women who used antidepressants during pregnancy had a higher prevalence of the considered outcomes compared to women who used antidepressants before pregnancy, but stopped during pregnancy. Such findings were confirmed by considering separately the effects of SSRIs and other antidepressants together.Our findings suggest that depression in itself, rather than antidepressant medication, might be implicated in the causal pathway of PTB and LBW.

  14. The phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli populations isolated from farm animals with different exposure to antimicrobial agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazurek, Justyna; Pusz, Paweł; Bok, Ewa; Stosik, Michał; Baldy-Chudzik, Katarzyna

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the influence of the presence or the absence of antibiotic input on the emergence and maintenance of resistance in commensal bacteria from food producing animals. The research material constituted E. coli isolates from two animal species: swine at different age from one conventional pig farm with antibiotic input in young pigs and from beef and dairy cattle originated from organic breeding farm. The sensitivity to 16 antimicrobial agents was tested, and the presence of 15 resistance genes was examined. In E. coli from swine, the most prevalent resistance was resistance to streptomycin (88.3%), co-trimoxazole (78.8%), tetracycline (57.3%) ampicillin (49.3%) and doxycycline (44.9%) with multiple resistance in the majority. The most commonly observed resistance genes were: bla(TEM) (45.2%), tetA (35.8%), aadA1 (35.0%), sul3 (29.5%), dfrA1 (20.4%). Differences in phenotypes and genotypes of E. coli between young swine undergoing prevention program and the older ones without the antibiotic pressure occurred. A disparate resistance was found in E. coli from cattle: cephalothin (36.9%), cefuroxime (18.9%), doxycycline (8.2%), nitrofurantoin (7.7%), and concerned mainly dairy cows. Among isolates from cattle, multidrug resistance was outnumbered by resistance to one or two antibiotics and the only found gene markers were: bla(SHV), (3.4%), tetA (1.29%), bla(TEM) (0.43%) and tetC (0.43%). The presented outcomes provide evidence that antimicrobial pressure contributes to resistance development, and enteric microflora constitutes an essential reservoir of resistance genes.

  15. Management of symptomatic erosive-ulcerative lesions of oral lichen planus in an adult Egyptian population using Selenium-ACE combined with topical corticosteroids plus antifungal agent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belal, Mahmoud Helmy

    2015-01-01

    Aim: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic mucocutaneous disease with an immunological etiology. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of selenium combined with Vitamins A, C & E (Selenium-ACE) in the treatment of erosive-ulcerative OLP as an adjunctive to topical corticosteroids plus antifungal agent. Subjects and Methods: Thirty patients with a confirmed clinical and histopathologic diagnosis of OLP participated in this clinical trial. Patients were randomly allocated into one of three groups and treated as follows: (I) Topical corticosteroids, (II) topical corticosteroids plus antifungal, and (III) SE-ACE combined with topical corticosteroids plus antifungal. The patients were followed for 6 weeks. The pain and severity of the lesions were recorded at the initial and follow-up visits. All recorded data were analyzed using paired t-test and ANOVA test. A P ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The experimental groups showed a marked reduction in pain sensation and size of lesions, particularly in the final follow-up period, but there was no significant difference between the first two Groups I and II. However, healing of lesions and improvement of pain sensation was effective in Group III since a significant difference was found favoring Group III over both Groups I and II. Conclusion: No significant difference was found in treating erosive-ulcerative lesions of OLP by topical corticosteroids alone or combined with antifungal. However, when using SE-ACE in combination with topical corticosteroids plus antifungal, this approach may be effective in managing ulcerative lesions of OLP; but more research with a larger sample size and a longer evaluation period may be recommended. PMID:26681847

  16. Holograms as Teaching Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Robin A.

    2013-02-01

    Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1947 introduction of basic holographic principles, but it was not until the invention of the laser in 1960 that research scientists, physicians, technologists and the general public began to seriously consider the interdisciplinary potentiality of holography. Questions around whether and when Three-Dimensional (3-D) images and systems would impact American entertainment and the arts would be answered before educators, instructional designers and students would discover how much Three-Dimensional Hologram Technology (3DHT) would affect teaching practices and learning environments. In the following International Symposium on Display Holograms (ISDH) poster presentation, the author features a traditional board game as well as a reflection hologram to illustrate conventional and evolving Three-Dimensional representations and technology for education. Using elements from the American children's toy Operation® (Hasbro, 2005) as well as a reflection hologram of a human brain (Ko, 1998), this poster design highlights the pedagogical effects of 3-D images, games and systems on learning science. As teaching agents, holograms can be considered substitutes for real objects, (human beings, organs, and animated characters) as well as agents (pedagogical, avatars, reflective) in various learning environments using many systems (direct, emergent, augmented reality) and electronic tools (cellphones, computers, tablets, television). In order to understand the particular importance of utilizing holography in school, clinical and public settings, the author identifies advantages and benefits of using 3-D images and technology as instructional tools.

  17. Trading Agents

    CERN Document Server

    Wellman, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Automated trading in electronic markets is one of the most common and consequential applications of autonomous software agents. Design of effective trading strategies requires thorough understanding of how market mechanisms operate, and appreciation of strategic issues that commonly manifest in trading scenarios. Drawing on research in auction theory and artificial intelligence, this book presents core principles of strategic reasoning that apply to market situations. The author illustrates trading strategy choices through examples of concrete market environments, such as eBay, as well as abst

  18. Evolving Intelligent Systems Methodology and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Angelov, Plamen; Kasabov, Nik

    2010-01-01

    From theory to techniques, the first all-in-one resource for EIS. There is a clear demand in advanced process industries, defense, and Internet and communication (VoIP) applications for intelligent yet adaptive/evolving systems. Evolving Intelligent Systems is the first self- contained volume that covers this newly established concept in its entirety, from a systematic methodology to case studies to industrial applications. Featuring chapters written by leading world experts, it addresses the progress, trends, and major achievements in this emerging research field, with a strong emphasis on th

  19. Interactively Evolving Compositional Sound Synthesis Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jónsson, Björn Þór; Hoover, Amy K.; Risi, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    the space of potential sounds that can be generated through such compositional sound synthesis networks (CSSNs). To study the effect of evolution on subjective appreciation, participants in a listener study ranked evolved timbres by personal preference, resulting in preferences skewed toward the first......While the success of electronic music often relies on the uniqueness and quality of selected timbres, many musicians struggle with complicated and expensive equipment and techniques to create their desired sounds. Instead, this paper presents a technique for producing novel timbres that are evolved...

  20. Basal metabolic rate can evolve independently of morphological and behavioural traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathot, K J; Martin, K; Kempenaers, B; Forstmeier, W

    2013-09-01

    Quantitative genetic analyses of basal metabolic rate (BMR) can inform us about the evolvability of the trait by providing estimates of heritability, and also of genetic correlations with other traits that may constrain the ability of BMR to respond to selection. Here, we studied a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in which selection lines for male courtship rate have been established. We measure BMR in these lines to see whether selection on male sexual activity would change BMR as a potentially correlated trait. We find that the genetic correlation between courtship rate and BMR is practically zero, indicating that the two traits can evolve independently of each other. Interestingly, we find that the heritability of BMR in our population (h(2)=0.45) is markedly higher than was previously reported for a captive zebra finch population from Norway. A comparison of the two studies shows that additive genetic variance in BMR has been largely depleted in the Norwegian population, especially the genetic variance in BMR that is independent of body mass. In our population, the slope of BMR increase with body mass differs not only between the sexes but also between the six selection lines, which we tentatively attribute to genetic drift and/or founder effects being strong in small populations. Our study therefore highlights two things. First, the evolvability of BMR may be less constrained by genetic correlations and lack of independent genetic variation than previously described. Second, genetic drift in small populations can rapidly lead to different evolvabilities across populations.

  1. Evolved pesticide tolerance in amphibians: Predicting mechanisms based on pesticide novelty and mode of action

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hua, Jessica; Jones, Devin K.; Mattes, Brian M.; Cothran, Rickey D.; Relyea, Rick A.; Hoverman, Jason T.

    2015-01-01

    We examined 10 wood frog populations distributed along an agricultural gradient for their tolerance to six pesticides (carbaryl, malathion, cypermethrin, permethrin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) that differed in date of first registration (pesticide novelty) and mode-of-action (MOA). Our goals were to assess whether: 1) tolerance was correlated with distance to agriculture for each pesticide, 2) pesticide novelty predicted the likelihood of evolved tolerance, and 3) populations display cross-tolerance between pesticides that share and differ in MOA. Wood frog populations located close to agriculture were more tolerant to carbaryl and malathion than populations far from agriculture. Moreover, the strength of the relationship between distance to agriculture and tolerance was stronger for older pesticides compared to newer pesticides. Finally, we found evidence for cross-tolerance between carbaryl and malathion (two pesticides that share MOA). This study provides one of the most comprehensive approaches for understanding patterns of evolved tolerance in non-pest species. - Highlights: • We explored patterns of tolerance to six insecticides across 10 wood frog populations. • We found evidence that wood frogs have evolved tolerance to carbaryl and malathion. • The likelihood of evolved tolerance was stronger for older compared to newer pesticides. • We found evidence for cross-tolerance between carbaryl and malathion. • This is one of the most comprehensive approaches studying evolved tolerance in a non-pest species. - Using 10 wood frog populations, we detected evidence for evolved tolerance, found that the evolved tolerance depends on insecticide novelty, and found evidence for cross-tolerance.

  2. On the Benefits of Divergent Search for Evolved Representations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehman, Joel; Risi, Sebastian; Stanley, Kenneth O

    2012-01-01

    Evolved representations in evolutionary computation are often fragile, which can impede representation-dependent mechanisms such as self-adaptation. In contrast, evolved representations in nature are robust, evolvable, and creatively exploit available representational features. This paper provide...

  3. Preface: evolving rotifers, evolving science: Proceedings of the XIV International Rotifer Symposium

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Devetter, Miloslav; Fontaneto, D.; Jersabek, Ch.D.; Welch, D.B.M.; May, L.; Walsh, E.J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 796, č. 1 (2017), s. 1-6 ISSN 0018-8158 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : evolving rotifers * 14th International Rotifer Symposium * evolving science Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 2.056, year: 2016

  4. Environmental Noise, Genetic Diversity and the Evolution of Evolvability and Robustness in Model Gene Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Christopher F.

    2012-01-01

    The ability of organisms to adapt and persist in the face of environmental change is accepted as a fundamental feature of natural systems. More contentious is whether the capacity of organisms to adapt (or “evolvability”) can itself evolve and the mechanisms underlying such responses. Using model gene networks, I provide evidence that evolvability emerges more readily when populations experience positively autocorrelated environmental noise (red noise) compared to populations in stable or randomly varying (white noise) environments. Evolvability was correlated with increasing genetic robustness to effects on network viability and decreasing robustness to effects on phenotypic expression; populations whose networks displayed greater viability robustness and lower phenotypic robustness produced more additive genetic variation and adapted more rapidly in novel environments. Patterns of selection for robustness varied antagonistically with epistatic effects of mutations on viability and phenotypic expression, suggesting that trade-offs between these properties may constrain their evolutionary responses. Evolution of evolvability and robustness was stronger in sexual populations compared to asexual populations indicating that enhanced genetic variation under fluctuating selection combined with recombination load is a primary driver of the emergence of evolvability. These results provide insight into the mechanisms potentially underlying rapid adaptation as well as the environmental conditions that drive the evolution of genetic interactions. PMID:23284934

  5. Radioprotective Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilker Kelle

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Since1949, a great deal of research has been carried out on the radioprotective activity of various chemical substances. Thiol compounds, compounds which contain –SH radical, different classes of pharmacological agents and other compounds such as vitamine C and WR-2721 have been shown to reduce mortality when administered prior to exposure to a lethal dose of radiation. Recently, honey bee venom as well as that of its components melittin and histamine have shown to be valuable in reduction of radiation-induced damage and also provide prophylactic alternative treatment for serious side effects related with radiotherapy. It has been suggested that the radioprotective activity of bee venom components is related with the stimulation of the hematopoetic system.

  6. Continuum deformation of multi-agent systems

    CERN Document Server

    Rastgoftar, Hossein

    2016-01-01

    This monograph presents new algorithms for formation control of multi-agent systems (MAS) based on principles of continuum mechanics. Beginning with an overview of traditional methods, the author then introduces an innovative new approach whereby agents of an MAS are considered as particles in a continuum evolving in ℝn whose desired configuration is required to satisfy an admissible deformation function. The necessary theory and its validation on a mobile-agent-based swarm test bed are considered for two primary tasks: homogeneous transformation of the MAS and deployment of a random distribution of agents on a desired configuration. The framework for this model is based on homogeneous transformations for the evolution of an MAS under no inter-agent communication, local inter-agent communication, and intelligent perception by agents. Different communication protocols for MAS evolution, the robustness of tracking of a desired motion by an MAS evolving in ℝn, and the effect of communication delays in an MAS...

  7. Views on Evolvability of Embedded Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laar, P. van de; Punter, T.

    2011-01-01

    Evolvability, the ability to respond effectively to change, represents a major challenge to today's high-end embedded systems, such as those developed in the medical domain by Philips Healthcare. These systems are typically developed by multi-disciplinary teams, located around the world, and are in

  8. Views on evolvability of embedded systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laar, van de P.J.L.J.; Punter, H.T.

    2011-01-01

    Evolvability, the ability to respond effectively to change, represents a major challenge to today's high-end embedded systems, such as those developed in the medical domain by Philips Healthcare. These systems are typically developed by multi-disciplinary teams, located around the world, and are in

  9. Designing Garments to Evolve Over Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riisberg, Vibeke; Grose, Lynda

    2017-01-01

    This paper proposes a REDO of the current fashion paradigm by investigating how garments might be designed to evolve over time. The purpose is to discuss ways of expanding the traditional role of the designer to include temporal dimensions of creating, producing and using clothes and to suggest...... to a REDO of design education, to further research and the future fashion and textile industry....

  10. EVOLVING AN EMPIRICAL METHODOLOGY DOR DETERMINING ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The uniqueness of this approach, is that it can be applied to any forest or dynamic feature on the earth, and can enjoy universal application as well. KEY WORDS: Evolving empirical methodology, innovative mathematical model, appropriate interval, remote sensing, forest environment planning and management. Global Jnl ...

  11. Continual Learning through Evolvable Neural Turing Machines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lüders, Benno; Schläger, Mikkel; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Continual learning, i.e. the ability to sequentially learn tasks without catastrophic forgetting of previously learned ones, is an important open challenge in machine learning. In this paper we take a step in this direction by showing that the recently proposed Evolving Neural Turing Machine (ENTM...

  12. Did Language Evolve Like the Vertebrate Eye?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botha, Rudolf P.

    2002-01-01

    Offers a critical appraisal of the way in which the idea that human language or some of its features evolved like the vertebrate eye by natural selection is articulated in Pinker and Bloom's (1990) selectionist account of language evolution. Argues that this account is less than insightful because it fails to draw some of the conceptual…

  13. Adaptive cyclically dominating game on co-evolving networks: numerical and analytic results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Chi Wun; Xu, Chen; Hui, Pak Ming

    2017-10-01

    A co-evolving and adaptive Rock (R)-Paper (P)-Scissors (S) game (ARPS) in which an agent uses one of three cyclically dominating strategies is proposed and studied numerically and analytically. An agent takes adaptive actions to achieve a neighborhood to his advantage by rewiring a dissatisfying link with a probability p or switching strategy with a probability 1 - p. Numerical results revealed two phases in the steady state. An active phase for p pc has three separate clusters of agents using only R, P, and S, respectively with terminated adaptive actions. A mean-field theory based on the link densities in co-evolving network is formulated and the trinomial closure scheme is applied to obtain analytical solutions. The analytic results agree with simulation results on ARPS well. In addition, the different probabilities of winning, losing, and drawing a game among the agents are identified as the origin of the small discrepancy between analytic and simulation results. As a result of the adaptive actions, agents of higher degrees are often those being taken advantage of. Agents with a smaller (larger) degree than the mean degree have a higher (smaller) probability of winning than losing. The results are informative for future attempts on formulating more accurate theories.

  14. O Programa de Controle do Dengue em São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brasil: dificuldades para a atuação dos agentes e adesão da população Dengue Control Program in São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo State, Brazil: problems with health agents' work and population adherence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Chiaravalloti Neto

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available O objetivo do trabalho foi identificar aspectos que interferem na atuação dos agentes de controle de vetores e comunitários de saúde no Programa de Controle do Dengue e na adesão da população. Utilizou-se metodologia de grupos focais, nos quais foi discutida a relação agente-serviço-população. O controle e prevenção do dengue foram considerados atividades de menor importância, e o agente ideal seria aquele capaz de encaminhar todas as demandas e não só aquelas relacionadas ao dengue. Os agentes de controle de vetores apontaram para problemas como recusa e falta de adesão, identificação como coletores de lixo, diferenciação de status em relação aos agentes comunitários de saúde. Entre as mulheres, identificaram-se a relação de culpabilização entre vizinhos, a associação do problema do dengue à falta de higiene e a relação entre casa limpa e ausência de criadouros. Os aspectos destacados interferem negativamente na atuação dos agentes e são condicionados pela característica vertical do programa. Encaminhamentos possíveis: incorporação dos agentes de controle às Unidades de Saúde, investimento na integração intersetorial e criação de condições para que os agentes atuem sobre o meio ambiente.This study aimed to identify the aspects that interfere with the performance of vector control agents and community health workers and population adherence to dengue control programs. The focal group methodology was applied to discuss the relations between the program, health agents, and population. According to the results, dengue control and prevention were considered relatively unimportant activities, i.e., ideal community health workers would be capable of solving other (supposedly more important problems. Vector control agents emphasized the population's lack of adherence and the fact that they (the control agents were confused with garbage collectors (considered less important than community health workers

  15. Tumor biology and cancer therapy – an evolving relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lother Ulrike

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of palliative chemotherapy is to increase survival whilst maintaining maximum quality of life for the individual concerned. Although we are still continuing to explore the optimum use of traditional chemotherapy agents, the introduction of targeted therapies has significantly broadened the therapeutic options. Interestingly, the results from current trials put the underlying biological concept often into a new, less favorable perspective. Recent data suggested that altered pathways underlie cancer, and not just altered genes. Thus, an effective therapeutic agent will sometimes have to target downstream parts of a signaling pathway or physiological effects rather than individual genes. In addition, over the past few years increasing evidence has suggested that solid tumors represent a very heterogeneous group of cells with different susceptibility to cancer therapy. Thus, since therapeutic concepts and pathophysiological understanding are continuously evolving a combination of current concepts in tumor therapy and tumor biology is needed. This review aims to present current problems of cancer therapy by highlighting exemplary results from recent clinical trials with colorectal and pancreatic cancer patients and to discuss the current understanding of the underlying reasons.

  16. Laser assisted drug delivery: a review of an evolving technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sklar, Lindsay R; Burnett, Christopher T; Waibel, Jill S; Moy, Ronald L; Ozog, David M

    2014-04-01

    Topically applied drugs have a relatively low cutaneous bioavailability. This article reviews the existing applications of laser assisted drug delivery, a means by which the permeation of topically applied agents can be enhanced into the skin. The existing literature suggests that lasers are a safe and effective means of enhancing the delivery of topically applied agents through the skin. The types of lasers most commonly studied in regards to drug delivery are the carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Er:YAG) lasers. Both conventional ablative and fractional ablative modalities have been utilized and are summarized herein. The majority of the existing studies on laser assisted drug delivery have been performed on animal models and additional human studies are needed. Laser assisted drug delivery is an evolving technology with potentially broad clinical applications. Multiple studies demonstrate that laser pretreatment of the skin can increase the permeability and depth of penetration of topically applied drug molecules for both local cutaneous and systemic applications. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Population crises and population cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, C; Russell, W M

    2000-01-01

    To prevent a population irretrievably depleting its resources, mammals have evolved a behavioural and physiological response to population crisis. When a mammalian population becomes dangerously dense, there is a reversal of behaviour. Co-operation and parental behaviour are replaced by competition, dominance and aggressive violence, leading to high mortality, especially of females and young, and a reduced population. The stress of overpopulation and the resulting violence impairs both the immune and the reproductive systems. Hence epidemics complete the crash of the population, and reproduction is slowed for three or four generations, giving the resources ample time to recover. In some mammal species, crisis and crisis response recur regularly, leading to cycles of population growth and relapse, oscillating about a fixed mean. Population crisis response and population cycles have been equally prominent in the history of human societies. But in man successive advances in food production have made possible growing populations, though with every such advance population soon outgrew resources again. Hence human cycles have been superimposed on a rising curve, producing a saw-tooth graph. Because advances in food production amounted to sudden disturbances in the relations between human populations and their environments, the crisis response in man has failed to avert famine and resource damage. In the large human societies evolved since the coming of settled agriculture and cities, the basic effects of violence, epidemics, famine and resource damage have been mediated by such specifically human disasters as inflation, unemployment, and political tyranny. An account of past crises, periods of relative relief from population pressure, and resulting cycles, is given for a number of regions: China, North Africa and Western Asia, the northern Mediterranean, and north-western Europe. The paper ends with an account of the present world-wide population crisis, and the solution

  18. The evolving definition of systemic arterial hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, C Venkata S; Giles, Thomas D

    2010-05-01

    Systemic hypertension is an important risk factor for premature cardiovascular disease. Hypertension also contributes to excessive morbidity and mortality. Whereas excellent therapeutic options are available to treat hypertension, there is an unsettled issue about the very definition of hypertension. At what level of blood pressure should we treat hypertension? Does the definition of hypertension change in the presence of co-morbid conditions? This article covers in detail the evolving concepts in the diagnosis and management of hypertension.

  19. The evolving epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Shanahan, Fergus

    2009-07-01

    Epidemiologic studies in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) include assessments of disease burden and evolving patterns of disease presentation. Although it is hoped that sound epidemiologic studies provide aetiological clues, traditional risk factor-based epidemiology has provided limited insights into either Crohn\\'s disease or ulcerative colitis etiopathogenesis. In this update, we will summarize how the changing epidemiology of IBD associated with modernization can be reconciled with current concepts of disease mechanisms and will discuss studies of clinically significant comorbidity in IBD.

  20. Development and the evolvability of human limbs

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Nathan M.; Wagner, Günter P.; Hallgrímsson, Benedikt

    2010-01-01

    The long legs and short arms of humans are distinctive for a primate, the result of selection acting in opposite directions on each limb at different points in our evolutionary history. This mosaic pattern challenges our understanding of the relationship of development and evolvability because limbs are serially homologous and genetic correlations should act as a significant constraint on their independent evolution. Here we test a developmental model of limb covariation in anthropoid primate...

  1. Quantum games on evolving random networks

    OpenAIRE

    Pawela, Łukasz

    2015-01-01

    We study the advantages of quantum strategies in evolutionary social dilemmas on evolving random networks. We focus our study on the two-player games: prisoner's dilemma, snowdrift and stag-hunt games. The obtained result show the benefits of quantum strategies for the prisoner's dilemma game. For the other two games, we obtain regions of parameters where the quantum strategies dominate, as well as regions where the classical strategies coexist.

  2. The Evolving Leadership Path of Visual Analytics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kluse, Michael; Peurrung, Anthony J.; Gracio, Deborah K.

    2012-01-02

    This is a requested book chapter for an internationally authored book on visual analytics and related fields, coordianted by a UK university and to be published by Springer in 2012. This chapter is an overview of the leadship strategies that PNNL's Jim Thomas and other stakeholders used to establish visual analytics as a field, and how those strategies may evolve in the future.

  3. Evolving artificial metalloenzymes via random mutagenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Swartz, Alan M.; Park, Hyun June; Srivastava, Poonam; Ellis-Guardiola, Ken; Upp, David M.; Lee, Gihoon; Belsare, Ketaki; Gu, Yifan; Zhang, Chen; Moellering, Raymond E.; Lewis, Jared C.

    2018-03-01

    Random mutagenesis has the potential to optimize the efficiency and selectivity of protein catalysts without requiring detailed knowledge of protein structure; however, introducing synthetic metal cofactors complicates the expression and screening of enzyme libraries, and activity arising from free cofactor must be eliminated. Here we report an efficient platform to create and screen libraries of artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) via random mutagenesis, which we use to evolve highly selective dirhodium cyclopropanases. Error-prone PCR and combinatorial codon mutagenesis enabled multiplexed analysis of random mutations, including at sites distal to the putative ArM active site that are difficult to identify using targeted mutagenesis approaches. Variants that exhibited significantly improved selectivity for each of the cyclopropane product enantiomers were identified, and higher activity than previously reported ArM cyclopropanases obtained via targeted mutagenesis was also observed. This improved selectivity carried over to other dirhodium-catalysed transformations, including N-H, S-H and Si-H insertion, demonstrating that ArMs evolved for one reaction can serve as starting points to evolve catalysts for others.

  4. CMIP6 Data Citation of Evolving Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Stockhause

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Data citations have become widely accepted. Technical infrastructures as well as principles and recommendations for data citation are in place but best practices or guidelines for their implementation are not yet available. On the other hand, the scientific climate community requests early citations on evolving data for credit, e.g. for CMIP6 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6. The data citation concept for CMIP6 is presented. The main challenges lie in limited resources, a strict project timeline and the dependency on changes of the data dissemination infrastructure ESGF (Earth System Grid Federation to meet the data citation requirements. Therefore a pragmatic, flexible and extendible approach for the CMIP6 data citation service was developed, consisting of a citation for the full evolving data superset and a data cart approach for citing the concrete used data subset. This two citation approach can be implemented according to the RDA recommendations for evolving data. Because of resource constraints and missing project policies, the implementation of the second part of the citation concept is postponed to CMIP7.

  5. Opinion dynamics of learning agents: does seeking consensus lead to disagreement?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicente, Renato; Martins, André C R; Caticha, Nestor

    2009-01-01

    We study opinion dynamics in a population of interacting adaptive agents voting on a set of issues represented by vectors. We consider agents who can classify issues into one of two categories and can arrive at their opinions using an adaptive algorithm. Adaptation comes from learning and the information for the learning process comes from interacting with other neighboring agents and trying to change the internal state in order to concur with their opinions. The change in the internal state is driven by the information contained in the issue and in the opinion of the other agent. We present results in a simple yet rich context where each agent uses a Boolean perceptron to state their opinion. If the update occurs with information asynchronously exchanged among pairs of agents, then the typical case, if the number of issues is kept small, is the evolution into a society torn by the emergence of factions with extreme opposite beliefs. This occurs even when seeking consensus with agents with opposite opinions. If the number of issues is large, the dynamics becomes trapped, the society does not evolve into factions and a distribution of moderate opinions is observed. The synchronous case is technically simpler and is studied by formulating the problem in terms of differential equations that describe the evolution of order parameters that measure the consensus between pairs of agents. We show that for a large number of issues and unidirectional information flow, global consensus is a fixed point; however, the approach to this consensus is glassy for large societies

  6. Opinion dynamics of learning agents: does seeking consensus lead to disagreement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, Renato; Martins, André C. R.; Caticha, Nestor

    2009-03-01

    We study opinion dynamics in a population of interacting adaptive agents voting on a set of issues represented by vectors. We consider agents who can classify issues into one of two categories and can arrive at their opinions using an adaptive algorithm. Adaptation comes from learning and the information for the learning process comes from interacting with other neighboring agents and trying to change the internal state in order to concur with their opinions. The change in the internal state is driven by the information contained in the issue and in the opinion of the other agent. We present results in a simple yet rich context where each agent uses a Boolean perceptron to state their opinion. If the update occurs with information asynchronously exchanged among pairs of agents, then the typical case, if the number of issues is kept small, is the evolution into a society torn by the emergence of factions with extreme opposite beliefs. This occurs even when seeking consensus with agents with opposite opinions. If the number of issues is large, the dynamics becomes trapped, the society does not evolve into factions and a distribution of moderate opinions is observed. The synchronous case is technically simpler and is studied by formulating the problem in terms of differential equations that describe the evolution of order parameters that measure the consensus between pairs of agents. We show that for a large number of issues and unidirectional information flow, global consensus is a fixed point; however, the approach to this consensus is glassy for large societies.

  7. Genetic structure and evolved malaria resistance in Hawaiian honeycreepers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, J.T.; Woodworth, B.L.; Eggert, L.E.; Hart, P.J.; Palmer, D.; Duffy, D.C.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2007-01-01

    Infectious diseases now threaten wildlife populations worldwide but population recovery following local extinction has rarely been observed. In such a case, do resistant individuals recolonize from a central remnant population, or do they spread from small, perhaps overlooked, populations of resistant individuals? Introduced avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) has devastated low-elevation populations of native birds in Hawaii, but at least one species (Hawaii amakihi, Hemignathus virens) that was greatly reduced at elevations below about 1000 m tolerates malaria and has initiated a remarkable and rapid recovery. We assessed mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers from amakihi and two other Hawaiian honeycreepers, apapane (Himatione sanguinea) and iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea), at nine primary study sites from 2001 to 2003 to determine the source of re-establishing birds. In addition, we obtained sequences from tissue from amakihi museum study skins (1898 and 1948-49) to assess temporal changes in allele distributions. We found that amakihi in lowland areas are, and have historically been, differentiated from birds at high elevations and had unique alleles retained through time; that is, their genetic signature was not a subset of the genetic variation at higher elevations. We suggest that high disease pressure rapidly selected for resistance to malaria at low elevation, leaving small pockets of resistant birds, and this resistance spread outward from the scattered remnant populations. Low-elevation amakihi are currently isolated from higher elevations (> 1000 m) where disease emergence and transmission rates appear to vary seasonally and annually. In contrast to results from amakihi, no genetic differentiation between elevations was found in apapane and iiwi, indicating that slight variation in genetic or life-history attributes can determine disease resistance and population recovery. Determining the conditions that allow for the development of resistance to disease is

  8. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection.

  9. ORIGINAL ARTICLES The evolving management of Burkitt's ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    corresponds roughly with the malaria belt. The ability of ... presented with BL between 2003 and 2004. These patients were .... lung produced the acid-fast bacilli. All the cases ... reduced and ganciclovir and rituximab (anti-CD 20 agent) were given ... Vaccinations. Audit of vaccination status in a group of 32 cases with age.

  10. Evolving Random Forest for Preference Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abou-Zleikha, Mohamed; Shaker, Noor

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces a novel approach for pairwise preference learning through a combination of an evolutionary method and random forest. Grammatical evolution is used to describe the structure of the trees in the Random Forest (RF) and to handle the process of evolution. Evolved random forests ...... obtained for predicting pairwise self-reports of users for the three emotional states engagement, frustration and challenge show very promising results that are comparable and in some cases superior to those obtained from state-of-the-art methods....

  11. An evolving network model with community structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Chunguang; Maini, Philip K

    2005-01-01

    Many social and biological networks consist of communities-groups of nodes within which connections are dense, but between which connections are sparser. Recently, there has been considerable interest in designing algorithms for detecting community structures in real-world complex networks. In this paper, we propose an evolving network model which exhibits community structure. The network model is based on the inner-community preferential attachment and inter-community preferential attachment mechanisms. The degree distributions of this network model are analysed based on a mean-field method. Theoretical results and numerical simulations indicate that this network model has community structure and scale-free properties

  12. Radio Imaging of Envelopes of Evolved Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Bill

    2018-04-01

    This talk will cover imaging of stellar envelopes using radio VLBI techniques; special attention will be paid to the technical differences between radio and optical/IR interferomery. Radio heterodyne receivers allow a straightforward way to derive spectral cubes and full polarization observations. Milliarcsecond resolution of very bright, i.e. non thermal, emission of molecular masers in the envelopes of evolved stars can be achieved using VLBI techniques with baselines of thousands of km. Emission from SiO, H2O and OH masers are commonly seen at increasing distance from the photosphere. The very narrow maser lines allow accurate measurements of the velocity field within the emitting region.

  13. Mobile computing acceptance grows as applications evolve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porn, Louis M; Patrick, Kelly

    2002-01-01

    Handheld devices are becoming more cost-effective to own, and their use in healthcare environments is increasing. Handheld devices currently are being used for e-prescribing, charge capture, and accessing daily schedules and reference tools. Future applications may include education on medications, dictation, order entry, and test-results reporting. Selecting the right handheld device requires careful analysis of current and future applications, as well as vendor expertise. It is important to recognize the technology will continue to evolve over the next three years.

  14. Evolved Minimal Frustration in Multifunctional Biomolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röder, Konstantin; Wales, David J

    2018-05-25

    Protein folding is often viewed in terms of a funnelled potential or free energy landscape. A variety of experiments now indicate the existence of multifunnel landscapes, associated with multifunctional biomolecules. Here, we present evidence that these systems have evolved to exhibit the minimal number of funnels required to fulfil their cellular functions, suggesting an extension to the principle of minimum frustration. We find that minimal disruptive mutations result in additional funnels, and the associated structural ensembles become more diverse. The same trends are observed in an atomic cluster. These observations suggest guidelines for rational design of engineered multifunctional biomolecules.

  15. SALT Spectroscopy of Evolved Massive Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniazev, A. Y.; Gvaramadze, V. V.; Berdnikov, L. N.

    2017-06-01

    Long-slit spectroscopy with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) of central stars of mid-infrared nebulae detected with the Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) led to the discovery of numerous candidate luminous blue variables (cLBVs) and other rare evolved massive stars. With the recent advent of the SALT fiber-fed high-resolution echelle spectrograph (HRS), a new perspective for the study of these interesting objects is appeared. Using the HRS we obtained spectra of a dozen newly identified massive stars. Some results on the recently identified cLBV Hen 3-729 are presented.

  16. BOOK REVIEW: OPENING SCIENCE, THE EVOLVING GUIDE ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The way we get our funding, collaborate, do our research, and get the word out has evolved over hundreds of years but we can imagine a more open science world, largely facilitated by the internet. The movement towards this more open way of doing and presenting science is coming, and it is not taking hundreds of years. If you are interested in these trends, and would like to find out more about where this is all headed and what it means to you, consider downloding Opening Science, edited by Sönke Bartling and Sascha Friesike, subtitled The Evolving Guide on How the Internet is Changing Research, Collaboration, and Scholarly Publishing. In 26 chapters by various authors from a range of disciplines the book explores the developing world of open science, starting from the first scientific revolution and bringing us to the next scientific revolution, sometimes referred to as “Science 2.0”. Some of the articles deal with the impact of the changing landscape of how science is done, looking at the impact of open science on Academia, or journal publishing, or medical research. Many of the articles look at the uses, pitfalls, and impact of specific tools, like microblogging (think Twitter), social networking, and reference management. There is lots of discussion and definition of terms you might use or misuse like “altmetrics” and “impact factor”. Science will probably never be completely open, and Twitter will probably never replace the journal article,

  17. Evolving NASA's Earth Science Data Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, J.; Behnke, J.; Murphy, K. J.; Lowe, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    NASA's Earth Science Data and Information System Project (ESDIS) is charged with managing, maintaining, and evolving NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) and is responsible for processing, archiving, and distributing NASA Earth science data. The system supports a multitude of missions and serves diverse science research and other user communities. Keeping up with ever-changing information technology and figuring out how to leverage those changes across such a large system in order to continuously improve and meet the needs of a diverse user community is a significant challenge. Maintaining and evolving the system architecture and infrastructure is a continuous and multi-layered effort. It requires a balance between a "top down" management paradigm that provides a coherent system view and maintaining the managerial, technological, and functional independence of the individual system elements. This presentation will describe some of the key elements of the current system architecture, some of the strategies and processes we employ to meet these challenges, current and future challenges, and some ideas for meeting those challenges.

  18. The Comet Cometh: Evolving Developmental Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Johannes; Laubichler, Manfred; Callebaut, Werner

    In a recent opinion piece, Denis Duboule has claimed that the increasing shift towards systems biology is driving evolutionary and developmental biology apart, and that a true reunification of these two disciplines within the framework of evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) may easily take another 100 years. He identifies methodological, epistemological, and social differences as causes for this supposed separation. Our article provides a contrasting view. We argue that Duboule's prediction is based on a one-sided understanding of systems biology as a science that is only interested in functional, not evolutionary, aspects of biological processes. Instead, we propose a research program for an evolutionary systems biology, which is based on local exploration of the configuration space in evolving developmental systems. We call this approach-which is based on reverse engineering, simulation, and mathematical analysis-the natural history of configuration space. We discuss a number of illustrative examples that demonstrate the past success of local exploration, as opposed to global mapping, in different biological contexts. We argue that this pragmatic mode of inquiry can be extended and applied to the mathematical analysis of the developmental repertoire and evolutionary potential of evolving developmental mechanisms and that evolutionary systems biology so conceived provides a pragmatic epistemological framework for the EvoDevo synthesis.

  19. Al Qaeda: Statements and Evolving Ideology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Blanchard, Christopher M

    2005-01-01

    .... Terrorism analysts believe that these messages have been designed to elicit psychological reactions and communicate complex political messages to a global audience as well as to specific populations...

  20. Evolving insights on metabolism, autophagy and epigenetics in liver myofibroblasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeribe Chike Nwosu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Liver myofibroblasts (MFB are crucial mediators of extracellular matrix (ECM deposition in liver fibrosis. They arise mainly from hepatic stellate cells (HSCs upon a process termed activation. To a lesser extent, and depending on the cause of liver damage, portal fibroblasts, mesothelial cells and fibrocytes may also contribute to the MFB population. Targeting MFB to reduce liver fibrosis is currently an area of intense research. Unfortunately, a clog in the wheel of antifibrotic therapies is the fact that although MFB are known to mediate scar formation, and participate in liver inflammatory response, many of their molecular portraits are currently unknown. In this review, we discuss recent understanding of MFB in health and diseases, focusing specifically on three evolving research fields: metabolism, autophagy and epigenetics. We have emphasized on therapeutic prospects where applicable and mentioned techniques for use in MFB studies. Subsequently, we highlighted uncharted territories in MFB research to help direct future efforts aimed at bridging gaps in current knowledge.

  1. Interacting agents in finance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hommes, C.; Durlauf, S.N.; Blume, L.E.

    2008-01-01

    Interacting agents in finance represent a behavioural, agent-based approach in which financial markets are viewed as complex adaptive systems consisting of many boundedly rational agents interacting through simple heterogeneous investment strategies, constantly adapting their behaviour in response

  2. Riot Control Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Submit What's this? Submit Button Facts About Riot Control Agents Interim document Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir What riot control agents are Riot control agents (sometimes referred to ...

  3. Evolving Policy Initiatives for Effective Vocational Technical Education in North Central Zone, Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ombugus, Danjuma A.; Angbre, Francis Adams

    2015-01-01

    The study focused on evolving policy initiatives for effective Vocational Technical Education (VTE) on sustainable development. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and was carried out in North Central Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria. The population for the study was 450 respondents (VTE teachers/lecturers, government officials,…

  4. Cosmos and Creativity - Man in an evolving Universe as a creative, aesthetical Agent - some Peircean Remarks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent; Thellefsen, Torkild Leo; Brier, Søren

    2011-01-01

    Any great new theoretical framework has an epistemological and an ontological aspect to its philosophy as well as an axiological one, and one needs to understand all three aspects in order to grasp the deep aspiration and idea of the theoretical framework. Presently, there is a widespread effort ...

  5. Neurotrophin receptor agonists and antagonists as therapeutic agents: An evolving paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josephy-Hernandez, Sylvia; Jmaeff, Sean; Pirvulescu, Iulia; Aboulkassim, Tahar; Saragovi, H Uri

    2017-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are prevalent, complex and devastating conditions, with very limited treatment options currently available. While they manifest in many forms, there are commonalities that link them together. In this review, we will focus on neurotrophins - a family of related factors involved in neuronal development and maintenance. Neurodegenerative diseases often present with a neurotrophin imbalance, in which there may be decreases in trophic signaling through Trk receptors for example, and/or increases in pro-apoptotic activity through p75. Clinical trials with neurotrophins have continuously failed due to their poor pharmacological properties as well as the unavoidable activation of p75. Thus, there is a need for drugs without such setbacks. Small molecule neurotrophin mimetics are favorable options since they can selectively activate Trks or inactivate p75. In this review, we will initially present a brief outline of how these molecules are synthesized and their mechanisms of action; followed by an update in the current state of neurotrophins and small molecules in major neurodegenerative diseases. Although there has been significant progress in the development of potential therapeutics, more studies are needed to establish clear mechanisms of action and target specificity in order to transition from animal models to the assessment of safety and use in humans. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Evolving Game Skill-Depth using General Video Game AI Agents

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Jialin; Togelius, Julian; Perez-Liebana, Diego; Lucas, Simon M.

    2017-01-01

    Most games have, or can be generalised to have, a number of parameters that may be varied in order to provide instances of games that lead to very different player experiences. The space of possible parameter settings can be seen as a search space, and we can therefore use a Random Mutation Hill Climbing algorithm or other search methods to find the parameter settings that induce the best games. One of the hardest parts of this approach is defining a suitable fitness function. In this paper w...

  7. Improving Disability Awareness among Extension Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahadevan, Lakshmi; Peterson, Rick L.; Grenwelge, Cheryl

    2014-01-01

    Increasing prevalence rates and legislative mandates imply that educators, parents, and Extension agents will need better tools and resources to meet the needs of special populations. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service addresses this issue by using e-learning tools. Extension agents can take advantage of these courses to gain critical…

  8. The Multi-Agent Transport Simulation MATSim

    OpenAIRE

    Horni Andreas; Nagel Kai; Axhausen Kay W.

    2016-01-01

    "The MATSim (Multi-Agent Transport Simulation) software project was started around 2006 with the goal of generating traffic and congestion patterns by following individual synthetic travelers through their daily or weekly activity programme. It has since then evolved from a collection of stand-alone C++ programs to an integrated Java-based framework which is publicly hosted, open-source available, automatically regression tested. It is currently used by about 40 groups throughout the world. T...

  9. Evolvability as a Quality Attribute of Software Architectures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ciraci, S.; van den Broek, P.M.; Duchien, Laurence; D'Hondt, Maja; Mens, Tom

    We review the definition of evolvability as it appears on the literature. In particular, the concept of software evolvability is compared with other system quality attributes, such as adaptability, maintainability and modifiability.

  10. Evolving colon injury management: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greer, Lauren T; Gillern, Suzanne M; Vertrees, Amy E

    2013-02-01

    The colon is the second most commonly injured intra-abdominal organ in penetrating trauma. Management of traumatic colon injuries has evolved significantly over the past 200 years. Traumatic colon injuries can have a wide spectrum of severity, presentation, and management options. There is strong evidence that most non-destructive colon injuries can be successfully managed with primary repair or primary anastomosis. The management of destructive colon injuries remains controversial with most favoring resection with primary anastomosis and others favor colonic diversion in specific circumstances. The historical management of traumatic colon injuries, common mechanisms of injury, demographics, presentation, assessment, diagnosis, management, and complications of traumatic colon injuries both in civilian and military practice are reviewed. The damage control revolution has added another layer of complexity to management with continued controversy.

  11. Pulmonary Sporotrichosis: An Evolving Clinical Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aung, Ar K; Spelman, Denis W; Thompson, Philip J

    2015-10-01

    In recent decades, sporotrichosis, caused by thermally dimorphic fungi Sporothrix schenckii complex, has become an emerging infection in many parts of the world. Pulmonary infection with S. schenckii still remains relatively uncommon, possibly due to underrecognition. Pulmonary sporotrichosis presents with distinct clinical and radiological patterns in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts and can often result in significant morbidity and mortality despite treatment. Current understanding regarding S. schenckii biology, epidemiology, immunopathology, clinical diagnostics, and treatment options has been evolving in the recent years with increased availability of molecular sequencing techniques. However, this changing knowledge has not yet been fully translated into a better understanding of the clinical aspects of pulmonary sporotrichosis, as such current management guidelines remain unsupported by high-level clinical evidence. This article examines recent advances in the knowledge of sporotrichosis and its application to the difficult challenges of managing pulmonary sporotrichosis. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  12. Resiliently evolving supply-demand networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubido, Nicolás; Grebogi, Celso; Baptista, Murilo S.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to design a transport network such that commodities are brought from suppliers to consumers in a steady, optimal, and stable way is of great importance for distribution systems nowadays. In this work, by using the circuit laws of Kirchhoff and Ohm, we provide the exact capacities of the edges that an optimal supply-demand network should have to operate stably under perturbations, i.e., without overloading. The perturbations we consider are the evolution of the connecting topology, the decentralization of hub sources or sinks, and the intermittence of supplier and consumer characteristics. We analyze these conditions and the impact of our results, both on the current United Kingdom power-grid structure and on numerically generated evolving archetypal network topologies.

  13. Development and the evolvability of human limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Nathan M; Wagner, Günter P; Hallgrímsson, Benedikt

    2010-02-23

    The long legs and short arms of humans are distinctive for a primate, the result of selection acting in opposite directions on each limb at different points in our evolutionary history. This mosaic pattern challenges our understanding of the relationship of development and evolvability because limbs are serially homologous and genetic correlations should act as a significant constraint on their independent evolution. Here we test a developmental model of limb covariation in anthropoid primates and demonstrate that both humans and apes exhibit significantly reduced integration between limbs when compared to quadrupedal monkeys. This result indicates that fossil hominins likely escaped constraints on independent limb variation via reductions to genetic pleiotropy in an ape-like last common ancestor (LCA). This critical change in integration among hominoids, which is reflected in macroevolutionary differences in the disparity between limb lengths, facilitated selection for modern human limb proportions and demonstrates how development helps shape evolutionary change.

  14. Evolving spiking networks with variable resistive memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Gerard; Bull, Larry; de Lacy Costello, Ben; Gale, Ella; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing is a brainlike information processing paradigm that requires adaptive learning mechanisms. A spiking neuro-evolutionary system is used for this purpose; plastic resistive memories are implemented as synapses in spiking neural networks. The evolutionary design process exploits parameter self-adaptation and allows the topology and synaptic weights to be evolved for each network in an autonomous manner. Variable resistive memories are the focus of this research; each synapse has its own conductance profile which modifies the plastic behaviour of the device and may be altered during evolution. These variable resistive networks are evaluated on a noisy robotic dynamic-reward scenario against two static resistive memories and a system containing standard connections only. The results indicate that the extra behavioural degrees of freedom available to the networks incorporating variable resistive memories enable them to outperform the comparative synapse types.

  15. Life cycle planning: An evolving concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, P.J.R.; Gorman, I.G.

    1994-01-01

    Life-cycle planning is an evolving concept in the management of oil and gas projects. BHP Petroleum now interprets this idea to include all development planning from discovery and field appraisal to final abandonment and includes safety, environmental, technical, plant, regulatory, and staffing issues. This article describes in the context of the Timor Sea, how despite initial successes and continuing facilities upgrades, BHPP came to perceive that current operations could be the victim of early development successes, particularly in the areas of corrosion and maintenance. The search for analogies elsewhere lead to the UK North Sea, including the experiences of Britoil and BP, both of which performed detailed Life of Field studies in the later eighties. These materials have been used to construct a format and content for total Life-cycle plans in general and the social changes required to ensure their successful application in Timor Sea operations and deployment throughout Australia

  16. Argentina and Brazil: an evolving nuclear relationship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Redick, J.R.

    1990-01-01

    Argentina and Brazil have Latin America's most advanced nuclear research and power programs. Both nations reject the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and have not formally embraced the Tlatelolco Treaty creating a regional nuclear-weapon-free zone. Disturbing ambiguities persist regarding certain indigenous nuclear facilities and growing nuclear submarine and missile capabilities. For these, and other reasons, the two nations are widely considered potential nuclear weapon states. However both nations have been active supporters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and have, in recent years, assumed a generally responsible position in regard to their own nuclear export activities (requiring IAEA safeguards). Most important, however, has been the advent of bilateral nuclear cooperation. This paper considers the evolving nuclear relationship in the context of recent and dramatic political change in Argentina and Brazil. It discusses current political and nuclear developments and the prospects for maintaining and expanding present bilateral cooperation into an effective non-proliferation arrangement. (author)

  17. Caracterización de los accidentes por exposición a agente biológico en una población de estudiantes de medicina de Bucaramanga Characterization of biological accidents in medical students population from Bucaramanga

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo Eduardo Lozano

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Introducción: Los accidentes biológicos son eventos de alto riesgo por la probabilidad de infección con agentes como virus de inmunodeficiencia humana o hepatitis B. A estos están expuestos los estudiantes de medicina, un evento prevalente que requiere seguimiento constante. Objetivo: Caracterizar los accidentes biológicos de los estudiantes de medicina de una universidad privada de Bucaramanga durante el primer semestre de 2011. Materiales y métodos: Estudio transversal de aplicación de encuesta a toda la población estudiantil. Se realizó análisis univariado y bivariado comparando edad, sexo, nivel académico, capacitación y vacunación con haber sufrido accidente biológico durante el primer semestre académico de 2011. Resultados: La incidencia de accidentes biológicos fue del 6,8%, lo que da 3,42 accidentes por cada mil semanas-estudiante. De los 23 eventos caracterizados, 9 (39,1% fueron pinchazos, 7 (30,4% salpicaduras en piel no intacta, 5 (21,7% salpicaduras en mucosas, y 2 (8,7% cortaduras. Hubo 277 (66,4% encuestados que informaron un esquema completo de vacunación contra hepatitis B, y el 33,6% restante tienen al menos una dosis. Solo 251 (59,9% respondieron recibir algún tipo de capacitación sobre bioseguridad. El análisis bivariado no encontró asociación entre edad, sexo o nivel académico. No obstante, 5 estudiantes de ciencias básicas y clínicas médicas presentaron más de un evento en el semestre, situación no presentada en los estudiantes de clínicas quirúrgicas. Conclusión: La incidencia de accidentes biológicos ha disminuido, sin embargo, los niveles académicos básicos tienen una alta incidencia y reincidencia, lo cual requiere nuevas estrategias de intervención para seguir disminuyendo el riesgo.Introduction: Biological accidents are high risk events due to the probability of acquiring agents such as HIV or HB. Medical students are exposed to these events and should be followed over time

  18. Accelerated Distributed Dual Averaging Over Evolving Networks of Growing Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Sijia; Chen, Pin-Yu; Hero, Alfred O.

    2018-04-01

    We consider the problem of accelerating distributed optimization in multi-agent networks by sequentially adding edges. Specifically, we extend the distributed dual averaging (DDA) subgradient algorithm to evolving networks of growing connectivity and analyze the corresponding improvement in convergence rate. It is known that the convergence rate of DDA is influenced by the algebraic connectivity of the underlying network, where better connectivity leads to faster convergence. However, the impact of network topology design on the convergence rate of DDA has not been fully understood. In this paper, we begin by designing network topologies via edge selection and scheduling. For edge selection, we determine the best set of candidate edges that achieves the optimal tradeoff between the growth of network connectivity and the usage of network resources. The dynamics of network evolution is then incurred by edge scheduling. Further, we provide a tractable approach to analyze the improvement in the convergence rate of DDA induced by the growth of network connectivity. Our analysis reveals the connection between network topology design and the convergence rate of DDA, and provides quantitative evaluation of DDA acceleration for distributed optimization that is absent in the existing analysis. Lastly, numerical experiments show that DDA can be significantly accelerated using a sequence of well-designed networks, and our theoretical predictions are well matched to its empirical convergence behavior.

  19. The genotype-phenotype map of an evolving digital organism

    OpenAIRE

    Fortuna, Miguel A.; Zaman, Luis; Ofria, Charles; Wagner, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    To understand how evolving systems bring forth novel and useful phenotypes, it is essential to understand the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Artificial evolving systems can help us understand whether the genotype-phenotype maps of natural evolving systems are highly unusual, and it may help create evolvable artificial systems. Here we characterize the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms in Avida, a platform for digital evolution. We consider digital organisms fr...

  20. Prevalence and Determinants of the Use of Lipid-Lowering Agents in a Population of Older Hospitalized Patients: the Findings from the REPOSI (REgistro POliterapie Società Italiana di Medicina Interna) Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolotti, Marco; Franchi, Carlotta; Rocchi, Marco B L; Miceli, Andrea; Libbra, M Vittoria; Nobili, Alessandro; Lancellotti, Giulia; Carulli, Lucia; Mussi, Chiara

    2017-04-01

    Older patients are prone to multimorbidity and polypharmacy, with an inherent risk of adverse events and drug interactions. To the best of our knowledge, available information on the appropriateness of lipid-lowering treatment is extremely limited. The aim of the present study was to quantify and characterize lipid-lowering drug use in a population of complex in-hospital older patients. We analyzed data from 87 units of internal medicine or geriatric medicine in the REPOSI (Registro Politerapie della Società Italiana di Medicina Interna) study, with reference to the 2010 and 2012 patient cohorts. Lipid-lowering drug use was closely correlated with the clinical profiles, including multimorbidity markers and polypharmacy. 2171 patients aged >65 years were enrolled (1057 males, 1114 females, mean age 78.6 years). The patients treated with lipid-lowering drugs amounted to 508 subjects (23.4%), with no gender difference. Atorvastatin (39.3%) and simvastatin (34.0%) were the most widely used statin drugs. Likelihood of treatment was associated with polypharmacy (≥5 drugs) and with higher Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS) score. At logistic regression analysis, the presence of coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and hypertension were significantly correlated with lipid-lowering drug use, whereas age showed an inverse correlation. Diabetes was not associated with drug treatment. In this in-hospital cohort, the use of lipid-lowering agents was mainly driven by patients' clinical history, most notably the presence of clinically overt manifestations of atherosclerosis. Increasing age seems to be associated with lower prescription rates. This might be indicative of cautious behavior towards a potentially toxic treatment regimen.

  1. Comparative Effectiveness of Biosimilar, Reference Product and Other Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs Still Covered by Patent in Chronic Kidney Disease and Cancer Patients: An Italian Population-Based Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ylenia Ingrasciotta

    Full Text Available Since 2007 biosimilars of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs are available on the Italian market. Very limited post-marketing data exist on the comparative effectiveness of biosimilar and originator ESAs.This population-based study was aimed to compare the effects of biosimilars, reference product and other ESAs still covered by patent on hemoglobinemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD and cancer patients in a Local Health Unit (LHU from Northern Italy.A retrospective cohort study was conducted during the years 2009-2014 using data from Treviso LHU administrative database. Incident ESA users (no ESA dispensing within 6 months prior to treatment start, i.e. index date (ID with at least one hemoglobin measurement within one month prior to ID (baseline Hb value and another measurement between 2nd and 3rd month after ID (follow-up Hb value were identified. The strength of the consumption (as total number of defined daily dose (DDD dispensed during the follow-up divided by days of follow-up and the difference between follow-up and baseline Hb values [delta Hb (ΔHb] were evaluated. Based on Hb changes, ESA users were classified as non-responders (ΔHb≤0 g/dl, responders (02 g/dl. A multivariate ordinal logistic regression model to identify predictors for responsiveness to treatment was performed. All analyses were stratified by indication for use and type of dispensed ESA at ID.Overall, 1,003 incident ESA users (reference product: 252, 25.1%; other ESAs covered by patent: 303, 30.2%; biosimilars: 448, 44.7% with CKD or cancer were eligible for the study. No statistically significant difference in the amount of dose dispensed during the follow-up among biosimilars, reference product and other ESAs covered by patent was found in both CKD and cancer. After three months from treatment start, all ESAs increased Hb values on average by 2g/dl. No differences in ΔHb as well as in frequency of non-responders, responders and highly responders among

  2. Agent-Supported Mission Operations Teamwork

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, Jane T.

    2003-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of software agents to support of mission operations teamwork. The goals of the work was to make automation by agents easy to use, supervise and direct, manage information and communication to decrease distraction, interruptions, workload and errors, reduce mission impact of off-nominal situations and increase morale and decrease turnover. The accomplishments or the project are: 1. Collaborative agents - mixed initiative and creation of instructions for mediating agent 2. Methods for prototyping, evaluating and evolving socio-technical systems 3. Technology infusion: teamwork tools in mISSIons 4. Demonstrations in simulation testbed An example of the use of agent is given, the use of an agent to monitor a N2 tank leak. An incomplete instruction to the agent is handled with mediating assistants, or Intelligent Briefing and Response Assistant (IBRA). The IBRA Engine also watches data stream for triggers and executes Act-Whenever actions. There is also a Briefing and Response Instruction (BRI) which is easy for a discipline specialist to create through a BRI editor.

  3. The Elementary Nature of Purposive Behavior: Evolving Minimal Neural Structures that Display Intrinsic Intentionality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Watson

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available A study of the evolution of agency in artificial life was designed to access the potential emergence of purposiveness and intentionality as these attributes of behavior have been defined in psychology and philosophy. The study involved Darwinian evolution of mobile neural nets (autonomous agents in terms of their adaptive weight patterning and structure (number of sensory, hidden, and memory units that controlled movement. An agent was embedded in a 10 × 10 toroidal matrix along with “containers” that held benefit or harm if entered. Sensory exposure to content of a container was only briefly available at a distance so that adaptive response to a nearby container required use of relevant memory. The best 20% of each generation of agents, based on net benefit consumed during limited lifetime, were selected to parent the following generation. Purposiveness emerged for all selected agents by 300 generations. By 4000 generations, 90% passed a test of purposive intentionality based on Piaget's criteria for Stage IV object permanence in human infants. An additional test of these agents confirmed that the behavior of 67% of them was consistent with the philosophical criterion of intention being “about” the container's contents. Given that the evolved neural structure of more than half of the successful agents had only 1 hidden and 1 memory node, it is argued that, contrary to common assumption, purposive and intentional aspects of adaptive behavior require an evolution of minimal complexity of supportive neural structure.

  4. Reasoning about emotional agents

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, J.-J.

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we discuss the role of emotions in artificial agent design, and the use of logic in reasoning about the emotional or affective states an agent can reside in. We do so by extending the KARO framework for reasoning about rational agents appropriately. In particular we formalize in this framework how emotions are related to the action monitoring capabilities of an agent.

  5. The evolving energy budget of accretionary wedges

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBeck, Jessica; Cooke, Michele; Maillot, Bertrand; Souloumiac, Pauline

    2017-04-01

    The energy budget of evolving accretionary systems reveals how deformational processes partition energy as faults slip, topography uplifts, and layer-parallel shortening produces distributed off-fault deformation. The energy budget provides a quantitative framework for evaluating the energetic contribution or consumption of diverse deformation mechanisms. We investigate energy partitioning in evolving accretionary prisms by synthesizing data from physical sand accretion experiments and numerical accretion simulations. We incorporate incremental strain fields and cumulative force measurements from two suites of experiments to design numerical simulations that represent accretionary wedges with stronger and weaker detachment faults. One suite of the physical experiments includes a basal glass bead layer and the other does not. Two physical experiments within each suite implement different boundary conditions (stable base versus moving base configuration). Synthesizing observations from the differing base configurations reduces the influence of sidewall friction because the force vector produced by sidewall friction points in opposite directions depending on whether the base is fixed or moving. With the numerical simulations, we calculate the energy budget at two stages of accretion: at the maximum force preceding the development of the first thrust pair, and at the minimum force following the development of the pair. To identify the appropriate combination of material and fault properties to apply in the simulations, we systematically vary the Young's modulus and the fault static and dynamic friction coefficients in numerical accretion simulations, and identify the set of parameters that minimizes the misfit between the normal force measured on the physical backwall and the numerically simulated force. Following this derivation of the appropriate material and fault properties, we calculate the components of the work budget in the numerical simulations and in the

  6. Evolutionary snowdrift game incorporating costly punishment in structured populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Nat W. H.; Xu, C.; Tey, Siew Kian; Yap, Yee Jiun; Hui, P. M.

    2013-01-01

    The role of punishment and the effects of a structured population in promoting cooperation are important issues. Within a recent model of snowdrift game (SG) incorporating a costly punishing strategy (P), we study the effects of a population connected through a square lattice. The punishers, who carry basically a cooperative (C) character, are willing to pay a cost α so as to punish a non-cooperative (D) opponent by β. Depending on α, β, the cost-to-benefit ratio r in SG, and the initial conditions, the system evolves into different phases that could be homogeneous or inhomogeneous. The spatial structure imposes geometrical constraint on how one agent is affected by neighboring agents. Results of extensive numerical simulations, both for the steady state and the dynamics, are presented. Possible phases are identified and discussed, and isolated phases in the r-β space are identified as special local structures of strategies that are stable due to the lattice structure. In contrast to a well-mixed population where punishers are suppressed due to the cost of punishment, the altruistic punishing strategy can flourish and prevail for appropriate values of the parameters, implying an enhancement in cooperation by imposing punishments in a structured population. The system could evolve to a phase corresponding to the coexistence of C, D, and P strategies at some particular payoff parameters, and such a phase is absent in a well-mixed population. The pair approximation, a commonly used analytic approach, is extended from a two-strategy system to a three-strategy system. We show that the pair approximation can, at best, capture the numerical results only qualitatively. Due to the improper way of including spatial correlation imposed by the lattice structure, the approximation does not give the frequencies of C, D, and P accurately and fails to give the homogeneous AllD and AllP phases.

  7. Approximating centrality in evolving graphs: toward sublinearity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priest, Benjamin W.; Cybenko, George

    2017-05-01

    The identification of important nodes is a ubiquitous problem in the analysis of social networks. Centrality indices (such as degree centrality, closeness centrality, betweenness centrality, PageRank, and others) are used across many domains to accomplish this task. However, the computation of such indices is expensive on large graphs. Moreover, evolving graphs are becoming increasingly important in many applications. It is therefore desirable to develop on-line algorithms that can approximate centrality measures using memory sublinear in the size of the graph. We discuss the challenges facing the semi-streaming computation of many centrality indices. In particular, we apply recent advances in the streaming and sketching literature to provide a preliminary streaming approximation algorithm for degree centrality utilizing CountSketch and a multi-pass semi-streaming approximation algorithm for closeness centrality leveraging a spanner obtained through iteratively sketching the vertex-edge adjacency matrix. We also discuss possible ways forward for approximating betweenness centrality, as well as spectral measures of centrality. We provide a preliminary result using sketched low-rank approximations to approximate the output of the HITS algorithm.

  8. Functional Topology of Evolving Urban Drainage Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Soohyun; Paik, Kyungrock; McGrath, Gavan S.; Urich, Christian; Krueger, Elisabeth; Kumar, Praveen; Rao, P. Suresh C.

    2017-11-01

    We investigated the scaling and topology of engineered urban drainage networks (UDNs) in two cities, and further examined UDN evolution over decades. UDN scaling was analyzed using two power law scaling characteristics widely employed for river networks: (1) Hack's law of length (L)-area (A) [L∝Ah] and (2) exceedance probability distribution of upstream contributing area (δ) [P>(A≥δ>)˜aδ-ɛ]. For the smallest UDNs ((A≥δ>) plots for river networks are abruptly truncated, those for UDNs display exponential tempering [P>(A≥δ>)=aδ-ɛexp⁡>(-cδ>)]. The tempering parameter c decreases as the UDNs grow, implying that the distribution evolves in time to resemble those for river networks. However, the power law exponent ɛ for large UDNs tends to be greater than the range reported for river networks. Differences in generative processes and engineering design constraints contribute to observed differences in the evolution of UDNs and river networks, including subnet heterogeneity and nonrandom branching.

  9. An Evolving Worldview: Making Open Source Easy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Z.

    2017-12-01

    NASA Worldview is an interactive interface for browsing full-resolution, global satellite imagery. Worldview supports an open data policy so that academia, private industries and the general public can use NASA's satellite data to address Earth science related issues. Worldview was open sourced in 2014. By shifting to an open source approach, the Worldview application has evolved to better serve end-users. Project developers are able to have discussions with end-users and community developers to understand issues and develop new features. Community developers are able to track upcoming features, collaborate on them and make their own contributions. Developers who discover issues are able to address those issues and submit a fix. This reduces the time it takes for a project developer to reproduce an issue or develop a new feature. Getting new developers to contribute to the project has been one of the most important and difficult aspects of open sourcing Worldview. After witnessing potential outside contributors struggle, a focus has been made on making the installation of Worldview simple to reduce the initial learning curve and make contributing code easy. One way we have addressed this is through a simplified setup process. Our setup documentation includes a set of prerequisites and a set of straightforward commands to clone, configure, install and run. This presentation will emphasize our focus to simplify and standardize Worldview's open source code so that more people are able to contribute. The more people who contribute, the better the application will become over time.

  10. Extreme insular dwarfism evolved in a mammoth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herridge, Victoria L; Lister, Adrian M

    2012-08-22

    The insular dwarfism seen in Pleistocene elephants has come to epitomize the island rule; yet our understanding of this phenomenon is hampered by poor taxonomy. For Mediterranean dwarf elephants, where the most extreme cases of insular dwarfism are observed, a key systematic question remains unresolved: are all taxa phyletic dwarfs of a single mainland species Palaeoloxodon antiquus (straight-tusked elephant), or are some referable to Mammuthus (mammoths)? Ancient DNA and geochronological evidence have been used to support a Mammuthus origin for the Cretan 'Palaeoloxodon' creticus, but these studies have been shown to be flawed. On the basis of existing collections and recent field discoveries, we present new, morphological evidence for the taxonomic status of 'P'. creticus, and show that it is indeed a mammoth, most probably derived from Early Pleistocene Mammuthus meridionalis or possibly Late Pliocene Mammuthus rumanus. We also show that Mammuthus creticus is smaller than other known insular dwarf mammoths, and is similar in size to the smallest dwarf Palaeoloxodon species from Sicily and Malta, making it the smallest mammoth species known to have existed. These findings indicate that extreme insular dwarfism has evolved to a similar degree independently in two elephant lineages.

  11. How does cognition evolve? Phylogenetic comparative psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Evan L; Matthews, Luke J; Hare, Brian A; Nunn, Charles L; Anderson, Rindy C; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M; Emery, Nathan J; Haun, Daniel B M; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F; Platt, Michael L; Rosati, Alexandra G; Sandel, Aaron A; Schroepfer, Kara K; Seed, Amanda M; Tan, Jingzhi; van Schaik, Carel P; Wobber, Victoria

    2012-03-01

    Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits, as well as the evolutionary processes that drove their evolution.

  12. An evolving network model with modular growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zou Zhi-Yun; Liu Peng; Lei Li; Gao Jian-Zhi

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an evolving network model growing fast in units of module, according to the analysis of the evolution characteristics in real complex networks. Each module is a small-world network containing several interconnected nodes and the nodes between the modules are linked by preferential attachment on degree of nodes. We study the modularity measure of the proposed model, which can be adjusted by changing the ratio of the number of inner-module edges and the number of inter-module edges. In view of the mean-field theory, we develop an analytical function of the degree distribution, which is verified by a numerical example and indicates that the degree distribution shows characteristics of the small-world network and the scale-free network distinctly at different segments. The clustering coefficient and the average path length of the network are simulated numerically, indicating that the network shows the small-world property and is affected little by the randomness of the new module. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  13. How does cognition evolve? Phylogenetic comparative psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Luke J.; Hare, Brian A.; Nunn, Charles L.; Anderson, Rindy C.; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M.; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M.; Emery, Nathan J.; Haun, Daniel B. M.; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F.; Platt, Michael L.; Rosati, Alexandra G.; Sandel, Aaron A.; Schroepfer, Kara K.; Seed, Amanda M.; Tan, Jingzhi; van Schaik, Carel P.; Wobber, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits, as well as the evolutionary processes that drove their evolution. PMID:21927850

  14. A local-world evolving hypernetwork model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Guang-Yong; Liu Jian-Guo

    2014-01-01

    Complex hypernetworks are ubiquitous in the real system. It is very important to investigate the evolution mechanisms. In this paper, we present a local-world evolving hypernetwork model by taking into account the hyperedge growth and local-world hyperedge preferential attachment mechanisms. At each time step, a newly added hyperedge encircles a new coming node and a number of nodes from a randomly selected local world. The number of the selected nodes from the local world obeys the uniform distribution and its mean value is m. The analytical and simulation results show that the hyperdegree approximately obeys the power-law form and the exponent of hyperdegree distribution is γ = 2 + 1/m. Furthermore, we numerically investigate the node degree, hyperedge degree, clustering coefficient, as well as the average distance, and find that the hypernetwork model shares the scale-free and small-world properties, which shed some light for deeply understanding the evolution mechanism of the real systems. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  15. Evolving autonomous learning in cognitive networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheneman, Leigh; Hintze, Arend

    2017-12-01

    There are two common approaches for optimizing the performance of a machine: genetic algorithms and machine learning. A genetic algorithm is applied over many generations whereas machine learning works by applying feedback until the system meets a performance threshold. These methods have been previously combined, particularly in artificial neural networks using an external objective feedback mechanism. We adapt this approach to Markov Brains, which are evolvable networks of probabilistic and deterministic logic gates. Prior to this work MB could only adapt from one generation to the other, so we introduce feedback gates which augment their ability to learn during their lifetime. We show that Markov Brains can incorporate these feedback gates in such a way that they do not rely on an external objective feedback signal, but instead can generate internal feedback that is then used to learn. This results in a more biologically accurate model of the evolution of learning, which will enable us to study the interplay between evolution and learning and could be another step towards autonomously learning machines.

  16. Orbital Decay in Binaries with Evolved Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Meng; Arras, Phil; Weinberg, Nevin N.; Troup, Nicholas; Majewski, Steven R.

    2018-01-01

    Two mechanisms are often invoked to explain tidal friction in binary systems. The ``dynamical tide” is the resonant excitation of internal gravity waves by the tide, and their subsequent damping by nonlinear fluid processes or thermal diffusion. The ``equilibrium tide” refers to non-resonant excitation of fluid motion in the star’s convection zone, with damping by interaction with the turbulent eddies. There have been numerous studies of these processes in main sequence stars, but less so on the subgiant and red giant branches. Motivated by the newly discovered close binary systems in the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE-1), we have performed calculations of both the dynamical and equilibrium tide processes for stars over a range of mass as the star’s cease core hydrogen burning and evolve to shell burning. Even for stars which had a radiative core on the main sequence, the dynamical tide may have very large amplitude in the newly radiative core in post-main sequence, giving rise to wave breaking. The resulting large dynamical tide dissipation rate is compared to the equilibrium tide, and the range of secondary masses and orbital periods over which rapid orbital decay may occur will be discussed, as well as applications to close APOGEE binaries.

  17. Diverticular Disease: Traditional and Evolving Paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamanna, Lenore; Moran, Patricia E

    Diverticular disease includes diverticulosis, which are sac protrusions of the intestinal mucosa, and diverticulitis, inflammation of the diverticula. Diverticular disease is listed as one of the top 10 leading physician diagnoses for gastrointestinal disorders in outpatient clinic visits in the United States. There are several classifications of diverticular disease ranging from asymptomatic diverticulosis to diverticulitis with complications. Several theories are linked to the development of diverticula which includes the physiology of the colon itself, collagen cross-linking, and recently challenged, low-fiber intake. The differential diagnoses of lower abdominal pain in addition to diverticular disease have overlapping signs and symptoms, which can make a diagnosis challenging. Identification of the distinct signs and symptoms of each classification will assist the practitioner in making the correct diagnosis and lead to appropriate management. The findings from recent studies have changed the paradigm of diverticular disease. The purpose of this article is to discuss traditional dogma and evolving concepts in the pathophysiology, prevention, and management of diverticular disease. Practitioners must be knowledgeable about diverticular disease for improved outcomes.

  18. An evolving model of online bipartite networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chu-Xu; Zhang, Zi-Ke; Liu, Chuang

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the structure and evolution of online bipartite networks is a significant task since they play a crucial role in various e-commerce services nowadays. Recently, various attempts have been tried to propose different models, resulting in either power-law or exponential degree distributions. However, many empirical results show that the user degree distribution actually follows a shifted power-law distribution, the so-called Mandelbrot’s law, which cannot be fully described by previous models. In this paper, we propose an evolving model, considering two different user behaviors: random and preferential attachment. Extensive empirical results on two real bipartite networks, Delicious and CiteULike, show that the theoretical model can well characterize the structure of real networks for both user and object degree distributions. In addition, we introduce a structural parameter p, to demonstrate that the hybrid user behavior leads to the shifted power-law degree distribution, and the region of power-law tail will increase with the increment of p. The proposed model might shed some lights in understanding the underlying laws governing the structure of real online bipartite networks.

  19. The Evolving Classification of Pulmonary Hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foshat, Michelle; Boroumand, Nahal

    2017-05-01

    - An explosion of information on pulmonary hypertension has occurred during the past few decades. The perception of this disease has shifted from purely clinical to incorporate new knowledge of the underlying pathology. This transfer has occurred in light of advancements in pathophysiology, histology, and molecular medical diagnostics. - To update readers about the evolving understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension and to demonstrate how pathology has shaped the current classification. - Information presented at the 5 World Symposia on pulmonary hypertension held since 1973, with the last meeting occurring in 2013, was used in this review. - Pulmonary hypertension represents a heterogeneous group of disorders that are differentiated based on differences in clinical, hemodynamic, and histopathologic features. Early concepts of pulmonary hypertension were largely influenced by pharmacotherapy, hemodynamic function, and clinical presentation of the disease. The initial nomenclature for pulmonary hypertension segregated the clinical classifications from pathologic subtypes. Major restructuring of this disease classification occurred between the first and second symposia, which was the first to unite clinical and pathologic information in the categorization scheme. Additional changes were introduced in subsequent meetings, particularly between the third and fourth World Symposia meetings, when additional pathophysiologic information was gained. Discoveries in molecular diagnostics significantly progressed the understanding of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Continued advancements in imaging modalities, mechanistic pathogenicity, and molecular biomarkers will enable physicians to define pulmonary hypertension phenotypes based on the pathobiology and allow for treatment customization.

  20. Evolving application of biomimetic nanostructured hydroxyapatite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norberto Roveri

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Norberto Roveri, Michele IafiscoLaboratory of Environmental and Biological Structural Chemistry (LEBSC, Dipartimento di Chimica ‘G. Ciamician’, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Bologna, ItalyAbstract: By mimicking Nature, we can design and synthesize inorganic smart materials that are reactive to biological tissues. These smart materials can be utilized to design innovative third-generation biomaterials, which are able to not only optimize their interaction with biological tissues and environment, but also mimic biogenic materials in their functionalities. The biomedical applications involve increasing the biomimetic levels from chemical composition, structural organization, morphology, mechanical behavior, nanostructure, and bulk and surface chemical–physical properties until the surface becomes bioreactive and stimulates cellular materials. The chemical–physical characteristics of biogenic hydroxyapatites from bone and tooth have been described, in order to point out the elective sides, which are important to reproduce the design of a new biomimetic synthetic hydroxyapatite. This review outlines the evolving applications of biomimetic synthetic calcium phosphates, details the main characteristics of bone and tooth, where the calcium phosphates are present, and discusses the chemical–physical characteristics of biomimetic calcium phosphates, methods of synthesizing them, and some of their biomedical applications.Keywords: hydroxyapatite, nanocrystals, biomimetism, biomaterials, drug delivery, remineralization

  1. Chemical warfare agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuca, Kamil; Pohanka, Miroslav

    2010-01-01

    Chemical warfare agents are compounds of different chemical structures. Simple molecules such as chlorine as well as complex structures such as ricin belong to this group. Nerve agents, vesicants, incapacitating agents, blood agents, lung-damaging agents, riot-control agents and several toxins are among chemical warfare agents. Although the use of these compounds is strictly prohibited, the possible misuse by terrorist groups is a reality nowadays. Owing to this fact, knowledge of the basic properties of these substances is of a high importance. This chapter briefly introduces the separate groups of chemical warfare agents together with their members and the potential therapy that should be applied in case someone is intoxicated by these agents.

  2. Sustainable food planning: evolving theory and practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viljoen, A.; Wiskerke, J.S.C.

    2012-01-01

    Half the world’s population is now urbanised and cities are assuming a larger role in debates about the security and sustainability of the global food system. Hence, planning for sustainable food production and consumption is becoming an increasingly important issue for planners, policymakers,

  3. Pharmacokinetic studies of neuromuscular blocking agents: Good Clinical Research Practice (GCRP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Viby-Mogensen, J.; Østergaard, D.; Donati, F.

    2000-01-01

    Good Clinical Research Practice (GCRP), neuromuscular blocking agents, pharmacokinetics, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling, population pharmacokinetics, statistics, study design......Good Clinical Research Practice (GCRP), neuromuscular blocking agents, pharmacokinetics, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling, population pharmacokinetics, statistics, study design...

  4. Quantum mechanics in an evolving Hilbert space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artacho, Emilio; O'Regan, David D.

    2017-03-01

    Many basis sets for electronic structure calculations evolve with varying external parameters, such as moving atoms in dynamic simulations, giving rise to extra derivative terms in the dynamical equations. Here we revisit these derivatives in the context of differential geometry, thereby obtaining a more transparent formalization, and a geometrical perspective for better understanding the resulting equations. The effect of the evolution of the basis set within the spanned Hilbert space separates explicitly from the effect of the turning of the space itself when moving in parameter space, as the tangent space turns when moving in a curved space. New insights are obtained using familiar concepts in that context such as the Riemann curvature. The differential geometry is not strictly that for curved spaces as in general relativity, a more adequate mathematical framework being provided by fiber bundles. The language used here, however, will be restricted to tensors and basic quantum mechanics. The local gauge implied by a smoothly varying basis set readily connects with Berry's formalism for geometric phases. Generalized expressions for the Berry connection and curvature are obtained for a parameter-dependent occupied Hilbert space spanned by nonorthogonal Wannier functions. The formalism is applicable to basis sets made of atomic-like orbitals and also more adaptative moving basis functions (such as in methods using Wannier functions as intermediate or support bases), but should also apply to other situations in which nonorthogonal functions or related projectors should arise. The formalism is applied to the time-dependent quantum evolution of electrons for moving atoms. The geometric insights provided here allow us to propose new finite-difference time integrators, and also better understand those already proposed.

  5. Public participation at Fernald: FERMCO's evolving role

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, J.B.; Fellman, R.W.; Brettschneider, D.J.

    1995-01-01

    In an effort to improve public involvement in the site restoration decision making process, the DOE has established site specific advisory boards, of which the Fernald Citizens Task Force is one. The Fernald Task Force is focused on making recommendations in four areas: (1) What should be the future use of the site? (2) Determinations of cleanup levels (how clean is clean?) (3) Where should the wastes be disposed of? (4) What should be the cleanup priorities? Because these questions are being asked very early in the decision-making process, the answers are necessarily qualified, and are based on a combination of preliminary data, assumptions, and professional judgment. The requirement to make progress in the absence of accurate data has necessitated FERMCO and the Task Force to employ an approach similar to sensitivity analysis, in which a range of possible data values are evaluated and the relative importance of the various factors is assessed. Because of its charter to provide recommendations of future site use, the Task Force has developed a sitewide perspective, compared to the more common operable unit specific focus of public participation under CERCLA. The relationship between FERMCO and the Task Force is evolving toward one of partnership with DOE in managing the obstacles and hidden opportunities for success. The Task Force likely will continue to participate in the Fernald project long after its initial recommendations have been made. DOE already has made the commitment that the process of public participation will extend into the Remedial Design phase. There is substantial reason for optimism that continuing the Task Force process through the design phase will assist in developing the appropriate balance of cost and engineered protectiveness

  6. Communication during an evolving seismic sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mucciarelli, M.; Camassi, R.

    2012-04-01

    Since October 2011 a seismic swarm is affecting the Pollino mountain range, southern Italy. At the abstract submission date the sequence is still ongoing, with more than 500 events with M>1, at least 40 well perceived by the population and a maximum magnitude at 3.6. The area was hit by a magnitude 5.7 event in 1998 that caused one dead, some injured and widespread damage in at least six municipalities. The population main fear is that a large event could follow the seismic swarm as it occurred at L'Aquila in 2009. Among the initiatives taken by Civil Protection at national and regional level, it was decided to try to implement at local scale two communication projects that were thought for "peace time" and not for dissemination during a seismic crisis: the "Terremoto-Io non rischio" project for general public and the "EDURISK" project for school children. The main lesson learned during the first months of the activity are: 1) it is possible to take advantage of the increased awareness and risk perception from the population to attract more citizen toward topics that could go unnoticed otherwise; 2) the Civil Protection volunteers could be a very effective mean to reach a large amount of the population, provided they are carefully trained especially when children are involved; 3) the expectations about earthquake prediction raised from media without any scientific support proved to be the most difficult to be tackled: to overcome this bias risk education in "peace time" is absolutely essential; 4) door-to-door communication is perceived much better than official press release on newspapers; 5) training of volunteers must be limited to a few basic information, with special attention to the local context.

  7. The evolving cobweb of relations among partially rational investors

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiMeglio, Anna; Garofalo, Franco; Lo Iudice, Francesco

    2017-01-01

    To overcome the limitations of neoclassical economics, researchers have leveraged tools of statistical physics to build novel theories. The idea was to elucidate the macroscopic features of financial markets from the interaction of its microscopic constituents, the investors. In this framework, the model of the financial agents has been kept separate from that of their interaction. Here, instead, we explore the possibility of letting the interaction topology emerge from the model of the agents’ behavior. Then, we investigate how the emerging cobweb of relationship affects the overall market dynamics. To this aim, we leverage tools from complex systems analysis and nonlinear dynamics, and model the network of mutual influence as the output of a dynamical system describing the edge evolution. In this work, the driver of the link evolution is the relative reputation between possibly coupled agents. The reputation is built differently depending on the extent of rationality of the investors. The continuous edge activation or deactivation induces the emergence of leaders and of peculiar network structures, typical of real influence networks. The subsequent impact on the market dynamics is investigated through extensive numerical simulations in selected scenarios populated by partially rational investors. PMID:28196144

  8. Radiopharmaceutical scanning agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

    This invention is directed to dispersions useful in preparing radiopharmaceutical scanning agents, to technetium labelled dispersions, to methods for preparing such dispersions and to their use as scanning agents

  9. Taskable Reactive Agent Communities

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Myers, Karen

    2002-01-01

    The focus of Taskable Reactive Agent Communities (TRAC) project was to develop mixed-initiative technology to enable humans to supervise and manage teams of agents as they perform tasks in dynamic environments...

  10. An Experiment on Behavior Generalization and the Emergence of Linguistic Compositionality in Evolving Robots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuci, E.; Ferrauto, T.; Zeschel, A.

    2011-01-01

    Populations of simulated agents controlled by dynamical neural networks are trained by artificial evolution to access linguistic instructions and to execute them by indicating, touching, or moving specific target objects. During training the agent experiences only a subset of all object...... the target object and executing the required action). The comparison between two experimental conditions, in one of which the agents are required to ignore rather than to indicate objects, shows that the composition of the behavioral set significantly influences the development of compositional semantic...

  11. Negative Drift in Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehre, Per Kristian

    2011-01-01

    An important step in gaining a better understanding of the stochastic dynamics of evolving populations, is the development of appropriate analytical tools. We present a new drift theorem for populations that allows properties of their long-term behaviour, e.g. the runtime of evolutionary algorithms......, to be derived from simple conditions on the one-step behaviour of their variation operators and selection mechanisms....

  12. The Evolving Definition of the Term "Gene".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portin, Petter; Wilkins, Adam

    2017-04-01

    This paper presents a history of the changing meanings of the term "gene," over more than a century, and a discussion of why this word, so crucial to genetics, needs redefinition today. In this account, the first two phases of 20th century genetics are designated the "classical" and the "neoclassical" periods, and the current molecular-genetic era the "modern period." While the first two stages generated increasing clarity about the nature of the gene, the present period features complexity and confusion. Initially, the term "gene" was coined to denote an abstract "unit of inheritance," to which no specific material attributes were assigned. As the classical and neoclassical periods unfolded, the term became more concrete, first as a dimensionless point on a chromosome, then as a linear segment within a chromosome, and finally as a linear segment in the DNA molecule that encodes a polypeptide chain. This last definition, from the early 1960s, remains the one employed today, but developments since the 1970s have undermined its generality. Indeed, they raise questions about both the utility of the concept of a basic "unit of inheritance" and the long implicit belief that genes are autonomous agents. Here, we review findings that have made the classic molecular definition obsolete and propose a new one based on contemporary knowledge. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  13. Evolving R Coronae Borealis Stars with MESA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Lauer, Amber; Chatzopoulos, Emmanouil; Frank, Juhan

    2018-01-01

    being a WD. Solving the mystery of how the RCB stars evolve will lead to a better understanding of other important types of stellar merger events such as Type Ia SNe.

  14. The evolving integrated vascular surgery residency curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Brigitte K; Greenberg, Jacob A; Mitchell, Erica L

    2014-10-01

    PDs voiced concern over the lack of standardization among the differing programs and most of the PDs agree that some degree of programmatic standardization is critical for the continued success of the 0 + 5 training paradigm. Qualitative evaluation of PD experiences with the development of 0 + 5 vascular surgery residency programs reveals the key factors that commonly influence program design. Programs continue to evolve in both structure and content as PDs respond to these influences. Learning from the collective experience of PDs and some standardization of the curricula may help current and future programs avoid common pitfalls in curricular development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Mechanics of evolving thin film structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jim

    In the Stranski-Krastanov system, the lattice mismatch between the film and the substrate causes the film to break into islands. During annealing, both the surface energy and the elastic energy drive the islands to coarsen. Motivated by several related studies, we suggest that stable islands should form when a stiff ceiling is placed at a small gap above the film. We show that the role of elasticity is reversed: with the ceiling, the total elastic energy stored in the system increases as the islands coarsen laterally. Consequently, the islands select an equilibrium size to minimize the combined elastic energy and surface energy. In lithographically-induced self-assembly, when a two-phase fluid confined between parallel substrates is subjected to an electric field, one phase can self-assemble into a triangular lattice of islands in another phase. We describe a theory of the stability of the island lattice. The islands select the equilibrium diameter to minimize the combined interface energy and electrostatic energy. Furthermore, we study compressed SiGe thin film islands fabricated on a glass layer, which itself lies on a silicon wafer. Upon annealing, the glass flows, and the islands relax. A small island relaxes by in-plane expansion. A large island, however, wrinkles at the center before the in-plane relaxation arrives. The wrinkles may cause significant tensile stress in the island, leading to fracture. We model the island by the von Karman plate theory and the glass layer by the Reynolds lubrication theory. Numerical simulations evolve the in-plane expansion and the wrinkles simultaneously. We determine the critical island size, below which in-plane expansion prevails over wrinkling. Finally, in devices that integrate dissimilar materials in small dimensions, crack extension in one material often accompanies inelastic deformation in another. We analyze a channel crack advancing in an elastic film under tension, while an underlayer creeps. We use a two

  16. Users, Bystanders and Agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krummheuer, Antonia Lina

    2015-01-01

    Human-agent interaction (HAI), especially in the field of embodied conversational agents (ECA), is mainly construed as dyadic communication between a human user and a virtual agent. This is despite the fact that many application scenarios for future ECAs involve the presence of others. This paper...

  17. Asymptotically Optimal Agents

    OpenAIRE

    Lattimore, Tor; Hutter, Marcus

    2011-01-01

    Artificial general intelligence aims to create agents capable of learning to solve arbitrary interesting problems. We define two versions of asymptotic optimality and prove that no agent can satisfy the strong version while in some cases, depending on discounting, there does exist a non-computable weak asymptotically optimal agent.

  18. Reasoning about emotional agents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, J.-J.

    In this paper we discuss the role of emotions in artificial agent design, and the use of logic in reasoning about the emotional or affective states an agent can reside in. We do so by extending the KARO framework for reasoning about rational agents appropriately. In particular we formalize in

  19. Information Processing and Dynamics in Minimally Cognitive Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer, Randall D.; Williams, Paul L.

    2015-01-01

    There has been considerable debate in the literature about the relative merits of information processing versus dynamical approaches to understanding cognitive processes. In this article, we explore the relationship between these two styles of explanation using a model agent evolved to solve a relational categorization task. Specifically, we…

  20. Swarm autonomic agents with self-destruct capability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinchey, Michael G. (Inventor); Sterritt, Roy (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    Systems, methods and apparatus are provided through which in some embodiments an autonomic entity manages a system by generating one or more stay alive signals based on the functioning status and operating state of the system. In some embodiments, an evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy. The evolvable neural interface receives and generates heartbeat monitor signals and pulse monitor signals that are used to generate a stay alive signal that is used to manage the operations of the synthetic neural system. In another embodiment an asynchronous Alice signal (Autonomic license) requiring valid credentials of an anonymous autonomous agent is initiated. An unsatisfactory Alice exchange may lead to self-destruction of the anonymous autonomous agent for self-protection.

  1. A changed name with an evolving function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Z

    1995-12-01

    Changes in family planning, which took place in 1994, are described for the Mianzhu County Family Planning Committee and other townships in Sichuan Province. The Committee changed its name to Population Committee. The administrative structure changed at the town and township level. The Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party assigned the former Director of the township Family Planning Office to serve as Director of the General Office of township Population Committee. This administrative change did not take place in the county office. Reforms at the county level were expected to be more gradual, since there was no other model elsewhere in China to follow. The name change reflected a change in function and not a decline in family planning. The function will include implementation, management, and coordination instead of just fertility control. The Committee joined with the Women's Federation in offering premarital education to young people and in establishing a kindergarten for 3-5 year old children. In Qifu there were 18 township businesses, which hired surplus labor. In Qifu preferential treatment in hiring was given to single-child and two-daughter families. Wage labor has resulted in higher income and less time in the fields. The average Qifu township income in 1994 was 1250 yuan. 3200 of the 6100 single-child households were given elderly insurance by the Population Committee. In Dongbei town 4173 households had single children (56.4% of total households). In 1994 average household yearly income was 1400 yuan. 3350 households (80.2% of total single-child households) had an average yearly income of 1500-3000 yuan. 307 households (7.5%) had a yearly income of 3000-5000 yuan. 100 households (2.5%) had income greater than 5000 yuan.

  2. Sperm should evolve to make female meiosis fair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandvain, Yaniv; Coop, Graham

    2015-04-01

    Genomic conflicts arise when an allele gains an evolutionary advantage at a cost to organismal fitness. Oögenesis is inherently susceptible to such conflicts because alleles compete for inclusion into the egg. Alleles that distort meiosis in their favor (i.e., meiotic drivers) often decrease organismal fitness, and therefore indirectly favor the evolution of mechanisms to suppress meiotic drive. In this light, many facets of oögenesis and gametogenesis have been interpreted as mechanisms of protection against genomic outlaws. That females of many animal species do not complete meiosis until after fertilization, appears to run counter to this interpretation, because this delay provides an opportunity for sperm-acting alleles to meddle with the outcome of female meiosis and help like alleles drive in heterozygous females. Contrary to this perceived danger, the population genetic theory presented herein suggests that, in fact, sperm nearly always evolve to increase the fairness of female meiosis in the face of genomic conflicts. These results are consistent with the apparent sperm dependence of the best characterized female meiotic driversin animals. Rather than providing an opportunity for sperm collaboration in female meiotic drive, the "fertilization requirement" indirectly protects females from meiotic drivers by providing sperm an opportunity to suppress drive. © 2015 The Author(s).

  3. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in evolving food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, K T; Drossel, B

    2016-05-19

    We use computer simulations in order to study the interplay between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) during both the formation and the ongoing evolution of large food webs. A species in our model is characterized by its own body mass, its preferred prey body mass and the width of its potential prey body mass spectrum. On an ecological time scale, population dynamics determines which species are viable and which ones go extinct. On an evolutionary time scale, new species emerge as modifications of existing ones. The network structure thus emerges and evolves in a self-organized manner. We analyse the relation between functional diversity and five community level measures of ecosystem functioning. These are the metabolic loss of the predator community, the total biomasses of the basal and the predator community, and the consumption rates on the basal community and within the predator community. Clear BEF relations are observed during the initial build-up of the networks, or when parameters are varied, causing bottom-up or top-down effects. However, ecosystem functioning measures fluctuate only very little during long-term evolution under constant environmental conditions, despite changes in functional diversity. This result supports the hypothesis that trophic cascades are weaker in more complex food webs. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. The evolving diagnostic and genetic landscapes of autism spectrum disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Nicholas Ziats

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The autism spectrum disorders (ASD are a heterogeneous set of neurodevelopmental syndromes defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted social interaction, and the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD is rising, and the diagnostic criteria and clinical perspectives on the disorder continue to evolve in parallel. Although the majority of individuals with ASD will not have an identifiable genetic cause, almost 25% of cases have identifiable causative DNA variants. The rapidly improving ability to identify genetic mutations because of advances in next generation sequencing, coupled with previous epidemiological studies demonstrating high heritability of ASD, have led to many recent attempts to identify causative genetic mutations underlying the ASD phenotype. However, although hundreds of mutations have been identified to date, they are either rare variants affecting only a handful of ASD patients, or are common variants in the general population conferring only a small risk for ASD. Furthermore, the genes implicated thus far are heterogeneous in their structure and function, hampering attempts to understand shared molecular mechanisms among all ASD patients; an understanding that is crucial for the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. However, new work is beginning to suggest that the heterogeneous set of genes implicated in ASD may ultimately converge on a few common pathways. In this review, we discuss the parallel evolution of our diagnostic and genetic understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and highlight recent attempts to infer common biology underlying this complicated syndrome.

  5. The Evolving Diagnostic and Genetic Landscapes of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziats, Mark N; Rennert, Owen M

    2016-01-01

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous set of neurodevelopmental syndromes defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted social interaction, and the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD is rising, and the diagnostic criteria and clinical perspectives on the disorder continue to evolve in parallel. Although the majority of individuals with ASD will not have an identifiable genetic cause, almost 25% of cases have identifiable causative DNA variants. The rapidly improving ability to identify genetic mutations because of advances in next generation sequencing, coupled with previous epidemiological studies demonstrating high heritability of ASD, have led to many recent attempts to identify causative genetic mutations underlying the ASD phenotype. However, although hundreds of mutations have been identified to date, they are either rare variants affecting only a handful of ASD patients, or are common variants in the general population conferring only a small risk for ASD. Furthermore, the genes implicated thus far are heterogeneous in their structure and function, hampering attempts to understand shared molecular mechanisms among all ASD patients; an understanding that is crucial for the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. However, new work is beginning to suggest that the heterogeneous set of genes implicated in ASD may ultimately converge on a few common pathways. In this review, we discuss the parallel evolution of our diagnostic and genetic understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and highlight recent attempts to infer common biology underlying this complicated syndrome.

  6. Sperm should evolve to make female meiosis fair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandvain, Yaniv; Coop, Graham

    2017-01-01

    Genomic conflicts arise when an allele gains an evolutionary advantage at a cost to organismal fitness. Oögenesis is inherently susceptible to such conflicts because alleles compete for inclusion into the egg. Alleles that distort meiosis in their favor (i.e. meiotic drivers) often decrease organismal fitness, and therefore indirectly favor the evolution of mechanisms to suppress meiotic drive. In this light, many facets of oögenesis and gametogenesis have been interpreted as mechanisms of protection against genomic outlaws. That females of many animal species do not complete meiosis until after fertilization, appears to run counter to this interpretation, because this delay provides an opportunity for sperm-acting alleles to meddle with the outcome of female meiosis and help like alleles drive in heterozygous females. Contrary to this perceived danger, the population genetic theory presented herein suggests that, in fact, sperm nearly always evolve to increase the fairness of female meiosis in the face of genomic conflicts. These results are consistent with the apparent sperm dependence of the best characterized female meiotic drivers in animals. Rather than providing an opportunity for sperm collaboration in female meiotic drive, the ‘fertilization requirement’ indirectly protects females from meiotic drivers by providing sperm an opportunity to suppress drive. PMID:25662355

  7. Pediatric facial fractures: evolving patterns of treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posnick, J C; Wells, M; Pron, G E

    1993-08-01

    This study reviews the treatment of facial trauma between October 1986 and December 1990 at a major pediatric referral center. The mechanism of injury, location and pattern of facial fractures, pattern of facial injury, soft tissue injuries, and any associated injuries to other organ systems were recorded, and fracture management and perioperative complications reviewed. The study population consisted of 137 patients who sustained 318 facial fractures. Eighty-one patients (171 fractures) were seen in the acute stage, and 56 patients (147 fractures) were seen for reconstruction of a secondary deformity. Injuries in boys were more prevalent than in girls (63% versus 37%), and the 6- to 12-year cohort made up the largest group (42%). Most fractures resulted from traffic-related accidents (50%), falls (23%), or sports-related injuries (15%). Mandibular (34%) and orbital fractures (23%) predominated; fewer midfacial fractures (7%) were sustained than would be expected in a similar adult population. Three quarters of the patients with acute fractures required operative intervention. Closed reduction techniques with maxillomandibular fixation were frequently chosen for mandibular condyle fractures and open reduction techniques (35%) for other regions of the facial skeleton. When open reduction was indicated, plate-and-screw fixation was the preferred method of stabilization (65%). The long-term effects of the injuries and the treatment given on facial growth remain undetermined. Perioperative complication rates directly related to the surgery were low.

  8. Radiographic scanning agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bevan, J.A.

    1983-01-01

    This invention relates to radiodiagnostic agents and more particularly to a composition and method for preparing a highly effective technetium-99m-based bone scanning agent. One deficiency of x-ray examination is the inability of that technique to detect skeletal metastases in their incipient stages. It has been discovered that the methanehydroxydiphosphonate bone mineral-seeking agent is unique in that it provides the dual benefits of sharp radiographic imaging and excellent lesion detection when used with technetium-99m. This agent can also be used with technetium-99m for detecting soft tissue calcification in the manner of the inorganic phosphate radiodiagnostic agents

  9. Agente adaptable y aprendizaje

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo Angel Lara Rivero

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available En este trabajo se contrasta el concepto de agente programado con el de agente complejo adaptable, se presenta una nueva visión ligada al aprendizaje y la estructura del agente. La imagen del agente se analiza considerando los modelos internos, la práctica, el concepto de rutina y la influencia en su comportamiento, y la importancia del aprendizaje ex ante y ex post. Por último se muestra que la resolución de problemas está sujeta a restricciones del agente y se describen las formas de explorar el espacio de soluciones mediante tres tipos de exploración: exhaustiva, aleatoria y selectiva.

  10. Only full-sibling families evolved eusociality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boomsma, Jacobus J; Beekman, Madeleine; Cornwallis, Charlie K

    2011-01-01

    Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. The paper by Nowak et al. has the evolution of eusociality as its title, but it is mostly about something else. It argues against inclusive fitness theory and offers an alternative modelling approach...... that is claimed to be more fundamental and general, but which, we believe, has no practical biological meaning for the evolution of eusociality. Nowak et al. overlook the robust empirical observation that eusociality has only arisen in clades where mothers are associated with their full-sibling offspring; that is......, in families where the average relatedness of offspring to siblings is as high as to their own offspring, independent of population structure or ploidy. We believe that this omission makes the paper largely irrelevant for understanding the evolution of eusociality....

  11. The genotype-phenotype map of an evolving digital organism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A Fortuna

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available To understand how evolving systems bring forth novel and useful phenotypes, it is essential to understand the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Artificial evolving systems can help us understand whether the genotype-phenotype maps of natural evolving systems are highly unusual, and it may help create evolvable artificial systems. Here we characterize the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms in Avida, a platform for digital evolution. We consider digital organisms from a vast space of 10141 genotypes (instruction sequences, which can form 512 different phenotypes. These phenotypes are distinguished by different Boolean logic functions they can compute, as well as by the complexity of these functions. We observe several properties with parallels in natural systems, such as connected genotype networks and asymmetric phenotypic transitions. The likely common cause is robustness to genotypic change. We describe an intriguing tension between phenotypic complexity and evolvability that may have implications for biological evolution. On the one hand, genotypic change is more likely to yield novel phenotypes in more complex organisms. On the other hand, the total number of novel phenotypes reachable through genotypic change is highest for organisms with simple phenotypes. Artificial evolving systems can help us study aspects of biological evolvability that are not accessible in vastly more complex natural systems. They can also help identify properties, such as robustness, that are required for both human-designed artificial systems and synthetic biological systems to be evolvable.

  12. The genotype-phenotype map of an evolving digital organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortuna, Miguel A; Zaman, Luis; Ofria, Charles; Wagner, Andreas

    2017-02-01

    To understand how evolving systems bring forth novel and useful phenotypes, it is essential to understand the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Artificial evolving systems can help us understand whether the genotype-phenotype maps of natural evolving systems are highly unusual, and it may help create evolvable artificial systems. Here we characterize the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms in Avida, a platform for digital evolution. We consider digital organisms from a vast space of 10141 genotypes (instruction sequences), which can form 512 different phenotypes. These phenotypes are distinguished by different Boolean logic functions they can compute, as well as by the complexity of these functions. We observe several properties with parallels in natural systems, such as connected genotype networks and asymmetric phenotypic transitions. The likely common cause is robustness to genotypic change. We describe an intriguing tension between phenotypic complexity and evolvability that may have implications for biological evolution. On the one hand, genotypic change is more likely to yield novel phenotypes in more complex organisms. On the other hand, the total number of novel phenotypes reachable through genotypic change is highest for organisms with simple phenotypes. Artificial evolving systems can help us study aspects of biological evolvability that are not accessible in vastly more complex natural systems. They can also help identify properties, such as robustness, that are required for both human-designed artificial systems and synthetic biological systems to be evolvable.

  13. An Evolving Asymmetric Game for Modeling Interdictor-Smuggler Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    ASYMMETRIC GAME FOR MODELING INTERDICTOR-SMUGGLER PROBLEMS by Richard J. Allain June 2016 Thesis Advisor: David L. Alderson Second Reader: W...DATES COVERED Master’s thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE AN EVOLVING ASYMMETRIC GAME FOR MODELING INTERDICTOR- SMUGGLER PROBLEMS 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6...NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA THESIS Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited AN EVOLVING

  14. PCBA demand forecasting using an evolving Takagi-Sugeno system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rooijen, M.; Almeida, R.J.; Kaymak, U.

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the use of using an evolving fuzzy system for printed circuit board (PCBA) demand forecasting. The algorithm is based on the evolving Takagi-Sugeno (eTS) fuzzy system, which has the ability to incorporate new patterns by changing its internal structure in an on-line fashion.

  15. Modeling misidentification errors in capture-recapture studies using photographic identification of evolving marks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizaki, J.; Pollock, K.H.; Brownie, C.; Webster, R.A.

    2009-01-01

    Misidentification of animals is potentially important when naturally existing features (natural tags) are used to identify individual animals in a capture-recapture study. Photographic identification (photoID) typically uses photographic images of animals' naturally existing features as tags (photographic tags) and is subject to two main causes of identification errors: those related to quality of photographs (non-evolving natural tags) and those related to changes in natural marks (evolving natural tags). The conventional methods for analysis of capture-recapture data do not account for identification errors, and to do so requires a detailed understanding of the misidentification mechanism. Focusing on the situation where errors are due to evolving natural tags, we propose a misidentification mechanism and outline a framework for modeling the effect of misidentification in closed population studies. We introduce methods for estimating population size based on this model. Using a simulation study, we show that conventional estimators can seriously overestimate population size when errors due to misidentification are ignored, and that, in comparison, our new estimators have better properties except in cases with low capture probabilities (<0.2) or low misidentification rates (<2.5%). ?? 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. The Genetic Basis for Evolved Tolerance to Dioxin-Like Compounds in Wild Atlantic Killifish: More Than the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Populations of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) resident to some US urban estuaries have independently evolved extreme and inherited tolerance to toxic dioxin-like compounds (DLCs). To further understand the genetic basis for this trait, we densely genotyped families o...

  17. Laplacian Estrada and normalized Laplacian Estrada indices of evolving graphs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yilun Shang

    Full Text Available Large-scale time-evolving networks have been generated by many natural and technological applications, posing challenges for computation and modeling. Thus, it is of theoretical and practical significance to probe mathematical tools tailored for evolving networks. In this paper, on top of the dynamic Estrada index, we study the dynamic Laplacian Estrada index and the dynamic normalized Laplacian Estrada index of evolving graphs. Using linear algebra techniques, we established general upper and lower bounds for these graph-spectrum-based invariants through a couple of intuitive graph-theoretic measures, including the number of vertices or edges. Synthetic random evolving small-world networks are employed to show the relevance of the proposed dynamic Estrada indices. It is found that neither the static snapshot graphs nor the aggregated graph can approximate the evolving graph itself, indicating the fundamental difference between the static and dynamic Estrada indices.

  18. Laplacian Estrada and normalized Laplacian Estrada indices of evolving graphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Yilun

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale time-evolving networks have been generated by many natural and technological applications, posing challenges for computation and modeling. Thus, it is of theoretical and practical significance to probe mathematical tools tailored for evolving networks. In this paper, on top of the dynamic Estrada index, we study the dynamic Laplacian Estrada index and the dynamic normalized Laplacian Estrada index of evolving graphs. Using linear algebra techniques, we established general upper and lower bounds for these graph-spectrum-based invariants through a couple of intuitive graph-theoretic measures, including the number of vertices or edges. Synthetic random evolving small-world networks are employed to show the relevance of the proposed dynamic Estrada indices. It is found that neither the static snapshot graphs nor the aggregated graph can approximate the evolving graph itself, indicating the fundamental difference between the static and dynamic Estrada indices.

  19. Moral actor, selfish agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frimer, Jeremy A; Schaefer, Nicola K; Oakes, Harrison

    2014-05-01

    People are motivated to behave selfishly while appearing moral. This tension gives rise to 2 divergently motivated selves. The actor-the watched self-tends to be moral; the agent-the self as executor-tends to be selfish. Three studies present direct evidence of the actor's and agent's distinct motives. To recruit the self-as-actor, we asked people to rate the importance of various goals. To recruit the self-as-agent, we asked people to describe their goals verbally. In Study 1, actors claimed their goals were equally about helping the self and others (viz., moral); agents claimed their goals were primarily about helping the self (viz., selfish). This disparity was evident in both individualist and collectivist cultures, attesting to the universality of the selfish agent. Study 2 compared actors' and agents' motives to those of people role-playing highly prosocial or selfish exemplars. In content (Study 2a) and in the impressions they made on an outside observer (Study 2b), actors' motives were similar to those of the prosocial role-players, whereas agents' motives were similar to those of the selfish role-players. Study 3 accounted for the difference between the actor and agent: Participants claimed that their agent's motives were the more realistic and that their actor's motives were the more idealistic. The selfish agent/moral actor duality may account for why implicit and explicit measures of the same construct diverge, and why feeling watched brings out the better angels of human nature.

  20. Evolving Perspectives on Lyme Borreliosis in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperling, JLH; Middelveen, MJ; Klein, D; Sperling, FAH

    2012-01-01

    With cases now documented in every province, Lyme borreliosis (LB) is emerging as a serious public health risk in Canada. Controversy over the contribution of LB to the burden of chronic disease is maintained by difficulty in capturing accurate Canadian statistics, especially early clinical cases of LB. The use of dogs as sentinel species demon-strates that potential contact with Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes, as detected by C6 peptide, extends across the country. Dissemination of infected ticks by migratory birds and rapid establishment of significant levels of infection have been well described. Canadian public health response has focused on identification of established populations of the tick vectors, Ixodes scapularis and I. pacificus, on the assumption that these are the only important vectors of the disease across Canada. Strains of B. burgdorferi circulating in Canada and the full range of their reservoir species and coinfections remain to be explored. Ongoing surveys and historical records demonstrate that Borrelia-positive Ixodes species are regu-larly present in regions of Canada that have previously been considered to be outside of the ranges of these species in re-cent modeling efforts. We present data demonstrating that human cases of LB are found across the nation. Consequently, physician education and better early diagnoses are needed to prevent long term sequelae. An international perspective will be paramount for developing improved Canadian guidelines that recognize the complexity and diversity of Lyme borreliosis. PMID:23091570

  1. Choledocholithiasis: Evolving standards for diagnosis and management

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marilee L Freitas; Robert L Bell; Andrew J Duffy

    2006-01-01

    Cholelithiasis, one of the most common medical conditions leading to surgical intervention, affects approximately 10 % of the adult population in the United States.Choledocholithiasis develops in about 10%-20% of patients with gallbladder stones and the literature suggests that at least 3%-10% of patients undergoing cholecystectomy will have common bile duct (CBD) stones.CBD stones may be discovered preoperatively, intraoperatively or postoperatively Multiple modalities are available for assessing patients for choledocholithiasis including laboratory tests, ultrasound, computed tomography scans (CT), and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). Intraoperative cholangiography during cholecystectomy can be used routinely or selectively to diagnose CBD stones.The most common intervention for CBD stones is ERCP. Other commonly used interventions include intraoperative bile duct exploration, either laparoscopic or open. Percutaneous, transhepatic stone removal other novel techniques of biliary clearance have been devised.The availability of equipment and skilled practitioners who are facile with these techniques varies among institutions. The timing of the intervention is often dictated by the clinical situation.

  2. Optimizing agent-based transmission models for infectious diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willem, Lander; Stijven, Sean; Tijskens, Engelbert; Beutels, Philippe; Hens, Niel; Broeckhove, Jan

    2015-06-02

    Infectious disease modeling and computational power have evolved such that large-scale agent-based models (ABMs) have become feasible. However, the increasing hardware complexity requires adapted software designs to achieve the full potential of current high-performance workstations. We have found large performance differences with a discrete-time ABM for close-contact disease transmission due to data locality. Sorting the population according to the social contact clusters reduced simulation time by a factor of two. Data locality and model performance can also be improved by storing person attributes separately instead of using person objects. Next, decreasing the number of operations by sorting people by health status before processing disease transmission has also a large impact on model performance. Depending of the clinical attack rate, target population and computer hardware, the introduction of the sort phase decreased the run time from 26% up to more than 70%. We have investigated the application of parallel programming techniques and found that the speedup is significant but it drops quickly with the number of cores. We observed that the effect of scheduling and workload chunk size is model specific and can make a large difference. Investment in performance optimization of ABM simulator code can lead to significant run time reductions. The key steps are straightforward: the data structure for the population and sorting people on health status before effecting disease propagation. We believe these conclusions to be valid for a wide range of infectious disease ABMs. We recommend that future studies evaluate the impact of data management, algorithmic procedures and parallelization on model performance.

  3. Agent Architectures for Compliance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgemeestre, Brigitte; Hulstijn, Joris; Tan, Yao-Hua

    A Normative Multi-Agent System consists of autonomous agents who must comply with social norms. Different kinds of norms make different assumptions about the cognitive architecture of the agents. For example, a principle-based norm assumes that agents can reflect upon the consequences of their actions; a rule-based formulation only assumes that agents can avoid violations. In this paper we present several cognitive agent architectures for self-monitoring and compliance. We show how different assumptions about the cognitive architecture lead to different information needs when assessing compliance. The approach is validated with a case study of horizontal monitoring, an approach to corporate tax auditing recently introduced by the Dutch Customs and Tax Authority.

  4. Innovative agents in cancer prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manson, Margaret M; Farmer, Peter B; Gescher, Andreas; Steward, William P

    2005-01-01

    There are many facets to cancer prevention: a good diet, weight control and physical activity, a healthy environment, avoidance of carcinogens such as those in tobacco smoke, and screening of populations at risk to allow early detection. But there is also the possibility of using drugs or naturally occurring compounds to prevent initiation of, or to suppress, tumour growth. Only a few such agents have been used to date in the clinic with any success, and these include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for colon, finasteride for prostate and tamoxifen or raloxifene for breast tumours. An ideal chemopreventive agent would restore normal growth control to a preneoplastic or cancerous cell population by modifying aberrant signalling pathways or inducing apoptosis (or both) in cells beyond repair. Characteristics for such an agent include selectivity for damaged or transformed cells, good bioavailability and more than one mechanism of action to foil redundancy or crosstalk in signalling pathways. As more research effort is being targeted towards this area, the distinction between chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents is blurring. Chemotherapeutic drugs are now being designed to target over- or under-active signalling molecules within cancer cells, a philosophy which is just as relevant in chemoprevention. Development of dietary agents is particularly attractive because of our long-standing exposure to them, their relative lack of toxicity, and encouraging indications from epidemiology. The carcinogenic process relies on the cell's ability to proliferate abnormally, evade apoptosis, induce angiogenesis and metastasise to distant sites. In vitro studies with a number of different diet-derived compounds suggest that there are molecules capable of modulating each of these aspects of tumour growth. However, on the negative side many of them have rather poor bioavailability. The challenge is to uncover their multiple mechanisms of action in order to predict their

  5. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Evolving paradigms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonardo, Amedeo; Nascimbeni, Fabio; Maurantonio, Mauro; Marrazzo, Alessandra; Rinaldi, Luca; Adinolfi, Luigi Elio

    2017-01-01

    In the last years new evidence has accumulated on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) challenging the paradigms that had been holding the scene over the previous 30 years. NAFLD has such an epidemic prevalence as to make it impossible to screen general population looking for NAFLD cases. Conversely, focusing on those cohorts of individuals exposed to the highest risk of NAFLD could be a more rational approach. NAFLD, which can be diagnosed with either non-invasive strategies or through liver biopsy, is a pathogenically complex and clinically heterogeneous disease. The existence of metabolic as opposed to genetic-associated disease, notably including ”lean NAFLD” has recently been recognized. Moreover, NAFLD is a systemic condition, featuring metabolic, cardiovascular and (hepatic/extra-hepatic) cancer risk. Among the clinico-laboratory features of NAFLD we discuss hyperuricemia, insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, gallstones, psoriasis and selected endocrine derangements. NAFLD is a precursor of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and metabolic syndrome and progressive liver disease develops in T2D patients in whom the course of disease is worsened by NAFLD. Finally, lifestyle changes and drug treatment options to be implemented in the individual patient are also critically discussed. In conclusion, this review emphasizes the new concepts on clinical and pathogenic heterogeneity of NAFLD, a systemic disorder with a multifactorial pathogenesis and protean clinical manifestations. It is highly prevalent in certain cohorts of individuals who are thus potentially amenable to selective screening strategies, intensive follow-up schedules for early identification of liver-related and extrahepatic complications and in whom earlier and more aggressive treatment schedules should be carried out whenever possible. PMID:29085206

  6. Collective properties of evolving molecular quasispecies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manrubia Susanna C

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background RNA molecules, through their dual appearance as sequence and structure, represent a suitable model to study evolutionary properties of quasispecies. The essential ingredient in this model is the differentiation between genotype (molecular sequences which are affected by mutation and phenotype (molecular structure, affected by selection. This framework allows a quantitative analysis of organizational properties of quasispecies as they adapt to different environments, such as their robustness, the effect of the degeneration of the sequence space, or the adaptation under different mutation rates and the error threshold associated. Results We describe and analyze the structural properties of molecular quasispecies adapting to different environments both during the transient time before adaptation takes place and in the asymptotic state, once optimization has occurred. We observe a minimum in the adaptation time at values of the mutation rate relatively far from the phenotypic error threshold. Through the definition of a consensus structure, it is shown that the quasispecies retains relevant structural information in a distributed fashion even above the error threshold. This structural robustness depends on the precise shape of the secondary structure used as target of selection. Experimental results available for natural RNA populations are in qualitative agreement with our observations. Conclusion Adaptation time of molecular quasispecies to a given environment is optimized at values of the mutation rate well below the phenotypic error threshold. The optimal value results from a trade-off between diversity generation and fixation of advantageous mutants. The critical value of the mutation rate is a function not only of the sequence length, but also of the specific properties of the environment, in this case the selection pressure and the shape of the secondary structure used as target phenotype. Certain functional motifs of RNA

  7. The evolving genetic risk for sporadic ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Summer B; Downie, Jonathan M; Tsetsou, Spyridoula; Feusier, Julie E; Figueroa, Karla P; Bromberg, Mark B; Jorde, Lynn B; Pulst, Stefan M

    2017-07-18

    To estimate the genetic risk conferred by known amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-associated genes to the pathogenesis of sporadic ALS (SALS) using variant allele frequencies combined with predicted variant pathogenicity. Whole exome sequencing and repeat expansion PCR of C9orf72 and ATXN2 were performed on 87 patients of European ancestry with SALS seen at the University of Utah. DNA variants that change the protein coding sequence of 31 ALS-associated genes were annotated to determine which were rare and deleterious as predicted by MetaSVM. The percentage of patients with SALS with a rare and deleterious variant or repeat expansion in an ALS-associated gene was calculated. An odds ratio analysis was performed comparing the burden of ALS-associated genes in patients with SALS vs 324 normal controls. Nineteen rare nonsynonymous variants in an ALS-associated gene, 2 of which were found in 2 different individuals, were identified in 21 patients with SALS. Further, 5 deleterious C9orf72 and 2 ATXN2 repeat expansions were identified. A total of 17.2% of patients with SALS had a rare and deleterious variant or repeat expansion in an ALS-associated gene. The genetic burden of ALS-associated genes in patients with SALS as predicted by MetaSVM was significantly higher than in normal controls. Previous analyses have identified SALS-predisposing variants only in terms of their rarity in normal control populations. By incorporating variant pathogenicity as well as variant frequency, we demonstrated that the genetic risk contributed by these genes for SALS is substantially lower than previous estimates. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  8. Stabilized radiographic scanning agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fawzi, M.B.

    1982-01-01

    Stable compositions useful as technetium 99m-based scintigraphic agents comprise gentisic acid or a pharmaceutically-acceptable salt or ester thereof in combination with a pertechnetate reducing agent or dissolved in pertechnetate-99m (sup(99m)TcOsub(4)sup(-)) solution. The compositions are especially useful in combination with a phosphate or phosphonate material that carries the radionuclide to bone, thus providing a skeletal imaging agent

  9. Partially satisfied to fully satisfied transitions in co-evolving inverse voter model and possible scaling behavior

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, C.W.; Xu, C.; Hui, P.M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding co-evolving networks characterized by the mutual influence of agents' actions and network structure remains a challenge. We study a co-evolving inverse voter model in which agents adapt to achieve a preferred environment with more opposite-opinion neighbors by rewiring their connections and switching opinion. Numerical studies reveal a transition from a dynamic partially satisfied phase to a frozen fully satisfied phase as the rewiring probability is varied. A simple mean field theory is shown to capture the behavior only qualitatively. An improved mean field theory carrying a longer spatial correlation gives better results. Motivated by numerical results in networks of different degrees and mean field results, we propose a scaling variable that combines the rewiring probability and mean degree in a special form. The scaling variable is shown to work well in analyzing data corresponding to different networks and different rewiring probabilities. An application is to predict the results for networks of different degrees based solely on results obtained from networks of one degree. Studying scaling behavior provides an alternative path for understanding co-evolving agent-based dynamical systems, especially in light of the trade-off between complexity of a theory and its accuracy. - Highlights: • Identified key features and phase transitions in coevolving inverse voter model. • Constructed a better theory incorporating longer spatial correlation. • Proposed scaling variable and illustrated possible scaling behavior. • Used scaling behavior to predict results of IVM in a different network.

  10. Contrast agents for MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonnemain, B.

    1994-01-01

    Contrast agents MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) have been developed to improve the diagnostic information obtained by this technic. They mainly interact on T1 and T2 parameters and increase consequently normal to abnormal tissues contrast. The paramagnetic agents which mainly act on longitudinal relaxation rate (T1) are gadolinium complexes for which stability is the main parameter to avoid any release of free gadolinium. The superparamagnetic agents that decrease signal intensity by an effect on transversal relaxation rate (T2) are developed for liver, digestive and lymph node imaging. Many area of research are now opened for optimal use of present and future contrast agents in MRI. (author). 28 refs., 4 tabs

  11. Decontamination Data - Blister Agents

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Decontamination efficacy data for blister agents on various building materials using various decontamination solutions. This dataset is associated with the following...

  12. EEVEE: the Empathy-Enhancing Virtual Evolving Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip L. Jackson

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Empathy is a multifaceted emotional and mental faculty that is often found to be affected in a great number of psychopathologies, including schizophrenia, yet it remains very difficult to measure in an ecological context. The challenge stems partly from the complexity and fluidity of this social process, but also from its covert nature. A powerful tool to enhance experimental control over such dynamic social interactions is the use of avatars in virtual reality (VR, and one way to collect information about an individual in an interaction is through the analysis of his or her neurophysiological and behavioural responses. We have developed a unique platform, the Empathy-Enhancing Virtual Evolving Environment (EEVEE, which is built around three main components: 1 different avatars capable of expressing feelings and emotions at various levels based on the Facial Action Coding System (FACS; 2 systems for measuring the physiological responses of the observer (heart and respiration rate, skin conductance, gaze and eye movements, facial expression; and 3 a multimodal interface linking the avatar’s behaviour to the observer’s neurophysiological response. In this article, we provide a detailed description of the components of this innovative platform and validation data from the first phases of development. Our data show that healthy adults can discriminate different negative emotions, including pain, expressed by avatars at varying intensities. We also provide evidence that masking part of an avatar’s face (top or bottom half does not prevent the detection of different levels of pain. Overall, this innovative and flexible platform provides a unique tool to study and even modulate empathy in a comprehensive and ecological manner in number of populations suffering from neurological or psychiatric disorders.

  13. Playing With Population Protocols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Koegler

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Population protocols have been introduced as a model of sensor networks consisting of very limited mobile agents with no control over their own movement: A collection of anonymous agents, modeled by finite automata, interact in pairs according to some rules. Predicates on the initial configurations that can be computed by such protocols have been characterized under several hypotheses. We discuss here whether and when the rules of interactions between agents can be seen as a game from game theory. We do so by discussing several basic protocols.

  14. Change Agent Survival Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, Folwell L.

    2011-01-01

    Consulting is a rough racket. Only a tarantula hair above IRS agents, meter maids and used car sales people, the profession is a prickly burr for slings and arrows. Throw in education, focus on dysfunctional schools and call oneself a "change agent," and this bad rap all but disappears. Unfortunately, though, consulting/coaching/mentoring in…

  15. Teaching Tourism Change Agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stilling Blichfeldt, Bodil; Kvistgaard, Hans-Peter; Hird, John

    2017-01-01

    course that is part of a Tourism Master’s program, where a major challenge is not only to teach students about change and change agents, but to teach them how change feels and ho w to become change agents. The c hange management course contains an experiment inspired by experiential teaching literature...... change in tourism in the future....

  16. Travel Agent Course Outline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    British Columbia Dept. of Education, Victoria.

    Written for college entry-level travel agent training courses, this course outline can also be used for inservice training programs offered by travel agencies. The outline provides information on the work of a travel agent and gives clear statements on what learners must be able to do by the end of their training. Material is divided into eight…

  17. Radiographic scintiscanning agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bevan, J.A.

    1979-01-01

    A new technetium-based scintiscanning agent has been prepared comprising a water soluble sup(99m)Tc-methanehydroxydiphosphonate in combination with a reducing agent selected from stannous, ferrous, chromous and titanous salts. As an additional stabilizer salts and esters of gentisic or ascorbic acids have been used. (E.G.)

  18. Radiographic scanning agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tofe, A.J.

    1976-01-01

    A stable radiographic scanning agent on a sup(99m)Tc basis has been developed. The substance contains a pertechnetate reduction agent, tin(II)-chloride, chromium(II)-chloride, or iron(II)-sulphate, as well as an organospecific carrier and ascorbic acid or a pharmacologically admissible salt or ester of ascorbic acid. (VJ) [de

  19. Stable radiographic scanning agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

    Stable compositions which are useful in the preparation of Technetium-99m-based scintigraphic agents are discussed. They are comprised of ascorbic acid or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt or ester thereof in combination with a pertechnetate reducing agent or dissolved in oxidized pertechnetate-99m (sup(99m)TcO 4 - ) solution

  20. Transhydrogenase promotes the robustness and evolvability of E. coli deficient in NADPH production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Hung Chou

    Full Text Available Metabolic networks revolve around few metabolites recognized by diverse enzymes and involved in myriad reactions. Though hub metabolites are considered as stepping stones to facilitate the evolutionary expansion of biochemical pathways, changes in their production or consumption often impair cellular physiology through their system-wide connections. How does metabolism endure perturbations brought immediately by pathway modification and restore hub homeostasis in the long run? To address this question we studied laboratory evolution of pathway-engineered Escherichia coli that underproduces the redox cofactor NADPH on glucose. Literature suggests multiple possibilities to restore NADPH homeostasis. Surprisingly, genetic dissection of isolates from our twelve evolved populations revealed merely two solutions: (1 modulating the expression of membrane-bound transhydrogenase (mTH in every population; (2 simultaneously consuming glucose with acetate, an unfavored byproduct normally excreted during glucose catabolism, in two subpopulations. Notably, mTH displays broad phylogenetic distribution and has also played a predominant role in laboratory evolution of Methylobacterium extorquens deficient in NADPH production. Convergent evolution of two phylogenetically and metabolically distinct species suggests mTH as a conserved buffering mechanism that promotes the robustness and evolvability of metabolism. Moreover, adaptive diversification via evolving dual substrate consumption highlights the flexibility of physiological systems to exploit ecological opportunities.

  1. Transhydrogenase Promotes the Robustness and Evolvability of E. coli Deficient in NADPH Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Hsin-Hung; Marx, Christopher J.; Sauer, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Metabolic networks revolve around few metabolites recognized by diverse enzymes and involved in myriad reactions. Though hub metabolites are considered as stepping stones to facilitate the evolutionary expansion of biochemical pathways, changes in their production or consumption often impair cellular physiology through their system-wide connections. How does metabolism endure perturbations brought immediately by pathway modification and restore hub homeostasis in the long run? To address this question we studied laboratory evolution of pathway-engineered Escherichia coli that underproduces the redox cofactor NADPH on glucose. Literature suggests multiple possibilities to restore NADPH homeostasis. Surprisingly, genetic dissection of isolates from our twelve evolved populations revealed merely two solutions: (1) modulating the expression of membrane-bound transhydrogenase (mTH) in every population; (2) simultaneously consuming glucose with acetate, an unfavored byproduct normally excreted during glucose catabolism, in two subpopulations. Notably, mTH displays broad phylogenetic distribution and has also played a predominant role in laboratory evolution of Methylobacterium extorquens deficient in NADPH production. Convergent evolution of two phylogenetically and metabolically distinct species suggests mTH as a conserved buffering mechanism that promotes the robustness and evolvability of metabolism. Moreover, adaptive diversification via evolving dual substrate consumption highlights the flexibility of physiological systems to exploit ecological opportunities. PMID:25715029

  2. Project Seahorse evolves into major marine protector | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2012-10-29

    Oct 29, 2012 ... Project Seahorse evolves into major marine protector ... local people, have greatly improved the prospects of survival for threatened species. ... “We tackle issues on any political level or geographical scale, according to what ...

  3. Incremental Frequent Subgraph Mining on Large Evolving Graphs

    KAUST Repository

    Abdelhamid, Ehab; Canim, Mustafa; Sadoghi, Mohammad; Bhatta, Bishwaranjan; Chang, Yuan-Chi; Kalnis, Panos

    2017-01-01

    , such as social networks, utilize large evolving graphs. Mining these graphs using existing techniques is infeasible, due to the high computational cost. In this paper, we propose IncGM+, a fast incremental approach for continuous frequent subgraph mining problem

  4. Genetic Algorithms Evolve Optimized Transforms for Signal Processing Applications

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Moore, Frank; Babb, Brendan; Becke, Steven; Koyuk, Heather; Lamson, Earl, III; Wedge, Christopher

    2005-01-01

    .... The primary goal of the research described in this final report was to establish a methodology for using genetic algorithms to evolve coefficient sets describing inverse transforms and matched...

  5. Biofabrication : reappraising the definition of an evolving field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groll, Jürgen; Boland, Thomas; Blunk, Torsten; Burdick, Jason A; Cho, Dong-Woo; Dalton, Paul D; Derby, Brian; Forgacs, Gabor; Li, Qing; Mironov, Vladimir A; Moroni, Lorenzo; Nakamura, Makoto; Shu, Wenmiao; Takeuchi, Shoji; Vozzi, Giovanni; Woodfield, Tim B F; Xu, Tao; Yoo, James J; Malda, Jos|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/412461099

    2016-01-01

    Biofabrication is an evolving research field that has recently received significant attention. In particular, the adoption of Biofabrication concepts within the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine has grown tremendously, and has been accompanied by a growing inconsistency in

  6. Biofabrication : Reappraising the definition of an evolving field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groll, Jürgen; Boland, Thomas; Blunk, Torsten; Burdick, Jason A.; Cho, Dong Woo; Dalton, Paul D.; Derby, Brian; Forgacs, Gabor; Li, Qing; Mironov, Vladimir A.; Moroni, Lorenzo; Nakamura, Makoto; Shu, Wenmiao; Takeuchi, Shoji; Vozzi, Giovanni; Woodfield, Tim B.F.; Xu, Tao; Yoo, James J.; Malda, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Biofabrication is an evolving research field that has recently received significant attention. In particular, the adoption of Biofabrication concepts within the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine has grown tremendously, and has been accompanied by a growing inconsistency in

  7. Evolving the Evolving: Territory, Place and Rewilding in the California Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Milligan

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Current planning and legislation in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta call for the large-scale ecological restoration of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. These ecological mandates have emerged in response to the region’s infrastructural transformation and the Delta’s predominant use as the central logistical hub in the state’s vast water conveyance network. Restoration is an attempt to recover what was externalized by the logic and abstractions of this logistical infrastructure. However, based on findings from our research, which examined how people are using restored and naturalized landscapes in the Delta and how these landscapes are currently planned for, we argue that as mitigatory response, restoration planning continues some of the same spatial abstractions and inequities by failing to account for the Delta as an urbanized, cultural and unique place. In interpreting how these conditions have come to be, we give attention to a pluralistic landscape approach and a coevolutionary reading of planning, policy, science and landscapes to discuss the conservation challenges presented by “Delta as an Evolving Place”. We suggest that for rewilding efforts to be successful in the Delta, a range of proactive, opportunistic, grounded and participatory tactics will be required to shift towards a more socio-ecological approach.

  8. Neural modularity helps organisms evolve to learn new skills without forgetting old skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellefsen, Kai Olav; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste; Clune, Jeff

    2015-04-01

    A long-standing goal in artificial intelligence is creating agents that can learn a variety of different skills for different problems. In the artificial intelligence subfield of neural networks, a barrier to that goal is that when agents learn a new skill they typically do so by losing previously acquired skills, a problem called catastrophic forgetting. That occurs because, to learn the new task, neural learning algorithms change connections that encode previously acquired skills. How networks are organized critically affects their learning dynamics. In this paper, we test whether catastrophic forgetting can be reduced by evolving modular neural networks. Modularity intuitively should reduce learning interference between tasks by separating functionality into physically distinct modules in which learning can be selectively turned on or off. Modularity can further improve learning by having a reinforcement learning module separate from sensory processing modules, allowing learning to happen only in response to a positive or negative reward. In this paper, learning takes place via neuromodulation, which allows agents to selectively change the rate of learning for each neural connection based on environmental stimuli (e.g. to alter learning in specific locations based on the task at hand). To produce modularity, we evolve neural networks with a cost for neural connections. We show that this connection cost technique causes modularity, confirming a previous result, and that such sparsely connected, modular networks have higher overall performance because they learn new skills faster while retaining old skills more and because they have a separate reinforcement learning module. Our results suggest (1) that encouraging modularity in neural networks may help us overcome the long-standing barrier of networks that cannot learn new skills without forgetting old ones, and (2) that one benefit of the modularity ubiquitous in the brains of natural animals might be to

  9. Neural modularity helps organisms evolve to learn new skills without forgetting old skills.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Olav Ellefsen

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A long-standing goal in artificial intelligence is creating agents that can learn a variety of different skills for different problems. In the artificial intelligence subfield of neural networks, a barrier to that goal is that when agents learn a new skill they typically do so by losing previously acquired skills, a problem called catastrophic forgetting. That occurs because, to learn the new task, neural learning algorithms change connections that encode previously acquired skills. How networks are organized critically affects their learning dynamics. In this paper, we test whether catastrophic forgetting can be reduced by evolving modular neural networks. Modularity intuitively should reduce learning interference between tasks by separating functionality into physically distinct modules in which learning can be selectively turned on or off. Modularity can further improve learning by having a reinforcement learning module separate from sensory processing modules, allowing learning to happen only in response to a positive or negative reward. In this paper, learning takes place via neuromodulation, which allows agents to selectively change the rate of learning for each neural connection based on environmental stimuli (e.g. to alter learning in specific locations based on the task at hand. To produce modularity, we evolve neural networks with a cost for neural connections. We show that this connection cost technique causes modularity, confirming a previous result, and that such sparsely connected, modular networks have higher overall performance because they learn new skills faster while retaining old skills more and because they have a separate reinforcement learning module. Our results suggest (1 that encouraging modularity in neural networks may help us overcome the long-standing barrier of networks that cannot learn new skills without forgetting old ones, and (2 that one benefit of the modularity ubiquitous in the brains of natural animals

  10. Neural Modularity Helps Organisms Evolve to Learn New Skills without Forgetting Old Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellefsen, Kai Olav; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste; Clune, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    A long-standing goal in artificial intelligence is creating agents that can learn a variety of different skills for different problems. In the artificial intelligence subfield of neural networks, a barrier to that goal is that when agents learn a new skill they typically do so by losing previously acquired skills, a problem called catastrophic forgetting. That occurs because, to learn the new task, neural learning algorithms change connections that encode previously acquired skills. How networks are organized critically affects their learning dynamics. In this paper, we test whether catastrophic forgetting can be reduced by evolving modular neural networks. Modularity intuitively should reduce learning interference between tasks by separating functionality into physically distinct modules in which learning can be selectively turned on or off. Modularity can further improve learning by having a reinforcement learning module separate from sensory processing modules, allowing learning to happen only in response to a positive or negative reward. In this paper, learning takes place via neuromodulation, which allows agents to selectively change the rate of learning for each neural connection based on environmental stimuli (e.g. to alter learning in specific locations based on the task at hand). To produce modularity, we evolve neural networks with a cost for neural connections. We show that this connection cost technique causes modularity, confirming a previous result, and that such sparsely connected, modular networks have higher overall performance because they learn new skills faster while retaining old skills more and because they have a separate reinforcement learning module. Our results suggest (1) that encouraging modularity in neural networks may help us overcome the long-standing barrier of networks that cannot learn new skills without forgetting old ones, and (2) that one benefit of the modularity ubiquitous in the brains of natural animals might be to

  11. Evolving paradigm of illnesses presented to medical Intensive Care Unit in body builders: Cases from tertiary care center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Sunil Kumar

    2015-04-01

    Bodybuilding is the use of progressive resistance exercise to control and develop one's musculature. With the rise in number of persons adopting this activity, there is evolving paradigm of illnesses presented to intensive care in this population subset. Strict adherence to details of bodybuilding and avoidance of unsupervised medications are essential to prevent untoward effects.

  12. (N+1)-dimensional Lorentzian evolving wormholes supported by polytropic matter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cataldo, Mauricio [Universidad del Bio-Bio, Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias, Concepcion (Chile); Arostica, Fernanda; Bahamonde, Sebastian [Universidad de Concepcion, Departamento de Fisica, Concepcion (Chile)

    2013-08-15

    In this paper we study (N+1)-dimensional evolving wormholes supported by energy satisfying a polytropic equation of state. The considered evolving wormhole models are described by a constant redshift function and generalizes the standard flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime. The polytropic equation of state allows us to consider in (3+1)-dimensions generalizations of the phantom energy and the generalized Chaplygin gas sources. (orig.)

  13. Reduced inflammation in expanding populations of a neotropical bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailly, Juliette; Garnier, Stéphane; Khimoun, Aurélie; Arnoux, Emilie; Eraud, Cyril; Goret, Jean-Yves; Luglia, Thomas; Gaucher, Philippe; Faivre, Bruno

    2016-10-01

    The loss of regulating agents such as parasites is among the most important changes in biotic interactions experienced by populations established in newly colonized areas. Under a relaxed parasite pressure, individuals investing less in costly immune mechanisms might experience a selective advantage and become successful colonizers as they re-allocate resources to other fitness-related traits. Accordingly, a refinement of the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis proposed that immunity of invasive populations has evolved toward a reduced investment in innate immunity, the most costly component of immunity, and an increased humoral immunity that is less costly. Biogeographical approaches comparing populations between native and expansion ranges are particularly relevant in exploring this issue, but remain very scarce. We conducted a biogeographical comparison between populations of Spectacled Thrush ( Turdus nudigenis ) from the native area (South America) and from the expansion range (Caribbean islands). First, we compared haemosporidian prevalence and circulating haptoglobin (an acute-phase protein produced during inflammation). Second, we challenged captive birds from both ranges with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharides ( LPS ) and measured postchallenge haptoglobin production and body mass change. Birds from the expansion range showed lower haemosporidian prevalence and lower levels of haptoglobin than birds from the native range. In addition, the inflammation elicited by LPS injection and its associated cost in terms of body mass loss were lower in birds from the expansion range than in birds from the native range. In accordance with the enemy release hypothesis, our results suggest that range expansion is associated with a reduced infection risk. Our study also supports the hypothesis that individuals from newly established populations have evolved mechanisms to dampen the inflammatory response and are in accordance with one prediction

  14. A new evolutionary system for evolving artificial neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, X; Liu, Y

    1997-01-01

    This paper presents a new evolutionary system, i.e., EPNet, for evolving artificial neural networks (ANNs). The evolutionary algorithm used in EPNet is based on Fogel's evolutionary programming (EP). Unlike most previous studies on evolving ANN's, this paper puts its emphasis on evolving ANN's behaviors. Five mutation operators proposed in EPNet reflect such an emphasis on evolving behaviors. Close behavioral links between parents and their offspring are maintained by various mutations, such as partial training and node splitting. EPNet evolves ANN's architectures and connection weights (including biases) simultaneously in order to reduce the noise in fitness evaluation. The parsimony of evolved ANN's is encouraged by preferring node/connection deletion to addition. EPNet has been tested on a number of benchmark problems in machine learning and ANNs, such as the parity problem, the medical diagnosis problems, the Australian credit card assessment problem, and the Mackey-Glass time series prediction problem. The experimental results show that EPNet can produce very compact ANNs with good generalization ability in comparison with other algorithms.

  15. Agent Programming Languages and Logics in Agent-Based Simulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, John

    2018-01-01

    and social behavior, and work on verification. Agent-based simulation is an approach for simulation that also uses the notion of agents. Although agent programming languages and logics are much less used in agent-based simulation, there are successful examples with agents designed according to the BDI...

  16. Biological warfare agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duraipandian Thavaselvam

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies.

  17. Biological warfare agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-01-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies. PMID:21829313

  18. canEvolve: a web portal for integrative oncogenomics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehmet Kemal Samur

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Genome-wide profiles of tumors obtained using functional genomics platforms are being deposited to the public repositories at an astronomical scale, as a result of focused efforts by individual laboratories and large projects such as the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA and the International Cancer Genome Consortium. Consequently, there is an urgent need for reliable tools that integrate and interpret these data in light of current knowledge and disseminate results to biomedical researchers in a user-friendly manner. We have built the canEvolve web portal to meet this need. RESULTS: canEvolve query functionalities are designed to fulfill most frequent analysis needs of cancer researchers with a view to generate novel hypotheses. canEvolve stores gene, microRNA (miRNA and protein expression profiles, copy number alterations for multiple cancer types, and protein-protein interaction information. canEvolve allows querying of results of primary analysis, integrative analysis and network analysis of oncogenomics data. The querying for primary analysis includes differential gene and miRNA expression as well as changes in gene copy number measured with SNP microarrays. canEvolve provides results of integrative analysis of gene expression profiles with copy number alterations and with miRNA profiles as well as generalized integrative analysis using gene set enrichment analysis. The network analysis capability includes storage and visualization of gene co-expression, inferred gene regulatory networks and protein-protein interaction information. Finally, canEvolve provides correlations between gene expression and clinical outcomes in terms of univariate survival analysis. CONCLUSION: At present canEvolve provides different types of information extracted from 90 cancer genomics studies comprising of more than 10,000 patients. The presence of multiple data types, novel integrative analysis for identifying regulators of oncogenesis, network

  19. Culturally Aware Agent Communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rehm, Matthias; Nakano, Yukiko; Koda, Tomoko

    2012-01-01

    Agent based interaction in the form of Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs) has matured over the last decade and agents have become more and more sophisticated in terms of their verbal and nonverbal behavior like facial expressions or gestures. Having such “natural” communication channels...... available for expressing not only task-relevant but also socially and psychologically relevant information makes it necessary to take influences into account that are not readily implemented like emotions or cultural heuristics. These influences have a huge impact on the success of an interaction...

  20. Agent-Based Optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Jędrzejowicz, Piotr; Kacprzyk, Janusz

    2013-01-01

    This volume presents a collection of original research works by leading specialists focusing on novel and promising approaches in which the multi-agent system paradigm is used to support, enhance or replace traditional approaches to solving difficult optimization problems. The editors have invited several well-known specialists to present their solutions, tools, and models falling under the common denominator of the agent-based optimization. The book consists of eight chapters covering examples of application of the multi-agent paradigm and respective customized tools to solve  difficult optimization problems arising in different areas such as machine learning, scheduling, transportation and, more generally, distributed and cooperative problem solving.

  1. Mobile Agent Data Integrity Using Multi-Agent Architecture

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    McDonald, Jeffrey

    2004-01-01

    .... Security issues for mobile agents continue to produce research interest, particularly in developing mechanisms that guarantee protection of agent data and agent computations in the presence of malicious hosts...

  2. Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000216.htm Hepatitis D (Delta agent) To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Hepatitis D is a viral infection caused by the ...

  3. Agents Within our Midst

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-14

    agents; and the development of bio -monitoring protocols for civilian and service personnel during a chemical attack. These efforts have resulted in greater...produced by staphylococcal bacteria that is and is classified as a CDC select agent which has the potential to be used as a biological weapon .1...NMR chemical shift perturbation titrations with Fab (fragment, antigen binding regions) domains of 20B1, 14G8, and 6D3 using deuterated (2H) SEB

  4. Adrenal imaging agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, M.A.; Hanson, R.N.; Holman, B.L.

    1980-01-01

    The goals of this proposal are the development of selenium-containing analogs of the aromatic amino acids as imaging agents for the pancreas and of the adrenal cortex enzyme inhibitors as imaging agents for adrenal pathology. The objects for this year include (a) the synthesis of methylseleno derivatives of phenylalanine and tryptophan, and (b) the preparation and evaluation of radiolabeled iodobenzoyl derivatives of the selenazole and thiazole analogs of metyrapone and SU-9055

  5. Agent-based models in economics a toolkit

    CERN Document Server

    Fagiolo, Giorgio; Gallegati, Mauro; Richiardi, Matteo; Russo, Alberto

    2018-01-01

    In contrast to mainstream economics, complexity theory conceives the economy as a complex system of heterogeneous interacting agents characterised by limited information and bounded rationality. Agent Based Models (ABMs) are the analytical and computational tools developed by the proponents of this emerging methodology. Aimed at students and scholars of contemporary economics, this book includes a comprehensive toolkit for agent-based computational economics, now quickly becoming the new way to study evolving economic systems. Leading scholars in the field explain how ABMs can be applied fruitfully to many real-world economic examples and represent a great advancement over mainstream approaches. The essays discuss the methodological bases of agent-based approaches and demonstrate step-by-step how to build, simulate and analyse ABMs and how to validate their outputs empirically using the data. They also present a wide set of applications of these models to key economic topics, including the business cycle, lab...

  6. Modeling and clustering users with evolving profiles in usage streams

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Chongsheng

    2012-09-01

    Today, there is an increasing need of data stream mining technology to discover important patterns on the fly. Existing data stream models and algorithms commonly assume that users\\' records or profiles in data streams will not be updated or revised once they arrive. Nevertheless, in various applications such asWeb usage, the records/profiles of the users can evolve along time. This kind of streaming data evolves in two forms, the streaming of tuples or transactions as in the case of traditional data streams, and more importantly, the evolving of user records/profiles inside the streams. Such data streams bring difficulties on modeling and clustering for exploring users\\' behaviors. In this paper, we propose three models to summarize this kind of data streams, which are the batch model, the Evolving Objects (EO) model and the Dynamic Data Stream (DDS) model. Through creating, updating and deleting user profiles, these models summarize the behaviors of each user as a profile object. Based upon these models, clustering algorithms are employed to discover interesting user groups from the profile objects. We have evaluated all the proposed models on a large real-world data set, showing that the DDS model summarizes the data streams with evolving tuples more efficiently and effectively, and provides better basis for clustering users than the other two models. © 2012 IEEE.

  7. Modeling and clustering users with evolving profiles in usage streams

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Chongsheng; Masseglia, Florent; Zhang, Xiangliang

    2012-01-01

    Today, there is an increasing need of data stream mining technology to discover important patterns on the fly. Existing data stream models and algorithms commonly assume that users' records or profiles in data streams will not be updated or revised once they arrive. Nevertheless, in various applications such asWeb usage, the records/profiles of the users can evolve along time. This kind of streaming data evolves in two forms, the streaming of tuples or transactions as in the case of traditional data streams, and more importantly, the evolving of user records/profiles inside the streams. Such data streams bring difficulties on modeling and clustering for exploring users' behaviors. In this paper, we propose three models to summarize this kind of data streams, which are the batch model, the Evolving Objects (EO) model and the Dynamic Data Stream (DDS) model. Through creating, updating and deleting user profiles, these models summarize the behaviors of each user as a profile object. Based upon these models, clustering algorithms are employed to discover interesting user groups from the profile objects. We have evaluated all the proposed models on a large real-world data set, showing that the DDS model summarizes the data streams with evolving tuples more efficiently and effectively, and provides better basis for clustering users than the other two models. © 2012 IEEE.

  8. Rapid divergence and convergence of life-history in experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Molly K; Barter, Thomas T; Cabral, Larry G; Kezos, James N; Phillips, Mark A; Rutledge, Grant A; Phung, Kevin H; Chen, Richard H; Nguyen, Huy D; Mueller, Laurence D; Rose, Michael R

    2016-09-01

    Laboratory selection experiments are alluring in their simplicity, power, and ability to inform us about how evolution works. A longstanding challenge facing evolution experiments with metazoans is that significant generational turnover takes a long time. In this work, we present data from a unique system of experimentally evolved laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster that have experienced three distinct life-history selection regimes. The goal of our study was to determine how quickly populations of a certain selection regime diverge phenotypically from their ancestors, and how quickly they converge with independently derived populations that share a selection regime. Our results indicate that phenotypic divergence from an ancestral population occurs rapidly, within dozens of generations, regardless of that population's evolutionary history. Similarly, populations sharing a selection treatment converge on common phenotypes in this same time frame, regardless of selection pressures those populations may have experienced in the past. These patterns of convergence and divergence emerged much faster than expected, suggesting that intermediate evolutionary history has transient effects in this system. The results we draw from this system are applicable to other experimental evolution projects, and suggest that many relevant questions can be sufficiently tested on shorter timescales than previously thought. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. Climate in Context - How partnerships evolve in regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parris, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    In 2015, NOAA's RISA program will celebrate its 20th year of exploration in the development of usable climate information. In the mid-1990s, a vision emerged to develop interdisciplinary research efforts at the regional scale for several important reasons. Recognizable climate patterns, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), emerge at the regional level where our understanding of observations and models coalesce. Critical resources for society are managed in a context of regional systems, such as water supply and human populations. Multiple scales of governance (local, state, and federal) with complex institutional relationships can be examined across a region. Climate information (i.e. data, science, research etc) developed within these contexts has greater potential for use. All of this work rests on a foundation of iterative engagement between scientists and decision makers. Throughout these interactions, RISAs have navigated diverse politics, extreme events and disasters, socio-economic and ecological disruptions, and advances in both science and technology. Our understanding of information needs is evolving into a richer understanding of complex institutional, legal, political, and cultural contexts within which people can use science to make informed decisions. The outcome of RISA work includes both cases where climate information was used in decisions and cases where capacity for using climate information and making climate resilient decisions has increased over time. In addition to balancing supply and demand of scientific information, RISAs are engaged in a social process of reconciling climate information use with important drivers of society. Because partnerships are critical for sustained engagement, and because engagement is critically important to the use of science, the rapid development of new capacity in regionally-based science programs focused on providing climate decision support is both needed and challenging. New actors can bolster

  10. Is plate tectonics needed to evolve technological species on exoplanets?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Stern

    2016-07-01

    tectonics for developing a technological species is examined via a thought experiment using two otherwise identical planets: one with plate tectonics and the other without. A planet with oceans, continents, and plate tectonics maximizes opportunities for speciation and natural selection, whereas a similar planet without plate tectonics provides fewer such opportunities. Plate tectonics exerts environmental pressures that drive evolution without being capable of extinguishing all life. Plate tectonic processes such as the redistribution of continents, growth of mountain ranges, formation of land bridges, and opening and closing of oceans provide a continuous but moderate environmental pressure that stimulates populations to adapt and evolve. Plate tectonics may not be needed in order for life to begin, but evolution of technological species is favored on planets with oceans, continents, plate tectonics, and intermittently clear night sky.

  11. Time Evolving Fission Chain Theory and Fast Neutron and Gamma-Ray Counting Distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, K. S.; Nakae, L. F.; Prasad, M. K.; Snyderman, N. J.; Verbeke, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Here, we solve a simple theoretical model of time evolving fission chains due to Feynman that generalizes and asymptotically approaches the point model theory. The point model theory has been used to analyze thermal neutron counting data. This extension of the theory underlies fast counting data for both neutrons and gamma rays from metal systems. Fast neutron and gamma-ray counting is now possible using liquid scintillator arrays with nanosecond time resolution. For individual fission chains, the differential equations describing three correlated probability distributions are solved: the time-dependent internal neutron population, accumulation of fissions in time, and accumulation of leaked neutrons in time. Explicit analytic formulas are given for correlated moments of the time evolving chain populations. The equations for random time gate fast neutron and gamma-ray counting distributions, due to randomly initiated chains, are presented. Correlated moment equations are given for both random time gate and triggered time gate counting. There are explicit formulas for all correlated moments are given up to triple order, for all combinations of correlated fast neutrons and gamma rays. The nonlinear differential equations for probabilities for time dependent fission chain populations have a remarkably simple Monte Carlo realization. A Monte Carlo code was developed for this theory and is shown to statistically realize the solutions to the fission chain theory probability distributions. Combined with random initiation of chains and detection of external quanta, the Monte Carlo code generates time tagged data for neutron and gamma-ray counting and from these data the counting distributions.

  12. Regulated open multi-agent systems (ROMAS) a multi-agent approach for designing normative open systems

    CERN Document Server

    Garcia, Emilia; Botti, Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Addressing the open problem of engineering normative open systems using the multi-agent paradigm, normative open systems are explained as systems in which heterogeneous and autonomous entities and institutions coexist in a complex social and legal framework that can evolve to address the different and often conflicting objectives of the many stakeholders involved. Presenting  a software engineering approach which covers both the analysis and design of these kinds of systems, and which deals with the open issues in the area, ROMAS (Regulated Open Multi-Agent Systems) defines a specific multi-agent architecture, meta-model, methodology and CASE tool. This CASE tool is based on Model-Driven technology and integrates the graphical design with the formal verification of some properties of these systems by means of model checking techniques. Utilizing tables to enhance reader insights into the most important requirements for designing normative open multi-agent systems, the book also provides a detailed and easy t...

  13. FY1995 evolvable hardware chip; 1995 nendo shinkasuru hardware chip

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-03-01

    This project aims at the development of 'Evolvable Hardware' (EHW) which can adapt its hardware structure to the environment to attain better hardware performance, under the control of genetic algorithms. EHW is a key technology to explore the new application area requiring real-time performance and on-line adaptation. 1. Development of EHW-LSI for function level hardware evolution, which includes 15 DSPs in one chip. 2. Application of the EHW to the practical industrial applications such as data compression, ATM control, digital mobile communication. 3. Two patents : (1) the architecture and the processing method for programmable EHW-LSI. (2) The method of data compression for loss-less data, using EHW. 4. The first international conference for evolvable hardware was held by authors: Intl. Conf. on Evolvable Systems (ICES96). It was determined at ICES96 that ICES will be held every two years between Japan and Europe. So the new society has been established by us. (NEDO)

  14. Evolving Systems: An Outcome of Fondest Hopes and Wildest Dreams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Susan A.; Balas, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    New theory is presented for evolving systems, which are autonomously controlled subsystems that self-assemble into a new evolved system with a higher purpose. Evolving systems of aerospace structures often require additional control when assembling to maintain stability during the entire evolution process. This is the concept of Adaptive Key Component Control that operates through one specific component to maintain stability during the evolution. In addition, this control must often overcome persistent disturbances that occur while the evolution is in progress. Theoretical results will be presented for Adaptive Key Component control for persistent disturbance rejection. An illustrative example will demonstrate the Adaptive Key Component controller on a system composed of rigid body and flexible body modes.

  15. Qualitative Functional Decomposition Analysis of Evolved Neuromorphic Flight Controllers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjay K. Boddhu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the previous work, it was demonstrated that one can effectively employ CTRNN-EH (a neuromorphic variant of EH method methodology to evolve neuromorphic flight controllers for a flapping wing robot. This paper describes a novel frequency grouping-based analysis technique, developed to qualitatively decompose the evolved controllers into explainable functional control blocks. A summary of the previous work related to evolving flight controllers for two categories of the controller types, called autonomous and nonautonomous controllers, is provided, and the applicability of the newly developed decomposition analysis for both controller categories is demonstrated. Further, the paper concludes with appropriate discussion of ongoing work and implications for possible future work related to employing the CTRNN-EH methodology and the decomposition analysis techniques presented in this paper.

  16. Cosmic Biology How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Irwin, Louis Neil

    2011-01-01

    It is very unlikely that little green humanoids are living on Mars. But what are the possible life forms that might exist in our Solar System and how might they have evolved? This uniquely authoritative and imaginative book on the possibilties for alien life addresses the intrinsic interest that we have about life on other worlds - reinforcing some of our assumptions and reshaping others. It introduces new possibilties that will enlarge our understanding of the issue overall, in particular the enormous range of environments and planetary conditions within which life might evolve. Cosmic Biology -discusses a broad range of possible environments where alien life might have evolved; -explains why carbon-based, water-borne life is more likely that its alternatives, but is not the only possiblity; -applies the principles of planetary science and modern biology to evolutionary scenarios on other worlds; -looks at the future fates of living systems, including those on Earth.

  17. Computational Genetic Regulatory Networks Evolvable, Self-organizing Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Knabe, Johannes F

    2013-01-01

    Genetic Regulatory Networks (GRNs) in biological organisms are primary engines for cells to enact their engagements with environments, via incessant, continually active coupling. In differentiated multicellular organisms, tremendous complexity has arisen in the course of evolution of life on earth. Engineering and science have so far achieved no working system that can compare with this complexity, depth and scope of organization. Abstracting the dynamics of genetic regulatory control to a computational framework in which artificial GRNs in artificial simulated cells differentiate while connected in a changing topology, it is possible to apply Darwinian evolution in silico to study the capacity of such developmental/differentiated GRNs to evolve. In this volume an evolutionary GRN paradigm is investigated for its evolvability and robustness in models of biological clocks, in simple differentiated multicellularity, and in evolving artificial developing 'organisms' which grow and express an ontogeny starting fr...

  18. Population dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cooch, E. G.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Increases or decreases in the size of populations over space and time are, arguably, the motivation for much of pure and applied ecological research. The fundamental model for the dynamics of any population is straightforward: the net change over time in the abundance of some population is the simple difference between the number of additions (individuals entering the population minus the number of subtractions (individuals leaving the population. Of course, the precise nature of the pattern and process of these additions and subtractions is often complex, and population biology is often replete with fairly dense mathematical representations of both processes. While there is no doubt that analysis of such abstract descriptions of populations has been of considerable value in advancing our, there has often existed a palpable discomfort when the ‘beautiful math’ is faced with the often ‘ugly realities’ of empirical data. In some cases, this attempted merger is abandoned altogether, because of the paucity of ‘good empirical data’ with which the theoretician can modify and evaluate more conceptually–based models. In some cases, the lack of ‘data’ is more accurately represented as a lack of robust estimates of one or more parameters. It is in this arena that methods developed to analyze multiple encounter data from individually marked organisms has seen perhaps the greatest advances. These methods have rapidly evolved to facilitate not only estimation of one or more vital rates, critical to population modeling and analysis, but also to allow for direct estimation of both the dynamics of populations (e.g., Pradel, 1996, and factors influencing those dynamics (e.g., Nichols et al., 2000. The interconnections between the various vital rates, their estimation, and incorporation into models, was the general subject of our plenary presentation by Hal Caswell (Caswell & Fujiwara, 2004. Caswell notes that although interest has traditionally

  19. Monitoring volatile anaesthetic agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, W.J.

    2000-01-01

    Full text: The methods that have been used for monitoring volatile anaesthetic agents depend on some physical property such as Density, Refractometry, Mass, Solubility, Raman scattering, or Infra-red absorption. Today, refractometry and infra-red techniques are the most common. Refractometry is used for the calibration of vaporizers. All anaesthetic agents increase the refractive index of the carrier gas. Provided the mixture is known then the refractive change measures the concentration of the volatile anaesthetic agent. Raman Scattering is when energy hits a molecule a very small fraction of the energy is absorbed and re-emitted at one or more lower frequencies. The shift in frequency is a function of the chemical bonds and is a fingerprint of the substance irradiated. Electromagnetic (Infra-red) has been the commonest method of detection of volatile agents. Most systems use a subtractive system, i.e. the agent in the sampling cell absorbed some of the infrared energy and the photo-detector therefore received less energy. A different approach is where the absorbed energy is converted into a pressure change and detected as sound (Acoustic monitor). This gives a more stable zero reference. More recently, the detector systems have used multiple narrow-band wavelengths in the infrared bands and by shape matching or matrix computing specific agent identification is achieved and the concentration calculated. In the early Datex AS3 monitors, a spectral sweep across the 3 micron infrared band was used to create spectral fingerprints. The recently released AS3 monitors use a different system with five very narrow band filters in the 8-10 micron region. The transmission through each of these filters is a value in a matrix which is solved by a micro computer to identify the agent and its concentration. These monitors can assist in improving the safety and efficiency of our anaesthetics but do not ensure that the patient is completely anaesthetized. Copyright (2000

  20. Monitoring volatile anaesthetic agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, W J [Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA (Australia). Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care

    2000-12-01

    Full text: The methods that have been used for monitoring volatile anaesthetic agents depend on some physical property such as Density, Refractometry, Mass, Solubility, Raman scattering, or Infra-red absorption. Today, refractometry and infra-red techniques are the most common. Refractometry is used for the calibration of vaporizers. All anaesthetic agents increase the refractive index of the carrier gas. Provided the mixture is known then the refractive change measures the concentration of the volatile anaesthetic agent. Raman Scattering is when energy hits a molecule a very small fraction of the energy is absorbed and re-emitted at one or more lower frequencies. The shift in frequency is a function of the chemical bonds and is a fingerprint of the substance irradiated. Electromagnetic (Infra-red) has been the commonest method of detection of volatile agents. Most systems use a subtractive system, i.e. the agent in the sampling cell absorbed some of the infrared energy and the photo-detector therefore received less energy. A different approach is where the absorbed energy is converted into a pressure change and detected as sound (Acoustic monitor). This gives a more stable zero reference. More recently, the detector systems have used multiple narrow-band wavelengths in the infrared bands and by shape matching or matrix computing specific agent identification is achieved and the concentration calculated. In the early Datex AS3 monitors, a spectral sweep across the 3 micron infrared band was used to create spectral fingerprints. The recently released AS3 monitors use a different system with five very narrow band filters in the 8-10 micron region. The transmission through each of these filters is a value in a matrix which is solved by a micro computer to identify the agent and its concentration. These monitors can assist in improving the safety and efficiency of our anaesthetics but do not ensure that the patient is completely anaesthetized. Copyright (2000

  1. Gonorrhea – an evolving disease of the new millennium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart A. Hill

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Etiology, transmission and protection: Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the gonococcus is the etiological agent for the strictly human sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. Infections lead to limited immunity, therefore individuals can become repeatedly infected. Pathology/symptomatology: Gonorrhea is generally a non-complicated mucosal infection with a pustular discharge. More severe sequellae include salpingitis and pelvic inflammatory disease which may lead to sterility and/or ectopic pregnancy. Occasionally, the organism can disseminate as a bloodstream infection. Epidemiology, incidence and prevalence: Gonorrhea is a global disease infecting approximately 60 million people annually. In the United States there are approximately 300, 000 cases each year, with an incidence of approximately 100 cases per 100,000 population. Treatment and curability: Gonorrhea is susceptible to an array of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a major problem and there are fears that the gonococcus will become the next “superbug” as the antibiotic arsenal diminishes. Currently, third generation extended-spectrum cephalosporins are being prescribed. Molecular mechanisms of infection: Gonococci elaborate numerous strategies to thwart the immune system. The organism engages in extensive phase (on/off switching and antigenic variation of several surface antigens. The organism expresses IgA protease which cleaves mucosal antibody. The organism can become serum resistant due to its ability to sialylate lipooligosaccharide in conjunction with its ability to subvert complement activation. The gonococcus can survive within neutrophils as well as in several other lymphocytic cells. The organism manipulates the immune response such that no immune memory is generated which leads to a lack of protective immunity.

  2. Criticality is an emergent property of genetic networks that exhibit evolvability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Torres-Sosa

    Full Text Available Accumulating experimental evidence suggests that the gene regulatory networks of living organisms operate in the critical phase, namely, at the transition between ordered and chaotic dynamics. Such critical dynamics of the network permits the coexistence of robustness and flexibility which are necessary to ensure homeostatic stability (of a given phenotype while allowing for switching between multiple phenotypes (network states as occurs in development and in response to environmental change. However, the mechanisms through which genetic networks evolve such critical behavior have remained elusive. Here we present an evolutionary model in which criticality naturally emerges from the need to balance between the two essential components of evolvability: phenotype conservation and phenotype innovation under mutations. We simulated the Darwinian evolution of random Boolean networks that mutate gene regulatory interactions and grow by gene duplication. The mutating networks were subjected to selection for networks that both (i preserve all the already acquired phenotypes (dynamical attractor states and (ii generate new ones. Our results show that this interplay between extending the phenotypic landscape (innovation while conserving the existing phenotypes (conservation suffices to cause the evolution of all the networks in a population towards criticality. Furthermore, the networks produced by this evolutionary process exhibit structures with hubs (global regulators similar to the observed topology of real gene regulatory networks. Thus, dynamical criticality and certain elementary topological properties of gene regulatory networks can emerge as a byproduct of the evolvability of the phenotypic landscape.

  3. Bacteriophage populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klieve, A.V.; Gilbert, R.A.

    2005-01-01

    Bacteriophages are ubiquitous to the rumen ecosystem; they have a role in nitrogen metabolism through bacterial lysis in the rumen, they may help to regulate bacterial population densities, be an agent for genetic exchange and be of use in biocontrol of bacterial populations through phage therapy. In Chapter 2.1, classical methodologies to enable the isolation, enumeration, storage and morphological characterization of phages were presented. In addition to these classic procedures, molecular biological techniques have resulted in a range of methodologies to investigate the type, topology and size of phage nucleic acids, to fingerprint individual phage strains and to create a profile of ruminal phage populations. Different phage families possess all the currently identified combinations of double-stranded or single-stranded RNA or DNA and may also possess unusual bases such as 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (found in T-even phage) or 5- hydroxymethyluracil and uracil in place of thymidine. In all morphological groups of phage except the filamentous phages, the nucleic acid is contained within a head or polyhedral structure, predominantly composed of protein. Filamentous phages have their nucleic acid contained inside the helical filament, occupying much of its length. Many of the procedures used with phage nucleic acids and double-stranded (ds) DNA, in particular, are not specific to ruminal phages but are the same as in other areas where nucleic acids are investigated and are covered elsewhere in the literature and this chapter. Most applications with rumen phages are similar to those reported for phages of non-ruminal bacteria and are covered in general texts such as Maniatis et al. In this chapter, we will concentrate on aspects of methodology as they relate to ruminal phages

  4. History of chemical and biological warfare agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szinicz, L.

    2005-01-01

    Chemical and biological warfare agents constitute a low-probability, but high-impact risk both to the military and to the civilian population. The use of hazardous materials of chemical or biological origin as weapons and for homicide has been documented since ancient times. The first use of chemicals in terms of weapons of mass destruction goes back to World War I, when on April 22, 1915 large amounts of chlorine were released by German military forces at Ypres, Belgium. Until around the 1970s of the 20th century, the awareness of the threat by chemical and biological agents had been mainly confined to the military sector. In the following time, the development of increasing range delivery systems by chemical and biological agents possessors sensitised public attention to the threat emanating from these agents. Their proliferation to the terrorists field during the 1990s with the expanding scale and globalisation of terrorist attacks suggested that these agents are becoming an increasing threat to the whole world community. The following article gives a condensed overview on the history of use and development of the more prominent chemical and biological warfare agents

  5. History of chemical and biological warfare agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szinicz, L

    2005-10-30

    Chemical and biological warfare agents constitute a low-probability, but high-impact risk both to the military and to the civilian population. The use of hazardous materials of chemical or biological origin as weapons and for homicide has been documented since ancient times. The first use of chemicals in terms of weapons of mass destruction goes back to World War I, when on April 22, 1915 large amounts of chlorine were released by German military forces at Ypres, Belgium. Until around the 1970s of the 20th century, the awareness of the threat by chemical and biological agents had been mainly confined to the military sector. In the following time, the development of increasing range delivery systems by chemical and biological agents possessors sensitised public attention to the threat emanating from these agents. Their proliferation to the terrorists field during the 1990s with the expanding scale and globalisation of terrorist attacks suggested that these agents are becoming an increasing threat to the whole world community. The following article gives a condensed overview on the history of use and development of the more prominent chemical and biological warfare agents.

  6. Agent independent task planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, William S.

    1990-01-01

    Agent-Independent Planning is a technique that allows the construction of activity plans without regard to the agent that will perform them. Once generated, a plan is then validated and translated into instructions for a particular agent, whether a robot, crewmember, or software-based control system. Because Space Station Freedom (SSF) is planned for orbital operations for approximately thirty years, it will almost certainly experience numerous enhancements and upgrades, including upgrades in robotic manipulators. Agent-Independent Planning provides the capability to construct plans for SSF operations, independent of specific robotic systems, by combining techniques of object oriented modeling, nonlinear planning and temporal logic. Since a plan is validated using the physical and functional models of a particular agent, new robotic systems can be developed and integrated with existing operations in a robust manner. This technique also provides the capability to generate plans for crewmembers with varying skill levels, and later apply these same plans to more sophisticated robotic manipulators made available by evolutions in technology.

  7. Evolving self-assembly in autonomous homogeneous robots: experiments with two physical robots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ampatzis, Christos; Tuci, Elio; Trianni, Vito; Christensen, Anders Lyhne; Dorigo, Marco

    2009-01-01

    This research work illustrates an approach to the design of controllers for self-assembling robots in which the self-assembly is initiated and regulated by perceptual cues that are brought forth by the physical robots through their dynamical interactions. More specifically, we present a homogeneous control system that can achieve assembly between two modules (two fully autonomous robots) of a mobile self-reconfigurable system without a priori introduced behavioral or morphological heterogeneities. The controllers are dynamic neural networks evolved in simulation that directly control all the actuators of the two robots. The neurocontrollers cause the dynamic specialization of the robots by allocating roles between them based solely on their interaction. We show that the best evolved controller proves to be successful when tested on a real hardware platform, the swarm-bot. The performance achieved is similar to the one achieved by existing modular or behavior-based approaches, also due to the effect of an emergent recovery mechanism that was neither explicitly rewarded by the fitness function, nor observed during the evolutionary simulation. Our results suggest that direct access to the orientations or intentions of the other agents is not a necessary condition for robot coordination: Our robots coordinate without direct or explicit communication, contrary to what is assumed by most research works in collective robotics. This work also contributes to strengthening the evidence that evolutionary robotics is a design methodology that can tackle real-world tasks demanding fine sensory-motor coordination.

  8. Páramo is the world’s fastest evolving and coolest biodiversity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago eMadriñán

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the processes that cause speciation is a key aim of evolutionary biology. Lineages or biomes that exhibit recent and rapid diversification are ideal model systems for determining these processes. Species rich biomes reported to be of relatively recent origin, i.e., since the beginning of the Miocene, include Mediterranean ecosystems such as the California Floristic Province, oceanic islands such as the Hawaiian archipelago and the Neotropical high elevation ecosystem of the Páramos. Páramos constitute grasslands above the forest tree-line (at elevations of c. 2800–4700 m with high species endemism. Organisms that occupy this ecosystem are a likely product of unique adaptations to an extreme environment that evolved during the last three to five million years when the Andes reached an altitude that was capable of sustaining this type of vegetation. We compared net diversification rates of lineages in fast evolving biomes using 73 dated molecular phylogenies. Based on our sample, we demonstrate that average net diversification rates of Páramo plant lineages are faster than those of other reportedly fast evolving hotspots and that the faster evolving lineages are more likely to be found in Páramos than the other hotspots. Páramos therefore represent the ideal model system for studying diversification processes. Most of the speciation events that we observed in the Páramos (144 out of 177 occurred during the Pleistocene possibly due to the effects of species range contraction and expansion that may have resulted from the well-documented climatic changes during that period. Understanding these effects will assist with efforts to determine how future climatic changes will impact plant populations.

  9. [Supramolecular Agents for Theranostics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deyev, S M; Lebedenko, E N

    2015-01-01

    This mini-review summarizes recent data obtained in the process of creation of a versatile module platform suitable for construction of supramolecular theranostic agents. As an example, we consider multifunctional hybrid agents for imaging and elimination of cancer cells. The use of an adapter protein system barnase:barstar for producing targeted multifunctional hybrid structures on the basis of highly specific peptides and mini-antibodies as addressing modules and recombinant proteins and/or nanoparticles of different nature (quantum dots, nanogold, magnetic nanoparticles, nanodiamonds, upconverting nanophosphores, polymer nanoparticles) as agents visualizing and damaging cancer cells is described. New perspectives for creation of selective and highly effective compounds for theranostics and personified medicine are contemplated.

  10. Teaching tourism change agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blichfeldt, Bodil Stilling; Kvistgaard, Hans-Peter; Hird, John

    2017-01-01

    This article discuss es know ledge, competencies and skills Master’s students should obtain during their academic studies and particularly, the differences between teaching about a topic and teaching to do. This is ex emplified by experiential learning theory and the case of a change management...... course that is part of a Tourism Master’s program, where a major challenge is not only to teach students about change and change agents, but to teach them how change feels and ho w to become change agents. The c hange management course contains an experiment inspired by experiential teaching literature...... and methods. The experiment seeks to make students not only hear/learn about change agency and management, but to make them feel cha nge, hereby enabling them to develop the skills and competencies necessary for them to take on the role as change agent s and thus enable them to play key role s in implementing...

  11. Agents unleashed a public domain look at agent technology

    CERN Document Server

    Wayner, Peter

    1995-01-01

    Agents Unleashed: A Public Domain Look at Agent Technology covers details of building a secure agent realm. The book discusses the technology for creating seamlessly integrated networks that allow programs to move from machine to machine without leaving a trail of havoc; as well as the technical details of how an agent will move through the network, prove its identity, and execute its code without endangering the host. The text also describes the organization of the host's work processing an agent; error messages, bad agent expulsion, and errors in XLISP-agents; and the simulators of errors, f

  12. Trust in the CODA model: Opinion dynamics and the reliability of other agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martins, André C.R., E-mail: amartins@usp.br

    2013-11-08

    A model for the joint evolution of opinions and how much the agents trust each other is presented, using the framework of the Continuous Opinions and Discrete Actions (CODA) model. Instead of a fixed probability that the other agents will decide in the favor of the best choice, each agent considers that other agents might be one of two types: trustworthy or untrustworthy. Each agent its opinion and also the probability for each one of the other agents it interacts with being trustworthy. The dynamics of opinions and the evolution of the trust between the agents are studied. Clear evidences of the existence of two phases, one with strong polarization and the other tending to agreement, are observed. The transition shows signs of being a first-order transition. This happens despite the fact that the trust network evolves much slower than the opinion on the central issue.

  13. Trust in the CODA model: Opinion dynamics and the reliability of other agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martins, André C.R.

    2013-01-01

    A model for the joint evolution of opinions and how much the agents trust each other is presented, using the framework of the Continuous Opinions and Discrete Actions (CODA) model. Instead of a fixed probability that the other agents will decide in the favor of the best choice, each agent considers that other agents might be one of two types: trustworthy or untrustworthy. Each agent its opinion and also the probability for each one of the other agents it interacts with being trustworthy. The dynamics of opinions and the evolution of the trust between the agents are studied. Clear evidences of the existence of two phases, one with strong polarization and the other tending to agreement, are observed. The transition shows signs of being a first-order transition. This happens despite the fact that the trust network evolves much slower than the opinion on the central issue.

  14. Behaviour of and mass transfer at gas-evolving electrodes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, L.J.J.

    1989-01-01

    A completes set of models for the mass transfer of indicator ions to gas-evolving electrodes with different behaviour of bubbles is described theoretically. Sliding bubbles, rising detached single bubbles, jumping detached coalescence bubbles and ensembles of these types of bubbles are taken into

  15. Analysis of Lamarckian Evolution in Morphologically Evolving Robots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jelisavcic, Milan; Kiesel, Rafael; Glette, Kyrre; Haasdijk, Evert; Eiben, A.E.

    Evolving robot morphologies implies the need for lifetime learning so that newborn robots can learn to manipulate their bodies. An individual’s morphology will obviously combine traits of all its parents; it must adapt its own controller to suit its morphology, and cannot rely on the controller of

  16. Friends Drinking Together: Young Adults' Evolving Support Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresler, Emma; Anderson, Margaret

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: Young adult's drinking is about pleasure, a communal practice of socialising together in a friendship group. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the evolving support practices of drinking groups for better targeting of health communications messages. Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative descriptive study examined the…

  17. Evolving Concepts of Development through the Experience of ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    This project will explore the experiences of emerging and developing countries in order to identify how the concept of international development has evolved and where it they may be heading. It will do so through a series of workshops convening scholars and practitioners from both the developing and the industrialized ...

  18. Heritage – A Conceptually Evolving and Dissonant Phenomenon ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    I therefore, drawing from literature and experiences gained during field observations and focus group interviews, came up with the idea of working with three viewpoints of heritage. Drawing on real life cases I argue that current heritage management and education practices' failure to recognise and respect the evolving, ...

  19. A Conceptual Framework for Evolving, Recommender Online Learning Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peiris, K. Dharini Amitha; Gallupe, R. Brent

    2012-01-01

    A comprehensive conceptual framework is developed and described for evolving recommender-driven online learning systems (ROLS). This framework describes how such systems can support students, course authors, course instructors, systems administrators, and policy makers in developing and using these ROLS. The design science information systems…

  20. Evolving intelligent vehicle control using multi-objective NEAT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willigen, W.H. van; Haasdijk, E.; Kester, L.J.H.M.

    2013-01-01

    The research in this paper is inspired by a vision of intelligent vehicles that autonomously move along motorways: they join and leave trains of vehicles (platoons), overtake other vehicles, etc. We propose a multi-objective algorithm based on NEAT and SPEA2 that evolves controllers for such

  1. Regional and Inter-Regional Effects in Evolving Climate Networks

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hlinka, Jaroslav; Hartman, David; Jajcay, Nikola; Vejmelka, Martin; Donner, R.; Marwan, N.; Kurths, J.; Paluš, Milan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 2 (2014), s. 451-462 ISSN 1023-5809 R&D Projects: GA ČR GCP103/11/J068 Institutional support: RVO:67985807 Keywords : climate networks * evolving networks * principal component analysis * network connectivity * El Nino Subject RIV: BB - Applied Statistics, Operational Research Impact factor: 0.987, year: 2014

  2. Multivariate Epi-splines and Evolving Function Identification Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-15

    such extrinsic information as well as observed function and subgradient values often evolve in applications, we establish conditions under which the...previous study [30] dealt with compact intervals of IR. Splines are intimately tied to optimization problems through their variational theory pioneered...approxima- tion. Motivated by applications in curve fitting, regression, probability density estimation, variogram computation, financial curve construction

  3. Adapting Morphology to Multiple Tasks in Evolved Virtual Creatures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessin, Dan; Fussell, Don; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2014-01-01

    The ESP method for evolving virtual creatures (Lessin et al., 2013) consisted of an encapsulation mechanism to preserve learned skills, a human-designed syllabus to build higherlevel skills by combining lower-level skills systematically, and a pandemonium mechanism to resolve conflicts between...

  4. Exploring the Evolving Professional Identity of Novice School Counselors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamgbose, Olamojiba Omolara

    2017-01-01

    The study employed a grounded theory approach to explore the evolving professional identity of novice school counselors. Participants, who are currently employed as school counselors at the elementary, middle, or high school level with 1-4 years' experience, were career changers from other helping professions and graduates from an intensive school…

  5. Evaluation and testing methodology for evolving entertainment systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jurgelionis, A.; Bellotti, F.; IJsselsteijn, W.A.; Kort, de Y.A.W.; Bernhaupt, R.; Tscheligi, M.

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a testing and evaluation methodology for evolving pervasive gaming and multimedia systems. We introduce the Games@Large system, a complex gaming and multimedia architecture comprised of a multitude of elements: heterogeneous end user devices, wireless and wired network

  6. Degree distribution of a new model for evolving networks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    on intuitive but realistic consideration that nodes are added to the network with both preferential and random attachments. The degree distribution of the model is between a power-law and an exponential decay. Motivated by the features of network evolution, we introduce a new model of evolving networks, incorporating the ...

  7. Evolving Nature of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jourian, T. J.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter discusses the historical and evolving terminology, constructs, and ideologies that inform the language used by those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and same-gender loving, who may identify as queer, as well as those who are members of trans* communities from multiple and intersectional perspectives.

  8. The evolving role of governments in the nuclear energy field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2004-01-01

    The NEA Nuclear Development Committee (NDC) recently completed a study that looks into the evolving role of governments in nuclear energy matters. Many decisions on government intervention in recent decades have been based on the earlier experience of what works best. The report suggests some considerations that all governments could take into account when establishing their respective roles. (author)

  9. Evolving information systems: meeting the ever-changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oei, J.L.H.; Proper, H.A.; Falkenberg, E.D.

    1994-01-01

    To meet the demands of organizations and their ever-changing environment, information systems are required which are able to evolve to the same extent as organizations do. Such a system has to support changes in all time-and application-dependent aspects. In this paper, requirements and a conceptual

  10. You 3.0: The Most Important Evolving Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamarkin, Molly; Bantz, David A.; Childs, Melody; diFilipo, Stephen; Landry, Stephen G.; LoPresti, Frances; McDonald, Robert H.; McGuthry, John W.; Meier, Tina; Rodrigo, Rochelle; Sparrow, Jennifer; Diggs, D. Teddy; Yang, Catherine W.

    2010-01-01

    That technology evolves is a given. Not as well understood is the impact of technological evolution on each individual--on oneself, one's skill development, one's career, and one's relationship with the work community. The authors believe that everyone in higher education will become an IT worker and that IT workers will be managing a growing…

  11. Sextant: Visualizing time-evolving linked geospatial data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    C. Nikolaou (Charalampos); K. Dogani (Kallirroi); K. Bereta (Konstantina); G. Garbis (George); M. Karpathiotakis (Manos); K. Kyzirakos (Konstantinos); M. Koubarakis (Manolis)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractThe linked open data cloud is constantly evolving as datasets get continuously updated with newer versions. As a result, representing, querying, and visualizing the temporal dimension of linked data is crucial. This is especially important for geospatial datasets that form the backbone

  12. Occurrence and prevalence of selected zoonotic agents: Echinococcus multilocularis, Trichinella spiralis and hepatitis E virus (HEV) in the population of Polish hunters--results of the study conducted in 2010-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadkowska-Todys, Małgorzata; Baumann-Popczyk, Anna; Wnukowska, Natalia; Popczyk, Bartłomiej; Kucharczyk, Bożena; Gołąb, Elżbieta

    2015-01-01

    In Poland the development of the knowledge concerning zoonotic pathogens, of which free-living animals are the reservoir of is gaining in importance both in epidemiological aspect as well as in the context of prevention for improving public health. Dietary habits such as the consumption of forest undergrowth products and wild game meat, and the way of those products being prepared (in the process of barbequing) pose a risk factors of infection with the foodborne pathogens such as Echinococcus multilocularis, Trichinella spp., and HEV. The aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of infections caused by Trichinella spp., Echinococcus multilocularis, and HEV in the population of Polish hunters, describing their geographical distribution in Poland, and to try to define basic factors, which may contribute to their occurrence. In 2010-2012 a cross-sectional study was carried out among Polish hunters. A blood samples were collected as well as a survey of 1027 participants recruited in the 16 provinces was also carried out. Serological tests were performed for the presence of specific antibodies against Echinococcus multilocularis, Trichinella spp. and HEV using commercial or "in home" ELISA tests. In case of positive result for Echinococcus, an Em2plus ELISA or/and western blot test were carried out, and for positive results for IgM for HEV a recomLine HEV IgM test was carried out. In the studied population a total number of 2 cases of Echinococcus multilocularis infection were found. Moreover in 47 (4,6%) participants presence of antibodies against Trichinella spp. were found, including 17 positive and 30 borderline results. In 206 persons (25%) IgG anti-HEV antibodies were found (by ELISA test). Geographical diversity in prevalence of both, the Trichinella spp. and HEV cases was observed. The study confirmed presence of zoonotic infections such as Echinococcus multilocularis, Trichinella spp., and hepatitis E (HEV) among Polish hunters. In the case of

  13. Adaptive inferential sensors based on evolving fuzzy models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelov, Plamen; Kordon, Arthur

    2010-04-01

    A new technique to the design and use of inferential sensors in the process industry is proposed in this paper, which is based on the recently introduced concept of evolving fuzzy models (EFMs). They address the challenge that the modern process industry faces today, namely, to develop such adaptive and self-calibrating online inferential sensors that reduce the maintenance costs while keeping the high precision and interpretability/transparency. The proposed new methodology makes possible inferential sensors to recalibrate automatically, which reduces significantly the life-cycle efforts for their maintenance. This is achieved by the adaptive and flexible open-structure EFM used. The novelty of this paper lies in the following: (1) the overall concept of inferential sensors with evolving and self-developing structure from the data streams; (2) the new methodology for online automatic selection of input variables that are most relevant for the prediction; (3) the technique to detect automatically a shift in the data pattern using the age of the clusters (and fuzzy rules); (4) the online standardization technique used by the learning procedure of the evolving model; and (5) the application of this innovative approach to several real-life industrial processes from the chemical industry (evolving inferential sensors, namely, eSensors, were used for predicting the chemical properties of different products in The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX). It should be noted, however, that the methodology and conclusions of this paper are valid for the broader area of chemical and process industries in general. The results demonstrate that well-interpretable and with-simple-structure inferential sensors can automatically be designed from the data stream in real time, which predict various process variables of interest. The proposed approach can be used as a basis for the development of a new generation of adaptive and evolving inferential sensors that can address the

  14. Agent Persuasion Mechanism of Acquaintance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinghua, Wu; Wenguang, Lu; Hailiang, Meng

    Agent persuasion can improve negotiation efficiency in dynamic environment based on its initiative and autonomy, and etc., which is being affected much more by acquaintance. Classification of acquaintance on agent persuasion is illustrated, and the agent persuasion model of acquaintance is also illustrated. Then the concept of agent persuasion degree of acquaintance is given. Finally, relative interactive mechanism is elaborated.

  15. Mobile agents affect worm spreading in wireless ad hoc networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Zi-Gang; Sun, Jin-Tu; Wang, Ying-Hai; Wang, Sheng-Jun; Xu, Xin-Jian

    2009-01-01

    Considering the dynamic nature of portable computing devices with wireless communication capability, an extended model is introduced for worm spreading in the wireless ad hoc network, with a population of mobile agents in a planar distribution, starting from an initial infected seed. The effect of agents' mobility on worm spreading is investigated via extensive Monte Carlo simulations. The threshold behavior and the dynamics of worm epidemics in the wireless networks are greatly affected by both agents' mobility and spatial and temporal correlations. The medium access control mechanism for the wireless communication promotes the sensitivity of the spreading dynamics to agents' mobility

  16. Evolving the Living With a Star Data System Definition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otranto, J. F.; Dijoseph, M.

    2003-12-01

    NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program is a space weather-focused and applications-driven research program. The LWS Program is soliciting input from the solar, space physics, space weather, and climate science communities to develop a system that enables access to science data associated with these disciplines, and advances the development of discipline and interdisciplinary findings. The LWS Program will implement a data system that builds upon the existing and planned data capture, processing, and storage components put in place by individual spacecraft missions and also inter-project data management systems, including active and deep archives, and multi-mission data repositories. It is technically feasible for the LWS Program to integrate data from a broad set of resources, assuming they are either publicly accessible or allow access by permission. The LWS Program data system will work in coordination with spacecraft mission data systems and science data repositories, integrating their holdings using a common metadata representation. This common representation relies on a robust metadata definition that provides journalistic and technical data descriptions, plus linkages to supporting data products and tools. The LWS Program intends to become an enabling resource to PIs, interdisciplinary scientists, researchers, and students facilitating both access to a broad collection of science data, as well as the necessary supporting components to understand and make productive use of these data. For the LWS Program to represent science data that are physically distributed across various ground system elements, information will be collected about these distributed data products through a series of LWS Program-created agents. These agents will be customized to interface or interact with each one of these data systems, collect information, and forward any new metadata records to a LWS Program-developed metadata library. A populated LWS metadata library will function as a

  17. SECOND BUYING AGENT

    CERN Multimedia

    SPL - SERVICES ACHATS

    2000-01-01

    Last year the buying agent LOGITRADE started operations on the CERN site, processing purchasing requests for well-defined families of products up to a certain value. It was planned from the outset that a second buying agent would be brought in to handle the remaining product families. So, according to that plan, the company CHARLES KENDALL will be commencing operations at CERN on 8 May 2000 in Building 73, 1st floor, offices 31 and 35 (phone and fax numbers to be announced).Each buying agent will have its own specific list of product families and will handle purchasing requests up to 10'000 CHF.Whenever possible they will provide the requested supplies at a price (including the cost of their own services) which must be equivalent to or lower than the price mentioned on the purchasing request, changing the supplier if necessary. If a lower price cannot be obtained, agents will provide the necessary administrative support free of charge.To ensure that all orders are processed in the best possible conditions, us...

  18. Socially Intelligent Tutor Agents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heylen, Dirk K.J.; Nijholt, Antinus; op den Akker, Hendrikus J.A.; Vissers, M.; Aylett, R.; Ballin, D.; Rist, T.

    2003-01-01

    Emotions and personality have received quite a lot of attention the last few years in research on embodied conversational agents. Attention is also increasingly being paid to matters of social psychology and interpersonal aspects, for work of our group). Given the nature of an embodied

  19. Alternative inerting agents

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Du

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available Final Project Report ALTERNATIVE INERTING AGENTS Author/s: J J L DU PLESSIS Research Agency: OSIR MINING TECHNOLOGY Project No: Date: 3 2 7 2 COL 443 APRIL 1999 N’ ) ( G~6~ I Title: 9 / The results show...

  20. Multimodal training between agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rehm, Matthias

    2003-01-01

    In the system Locator1, agents are treated as individual and autonomous subjects that are able to adapt to heterogenous user groups. Applying multimodal information from their surroundings (visual and linguistic), they acquire the necessary concepts for a successful interaction. This approach has...

  1. Stabilized radiographic scanning agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fawzi, M.B.

    1979-01-01

    A stable composition useful in preparation of technetium-99m-based radiographic scanning agents has been developed. The composition contains a stabilizing amount of gentisate stabilizer selected from gentisic acid and its soluble pharmaceutically-acceptable salts and esthers. (E.G.)

  2. A waterproofing agent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shchipanov, A.I.; Bass, U.M.; Belousov, E.D.; Chernova, S.P.; Gioev, K.A.; Perlin, L.M.; Shapiro, B.O.; Silantev, U.R.

    1979-12-25

    A waterproofing agent is proposed with improved physiomechanical properties. The agent contains (by parts): bitumens: 100; emulsifier: .6-5; polyvinylpyrrolidone: .4-8; synthetic latex: 5.24; a corrosion inhibitor: .2-10; SPL methyl methacrylate with chloroprene: 2.24; hydrochlorinated amine of adduct diethylene triamine with diglycidyl diamine: 2-10, water: 118-220. The agent is prepared using either periodic or continuous action in emulsifying dispersion machines. The bitumen is dispersed in the machine in an aqueous emulsifying solution in which polyvinylpyrrolidone and the corrosion inihibitor are first introduced. Then a synthetic latex solution is introduced into the bitumen emulsion while being mixed in rotor-type turbulent mixers; a solution and a hydrochlorinated amine of adduct diethylene triamine with diglycidyl diamine solution until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Example: a waterproofing agent is obtained in parts: bitumen 100, emulsifyer (oxidized petrolatum): .6; polyvinylpyrrolidone: .4; synthetic latex (nitrile): 5; corrosion inhibitor (guanidine chromate): .2, SPL:2; and water 118. The properties of the proposed composition are better than the properties of the composition currently used.

  3. Product and Agent

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Montecino, Alex; Valero, Paola

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we will explore how the “mathematics teacher” becomes a subject and, at the same time, is subjected as part of diverse dispositive of power. We argue that the mathematics teacher becomes both a product and a social agent, which has been set, within current societies, from the ideas...

  4. E-Learning Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregg, Dawn G.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the advantages of using intelligent agents to facilitate the location and customization of appropriate e-learning resources and to foster collaboration in e-learning environments. Design/methodology/approach: This paper proposes an e-learning environment that can be used to provide customized…

  5. Effective but costly, evolved mechanisms of defense against a virulent opportunistic pathogen in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixin H Ye

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila harbor substantial genetic variation for antibacterial defense, and investment in immunity is thought to involve a costly trade-off with life history traits, including development, life span, and reproduction. To understand the way in which insects invest in fighting bacterial infection, we selected for survival following systemic infection with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in wild-caught Drosophila melanogaster over 10 generations. We then examined genome-wide changes in expression in the selected flies relative to unselected controls, both of which had been infected with the pathogen. This powerful combination of techniques allowed us to specifically identify the genetic basis of the evolved immune response. In response to selection, population-level survivorship to infection increased from 15% to 70%. The evolved capacity for defense was costly, however, as evidenced by reduced longevity and larval viability and a rapid loss of the trait once selection pressure was removed. Counter to expectation, we observed more rapid developmental rates in the selected flies. Selection-associated changes in expression of genes with dual involvement in developmental and immune pathways suggest pleiotropy as a possible mechanism for the positive correlation. We also found that both the Toll and the Imd pathways work synergistically to limit infectivity and that cellular immunity plays a more critical role in overcoming P. aeruginosa infection than previously reported. This work reveals novel pathways by which Drosophila can survive infection with a virulent pathogen that may be rare in wild populations, however, due to their cost.

  6. Multi-disciplinary management of athletes with post-concussion syndrome: an evolving pathophysiological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael John Ellis

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Historically, patients with sports-related concussion (SRC have been managed in a uniform fashion consisting mostly of prescribed physical and cognitive rest with the expectation that all symptoms will spontaneously resolve with time. Although this approach will result in successful return to school and sports activities in the majority of athletes, an important proportion will develop persistent concussion symptoms characteristic of post-concussion syndrome (PCS. Recent advances in exercise science, neuroimaging, and clinical research suggest that the clinical manifestations of PCS are mediated by unique pathophysiological processes that can be identified by features of the clinical history and physical examination as well as the use of graded aerobic treadmill testing. Athletes who develop PCS represent a unique population whose care must be individualized and must incorporate a rehabilitative strategy that promotes enhanced recovery of concussion-related symptoms while preventing physical deconditioning. In this review we present our evolving evidence-based approach to evaluation and management of athletes with PCS that aims to identify the pathophysiological mechanisms mediating persistent concussion symptoms and guides the initiation of individually-tailored rehabilitation programs that target these processes. In addition, we outline the important qualified roles that multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals can play in the management of this patient population, and discuss where future research efforts must be focused to further validate this evolving pathophysiological approach.

  7. Multi-Disciplinary Management of Athletes with Post-Concussion Syndrome: An Evolving Pathophysiological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Michael J; Leddy, John; Willer, Barry

    2016-01-01

    Historically, patients with sports-related concussion (SRC) have been managed in a uniform fashion consisting mostly of prescribed physical and cognitive rest with the expectation that all symptoms will spontaneously resolve with time. Although this approach will result in successful return to school and sports activities in the majority of athletes, an important proportion will develop persistent concussion symptoms characteristic of post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Recent advances in exercise science, neuroimaging, and clinical research suggest that the clinical manifestations of PCS are mediated by unique pathophysiological processes that can be identified by features of the clinical history and physical examination as well as the use of graded aerobic treadmill testing. Athletes who develop PCS represent a unique population whose care must be individualized and must incorporate a rehabilitative strategy that promotes enhanced recovery of concussion-related symptoms while preventing physical deconditioning. In this review, we present our evolving evidence-based approach to evaluation and management of athletes with PCS that aims to identify the pathophysiological mechanisms mediating persistent concussion symptoms and guides the initiation of individually tailored rehabilitation programs that target these processes. In addition, we outline the important qualified roles that multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals can play in the management of this patient population, and discuss where future research efforts must be focused to further evaluate this evolving pathophysiological approach.

  8. Navigating the evolving paradigms in the diagnosis and treatment of myeloproliferative disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, Ruben A

    2007-01-01

    The diagnosis and management of the BCR-ABL-negative myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) of polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF) are at an explosive crossroads of scientific investigation and evolving paradigms since the discovery of the tyrosine kinase-activating JAK2V617F mutation in 2005. Additional discovery of relevant molecular lesions (JAK2 exon 12 mutations and c-MplW515L/K) have only further enriched our understanding of MPD pathogenesis. The improved diagnostic certainty these molecular markers provide have resulted in the modification, and simplification, of the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic algorithms for MPDs. Despite these scientific advances, however, the initial management of MPDs continues to rely upon a risk-based strategy to minimize the risk of vascular events with control of erythrocytosis, targeted antiplatelet therapy, and risk-based myelosuppressive therapy. No current medical therapy has altered the natural trend of the MPDs to lead to overt severe myelofibrosis or acute leukemia. Investigations into targeted therapies for MPDs are proceeding at a brisk pace with agents aimed at immunomodulation, decreasing marrow stromal reaction to the aberrant clone, DNA hypomethylation, or the inhibition of tyrosine kinases. Specific inhibition of JAK2 itself appears promising by in vitro investigations, and clinical trials with multiple agents are planned to commence enrollment in 2007. The potential impact of JAK2 inhibitors on the manifestations of the MPDs is unclear, but is awaited with great interest.

  9. CATS-based Air Traffic Controller Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callantine, Todd J.

    2002-01-01

    This report describes intelligent agents that function as air traffic controllers. Each agent controls traffic in a single sector in real time; agents controlling traffic in adjoining sectors can coordinate to manage an arrival flow across a given meter fix. The purpose of this research is threefold. First, it seeks to study the design of agents for controlling complex systems. In particular, it investigates agent planning and reactive control functionality in a dynamic environment in which a variety perceptual and decision making skills play a central role. It examines how heuristic rules can be applied to model planning and decision making skills, rather than attempting to apply optimization methods. Thus, the research attempts to develop intelligent agents that provide an approximation of human air traffic controller behavior that, while not based on an explicit cognitive model, does produce task performance consistent with the way human air traffic controllers operate. Second, this research sought to extend previous research on using the Crew Activity Tracking System (CATS) as the basis for intelligent agents. The agents use a high-level model of air traffic controller activities to structure the control task. To execute an activity in the CATS model, according to the current task context, the agents reference a 'skill library' and 'control rules' that in turn execute the pattern recognition, planning, and decision-making required to perform the activity. Applying the skills enables the agents to modify their representation of the current control situation (i.e., the 'flick' or 'picture'). The updated representation supports the next activity in a cycle of action that, taken as a whole, simulates air traffic controller behavior. A third, practical motivation for this research is to use intelligent agents to support evaluation of new air traffic control (ATC) methods to support new Air Traffic Management (ATM) concepts. Current approaches that use large, human

  10. Training strategic community agents in health effects of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leite, Teresa C.S.B.; Silva, IIson P.M. da; Jannuzzi, Denise M.S.; Maurmo, Alexandre M.

    2013-01-01

    The main motivation for the development of training was the need to train agents (opinion makers) with proximity and credibility among the population, to clarify the most frequently asked questions in relation to ionizing radiation, the operation of nuclear power plants, emergency plans and about the possibility of there effects of radiation on the health of inhabitants in regions close to the central Nuclear Almirante Alvaro Alberto - CNAAA. The project has a target audience of 420 agents, 60 of them have already been trained in a pilot project . The results indicate that the topics of training were adequate and the agents have expanded their knowledge. On the other hand, the information passed on to communities by agents, recognized by this population as ' the most reliable people', is of greater credibility and likelihood of success in communicating important issues for the population living in the vicinity of the CNAAA. (author)

  11. On the opinion formation of mobile agents with memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhong; Liu, Qipeng; Wang, Zhenling; Zhang, Siying

    2018-02-01

    This paper studies the opinion formation problem in a group of mobile agents using a multi-agent modeling method. Suppose that all agents move in a two-dimensional space following a certain rule. The interaction range of each agent is determined by its physical location and its opinion similarity with other agents. Moreover, agents have memory of the opinions of their previous interactive neighbors. We investigate the influence of three factors on the formation of group opinion: moving probability, interactive radius, and population density. Using simulations, we find that an opinion consensus can be achieved easily under a small moving probability and a small interactive radius, which is a relatively counterintuitive phenomenon. We also find that a large interactive radius or the model with memory can facilitate the convergence of opinions in a group to either consensus or clusters.

  12. Contrast agent choice for intravenous coronary angiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeman, H.D.; Siddons, D.P.

    1989-01-01

    The screening of the general population for coronary artery disease would be practical if a method existed for visualizing the extent of occlusion after an intravenous injection of contrast agent. Measurements performed with monochromatic synchrotron radiation x-rays and an iodine containing contrast agent at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory have shown that such an intravenous angiography procedure would be possible with an adequately intense monochromatic x-ray source. Because of the size and cost of synchrotron radiation facilities it would be desirable to make the most efficient use of the intensity available, while reducing as much as possible the radiation dose experienced by the patient. By choosing contrast agents containing elements with a higher atomic number than iodine, it is possible to both improve the image quality and reduce the patient radiation dose, while using the same synchrotron source. By using Si monochromator crystals with a small mosaic spread, it is possible to increase the x-ray flux available for imaging by over an order of magnitude, without any changes in the storage ring or wiggler magnet. The most critical imaging task for intravenous coronary angiography utilizing synchrotron radiation x-rays is visualizing a coronary artery through the left ventricle or aorta which also contains a contrast agent. Calculations have been made of the signal to noise ratio expected for this imaging task for various contrast agents with atomic numbers between that of iodine and bismuth

  13. Clustering impact regime with shocks in freely evolving granular gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isobe, Masaharu

    2017-06-01

    A freely cooling granular gas without any external force evolves from the initial homogeneous state to the inhomogeneous clustering state, at which the energy decay deviates from the Haff's law. The asymptotic behavior of energy in the inelastic hard sphere model have been predicted by several theories, which are based on the mode coupling theory or extension of inelastic hard rods gas. In this study, we revisited the clustering regime of freely evolving granular gas via large-scale molecular dynamics simulation with up to 16.7 million inelastic hard disks. We found novel regime regarding on collisions between "clusters" spontaneously appearing after clustering regime, which can only be identified more than a few million particles system. The volumetric dilatation pattern of semicircular shape originated from density shock propagation are well characterized on the appearing of "cluster impact" during the aggregation process of clusters.

  14. Self-regulating and self-evolving particle swarm optimizer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui-Min; Qiao, Zhao-Wei; Xia, Chang-Liang; Li, Liang-Yu

    2015-01-01

    In this article, a novel self-regulating and self-evolving particle swarm optimizer (SSPSO) is proposed. Learning from the idea of direction reversal, self-regulating behaviour is a modified position update rule for particles, according to which the algorithm improves the best position to accelerate convergence in situations where the traditional update rule does not work. Borrowing the idea of mutation from evolutionary computation, self-evolving behaviour acts on the current best particle in the swarm to prevent the algorithm from prematurely converging. The performance of SSPSO and four other improved particle swarm optimizers is numerically evaluated by unimodal, multimodal and rotated multimodal benchmark functions. The effectiveness of SSPSO in solving real-world problems is shown by the magnetic optimization of a Halbach-based permanent magnet machine. The results show that SSPSO has good convergence performance and high reliability, and is well matched to actual problems.

  15. AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS OF EVOLVING TAKAGI-SUGENO-KANG FUZZY MODELS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radu-Emil Precup

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents theoretical and application results concerning the development of evolving Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy models for two dynamic systems, which will be viewed as controlled processes, in the field of automotive applications. The two dynamic systems models are nonlinear dynamics of the longitudinal slip in the Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS and the vehicle speed in vehicles with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT systems. The evolving Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy models are obtained as discrete-time fuzzy models by incremental online identification algorithms. The fuzzy models are validated against experimental results in the case of the ABS and the first principles simulation results in the case of the vehicle with the CVT.

  16. Design of the tool for periodic not evolvent profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anisimov Roman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The new approach to profiling of the tool for processing of parts with periodic not evolvent profiles are considered in the article The discriminatory analysis of periodic profiles including repetition of profile both in the plane of perpendicular axis of part, and in the plane of passing along part of axis is offered. In the basis of the offered profiling method the idea of space shaping by rated surface of product of tool surface lies. The big advantage of the offered approach in profiling is its combination with the analysis of parameters of process of engineering work. It allows to predict the accuracy and surface quality of product with not evolvent periodic profile. While using the offered approach the pinion cutter for processing of wheels with internal triangular teeths and mill for processing of the screw of the counter of consumption of liquid, complex profile of which consists of several formings, have been received

  17. Evolvability of thermophilic proteins from archaea and bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takano, Kazufumi; Aoi, Atsushi; Koga, Yuichi; Kanaya, Shigenori

    2013-07-16

    Proteins from thermophiles possess high thermostability. The stabilization mechanisms differ between archaeal and bacterial proteins, whereby archaeal proteins are mainly stabilized via hydrophobic interactions and bacterial proteins by ion pairs. High stability is an important factor in promoting protein evolution, but the precise means by which different stabilization mechanisms affect the evolution process remain unclear. In this study, we investigated a random mutational drift of esterases from thermophilic archaea and bacteria at high temperatures. Our results indicate that mutations in archaeal proteins lead to improved function with no loss of stability, while mutant bacterial proteins are largely destabilized with decreased activity at high temperatures. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that archaeal proteins possess higher "evolvability" than bacterial proteins under temperature selection and are additionally able to evolve into eukaryotic proteins.

  18. Real-time evolvable pulse shaper for radiation measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lanchares, Juan, E-mail: julandan@dacya.ucm.es [Facultad de Informática, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), C/Prof. José García Santesmases s/n, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Garnica, Oscar, E-mail: ogarnica@dacya.ucm.es [Facultad de Informática, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), C/Prof. José García Santesmases s/n, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Risco-Martín, José L., E-mail: jlrisco@dacya.ucm.es [Facultad de Informática, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), C/Prof. José García Santesmases s/n, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Ignacio Hidalgo, J., E-mail: hidalgo@dacya.ucm.es [Facultad de Informática, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), C/Prof. José García Santesmases s/n, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Regadío, Alberto, E-mail: alberto.regadio@insa.es [Área de Tecnologías Electrónicas, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA), 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid (Spain)

    2013-11-01

    In the last two decades, recursive algorithms for real-time digital pulse shaping in pulse height measurements have been developed and published in number of articles and textbooks. All these algorithms try to synthesize in real time optimum or near optimum shapes in the presence of noise. Even though some of these shapers can be considered effective designs, some side effects like aging cannot be ignored. We may observe that after sensors degradation, the signal obtained is not valid. In this regard, we present in this paper a novel technique that, based on evolvable hardware concepts, is able to evolve the degenerated shaper into a new design with better performance than the original one under the new sensor features.

  19. Evolving approaches to the ethical management of genomic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwen, Jean E; Boyer, Joy T; Sun, Kathie Y

    2013-06-01

    The ethical landscape in the field of genomics is rapidly shifting. Plummeting sequencing costs, along with ongoing advances in bioinformatics, now make it possible to generate an enormous volume of genomic data about vast numbers of people. The informational richness, complexity, and frequently uncertain meaning of these data, coupled with evolving norms surrounding the sharing of data and samples and persistent privacy concerns, have generated a range of approaches to the ethical management of genomic information. As calls increase for the expanded use of broad or even open consent, and as controversy grows about how best to handle incidental genomic findings, these approaches, informed by normative analysis and empirical data, will continue to evolve alongside the science. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Topical antifungal agents: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, K B

    1996-10-01

    So many topical antifungal agents have been introduced that it has become very difficult to select the proper agent for a given infection. Nonspecific agents have been available for many years, and they are still effective in many situations. These agents include Whitfield's ointment, Castellani paint, gentian violet, potassium permanganate, undecylenic acid and selenium sulfide. Specific antifungal agents include, among others, the polyenes (nystatin, amphotericin B), the imidazoles (metronidazole, clotrimazole) and the allylamines (terbinafine, naftifine). Although the choice of an antifungal agent should be based on an accurate diagnosis, many clinicians believe that topical miconazole is a relatively effective agent for the treatment of most mycotic infections. Terbinafine and other newer drugs have primary fungicidal effects. Compared with older antifungal agents, these newer drugs can be used in lower concentrations and shorter therapeutic courses. Studies are needed to evaluate the clinical efficacies and cost advantages of both newer and traditional agents.

  1. Evolving Robot Controllers for Structured Environments Through Environment Decomposition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moreno, Rodrigo; Faiña, Andres; Støy, Kasper

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we aim to develop a controller that allows a robot to traverse an structured environment. The approach we use is to decompose the environment into simple sub-environments that we use as basis for evolving the controller. Specifically, we decompose a narrow corridor environment...... environments and that the order in which the decomposed sub-environments are presented in sequence impacts the performance of the evolutionary algorithm....

  2. The Evolving Importance of Banks and Securities Markets

    OpenAIRE

    Demirguc-Kunt, Asli; Feyen, Erik; Levine, Ross

    2011-01-01

    The roles of banks and securities markets evolve during the process of economic development. As countries develop economically, (1) the size of both banks and securities markets increases relative to the size of the economy, (2) the association between an increase in economic output and an increase in bank development becomes smaller, and (3) the association between an increase in economic output and an increase in securities market development becomes larger. These findings are consistent wi...

  3. A novel evolving scale-free model with tunable attractiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xuan, Liu; Tian-Qi, Liu; Xing-Yuan, Li; Hao, Wang

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, a new evolving model with tunable attractiveness is presented. Based on the Barabasi–Albert (BA) model, we introduce the attractiveness of node which can change with node degree. Using the mean-field theory, we obtain the analytical expression of power-law degree distribution with the exponent γ in (3, ∞). The new model is more homogeneous and has a lower clustering coefficient and bigger average path length than the BA model. (general)

  4. india's northward drift and collision with asia: evolving faunal response

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    INDIA'S NORTHWARD DRIFT AND COLLISION WITH ASIA: EVOLVING FAUNAL RESPONSE · Slide 2 · Slide 3 · Slide 4 · Slide 5 · Slide 6 · Slide 7 · Slide 8 · Slide 9 · Slide 10 · Slide 11 · Slide 12 · Slide 13 · Slide 14 · Slide 15 · Slide 16 · Slide 17 · Slide 18 · Slide 19 · Slide 20 · Slide 21 · Slide 22 · Slide 23 · Slide 24.

  5. Reconstructing the Morphology of an Evolving Coronal Mass Ejection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    694, 707 Wood, B. E., Howard, R. A ., Thernisien, A ., Plunkett, S. P., & Socker, D. G. 2009b, Sol. Phys., 259, 163 Wood, B. E., Karovska , M., Chen, J...Reconstructing the Morphology of an Evolving Coronal Mass Ejection B. E. Wood, R. A . Howard, D. G. Socker Naval Research Laboratory, Space Science...mission, we empirically reconstruct the time-dependent three-dimensional morphology of a coronal mass ejection (CME) from 2008 June 1, which exhibits

  6. Analysis of motility in multicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii evolved under predation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margrethe Boyd

    Full Text Available The advent of multicellularity was a watershed event in the history of life, yet the transition from unicellularity to multicellularity is not well understood. Multicellularity opens up opportunities for innovations in intercellular communication, cooperation, and specialization, which can provide selective advantages under certain ecological conditions. The unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has never had a multicellular ancestor yet it is closely related to the volvocine algae, a clade containing taxa that range from simple unicells to large, specialized multicellular colonies. Simple multicellular structures have been observed to evolve in C. reinhardtii in response to predation or to settling rate-based selection. Structures formed in response to predation consist of individual cells confined within a shared transparent extracellular matrix. Evolved isolates form such structures obligately under culture conditions in which their wild type ancestors do not, indicating that newly-evolved multicellularity is heritable. C. reinhardtii is capable of photosynthesis, and possesses an eyespot and two flagella with which it moves towards or away from light in order to optimize input of radiant energy. Motility contributes to C. reinhardtii fitness because it allows cells or colonies to achieve this optimum. Utilizing phototaxis to assay motility, we determined that newly evolved multicellular strains do not exhibit significant directional movement, even though the flagellae of their constituent unicells are present and active. In C. reinhardtii the first steps towards multicellularity in response to predation appear to result in a trade-off between motility and differential survivorship, a trade-off that must be overcome by further genetic change to ensure long-term success of the new multicellular organism.

  7. The evolving role of information technology in internal auditing

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    M.Com. (Computer Auditing) Modern organizations are increasingly dependent on information technology (IT) for various reasons: to enhance their operational efficiency, reduce costs or even attain a competitive advantage. The role of information technology in the organization continues to evolve and this has an impact for the internal audit functions that serve these organizations. The study investigated whether the King III report, ISACA standards and IIA standards assist the internal audi...

  8. The evolving role of paramedics - a NICE problem to have?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eaton, Georgette; Mahtani, Kamal; Catterall, Matt

    2018-07-01

    This short essay supports the growing role of paramedics in the clinical and academic workforce. We present a commentary of recent draft consultations by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in England that set out how the role of paramedics may be evolving to assist with the changing demands on the clinical workforce. Using these consultations as a basis, we extend their recommendations and suggest that the profession should also lead the academically driven evaluation of these new roles.

  9. Agent-Based Modeling in Systems Pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosgrove, J; Butler, J; Alden, K; Read, M; Kumar, V; Cucurull-Sanchez, L; Timmis, J; Coles, M

    2015-11-01

    Modeling and simulation (M&S) techniques provide a platform for knowledge integration and hypothesis testing to gain insights into biological systems that would not be possible a priori. Agent-based modeling (ABM) is an M&S technique that focuses on describing individual components rather than homogenous populations. This tutorial introduces ABM to systems pharmacologists, using relevant case studies to highlight how ABM-specific strengths have yielded success in the area of preclinical mechanistic modeling.

  10. Population dynamics at high Reynolds number

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perlekar, P.; Benzi, R.; Nelson, D.R.; Toschi, F.

    2010-01-01

    We study the statistical properties of population dynamics evolving in a realistic two-dimensional compressible turbulent velocity field. We show that the interplay between turbulent dynamics and population growth and saturation leads to quasi-localization and a remarkable reduction in the carrying

  11. Analysis of Effects of Organizational Behavior on Evolving System of Systems Acquisition Programs Through Agent Based Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-01

    function is based on how individualistic or collectivistic a system is. Low individualism values mean the system is more collective and is less likely...Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, integrated with a modified version of the Bak- Sneppen biological evolutionary model, this research highlights which set...14 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

  12. A search for radio emission from exoplanets around evolved stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Gorman, E.; Coughlan, C. P.; Vlemmings, W.; Varenius, E.; Sirothia, S.; Ray, T. P.; Olofsson, H.

    2018-04-01

    The majority of searches for radio emission from exoplanets have to date focused on short period planets, i.e., the so-called hot Jupiter type planets. However, these planets are likely to be tidally locked to their host stars and may not generate sufficiently strong magnetic fields to emit electron cyclotron maser emission at the low frequencies used in observations (typically ≥150 MHz). In comparison, the large mass-loss rates of evolved stars could enable exoplanets at larger orbital distances to emit detectable radio emission. Here, we first show that the large ionized mass-loss rates of certain evolved stars relative to the solar value could make them detectable with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) at 150 MHz (λ = 2 m), provided they have surface magnetic field strengths >50 G. We then report radio observations of three long period (>1 au) planets that orbit the evolved stars β Gem, ι Dra, and β UMi using LOFAR at 150 MHz. We do not detect radio emission from any system but place tight 3σ upper limits of 0.98, 0.87, and 0.57 mJy on the flux density at 150 MHz for β Gem, ι Dra, and β UMi, respectively. Despite our non-detections these stringent upper limits highlight the potential of LOFAR as a tool to search for exoplanetary radio emission at meter wavelengths.

  13. Biomimetic molecular design tools that learn, evolve, and adapt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Winkler

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available A dominant hallmark of living systems is their ability to adapt to changes in the environment by learning and evolving. Nature does this so superbly that intensive research efforts are now attempting to mimic biological processes. Initially this biomimicry involved developing synthetic methods to generate complex bioactive natural products. Recent work is attempting to understand how molecular machines operate so their principles can be copied, and learning how to employ biomimetic evolution and learning methods to solve complex problems in science, medicine and engineering. Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary algorithms are now converging to generate what might broadly be called in silico-based adaptive evolution of materials. These methods are being applied to organic chemistry to systematize reactions, create synthesis robots to carry out unit operations, and to devise closed loop flow self-optimizing chemical synthesis systems. Most scientific innovations and technologies pass through the well-known “S curve”, with slow beginning, an almost exponential growth in capability, and a stable applications period. Adaptive, evolving, machine learning-based molecular design and optimization methods are approaching the period of very rapid growth and their impact is already being described as potentially disruptive. This paper describes new developments in biomimetic adaptive, evolving, learning computational molecular design methods and their potential impacts in chemistry, engineering, and medicine.

  14. FY1995 evolvable hardware chip; 1995 nendo shinkasuru hardware chip

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-03-01

    This project aims at the development of 'Evolvable Hardware' (EHW) which can adapt its hardware structure to the environment to attain better hardware performance, under the control of genetic algorithms. EHW is a key technology to explore the new application area requiring real-time performance and on-line adaptation. 1. Development of EHW-LSI for function level hardware evolution, which includes 15 DSPs in one chip. 2. Application of the EHW to the practical industrial applications such as data compression, ATM control, digital mobile communication. 3. Two patents : (1) the architecture and the processing method for programmable EHW-LSI. (2) The method of data compression for loss-less data, using EHW. 4. The first international conference for evolvable hardware was held by authors: Intl. Conf. on Evolvable Systems (ICES96). It was determined at ICES96 that ICES will be held every two years between Japan and Europe. So the new society has been established by us. (NEDO)

  15. Biomimetic molecular design tools that learn, evolve, and adapt

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    A dominant hallmark of living systems is their ability to adapt to changes in the environment by learning and evolving. Nature does this so superbly that intensive research efforts are now attempting to mimic biological processes. Initially this biomimicry involved developing synthetic methods to generate complex bioactive natural products. Recent work is attempting to understand how molecular machines operate so their principles can be copied, and learning how to employ biomimetic evolution and learning methods to solve complex problems in science, medicine and engineering. Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary algorithms are now converging to generate what might broadly be called in silico-based adaptive evolution of materials. These methods are being applied to organic chemistry to systematize reactions, create synthesis robots to carry out unit operations, and to devise closed loop flow self-optimizing chemical synthesis systems. Most scientific innovations and technologies pass through the well-known “S curve”, with slow beginning, an almost exponential growth in capability, and a stable applications period. Adaptive, evolving, machine learning-based molecular design and optimization methods are approaching the period of very rapid growth and their impact is already being described as potentially disruptive. This paper describes new developments in biomimetic adaptive, evolving, learning computational molecular design methods and their potential impacts in chemistry, engineering, and medicine. PMID:28694872

  16. Social networks: Evolving graphs with memory dependent edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grindrod, Peter; Parsons, Mark

    2011-10-01

    The plethora of digital communication technologies, and their mass take up, has resulted in a wealth of interest in social network data collection and analysis in recent years. Within many such networks the interactions are transient: thus those networks evolve over time. In this paper we introduce a class of models for such networks using evolving graphs with memory dependent edges, which may appear and disappear according to their recent history. We consider time discrete and time continuous variants of the model. We consider the long term asymptotic behaviour as a function of parameters controlling the memory dependence. In particular we show that such networks may continue evolving forever, or else may quench and become static (containing immortal and/or extinct edges). This depends on the existence or otherwise of certain infinite products and series involving age dependent model parameters. We show how to differentiate between the alternatives based on a finite set of observations. To test these ideas we show how model parameters may be calibrated based on limited samples of time dependent data, and we apply these concepts to three real networks: summary data on mobile phone use from a developing region; online social-business network data from China; and disaggregated mobile phone communications data from a reality mining experiment in the US. In each case we show that there is evidence for memory dependent dynamics, such as that embodied within the class of models proposed here.

  17. Risk factors which cause senile cataract evolvement: outline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.V. Bragin

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Examination of natural ageing processes including those caused by multiple external factors has been attracting re-searchers' attention over the last years. Senile cataract is a multi-factor disease. Expenditure on cataract surgery remain one of the greatest expenses items in public health care. Age is a basic factor which causes senile cataract. Morbidity with cataract doubles each 10 years of life. This outline considers some literature sources which describe research results on influence exerted on cataract evolvement by such risk factors as age, sex, race, smoking, alcohol intake, pancreatic diabetes, intake of certain medications, a number of environmental factors including ultraviolet and ionizing radiation. mane of these factors are shown to increase or reduce senile cataract risk; there are conflicting data on certain factors. The outline also contains quantitative characteristics of cataract risks which are given via odds relation and evolve due to age parameters impacts, alcohol intake, ionizing radiation, etc. The authors also state that still there is no answer to the question whether dose-effect relationship for cataract evolvement is a threshold or non-threshold.

  18. Halon firefighting agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pope, P.R.; Dalzell, G.A.

    1991-01-01

    This paper examines the current state of the International agreements on the use of halons and the subsequent National and industry approaches to the subject. It examines the definition of Essential Use and gives particular examples to clarify its interpretation. Alternative methods of loss control are reviewed. It does not address alternative active firefighting agents but examines the need for protection in particular areas. It addresses reduction of the hazards and consequences so that the need for protection can be minimized. Practical measures to minimize the installed quantities of halon are described. This covers specifications for new, essential, systems and the short term reduction of inventories in existing systems. The causes of leakage and accidental releases are studied and preventive measures are proposed. The paper concludes with an overview of the current research into replacement agents and the future outlook

  19. Blasting agent package

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fox, R.

    1971-03-17

    A protected preassembled package for blasting agents susceptible to desensitization by water consists of, in combination: (1) an inner rigid and self-supporting tube, the upper end of which is suited to be connected, or attached, to the discharge end of a loading hose for a blasting agent and the lower end of which is open; and (2) a flexible tubular liner made of water-resistant film, having a diameter greater than that of the inner tube and a length at least equal to the desired depth of its insertion into the borehole, the liner being sleeved over the length of the inner tube, the upper end of the liner being attached to the inner tube and the lower end of the liner being closed so as to prevent substantial discharge of the explosive mixture therefrom when the latter is pumped into it. (24 claims)

  20. Phase Transitions in Sexual Populations Subject to Stabilizing Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, A.

    2003-04-01

    We show that a simple model of an evolving sexual population, which dates back to some of the earliest work in theoretical population genetics, exhibits an unexpected and previously unobserved phase transition between ordered and disordered states. This behavior is not present in populations evolving asexually without recombination and is thus important in any comparison of sexual and asexual populations. In order to calculate the details of the phase transition, we use techniques from statistical physics. We introduce the correlation of the population as the order parameter of the system and use maximum entropy inference to find the state of the population at any time.

  1. Constructing Secure Mobile Agent Systems Using the Agent Operating System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van t Noordende, G.J.; Overeinder, B.J.; Timmer, R.J.; Brazier, F.M.; Tanenbaum, A.S.

    2009-01-01

    Designing a secure and reliable mobile agent system is a difficult task. The agent operating system (AOS) is a building block that simplifies this task. AOS provides common primitives required by most mobile agent middleware systems, such as primitives for secure communication, secure and

  2. Logics for Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, John-Jules Charles

    2014-01-01

    This chapter presents the history of the application of logic in a quite popular paradigm in contemporary computer science and artificial intelligence, viz. the area of intelligent agents and multi-agent systems. In particular we discuss the logics that have been used to specify single agents, the

  3. Organizations as Socially Constructed Agents in the Agent Oriented Paradigm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Boella (Guido); L.W.N. van der Torre (Leon)

    2005-01-01

    htmlabstractIn this paper we propose a new role for the agent metaphor in the definition of the organizational structure of multiagent systems. The agent metaphor is extended to consider as agents also social entities like organizations, groups and normative systems, so that mental attitudes can

  4. Evolution favors protein mutational robustness in sufficiently large populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venturelli Ophelia S

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An important question is whether evolution favors properties such as mutational robustness or evolvability that do not directly benefit any individual, but can influence the course of future evolution. Functionally similar proteins can differ substantially in their robustness to mutations and capacity to evolve new functions, but it has remained unclear whether any of these differences might be due to evolutionary selection for these properties. Results Here we use laboratory experiments to demonstrate that evolution favors protein mutational robustness if the evolving population is sufficiently large. We neutrally evolve cytochrome P450 proteins under identical selection pressures and mutation rates in populations of different sizes, and show that proteins from the larger and thus more polymorphic population tend towards higher mutational robustness. Proteins from the larger population also evolve greater stability, a biophysical property that is known to enhance both mutational robustness and evolvability. The excess mutational robustness and stability is well described by mathematical theory, and can be quantitatively related to the way that the proteins occupy their neutral network. Conclusion Our work is the first experimental demonstration of the general tendency of evolution to favor mutational robustness and protein stability in highly polymorphic populations. We suggest that this phenomenon could contribute to the mutational robustness and evolvability of viruses and bacteria that exist in large populations.

  5. On Religion and Language Evolutions Seen Through Mathematical and Agent Based Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ausloos, M.

    Religions and languages are social variables, like age, sex, wealth or political opinions, to be studied like any other organizational parameter. In fact, religiosity is one of the most important sociological aspects of populations. Languages are also obvious characteristics of the human species. Religions, languages appear though also disappear. All religions and languages evolve and survive when they adapt to the society developments. On the other hand, the number of adherents of a given religion, or the number of persons speaking a language is not fixed in time, - nor space. Several questions can be raised. E.g. from a oscopic point of view : How many religions/languages exist at a given time? What is their distribution? What is their life time? How do they evolve? From a "microscopic" view point: can one invent agent based models to describe oscopic aspects? Do simple evolution equations exist? How complicated must be a model? These aspects are considered in the present note. Basic evolution equations are outlined and critically, though briefly, discussed. Similarities and differences between religions and languages are summarized. Cases can be illustrated with historical facts and data. It is stressed that characteristic time scales are different. It is emphasized that "external fields" are historically very relevant in the case of religions, rending the study more " interesting" within a mechanistic approach based on parity and symmetry of clusters concepts. Yet the modern description of human societies through networks in reported simulations is still lacking some mandatory ingredients, i.e. the non scalar nature of the nodes, and the non binary aspects of nodes and links, though for the latter this is already often taken into account, including directions. From an analytical point of view one can consider a population independently of the others. It is intuitively accepted, but also found from the statistical analysis of the frequency distribution that an

  6. Fitness costs associated with field-evolved resistance to Bt maize in Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakka, S R K; Knight, V R; Jurat-Fuentes, J L

    2014-02-01

    Increasing adoption of transgenic crops expressing cry toxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt crops) represents an augmented risk for development of insect resistance. While fitness costs can greatly influence the rate of resistance evolution, most available data related to Bt resistance have been obtained from laboratory-selected insect strains. In this article, we test the existence of fitness costs associated with high levels of field-evolved resistance to Bt maize event TC1507 in a strain of Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith) originated from maize fields in Puerto Rico. Fitness costs in resistant S. frugiperda were evaluated by comparing biological performance to susceptible insects when reared on meridic diet, maize or soybean leaf tissue, or cotton reproductive tissues. Parameters monitored included larval survival, larval and pupal weights, developmental time (larval and pupal), adult longevity, reproductive traits (fecundity and fertility), and sex ratio. We found that all monitored parameters were influenced to a similar extent by the host, independently of susceptibility to Bt maize. The only parameter that significantly differed between strains for all hosts was a longer larval developmental period in resistant S. frugiperda, which resulted in emergence asynchrony between susceptible and resistant adults. To test the relevance of fitness costs in resistant S. frugiperda, we performed a selection experiment to monitor the stability of resistance in a heterogeneous strain through 12 generations of rearing on meridic diet. Our data demonstrate lack of fitness costs relevant to stability of field-evolved resistance to Bt maize and help explain reported stability of field-evolved resistance in Puerto Rican populations of S. frugiperda.

  7. The evolving role of monoclonal antibodies in colorectal cancer: early presumptions and impact on clinical trial development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eng, Cathy

    2010-01-01

    Targeted biologic agents have an established role in treating metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Bevacizumab, a recombinant monoclonal antibody against the vascular endothelial growth factor ligand is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for bevacizumab-naïve patients. Cetuximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody (mAb) against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is FDA approved as a single agent, or in combination with irinotecan, in both irinotecan-naïve and refractory patients, and has additional efficacy in combination with oxaliplatin. Panitumumab, a fully human EGFR mAb, is FDA approved as a single agent in refractory patients but has additional efficacy in combination with chemotherapy. After reaching a temporary therapeutic plateau of FDA-approved agents for the treatment of mCRC, pivotal results have developed that critically affect the care for these patients. Correlative data from randomized trials of EGFR inhibitors across disease settings have demonstrated higher response rates, specifically for patients with wild-type K-RAS tumors. The interpretation of the B-RAF mutation and other molecular markers may further define the appropriateness of anti-EGFR therapy. Recent literature revealed that the first-line use of combined anti-EGFR therapy plus bevacizumab resulted in inferior outcomes and additional toxicities. Furthermore, the role of biologic agents for locally advanced colon cancer cannot be advocated at this time. With impending changes in the health care system, the economic impact of mAbs will continue to be scrutinized. Hence, as the significance of molecular markers continues to develop, their role as it pertains to the appropriate use of biologic agents in the treatment of mCRC will continue to evolve.

  8. Three-agent Peer Evaluation

    OpenAIRE

    Vicki Knoblauch

    2008-01-01

    I show that every rule for dividing a dollar among three agents impartially (so that each agent's share depends only on her evaluation by her associates) underpays some agent by at least one-third of a dollar for some consistent profile of evaluations. I then produce an impartial division rule that never underpays or overpays any agent by more than one-third of a dollar, and for most consistent evaluation profiles does much better.

  9. Agent control of cooperating satellites

    OpenAIRE

    Lincoln, N.K.; Veres, S.M.; Dennis, Louise; Fisher, Michael; Lisitsa, Alexei

    2011-01-01

    A novel, hybrid, agent architecture for (small)swarms of satellites has been developed. The software architecture for each satellite comprises ahigh-level rational agent linked to a low-level control system. The rational agent forms dynamicgoals, decides how to tackle them and passes theactual implementation of these plans to the control layer. The rational agent also has access to aMatLabmodel of the satellite dynamics, thus allowing it to carry out selective hypothetical reasoningabout pote...

  10. Believable Social and Emotional Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-05-01

    While building tools to support the creation of believable emotional agents, I had to make a number of important design decisions . Before describing...processing systems, it is difficult to give an artist direct control over the emotion - al aspects of the character. By making these decisions explicit, I hope...Woody on “Cheers”). Believable Agents BELIEVABLE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL AGENTS 11 Lesson: We don’t want agent architectures that enforce rationality and

  11. What Does God Know? Supernatural Agents' Access to Socially Strategic and Non-Strategic Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purzycki, Benjamin G.; Finkel, Daniel N.; Shaver, John; Wales, Nathan; Cohen, Adam B.; Sosis, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Current evolutionary and cognitive theories of religion posit that supernatural agent concepts emerge from cognitive systems such as theory of mind and social cognition. Some argue that these concepts evolved to maintain social order by minimizing antisocial behavior. If these theories are correct, then people should process information about…

  12. Scaling of the propagation of epidemics in a system of mobile agents

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez, M. C.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2004-01-01

    For a two-dimensional system of agents modeled by molecular dynamics, we simulate epidemics spreading, which was recently studied on complex networks. Our resulting network model is time-evolving. We study the transitions to spreading as function of density, temperature and infection time. In addition, we analyze the epidemic threshold associated to a power-law distribution of infection times.

  13. Chemical warfare agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijayaraghavan R

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided.

  14. Chemical warfare agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesan, K.; Raza, S. K.; Vijayaraghavan, R.

    2010-01-01

    Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW) is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided. PMID:21829312

  15. Evolutions in clinical reasoning assessment: The Evolving Script Concordance Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Suzette; Lemay, Jean-François; Beran, Tanya

    2017-08-01

    Script concordance testing (SCT) is a method of assessment of clinical reasoning. We developed a new type of SCT case design, the evolving SCT (E-SCT), whereby the patient's clinical story is "evolving" and with thoughtful integration of new information at each stage, decisions related to clinical decision-making become increasingly clear. We aimed to: (1) determine whether an E-SCT could differentiate clinical reasoning ability among junior residents (JR), senior residents (SR), and pediatricians, (2) evaluate the reliability of an E-SCT, and (3) obtain qualitative feedback from participants to help inform the potential acceptability of the E-SCT. A 12-case E-SCT, embedded within a 24-case pediatric SCT (PaedSCT), was administered to 91 pediatric residents (JR: n = 50; SR: n = 41). A total of 21 pediatricians served on the panel of experts (POE). A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted across the levels of experience. Participants' feedback on the E-SCT was obtained with a post-test survey and analyzed using two methods: percentage preference and thematic analysis. Statistical differences existed across levels of training: F = 19.31 (df = 2); p decision-making process. The E-SCT demonstrated very good reliability and was effective in distinguishing clinical reasoning ability across three levels of experience. Participants found the E-SCT engaging and representative of real-life clinical reasoning and decision-making processes. We suggest that further refinement and utilization of the evolving style case will enhance SCT as a robust, engaging, and relevant method for the assessment of clinical reasoning.

  16. Delineating slowly and rapidly evolving fractions of the Drosophila genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, Jonathan M; Adams, Peter; Stephen, Stuart; Mattick, John S

    2008-05-01

    Evolutionary conservation is an important indicator of function and a major component of bioinformatic methods to identify non-protein-coding genes. We present a new Bayesian method for segmenting pairwise alignments of eukaryotic genomes while simultaneously classifying segments into slowly and rapidly evolving fractions. We also describe an information criterion similar to the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) for determining the number of classes. Working with pairwise alignments enables detection of differences in conservation patterns among closely related species. We analyzed three whole-genome and three partial-genome pairwise alignments among eight Drosophila species. Three distinct classes of conservation level were detected. Sequences comprising the most slowly evolving component were consistent across a range of species pairs, and constituted approximately 62-66% of the D. melanogaster genome. Almost all (>90%) of the aligned protein-coding sequence is in this fraction, suggesting much of it (comprising the majority of the Drosophila genome, including approximately 56% of non-protein-coding sequences) is functional. The size and content of the most rapidly evolving component was species dependent, and varied from 1.6% to 4.8%. This fraction is also enriched for protein-coding sequence (while containing significant amounts of non-protein-coding sequence), suggesting it is under positive selection. We also classified segments according to conservation and GC content simultaneously. This analysis identified numerous sub-classes of those identified on the basis of conservation alone, but was nevertheless consistent with that classification. Software, data, and results available at www.maths.qut.edu.au/-keithj/. Genomic segments comprising the conservation classes available in BED format.

  17. Network Analysis of Earth's Co-Evolving Geosphere and Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazen, R. M.; Eleish, A.; Liu, C.; Morrison, S. M.; Meyer, M.; Consortium, K. D.

    2017-12-01

    A fundamental goal of Earth science is the deep understanding of Earth's dynamic, co-evolving geosphere and biosphere through deep time. Network analysis of geo- and bio- `big data' provides an interactive, quantitative, and predictive visualization framework to explore complex and otherwise hidden high-dimension features of diversity, distribution, and change in the evolution of Earth's geochemistry, mineralogy, paleobiology, and biochemistry [1]. Networks also facilitate quantitative comparison of different geological time periods, tectonic settings, and geographical regions, as well as different planets and moons, through network metrics, including density, centralization, diameter, and transitivity.We render networks by employing data related to geographical, paragenetic, environmental, or structural relationships among minerals, fossils, proteins, and microbial taxa. An important recent finding is that the topography of many networks reflects parameters not explicitly incorporated in constructing the network. For example, networks for minerals, fossils, and protein structures reveal embedded qualitative time axes, with additional network geometries possibly related to extinction and/or other punctuation events (see Figure). Other axes related to chemical activities and volatile fugacities, as well as pressure and/or depth of formation, may also emerge from network analysis. These patterns provide new insights into the way planets evolve, especially Earth's co-evolving geosphere and biosphere. 1. Morrison, S.M. et al. (2017) Network analysis of mineralogical systems. American Mineralogist 102, in press. Figure Caption: A network of Phanerozoic Era fossil animals from the past 540 million years includes blue, red, and black circles (nodes) representing family-level taxa and grey lines (links) between coexisting families. Age information was not used in the construction of this network; nevertheless an intrinsic timeline is embedded in the network topology. In

  18. A Change Impact Analysis to Characterize Evolving Program Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rungta, Neha Shyam; Person, Suzette; Branchaud, Joshua

    2012-01-01

    Change impact analysis techniques estimate the potential effects of changes made to software. Directed Incremental Symbolic Execution (DiSE) is an intraprocedural technique for characterizing the impact of software changes on program behaviors. DiSE first estimates the impact of the changes on the source code using program slicing techniques, and then uses the impact sets to guide symbolic execution to generate path conditions that characterize impacted program behaviors. DiSE, however, cannot reason about the flow of impact between methods and will fail to generate path conditions for certain impacted program behaviors. In this work, we present iDiSE, an extension to DiSE that performs an interprocedural analysis. iDiSE combines static and dynamic calling context information to efficiently generate impacted program behaviors across calling contexts. Information about impacted program behaviors is useful for testing, verification, and debugging of evolving programs. We present a case-study of our implementation of the iDiSE algorithm to demonstrate its efficiency at computing impacted program behaviors. Traditional notions of coverage are insufficient for characterizing the testing efforts used to validate evolving program behaviors because they do not take into account the impact of changes to the code. In this work we present novel definitions of impacted coverage metrics that are useful for evaluating the testing effort required to test evolving programs. We then describe how the notions of impacted coverage can be used to configure techniques such as DiSE and iDiSE in order to support regression testing related tasks. We also discuss how DiSE and iDiSE can be configured for debugging finding the root cause of errors introduced by changes made to the code. In our empirical evaluation we demonstrate that the configurations of DiSE and iDiSE can be used to support various software maintenance tasks

  19. Why, when and where did honey bee dance communication evolve?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbie eI'Anson Price

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis sp. are the only known bee genus that uses nest-based communication to provide nest-mates with information about the location of resources, the so-called dance language. Successful foragers perform waggle dances for high quality food sources and suitable nest-sites during swarming. However, since many species of social insects do not communicate the location of resources to their nest-mates, the question of why the dance language evolved is of ongoing interest. We review recent theoretical and empirical research into the ecological circumstances that make dance communication beneficial in present day environments. This research suggests that the dance language is most beneficial when food sources differ greatly in quality and are hard to find. The dances of extant honey bee species differ in important ways, and phylogenetic studies suggest an increase in dance complexity over time: species with the least complex dance were the first to appear and species with the most complex dance are the most derived. We review the fossil record of honey bees and speculate about the time and context (foraging vs. swarming in which spatially referential dance communication might have evolved. We conclude that there are few certainties about when the dance language first appeared; dance communication could be older than 40 million years and, thus, predate the genus Apis, or it could be as recent as 20 million years when extant honey bee species diverged during the early Miocene. The most parsimonious scenario assumes it evolved in a sub-tropical to temperate climate, with patchy vegetation somewhere in Eurasia.

  20. Japanese experience of evolving nurses' roles in changing social contexts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanbara, S; Yamamoto, Y; Sugishita, T; Nakasa, T; Moriguchi, I

    2017-06-01

    To discuss the evolving roles of Japanese nurses in meeting the goals and concerns of ongoing global sustainable development. Japanese nurses' roles have evolved as the needs of the country and the communities they served, changed over time. The comprehensive public healthcare services in Japan were provided by the cooperation of hospitals and public health nurses. The nursing profession is exploring ways to identify and systemize nursing skills and competencies that address global health initiatives for sustainable development goals. This paper is based on the summary of a symposium, (part of the 2015 annual meeting of the Japan Association for International Health) with panel members including experts from Japan's Official Development Assistance. The evolving role of nurses in response to national and international needs is illustrated by nursing practices from Japan. Japanese public health nurses have also assisted overseas healthcare plans. In recent catastrophes, Japanese nurses assumed the roles of community health coordinators for restoration and maintenance of public health. The Japanese experience shows that nursing professionals are best placed to work with community health issues, high-risk situations and vulnerable communities. Their cooperation can address current social needs and help global communities to transform our world. Nurses have tremendous potential to make transformative changes in health and bring about the necessary paradigm shift. They must be involved in global sustainable development goals, health policies and disaster risk management. A mutual understanding of global citizen and nurses will help to renew and strengthen their capacities. Nursing professionals can contribute effectively to achieve national and global health goals and make transformative changes. © 2017 International Council of Nurses.

  1. Contrast agent choice for intravenous coronary angiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeman, H.D.; Siddons, D.P.

    1990-01-01

    The screening of the general population for coronary artery disease would be practical if a method existed for visualizing the extent of occlusion after an intravenous injection of contrast agent. Measurements performed with monochromatic synchrotron radiation X-rays and an iodine-containing contrast agent at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory have shown that such an intravenous angiography procedure would be possible with an adequately intense monochromatic X-ray source. Because of the size and cost of synchrotron radiation facilities it would be desirable to make the most efficient use of the intensity available, while reducing as much as possible the radiation dose experienced by the patient. By choosing contrast agents containing elements with a higher atomic number than iodine, it is possible to both improve the image quality and reduce the patient radiation dose, while using the same synchrotron radiation source. By using Si monochromator crystals with a small mosaic spread, it is possible to increase the X-ray flux available for imaging by over an order of magnitude, without any changes in the storage ring or wiggler magnet. The most critical imaging task for intravenous coronary angiography utilizing synchrotron radiation X-rays is visualizing a coronary artery through the left ventricle or aorta which also contain contrast agent. Calculations have been made of the signal to noise ratio expected for this imaging task for various contrast agents with atomic numbers between that of iodine and bismuth. The X-ray energy spectrum of the X-17 superconduction wiggler beam line at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory has been used for these calculations. Both perfect Si crystals and Si crystals with a small mosaic spread are considered as monochromators. Contrast agents containing Gd or Yb seem to have about the optimal calculated signal to noise ratio. (orig./HSI)

  2. Gravity Effects on Information Filtering and Network Evolving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jin-Hu; Zhang, Zi-Ke; Chen, Lingjiao; Liu, Chuang; Yang, Chengcheng; Wang, Xueqi

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, based on the gravity principle of classical physics, we propose a tunable gravity-based model, which considers tag usage pattern to weigh both the mass and distance of network nodes. We then apply this model in solving the problems of information filtering and network evolving. Experimental results on two real-world data sets, Del.icio.us and MovieLens, show that it can not only enhance the algorithmic performance, but can also better characterize the properties of real networks. This work may shed some light on the in-depth understanding of the effect of gravity model. PMID:24622162

  3. Analytical Design of Evolvable Software for High-Assurance Computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-02-14

    system size Sext wij j 1= Ai ∑ wik k 1= Mi ∑+               i 1= N ∑= = 59 5 Analytical Partition of Components As discussed in Chapter 1...76]. Does the research approach yield evolvable components in less mathematically-oriented applications such as multi- media and e- commerce? There is... Social Security Number Date 216 217 Appendix H Benchmark Design for the Microwave Oven Software The benchmark design consists of the

  4. MK classification of evolved blue stars in the halo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garrison, R.F.

    1987-01-01

    The problem of the masses and origin of the evolved blue stars is very complex. No single approach can give all the answers unambiguously; it would be naive to suppose otherwise. The MK process and the MK system give a perspective which complements photometric, kinematic, high dispersion and other quantitative data. It is useful to know which stars are similar (or not) in spectral morphology, so that interesting candidates can be selected for further study. In many cases, the gross physical characteristics can be fairly well determined by use of the MK System. 8 references

  5. Open-Ended Behavioral Complexity for Evolved Virtual Creatures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessin, Dan; Fussell, Don; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2013-01-01

    notable exception to this progress. Despite the potential benefits, there has been no clear increase in the behavioral complexity of evolved virtual creatures (EVCs) beyond the light following demonstrated in Sims' original work. This paper presents an open-ended method to move beyond this limit, making...... creature with behavioral complexity that clearly exceeds previously achieved levels. ESP thus demonstrates that EVCs may indeed have the potential to one day rival the behavioral complexity--and therefore the entertainment value--of their non-virtual counterparts....

  6. Simulations of embodied evolving semiosis: Emergent semantics in artificial environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rocha, L.M.; Joslyn, C.

    1998-02-01

    As we enter this amazing new world of artificial and virtual systems and environments in the context of human communities, we are interested in the development of systems and environments which have the capacity to grow and evolve their own meanings in the context of this community of interaction. In this paper the authors analyze the necessary conditions to achieve systems and environments with these properties: (1) a coupled interaction between a system and its environment; (2) an environment with sufficient initial richness and structure to allow for; (3) embodied emergent classification of that environment system coupling; and (4) which is subject to pragmatic selection.

  7. A Weighted Evolving Network with Community Size Preferential Attachment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhuo Zhiwei; Shan Erfang

    2010-01-01

    Community structure is an important characteristic in real complex network. It is a network consists of groups of nodes within which links are dense but among which links are sparse. In this paper, the evolving network include node, link and community growth and we apply the community size preferential attachment and strength preferential attachment to a growing weighted network model and utilize weight assigning mechanism from BBV model. The resulting network reflects the intrinsic community structure with generalized power-law distributions of nodes' degrees and strengths.

  8. [Cardiac computed tomography: new applications of an evolving technique].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, María; Corros, Cecilia; Calvo, Juan; Mesa, Alicia; García-Campos, Ana; Rodríguez, María Luisa; Barreiro, Manuel; Rozado, José; Colunga, Santiago; de la Hera, Jesús M; Morís, César; Luyando, Luis H

    2015-01-01

    During the last years we have witnessed an increasing development of imaging techniques applied in Cardiology. Among them, cardiac computed tomography is an emerging and evolving technique. With the current possibility of very low radiation studies, the applications have expanded and go further coronariography In the present article we review the technical developments of cardiac computed tomography and its new applications. Copyright © 2014 Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez. Published by Masson Doyma México S.A. All rights reserved.

  9. f(R) gravity solutions for evolving wormholes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharya, Subhra [Presidency University, Department of Mathematics, Kolkata (India); Chakraborty, Subenoy [Jadavpur University, Department of Mathematics, Kolkata (India)

    2017-08-15

    The scalar-tensor f(R) theory of gravity is considered in the framework of a simple inhomogeneous space-time model. In this research we use the reconstruction technique to look for possible evolving wormhole solutions within viable f(R) gravity formalism. These f(R) models are then constrained so that they are consistent with existing experimental data. Energy conditions related to the matter threading the wormhole are analyzed graphically and are in general found to obey the null energy conditions (NEC) in regions around the throat, while in the limit f(R) = R, NEC can be violated at large in regions around the throat. (orig.)

  10. Forces shaping the fastest evolving regions in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pollard, Katherine S; Salama, Sofie R; King, Bryan

    2006-01-01

    Comparative genomics allow us to search the human genome for segments that were extensively changed in the last approximately 5 million years since divergence from our common ancestor with chimpanzee, but are highly conserved in other species and thus are likely to be functional. We found 202...... genomic elements that are highly conserved in vertebrates but show evidence of significantly accelerated substitution rates in human. These are mostly in non-coding DNA, often near genes associated with transcription and DNA binding. Resequencing confirmed that the five most accelerated elements...... contributed to accelerated evolution of the fastest evolving elements in the human genome....

  11. Whole genome duplication affects evolvability of flowering time in an autotetraploid plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara L Martin

    Full Text Available Whole genome duplications have occurred recurrently throughout the evolutionary history of eukaryotes. The resulting genetic and phenotypic changes can influence physiological and ecological responses to the environment; however, the impact of genome copy number on evolvability has rarely been examined experimentally. Here, we evaluate the effect of genome duplication on the ability to respond to selection for early flowering time in lines drawn from naturally occurring diploid and autotetraploid populations of the plant Chamerion angustifolium (fireweed. We contrast this with the result of four generations of selection on synthesized neoautotetraploids, whose genic variability is similar to diploids but genome copy number is similar to autotetraploids. In addition, we examine correlated responses to selection in all three groups. Diploid and both extant tetraploid and neoautotetraploid lines responded to selection with significant reductions in time to flowering. Evolvability, measured as realized heritability, was significantly lower in extant tetraploids (^b(T =  0.31 than diploids (^b(T =  0.40. Neotetraploids exhibited the highest evolutionary response (^b(T  =  0.55. The rapid shift in flowering time in neotetraploids was associated with an increase in phenotypic variability across generations, but not with change in genome size or phenotypic correlations among traits. Our results suggest that whole genome duplications, without hybridization, may initially alter evolutionary rate, and that the dynamic nature of neoautopolyploids may contribute to the prevalence of polyploidy throughout eukaryotes.

  12. A model for the emergence of cooperation, interdependence, and structure in evolving networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Sanjay; Krishna, Sandeep

    2001-01-01

    Evolution produces complex and structured networks of interacting components in chemical, biological, and social systems. We describe a simple mathematical model for the evolution of an idealized chemical system to study how a network of cooperative molecular species arises and evolves to become more complex and structured. The network is modeled by a directed weighted graph whose positive and negative links represent "catalytic" and "inhibitory" interactions among the molecular species, and which evolves as the least populated species (typically those that go extinct) are replaced by new ones. A small autocatalytic set, appearing by chance, provides the seed for the spontaneous growth of connectivity and cooperation in the graph. A highly structured chemical organization arises inevitably as the autocatalytic set enlarges and percolates through the network in a short analytically determined timescale. This self organization does not require the presence of self-replicating species. The network also exhibits catastrophes over long timescales triggered by the chance elimination of "keystone" species, followed by recoveries.

  13. Whole-genome sequencing of a laboratory-evolved yeast strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunham Maitreya J

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Experimental evolution of microbial populations provides a unique opportunity to study evolutionary adaptation in response to controlled selective pressures. However, until recently it has been difficult to identify the precise genetic changes underlying adaptation at a genome-wide scale. New DNA sequencing technologies now allow the genome of parental and evolved strains of microorganisms to be rapidly determined. Results We sequenced >93.5% of the genome of a laboratory-evolved strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its ancestor at >28× depth. Both single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number amplifications were found, with specific gains over array-based methodologies previously used to analyze these genomes. Applying a segmentation algorithm to quantify structural changes, we determined the approximate genomic boundaries of a 5× gene amplification. These boundaries guided the recovery of breakpoint sequences, which provide insights into the nature of a complex genomic rearrangement. Conclusions This study suggests that whole-genome sequencing can provide a rapid approach to uncover the genetic basis of evolutionary adaptations, with further applications in the study of laboratory selections and mutagenesis screens. In addition, we show how single-end, short read sequencing data can provide detailed information about structural rearrangements, and generate predictions about the genomic features and processes that underlie genome plasticity.

  14. Repeated evolution of fungal cultivar specificity in independently evolved ant-plant-fungus symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Debaud, Sarah; Salas-Lopez, Alex; Born, Céline; Benoit, Laure; McKey, Doyle B; Attéké, Christiane; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain

    2013-01-01

    Some tropical plant species possess hollow structures (domatia) occupied by ants that protect the plant and in some cases also provide it with nutrients. Most plant-ants tend patches of chaetothyrialean fungi within domatia. In a few systems it has been shown that the ants manure the fungal patches and use them as a food source, indicating agricultural practices. However, the identity of these fungi has been investigated only in a few samples. To examine the specificity and constancy of ant-plant-fungus interactions we characterised the content of fungal patches in an extensive sampling of three ant-plant symbioses (Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana subsp. africana, Aphomomyrmex afer/Leonardoxa africana subsp. letouzeyi and Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa) by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacers of ribosomal DNA. For each system the content of fungal patches was constant over individuals and populations. Each symbiosis was associated with a specific, dominant, primary fungal taxon, and to a lesser extent, with one or two specific secondary taxa, all of the order Chaetothyriales. A single fungal patch sometimes contained both a primary and a secondary taxon. In one system, two founding queens were found with the primary fungal taxon only, one that was shown in a previous study to be consumed preferentially. Because the different ant-plant symbioses studied have evolved independently, the high specificity and constancy we observed in the composition of the fungal patches have evolved repeatedly. Specificity and constancy also characterize other cases of agriculture by insects.

  15. Repeated evolution of fungal cultivar specificity in independently evolved ant-plant-fungus symbioses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rumsaïs Blatrix

    Full Text Available Some tropical plant species possess hollow structures (domatia occupied by ants that protect the plant and in some cases also provide it with nutrients. Most plant-ants tend patches of chaetothyrialean fungi within domatia. In a few systems it has been shown that the ants manure the fungal patches and use them as a food source, indicating agricultural practices. However, the identity of these fungi has been investigated only in a few samples. To examine the specificity and constancy of ant-plant-fungus interactions we characterised the content of fungal patches in an extensive sampling of three ant-plant symbioses (Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana subsp. africana, Aphomomyrmex afer/Leonardoxa africana subsp. letouzeyi and Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacers of ribosomal DNA. For each system the content of fungal patches was constant over individuals and populations. Each symbiosis was associated with a specific, dominant, primary fungal taxon, and to a lesser extent, with one or two specific secondary taxa, all of the order Chaetothyriales. A single fungal patch sometimes contained both a primary and a secondary taxon. In one system, two founding queens were found with the primary fungal taxon only, one that was shown in a previous study to be consumed preferentially. Because the different ant-plant symbioses studied have evolved independently, the high specificity and constancy we observed in the composition of the fungal patches have evolved repeatedly. Specificity and constancy also characterize other cases of agriculture by insects.

  16. Capsules with evolving brittleness to resist the preparation of self-healing concrete

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gruyaert, E.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Capsules for self-healing concrete have to possess multifunctional properties and it would be an enormous advantage in the valorization process when they could also be mixed in. Therefore, we aimed to develop capsules with evolving brittleness. Capsules with high initial flexibility were prepared by adding a plasticizer to an ethyl cellulose matrix. During hardening of the concrete, the plasticizing agent should leach out to the moist environment yielding more brittle capsules which break upon crack appearance. The tested capsules could easily be mixed in during concrete production. However, incompatibility issues between the capsule wall and the inner polymeric healing agent appeared. Moreover, the capsules became insufficiently brittle and the bond strength to the cementitious matrix was too weak. Consequently, multilayer capsules were tested. These capsules had a high impact resistance to endure concrete mixing and were able to break upon crack formation.Las cápsulas para la auto-reparación del hormigón tienen que poseer propiedades multifuncionales. Una enorme ventaja en el proceso para su valorización se obtendría si aquellas pudieran resistir con éxito el mezclado. Por lo tanto, nos propusimos desarrollar cápsulas cuya fragilidad evoluciona. Cápsulas con una alta flexibilidad inicial se prepararon mediante la adición de un plastificante a una matriz de etil celulosa. Durante el endurecimiento del hormigón, el agente plastificante debe filtrarse hacia el medio ambiente húmedo produciendo cápsulas más frágiles que se rompen con el surgimiento de fisuras. Las cápsulas pudieron ser fácilmente mezcladas durante la producción de hormigón. Sin embargo, aparecieron problemas de incompatibilidad entre la pared de la cápsula y el agente de curación polimérico interior. Por otra parte, las cápsulas se comportaron insuficientemente frágiles y con una baja adherencia hacia la matriz cementicia. En consecuencia, se probaron las c

  17. Amphoteric surface active agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eissa, A.M. F.

    1995-10-01

    Full Text Available 2-[trimethyl ammonium, triethyl ammonium, pyridinium and 2-amino pyridinium] alkanoates, four series of surface active agents containing carbon chain C12, C14, C16 and C18carbon atoms, were prepared. Their structures were characterized by microanalysis, infrared (IR and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR. Surface and interfacial tension, Krafft point, wetting time, emulsification power, foaming height and critical micelle concentration (cmc were determined and a comparative study was made between their chemical structure and surface active properties. Antimicrobial activity of these surfactants was also determined.

    Se prepararon cuatro series de agentes tensioactivos del tipo 2-[trimetil amonio, trietil amonio, piridinio y 2-amino piridinio] alcanoatos, que contienen cadenas carbonadas con C12, C14, C16 y C18 átomos de carbono.
    Se determinaron la tensión superficial e interfacial, el punto de Krafft, el tiempo humectante, el poder de emulsionamiento, la altura espumante y la concentración critica de miscela (cmc y se hizo un estudio comparativo entre la estructura química y sus propiedades tensioactivas. Se determinó también la actividad antimicrobiana de estos tensioactivos. Estas estructuras se caracterizaron por microanálisis, infrarrojo (IR y resonancia magnética nuclear (RMN.

  18. [New agents for hypercholesterolemia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pintó, Xavier; García Gómez, María Carmen

    2016-02-19

    An elevated proportion of high cardiovascular risk patients do not achieve the therapeutic c-LDL goals. This owes to physicians' inappropriate or insufficient use of cholesterol lowering medications or to patients' bad tolerance or therapeutic compliance. Another cause is an insufficient efficacy of current cholesterol lowering drugs including statins and ezetimibe. In addition, proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 inhibitors are a new cholesterol lowering medications showing safety and high efficacy to reduce c-LDL in numerous already performed or underway clinical trials, potentially allowing an optimal control of hypercholesterolemia in most patients. Agents inhibiting apolipoprotein B synthesis and microsomal transfer protein are also providing a new potential to decrease cholesterol in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia and in particular in homozygote familial hypercholesterolemia. Last, cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors have shown powerful effects on c-HDL and c-LDL, although their efficacy in cardiovascular prevention and safety has not been demonstrated yet. We provide in this article an overview of the main characteristics of therapeutic agents for hypercholesterolemia, which have been recently approved or in an advanced research stage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  19. Departments as Agents of Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagowski, J. J.

    1996-07-01

    . New developments and intellectual opportunities will continue to occur at the interfaces between traditional disciplines and must be expressed to students. These are the very processes whereby disciplines themselves evolve and change. An effective department will hold its members accountable for the quality of learning achieved by both its majors and students seeking general knowledge. In this regard, the department is the logical arena for faculty to talk regularly about how, what, and why they teach, as well as to learn from each other and from their students as they strive to lay a solid intellectual foundation while keeping course content current and relevant and to interpret the meaning of success in an increasingly competitive marketplace for ideas, jobs, and opportunities. An effective department will function as a team of scholars with diverse experiences, talents, interests, and ambitions that is willing to assign (and reward) different responsibilities to individual members at different stages of their professional careers. If the renewal of undergraduate education is to occur through the department, a department must become an agent of the institution as well as of its discipline. Methods must be devised to foster greater commitment to teamwork. Rewards at the faculty and departmental level must be restructured to respond to the collective achievement of the department in both teaching and research. Techniques need to be developed to make effective teaching a subject of collective dialogue and inquiry and a mutually shared goal. Teaching should become the focus of the kind of scholarly activity that most faculty now reserve for their disciplines. Effective systems of quality control must be devised by institutions as well as mechanisms for rewarding departments that attain collective goals. Up to now, most departments and their faculties have been reluctant to engage in the kind of self-scrutiny that is the hallmark of successful service

  20. Evolving Microbial Communities in Cellulose-Fed Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Toczyłowska-Mamińska

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The abundance of cellulosic wastes make them attractive source of energy for producing electricity in microbial fuel cells (MFCs. However, electricity production from cellulose requires obligate anaerobes that can degrade cellulose and transfer electrons to the electrode (exoelectrogens, and thus most previous MFC studies have been conducted using two-chamber systems to avoid oxygen contamination of the anode. Single-chamber, air-cathode MFCs typically produce higher power densities than aqueous catholyte MFCs and avoid energy input for the cathodic reaction. To better understand the bacterial communities that evolve in single-chamber air-cathode MFCs fed cellulose, we examined the changes in the bacterial consortium in an MFC fed cellulose over time. The most predominant bacteria shown to be capable electron generation was Firmicutes, with the fermenters decomposing cellulose Bacteroidetes. The main genera developed after extended operation of the cellulose-fed MFC were cellulolytic strains, fermenters and electrogens that included: Parabacteroides, Proteiniphilum, Catonella and Clostridium. These results demonstrate that different communities evolve in air-cathode MFCs fed cellulose than the previous two-chamber reactors.