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Sample records for spider toxin tx1

  1. Radiolabelling of phoneutria nigriventer spider toxin (Tx1): a tool to study its binding site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Raquel Gouvea dos; Diniz, Carlos Roberto; Nascimento, Marta Cordeiro; Lima, Maria Elena de

    1996-01-01

    The neurotoxin Tx1, isolated from the venom of the South American spider Phoneutria nigriventer produces tail elevation and spastic paralysis of posterior limbs after intracerebral ventricular injection in mice. Tx1 also produces ileum contraction in bioassay. We have investigated the binding of radioiodinated-Tx1 ( 125 I-Tx1) on the preparation of myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle membrane from guinea pig ileum (MPLM) as a tool to characterize the interaction of this neurotoxin with its site. The neurotoxin Tx1 was radioiodinated with Na 125 I by the lactoperoxidase method. 125 I-Tx1 specifically binds to a single class of noninteracting binding sites of high affinity (Kd= 3.5 x 10 -10 M) and low capacity (1.2 pmol/mg protein). The specific binding increased in parallel with the protein concentration. In competition experiments the ligands of ionic channels used (sodium, potassium and calcium) did not affect the binding of 125 I-Tx1 to MPLM neither did the cholinergic ligands (hemicholinium-3, hexamethonium, d-tubocurarine and atropine). Another neurotoxin (Tx2-6, one of the isoforms of Tx2 pool) decreased toxin with MPLM and showed that toxin has a specific and saturable binding site in guinea pig ileum and this binding site appears to be related to the Tx2 site. (author)

  2. Binding sites and actions of Tx1, a neurotoxin from the venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer, in guinea pig ileum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.G. Santos

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Tx1, a neurotoxin isolated from the venom of the South American spider Phoneutria nigriventer, produces tail elevation, behavioral excitation and spastic paralysis of the hind limbs after intracerebroventricular injection in mice. Since Tx1 contracts isolated guinea pig ileum, we have investigated the effect of this toxin on acetylcholine release, as well as its binding to myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle membranes from the guinea pig ileum. [125I]-Tx1 binds specifically and with high affinity (Kd = 0.36 ± 0.02 nM to a single, non-interacting (nH = 1.1, low capacity (Bmax 1.1 pmol/mg protein binding site. In competition experiments using several compounds (including ion channel ligands, only PhTx2 and PhTx3 competed with [125I]-Tx1 for specific binding sites (K0.5 apparent = 7.50 x 10-4 g/l and 1.85 x 10-5 g/l, respectively. PhTx2 and PhTx3, fractions from P. nigriventer venom, contain toxins acting on sodium and calcium channels, respectively. However, the neurotoxin PhTx2-6, one of the isoforms found in the PhTx2 pool, did not affect [125I]-Tx1 binding. Tx1 reduced the [3H]-ACh release evoked by the PhTx2 pool by 33%, but did not affect basal or KCl-induced [3H]-ACh release. Based on these results, as well as on the homology of Tx1 with toxins acting on calcium channels (w-Aga IA and IB and its competition with [125I]-w-Cono GVIA in the central nervous system, we suggest that the target site for Tx1 may be calcium channels.

  3. Combination of Ambiguous and Unambiguous Data in the Restraint-driven Docking of Flexible Peptides with HADDOCK: The Binding of the Spider Toxin PcTx1 to the Acid Sensing Ion Channel (ASIC) 1a.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deplazes, Evelyne; Davies, Josephine; Bonvin, Alexandre M J J; King, Glenn F; Mark, Alan E

    2016-01-25

    Peptides that bind to ion channels have attracted much interest as potential lead molecules for the development of new drugs and insecticides. However, the structure determination of large peptide-channel complexes using experimental methods is challenging. Thus structural models are often derived from combining experimental information with restraint-driven docking approaches. Using the complex formed by the venom peptide PcTx1 and the acid sensing ion channel (ASIC) 1a as a case study, we have examined the effect of different combinations of restraints and input structures on the statistical likelihood of (a) correctly predicting the structure of the binding interface and (b) the ability to predict which residues are involved in specific pairwise peptide-channel interactions. For this, we have analyzed over 200,000 water-refined docked structures obtained with various amounts and types of restraints of the peptide-channel complex predicted using the docking program HADDOCK. We found that increasing the number of restraints or even the use of pairwise interaction data resulted in only a modest improvement in the likelihood of finding a structure within a given accuracy. This suggests that shape complementarity and the force field make a large contribution to the accuracy of the predicted structure. The results also showed that there are large variations in the accuracy of the predicted structure depending on the precise combination of residues used as restraints. Finally, we reflect on the limitations of relying on geometric criteria such as root-mean square deviations to assess the accuracy of docking procedures. We propose that in addition to currently used measures, the likelihood of finding a structure within a given level of accuracy should be also used to evaluate docking methods.

  4. Tx1, from Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom, interacts with dihydropyridine sensitive-calcium channels in GH3 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gouvea dos Santos, R.; Soares, M.A.; Pimenta, A.M.; De Lima, M.E.; ICB, UFMG, Belo Horizonte

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this work was to use the binding assay of tritiated-dihydropyridine and radioiodinated Tx1, isolated from the Phoneutria nigriventer venom, in order to show the presence of Ca v 1 calcium channels on pituitary tumour cell (GH3). We showed that GH3 cells have specific sites for 125 I-Tx1, which are sensitive to nifedipine (∼20%). Reverse competition assay with 3 H-PN200-110 (40% inhibition) and electrophysiological data (50% inhibition) suggest that Ca v 1 calcium channels are target sites for this toxin. To summarize, Tx1 binds to specific sites on GH3 cells and this interaction results in Ca v 1 calcium channel blockade. 3 H-PN200-110 and 125 I-Tx1 binding assays proved to be useful tools to show the presence of calcium channels on GH3 cells. (author)

  5. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio

    2006-01-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  6. Structure–Activity Relationship Study of Spider Polyamine Toxins as Inhibitors of Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Poulsen, Mette H; Hussein, Rama A

    2014-01-01

    The spider polyamine toxins Joro spider toxin-3 (JSTX-3) and Nephila polyamine toxins-1 and -8 (NPTX-1 and NPTX-8) are isolated from the venom of the orb-weaver spider Nephila clavata (Joro spider). They share a high degree of structural resemblance, their aromatic head groups being the only...

  7. Brown Spider (Loxosceles genus Venom Toxins: Tools for Biological Purposes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Senff-Ribeiro

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5–40 kDa. Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters, and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  8. Recent advances in the understanding of brown spider venoms: From the biology of spiders to the molecular mechanisms of toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Wille, Ana Carolina Martins; Vuitika, Larissa; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Ullah, Anwar; de Moraes, Fábio Rogério; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Murakami, Mario Tyago; Arni, Raghuvir Krishnaswamy; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2014-06-01

    The Loxosceles genus spiders (the brown spiders) are encountered in all the continents, and the clinical manifestations following spider bites include skin necrosis with gravitational lesion spreading and occasional systemic manifestations, such as intravascular hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. Brown spider venoms are complex mixtures of toxins especially enriched in three molecular families: the phospholipases D, astacin-like metalloproteases and Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) peptides. Other toxins with low level of expression also present in the venom include the serine proteases, serine protease inhibitors, hyaluronidases, allergen factors and translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP). The mechanisms by which the Loxosceles venoms act and exert their noxious effects are not fully understood. Except for the brown spider venom phospholipase D, which causes dermonecrosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and renal failure, the pathological activities of the other venom toxins remain unclear. The objective of the present review is to provide insights into the brown spider venoms and loxoscelism based on recent results. These insights include the biology of brown spiders, the clinical features of loxoscelism and the diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. Regarding the brown spider venom, this review includes a description of the novel toxins revealed by molecular biology and proteomics techniques, the data regarding three-dimensional toxin structures, and the mechanism of action of these molecules. Finally, the biotechnological applications of the venom components, especially for those toxins reported as recombinant molecules, and the challenges for future study are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. SVM-based prediction of propeptide cleavage sites in spider toxins identifies toxin innovation in an Australian tarantula.

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    Emily S W Wong

    Full Text Available Spider neurotoxins are commonly used as pharmacological tools and are a popular source of novel compounds with therapeutic and agrochemical potential. Since venom peptides are inherently toxic, the host spider must employ strategies to avoid adverse effects prior to venom use. It is partly for this reason that most spider toxins encode a protective proregion that upon enzymatic cleavage is excised from the mature peptide. In order to identify the mature toxin sequence directly from toxin transcripts, without resorting to protein sequencing, the propeptide cleavage site in the toxin precursor must be predicted bioinformatically. We evaluated different machine learning strategies (support vector machines, hidden Markov model and decision tree and developed an algorithm (SpiderP for prediction of propeptide cleavage sites in spider toxins. Our strategy uses a support vector machine (SVM framework that combines both local and global sequence information. Our method is superior or comparable to current tools for prediction of propeptide sequences in spider toxins. Evaluation of the SVM method on an independent test set of known toxin sequences yielded 96% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Furthermore, we sequenced five novel peptides (not used to train the final predictor from the venom of the Australian tarantula Selenotypus plumipes to test the accuracy of the predictor and found 80% sensitivity and 99.6% 8-mer specificity. Finally, we used the predictor together with homology information to predict and characterize seven groups of novel toxins from the deeply sequenced venom gland transcriptome of S. plumipes, which revealed structural complexity and innovations in the evolution of the toxins. The precursor prediction tool (SpiderP is freely available on ArachnoServer (http://www.arachnoserver.org/spiderP.html, a web portal to a comprehensive relational database of spider toxins. All training data, test data, and scripts used are available from

  10. An insecticidal toxin from Nephila clavata spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Lin; Fang, Mingqian; Chen, Mengrou; Zhou, Chunling; Ombati, Rose; Hakim, Md Abdul; Mo, Guoxiang; Lai, Ren; Yan, Xiuwen; Wang, Yumin; Yang, Shilong

    2017-07-01

    Spiders are the most successful insect predators given that they use their venom containing insecticidal peptides as biochemical weapons for preying. Due to the high specificity and potency of peptidic toxins, discoveries of insecticidal toxins from spider venom have provided an opportunity to obtain natural compounds for agricultural applications without affecting human health. In this study, a novel insecticidal toxin (μ-NPTX-Nc1a) was identified and characterized from the venom of Nephila clavata. Its primary sequence is GCNPDCTGIQCGWPRCPGGQNPVMDKCVSCCPFCPPKSAQG which was determined by automated Edman degradation, cDNA cloning, and MS/MS analysis. BLAST search indicated that Nc1a shows no similarity with known peptides or proteins, indicating that Nc1a belongs to a novel family of insecticidal peptide. Nc1a displayed inhibitory effects on Na V and K V channels in cockroach dorsal unpaired median neurons. The median lethal dose (LD50) of Nc1a on cockroach was 573 ng/g. Herein, a study that identifies a novel insecticidal toxin, which can be a potential candidate and/or template for the development of bioinsecticides, is presented.

  11. General synthesis of β-alanine-containing spider polyamine toxins and discovery of nephila polyamine toxins 1 and 8 as highly potent inhibitors of ionotropic glutamate receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lucas, Simon; Poulsen, Mette H; Nørager, Niels G

    2012-01-01

    Certain spiders contain large pools of polyamine toxins, which are putative pharmacological tools awaiting further discovery. Here we present a general synthesis strategy for this class of toxins and prepare five structurally varied polyamine toxins. Electrophysiological testing at three ionotrop...

  12. Solid-phase synthesis and biological evaluation of Joro spider toxin-4 from Nephila clavata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barslund, Anne Fuglsang; Poulsen, Mette Homann; Bach, Tinna Brøbech

    2011-01-01

    Polyamine toxins from orb weaver spiders are attractive pharmacological tools particularly for studies of ionotropic glutamate (iGlu) receptors in the brain. These polyamine toxins are biosynthesized in a combinatorial manner, providing a plethora of related, but structurally complex toxins...... to be exploited in biological studies. Here, we have used solid-phase synthetic methodology for the efficient synthesis of Joro spider toxin-4 (JSTX-4) (1) from Nephila clavata, providing sufficient amounts of the toxin for biological evaluation at iGlu receptor subtypes using electrophysiology. Biological...

  13. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins: Evaluation of biological conservation by immune cross-reactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Daniela Regina; Souza, Fernanda Nunes; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Morgon, Adriano Marcelo; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Boia-Ferreira, Mariana; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Chaves-Moreira, Daniele; Gremski, Waldemiro; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea

    2015-12-15

    Loxosceles spiders are responsible for serious human envenomations worldwide. The collection of symptoms found in victims after accidents is called loxoscelism and is characterized by two clinical conditions: cutaneous loxoscelism and systemic loxocelism. The only specific treatment is serum therapy, in which an antiserum produced with Loxosceles venom is administered to the victims after spider accidents. Our aim was to improve our knowledge, regarding the immunological relationship among toxins from the most epidemiologic important species in Brazil (Loxosceles intermedia, Loxosceles gaucho and Loxosceles laeta). Immunoassays using spider venoms and L. intermedia recombinant toxins were performed and their cross-reactivity assessed. The biological conservation of the main Loxosceles toxins (Phospholipases-D, Astacin-like metalloproteases, Hyaluronidase, ICK-insecticide peptide and TCTP-histamine releasing factor) were investigated. An in silico analysis of the putative epitopes was performed and is discussed on the basis of the experimental results. Our data is an immunological investigation in light of biological conservation throughout the Loxosceles genus. The results bring out new insights on brown spider venom toxins for study, diagnosis and treatment of loxoscelism and putative biotechnological applications concerning immune conserved features in the toxins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Selective spider toxins reveal a role for Nav1.1 channel in mechanical pain

    OpenAIRE

    Osteen, Jeremiah D.; Herzig, Volker; Gilchrist, John; Emrick, Joshua J.; Zhang, Chuchu; Wang, Xidao; Castro, Joel; Garcia-Caraballo, Sonia; Grundy, Luke; Rychkov, Grigori Y.; Weyer, Andy D.; Dekan, Zoltan; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Alewood, Paul; Stucky, Cheryl L.

    2016-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels initiate action potentials in most neurons, including primary afferent nerve fibers of the pain pathway. Local anesthetics block pain through non-specific actions at all Nav channels, but the discovery of selective modulators would facilitate the analysis of individual subtypes and their contributions to chemical, mechanical, or thermal pain. Here, we identify and characterize spider toxins that selectively activate the Nav1.1 subtype, whose role in nocicep...

  15. Diversification of a single ancestral gene into a successful toxin superfamily in highly venomous Australian funnel-web spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy S; Sollod, Brianna L; Wilson, David; Darling, Aaron; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Kely, Laurence; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2014-03-05

    Spiders have evolved pharmacologically complex venoms that serve to rapidly subdue prey and deter predators. The major toxic factors in most spider venoms are small, disulfide-rich peptides. While there is abundant evidence that snake venoms evolved by recruitment of genes encoding normal body proteins followed by extensive gene duplication accompanied by explosive structural and functional diversification, the evolutionary trajectory of spider-venom peptides is less clear. Here we present evidence of a spider-toxin superfamily encoding a high degree of sequence and functional diversity that has evolved via accelerated duplication and diversification of a single ancestral gene. The peptides within this toxin superfamily are translated as prepropeptides that are posttranslationally processed to yield the mature toxin. The N-terminal signal sequence, as well as the protease recognition site at the junction of the propeptide and mature toxin are conserved, whereas the remainder of the propeptide and mature toxin sequences are variable. All toxin transcripts within this superfamily exhibit a striking cysteine codon bias. We show that different pharmacological classes of toxins within this peptide superfamily evolved under different evolutionary selection pressures. Overall, this study reinforces the hypothesis that spiders use a combinatorial peptide library strategy to evolve a complex cocktail of peptide toxins that target neuronal receptors and ion channels in prey and predators. We show that the ω-hexatoxins that target insect voltage-gated calcium channels evolved under the influence of positive Darwinian selection in an episodic fashion, whereas the κ-hexatoxins that target insect calcium-activated potassium channels appear to be under negative selection. A majority of the diversifying sites in the ω-hexatoxins are concentrated on the molecular surface of the toxins, thereby facilitating neofunctionalisation leading to new toxin pharmacology.

  16. Tx2-6 toxin of the Phoneutria nigriventer spider potentiates rat erectile function☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, K.P.; Costa-Gonçalves, A.; Lanza, L.F.; Cortes, S.F.; Cordeiro, M.N.; Richardson, M.; Pimenta, A.M.C.; Webb, R.C.; Leite, R.; De Lima, M.E.

    2011-01-01

    The venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer contains several toxins that have bioactivity in mammals and insects. Accidents involving humans are characterized by various symptoms including penile erection. Here we investigated the action of Tx2-6, a toxin purified from the P. nigriventer spider venom that causes priapism in rats and mice. Erectile function was evaluated through changes in intracavernosal pressure/mean arterial pressure ratio (ICP/MAP) during electrical stimulation of the major pelvic ganglion (MPG) of normotensive and deoxycorticosterone-acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertensive rats. Nitric oxide (NO) release was detected in cavernosum slices with fluorescent dye (DAF-FM) and confocal microscopy. The effect of Tx2-6 was also characterized after intracavernosal injection of a non-selective nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, L-NAME. Subcutaneous or intravenous injection of Tx2-6 potentiated the elevation of ICP/MAP induced by ganglionic stimulation. L-NAME inhibited penile erection and treatment with Tx2-6 was unable to reverse this inhibition. Tx2-6 treatment induced a significant increase of NO release in cavernosum tissue. Attenuated erectile function of DOCA-salt hypertensive rats was fully restored after toxin injection. Tx2-6 enhanced erectile function in normotensive and DOCA-salt hypertensive rats, via the NO pathway. Our studies suggest that Tx2-6 could be important for development of new pharmacological agents for treatment of erectile dysfunction. PMID:18397797

  17. Determination of disulfide bridges of two spider toxins: hainantoxin-III and hainantoxin-IV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Wang

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Peptide toxins are usually highly bridged proteins with multipairs of intrachain disulfide bonds. Analysis of disulfide connectivity is an important facet of protein structure determination. In this paper, we successfully assigned the disulfide linkage of two novel peptide toxins, called HNTX-III and HNTX-IV, isolated from the venom of Ornithoctonus hainana spider. Both peptides are useful inhibitors of TTX-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channels and are composed of six cysteine residues that form three disulfide bonds, respectively. Firstly, the peptides were partially reduced by tris(2-carboxyethyl-phosphine (TCEP in 0.1 M citrate buffer containing 6 M guanidine-HCl at 40° C for ten minutes. Subsequently, the partially reduced intermediates containing free thiols were separated by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC and alkylated by rapid carboxamidomethylation. Then, the disulfide bonds of the intermediates were analyzed by Edman degradation. By using the strategy above, disulfide linkages of HNTX-III and HNTX-IV were determined as I-IV, II-V and III-VI pattern. In addition, this study also showed that this method may have a great potential for determining the disulfide bonds of spider peptide toxins.

  18. Analysis of transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species reveals gene profiles involved in silk and toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ying-Jun; Zeng, Yan; Chen, Lei; Dong, Yang; Wang, Wen

    2014-12-01

    As an ancient arthropod with a history of 390 million years, spiders evolved numerous morphological forms resulting from adaptation to different environments. The venom and silk of spiders, which have promising commercial applications in agriculture, medicine and engineering fields, are of special interests to researchers. However, little is known about their genomic components, which hinders not only understanding spider biology but also utilizing their valuable genes. Here we report on deep sequenced and de novo assembled transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species, Gasteracantha arcuata, Nasoonaria sinensis and Gasteracantha hasselti which are distributed in tropical forests of south China. With Illumina paired-end RNA-seq technology, 54 871, 101 855 and 75 455 unigenes for the three spider species were obtained, respectively, among which 9 300, 10 001 and 10 494 unique genes are annotated, respectively. From these annotated unigenes, we comprehensively analyzed silk and toxin gene components and structures for the three spider species. Our study provides valuable transcriptome data for three spider species which previously lacked any genetic/genomic data. The results have laid the first fundamental genomic basis for exploiting gene resources from these spiders. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. Selective spider toxins reveal a role for Nav1.1 channel in mechanical pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osteen, Jeremiah D.; Herzig, Volker; Gilchrist, John; Emrick, Joshua J.; Zhang, Chuchu; Wang, Xidao; Castro, Joel; Garcia-Caraballo, Sonia; Grundy, Luke; Rychkov, Grigori Y.; Weyer, Andy D.; Dekan, Zoltan; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Alewood, Paul; Stucky, Cheryl L.; Brierley, Stuart M.; Basbaum, Allan I.; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F.; Julius, David

    2016-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels initiate action potentials in most neurons, including primary afferent nerve fibers of the pain pathway. Local anesthetics block pain through non-specific actions at all Nav channels, but the discovery of selective modulators would facilitate the analysis of individual subtypes and their contributions to chemical, mechanical, or thermal pain. Here, we identify and characterize spider toxins that selectively activate the Nav1.1 subtype, whose role in nociception and pain has not been explored. We exploit these probes to demonstrate that Nav1.1-expressing fibers are modality-specific nociceptors: their activation elicits robust pain behaviors without neurogenic inflammation and produces profound hypersensitivity to mechanical, but not thermal, stimuli. In the gut, high-threshold mechanosensitive fibers also express Nav1.1 and show enhanced toxin sensitivity in a model of irritable bowel syndrome. Altogether, these findings establish an unexpected role for Nav1.1 in regulating the excitability of sensory nerve fibers that underlie mechanical pain. PMID:27281198

  20. Isolation and Preliminary Characterization of Proteinaceous Toxins with Insecticidal and Antibacterial Activities from Black Widow Spider (L. tredecimguttatus Eggs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Lei

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The eggs of black widow spider (L. tredecimguttatus have been demonstrated to be rich in toxic proteinaceous components. The study on such active components is of theoretical and practical importance. In the present work, using a combination of multiple biochemical and biological strategies, we isolated and characterized the proteinaceous components from the aqueous extract of the black widow spider eggs. After gel filtration of the egg extract, the resulting main protein and peptide peaks were further fractionated by ion exchange chromatography and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. Two proteinaceous components, named latroeggtoxin-III and latroeggtoxin-IV, respectively, were purified to homogeneity. Latroeggtoxin-III was demonstrated to have a molecular weight of about 36 kDa. Activity analysis indicated that latroeggtoxin-III exhibited neurotoxicity against cockroaches but had no obvious effect on mice, suggesting that it is an insect-specific toxin. Latroeggtoxin-IV, with a molecular weight of 3.6 kDa, was shown to be a broad-spectrum antibacterial peptide, showing inhibitory activity against all five species of bacteria tested, with the highest activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Finally, the implications of the proteinaceous toxins in egg protection and their potential applications were analyzed and discussed.

  1. Phase coupling of a circadian neuropeptide with rest/activity rhythms detected using a membrane-tethered spider toxin.

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    Ying Wu

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila clock neurons are self-sustaining cellular oscillators that rely on negative transcriptional feedback to keep circadian time. Proper regulation of organismal rhythms of physiology and behavior requires coordination of the oscillations of individual clock neurons within the circadian control network. Over the last decade, it has become clear that a key mechanism for intercellular communication in the circadian network is signaling between a subset of clock neurons that secrete the neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor (PDF and clock neurons that possess its G protein-coupled receptor (PDFR. Furthermore, the specific hypothesis has been proposed that PDF-secreting clock neurons entrain the phase of organismal rhythms, and the cellular oscillations of other clock neurons, via the temporal patterning of secreted PDF signals. In order to test this hypothesis, we have devised a novel technique for altering the phase relationship between circadian transcriptional feedback oscillation and PDF secretion by using an ion channel-directed spider toxin to modify voltage-gated Na(+ channel inactivation in vivo. This technique relies on the previously reported "tethered-toxin" technology for cell-autonomous modulation of ionic conductances via heterologous expression of subtype-specific peptide ion channel toxins as chimeric fusion proteins tethered to the plasma membrane with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI anchor. We demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, the utility of the tethered-toxin technology in a transgenic animal, validating four different tethered spider toxin ion channel modifiers for use in Drosophila. Focusing on one of these toxins, we show that GPI-tethered Australian funnel-web spider toxin delta-ACTX-Hv1a inhibits Drosophila para voltage-gated Na(+ channel inactivation when coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes. Transgenic expression of membrane-tethered delta-ACTX-Hv1a in vivo in the PDF-secreting subset of clock neurons

  2. A new theraphosid spider toxin causes early insect cell death by necrosis when expressed in vitro during recombinant baculovirus infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Mendes Pereira Ardisson-Araújo

    Full Text Available Baculoviruses are the most studied insect viruses in the world and are used for biological control of agricultural and forest insect pests. They are also used as versatile vectors for expression of heterologous proteins. One of the major problems of their use as biopesticides is their slow speed to kill insects. Thus, to address this shortcoming, insect-specific neurotoxins from arachnids have been introduced into the baculovirus genome solely aiming to improve its virulence. In this work, an insecticide-like toxin gene was obtained from a cDNA derived from the venom glands of the theraphosid spider Brachypelma albiceps. The mature form of the peptide toxin (called Ba3 has a high content of basic amino acid residues, potential for three possible disulfide bonds, and a predicted three-stranded β-sheetDifferent constructions of the gene were engineered for recombinant baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nuclepolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV expression. Five different forms of Ba3 were assessed; (1 the full-length sequence, (2 the pro-peptide and mature region, (3 only the mature region, and the mature region fused to an (4 insect or a (5 virus-derived signal peptide were inserted separately into the genome of the baculovirus. All the recombinant viruses induced cell death by necrosis earlier in infection relative to a control virus lacking the toxin gene. However, the recombinant virus containing the mature portion of the toxin gene induced a faster cell death than the other recombinants. We found that the toxin construct with the signal peptide and/or pro-peptide regions delayed the necrosis phenotype. When infected cells were subjected to ultrastructural analysis, the cells showed loss of plasma membrane integrity and structural changes in mitochondria before death. Our results suggest this use of baculovirus is a potential tool to help understand or to identify the effect of insect-specific toxic peptides when produced during infection of insect

  3. The Aromatic Head Group of Spider Toxin Polyamines Influences Toxicity to Cancer Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, David; Boyle, Glen M; McIntyre, Lachlan; Nolan, Matthew J; Parsons, Peter G; Smith, Jennifer J; Tribolet, Leon; Loukas, Alex; Liddell, Michael J; Rash, Lachlan D; Daly, Norelle L

    2017-10-27

    Spider venoms constitute incredibly diverse libraries of compounds, many of which are involved in prey capture and defence. Polyamines are often prevalent in the venom and target ionotropic glutamate receptors. Here we show that a novel spider polyamine, PA 366 , containing a hydroxyphenyl-based structure is present in the venom of several species of tarantula, and has selective toxicity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells. By contrast, a polyamine from an Australian funnel-web spider venom, which contains an identical polyamine tail to PA 366 but an indole-based head-group, is only cytotoxic at high concentrations. Our results suggest that the ring structure plays a role in the cytotoxicity and that modification to the polyamine head group might lead to more potent and selective compounds with potential as novel cancer treatments.

  4. The Aromatic Head Group of Spider Toxin Polyamines Influences Toxicity to Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Wilson

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Spider venoms constitute incredibly diverse libraries of compounds, many of which are involved in prey capture and defence. Polyamines are often prevalent in the venom and target ionotropic glutamate receptors. Here we show that a novel spider polyamine, PA366, containing a hydroxyphenyl-based structure is present in the venom of several species of tarantula, and has selective toxicity against MCF-7 breast cancer cells. By contrast, a polyamine from an Australian funnel-web spider venom, which contains an identical polyamine tail to PA366 but an indole-based head-group, is only cytotoxic at high concentrations. Our results suggest that the ring structure plays a role in the cytotoxicity and that modification to the polyamine head group might lead to more potent and selective compounds with potential as novel cancer treatments.

  5. Recombinant Protein Containing B-Cell Epitopes of Different Loxosceles Spider Toxins Generates Neutralizing Antibodies in Immunized Rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Sabrina de Almeida; Guerra-Duarte, Clara; Costal-Oliveira, Fernanda; Mendes, Thais Melo; Figueiredo, Luís F M; Oliveira, Daysiane; Machado de Avila, Ricardo A; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Veiga, Silvio S; Minozzo, João C; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2018-01-01

    Loxoscelism is the most important form of araneism in South America. The treatment of these accidents uses heterologous antivenoms obtained from immunization of production animals with crude loxoscelic venom. Due to the scarcity of this immunogen, new alternatives for its substitution in antivenom production are of medical interest. In the present work, three linear epitopes for Loxosceles astacin-like protease 1 (LALP-1) (SLGRGCTDFGTILHE, ENNTRTIGPFDYDSIMLYGAY, and KLYKCPPVNPYPGGIRPYVNV) and two for hyaluronidase (LiHYAL) (NGGIPQLGDLKAHLEKSAVDI and ILDKSATGLRIIDWEAWR) from Loxosceles intermedia spider venom were identified by SPOT-synthesis technique. One formerly characterized linear epitope (DFSGPYLPSLPTLDA) of sphingomyelinase D (SMase D) SMase-I from Loxosceles laeta was also chosen to constitute a new recombinant multiepitopic protein. These epitopes were combined with a previously produced chimeric multiepitopic protein (rCpLi) composed by linear and conformational B-cell epitopes from SMase D from L. intermedia venom, generating a new recombinant multiepitopic protein derived from loxoscelic toxins (rMEPLox). We demonstrated that rMEPLox is non-toxic and antibodies elicited in rabbits against this antigen present reactivity in ELISA and immunoblot assays with Brazilian L. intermedia, L. laeta, L. gaucho , and L. similis spider venoms. In vivo and in vitro neutralization assays showed that anti-rMEPLox antibodies can efficiently neutralize the sphingomyelinase, hyaluronidase, and metalloproteinase activity of L. intermedia venom. This study suggests that this multiepitopic protein can be a suitable candidate for experimental vaccination approaches or for antivenom production against Loxosceles spp. venoms.

  6. Recombinant Protein Containing B-Cell Epitopes of Different Loxosceles Spider Toxins Generates Neutralizing Antibodies in Immunized Rabbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Sabrina de Almeida; Guerra-Duarte, Clara; Costal-Oliveira, Fernanda; Mendes, Thais Melo; Figueiredo, Luís F. M.; Oliveira, Daysiane; Machado de Avila, Ricardo A.; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Veiga, Silvio S.; Minozzo, João C.; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2018-01-01

    Loxoscelism is the most important form of araneism in South America. The treatment of these accidents uses heterologous antivenoms obtained from immunization of production animals with crude loxoscelic venom. Due to the scarcity of this immunogen, new alternatives for its substitution in antivenom production are of medical interest. In the present work, three linear epitopes for Loxosceles astacin-like protease 1 (LALP-1) (SLGRGCTDFGTILHE, ENNTRTIGPFDYDSIMLYGAY, and KLYKCPPVNPYPGGIRPYVNV) and two for hyaluronidase (LiHYAL) (NGGIPQLGDLKAHLEKSAVDI and ILDKSATGLRIIDWEAWR) from Loxosceles intermedia spider venom were identified by SPOT-synthesis technique. One formerly characterized linear epitope (DFSGPYLPSLPTLDA) of sphingomyelinase D (SMase D) SMase-I from Loxosceles laeta was also chosen to constitute a new recombinant multiepitopic protein. These epitopes were combined with a previously produced chimeric multiepitopic protein (rCpLi) composed by linear and conformational B-cell epitopes from SMase D from L. intermedia venom, generating a new recombinant multiepitopic protein derived from loxoscelic toxins (rMEPLox). We demonstrated that rMEPLox is non-toxic and antibodies elicited in rabbits against this antigen present reactivity in ELISA and immunoblot assays with Brazilian L. intermedia, L. laeta, L. gaucho, and L. similis spider venoms. In vivo and in vitro neutralization assays showed that anti-rMEPLox antibodies can efficiently neutralize the sphingomyelinase, hyaluronidase, and metalloproteinase activity of L. intermedia venom. This study suggests that this multiepitopic protein can be a suitable candidate for experimental vaccination approaches or for antivenom production against Loxosceles spp. venoms. PMID:29666624

  7. Expression of a wolf spider toxin in tobacco inhibits the growth of microbes and insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract Lycotoxin I, from the wolf spider (Lycosa carolinensis), is an amphipathic pore-forming peptide that has antimicrobial and anti-insect activity. Constitutive expression of a lycotoxin I odified for oral toxicity to insects in tobacco (Nicotiana abacum) conferred significantly enhanced resis...

  8. High-resolution proteomic profiling of spider venom: expanding the toxin diversity of Phoneutria nigriventer venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberato, Tarcísio; Troncone, Lanfranco Ranieri Paolo; Yamashiro, Edson T; Serrano, Solange M T; Zelanis, André

    2016-03-01

    Here we present a proteomic characterization of Phoneutria nigriventer venom. A shotgun proteomic approach allowed the identification, for the first time, of O-glycosyl hydrolases (chitinases) in P. nigriventer venom. The electrophoretic profiles under nonreducing and reducing conditions, and protein identification by mass spectrometry, indicated the presence of oligomeric toxin structures in the venom. Complementary proteomic approaches allowed for a qualitative and semi-quantitative profiling of P. nigriventer venom complexity, expanding its known venom proteome diversity.

  9. Proton Testing of nVidia Jetson TX1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrwas, Edward J.

    2017-01-01

    Single-Event Effects (SEE) testing was conducted on the nVidia Jetson TX1 System on Chip (SOC); herein referred to as device under test (DUT). Testing was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospitals (MGH) Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center on October 16th, 2016 using 200MeV protons. This testing trip was purposed to provide a baseline assessment of the radiation susceptibility of the DUT as no previous testing had been conducted on this component.

  10. Polyamine toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strømgaard, Kristian; Jensen, Lars S; Vogensen, Stine B

    2005-01-01

    Polyamine toxins, isolated from spiders and wasps, have been used as pharmacological tools for the study of ionotropic receptors, but their use have so far been hampered by their lack of selectivity. In this mini-review, we describe how careful synthetic modification of native polyamine toxins ha...

  11. The Activation Effect of Hainantoxin-I, a Peptide Toxin from the Chinese Spider, Ornithoctonus hainana, on Intermediate-Conductance Ca2+-Activated K+ Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pengfei Huang

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (IK channels are calcium/calmodulin-regulated voltage-independent K+ channels. Activation of IK currents is important in vessel and respiratory tissues, rendering the channels potential drug targets. A variety of small organic molecules have been synthesized and found to be potent activators of IK channels. However, the poor selectivity of these molecules limits their therapeutic value. Venom-derived peptides usually block their targets with high specificity. Therefore, we searched for novel peptide activators of IK channels by testing a series of toxins from spiders. Using electrophysiological experiments, we identified hainantoxin-I (HNTX-I as an IK-channel activator. HNTX-I has little effect on voltage-gated Na+ and Ca2+ channels from rat dorsal root ganglion neurons and on the heterologous expression of voltage-gated rapidly activating delayed rectifier K+ channels (human ether-à-go-go-related gene; human ERG in HEK293T cells. Only 35.2% ± 0.4% of the currents were activated in SK channels, and there was no effect on BK channels. We demonstrated that HNTX-I was not a phrenic nerve conduction blocker or acutely toxic. This is believed to be the first report of a peptide activator effect on IK channels. Our study suggests that the activity and selectivity of HNTX-I on IK channels make HNTX-I a promising template for designing new drugs for cardiovascular diseases.

  12. Chemical synthesis, 3D structure, and ASIC binding site of the toxin mambalgin-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Christina I; Rash, Lachlan D; Vila-Farrés, Xavier; Rosengren, K Johan; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F; Craik, David J; Durek, Thomas

    2014-01-20

    Mambalgins are a novel class of snake venom components that exert potent analgesic effects mediated through the inhibition of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). The 57-residue polypeptide mambalgin-2 (Ma-2) was synthesized by using a combination of solid-phase peptide synthesis and native chemical ligation. The structure of the synthetic toxin, determined using homonuclear NMR, revealed an unusual three-finger toxin fold reminiscent of functionally unrelated snake toxins. Electrophysiological analysis of Ma-2 on wild-type and mutant ASIC1a receptors allowed us to identify α-helix 5, which borders on the functionally critical acidic pocket of the channel, as a major part of the Ma-2 binding site. This region is also crucial for the interaction of ASIC1a with the spider toxin PcTx1, thus suggesting that the binding sites for these toxins substantially overlap. This work lays the foundation for structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and further development of this promising analgesic peptide. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. Tarantula spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002855.htm Tarantula spider bite To use the sharing features on this ... This article describes the effects of a tarantula spider bite. The class of insects to which the ...

  14. Vth Pan American Symposium on Animal, Plant and Microbial Toxins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ownby, Charlotte

    1996-01-01

    .... Presentations on arthropod toxins included work on scorpion neurotoxins, K+ channel-blocking peptides, lice and wasp proteins, stinging insect venom allergens and Australian funnel-web spider toxins...

  15. Tarantula toxins use common surfaces for interacting with Kv and ASIC ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Kanchan; Zamanian, Maryam; Bae, Chanhyung; Milescu, Mirela; Krepkiy, Dmitriy; Tilley, Drew C; Sack, Jon T; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Kim, Jae Il; Swartz, Kenton J

    2015-05-07

    Tarantula toxins that bind to voltage-sensing domains of voltage-activated ion channels are thought to partition into the membrane and bind to the channel within the bilayer. While no structures of a voltage-sensor toxin bound to a channel have been solved, a structural homolog, psalmotoxin (PcTx1), was recently crystalized in complex with the extracellular domain of an acid sensing ion channel (ASIC). In the present study we use spectroscopic, biophysical and computational approaches to compare membrane interaction properties and channel binding surfaces of PcTx1 with the voltage-sensor toxin guangxitoxin (GxTx-1E). Our results show that both types of tarantula toxins interact with membranes, but that voltage-sensor toxins partition deeper into the bilayer. In addition, our results suggest that tarantula toxins have evolved a similar concave surface for clamping onto α-helices that is effective in aqueous or lipidic physical environments.

  16. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  17. Venomous snake bites, scorpions, and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kularatne, S A M; Senanayake, Nimal

    2014-01-01

    Neurologic dysfunction due to natural neurotoxins is an important, but neglected, public health hazard in many parts of the world, particularly in the tropics. These toxins are produced by or found among a variety of live forms that include venomous snakes, arthropods such as scorpions, spiders, centipedes, stinging insects (Hymenoptera), ticks, certain poisonous fish, shellfish, crabs, cone shells, skin secretions of dart-poison frogs, and bacterial poisons such as botulinum toxin. These toxins commonly act on neuromuscular transmission at the neuromuscular junction where acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter, but in certain situations the toxins interfere with neurotransmitters such as GABA, noradrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine, and γ-aminobutyrate. Of the toxins, α-toxins and κ-toxins (e.g., Chinese krait, Bungarus multicinctus) act on the postsynaptic membrane, blocking the receptors, whilst β-toxin (e.g., common krait, B. caeruleus) acts on the presynaptic membrane, causing impairment of acetylcholine release. Conversely, dendrotoxins of the African mamba enhance acetylcholine release. The toxins of scorpions and spiders commonly interfere with voltage-gated ion channels. Clinically, the cardinal manifestation is muscle paralysis. In severe cases respiratory paralysis could be fatal. Effective antivenoms are the mainstay of treatment of envenoming, but their lack of availability is the major concern in the regions of the globe where they are desperately needed. Interestingly, some toxins have proved to be valuable pharmaceutical agents, while some others are widely exploited to study neuromuscular physiology and pathology. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. SPIDER SILK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PORAV Viorica

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The strengthness and toughness of spider fiber and its multifunctional nature is only surpassed in some cases by synthetic high performance fibers. In the world of natural fibers, spider silk has been long time recognized as a wonder fiber for its unique combination of high strength and rupture elongation. Scientists in civil military engineering reveal that the power of biological material (spider silk lies in the geometric configuration of structural protein, and the small cluster of week hydrogen bonds that works together to resist force and dissipate energy. Each spider and each type of silk has a set of mechanical properties optimized for their biological function. Most silks, in particular deagline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility. This enables a silk fiber to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress- strain curve. A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is,however, tougher than both.This paper inform about overview on the today trend in the world of spider silk.

  19. Spider Vein Removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spider veins: How are they removed? I have spider veins on my legs. What options are available ... M.D. Several options are available to remove spider veins — thin red lines or weblike networks of ...

  20. Spider Bites (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Videos for Educators Search English Español First Aid: Spider Bites KidsHealth / For Parents / First Aid: Spider Bites ... rare. Signs and Symptoms Of a brown recluse spider bite: red blister in the center with surrounding ...

  1. Spider Bites: First Aid

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... care immediately if: You were bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider You are unsure whether the bite ... in the South. Signs and symptoms of a black widow spider bite may include: At ... fever and nausea Brown recluse spider The brown recluse spider has a ...

  2. Effect of the spider toxin Tx3-3 on spinal processing of sensory information in naive and neuropathic rats: an in vivo electrophysiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalmolin, Gerusa D; Bannister, Kirsty; Gonçalves, Leonor; Sikandar, Shafaq; Patel, Ryan; Cordeiro, Marta do Nascimento; Gomez, Marcus Vinícius; Ferreira, Juliano; Dickenson, Anthony H

    2017-07-01

    Drugs that counteract nociceptive transmission in the spinal dorsal horn preferentially after nerve injury are being pursued as possible neuropathic pain treatments. In a previous behavioural study, the peptide toxin Tx3-3, which blocks P/Q- and R-type voltage-gated calcium channels, was effective in neuropathic pain models. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effect of Tx3-3 on dorsal horn neuronal responses in rats under physiological conditions and neuropathic pain condition induced by spinal nerve ligation (SNL). In vivo electrophysiological recordings of dorsal horn neuronal response to electrical and natural (mechanical and thermal) stimuli were made in rats under normal physiological state (naive rats) or after the SNL model of neuropathic pain. Tx3-3 (0.3-100 pmol/site) exhibited greater inhibitory effect on electrical-evoked neuronal response of SNL rats than naive rats, inhibiting nociceptive C-fibre and Aδ-fibre responses only in SNL rats. The wind-up of neurones, a measurement of spinal cord hyperexcitability, was also more susceptible to a dose-related inhibition by Tx3-3 after nerve injury. Moreover, Tx3-3 exhibited higher potency to inhibit mechanical- and thermal-evoked neuronal response in conditions of neuropathy. Tx3-3 mediated differential inhibitory effect under physiological and neuropathic conditions, exhibiting greater potency in conditions of neuropathic pain.

  3. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine

    2016-01-01

    in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress...... at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation...... immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology....

  4. A four-disulphide-bridged toxin, with high affinity towards voltage-gated K+ channels, isolated from Heterometrus spinnifer (Scorpionidae) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebrun, B; Romi-Lebrun, R; Martin-Eauclaire, M F; Yasuda, A; Ishiguro, M; Oyama, Y; Pongs, O; Nakajima, T

    1997-11-15

    A new toxin, named HsTX1, has been identified in the venom of Heterometrus spinnifer (Scorpionidae), on the basis of its ability to block the rat Kv1.3 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. HsTX1 has been purified and characterized as a 34-residue peptide reticulated by four disulphide bridges. HsTX1 shares 53% and 59% sequence identity with Pandinus imperator toxin1 (Pi1) and maurotoxin, two recently isolated four-disulphide-bridged toxins, whereas it is only 32-47% identical with the other scorpion K+ channel toxins, reticulated by three disulphide bridges. The amidated and carboxylated forms of HsTX1 were synthesized chemically, and identity between the natural and the synthetic amidated peptides was proved by mass spectrometry, co-elution on C18 HPLC and blocking activity on the rat Kv1.3 channels. The disulphide bridge pattern was studied by (1) limited reduction-alkylation at acidic pH and (2) enzymic cleavage on an immobilized trypsin cartridge, both followed by mass and sequence analyses. Three of the disulphide bonds are connected as in the three-disulphide-bridged scorpion toxins, and the two extra half-cystine residues of HsTX1 are cross-linked, as in Pi1. These results, together with those of CD analysis, suggest that HsTX1 probably adopts the same general folding as all scorpion K+ channel toxins. HsTX1 is a potent inhibitor of the rat Kv1.3 channels (IC50 approx. 12 pM). HsTX1 does not compete with 125I-apamin for binding to its receptor site on rat brain synaptosomal membranes, but competes efficiently with 125I-kaliotoxin for binding to the voltage-gated K+ channels on the same preparation (IC50 approx. 1 pM).

  5. Brown Recluse Spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to a group of spiders commonly known as violin spiders or fiddlebacks. The characteristic fiddle-shaped pattern ... 4-19.1mm) • Color: Golden brown • A dark violin/fiddle shape (see top photo) is located on ...

  6. Nature Study Tips. Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulaik, Stanley B.

    1990-01-01

    Different types of spiders, their ranges and habits are discussed. Activities associated with the study of spiders are suggested. Four references are listed which may be of interest to beginners. (CW)

  7. Black widow spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002858.htm Black widow spider To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The black widow spider (Latrodectus) has a shiny black body with a ...

  8. Did You Say Spiders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Alene

    This spider unit focuses on students' development of cooperative learning and inquiry-based skills. Students read "The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle, and then work in cooperative groups using the Internet to research and synthesize important information about spiders. Technology is used for vocabulary instruction and to create a…

  9. Spiders in dermatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jun K; Bhate, Chinmoy; Schwartz, Robert A

    2014-09-01

    Spider bites represent an unusual and potentially over-represented clinical diagnosis. Despite a common fear of spiders, known as arachnophobia, current knowledge suggests that only a small number of families within the order Araneae are medically relevant. Moreover, most cutaneous spider reactions, including both evenomations and physical trauma, produce mild, local symptoms which may be managed with supportive care alone. The differential diagnosis for spider bites may be broad, especially if the offending arachnid is not seen or found. We describe a series of spiders relevant to the dermatologist in the United States.

  10. Attending to detail by communal spider-eating spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Robert R; Nelson, Ximena J

    2012-07-01

    Communal predators may often need to make especially intricate foraging decisions, as a predator's success may depend on the actions of its neighbours. Here,we consider the decisions made by Portia africana, a jumping spider (Salticidae) that preys on other spiders, including Oecobius amboseli (Oecobiidae), a small prey spider that lives under small sheets of silk (nests) on the walls of buildings. P. africana juveniles settle near oecobiid nests and then ambush oecobiids as they leave or enter the nest. Two or more P. africana juveniles sometimes settle at the same nest and, when an oecobiid is captured, the P. africana juveniles may share the meal. We investigated the joining decisions made by naïve P. africana juveniles. Experiments were based on using lures (dead spiders positioned in lifelike posture) arranged in a series of 17 different scenes defined by the presence/absence of a nest, the lure types present and the configuration of the lures and the nest. Our findings imply that P. africana juveniles make remarkably precise predatory decisions, with the variables that matter including whether a nest is present, the identity of spiders inside and outside a nest and how spiders are positioned relative to each other and the nest.

  11. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest...

  12. Funnel-web spider bite

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002844.htm Funnel-web spider bite To use the sharing features on ... the effects of a bite from the funnel-web spider. Male funnel-web spiders are more poisonous ...

  13. Stool C difficile toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... toxin; Colitis - toxin; Pseudomembranous - toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin ... be analyzed. There are several ways to detect C difficile toxin in the stool sample. Enzyme immunoassay ( ...

  14. Spiders in caves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammola, Stefano; Isaia, Marco

    2017-04-26

    World experts of different disciplines, from molecular biology to macro-ecology, recognize the value of cave ecosystems as ideal ecological and evolutionary laboratories. Among other subterranean taxa, spiders stand out as intriguing model organisms for their ecological role of top predators, their unique adaptations to the hypogean medium and their sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance. As the description of the first eyeless spider ( Stalita taenaria ), an array of papers on subterranean spider biology, ecology and evolution has been published, but a comprehensive review on these topics is still lacking. We provide a general overview of the spider families recorded in hypogean habitats worldwide, we review the different adaptations of hypogean spiders to subterranean life, and we summarize the information gathered so far about their origin, population structure, ecology and conservation status. Finally, we point out the limits of the knowledge we currently have regarding hypogean spiders, aiming to stimulate future research. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Growth of Pseudomonas sp. TX1 on a wide range of octylphenol polyethoxylate concentrations and the formation of dicarboxylated metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yi-Wen; Guo, Gia-Luen; Hsieh, Hsiao-Cheng; Huang, Shir-Ly

    2010-04-01

    Pseudomonas sp. TX1, is able to use octylphenol polyethoxylates (OPEO(n), or Triton X-100; average n = 9.5) as a sole carbon source. It can grow on 0.05-20% of OPEO(n) with a specific growth rate of 0.34-0.44 h(-1). High-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of OPEO(n) degraded metabolites revealed that strain TX1 was able to shorten the ethoxylate chain and produce octylphenol (OP). Furthermore, formation of the short carboxylate metabolites, such as carboxyoctylphenol polyethoxylates (COPEO(n), n = 2, 3) and carboxyoctylphenol polyethoxycarboxylates (COPEC(n), n = 2, 3) began at the log stage, while octylphenol polyethoxycarboxylates (OPEC(n), n = 1-3) was formed at the stationary phase. All the short-ethoxylated metabolites, OPEO(n), OPEC(n), COPEO(n), and COPEC(n), accumulated when the cells were in the stationary phase. This study is the first to demonstrate the formation of COPEO(n) and COPEC(n) from OPEO(n) by an aerobic bacterium. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Comparative studies of the endonucleases from two related Xenopus laevis retrotransposons, Tx1L and Tx2L: target site specificity and evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, S; Pont-Kingdon, G; Carroll, D

    2000-01-01

    In the genome of the South African frog, Xenopus laevis, there are two complex families of transposable elements, Tx1 and Tx2, that have identical overall structures, but distinct sequences. In each family there are approximately 1500 copies of an apparent DNA-based element (Tx1D and Tx2D). Roughly 10% of these elements in each family are interrupted by a non-LTR retrotransposon (Tx1L and Tx2L). Each retrotransposon is flanked by a 23-bp target duplication of a specific D element sequence. In earlier work, we showed that the endonuclease domain (Tx1L EN) located in the second open reading frame (ORF2) of Tx1L encodes a protein that makes a single-strand cut precisely at the expected site within its target sequence, supporting the idea that Tx1L is a site-specific retrotransposon. In this study, we express the endonuclease domain of Tx2L (Tx2L EN) and compare the target preferences of the two enzymes. Each endonuclease shows some preference for its cognate target, on the order of 5-fold over the non-cognate target. The observed discrimination is not sufficient, however, to explain the observation that no cross-occupancy is observed - that is, L elements of one family have never been found within D elements of the other family. Possible sources of additional specificity are discussed. We also compare two hypotheses regarding the genome duplication event that led to the contemporary pseudotetraploid character of Xenopus laevis in light of the Tx1L and Tx2L data.

  17. Respiration in spiders (Araneae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Anke

    2016-05-01

    Spiders (Araneae) are unique regarding their respiratory system: they are the only animal group that breathe simultaneously with lungs and tracheae. Looking at the physiology of respiration the existence of tracheae plays an important role in spiders with a well-developed tracheal system. Other factors as sex, life time, type of prey capture and the high ability to gain energy anaerobically influence the resting and the active metabolic rate intensely. Most spiders have metabolic rates that are much lower than expected from body mass; but especially those with two pairs of lungs. Males normally have higher resting rates than females; spiders that are less evolved and possess a cribellum have lower metabolic rates than higher evolved species. Freely hunting spiders show a higher energy turnover than spiders hunting with a web. Spiders that live longer than 1 year will have lower metabolic rates than those species that die after 1 year in which development and reproduction must be completed. Lower temperatures and starvation, which most spiders can cope with, will decrease the metabolic rate as well.

  18. Glutamatergic postsynaptic block by Pamphobeteus spider venoms in crayfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araque, A; Ferreira, W; Lucas, S; Buño, W

    1992-01-31

    The effects of toxins from venom glands of two south american spiders (Pamphobeteus platyomma and P. soracabae) on glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission were studied in the neuromuscular junction of the opener muscle of crayfish. The toxins selectively and reversibly blocked both excitatory postsynaptic currents and potentials in a dose-dependent manner. They also reversibly abolished glutamate-induced postsynaptic membrane depolarization. They had no effect on resting postsynaptic membrane conductance nor on postsynaptic voltage-gated currents. The synaptic facilitation and the frequency of miniature postsynaptic potentials were unaffected by the toxins, indicating that presynaptic events were not modified. Picrotoxin, a selective antagonist of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor, did not modify toxin effects. We conclude that both toxins specifically block the postsynaptic glutamate receptor-channel complex.

  19. Bat Predation by Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (∼90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed. PMID:23516436

  20. Bat predation by spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (≈ 90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.

  1. Biomechanics of Spider Silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-03-02

    water and deformation conditions. Such fibres [Nexia ’ biosteel ’ silk ] were spun from recombinant silk ’cloned’ from Spidroin II and indeed show 67...SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Biomechanics of Spider Silks F49620-03-1-0111 6. AUTHOR(S) Fritz Vollrath 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES...Perform Pro, WHSIDIOR, Oct 94 COVER SHEET FINAL (3rd Year) Report to AFOSR on: BIOMECHANICS OF SPIDER SILKS Fritz Vollrath, Oxford University, England

  2. Attentional bias to moving spiders in spider fearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrijsen, Janna N; Fleurkens, Pascal; Nieuwboer, Wieteke; Rinck, Mike

    2009-05-01

    We investigated if an attentional bias for spiders in spider fearful individuals (SFs) can also be found for moving spiders, rather than static images. In Study 1, 28 SFs and 33 non-anxious controls (NACs) participated in a modified version of the dot probe paradigm: they had to react to a probe that appeared either in the next, previous, or side position of a spider's or a wheel's path. 24 SFs and 29 NACs participated in Study 2, in which a fourth, highly predictable, probe position was added. We expected that moving spiders would capture the attention of SFs. In addition, we tested whether SFs try to predict the movement of the spider to make it less threatening. As expected, SFs showed an attentional bias towards moving spiders. However, both groups reacted fastest to unpredictable movements, indicating that SFs and NACs alike anticipate unpredictable spider movements.

  3. The role of horizontally transferred genes in the xenobiotic adaptations of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wybouw, N.R.

    2015-01-01

    Plant feeding arthropods adapt in diverse ways to dietary plant toxins. The genetic basis of these adaptations is not well characterized, especially in non-insect lineages. Using the sequenced genome of the herbivorous spider mite Tetranychus urticae as a starting point, this work aimed at

  4. The Spider Files

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, James; Dominguez, Lynn

    2012-01-01

    As children develop misconceptions about animals they believe are dangerous, they also adopt attitudes that are difficult to change. Changing these attitudes is challenging for teachers. One animal that is easy to find but difficult for children to understand is a spider. As with most wild animals, they are difficult to teach about because…

  5. PATHWAYS TO SPIDER PHOBIA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MERCKELBACH, H; ARNTZ, A; ARRINDELL, WA; DEJONG, PJ

    Using a revised version of the Phobic Origin Questionnaire (POQ; Ost, L. G. & Hugdahl, K. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 19,439-477; 1981), the present study examined whether conditioning experiences, modeling experiences, and/or informational learning experiences were more often reported by spider

  6. Spider Web Pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    A delicate pattern, like that of a spider web, appears on top of the Mars residual polar cap, after the seasonal carbon-dioxide ice slab has disappeared. Next spring, these will likely mark the sites of vents when the carbon-dioxide ice cap returns. This Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Orbiter Camera image is about 3-kilometers wide (2-miles).

  7. Spider-Ant Associations: An Updated Review of Myrmecomorphy, Myrmecophily, and Myrmecophagy in Spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula E. Cushing

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a summary of the extensive theoretical and empirical work that has been carried out in recent years testing the adaptational significance of various spider-ant associations. Hundreds of species of spiders have evolved close relationships with ants and can be classified as myrmecomorphs, myrmecophiles, or myrmecophages. Myrmecomorphs are Batesian mimics. Their close morphological and behavioral resemblance to ants confers strong survival advantages against visually hunting predators. Some species of spiders have become integrated into the ant society as myrmecophiles or symbionts. These spider myrmecophiles gain protection against their own predators, live in an environment with a stable climate, and are typically surrounded by abundant food resources. The adaptations by which this integration is made possible are poorly known, although it is hypothesized that most spider myrmecophiles are chemical mimics and some are even phoretic on their hosts. The third type of spider-ant association discussed is myrmecophagy—or predatory specialization on ants. A table of known spider myrmecophages is provided as is information on their biology and hunting strategies. Myrmecophagy provides these predators with an essentially unlimited food supply and may even confer other protections to the spiders.

  8. Extended spider cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Japyassú, Hilton F; Laland, Kevin N

    2017-05-01

    There is a tension between the conception of cognition as a central nervous system (CNS) process and a view of cognition as extending towards the body or the contiguous environment. The centralised conception requires large or complex nervous systems to cope with complex environments. Conversely, the extended conception involves the outsourcing of information processing to the body or environment, thus making fewer demands on the processing power of the CNS. The evolution of extended cognition should be particularly favoured among small, generalist predators such as spiders, and here, we review the literature to evaluate the fit of empirical data with these contrasting models of cognition. Spiders do not seem to be cognitively limited, displaying a large diversity of learning processes, from habituation to contextual learning, including a sense of numerosity. To tease apart the central from the extended cognition, we apply the mutual manipulability criterion, testing the existence of reciprocal causal links between the putative elements of the system. We conclude that the web threads and configurations are integral parts of the cognitive systems. The extension of cognition to the web helps to explain some puzzling features of spider behaviour and seems to promote evolvability within the group, enhancing innovation through cognitive connectivity to variable habitat features. Graded changes in relative brain size could also be explained by outsourcing information processing to environmental features. More generally, niche-constructed structures emerge as prime candidates for extending animal cognition, generating the selective pressures that help to shape the evolving cognitive system.

  9. Animal coloration: sexy spider scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Lisa A; McGraw, Kevin J

    2007-08-07

    Many male jumping spiders display vibrant colors that are used in visual communication. A recent microscopic study on a jumping spider from Singapore shows that three-layered 'scale sandwiches' of chitin and air are responsible for producing their brilliant iridescent body coloration.

  10. Spider Movement, UV Reflectance and Size, but Not Spider Crypsis, Affect the Response of Honeybees to Australian Crab Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llandres, Ana L.; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A.

    2011-01-01

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees. PMID:21359183

  11. Spider movement, UV reflectance and size, but not spider crypsis, affect the response of honeybees to Australian crab spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llandres, Ana L; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A

    2011-02-16

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees.

  12. Isolation, N-glycosylations and Function of a Hyaluronidase-Like Enzyme from the Venom of the Spider Cupiennius salei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Biner

    Full Text Available Hyaluronidases are important venom components acting as spreading factor of toxic compounds. In several studies this spreading effect was tested on vertebrate tissue. However, data about the spreading activity on invertebrates, the main prey organisms of spiders, are lacking. Here, a hyaluronidase-like enzyme was isolated from the venom of the spider Cupiennius salei. The amino acid sequence of the enzyme was determined by cDNA analysis of the venom gland transcriptome and confirmed by protein analysis. Two complex N-linked glycans akin to honey bee hyaluronidase glycosylations, were identified by tandem mass spectrometry. A C-terminal EGF-like domain was identified in spider hyaluronidase using InterPro. The spider hyaluronidase-like enzyme showed maximal activity at acidic pH, between 40-60°C, and 0.2 M KCl. Divalent ions did not enhance HA degradation activity, indicating that they are not recruited for catalysis.Besides hyaluronan, the enzyme degrades chondroitin sulfate A, whereas heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate are not affected. The end products of hyaluronan degradation are tetramers, whereas chondroitin sulfate A is mainly degraded to hexamers. Identification of terminal N-acetylglucosamine or N-acetylgalactosamine at the reducing end of the oligomers identified the enzyme as an endo-β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase hydrolase. The spreading effect of the hyaluronidase-like enzyme on invertebrate tissue was studied by coinjection of the enzyme with the Cupiennius salei main neurotoxin CsTx-1 into Drosophila flies. The enzyme significantly enhances the neurotoxic activity of CsTx-1. Comparative substrate degradation tests with hyaluronan, chondroitin sulfate A, dermatan sulfate, and heparan sulfate with venoms from 39 spider species from 21 families identified some spider families (Atypidae, Eresidae, Araneidae and Nephilidae without activity of hyaluronidase-like enzymes. This is interpreted as a loss of this enzyme and fits quite well

  13. Isolation, N-glycosylations and Function of a Hyaluronidase-Like Enzyme from the Venom of the Spider Cupiennius salei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trachsel, Christian; Moser, Aline; Kopp, Lukas; Langenegger, Nicolas; Kämpfer, Urs; von Ballmoos, Christoph; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Schürch, Stefan; Schaller, Johann

    2015-01-01

    Structure of Cupiennius salei venom hyaluronidase Hyaluronidases are important venom components acting as spreading factor of toxic compounds. In several studies this spreading effect was tested on vertebrate tissue. However, data about the spreading activity on invertebrates, the main prey organisms of spiders, are lacking. Here, a hyaluronidase-like enzyme was isolated from the venom of the spider Cupiennius salei. The amino acid sequence of the enzyme was determined by cDNA analysis of the venom gland transcriptome and confirmed by protein analysis. Two complex N-linked glycans akin to honey bee hyaluronidase glycosylations, were identified by tandem mass spectrometry. A C-terminal EGF-like domain was identified in spider hyaluronidase using InterPro. The spider hyaluronidase-like enzyme showed maximal activity at acidic pH, between 40–60°C, and 0.2 M KCl. Divalent ions did not enhance HA degradation activity, indicating that they are not recruited for catalysis. Function of venom hyaluronidases Besides hyaluronan, the enzyme degrades chondroitin sulfate A, whereas heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate are not affected. The end products of hyaluronan degradation are tetramers, whereas chondroitin sulfate A is mainly degraded to hexamers. Identification of terminal N-acetylglucosamine or N-acetylgalactosamine at the reducing end of the oligomers identified the enzyme as an endo-β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase hydrolase. The spreading effect of the hyaluronidase-like enzyme on invertebrate tissue was studied by coinjection of the enzyme with the Cupiennius salei main neurotoxin CsTx-1 into Drosophila flies. The enzyme significantly enhances the neurotoxic activity of CsTx-1. Comparative substrate degradation tests with hyaluronan, chondroitin sulfate A, dermatan sulfate, and heparan sulfate with venoms from 39 spider species from 21 families identified some spider families (Atypidae, Eresidae, Araneidae and Nephilidae) without activity of hyaluronidase-like enzymes

  14. Botulinum toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigam P

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C 1 , C 2 , D, E, F and G. All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice.

  15. A spider elevator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butylkin, A.V.; Butylkin, V.A.; Izosimov, A.M.

    1983-01-01

    A spider elevator is proposed which contains a body, a wedge clamp with wedges hinged to each other, a subassembly for holding the wedge clamp in the open and closed positions and a mechanism for changing the wedge clamp, which is made in the form of levers with ears for cleats and installed in the body with the capability of turning. To increase reliability in the operational mode through using the external force for clamping the pipe, the free ends of the levers are hinged with the body by a power cylinder.

  16. House spider genome uncovers evolutionary shifts in the diversity and expression of black widow venom proteins associated with extreme toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gendreau, Kerry L; Haney, Robert A; Schwager, Evelyn E; Wierschin, Torsten; Stanke, Mario; Richards, Stephen; Garb, Jessica E

    2017-02-16

    Black widow spiders are infamous for their neurotoxic venom, which can cause extreme and long-lasting pain. This unusual venom is dominated by latrotoxins and latrodectins, two protein families virtually unknown outside of the black widow genus Latrodectus, that are difficult to study given the paucity of spider genomes. Using tissue-, sex- and stage-specific expression data, we analyzed the recently sequenced genome of the house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum), a close relative of black widows, to investigate latrotoxin and latrodectin diversity, expression and evolution. We discovered at least 47 latrotoxin genes in the house spider genome, many of which are tandem-arrayed. Latrotoxins vary extensively in predicted structural domains and expression, implying their significant functional diversification. Phylogenetic analyses show latrotoxins have substantially duplicated after the Latrodectus/Parasteatoda split and that they are also related to proteins found in endosymbiotic bacteria. Latrodectin genes are less numerous than latrotoxins, but analyses show their recruitment for venom function from neuropeptide hormone genes following duplication, inversion and domain truncation. While latrodectins and other peptides are highly expressed in house spider and black widow venom glands, latrotoxins account for a far smaller percentage of house spider venom gland expression. The house spider genome sequence provides novel insights into the evolution of venom toxins once considered unique to black widows. Our results greatly expand the size of the latrotoxin gene family, reinforce its narrow phylogenetic distribution, and provide additional evidence for the lateral transfer of latrotoxins between spiders and bacterial endosymbionts. Moreover, we strengthen the evidence for the evolution of latrodectin venom genes from the ecdysozoan Ion Transport Peptide (ITP)/Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) neuropeptide superfamily. The lower expression of latrotoxins in

  17. Spiders from Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6oN, 327.7oW. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  18. Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Index A-Z Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Sclerotherapy uses injections from a very fine, ... Sclerotherapy? What is Sclerotherapy of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins? Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment used ...

  19. Application of 3 kinds of practical electromagnetic spiders in electromagnetic spider web

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang Min

    2016-01-01

    Electromagnetic spider web the launch circuit has introduced a lot, but in the center position of the utility of the spider generally have 3 kinds of circuits respectively, the use of single-chip microcomputer circuit of the low energy consumption spider by multi-channel transmission, single circuit receiver circuit. Direct use of the 3 channels of the spider and the use of PLC circuit spider, depending on the actual situation were placed.

  20. Application of 3 kinds of practical electromagnetic spiders in electromagnetic spider web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Min

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Electromagnetic spider web the launch circuit has introduced a lot, but in the center position of the utility of the spider generally have 3 kinds of circuits respectively, the use of single-chip microcomputer circuit of the low energy consumption spider by multi-channel transmission, single circuit receiver circuit. Direct use of the 3 channels of the spider and the use of PLC circuit spider, depending on the actual situation were placed.

  1. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L. Garrison

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Spiders (Order Araneae are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results

  2. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Nicole L.; Rodriguez, Juanita; Agnarsson, Ingi; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Griswold, Charles E.; Hamilton, Christopher A.; Hedin, Marshal; Kocot, Kevin M.; Ledford, Joel M.

    2016-01-01

    Spiders (Order Araneae) are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results challenge the

  3. High throughput techniques to reveal the molecular physiology and evolution of digestion in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuzita, Felipe J; Pinkse, Martijn W H; Patane, José S L; Verhaert, Peter D E M; Lopes, Adriana R

    2016-09-07

    Spiders are known for their predatory efficiency and for their high capacity of digesting relatively large prey. They do this by combining both extracorporeal and intracellular digestion. Whereas many high throughput ("-omics") techniques focus on biomolecules in spider venom, so far this approach has not yet been applied to investigate the protein composition of spider midgut diverticula (MD) and digestive fluid (DF). We here report on our investigations of both MD and DF of the spider Nephilingis (Nephilengys) cruentata through the use of next generation sequencing and shotgun proteomics. This shows that the DF is composed of a variety of hydrolases including peptidases, carbohydrases, lipases and nuclease, as well as of toxins and regulatory proteins. We detect 25 astacins in the DF. Phylogenetic analysis of the corresponding transcript(s) in Arachnida suggests that astacins have acquired an unprecedented role for extracorporeal digestion in Araneae, with different orthologs used by each family. The results of a comparative study of spiders in distinct physiological conditions allow us to propose some digestion mechanisms in this interesting animal taxon. All the high throughput data allowed the demonstration that DF is a secretion originating from the MD. We identified enzymes involved in the extracellular and intracellular phases of digestion. Besides that, data analyses show a large gene duplication event in Araneae digestive process evolution, mainly of astacin genes. We were also able to identify proteins expressed and translated in the digestive system, which until now had been exclusively associated to venom glands.

  4. Approach and avoidance in fear of spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rinck, M.; Becker, E.S.

    2007-01-01

    We examined attitudes towards spiders by employing an Approach-Avoidance Task, in which participants respond to pictures by pulling a joystick towards themselves or by pushing it away from themselves. For spider fearfuls, this stimulus–response assignment is either compatible (push spiders away) or

  5. Spider and burnable poison rod combinations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, G.T.; Schluderberg, D.C.

    1980-01-01

    An improved design of burnable poison rods and associated spiders used in fuel assemblies of pressurized water power reactor cores, is described. The rods are joined to the spider arms in a manner which is proof against the reactor core environment and yet allows the removal of the rods from the spider simply, swiftly and delicately. (U.K.)

  6. Molecular phylogeny of moth-specialized spider sub-family Cyrtarachninae, which includes bolas spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanikawa, Akio; Shinkai, Akira; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-11-01

    The evolutionary process of the unique web architectures of spiders of the sub-family Cyrtarachninae, which includes the triangular web weaver, bolas spider, and webless spider, is thought to be derived from reduction of orbicular 'spanning-thread webs' resembling ordinal orb webs. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted to explore this hypothesis using orbicular web spiders Cyrtarachne, Paraplectana, Poecilopachys, triangular web spider Pasilobus, bolas spiders Ordgarius and Mastophora, and webless spider Celaenia. The phylogeny inferred from partial sequences of mt-COI, nuclear 18S-rRNA and 28S-rRNA showed that the common ancestor of these spiders diverged into two clades: a spanning-thread web clade and a bolas or webless clade. This finding suggests that the triangular web evolved by reduction of an orbicular spanning web, but that bolas spiders evolved in the early stage, which does not support the gradual web reduction hypothesis.

  7. PhcrTx2, a New Crab-Paralyzing Peptide Toxin from the Sea Anemone Phymanthus crucifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garateix, Anoland; Salceda, Emilio; Zaharenko, André Junqueira; Pons, Tirso; Santos, Yúlica; Arreguín, Roberto; Ständker, Ludger; Forssmann, Wolf-Georg; Tytgat, Jan; Vega, Rosario

    2018-01-01

    Sea anemones produce proteinaceous toxins for predation and defense, including peptide toxins that act on a large variety of ion channels of pharmacological and biomedical interest. Phymanthus crucifer is commonly found in the Caribbean Sea; however, the chemical structure and biological activity of its toxins remain unknown, with the exception of PhcrTx1, an acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) inhibitor. Therefore, in the present work, we focused on the isolation and characterization of new P. crucifer toxins by chromatographic fractionation, followed by a toxicity screening on crabs, an evaluation of ion channels, and sequence analysis. Five groups of toxic chromatographic fractions were found, and a new paralyzing toxin was purified and named PhcrTx2. The toxin inhibited glutamate-gated currents in snail neurons (maximum inhibition of 35%, IC50 4.7 µM), and displayed little or no influence on voltage-sensitive sodium/potassium channels in snail and rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, nor on a variety of cloned voltage-gated ion channels. The toxin sequence was fully elucidated by Edman degradation. PhcrTx2 is a new β-defensin-fold peptide that shares a sequence similarity to type 3 potassium channels toxins. However, its low activity on the evaluated ion channels suggests that its molecular target remains unknown. PhcrTx2 is the first known paralyzing toxin in the family Phymanthidae. PMID:29414882

  8. PhcrTx2, a New Crab-Paralyzing Peptide Toxin from the Sea Anemone Phymanthus crucifer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Alexei Rodríguez

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Sea anemones produce proteinaceous toxins for predation and defense, including peptide toxins that act on a large variety of ion channels of pharmacological and biomedical interest. Phymanthus crucifer is commonly found in the Caribbean Sea; however, the chemical structure and biological activity of its toxins remain unknown, with the exception of PhcrTx1, an acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC inhibitor. Therefore, in the present work, we focused on the isolation and characterization of new P. crucifer toxins by chromatographic fractionation, followed by a toxicity screening on crabs, an evaluation of ion channels, and sequence analysis. Five groups of toxic chromatographic fractions were found, and a new paralyzing toxin was purified and named PhcrTx2. The toxin inhibited glutamate-gated currents in snail neurons (maximum inhibition of 35%, IC50 4.7 µM, and displayed little or no influence on voltage-sensitive sodium/potassium channels in snail and rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons, nor on a variety of cloned voltage-gated ion channels. The toxin sequence was fully elucidated by Edman degradation. PhcrTx2 is a new β-defensin-fold peptide that shares a sequence similarity to type 3 potassium channels toxins. However, its low activity on the evaluated ion channels suggests that its molecular target remains unknown. PhcrTx2 is the first known paralyzing toxin in the family Phymanthidae.

  9. Reconstitutable control rod spider assembly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shallenberger, J.M.; Ferian, S.J.

    1990-01-01

    A reconstitutable control rod/spider assembly includes a hollow connecting finger of the spider having a pair of opposing flat segments formed on the interior thereof and engaging a pair of opposing flat sectors formed on the exterior of a stem extending form the upper end of control rod. The stem also has an externally-threaded portion engaging a nut and a pilot aligning portion for the nut. The nut has a radially flexible and expandable thread-defining element captured in its bore. The segments and sectors allow the rod to be removed and reattached after turning through 180 0 to allow more even wear on the rod. (author)

  10. THE EXECUTION OF PLANNED DETOURS BY SPIDER-EATING PREDATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Fiona R.; Jackson, Robert R.

    2016-01-01

    Many spiders from the salticid subfamily Spartaeinae specialize at preying on other spiders and they adopt complex strategies when targeting these dangerous prey. We tested 15 of these spider-eating spartaeine species for the capacity to plan detours ahead of time. Each trial began with the test subject on top of a tower from which it could view two boxes: one containing prey and the other not containing prey. The distance between the tower and the boxes was too far to reach by leaping and the tower sat on a platform surrounded by water. As the species studied are known to avoid water, the only way they could reach the prey without getting wet was by taking one of two circuitous walkways from the platform: one leading to the prey (‘correct’) and one not leading to the prey (‘incorrect’). After leaving the tower, the test subject could not see the prey and sometimes it had to walk past the incorrect walkway before reaching the correct walkway. Yet all 15 species chose the correct walkway significantly more often than the incorrect walkway. We propose that these findings exemplify genuine cognition based on representation. PMID:26781057

  11. Peptidomic and transcriptomic profiling of four distinct spider venoms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Oldrati

    Full Text Available Venom based research is exploited to find novel candidates for the development of innovative pharmacological tools, drug candidates and new ingredients for cosmetic and agrochemical industries. Moreover, venomics, as a well-established approach in systems biology, helps to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the production of such a great molecular biodiversity. Today the advances made in the proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics fields, favor venomics, allowing the in depth study of complex matrices and the elucidation even of minor compounds present in minute biological samples. The present study illustrates a rapid and efficient method developed for the elucidation of venom composition based on NextGen mRNA sequencing of venom glands and LC-MS/MS venom proteome profiling. The analysis of the comprehensive data obtained was focused on cysteine rich peptide toxins from four spider species originating from phylogenetically distant families for comparison purposes. The studied species were Heteropoda davidbowie (Sparassidae, Poecilotheria formosa (Theraphosidae, Viridasius fasciatus (Viridasiidae and Latrodectus mactans (Theridiidae. This led to a high resolution profiling of 284 characterized cysteine rich peptides, 111 of which belong to the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK structural motif. The analysis of H. davidbowie venom revealed a high richness in term of venom diversity: 95 peptide sequences were identified; out of these, 32 peptides presented the ICK structural motif and could be classified in six distinct families. The profiling of P. formosa venom highlighted the presence of 126 peptide sequences, with 52 ICK toxins belonging to three structural distinct families. V. fasciatus venom was shown to contain 49 peptide sequences, out of which 22 presented the ICK structural motif and were attributed to five families. The venom of L. mactans, until now studied for its large neurotoxins (Latrotoxins, revealed the presence of 14

  12. The Spider and the Fly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellinger, Keith E.; Viglione, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The Spider and the Fly puzzle, originally attributed to the great puzzler Henry Ernest Dudeney, and now over 100 years old, asks for the shortest path between two points on a particular square prism. We explore a generalization, find that the original solution only holds in certain cases, and suggest how this discovery might be used in the…

  13. Specialised use of working memory by Portia africana, a spider-eating salticid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Fiona R; Jackson, Robert R

    2014-03-01

    Using expectancy-violation methods, we investigated the role of working memory in the predatory strategy of Portia africana, a salticid spider from Kenya that preys by preference on other spiders. One of this predator's tactics is to launch opportunistic leaping attacks on to other spiders in their webs. Focussing on this particular tactic, our experiments began with a test spider on a ramp facing a lure (dead prey spider mounted on a cork disc) that could be reached by leaping. After the test spider faced the lure for 30 s, we blocked the test spider's view of the lure by lowering an opaque shutter before the spider leapt. When the shutter was raised 90 s later, either the same lure came into view again (control) or a different lure came into view (experimental: different prey type in same orientation or same prey type in different orientation). We recorded attack frequency (number of test spiders that leapt at the lure) and attack latency (time elapsing between shutter being raised and spiders initiating a leap). Attack latencies in control trials were not significantly different from attack latencies in experimental trials, regardless of whether it was prey type or prey orientation that changed in the experimental trials. However, compared with test spiders in the no-change control trials, significantly fewer test spiders leapt when prey type changed. There was no significant effect on attack frequency when prey orientation changed. These findings suggest that this predator represents prey type independently of prey orientation.

  14. The evolution of sociality in spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lubin, Yael; Bilde, T.

    2007-01-01

    . Anelosimus (Theridiidae) C. Sociality in Spiders: An Evolutionary Dead End? V. Evolution and Maintenance of Sociality in Spiders: Relevant Models A. Kin Selection 1. Kin Recognition 2. Inbreeding and Kin Selection B. Multilevel Selection (Group Selection) C. Ecological Benefits D. Ecological Constraints E......I. Introducing Social Spiders II. Social and Subsocial Species: A Survey of Behavioral Traits III. Inbred Sociality in Spiders A. Cooperation Versus Competition: A Balancing Act B. Do Social Spiders Have Division of Labor? C. Colony Foundation: Propagule Dispersal Versus Fission D. Female......-Biased Colony Sex Ratios: Primary and Operational Sex Ratios E. Mating System: Inbreeding and Its Population-Genetic Consequences F. "Boom and Bust" Colony Dynamics IV. Phylogenetic Relationships Among Social Spider Species A. Common Features of Social Evolution B. Case Studies 1. Stegodyphus (Eresidae) 2...

  15. Radiation effect onto biodiversity of spiders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehrabova, M.A.; Naghiyev, J.A; Huseynov, N.I; Topchiyeva, Sh.A.; Hasanov, N.H.

    2010-01-01

    At present time spiders are one of the considerably diverse groups of living organisms in fauna of Azerbayjan Republic. They play an important in environmental chain, being the main group of wild arthropodas in most biocoenoses. Therefore, it's not surprised that recently an increased interest has being observed to the study of spiders as indicators of environmental conditions. Spiders have been collected in polluted areas, their identification and sampling of soil, water and plants has been conducted. The degree of radionuclides' impact on the number and distribution of spiders and their venom in the observed zones of Azerbaijan has been revealed and preliminarily predicted. The number of the collected spiders equals to 292 which has been determined later at an electronic identifier Spinnen Mitteleuropas. The radionuclides in spiders have been determined at Canberra facility. Different natural radioactive elements were revealed in the investigated samples.

  16. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox - larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography - guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy - guided botulinum toxin treatment; ...

  17. Defense against Toxin Weapons

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Franz, David

    1998-01-01

    .... We typically fear what we do not understand. Although un- derstanding toxin poisoning is less useful in a toxin attack than knowledge of cold injury on an Arctic battlefield, information on any threat reduces its potential to harm...

  18. Science Education Resources on the Web--Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirunarayanan, M. O.

    1997-01-01

    Lists Web sites containing information on spiders and offers brief descriptions of the information available at those sites. The 11 sites provide information on taxonomy of spiders, anatomy, different ways spiders use silk, Internet mailing lists, folk literature and art, bibliographies, night collection, and spiders commonly found in the state of…

  19. Tangled in a sparse spider web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dimitrov, Dimitar Stefanov; Lopardo, Lara; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2012-01-01

    In order to study the tempo and the mode of spider orb web evolution and diversification, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis using six genetic markers along with a comprehensive taxon sample. The present analyses are the first to recover the monophyly of orb-weaving spiders based solely on DNA ...

  20. Verified spider bites in Oregon (USA) with the intent to assess hobo spider venom toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeown, Nathanael; Vetter, Richard S; Hendrickson, Robert G

    2014-06-01

    This study compiled 33 verified spider bites from the state of Oregon (USA). The initial goal was to amass a series of bites by the hobo spider to assess whether it possesses toxic venom, a supposition which is currently in a contested state. None of the 33 bites from several spider species developed significant medical symptoms nor did dermonecrosis occur. The most common biters were the yellow sac spider, Cheiracanthium mildei (N = 10) and orb-weavers of the genus Araneus (N = 6). There were 10 bites from three genera of funnel web spiders of the family Agelenidae including one hobo spider bite and one from the congeneric giant house spider which is readily confused as a hobo spider. The hobo spider bite resulted in pain, redness, twitching in the calf muscle and resolved in 12 h. Also generated from this study were possibly the first records of bites from spiders of the genera Callobius (Amaurobiidae) and Antrodiaetus (Antrodiaetidae), both with minor manifestations. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  2. Maternal care and subsocial behaviour in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yip, Eric C; Rayor, Linda S

    2014-05-01

    While most spiders are solitary and opportunistically cannibalistic, a variety of social organisations has evolved in a minority of spider species. One form of social organisation is subsociality, in which siblings remain together with their parent for some period of time but disperse prior to independent reproduction. We review the literature on subsocial and maternal behaviour in spiders to highlight areas in which subsocial spiders have informed our understanding of social evolution and to identify promising areas of future research. We show that subsocial behaviour has evolved independently at least 18 times in spiders, across a wide phylogenetic distribution. Subsocial behaviour is diverse in terms of the form of care provided by the mother, the duration of care and sibling association, the degree of interaction and cooperation among siblings, and the use of vibratory and chemical communication. Subsocial spiders are useful model organisms to study various topics in ecology, such as kin recognition and the evolution of cheating and its impact on societies. Further, why social behaviour evolved in some lineages and not others is currently a topic of debate in behavioural ecology, and we argue that spiders offer an opportunity to untangle the ecological causes of parental care, which forms the basis of many other animal societies. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  3. Learned predation risk management by spider mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eHackl

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Predation is a prime selective force shaping prey behavior. Investment in anti-predator behavior is traded-off against time and energy for other fitness-enhancing activities such as foraging or reproduction. To optimize this benefit/cost trade-off, prey should be able to innately and/or by experience modulate their behavior to the level of predation risk. Here, we assessed learned predation risk management in the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. We exposed spider mites coming from benign (naïve or high immediate predation risk (experienced environments to latent and/or no risk and assessed their site choice, activity and oviposition. Benign environments were characterized by the absence of any predator cues, high immediate risk environments by killed spider mites, physical presence of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis and associated chemosensory traces left on the surface, and latent risk environments by only predator traces. In the no-choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites laid their first egg later on leaves with than without predator traces. Irrespective of predator traces presence/absence, experienced mites laid their first egg earlier than naïve ones did. Naïve spider mites were more active, indicating higher restlessness, and laid fewer eggs on leaves with predator traces, whereas experienced mites were less active and laid similar numbers of eggs on leaves with and without predator traces. In the choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites preferentially resided and oviposited on leaves without predator traces but experienced mites were less active than naïve ones. Overall, our study suggests that spider mites experienced with high predation risk behave bolder under latent risk than naïve spider mites. Since predator traces alone do not indicate immediate risk, we argue that the attenuated anti-predator response of experienced spider mites represents adaptive learned

  4. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J. [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L. [Ouro Preto Univ., MG (Brazil). Escola de Farmacia. Lab. de Fisiologia e Bioquimica de Microorganismos; Lima, M.E. de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia; Nicoli, J.R. [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Microbiologia

    1999-11-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na {sup 125} I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The {sup 125} I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author) 5 refs., 3 figs.; e-mail: nevesmj at urano.cdtn.br

  5. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J.; Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L.; Lima, M.E. de; Nicoli, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na 125 I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The 125 I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author)

  6. Understanding Spider-Man: Your Everyday Superhero

    OpenAIRE

    Falk, Nicklas; Blomsterberg, Sofie Amalie; Suciu, Alice Sabrina; Pedersen, Mads Peter; Lucas, Vilhelm

    2014-01-01

    This project focuses on the understanding of Spider-Man, and the morals and ethics that lie behind the choices he makes. Through the Dimensions Philosophy & Science/Text & Sign, this understanding is concluded by looking at ethical theories and comic book analysis. Based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series, the aim is to clarify who Spider-Man is and what causes him to act in certain ways; before and after his realization of power. Some theories used to investigate these area...

  7. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon. © 2015 MEDPRESS.

  8. Non-webbuilding spiders: prey specialists or generalists?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nentwig, Wolfgang

    1986-07-01

    Feeding experiments were performed with seven species of non-webbuilding spiders and a variety of prey taxa. Some species were generally polyphagous whereas other spiders restricted their prey to a few groups. At one end of the spectrum of prey specialization the thomisid Misumena vatia is limited to a few taxa of possible prey (Table 1). The literature of prey records of non-webbuilding spiders is reviewed (Table 2) with special emphasis on oligophagous or monophagous spiders. Monophagous spiders are generally rare and have specialized on only a few prey taxa: social insects (ants, bees, termites) and spiders.

  9. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Spencer, Alan R T; Atwood, Robert C; Vo, Nghia T; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-03-30

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasierigen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian,ca 305-299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian-Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies. © 2016 The Authors.

  10. Edge effect on weevils and spiders

    OpenAIRE

    Horváth, R.; Magura, T.; Péter, G.; Tóthmérész, B.

    2002-01-01

    The edge effect on weevils and spiders was tested along oak forest – meadow transects using sweep-net samples at the Síkfökút Project in Hungary. For spiders the species richness was significantly higher in the forest edge than either in the meadow or the forest interior. For weevils the species richness of the forest edge was higher than that of the meadow, but the difference was not statistically significant whereas the species richness of the forest...

  11. Spiders do have melanin after all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiung, Bor-Kai; Blackledge, Todd A; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-11-01

    Melanin pigments are broadly distributed in nature - from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals. However, many previous attempts to identify melanins in spiders were unsuccessful, suggesting that these otherwise ubiquitous pigments were lost during spider evolution. Yet, spiders exhibit many dark colours similar to those produced by melanins in other organisms, and the low solubility of melanins makes isolation and characterization difficult. Therefore, whether melanins are truly absent or have simply not yet been detected is an open question. Raman spectroscopy provides a reliable way to detect melanins in situ, without the need for isolation. In this study, we document the presence of eumelanin in diverse species of spiders using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Comparisons of spectra with theoretically calculated data falsify the previous hypothesis that dark colours are produced solely by ommochromes in spiders. Our data indicate that melanins are present in spiders and further supporting that they are present in most living organisms. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Genus-specificity of araneophagy of linyphiid spiders and spiders of other families (Arachnida, Araneae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuts, B.; Brunt, T.

    2009-01-01

    We found genus specificity of predation by spiders on other spiders in captivity which surpass them in body size (araneophagy). Adult specimens of three species of the linyphiid genus Walckenaeria which were successively tested for araneophagy (in the laboratory) in the order of first species

  13. Ant mimicry lessens predation on a North American jumping spider by larger salticid spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durkee, Caitlin A; Weiss, Martha R; Uma, Divya B

    2011-10-01

    Ant-like appearance (myrmecomorphy) has evolved >70 times in insects and spiders, accounting for >2,000 species of myrmecomorphic arthropods. Most myrmecomorphic spiders are considered to be Batesian mimics; that is, a palatable spider avoids predation through resemblance to an unpalatable ant-although this presumption has been tested in relatively few cases. Here we explicitly examined the extent to which Peckhamia picata (Salticidae), a North American ant-mimicking jumping spider, is protected from four species of jumping spider predators, relative to nonmimetic salticids and model ants. In addition, we conducted focused behavioral observations on one salticid predator, Thiodina puerpera, to determine the point at which the predators' behaviors toward model, mimic, and nonmimic diverge. We also examined the behaviors of Peckhamia in the presence of Thiodina. We found that mimetic jumping spiders were consumed less than a third as often as nonmimetic jumping spiders, suggesting that Peckhamia does indeed gain protection as a result of its resemblance to ants, and so can be considered a Batesian mimic. Furthermore, our focal predator did not consume any ant-mimicking spiders, and seemed to categorize Peckhamia with its model ant early in the hunting sequence. Such early determination of prey versus nonprey may be the result of speed-accuracy trade-offs in predator decision-making.

  14. Cognitive bias in spider-phobic children: Comparison of a pictorial and a linguistic spider Stroop.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kindt, M.; Brosschot, J.F.

    1999-01-01

    Examined the relation between spider fear in children and cognitive processing bias toward threatening information. It was investigated whether spider fear in children is related to a cognitive bias for threatening pictures and words. Pictorial and linguistic Stroop stimuli were administered to 28

  15. Sphero-echinocytosis of human red blood cells caused by snake, red-back spider, bee and blue-ringed octopus venoms and its inhibition by snake sera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flachsenberger, W; Leigh, C M; Mirtschin, P J

    1995-06-01

    It was found that bee (Apis mellifera) venom, red-back spider (Latrodectus mactans) venom, blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa) venom, ten different snake venoms, phospholipase A2 and four snake toxins caused sphero-echinocytosis of human red blood cells at 200 ng/ml. Most venoms and toxins lost the ability to deform human red blood cells when their components of less than mol. wt 10,000 were applied. In a number of cases the sphero-echinocytotic effect was also inhibited by blood sera of Notechis scutatus and Pseudonaja textilis.

  16. Energetics, scaling and sexual size dimorphism of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossi, B; Canals, M

    2015-03-01

    The extreme sexual size dimorphism in spiders has motivated studies for many years. In many species the male can be very small relative to the female. There are several hypotheses trying to explain this fact, most of them emphasizing the role of energy in determining spider size. The aim of this paper is to review the role of energy in sexual size dimorphism of spiders, even for those spiders that do not necessarily live in high foliage, using physical and allometric principles. Here we propose that the cost of transport or equivalently energy expenditure and the speed are traits under selection pressure in male spiders, favoring those of smaller size to reduce travel costs. The morphology of the spiders responds to these selective forces depending upon the lifestyle of the spiders. Climbing and bridging spiders must overcome the force of gravity. If bridging allows faster dispersal, small males would have a selective advantage by enjoying more mating opportunities. In wandering spiders with low population density and as a consequence few male-male interactions, high speed and low energy expenditure or cost of transport should be favored by natural selection. Pendulum mechanics show the advantages of long legs in spiders and their relationship with high speed, even in climbing and bridging spiders. Thus small size, compensated by long legs should be the expected morphology for a fast and mobile male spider.

  17. Spider diffraction: a comparison of curved and straight legs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richter, J.L.

    1984-01-01

    It has been known for some time that, if curved legs rather than the usual straight ones are used in the spider that supports the secondary optics in certain telescopes, the visible diffraction effect is reduced. Fraunhofer theory is used to calculate the diffraction effects due to the curved leg spider. Calculated and photographic diffraction patterns are compared for straight and curved leg spiders

  18. Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP Triggered by a Spider Bite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Makris

    2009-01-01

    Discussion: A spider bite may represent a possible causative factor of AGEP. A spider's venom contains sphingomyelinase that stimulates the release of IL8 and GM-CSF, which are involved in AGEP pathogenesis. Whether or not the con-current use of antibiotics has an effect in AGEP appearance when combined with a spider's venom, cannot be excluded.

  19. Microalgal toxin(s): characteristics and importance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prokaryotic and eukaryotic microalgae produce a wide array of compounds with biological activities. These include antibiotics, algicides, toxins, pharmaceutically active compounds and plant growth regulators. Toxic microalgae, in this sense, are common only among the cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates. The microalgal ...

  20. Remembering the object you fear: brain potentials during recognition of spiders in spider-fearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O

    2014-01-01

    In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery.

  1. Flee or fight: ontogenetic changes in the behavior of cobweb spiders in encounters with spider-hunting wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uma, Divya B; Weiss, Martha R

    2012-12-01

    An animal's body size plays a predominant role in shaping its interspecific interactions, and, in encounters between two predators, often determines which shall be predator and which shall be prey. Spiders are top predators of insects, yet can fall prey to mud-dauber wasps that provision their larval nests with paralyzed spiders. Here we examined predator-prey interactions between Chalybion californicum (Saussure) (Sphecidae), a mud-dauber wasp, and Parasteatoda tepidariorum C. L. Koch (Theridiidae), a cobweb spider. We examined whether a spider's size influences its response to an attacking wasp, and report a size-dependent change in spider behavior: small-sized spiders fled, whereas medium- and large-sized spiders fought in response to wasp attacks. From the wasps' perspective, we examined whether spider size influences a wasp's hunting behavior and capture success. We found that wasps commonly approached small spiders, but were much less likely to approach medium and large spiders. However, wasp capture success did not vary with spider size. We also report a strategy used by Chalybion wasps toward cobweb spiders that is consistent with an interpretation of aggressive mimicry.

  2. Fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders: a global pattern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Nyffeler

    Full Text Available More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders--observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens--are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2-6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil. Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae, in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae, and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae. The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences. There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the 'swimming' huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae] predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders' body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders. Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance.

  3. Fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders: a global pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders--observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens--are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2-6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the 'swimming' huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders' body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance.

  4. Inbreeding avoidance in spiders: evidence for rescue effect in fecundity of female spiders with outbreeding opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bilde, T.; Maklakov, A.A.; Schilling, Nadia

    2007-01-01

    avoidance can be because of low risk of inbreeding, variation in tolerance to inbreeding or high costs of outbreeding. We examined the relationship between inbreeding depression and inbreeding avoidance adaptations under two levels of inbreeding in the spider Oedothorax apicatus, asking whether preference...... for unrelated sperm via pre- and/or post-copulatory mechanisms could restore female fitness when inbreeding depression increases. Using inbred isofemale lines we provided female spiders with one or two male spiders of different relatedness in five combinations: one male sib; one male nonsib; two male sibs; two...

  5. Purification of a neurotoxin from the venom of the 'armed spider' and synthesis of a radioactive probe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Raquel Gouvea; Renterghem, Catherine Van; Mori, Yasuo; Martin-Moutot, Nicole; Mansuelle, Pascal; Sampieri, Francois; Seagar, Michel; Lima, Maria Elena de

    2002-01-01

    The venom of the 'armed spider', a South American spider from the genus Phoneutria contains several toxins that exert important biological effects. ω-Phonetoxin IIA (ω-PtxIIA) is a potent neurotoxin from this venom evoking flaccid paralysis and death after intracerebro-ventricular injection in mouse. This toxin blocks HVA calcium channels. Calcium channels have been shown to be important targets in neurological pathophysiology like ataxia and migraine. In order to shed more light on the mechanism of action of w-PtxIIA, we have purified this toxin to synthesize a radioactive probe. Crude venom was fractionated in three steps of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Spectrometric analysis of the purified fraction (causing flaccid paralysis) was recorded on a MALDI-TOF Perseptive Voyager Elite spectrometer and a 8363 kDa peptide was detected. After amino acid sequencing the purity of the peptide was confirmed and it was identified as ω-PtxIIA. ω-PtxIIA was radiolabeled with 125 I using the lactoperoxidase as a oxidizing agent. The stability of the probe synthesized was verified by the binding studies on rat brain synaptosomal membranes. The specific and saturable binding of the 125 I-ω-PtxIIA to the membranes indicate that the iodine introduced in the toxin molecule did not interfere with its activity. Native ω-PtxIIA competed with the 125 I-ω-PtxIIA bound to the specific sites on synaptosomes (IC 50 = 0.54 n M). In this paper we described a new and simpler purification protocol of the ω-PtxIIA and synthesized a probe that proved to be useful to study the mechanism of action of 125 I-ω-PtxIIA. Selective toxins for calcium channel are very useful tools to the study of some neuronal pathophysiology. (author)

  6. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P. [Department of Physical Sciences, IISER Mohali, Sector 81, Manauli, Mohali 140306 (India)

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2−3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  7. SPIDER: A Framework for Understanding Driver Distraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strayer, David L; Fisher, Donald L

    2016-02-01

    The objective was to identify key cognitive processes that are impaired when drivers divert attention from driving. Driver distraction is increasingly recognized as a significant source of injuries and fatalities on the roadway. A "SPIDER" model is developed that identifies key cognitive processes that are impaired when drivers divert attention from driving. SPIDER is an acronym standing for scanning, predicting, identifying, decision making, and executing a response. When drivers engage in secondary activities unrelated to the task of driving, SPIDER-related processes are impaired, situation awareness is degraded, and the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle may be compromised. The pattern of interference helps to illuminate the sources of driver distraction and may help guide the integration of new technology into the automobile. © 2015, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  8. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10 2−3 rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices

  9. Edge effect on weevils and spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Horváth

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available The edge effect on weevils and spiders was tested along oak forest – meadow transects using sweep-net samples at the Síkfökút Project in Hungary. For spiders the species richness was significantly higher in the forest edge than either in the meadow or the forest interior. For weevils the species richness of the forest edge was higher than that of the meadow, but the difference was not statistically significant whereas the species richness of the forest interior was significantly lower than that of the forest edge and the meadow. The composition of the spider assemblage of the edge was more similar to the forest, while the composition of weevils in the edge was more similar to the meadow. Our results based on two invertebrate groups operating on different trophic levels suggest that there is a significant edge effect for the studied taxa resulting in higher species richness in the edge.

  10. Topical botulinum toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Ashley; Nasir, Adnan

    2010-03-01

    Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing discipline that capitalizes on the unique properties of matter engineered on the nanoscale. Vehicles incorporating nanotechnology have led to great strides in drug delivery, allowing for increased active ingredient stability, bioavailability, and site-specific targeting. Botulinum toxin has historically been used for the correction of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as torticollis, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Recent dermatological indications have been for the management of axillary hyperhydrosis and facial rhytides. Traditional methods of botulinum toxin delivery have been needle-based. These have been associated with increased pain and cost. Newer methods of botulinum toxin formulation have yielded topical preparations that are bioactive in small pilot clinical studies. While there are some risks associated with topical delivery, the refinement and standardization of delivery systems and techniques for the topical administration of botulinum toxin using nanotechnology is anticipated in the near future.

  11. Aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to riparian spiders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akamatsu, Fumikazu, E-mail: f-akamt55@pwri.go.jp [Department of Environmental Sciences, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621 (Japan); Toda, Hideshige [Department of Environmental Sciences, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621 (Japan)

    2011-05-15

    Stable nitrogen isotopic composition ({delta}{sup 15}N) of aquatic biota increases with anthropogenic N inputs such as sewage and livestock waste downstream. Increase in {delta}{sup 15}N of riparian spiders downstream may reflect the anthropogenic pollution exposure through predation on aquatic insects. A two-source mixing model based on stable carbon isotopic composition showed the greatest dependence on aquatic insects (84%) by horizontal web-building spiders, followed by intermediate (48%) and low (31%) dependence by cursorial and vertical web-building spiders, respectively. The spider body size was negatively correlated with the dietary proportion of aquatic insects and spider {delta}{sup 15}N. The aquatic subsidies transported anthropogenic N to smaller riparian spiders downstream. This transport of anthropogenic N was regulated by spider's guild designation and body size. - Highlights: > {delta}{sup 15}N of aquatic insects increases downstream with anthropogenic nitrogen inputs. > {delta}{sup 15}N of riparian spiders increases with a high dietary proportion of aquatic insects and smaller spider body size. > The aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to smaller riparian spiders downstream. - Smaller spiders assimilate anthropogenic nitrogen through the predation on aquatic subsides.

  12. Aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to riparian spiders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akamatsu, Fumikazu; Toda, Hideshige

    2011-01-01

    Stable nitrogen isotopic composition (δ 15 N) of aquatic biota increases with anthropogenic N inputs such as sewage and livestock waste downstream. Increase in δ 15 N of riparian spiders downstream may reflect the anthropogenic pollution exposure through predation on aquatic insects. A two-source mixing model based on stable carbon isotopic composition showed the greatest dependence on aquatic insects (84%) by horizontal web-building spiders, followed by intermediate (48%) and low (31%) dependence by cursorial and vertical web-building spiders, respectively. The spider body size was negatively correlated with the dietary proportion of aquatic insects and spider δ 15 N. The aquatic subsidies transported anthropogenic N to smaller riparian spiders downstream. This transport of anthropogenic N was regulated by spider's guild designation and body size. - Highlights: → δ 15 N of aquatic insects increases downstream with anthropogenic nitrogen inputs. → δ 15 N of riparian spiders increases with a high dietary proportion of aquatic insects and smaller spider body size. → The aquatic subsidies transport anthropogenic nitrogen to smaller riparian spiders downstream. - Smaller spiders assimilate anthropogenic nitrogen through the predation on aquatic subsides.

  13. Disentangling the phylogenetic and ecological components of spider phenotypic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure.

  14. Uncovering the structure-function relationship in spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarger, Jeffery L.; Cherry, Brian R.; van der Vaart, Arjan

    2018-03-01

    All spiders produce protein-based biopolymer fibres that we call silk. The most studied of these silks is spider dragline silk, which is very tough and relatively abundant compared with other types of spider silks. Considerable research has been devoted to understanding the relationship between the molecular structure and mechanical properties of spider dragline silks. In this Review, we overview experimental and computational studies that have provided a wealth of detail at the molecular level on the highly conserved repetitive core and terminal regions of spider dragline silk. We also discuss the role of the nanocrystalline β-sheets and amorphous regions in determining the properties of spider silk fibres, endowing them with strength and elasticity. Additionally, we outline imaging techniques and modelling studies that elucidate the importance of the hierarchical structure of silk fibres at the molecular level. These insights into structure-function relationships can guide the reverse engineering of spider silk to enable the production of superior synthetic fibres.

  15. Checklist of spider fauna of FR Peshawar, FATA, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Perveen

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The spiders are known as poisonous arthropods, but they also act as the predator or biological pests control agent. Their 23 species belonging to 15 genera and 09 families were reported during 2009-2010 from FR Peshawar, FATA, Pakistan. The reported families Clubionidae, Scytodidae and Sprassidae covered each 4%, Araneidae, Gnaphosidae, Pholicidae and Salticidae each 9%, Thomisidae 13% and Lycosidae 43% biodiversity of spiders of FATA. However, the largest spider collected was huntsman, Isopoda tuhodnigra (Barrion with total body length 15.80+-0.83 mm. Moreover, the smallest spider was wolf spider, Pardosa birmanica (Simon with total body length 4.20+-1.30 mm. Further, the crab spiders, Thomisus pugilis (Stoliczka, T. spectabilis (Doleschall and Diaea evanida (Thorell were the most colorful species belonging to family Thomisidae. A detail study is required for further exploration of spider fauna of FATA.

  16. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-11-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. © 2013 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  17. Programming spiders, bots, and aggregators in Java

    CERN Document Server

    Heaton, Jeff

    2006-01-01

    The content and services available on the web continue to be accessed mostly through direct human control. But this is changing. Increasingly, users rely on automated agents that save them time and effort by programmatically retrieving content, performing complex interactions, and aggregating data from diverse sources. Programming Spiders, Bots, and Aggregators in Java teaches you how to build and deploy a wide variety of these agents-from single-purpose bots to exploratory spiders to aggregators that present a unified view of information from multiple user accounts. You will quickly build on

  18. Discovery of a distinct superfamily of Kunitz-type toxin (KTT from tarantulas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hua Yuan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Kuntiz-type toxins (KTTs have been found in the venom of animals such as snake, cone snail and sea anemone. The main ancestral function of Kunitz-type proteins was the inhibition of a diverse array of serine proteases, while toxic activities (such as ion-channel blocking were developed under a variety of Darwinian selection pressures. How new functions were grafted onto an old protein scaffold and what effect Darwinian selection pressures had on KTT evolution remains a puzzle. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report the presence of a new superfamily of ktts in spiders (TARANTULAS: Ornithoctonus huwena and Ornithoctonus hainana, which share low sequence similarity to known KTTs and is clustered in a distinct clade in the phylogenetic tree of KTT evolution. The representative molecule of spider KTTs, HWTX-XI, purified from the venom of O. huwena, is a bi-functional protein which is a very potent trypsin inhibitor (about 30-fold more strong than BPTI as well as a weak Kv1.1 potassium channel blocker. Structural analysis of HWTX-XI in 3-D by NMR together with comparative function analysis of 18 expressed mutants of this toxin revealed two separate sites, corresponding to these two activities, located on the two ends of the cone-shape molecule of HWTX-XI. Comparison of non-synonymous/synonymous mutation ratios (omega for each site in spider and snake KTTs, as well as PBTI like body Kunitz proteins revealed high Darwinian selection pressure on the binding sites for Kv channels and serine proteases in snake, while only on the proteases in spider and none detected in body proteins, suggesting different rates and patterns of evolution among them. The results also revealed a series of key events in the history of spider KTT evolution, including the formation of a novel KTT family (named sub-Kuntiz-type toxins derived from the ancestral native KTTs with the loss of the second disulfide bridge accompanied by several dramatic sequence modifications

  19. Acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) structure and function: Insights from spider, snake and sea anemone venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristofori-Armstrong, Ben; Rash, Lachlan D

    2017-12-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-activated cation channels that are expressed in a variety of neuronal and non-neuronal tissues. As proton-gated channels, they have been implicated in many pathophysiological conditions where pH is perturbed. Venom derived compounds represent the most potent and selective modulators of ASICs described to date, and thus have been invaluable as pharmacological tools to study ASIC structure, function, and biological roles. There are now ten ASIC modulators described from animal venoms, with those from snakes and spiders favouring ASIC1, while the sea anemones preferentially target ASIC3. Some modulators, such as the prototypical ASIC1 modulator PcTx1 have been studied in great detail, while some of the newer members of the club remain largely unstudied. Here we review the current state of knowledge on venom derived ASIC modulators, with a particular focus on their molecular interaction with ASICs, what they have taught us about channel structure, and what they might still reveal about ASIC function and pathophysiological roles. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Venom-derived Peptides as Pharmacological Tools.' Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A novel toxin from Haplopelma lividum selectively inhibits the NAV1.8 channel and possesses potent analgesic efficacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meng, Ping; Huang, Honggang; Wang, Gan

    2017-01-01

    Spider venoms are a complex mixture of peptides with a large number of neurotoxins targeting ion channels. Although thousands of peptide toxins have been identified from venoms of numerous species of spiders, many unknown species urgently need to be investigated. In this study, a novel sodium...... channel inhibitor, μ-TRTX-Hl1a, was identified from the venom of Haplopelma lividum. It contained eight cysteines and formed a conserved cysteine pattern of ICK motif. μ-TRTX-Hl1a inhibited the TTX-resistant (TTX-r) sodium channel current rather than the TTX-sensitive (TTX-s) sodium channel current...

  1. Scavenging by spiders (Araneae) and its relationship to pest management of the brown recluse spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S

    2011-06-01

    Experiments reported in Sandidge (2003; Nature 426: 30) indicated that the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch & Mulaik, preferred to scavenge dead prey over live prey and that the spiders were not detrimentally affected when fed insecticide-killed crickets. Extrapolations made in subsequent media coverage disseminating the results of this research made counter-intuitive statements that pesticide treatment in houses would increase brown recluse populations in homes. This information was presented as if the scavenging behavior was specialized in the brown recluse; however, it was more likely that this behavior has not been well studied in other species. To provide a comparison, the current laboratory study examined the likelihood of non-Loxosceles spiders to scavenge dead prey. Of 100 non-Loxosceles spiders that were tested (from 11 families, 24 genera, and at least 29 species from a variety of spider hunting guilds), 99 scavenged dead crickets when offered in petri dishes. Some of the spiders were webspinners in which real-world scavenging of dead prey is virtually impossible, yet they scavenge when given the opportunity. Therefore, scavenging is a flexible opportunistic predatory behavior that is spread across a variety of taxa and is not a unique behavior in brown recluses. These findings are discussed in relation to pest management practices.

  2. Spider and burnable poison rod combinations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, L.A.

    1980-01-01

    A description is given of an improved design of burnable poison rods and their associated spiders used in the fuel assemblies of pressurized water power reactor cores which allows the rods to be installed and removed more quickly, simply and gently than in previously described systems. (U.K.)

  3. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-08-09

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes.

  4. The aerodynamic signature of running spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme Casas

    Full Text Available Many predators display two foraging modes, an ambush strategy and a cruising mode. These foraging strategies have been classically studied in energetic, biomechanical and ecological terms, without considering the role of signals produced by predators and perceived by prey. Wolf spiders are a typical example; they hunt in leaf litter either using an ambush strategy or by moving at high speed, taking over unwary prey. Air flow upstream of running spiders is a source of information for escaping prey, such as crickets and cockroaches. However, air displacement by running arthropods has not been previously examined. Here we show, using digital particle image velocimetry, that running spiders are highly conspicuous aerodynamically, due to substantial air displacement detectable up to several centimetres in front of them. This study explains the bimodal distribution of spider's foraging modes in terms of sensory ecology and is consistent with the escape distances and speeds of cricket prey. These findings may be relevant to the large and diverse array of arthropod prey-predator interactions in leaf litter.

  5. SPiDer: Smart Pill Dispenser

    OpenAIRE

    Moreno Vázquez, Jonatan

    2013-01-01

    Aquest projecte proposa el sistema SPiDer el qual te l'objectiu d'assistir a la gent gran en el procés de medicar-se evitant els problemes associats amb la baixa adherència existent actualment amb els calendaris farmacològics receptats pels doctors.

  6. Status of the CNESM diagnostic for SPIDER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muraro, A.; Croci, G.; Albani, G.; Cazzaniga, C.; Claps, G.; Cavenago, M.; Grosso, G.; Palma, M. Dalla; Fincato, M.; Murtas, F.; Pasqualotto, R.; Cippo, E. Perelli; Rebai, M.; Tollin, M.; Tardocchi, M.; Gorini, G.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We have finished the design of the detector box of the CNESM diagnostic for SPIDER. • We have constructed the GEM detector of the CNESM detector for SPIDER. • We have tested the detector under fast neutron irradiation. - Abstract: The ITER neutral beam test facility under construction in Padova will host two experimental devices: SPIDER, a 100 kV negative H/D RF source, and MITICA, a full scale, 1 MeV deuterium beam injector. A detection system called close-contact neutron emission surface mapping (CNESM) is under development with the aim to resolve the horizontal beam intensity profile in MITICA and one of the eight beamlet groups in SPIDER, with a spatial resolution of 1.5 and 2.5 cm respectively. This is achieved by the evaluation of the map of the neutron emission due to interaction of the deuterium beam with the deuterons implanted in the beam dump surface. CNESM uses nGEM detectors, i.e. GEM detectors equipped with a cathode that also serves as neutron–proton converter foil. The diagnostic will be placed right behind the SPIDER and MITICA beam dump, i.e. in an UHV environment, but the nGEM detectors need to operate at atmospheric pressure: in order to maintain the detector at atmospheric pressure, a vacuum sealed box, that will be mounted inside the vacuum, has been designed. The box design was driven by the need to minimize the neutron attenuation and the distance between the beam dump surface and the detector active area. This paper presents the status of the CNESM diagnostic describing the design of the detector, the design of the sealed box and reporting the results obtained with the first full-size prototype under fast neutron irradiation.

  7. Marine and freshwater toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hungerford, James M

    2006-01-01

    In a very busy and exciting year, 2005 included First Action approval of a much needed official method for paralytic shellfish toxins and multiple international toxin symposia highlighted by groundbreaking research. These are the first-year milestones and activities of the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force and Analytical Community. Inaugurated in 2004 and described in detail in last year's General Referee Report (1) this international toxins group has grown to 150 members from many regions and countries. Perhaps most important they are now making important and global contributions to food safety and to providing alternatives to animal-based assays. Official Method 2005.06 was first approved in late 2004 by the Task Force and subsequently Official First Action in 2005 (2) by the Methods Committee on Natural Toxins and Food Allergens and the Official Methods Board. This nonproprietary method (3) is a precolumn oxidation, liquid chromatographic method that makes good use of fluorescence detection to provide high sensitivity detection of the saxitoxins. It has also proven to be rugged enough for regulatory use and the highest level of validation. As pointed out in the report of method principle investigator and Study Director James Lawrence, approval of 2005.06 now provides the first official alternative to the mouse bioassay after many decades of shellfish monitoring. This past year in April 2005 the group also held their first international conference, "Marine and Freshwater Toxins Analysis: Ist Joint Symposium and AOAC Task Force Meeting," in Baiona, Spain. The 4-day conference consisted of research and stakeholder presentations and symposium-integrated subgroup sessions on ciguatoxins, saxitoxin assays and liquid chromatography (LC) methods for saxitoxins and domoic acids, okadaiates and azaspiracids, and yessotoxins. Many of these subgroups were recently formed in 2005 and are working towards their goals of producing officially validated analytical methods

  8. Toxins of filamentous fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Deepak; Yu, Jiujiang; Ehrlich, Kenneth C

    2002-01-01

    Mycotoxins are low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites of fungi. The most significant mycotoxins are contaminants of agricultural commodities, foods and feeds. Fungi that produce these toxins do so both prior to harvest and during storage. Although contamination of commodities by toxigenic fungi occurs frequently in areas with a hot and humid climate (i.e. conditions favorable for fungal growth), they can also be found in temperate conditions. Production of mycotoxins is dependent upon the type of producing fungus and environmental conditions such as the substrate, water activity (moisture and relative humidity), duration of exposure to stress conditions and microbial, insect or other animal interactions. Although outbreaks of mycotoxicoses in humans have been documented, several of these have not been well characterized, neither has a direct correlation between the mycotoxin and resulting toxic effect been well established in vivo. Even though the specific modes of action of most of the toxins are not well established, acute and chronic effects in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, including humans have been reported. The toxicity of the mycotoxins varies considerably with the toxin, the animal species exposed to it, and the extent of exposure, age and nutritional status. Most of the toxic effects of mycotoxins are limited to specific organs, but several mycotoxins affect many organs. Induction of cancer by some mycotoxins is a major concern as a chronic effect of these toxins. It is nearly impossible to eliminate mycotoxins from the foods and feed in spite of the regulatory efforts at the national and international levels to remove the contaminated commodities. This is because mycotoxins are highly stable compounds, the producing fungi are ubiquitous, and food contamination can occur both before and after harvest. Nevertheless, good farm management practices and adequate storage facilities minimize the toxin contamination problems. Current research is

  9. Design, synthesis, and pharmacological characterization of polyamine toxin derivatives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars S; Bølcho, Ulrik; Egebjerg, Jan

    2006-01-01

    for memory formation and are involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies have demonstrated that modification of the polyamine moiety of philanthotoxins can lead to very potent and highly selective ligands for the AMPA receptor, as exemplified with philanthotoxin-56. Much less attention has been......Polyamine toxins, such as philanthotoxins, are low-molecular-weight compounds isolated from spiders and wasps, which modulate ligand-gated ion channels in the nervous system. Philanthotoxins bind to the pore-forming region of AMPA receptors, a subtype of glutamate receptors which are important...... paid to the importance of the aromatic head group of philanthotoxins, but herein we demonstrate that modification of this moiety leads to a significant improvement in potency relative to philanthotoxin-56 at cloned AMPA receptors. Interestingly, the incorporation of an adamantane moiety is particularly...

  10. Attention and amygdala activity: an fMRI study with spider pictures in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Georg W; Gerdes, Antje B M; Lagarie, Bernadette; Tabbert, Katharina; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2009-06-01

    Facilitated detection of threatening visual cues is thought to be adaptive. In theory, detection of threat cues should activate the amygdala independently from allocation of attention. However, previous studies using emotional facial expressions as well as phobic cues yielded contradictory results. We used fMRI to examine whether the allocation of attention to components of superimposed spider and bird displays modulates amygdala activation. Nineteen spider-phobic women were instructed to identify either a moving or a stationary animal in briefly presented double-exposure displays. Amygdala activation followed a dose-response relationship: Compared to congruent neutral displays (two birds), amygdala activation was most pronounced in response to congruent phobic displays (two spiders) and less but still significant in response to mixed displays (spider and bird) when attention was focused on the phobic component. When attention was focused on the neutral component, mixed displays did not result in significant amygdala activation. This was confirmed in a significant parametric graduation of the amygdala activation in the order of congruent phobic displays, mixed displays with attention focus on the spider, mixed displays with focus on the bird and congruent neutral displays. These results challenge the notion that amygdala activation in response to briefly presented phobic cues is independent from attention.

  11. What you fear will appear: detection of schematic spiders in spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peira, Nathalie; Golkar, Armita; Larsson, Maria; Wiens, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    Various experimental tasks suggest that fear guides attention. However, because these tasks often lack ecological validity, it is unclear to what extent results from these tasks can be generalized to real-life situations. In change detection tasks, a brief interruption of the visual input (i.e., a blank interval or a scene cut) often results in undetected changes in the scene. This setup resembles real-life viewing behavior and is used here to increase ecological validity of the attentional task without compromising control over the stimuli presented. Spider-fearful and nonfearful women detected schematic spiders and flowers that were added to one of two identical background pictures that alternated with a brief blank in between them (i.e., flicker paradigm). Results showed that spider-fearful women detected spiders (but not flowers) faster than did nonfearful women. Because spiders and flowers had similar low-level features, these findings suggest that fear guides attention on the basis of object features rather than simple low-level features.

  12. Learning to avoid spiders: fear predicts performance, not competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xijia; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2018-01-05

    We used an immersive virtual environment to examine avoidance learning in spider-fearful participants. In 3 experiments, participants were asked to repeatedly lift one of 3 virtual boxes, under which either a toy car or a spider appeared and then approached the participant. Participants were not told that the probability of encountering a spider differed across boxes. When the difference was large (Exps. 1 and 2), spider-fearfuls learned to avoid spiders by lifting the few-spiders-box more often and the many-spiders-box less often than non-fearful controls did. However, they hardly managed to do so when the probability differences were small (Exp. 3), and they did not escape from threat more quickly (Exp. 2). In contrast to the observed performance differences, spider-fearfuls and non-fearfuls showed equal competence, that is comparable post-experimental knowledge about the probability to encounter spiders under the 3 boxes. The limitations and implications of the present study are discussed.

  13. Sex-specific kleptoparasitic foraging in ant-eating spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.; Pekar, Stano

    2009-01-01

    . To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the effect of sex and life history stage on the frequency of kleptoparasitism in ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion in the field. These spiders use a special capture technique involving a quick attack on an ant that is left unguarded by spiders for several minutes......, providing ample opportunities for kleptoparasitism. We found that adult females consistently hunted actively, while adult males ceased active prey capture and instead engaged in kleptoparasitism. Juvenile spiders were active hunters irrespective of sex. Consistent with an ontogenetic shift in foraging...

  14. Second-order nonlinear optical microscopy of spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yue; Hien, Khuat Thi Thu; Mizutani, Goro; Rutt, Harvey N.

    2017-06-01

    Asymmetric β-sheet protein structures in spider silk should induce nonlinear optical interaction such as second harmonic generation (SHG) which is experimentally observed for a radial line and dragline spider silk using an imaging femtosecond laser SHG microscope. By comparing different spider silks, we found that the SHG signal correlates with the existence of the protein β-sheets. Measurements of the polarization dependence of SHG from the dragline indicated that the β-sheet has a nonlinear response depending on the direction of the incident electric field. We propose a model of what orientation the β-sheet takes in spider silk.

  15. Headache and botulinum toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Porta, M.; Camerlingo, M.

    2005-01-01

    The authors discuss clinical and international experience about botulinum toxins (BTX types A and B) in headache treatment. Data from literature suggest good results for the treatment of tensiontype headache, migraine and chronic tension–type headache. In the present paper mechanisms of action and injection sites will also be discussed.

  16. Botulinum Toxin for Rhinitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozcan, Cengiz; Ismi, Onur

    2016-08-01

    Rhinitis is a common clinical entity. Besides nasal obstruction, itching, and sneezing, one of the most important symptoms of rhinitis is nasal hypersecretion produced by nasal glands and exudate from the nasal vascular bed. Allergic rhinitis is an IgE-mediated inflammatory reaction of nasal mucosa after exposure to environmental allergens. Idiopathic rhinitis describes rhinitis symptoms that occur after non-allergic, noninfectious irritants. Specific allergen avoidance, topical nasal decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, immunotherapy, and sinonasal surgery are the main treatment options. Because the current treatment modalities are not enough for reducing rhinorrhea in some patients, novel treatment options are required to solve this problem. Botulinum toxin is an exotoxin generated by Clostridium botulinum. It disturbs the signal transmission at the neuromuscular and neuroglandular junction by inhibiting the acetylcholine release from the presynaptic nerve terminal. It has been widely used in neuromuscular, hypersecretory, and autonomic nerve system disorders. There have been a lot of published articles concerning the effect of this toxin on rhinitis symptoms. Based on the results of these reports, intranasal botulinum toxin A administration appears to be a safe and effective treatment method for decreasing rhinitis symptoms in rhinitis patients with a long-lasting effect. Botulinum toxin type A will be a good treatment option for the chronic rhinitis patients who are resistant to other treatment methods.

  17. Diffusion of Botulinum Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A. Brodsky

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: It is generally agreed that diffusion of botulinum toxin occurs, but the extent of the spread and its clinical importance are disputed. Many factors have been suggested to play a role but which have the most clinical relevance is a subject of much discussion.Methods: This review discusses the variables affecting diffusion, including protein composition and molecular size as well as injection factors (e.g., volume, dose, injection method. It also discusses data on diffusion from comparative studies in animal models and human clinical trials that illustrate differences between the available botulinum toxin products (onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, incobotulinumtoxinA, and rimabotulinumtoxinB.Results: Neither molecular weight nor the presence of complexing proteins appears to affect diffusion; however, injection volume, concentration, and dose all play roles and are modifiable. Both animal and human studies show that botulinum toxin products are not interchangeable, and that some products are associated with greater diffusion and higher rates of diffusion-related adverse events than others.Discussion: Each of the botulinum toxins is a unique pharmacologic entity. A working knowledge of the different serotypes is essential to avoid unwanted diffusion-related adverse events. In addition, clinicians should be aware that the factors influencing diffusion may range from properties intrinsic to the drug to accurate muscle selection as well as dilution, volume, and dose injected.

  18. Topical Botulinum Toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Collins, Ashley; Nasir, Adnan

    2010-01-01

    Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing discipline that capitalizes on the unique properties of matter engineered on the nanoscale. Vehicles incorporating nanotechnology have led to great strides in drug delivery, allowing for increased active ingredient stability, bioavailability, and site-specific targeting. Botulinum toxin has historically been used for the correction of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as torticollis, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Recent dermatological indicati...

  19. A Novel Hyaluronidase from Brown Spider (Loxosceles intermedia) Venom (Dietrich's Hyaluronidase): From Cloning to Functional Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; de Mari, Thiago Lopes; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan Silva, Dilza; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Gremski, Waldemiro; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2013-01-01

    Loxoscelism is the designation given to clinical symptoms evoked by Loxosceles spider's bites. Clinical manifestations include skin necrosis with gravitational spreading and systemic disturbs. The venom contains several enzymatic toxins. Herein, we describe the cloning, expression, refolding and biological evaluation of a novel brown spider protein characterized as a hyaluronidase. Employing a venom gland cDNA library, we cloned a hyaluronidase (1200 bp cDNA) that encodes for a signal peptide and a mature protein. Amino acid alignment revealed a structural relationship with members of hyaluronidase family, such as scorpion and snake species. Recombinant hyaluronidase was expressed as N-terminal His-tag fusion protein (∼45 kDa) in inclusion bodies and activity was achieved using refolding. Immunoblot analysis showed that antibodies that recognize the recombinant protein cross-reacted with hyaluronidase from whole venom as well as an anti-venom serum reacted with recombinant protein. Recombinant hyaluronidase was able to degrade purified hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS), while dermatan sulfate (DS) and heparan sulfate (HS) were not affected. Zymograph experiments resulted in ∼45 kDa lytic zones in hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) substrates. Through in vivo experiments of dermonecrosis using rabbit skin, the recombinant hyaluronidase was shown to increase the dermonecrotic effect produced by recombinant dermonecrotic toxin from L. intermedia venom (LiRecDT1). These data support the hypothesis that hyaluronidase is a “spreading factor”. Recombinant hyaluronidase provides a useful tool for biotechnological ends. We propose the name Dietrich's Hyaluronidase for this enzyme, in honor of Professor Carl Peter von Dietrich, who dedicated his life to studying proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. PMID:23658852

  20. Harvesting Venom Toxins from Assassin Bugs and Other Heteropteran Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew Allan; Rosenthal, Max; Undheim, Eivind E A; King, Glenn F

    2018-04-21

    Heteropteran insects such as assassin bugs (Reduviidae) and giant water bugs (Belostomatidae) descended from a common predaceous and venomous ancestor, and the majority of extant heteropterans retain this trophic strategy. Some heteropterans have transitioned to feeding on vertebrate blood (such as the kissing bugs, Triatominae; and bed bugs, Cimicidae) while others have reverted to feeding on plants (most Pentatomomorpha). However, with the exception of saliva used by kissing bugs to facilitate blood-feeding, little is known about heteropteran venoms compared to the venoms of spiders, scorpions and snakes. One obstacle to the characterization of heteropteran venom toxins is the structure and function of the venom/labial glands, which are both morphologically complex and perform multiple biological roles (defense, prey capture, and extra-oral digestion). In this article, we describe three methods we have successfully used to collect heteropteran venoms. First, we present electrostimulation as a convenient way to collect venom that is often lethal when injected into prey animals, and which obviates contamination by glandular tissue. Second, we show that gentle harassment of animals is sufficient to produce venom extrusion from the proboscis and/or venom spitting in some groups of heteropterans. Third, we describe methods to harvest venom toxins by dissection of anaesthetized animals to obtain the venom glands. This method is complementary to other methods, as it may allow harvesting of toxins from taxa in which electrostimulation and harassment are ineffective. These protocols will enable researchers to harvest toxins from heteropteran insects for structure-function characterization and possible applications in medicine and agriculture.

  1. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee Shen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6, which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  2. Araneae Sloveniae: a national spider species checklist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostanjšek, Rok; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2015-01-01

    The research of the spider fauna of Slovenia dates back to the very beginning of binomial nomenclature, and has gone through more and less prolific phases with authors concentrating on taxonomy, faunistics, ecology and zoogeographic reviews. Although the body of published works is remarkable for a small nation, the faunistic data has remained too scattered for a thorough understanding of regional biotic diversity, for comparative and ecological research, and for informed conservation purposes. A national checklist is long overdue. Here, a critical review of all published records in any language is provided. The species list currently comprises 738 species, is published online at http://www.bioportal.si/katalog/araneae.php under the title Araneae Sloveniae, and will be updated in due course. This tool will fill the void in cataloguing regional spider faunas and will facilitate further araneological research in central and southern Europe.

  3. Logic circuits based on molecular spider systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Dandan; Lakin, Matthew R; Stefanovic, Darko

    2016-08-01

    Spatial locality brings the advantages of computation speed-up and sequence reuse to molecular computing. In particular, molecular walkers that undergo localized reactions are of interest for implementing logic computations at the nanoscale. We use molecular spider walkers to implement logic circuits. We develop an extended multi-spider model with a dynamic environment wherein signal transmission is triggered via localized reactions, and use this model to implement three basic gates (AND, OR, NOT) and a cascading mechanism. We develop an algorithm to automatically generate the layout of the circuit. We use a kinetic Monte Carlo algorithm to simulate circuit computations, and we analyze circuit complexity: our design scales linearly with formula size and has a logarithmic time complexity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Araneae Sloveniae: a national spider species checklist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rok Kostanjšek

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The research of the spider fauna of Slovenia dates back to the very beginning of binomial nomenclature, and has gone through more and less prolific phases with authors concentrating on taxonomy, faunistics, ecology and zoogeographic reviews. Although the body of published works is remarkable for a small nation, the faunistic data has remained too scattered for a thorough understanding of regional biotic diversity, for comparative and ecological research, and for informed conservation purposes. A national checklist is long overdue. Here, a critical review of all published records in any language is provided. The species list currently comprises 738 species, is published online at http://www.bioportal.si/katalog/araneae.php under the title Araneae Sloveniae, and will be updated in due course. This tool will fill the void in cataloguing regional spider faunas and will facilitate further araneological research in central and southern Europe.

  5. Nanofibre production in spiders without electric charge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joel, Anna-Christin; Baumgartner, Werner

    2017-06-15

    Technical nanofibre production is linked to high voltage, because nanofibres are typically produced by electrospinning. In contrast, spiders have evolved a way to produce nanofibres without high voltage. These spiders are called cribellate spiders and produce nanofibres within their capture thread production. It is suggested that their nanofibres become frictionally charged when brushed over a continuous area on the calamistrum, a comb-like structure at the metatarsus of the fourth leg. Although there are indications that electrostatic charges are involved in the formation of the thread structure, final proof is missing. We proposed three requirements to validate this hypothesis: (1) the removal of any charge during or after thread production has an influence on the structure of the thread; (2) the characteristic structure of the thread can be regenerated by charging; and (3) the thread is attracted to or repelled from differently charged objects. None of these three requirements were proven true. Furthermore, mathematical calculations reveal that even at low charges, the calculated structural assembly of the thread does not match the observed reality. Electrostatic forces are therefore not involved in the production of cribellate capture threads. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Progress on development of SPIDER diagnostics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasqualotto, R.; Agostini, M.; Barbisan, M.; Bernardi, M.; Brombin, M.; Cavazzana, R.; Croci, G.; Palma, M. Dalla; Delogu, R. S.; Gorini, G.; Lotto, L.; Muraro, A.; Peruzzo, S.; Pimazzoni, A.; Pomaro, N.; Rizzolo, A.; Serianni, G.; Spolaore, M.; Tardocchi, M.; Zaniol, B.; Zaupa, M.

    2017-08-01

    SPIDER experiment, the full size prototype of the beam source for the ITER heating neutral beam injector, has to demonstrate extraction and acceleration to 100 kV of a large negative ion hydrogen or deuterium beam with co-extracted electron fraction e-/D- SPIDER plant systems are being installed, the different diagnostic systems are in the procurement phase. Their final design is described here with a focus on some key solutions and most original and cost effective implementations. Thermocouples used to measure the power load distribution in the source and over the beam dump front surface will be efficiently fixed with proven technique and acquired through commercial and custom electronics. Spectroscopy needs to use well collimated lines of sight and will employ novel design spectrometers with higher efficiency and resolution and filtered detectors with custom built amplifiers. The electrostatic probes will be operated through electronics specifically developed to cope with the challenging environment of the RF source. The instrumented calorimeter STRIKE will use new CFC tiles, still under development. Two linear cameras, one built in house, have been tested as suitable for optical beam tomography. Some diagnostic components are off the shelf, others are custom developed: some of these are being prototyped or are under test before final production and installation, which will be completed before start of SPIDER operation.

  7. Toxins and drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Who is afraid of a black Spider(-Man)?

    OpenAIRE

    Ora C. McWilliams

    2013-01-01

    An Internet post asking about Spider-Man's race in a film turned into an Internet campaign about an actor that led fans to interact with each other as well as with the actor, which in turn led to the attention of media producers, which resulted in a change in Spider-Man's race in a print comic book.

  9. Who is afraid of a black Spider(-Man?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ora C. McWilliams

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available An Internet post asking about Spider-Man's race in a film turned into an Internet campaign about an actor that led fans to interact with each other as well as with the actor, which in turn led to the attention of media producers, which resulted in a change in Spider-Man's race in a print comic book.

  10. Spider diversity in relation to habitat heterogeneity and an altitudinal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Using pitfall traps, wandering spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) were sampled in a nested design from three different localities in the mountainous arid ecosystem of South Sinai at low, middle, and high altitudes. Habitat type and altitude were clearly different among the three localities. Spider diversity per trap varied spatially ...

  11. Time-dependent motor properties of multipedal molecular spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samii, Laleh; Blab, Gerhard A; Bromley, Elizabeth H C; Linke, Heiner; Curmi, Paul M G; Zuckermann, Martin J; Forde, Nancy R

    2011-09-01

    Molecular spiders are synthetic biomolecular walkers that use the asymmetry resulting from cleavage of their tracks to bias the direction of their stepping motion. Using Monte Carlo simulations that implement the Gillespie algorithm, we investigate the dependence of the biased motion of molecular spiders, along with binding time and processivity, on tunable experimental parameters, such as number of legs, span between the legs, and unbinding rate of a leg from a substrate site. We find that an increase in the number of legs increases the spiders' processivity and binding time but not their mean velocity. However, we can increase the mean velocity of spiders with simultaneous tuning of the span and the unbinding rate of a spider leg from a substrate site. To study the efficiency of molecular spiders, we introduce a time-dependent expression for the thermodynamic efficiency of a molecular motor, allowing us to account for the behavior of spider populations as a function of time. Based on this definition, we find that spiders exhibit transient motor function over time scales of many hours and have a maximum efficiency on the order of 1%, weak compared to other types of molecular motors.

  12. Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Raffel, Thomas R; Rohr, Jason R

    2010-10-07

    Several studies have demonstrated that competition between disparate taxa can be important in determining community structure, yet surprisingly, to our knowledge, no quantitative studies have been conducted on competition between carnivorous plants and animals. To examine potential competition between these taxa, we studied dietary and microhabitat overlap between pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in the field, and conducted a laboratory experiment examining the effects of wolf spiders on sundew fitness. In the field, we found that sundews and spiders had a high dietary overlap with each other and with the available arthropod prey. Associations between sundews and spiders depended on spatial scale: both sundews and spiders were found more frequently in quadrats with more abundant prey, but within quadrats, spiders constructed larger webs and located them further away from sundews as the total sundew trapping area increased, presumably to reduce competition. Spiders also constructed larger webs when fewer prey were available. In the laboratory, our experiment revealed that spiders can significantly reduce sundew fitness. Our findings suggest that members of the plant and animal kingdoms can and do compete.

  13. Are temperate canopy spiders tree-species specific?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupepele, Anne-Christine; Müller, Tobias; Dittrich, Marcus; Floren, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Arboreal spiders in deciduous and coniferous trees were investigated on their distribution and diversity. Insecticidal knock-down was used to comprehensively sample spiders from 175 trees from 2001 to 2003 in the Białowieża forest and three remote forests in Poland. We identified 140 species from 9273 adult spiders. Spider communities were distinguished between deciduous and coniferous trees. The richest fauna was collected from Quercus where beta diversity was also highest. A tree-species-specific pattern was clearly observed for Alnus, Carpinus, Picea and Pinus trees and also for those tree species that were fogged in only four or three replicates, namely Betula and Populus. This hitherto unrecognised association was mainly due to the community composition of common species identified in a Dufrene-Legendre indicator species analysis. It was not caused by spatial or temporal autocorrelation. Explaining tree-species specificity for generalist predators like spiders is difficult and has to involve physical and ecological tree parameters like linkage with the abundance of prey species. However, neither did we find a consistent correlation of prey group abundances with spiders nor could differences in spider guild composition explain the observed pattern. Our results hint towards the importance of deterministic mechanisms structuring communities of generalist canopy spiders although the casual relationship is not yet understood.

  14. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  15. Brain systems underlying encounter expectancy bias in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aue, Tatjana; Hoeppli, Marie-Eve; Piguet, Camille; Hofstetter, Christoph; Rieger, Sebastian W; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2015-06-01

    Spider-phobic individuals are characterized by exaggerated expectancies to be faced with spiders (so-called encounter expectancy bias). Whereas phobic responses have been linked to brain systems mediating fear, little is known about how the recruitment of these systems relates to exaggerated expectancies of threat. We used fMRI to examine spider-phobic and control participants while they imagined visiting different locations in a forest after having received background information about the likelihood of encountering different animals (spiders, snakes, and birds) at these locations. Critically, imagined encounter expectancies modulated brain responses differently in phobics as compared with controls. Phobics displayed stronger negative modulation of activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex by encounter expectancies for spiders, relative to snakes or birds (within-participants analysis); these effects were not seen in controls. Between-participants correlation analyses within the phobic group further corroborated the hypothesis that these phobia-specific modulations may underlie irrationality in encounter expectancies (deviations of encounter expectancies from objective background information) in spider phobia; the greater the negative modulation a phobic participant displayed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and visual cortex, the stronger was her bias in encounter expectancies for spiders. Interestingly, irrationality in expectancies reflected in frontal areas relied on right rather than left hemispheric deactivations. Our data accord with the idea that expectancy biases in spider phobia may reflect deficiencies in cognitive control and contextual integration that are mediated by right frontal and parietal areas.

  16. Spider mite control and resistance management: does a genome help?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Leeuwen, T.; Dermauw, W.; Grbic, M.; Tirry, L.; Feyereisen, R.

    2012-01-01

    The complete genome of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, has been reported. This is the first sequenced genome of a highly polyphagous and resistant agricultural pest. The question as to what the genome offers the community working on spider mite control is addressed.

  17. Three newly recorded Linyphiid spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae from Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Yeon Lee

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Three Linyphiid spiders, Caviphantes pseudosaxetorum Wunderlich, 1979, Erigone edentata Saito and Ono, 2001, and Savignia kawachiensis Oi, 1960, are reported for the first time from Korea with taxonomic illustrations and redescription. In this study, the genus Caviphantes Oi, 1960 is also newly recorded to Korean spider fauna.

  18. SPIDER: CMB Polarimetry from the Edge of Space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gualtieri, R.; et al.

    2017-11-28

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne instrument designed to map the polarization of the millimeter-wave sky at large angular scales. SPIDER targets the B-mode signature of primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), with a focus on mapping a large sky area with high fidelity at multiple frequencies. SPIDER's first longduration balloon (LDB) flight in January 2015 deployed a total of 2400 antenna-coupled Transition Edge Sensors (TESs) at 90 GHz and 150 GHz. In this work we review the design and in-flight performance of the SPIDER instrument, with a particular focus on the measured performance of the detectors and instrument in a space-like loading and radiation environment. SPIDER's second flight in December 2018 will incorporate payload upgrades and new receivers to map the sky at 285 GHz, providing valuable information for cleaning polarized dust emission from CMB maps.

  19. Nutrient regulation in a predator, the wolf spider Pardosa prativaga

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim; Mayntz, David; Toft, Søren

    2011-01-01

    Nutrient balancing is well known in herbivores and omnivores, but has only recently been demonstrated in predators. To test how a predator might regulate nutrients when the prey varies in nutrient composition, we restricted juvenile Pardosa prativaga wolf spiders to diets of one of six fruit fly......, Drosophila melanogaster, prey types varying in lipid:protein composition during their second instar. We collected all fly remnants to estimate food and nutrient intake over each meal. The spiders adjusted their capture rate and nutrient extraction in response to prey mass and nutrient composition...... irrespective of energy intake. Intake was initially regulated to a constant lipid plus protein mass, but later spiders fed on prey with high proportions of protein increased consumption relative to spiders fed on other prey types. This pattern indicates that the spiders were prepared to overconsume vast...

  20. Spiders of Kerala Agricultural University Campus, Thrissur, Kerala, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. K. Adarsh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 86 species of spiders belonging to 56 genera of 20 families have been recorded from the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU campus, Thrissur, Kerala, southern India.  This represents 5.1% of the total spiders’ species and 33.33% of the total families of spiders recorded in India.  The dominant spider family at KAU campus is Araneidae with 18 species of nine genera. Salticidae is represented by 14 species of 13 genera.  Out of 252 endemic spiders of India, 16 have been reported from KAU campus.  Guild structure analysis shows spiders belonging to seven types of feeding guilds present in KAU campus.  Orb-web builders are the dominant feeding guild accounting for 34%, followed by stalkers (22%, ground runners (20%, ambushers (8%, scattered line weavers (8%, foliage runners (7% and sheet-web builders (1%. 

  1. Purification of a neurotoxin from the venom of the 'armed spider' and synthesis of a radioactive probe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, Raquel Gouvea [INSERM, Marseille (France). Lab. Canaux Ioniques]|[Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Renterghem, Catherine Van; Mori, Yasuo; Martin-Moutot, Nicole; Mansuelle, Pascal; Sampieri, Francois; Seagar, Michel [INSERM, Marseille (France). Lab. Canaux Ioniques; Cordeiro, Marta Nascimento; Diniz, Carlos Ribeiro [FUNED - Fundacao Ezequiel Dias, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Lima, Maria Elena de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Lab. de Venenos e Toxinas Animais

    2002-07-01

    The venom of the 'armed spider', a South American spider from the genus Phoneutria contains several toxins that exert important biological effects. {omega}-Phonetoxin IIA ({omega}-PtxIIA) is a potent neurotoxin from this venom evoking flaccid paralysis and death after intracerebro-ventricular injection in mouse. This toxin blocks HVA calcium channels. Calcium channels have been shown to be important targets in neurological pathophysiology like ataxia and migraine. In order to shed more light on the mechanism of action of w-PtxIIA, we have purified this toxin to synthesize a radioactive probe. Crude venom was fractionated in three steps of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Spectrometric analysis of the purified fraction (causing flaccid paralysis) was recorded on a MALDI-TOF Perseptive Voyager Elite spectrometer and a 8363 kDa peptide was detected. After amino acid sequencing the purity of the peptide was confirmed and it was identified as {omega}-PtxIIA. {omega}-PtxIIA was radiolabeled with {sup 125} I using the lactoperoxidase as a oxidizing agent. The stability of the probe synthesized was verified by the binding studies on rat brain synaptosomal membranes. The specific and saturable binding of the {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA to the membranes indicate that the iodine introduced in the toxin molecule did not interfere with its activity. Native {omega}-PtxIIA competed with the {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA bound to the specific sites on synaptosomes (IC{sub 50}= 0.54 n M). In this paper we described a new and simpler purification protocol of the {omega}-PtxIIA and synthesized a probe that proved to be useful to study the mechanism of action of {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA. Selective toxins for calcium channel are very useful tools to the study of some neuronal pathophysiology. (author)

  2. Specific predictive power of automatic spider-related affective associations for controllable and uncontrollable fear responses toward spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijdlng, J; de Jong, PJ; Huijding, J.

    This study examined the predictive power of automatically activated spider-related affective associations for automatic and controllable fear responses. The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST; De Houwer, 2003) was used to indirectly assess automatic spider fear-related associations. The EAST and

  3. And along Came a Spider: An Attentional Bias for the Detection of Spiders in Young Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoBue, Vanessa

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are among the most common targets of fears and phobias in the world. In visual search tasks, adults detect their presence more rapidly than other kinds of stimuli. Reported here is an investigation of whether young children share this attentional bias for the detection of spiders. In a series of experiments, preschoolers and adults were…

  4. Solubilization of spider silk proteins and its structural analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osbin, K.; Jayan, Manuel; Bhadrakumari, S.; Predeep, P.

    2017-06-01

    This study investigates the presence of various amide bands present in different spider silk species, which provides extraordinary physical properties. Three different spider silks were collected from Western Ghats region. The collected spider silks samples belonging to the spider Heteropoda venatoria (species 1), Hersilia savignyi (species 2) and Pholcus phalangioides (species 3). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra reveals the protein peaks in the amide I, II, and III regions in all the three types of spider silk species.

  5. The Transmission Line for the SPIDER experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boldrin, Marco; De Lorenzi, Antonio; Recchia, Mauro; Toigo, Vanni; Bonicelli, Tullio; Simon, Muriel

    2011-01-01

    The 100 keV Ion Source Test facility - Source for the Production of Ions of Deuterium Extracted from RF plasma (SPIDER) - is aimed to test the full scale prototype of the Ion Source for the ITER 1 MeV Neutral Beam Injector (NBI). The SPIDER facility requires the construction of a High Voltage Deck (HVD) and of a High Voltage Transmission Line (TL) respectively to host the Ion Source Power Supplies system polarized at 100 kV and to carry the power and signal conductors to the beam accelerator. In already existing NBI systems with beam energy above 100 keV, the TL is realized with the SF 6 Gas Insulated Line technology. In the SPIDER TL case, the presence of a large inner conductor (half meter diameter), would make the pressurized TL a complex and costly component; therefore a free air insulated solution has been proposed. The paper focuses on the design of this TL, which has to host inside the complex high potential (100 kV) inner electrode a number of power and measuring conductors and has to minimize the Electro Magnetic Interferences (EMI) produced by the frequent grids breakdowns. Finite Element (FE) analyses have been performed to verify the configuration from the electrostatic point of view, to evaluate EMI screening effectiveness and to assess the impact of the relatively high thermal dissipation of power conductors located inside the high potential electrode. Moreover, an experimental test campaign has been carried out on a TL mockup to validate the TL electrostatic configuration under DC voltage. Finally, the paper reports on the status of procurement activities for the Transmission Line.

  6. The toxins of Cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patocka, J

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacteria, formerly called "blue-green algae", are simple, primitive photosynthetic microorganism wide occurrence in fresh, brackish and salt waters. Forty different genera of Cyanobacteria are known and many of them are producers of potent toxins responsible for a wide array of human illnesses, aquatic mammal and bird morbidity and mortality, and extensive fish kills. These cyanotoxins act as neurotoxins or hepatotoxins and are structurally and functionally diverse, and many are derived from unique biosynthetic pathways. All known cyanotoxins and their chemical and toxicological characteristics are presented in this article.

  7. Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wignall, Anne E; Taylor, Phillip W

    2011-05-07

    Assassin bugs (Stenolemus bituberus) hunt web-building spiders by invading the web and plucking the silk to generate vibrations that lure the resident spider into striking range. To test whether vibrations generated by bugs aggressively mimic the vibrations generated by insect prey, we compared the responses of spiders to bugs with how they responded to prey, courting male spiders and leaves falling into the web. We also analysed the associated vibrations. Similar spider orientation and approach behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from bugs and prey, whereas different behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from male spiders and leaves. Peak frequency and duration of vibrations generated by bugs were similar to those generated by prey and courting males. Further, vibrations from bugs had a temporal structure and amplitude that were similar to vibrations generated by leg and body movements of prey and distinctly different to vibrations from courting males or leaves, or prey beating their wings. To be an effective predator, bugs do not need to mimic the full range of prey vibrations. Instead bugs are general mimics of a subset of prey vibrations that fall within the range of vibrations classified by spiders as 'prey'.

  8. Cuticular antifungals in spiders: density- and condition dependence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel González-Tokman

    Full Text Available Animals living in groups face a high risk of disease contagion. In many arthropod species, cuticular antimicrobials constitute the first protective barrier that prevents infections. Here we report that group-living spiders produce cuticular chemicals which inhibit fungal growth. Given that cuticular antifungals may be costly to produce, we explored whether they can be modulated according to the risk of contagion (i.e. under high densities. For this purpose, we quantified cuticular antifungal activity in the subsocial crab spider Diaea ergandros in both natural nests and experimentally manipulated nests of varying density. We quantified the body-condition of spiders to test whether antifungal activity is condition dependent, as well as the effect of spider density on body-condition. We predicted cuticular antifungal activity to increase and body-condition to decrease with high spider densities, and that antifungal activity would be inversely related to body-condition. Contrary to our predictions, antifungal activity was neither density- nor condition-dependent. However, body-condition decreased with density in natural nests, but increased in experimental nests. We suggest that pathogen pressure is so important in nature that it maintains high levels of cuticular antifungal activity in spiders, impacting negatively on individual energetic condition. Future studies should identify the chemical structure of the isolated antifungal compounds in order to understand the physiological basis of a trade-off between disease prevention and energetic condition caused by group living, and its consequences in the evolution of sociality in spiders.

  9. Silk elasticity as a potential constraint on spider body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi

    2010-10-07

    Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Cuticular antifungals in spiders: density- and condition dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Tokman, Daniel; Ruch, Jasmin; Pulpitel, Tamara; Ponton, Fleur

    2014-01-01

    Animals living in groups face a high risk of disease contagion. In many arthropod species, cuticular antimicrobials constitute the first protective barrier that prevents infections. Here we report that group-living spiders produce cuticular chemicals which inhibit fungal growth. Given that cuticular antifungals may be costly to produce, we explored whether they can be modulated according to the risk of contagion (i.e. under high densities). For this purpose, we quantified cuticular antifungal activity in the subsocial crab spider Diaea ergandros in both natural nests and experimentally manipulated nests of varying density. We quantified the body-condition of spiders to test whether antifungal activity is condition dependent, as well as the effect of spider density on body-condition. We predicted cuticular antifungal activity to increase and body-condition to decrease with high spider densities, and that antifungal activity would be inversely related to body-condition. Contrary to our predictions, antifungal activity was neither density- nor condition-dependent. However, body-condition decreased with density in natural nests, but increased in experimental nests. We suggest that pathogen pressure is so important in nature that it maintains high levels of cuticular antifungal activity in spiders, impacting negatively on individual energetic condition. Future studies should identify the chemical structure of the isolated antifungal compounds in order to understand the physiological basis of a trade-off between disease prevention and energetic condition caused by group living, and its consequences in the evolution of sociality in spiders.

  11. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. (Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton (Canada))

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  12. Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-11-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility . It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  13. First report of clinical presentation of a bite by a running spider, Philodromus sp. (Araneae: Philodromidae), with recommendations for spider bite management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coetzee, Maureen; Dippenaar, Ansie; Frean, John; Hunt, Richard H

    2017-06-30

    This article describes the clinical progression of symptoms over a period of 5 days of a bite inflicted by a Philodromus sp. spider. Commonly known as 'running spiders', these are not considered to be harmful to humans. This report, however, is the first description of an actual bite by a member of this group of spiders showing cytotoxic envenomation. Management of the bites should be as recommended for other cytotoxic spider bites.

  14. Structure-function-property-design interplay in biopolymers: spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L

    2014-04-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Inhibition of the spider heartbeat by gravity and vibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finck, A.

    1984-01-01

    The rate and vigor of the spider heartbeat is controlled by an external pacemaker. A mechanical feature of the spider cardio-vascular system is the production of high serum pressure in the prosoma and the legs. This appears to be the source for leg extension. The lyriform organ on the patella of the leg is sensitive to vibratory and kinesthetic stimuli. This sensitivity depends upon the degree of leg extension. Thus the activity of the heart and the response characteristics of the sense receptor are related. The effect of a supra-threshold vibratory or gravitational stimulus is to produce an inhibition and a tachycardia of the spider heartbeat.

  16. Spider silk reinforced by graphene or carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepore, Emiliano; Bosia, Federico; Bonaccorso, Francesco; Bruna, Matteo; Taioli, Simone; Garberoglio, Giovanni; Ferrari, Andrea C.; Pugno, Nicola Maria

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk has promising mechanical properties, since it conjugates high strength (~1.5 GPa) and toughness (~150 J g-1). Here, we report the production of silk incorporating graphene and carbon nanotubes by spider spinning, after feeding spiders with the corresponding aqueous dispersions. We observe an increment of the mechanical properties with respect to pristine silk, up to a fracture strength ~5.4 GPa and a toughness modulus ~1570 J g-1. This approach could be extended to other biological systems and lead to a new class of artificially modified biological, or ‘bionic’, materials.

  17. Colonization of subterranean habitats by spiders in Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlastimil Růžička

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Using data from the Czech Republic, we studied the distribution of spiders in soils, crevice systems, scree and caves, i.e. subterranean habitats at depths spanning from 10 cm to 100 m. In total, we found 161 species. The number of species declines with increasing habitat depth, with a major drop in species richness at the depth of 10 meters. Thirteen species exhibit morphological adaptations to life in subterranean habitats. At depths greater than 10 meters, spider assemblages are almost exclusively composed of troglomorphic species. We propose a hypothesis of evolution of troglomorphisms at spiders during Quaternary climatic cycles.

  18. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Benhar

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin.

  19. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  20. Free amino acids in spider hemolymph.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillinghast, Edward K; Townley, Mark A

    2008-11-01

    We examined the free amino acid composition of hemolymph from representatives of five spider families with an interest in knowing if the amino acid profile in the hemolymph of orb-web-building spiders reflects the high demands for small organic compounds in the sticky droplets of their webs. In nearly all analyses, on both orb and non-orb builders, glutamine was the most abundant free amino acid. Glycine, taurine, proline, histidine, and alanine also tended to be well-represented in orb and non-orb builders. While indications of taxon-specific differences in amino acid composition were observed, it was not apparent that two presumptive precursors (glutamine, taurine) of orb web sticky droplet compounds were uniquely enriched in araneids (orb builders). However, total amino acid concentrations were invariably highest in the araneids and especially so in overwintering juveniles, even as several of the essential amino acids declined during this winter diapause. Comparing the data from this study with those from earlier studies revealed a number of discrepancies. The possible origins of these differences are discussed.

  1. Intracellular recording from a spider vibration receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingl, Ewald; Burger, Anna-M; Barth, Friedrich G

    2006-05-01

    The present study introduces a new preparation of a spider vibration receptor that allows intracellular recording of responses to natural mechanical or electrical stimulation of the associated mechanoreceptor cells. The spider vibration receptor is a lyriform slit sense organ made up of 21 cuticular slits located on the distal end of the metatarsus of each walking leg. The organ is stimulated when the tarsus receives substrate vibrations, which it transmits to the organ's cuticular structures, reducing the displacement to about one tenth due to geometrical reasons. Current clamp recording was used to record action potentials generated by electrical or mechanical stimuli. Square pulse stimulation identified two groups of sensory cells, the first being single-spike cells which generated only one or two action potentials and the second being multi-spike cells which produced bursts of action potentials. When the more natural mechanical sinusoidal stimulation was applied, differences in adaptation rate between the two cell types remained. In agreement with prior extracellular recordings, both cell types showed a decrease in the threshold tarsus deflection with increasing stimulus frequency. Off-responses to mechanical stimuli have also been seen in the metatarsal organ for the first time.

  2. Spectral sensitivity of a colour changing spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defrize, Jérémy; Lazzari, Claudio R; Warrant, Eric J; Casas, Jérôme

    2011-04-01

    Vision plays a paramount role in some spider families such as the Salticidae, Lycosidae and Thomisidae, as it is involved in prey hunting, orientation or choice of substrate. In the thomisid Misumena vatia, for which the substrate colour affects the body colour, vision seems to mediate morphological colour changes. However, nothing is known about which component of visual signals from the substrate might be perceived, nor whether M. vatia possesses the physiological basis for colour vision. The aim of this study is thus to investigate the vision of this spider species by measuring the spectral sensitivities of the different pairs of eyes using electrophysiological methods. Extra- and intracellular electrophysiological recordings combined with selective adaptation revealed the presence of two classes of photoreceptor cells, one sensitive in the UV region of the spectrum (around 340 nm) and one sensitive in the green (around 520 nm) regions in the four pairs of eyes. We conclude that M. vatia possesses the physiological potential to perceive both chromatic and achromatic components of the environment. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Spiders (Araneae) Found in Bananas and Other International Cargo Submitted to North American Arachnologists for Identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Crawford, Rodney L; Buckle, Donald J

    2014-11-01

    Spiders found in international cargo brought into North America are sometimes submitted to arachnologists for identification. Often, these spiders are presumed to be of medical importance because of size or a submitter's familiarity with a toxic spider genus from the continent of origin. Starting in 2006, requests were made for spiders found in international cargo brought into North America, in addition to the specimens from similar cargo shipments already in our museum collections. This was an ad hoc study that allowed us to focus on spiders of concern to the discoverer. We identified 135 spiders found in international cargo. A key for the most common species is provided. The most frequently submitted spiders were the pantropical huntsman spider, Heteropoda venatoria (L.) (Sparassidae), and the redfaced banana spider, Cupiennius chiapanensis Medina Soriano (Ctenidae). Spiders of medical importance were rare. The most common cargo from which spiders were submitted was bananas with most specimens coming from Central America, Ecuador, or Colombia. Lack of experience with nonnative fauna caused several experienced American arachnologists to misidentify harmless ctenid spiders (C. chiapanensis, spotlegged banana spider, Cupiennius getazi Simon) as highly toxic Phoneutria spiders. These misidentifications could have led to costly, unwarranted prophylactic eradication measures, unnecessary employee health education, heightened employee anxiety and spoilage when perishable goods are left unloaded due to safety concerns. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  4. Phylogenomics resolves a spider backbone phylogeny and rejects a prevailing paradigm for orb web evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Jason E; Garrison, Nicole L; Hamilton, Chris A; Godwin, Rebecca L; Hedin, Marshal; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2014-08-04

    Spiders represent an ancient predatory lineage known for their extraordinary biomaterials, including venoms and silks. These adaptations make spiders key arthropod predators in most terrestrial ecosystems. Despite ecological, biomedical, and biomaterial importance, relationships among major spider lineages remain unresolved or poorly supported. Current working hypotheses for a spider "backbone" phylogeny are largely based on morphological evidence, as most molecular markers currently employed are generally inadequate for resolving deeper-level relationships. We present here a phylogenomic analysis of spiders including taxa representing all major spider lineages. Our robust phylogenetic hypothesis recovers some fundamental and uncontroversial spider clades, but rejects the prevailing paradigm of a monophyletic Orbiculariae, the most diverse lineage, containing orb-weaving spiders. Based on our results, the orb web either evolved much earlier than previously hypothesized and is ancestral for a majority of spiders or else it has multiple independent origins, as hypothesized by precladistic authors. Cribellate deinopoid orb weavers that use mechanically adhesive silk are more closely related to a diverse clade of mostly webless spiders than to the araneoid orb-weaving spiders that use adhesive droplet silks. The fundamental shift in our understanding of spider phylogeny proposed here has broad implications for interpreting the evolution of spiders, their remarkable biomaterials, and a key extended phenotype--the spider web. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L.

    1990-01-01

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site

  6. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. (Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Bethesda, MD (USA))

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

  7. Vision in the nocturnal wandering spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae: Sparassidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Thomas; Nilsson, Dan-Eric; Henschel, Joh R

    2008-01-01

    At night the Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola performs long-distance homing across its sand dune habitat. By disabling all or pairs of the spiders' eight eyes we found that homing ability was severely reduced when vision was fully abolished. Vision, therefore, seems to play a key role...... in the posterior and anteriomedian eyes, and at approximately 540 nm in the anteriolateral eyes. Theoretical calculations of photon catches showed that the eyes are likely to employ a combination of spatial and temporal pooling in order to function at night. Under starlit conditions, the raw spatial and temporal...... resolution of the eyes is insufficient for detecting any visual information on structures in the landscape, and bright stars would be the only objects visible to the spiders. However, by summation in space and time, the spiders can rescue enough vision to detect coarse landscape structures. We show that L...

  8. 46 SPIDER WEBS AS INDICATORS OF COBALT AND LEAD ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Spider webs were collected from the indoor and outdoor of 120 sampling sites of 10 zones of Kano ... diet, cobalt containing ceramic is administered into ... significant human and environmental health risk. ..... Evaluation of Health Workers.

  9. Genetic diversity analysis of various red spider mite- resistant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    2011-05-02

    May 2, 2011 ... 3Key Laboratory of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an, 625014, P. R. ... Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) is a DNA ..... spider mite-resistant, bumper, high-quality and disease-.

  10. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R [Department of Physics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia); Herberstein, M E, E-mail: deb.kane@mq.edu.a [Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia)

    2010-09-15

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  11. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, Liang; Hedhammar, My; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus; Johansson, Jan; Habibovic, Pamela; van Blitterswijk, Clemens

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently,

  12. Peculiar torsion dynamical response of spider dragline silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dabiao; Yu, Longteng; He, Yuming; Peng, Kai; Liu, Jie; Guan, Juan; Dunstan, D. J.

    2017-07-01

    The torsional properties of spider dragline silks from Nephila edulis and Nephila pilipes spiders are investigated by using a torsion pendulum technique. A permanent torsional deformation is observed after even small torsional strain. This behaviour is quite different from that of the other materials tested here, i.e., carbon fiber, thin metallic wires, Kevlar fiber, and human hair. The spider dragline thus displays a strong energy dissipation upon the initial excitation (around 75% for small strains and more for a larger strain), which correspondingly reduces the amplitude of subsequent oscillations around the new equilibrium position. The variation of torsional stiffness in relaxation dynamics of spider draglines for different excitations is also determined. The experimental result is interpreted in the light of the hierarchical structure of dragline silk.

  13. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R; Herberstein, M E

    2010-01-01

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  14. SPIDER: Probing the dawn of time from above the clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moncelsi, Lorenzo; Spider Collaboration

    2017-11-01

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne microwave polarimeter designed to measure cosmological B-modes on degree angular scales in the presence of Galactic foregrounds. With six independent telescopes housing a total of 2000 detectors in the 90 GHz and 150 GHz frequency bands, SPIDER is the most instantaneously-sensitive CMB polarimeter deployed on the sky to date. SPIDER was successfully launched from McMurdo Station, Antarctica in January 2015 and acquired science data for 16 days. We cover the in-flight performance and present highlights from the ongoing data-analysis. After a successful recovery, the SPIDER team is planning the next flight, featuring one foreground-optimized channel at 280GHz, which will allow us constrain the primordial tensor-mode amplitude at the level of r < 0.03 (99% CL), in the presence of foregrounds.

  15. Evolution of stenophagy in spiders (Araneae): evidence based on the comparative analysis of spider diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, Stano; Coddington, Jonathan A; Blackledge, Todd A

    2012-03-01

    Stenophagy (narrow diet breadth) represents an extreme of trophic specialization in carnivores, but little is known about the forces driving its evolution. We used spiders, the most diversified group of terrestrial predators, to investigate whether stenophagy (1) promoted diversification; (2) was phylogenetically conserved and evolutionarily derived state; and (3) was determined either by geographical distribution and foraging guild. We used published data on the prey of almost 600 species. Six categories of stenophagy were found: myrmecophagy, araneophagy, lepidopterophagy, termitophagy, dipterophagy, and crustaceophagy. We found that the species diversity of euryphagous genera and families was similar to stenophagous genera and families. At the family level, stenophagy evolved repeatedly and independently. Within families, the basal condition was oligophagy or euryphagy. Most types of stenophagy were clearly derived: myrmecophagy in Zodariidae; lepidopterophagy in Araneidae; dipterophagy in Theridiidae. In contrast, araneophagy was confined to basal and intermediate lineages, suggesting its ancestral condition. The diet breadth of species from the tropics and subtropics was less diverse than species from the temperate zone. Diet breadth was lower in cursorial spiders compared to web-building species. Thus, the evolution of stenophagy in spiders appears to be complex and governed by phylogeny as well as by ecological determinants. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Thin Film Assembly of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Shipley, N. H.; Lewis, R. V. Int. J. Biol.Macromol. 1999, 24, 271. (c) Thiel, B. L.; Guess, K. B.; Viney, C. Biopolymers 1997, 41, 703. (13) Silk ...Film Assembly of Spider Silk -like Block Copolymers Sreevidhya T. Krishnaji,†,‡ Wenwen Huang,§ Olena Rabotyagova,†,‡ Eugenia Kharlampieva, ) Ikjun Choi...Received November 26, 2010 We report the self-assembly of monolayers of spider silk -like block copolymers. Langmuir isotherms were obtained for a series of

  17. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Starrett

    Full Text Available Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers, from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'. Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs, is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow. In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders, which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae. We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid

  18. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  19. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Stories Español Eye Health / Eye Health A-Z Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Sections Botulinum Toxin (Botox) ... Facial Wrinkles How Does Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Work? Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Leer en Español: La ...

  20. Sample limited characterization of a novel disulfide-rich venom peptide toxin from terebrid marine snail Terebra variegata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prachi Anand

    Full Text Available Disulfide-rich peptide toxins found in the secretions of venomous organisms such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, leeches, and marine snails are highly efficient and effective tools for novel therapeutic drug development. Venom peptide toxins have been used extensively to characterize ion channels in the nervous system and platelet aggregation in haemostatic systems. A significant hurdle in characterizing disulfide-rich peptide toxins from venomous animals is obtaining significant quantities needed for sequence and structural analyses. Presented here is a strategy for the structural characterization of venom peptide toxins from sample limited (4 ng specimens via direct mass spectrometry sequencing, chemical synthesis and NMR structure elucidation. Using this integrated approach, venom peptide Tv1 from Terebra variegata was discovered. Tv1 displays a unique fold not witnessed in prior snail neuropeptides. The novel structural features found for Tv1 suggest that the terebrid pool of peptide toxins may target different neuronal agents with varying specificities compared to previously characterized snail neuropeptides.

  1. Dramatic expansion of the black widow toxin arsenal uncovered by multi-tissue transcriptomics and venom proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, Robert A; Ayoub, Nadia A; Clarke, Thomas H; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-06-11

    Animal venoms attract enormous interest given their potential for pharmacological discovery and understanding the evolution of natural chemistries. Next-generation transcriptomics and proteomics provide unparalleled, but underexploited, capabilities for venom characterization. We combined multi-tissue RNA-Seq with mass spectrometry and bioinformatic analyses to determine venom gland specific transcripts and venom proteins from the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) and investigated their evolution. We estimated expression of 97,217 L. hesperus transcripts in venom glands relative to silk and cephalothorax tissues. We identified 695 venom gland specific transcripts (VSTs), many of which BLAST and GO term analyses indicate may function as toxins or their delivery agents. ~38% of VSTs had BLAST hits, including latrotoxins, inhibitor cystine knot toxins, CRISPs, hyaluronidases, chitinase, and proteases, and 59% of VSTs had predicted protein domains. Latrotoxins are venom toxins that cause massive neurotransmitter release from vertebrate or invertebrate neurons. We discovered ≥ 20 divergent latrotoxin paralogs expressed in L. hesperus venom glands, significantly increasing this biomedically important family. Mass spectrometry of L. hesperus venom identified 49 proteins from VSTs, 24 of which BLAST to toxins. Phylogenetic analyses showed venom gland specific gene family expansions and shifts in tissue expression. Quantitative expression analyses comparing multiple tissues are necessary to identify venom gland specific transcripts. We present a black widow venom specific exome that uncovers a trove of diverse toxins and associated proteins, suggesting a dynamic evolutionary history. This justifies a reevaluation of the functional activities of black widow venom in light of its emerging complexity.

  2. Early Cretaceous greenhouse pumped higher taxa diversification in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Lili; Li, Shuqiang

    2018-05-24

    The Cretaceous experienced one of the most remarkable greenhouse periods in geological history. During this time, ecosystem reorganizations significantly impacted the diversification of many groups of organisms. The rise of angiosperms marked a major biome turnover. Notwithstanding, relatively little remains known about how the Cretaceous global ecosystem impacted the evolution of spiders, which constitute one of the most abundant groups of predators. Herein, we evaluate the transcriptomes of 91 taxa representing more than half of the spider families. We add 23 newly sequenced taxa to the existing database to obtain a robust phylogenomic assessment. Phylogenetic reconstructions using different datasets and methods obtain novel placements of some groups, especially in the Synspermiata and the group having a retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA). Molecular analyses indicate an expansion of the RTA clade at the Early Cretaceous with a hunting predatory strategy shift. Fossil analyses show a 7-fold increase of diversification rate at the same period, but this likely owes to the first occurrences spider in amber deposits. Additional analyses of fossil abundance show an accumulation of spider lineages in the Early Cretaceous. We speculate that the establishment of a warm greenhouse climate pumped the diversification of spiders, in particular among webless forms tracking the abundance of insect prey. Our study offers a new pathway for future investigations of spider phylogeny and diversification. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Impact of prescribed burning on a heathland inhabiting spider community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krause, Rolf Harald

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Heathlands can provide refuge for many stenotopic and endangered arthropods, if habitat management practices are applied. A management measure that is rarely being used today, but which has the potential to support diversity of arthropod communities, is prescribed burning. In this study we investigated the effects of prescribed burning on spider assemblages on a burned site with Calluna vulgaris in the nature reserve Lueneburg Heath, northwest Germany. We used pitfall trapping with a sampling design of 39 traps over a period of one year and 17 sampling intervals on a burned and a control site. We compared overall species richness, activity abundance patterns and community composition of the two sites, with a particular focus on stenotopic and endangered species. We collected 5116 adult spiders and 99 species altogether in a relatively small sampling area. This number of species represents nearly one third of the regional species pool of heathland spider species. Twelve species occurred exclusively on the burned site in contrast to 28 species exclusively found on the unburned site. Although we found more than twice as many spider individuals and higher mean species richness on the control site than on the burned site, the species richness of red-listed spiders was higher on the burned site. Especially the fact that we found 24 endangered species on the burned site and only 20 on the control site indicates that the applied measure of prescribed burning can foster certain endangered spider species and contribute to preserving the overall biodiversity of heathland ecosystems.

  4. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  5. Bio Warfare and Terrorism: Toxins and Other Mid-Spectrum Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Madsen, James M

    2005-01-01

    ... counterparts are still by definition toxins. Related terms include phycotoxins (toxins from algae), mycotoxins (fungal toxins), phytotoxins (plant toxins), and venoms (toxins from animals, especially vertebrates...

  6. Phobic spider fear is associated with enhanced attentional capture by spider pictures: a rapid serial presentation event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W; Franken, Ingmar H A; Huijding, Jorg

    2009-03-04

    The early posterior negativity (EPN) reflects early selective visual processing of emotionally significant information. This study explored the association between fear of spiders and the EPN for spider pictures. Fifty women completed a Spider Phobia Questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 600 neutral, 600 negatively valenced emotional, and 600 spider pictures (three pictures per second). The EPN was scored as the mean activity in the 225-300-ms time window at lateral occipital electrodes. Participants with higher scores on the phobia questionnaire showed larger (i.e. more negative) EPN amplitudes in response to spider pictures. The results suggest that the attentional capture of spider-related stimuli is an automatic response, which is modulated by the extent of spider fear.

  7. Atomistic model of the spider silk nanostructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-04-01

    Spider silk is an ultrastrong and extensible self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms the mechanical characteristics of many synthetic materials including steel. Here we report atomic-level structures that represent aggregates of MaSp1 proteins from the N. Clavipes silk sequence based on a bottom-up computational approach using replica exchange molecular dynamics. We discover that poly-alanine regions predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains while disorderly structures are formed by poly-glycine repeats, resembling 31-helices. These could be the molecular source of the large semicrystalline fraction observed in silks, and also form the basis of the so-called "prestretched" molecular configuration. Our structures are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content.

  8. The phylogeny of fossil whip spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Knecht, Brian J; Hegna, Thomas A

    2017-04-21

    Arachnids are a highly successful group of land-dwelling arthropods. They are major contributors to modern terrestrial ecosystems, and have a deep evolutionary history. Whip spiders (Arachnida, Amblypygi), are one of the smaller arachnid orders with ca. 190 living species. Here we restudy one of the oldest fossil representatives of the group, Graeophonus anglicus Pocock, 1911 from the Late Carboniferous (Duckmantian, ca. 315 Ma) British Middle Coal Measures of the West Midlands, UK. Using X-ray microtomography, our principal aim was to resolve details of the limbs and mouthparts which would allow us to test whether this fossil belongs in the extant, relict family Paracharontidae; represented today by a single, blind species Paracharon caecus Hansen, 1921. Tomography reveals several novel and significant character states for G. anglicus; most notably in the chelicerae, pedipalps and walking legs. These allowed it to be scored into a phylogenetic analysis together with the recently described Paracharonopsis cambayensis Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from the Eocene (ca. 52 Ma) Cambay amber, and Kronocharon prendinii Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from Cretaceous (ca. 99 Ma) Burmese amber. We recovered relationships of the form ((Graeophonus (Paracharonopsis + Paracharon)) + (Charinus (Stygophrynus (Kronocharon (Charon (Musicodamon + Paraphrynus)))))). This tree largely reflects Peter Weygoldt's 1996 classification with its basic split into Paleoamblypygi and Euamblypygi lineages; we were able to score several of his characters for the first time in fossils. Our analysis draws into question the monophyly of the family Charontidae. Our data suggest that Graeophonus is a crown group amblypygid, and falls within a monophyletic Paleoamblypgi clade, but outside the family Paracharontidae (= Paracharonopsis + Paracharon). Our results also suggest a new placement for the Burmese amber genus Kronocharon, a node further down from its original position. Overall, we offer a

  9. Botulinum toxin in trigeminal neuralgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Álvarez, Federico; Hernando de la Bárcena, Ignacio; Marzo-Sola, María Eugenia

    2017-01-06

    Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most disabling facial pain syndromes, with a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Pharmacotherapy is the first choice for treatment but cases of drug resistance often require new strategies, among which various interventional treatments have been used. In recent years a new therapeutic strategy consisting of botulinum toxin has emerged, with promising results. We reviewed clinical cases and case series, open-label studies and randomized clinical trials examining the use of botulinum toxin for drug-refractory trigeminal neuralgia published in the literature. The administration of botulinum toxin has proven to be a safe and effective therapeutic strategy in patients with drug-refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia, but many questions remain unanswered as to the precise role of botulinum toxin in the treatment of this disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  10. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Itai Benhar; Assaf Shapira

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmac...

  11. Riparian spiders as sentinels of PCB contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems. However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the ...

  12. Research on Artificial Spider Web Model for Farmland Wireless Sensor Network

    OpenAIRE

    Jun Wang; Song Gao; Shimin Zhao; Guang Hu; Xiaoli Zhang; Guowang Xie

    2018-01-01

    Through systematic analysis of the structural characteristics and invulnerability of spider web, this paper explores the possibility of combining the advantages of spider web such as network robustness and invulnerability with farmland wireless sensor network. A universally applicable definition and mathematical model of artificial spider web structure are established. The comparison between artificial spider web and traditional networks is discussed in detail. The simulation result shows tha...

  13. Science 101: Why Don't Spiders Stick to Their Own Webs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bill

    2011-01-01

    This article explains why spiders don't stick to their webs. Spiders don't get stuck in their own webs (and they aren't immune to their own glue) because they use a combination of sticky and nonsticky threads (different glands for producing those), and the glue is in droplets that the spider can avoid but the prey can't. The spider's nervous…

  14. Ineffective crypsis in a crab spider: a prey community perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brechbühl, Rolf; Casas, Jérôme; Bacher, Sven

    2010-03-07

    Cryptic coloration is assumed to be beneficial to predators because of an increased encounter rate with unwary prey. This hypothesis is, however, very rarely, if ever, studied in the field. The aim of this study was to quantify the encounter rate and capture success of an ambush predator, in the field, as a function of its level of colour-matching with the background. We used the crab spider Misumena vatia, which varies its body colour and can thereby match the colour of the flower it hunts upon. We carried out a manipulative field experiment using a complete factorial design resulting in six different colour combinations of crab spiders and flowers differing in their degree of colour-matching. A rich and diverse set of naturally occurring insects visited the flowers while we continuously video-recorded the spider's foraging activity. This enabled us to test the crypsis, the spider avoidance and the flower visitor attraction hypotheses, all three supported by previous studies. Flower visitors of different groups either avoided crab spiders independent of colour-matching, such as solitary bees and syrphid flies, or ignored them, such as bumble-bees and honeybees. Moreover, colour-matched spiders did not have a higher encounter rate and capture success compared to the visually apparent ones. Thus, our results support the spider avoidance hypothesis, reject the two other hypotheses and uncovered a fourth behaviour: indifference to predators. Because flower visitors reacted differently, a community approach is mandatory in order to understand the function of background colour-matching in generalist predators. We discuss our results in relation to the size and sociality of the prey and in relation to the functional significance of colour change in this predator.

  15. Molecular Evolution of Spider Vision: New Opportunities, Familiar Players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morehouse, Nathan I; Buschbeck, Elke K; Zurek, Daniel B; Steck, Mireille; Porter, Megan L

    2017-08-01

    Spiders are among the world's most species-rich animal lineages, and their visual systems are likewise highly diverse. These modular visual systems, composed of four pairs of image-forming "camera" eyes, have taken on a huge variety of forms, exhibiting variation in eye size, eye placement, image resolution, and field of view, as well as sensitivity to color, polarization, light levels, and motion cues. However, despite this conspicuous diversity, our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of these visual systems remains shallow. Here, we review the current literature, analyze publicly available transcriptomic data, and discuss hypotheses about the origins and development of spider eyes. Our efforts highlight that there are many new things to discover from spider eyes, and yet these opportunities are set against a backdrop of deep homology with other arthropod lineages. For example, many (but not all) of the genes that appear important for early eye development in spiders are familiar players known from the developmental networks of other model systems (e.g., Drosophila). Similarly, our analyses of opsins and related phototransduction genes suggest that spider photoreceptors employ many of the same genes and molecular mechanisms known from other arthropods, with a hypothesized ancestral spider set of four visual and four nonvisual opsins. This deep homology provides a number of useful footholds into new work on spider vision and the molecular basis of its extant variety. We therefore discuss what some of these first steps might be in the hopes of convincing others to join us in studying the vision of these fascinating creatures.

  16. First report of clinical presentation of a bite by a running spider ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article describes the clinical progression of symptoms over a period of 5 days of a bite inflicted by a Philodromus sp. spider. Commonly known as 'running spiders', these are not considered to be harmful to humans. This report, however, is the first description of an actual bite by a member of this group of spiders ...

  17. Salticid predation as one potential driving force of ant mimicry in jumping spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jin-Nan; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Li, Daiqin; Tso, I-Min

    2011-01-01

    Many spiders possess myrmecomorphy, and species of the jumping spider genus Myrmarachne exhibit nearly perfect ant mimicry. Most salticids are diurnal predators with unusually high visual acuity that prey on various arthropods, including conspecifics. In this study, we tested whether predation pressure from large jumping spiders is one possible driving force of perfect ant mimicry in jumping spiders. The results showed that small non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders were readily treated as prey by large ones (no matter whether heterospecific or conspecific) and suffered high attack and mortality rates. The size difference between small and large jumping spiders significantly affected the outcomes of predatory interactions between them: the smaller the juvenile jumping spiders, the higher the predation risk from large ones. The attack and mortality rates of ant-mimicking jumping spiders were significantly lower than those of non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders, indicating that a resemblance to ants could provide protection against salticid predation. However, results of multivariate behavioural analyses showed that the responses of large jumping spiders to ants and ant-mimicking salticids differed significantly. Results of this study indicate that predation pressure from large jumping spiders might be one selection force driving the evolution of nearly perfect myrmecomorphy in spiders and other arthropods. PMID:20961898

  18. High School Students' Attitudes towards Spiders: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Pavol; Tolarovicova, Andrea; Camerik, Anne M.; Peterkova, Viera

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are traditionally considered to be among the least popular of animals. Current evidence suggests that a negative attitude towards spiders could be influenced by both cultural and evolutionary pressures. Some researchers suggest that science education activities could positively influence students' perceptions of spiders. Their evidence is,…

  19. SPIDER: Probing the Early Universe with a Suborbital Polarimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraisse, Aurélien A.; SPIDER Collaboration

    2012-01-01

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne polarimeter designed to detect a divergence-free polarization pattern ("B-modes") in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). In the inflationary scenario, the spectrum of the tensor perturbations that generate this signal is proportional to that of the primordial scalar perturbations through the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. The expected level of systematic error in the SPIDER instrument is significantly below the amplitude of an interesting cosmological B-mode signal with r=0.03. An optimized scanning strategy enables us to minimize uncertainty in the reconstruction of the Stokes parameters used to characterize the CMB, while providing access to a relatively wide range of angular scales. In the SPIDER field, the polarized emission from interstellar dust is as bright or brighter than the cosmological r=0.03 B-mode signal at all SPIDER frequencies (90, 150, and 280 GHz), a situation similar to that found in the "Southern Hole." Despite this foreground contamination, two 20-day flights of the SPIDER instrument will constrain the amplitude of the B-mode signal to rAPRA-NNX07AL64G), the National Science Foundation (ANT-1043515), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Support in Canada is provided by NSERC, the Canadian Space Agency, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and CIFAR.

  20. Spider Silk as Guiding Biomaterial for Human Model Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2 model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  1. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A [Department of Tissue Regeneration, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands); Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan [Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Biomedical Centre, Box 575, 751 23 Uppsala (Sweden); Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus [Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, S-751 21 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2010-08-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  2. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A; Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  3. Arachnid aloft: directed aerial descent in neotropical canopy spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2015-09-06

    The behaviour of directed aerial descent has been described for numerous taxa of wingless hexapods as they fall from the tropical rainforest canopy, but is not known in other terrestrial arthropods. Here, we describe similar controlled aerial behaviours for large arboreal spiders in the genus Selenops (Selenopidae). We dropped 59 such spiders from either canopy platforms or tree crowns in Panama and Peru; the majority (93%) directed their aerial trajectories towards and then landed upon nearby tree trunks. Following initial dorsoventral righting when necessary, falling spiders oriented themselves and then translated head-first towards targets; directional changes were correlated with bilaterally asymmetric motions of the anterolaterally extended forelegs. Aerial performance (i.e. the glide index) decreased with increasing body mass and wing loading, but not with projected surface area of the spider. Along with the occurrence of directed aerial descent in ants, jumping bristletails, and other wingless hexapods, this discovery of targeted gliding in selenopid spiders further indicates strong selective pressures against uncontrolled falls into the understory for arboreal taxa. © 2015 The Author(s).

  4. Detection and phylogenetic analysis of bacteriophage WO in spiders (Araneae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qian; Qiao, Huping; Gao, Jin; Yun, Yueli; Liu, Fengxiang; Peng, Yu

    2015-11-01

    Phage WO is a bacteriophage found in Wolbachia. Herein, we represent the first phylogenetic study of WOs that infect spiders (Araneae). Seven species of spiders (Araneus alternidens, Nephila clavata, Hylyphantes graminicola, Prosoponoides sinensis, Pholcus crypticolens, Coleosoma octomaculatum, and Nurscia albofasciata) from six families were infected by Wolbachia and WO, followed by comprehensive sequence analysis. Interestingly, WO could be only detected Wolbachia-infected spiders. The relative infection rates of those seven species of spiders were 75, 100, 88.9, 100, 62.5, 72.7, and 100 %, respectively. Our results indicated that both Wolbachia and WO were found in three different body parts of N. clavata, and WO could be passed to the next generation of H. graminicola by vertical transmission. There were three different sequences for WO infected in A. alternidens and two different WO sequences from C. octomaculatum. Only one sequence of WO was found for the other five species of spiders. The discovered sequence of WO ranged from 239 to 311 bp. Phylogenetic tree was generated using maximum likelihood (ML) based on the orf7 gene sequences. According to the phylogenetic tree, WOs in N. clavata and H. graminicola were clustered in the same group. WOs from A. alternidens (WAlt1) and C. octomaculatum (WOct2) were closely related to another clade, whereas WO in P. sinensis was classified as a sole cluster.

  5. Endemic harvestmen and spiders of Austria (Arachnida: Opiliones, Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Komposch, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive overview of plant, fungus and animal species of Austria revealed a total of 748 endemic and subendemic species, including, 11 harvestman and 46 spider species. Altogether two endemic harvestmen (Nemastoma bidentatum relictum, Nemastoma schuelleri and 8 endemic spiders (Abacoproeces molestus, Collinsia (caliginosa nemenziana, Mughiphantes severus, Mughiphantes styriacus, Pelecopsis alpica, Scotophaeus nanus, Troglohyphantes novicordis, Troglohyphantes tauriscus, beside 9 subendemic harvestman and 38 subendemic spider species have been recorded from Austria. Hot-spots of endemism in the Eastern Alps are the north-eastern (Ennstaler Alps and southern Calcareous Alps (Karawanken, Karnische Alps and the Central Alps (Hohe Tauern, Gurktaler Alps, Ötztaler and Stubaier Alps. Most of the endemic arachnid species occur from the nival down to the montane zone. Important habitats are rocky areas, caves and woodlands. High absolute numbers and percentages of endemics can be found within the harvestman families Cladonychiidae, Ischyropsalididae and Nemastomatidae and in the spider genera Lepthyphantes s. l. and Troglohyphantes. The conservation status of these highly endangered taxa – 85 % of the spider species and 100 % of the harvestman taxa are endangered in Austria – is poor.

  6. Radiation Safety System for SPIDER Neutral Beam Accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandri, S.; Poggi, C.; Coniglio, A.; D'Arienzo, M.

    2011-01-01

    SPIDER (Source for Production of Ion of Deuterium Extracted from RF Plasma only) and MITICA (Megavolt ITER Injector Concept Advanced) are the ITER neutral beam injector (NBI) testing facilities of the PRIMA (Padova Research Injector Megavolt Accelerated) Center. Both injectors accelerate negative deuterium ions with a maximum energy of 1 MeV for MITICA and 100 keV for SPIDER with a maximum beam current of 40 A for both experiments. The SPIDER facility is classified in Italy as a particle accelerator. At present, the design of the radiation safety system for the facility has been completed and the relevant reports have been presented to the Italian regulatory authorities. Before SPIDER can operate, approval must be obtained from the Italian Regulatory Authority Board (IRAB) following a detailed licensing process. In the present work, the main project information and criteria for the SPIDER injector source are reported together with the analysis of hypothetical accidental situations and safety issues considerations. Neutron and photon nuclear analysis is presented, along with special shielding solutions designed to meet Italian regulatory dose limits. The contribution of activated corrosion products (ACP) to external exposure of workers has also been assessed. Nuclear analysis indicates that the photon contribution to worker external exposure is negligible, and the neutron dose can be considered by far the main radiation protection issue. Our results confirm that the injector has no important radiological impact on the population living around the facility.

  7. Effects of attention manipulations on motivated attention to feared and nonfeared negative distracters in spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norberg, Joakim; Wiens, Stefan

    2013-11-09

    When people view emotional and neutral pictures, the emotional pictures capture more attention than do neutral pictures. In support, studies with event-related potentials have shown that the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP) to emotional versus neutral pictures are enhanced when pictures are attended. However, this motivated attention decreases when voluntary attention is directed away from the pictures. Most previous studies included only generally emotional pictures of either negative or positive valence. Because people with spider fear report intense fear of spiders, we examined whether directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention less strongly for spiders than for generally negative distracters. We recorded event-related potentials from 128 channels to study whether manipulations of attention (i.e., spatial attention and perceptual load) decrease the EPN and the LPP to emotional distracters less strongly for spiders than for fear-irrelevant negative pictures in people with spider fear. Results confirmed that the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) were particularly enhanced in participants with spider fear compared to participants without spider fear. When attention was directed away from the pictures, the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) decreased similarly in fearful and nonfearful participants. Further, in fearful participants, the decrease in the EPN and the LPP was similar for spiders and for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. Our findings suggest that for people with spider fear, directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention to these distracters similarly for spiders as for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. These findings imply that attention to spiders in spider fear does not exceed the level of attention expected from the spider pictures' high arousal and negative valence (i.e., their intrinsic

  8. Botulinum toxin in pain treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colhado, Orlando Carlos Gomes; Boeing, Marcelo; Ortega, Luciano Bornia

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) is one of the most potent bacterial toxins known and its effectiveness in the treatment of some pain syndromes is well known. However, the efficacy of some of its indications is still in the process of being confirmed. The objective of this study was to review the history, pharmacological properties, and clinical applications of BTX in the treatment of pain of different origins. Botulinum toxin is produced by fermentation of Clostridium botulinum, a Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium. Commercially, BTX comes in two presentations, types A and B. Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin with high affinity for cholinergic synapses, blocks the release of acetylcholine by nerve endings without interfering with neuronal conduction of electrical signals or synthesis and storage of acetylcholine. It has been proven that BTX can selectively weaken painful muscles, interrupting the spasm-pain cycle. Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of BTX-A in the treatment of tension headaches, migraines, chronic lumbar pain, and myofascial pain. Botulinum toxin type A is well tolerated in the treatment of chronic pain disorders in which pharmacotherapy regimens can cause side effects. The reduction in the consumption of analgesics and length of action of 3 to 4 months per dose represent other advantages of its use. However, further studies are necessary to establish the efficacy of BTX-A in chronic pain disorders and its exact mechanism of action, as well as its potential in multifactorial treatments.

  9. Subsocial behaviour and brood adoption in mixed-species colonies of two theridiid spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinsted, Lena; Agnarsson, Ingi; Bilde, Trine

    2012-01-01

    Cooperation and group living often evolves through kin selection. However, associations between unrelated organisms, such as different species, can evolve if both parties benefit from the interaction. Group living is rare in spiders, but occurs in cooperative, permanently social spiders, as well...... as in territorial, colonial spiders. Mixed species spider colonies, involving closely related species, have rarely been documented. We examined social interactions in newly discovered mixed-species colonies of theridiid spiders on Bali, Indonesia. Our aim was to test the degree of intra- and interspecific tolerance...

  10. Biochemical and Functional Characterization of Parawixia bistriata Spider Venom with Potential Proteolytic and Larvicidal Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Gizeli S.; Coutinho-Neto, Antonio; Kayano, Anderson M.; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Trindade, Frances; de Almeida e Silva, Alexandre; Marcussi, Silvana; da Silva, Saulo L.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.

    2014-01-01

    Toxins purified from the venom of spiders have high potential to be studied pharmacologically and biochemically. These biomolecules may have biotechnological and therapeutic applications. This study aimed to evaluate the protein content of Parawixia bistriata venom and functionally characterize its proteins that have potential for biotechnological applications. The crude venom showed no phospholipase, hemorrhagic, or anti-Leishmania activities attesting to low genotoxicity and discrete antifungal activity for C. albicans. However the following activities were observed: anticoagulation, edema, myotoxicity and proteolysis on casein, azo-collagen, and fibrinogen. The chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles of the proteins revealed a predominance of acidic, neutral, and polar proteins, highlighting the presence of proteins with high molecular masses. Five fractions were collected using cation exchange chromatography, with the P4 fraction standing out as that of the highest purity. All fractions showed proteolytic activity. The crude venom and fractions P1, P2, and P3 showed larvicidal effects on A. aegypti. Fraction P4 showed the presence of a possible metalloprotease (60 kDa) that has high proteolytic activity on azo-collagen and was inhibited by EDTA. The results presented in this study demonstrate the presence of proteins in the venom of P. bistriata with potential for biotechnological applications. PMID:24895632

  11. Influence of spider silk on refugia preferences of the recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa and Loxosceles laeta (Araneae: Sicariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-06-01

    In a previous experimental study, recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae) preferred small cardboard refugia covered with conspecific silk compared with never-occupied refugia. Herein, we investigated some factors that might be responsible for this preference using similar cardboard refugia. When the two Loxosceles species were given choices between refugia previously occupied by their own and by the congeneric species, neither showed a species-specific preference; however, each chose refugia coated with conspecific silk rather than those previously inhabited by a distantly related cribellate spider, Metaltella simoni (Keyserling). When L. laeta spiders were offered refugia that were freshly removed from silk donors compared with heated, aged refugia from the same silk donor, older refugia were preferred. Solvent extracts of L. laeta silk were chosen approximately as often as control refugia when a range of solvents (methylene chloride:methanol, water, and hexane) were used. However, when acetone was used on similar silk, there was a statistical preference for the control, indicating that there might be a mildly repellent aspect to acetone-washed silk. Considering the inability to show attraction to chemical aspects of fresh silk, it seems that physical attributes may be more important for selection and that there might be repellency to silk of a recently vacated spider. These findings are discussed in regard to pest management strategies to control recluse spiders.

  12. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Wenjin; Liu, Shengjie; Yang, Xiaodong; Li, Daiqin; Lei, Chaoliang

    2015-09-24

    A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjin Gan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

  14. Multivariable control of a rolling spider drone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Haifeng

    The research and application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been a hot topic recently. A UAV is dened as an aircraft which is designed not to carry a human pilot or operated with remote electronic input by the flight controller. In this thesis, the design of a control system for a quadcopter named Rolling Spider Drone is conducted. The thesis work presents the design of two kinds of controllers that can control the Drone to keep it balanced and track different kinds of input trajectories. The nonlinear mathematical model for the Drone is derived by the Newton-Euler method. The rotational subsystem and translational system are derived to describe the attitude and position motion of Drone. Techniques from linear control theory are employed to linearize the highly coupled and nonlinear quadcopter plant around equilibrium points and apply the linear feedback controller to stabilize the system. The controller is a digital tracking system that deploys LQR for system stability design. Fixed gain and adaptive gain scheduled controllers are developed and compared with different LQR weights. Step references and reference trajectories involving signicant variation for the yaw angle in the xy-plane and three-dimensional spaces are tracked in the simulation. The physical implementation and an output feedback controller are considered for future work.

  15. Efficient Journaling for the Spider Storage System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oral, H Sarp [ORNL; Wang, Feiyi [ORNL; Shipman, Galen M [ORNL; Dillow, David A [ORNL; Miller, Ross G [ORNL; Drokin, Oleg [ORNL

    2003-01-01

    Journaling is a widely used technique to increase file system robustness against meta data and/or data corruptions. While the overhead of journaling can be negligible for small-scale file systems, we found that two aspects of local back-end file system journaling significantly lower the overall performance of a large-scale parallel file system such as Lustre: extra head seeks and serialization of incoming client requests. Journal transactions reside on a separate area of the disk that the file data, and each commit of the journal requires a head seek. Incoming client requests become serialized and take a latency hit by waiting for a commit to occur before the reply is sent. In this paper we present two different approaches to increase the local back-end file system journaling efficiency, thus increasing the overall aggregate parallel file system efficiency. First, we present a hardware-based solution where a solid-state device is used as an external journaling device to minimize the disk head seek. Second, we introduce a software-based optimization to allow asynchronously commit multiple journal transactions on the local back-end file system to minimize the penalty of serialization. Both our solutions are experimentally tested on Oak Ridge National Laboratory's large-scale Spider storage system and our tests show that both methods nearly double the overall parallel write performance.

  16. Recombinant Spider Silks—Biopolymers with Potential for Future Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Scheibel

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Nature has evolved a range of materials that compete with man-made materials in physical properties; one of these is spider silk. Silk is a fibrous material that exhibits extremely high strength and toughness with regard to its low density. In this review we discuss the molecular structure of spider silk and how this understanding has allowed the development of recombinant silk proteins that mimic the properties of natural spider silks. Additionally, we will explore the material morphologies and the applications of these proteins. Finally, we will look at attempts to combine the silk structure with chemical polymers and how the structure of silk has inspired the engineering of novel polymers.

  17. Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs based on Spider Pyriform Silk Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-03-01

    Among the variety of silks produced by spiders, pyriform silk is used in conjunction with the dragline silk to attach webs to different surfaces. Cob weaver spiders employ different architectural patterns to utilize the pyriform silk and form attachment joints with each pattern having a characteristic adhesive performance. The staple pin architecture is a one of the strongest attachment designs employed by spiders to attach their webs. Here we use a synthetic approach to create the a similar patterned architecture attachment discs on aluminum substrate using thermoplastic polyurethane. Measurable pull off forces are generated when the synthetic discs are peeled off a surface. This innovative adhesive strategy can be a source of design in various biomedical applications. Financial Support from National Science Foundation.

  18. Final design of thermal diagnostic system in SPIDER ion source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brombin, M., E-mail: matteo.brombin@igi.cnr.it; Dalla Palma, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Pomaro, N. [Consorzio RFX, Corso Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy)

    2016-11-15

    The prototype radio frequency source of the ITER heating neutral beams will be first tested in SPIDER test facility to optimize H{sup −} production, cesium dynamics, and overall plasma characteristics. Several diagnostics will allow to fully characterise the beam in terms of uniformity and divergence and the source, besides supporting a safe and controlled operation. In particular, thermal measurements will be used for beam monitoring and system protection. SPIDER will be instrumented with mineral insulated cable thermocouples, both on the grids, on other components of the beam source, and on the rear side of the beam dump water cooled elements. This paper deals with the final design and the technical specification of the thermal sensor diagnostic for SPIDER. In particular the layout of the diagnostic, together with the sensors distribution in the different components, the cables routing and the conditioning and acquisition cubicles are described.

  19. Small Molecules from Spiders Used as Chemical Probes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Christian Adam; Kristensen, Anders S.; Strømgaard, Kristian

    2011-01-01

    Spiders are important species in ecological systems and as major predators of insects they are endowed with a plethora of low‐molecular‐weight natural products having intriguing biological activities. The isolation and biological characterization of these entities are well established, however......, only very recently have these compounds been used as templates for the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of synthetic analogues. In contrast, the investigation of compounds responsible for chemical communication between spiders is far less developed, but recently new light has been shed onto...... the area of pheromones and allomones from spiders. Herein, we recapitulate these recent results, put them into perspective with previous findings, and provide an outlook for future studies of these chemotypes....

  20. Spider Silk Processing for Spidroin Recovery from Crossopriza Lyoni Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohtar, J. A.; Ooi, W. L.; Yusuf, F.

    2018-03-01

    Spider silk is a potential biomaterial that can be used in various applications for its outstanding physicomechanical properties attributed by the spidroin composition. Efforts for commercializing spider silks have been mainly focused on the characterization of spidroins from the Entelegyne spiders for exceptional fibre construction. Hence, studies on silk proteins from the Haplogyne species remain neglected. The aim of this study is to isolate spidroin from Crossopriza lyoni web. Silk processing involved the pretreatment of fibres for the shell layer removal from the surface. A screening study was conducted to analyze the effect of temperature, incubation time and agitation speed on spidroin extraction using Ajisawa’s reagent by OFAT analysis followed by statistical optimization of the extraction process via RSM for maximal protein recovery. All parameters exerted significant effect on spidroin recovery (pspider silk to meet the demand for a variety of silk-based products in the near future.

  1. Final design of thermal diagnostic system in SPIDER ion source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brombin, M.; Dalla Palma, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Pomaro, N.

    2016-01-01

    The prototype radio frequency source of the ITER heating neutral beams will be first tested in SPIDER test facility to optimize H"− production, cesium dynamics, and overall plasma characteristics. Several diagnostics will allow to fully characterise the beam in terms of uniformity and divergence and the source, besides supporting a safe and controlled operation. In particular, thermal measurements will be used for beam monitoring and system protection. SPIDER will be instrumented with mineral insulated cable thermocouples, both on the grids, on other components of the beam source, and on the rear side of the beam dump water cooled elements. This paper deals with the final design and the technical specification of the thermal sensor diagnostic for SPIDER. In particular the layout of the diagnostic, together with the sensors distribution in the different components, the cables routing and the conditioning and acquisition cubicles are described.

  2. Analysis for the brazing deformation of AFA3G spider

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Feng

    2015-01-01

    Spider, the key component of the AFA3G cluster control assemblies (RCCA), is brazed with body, vanes and fingers. Vacuum brazing is crucial in the spider process and it is directly relevant to the final product quality. This paper analyze the deformation of the AFA3G spider in vacuum brazing procedure based on a large amount of data. The results indicate that the parallelism of the finger is most affected by the brazing and its deformation has obvious regularity. Deformation is mainly caused by the different contraction directions of components along with the interactions among them during cooling process. An optimized design of the brazing fixture based on the regularity and the value of the deformation greatly improves the parallelism of the fingers. Besides, the vacuum brazing procedure also affects the hole diameter of the finger, however, we could reduce the deformation by using columnar pin on the brazing fixture. (author)

  3. Entry of Shiga toxin into cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvig, Kirsten; van Deurs, Bo

    1994-01-01

    Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport......Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport...

  4. Inhibition of cholera toxin and other AB toxins by polyphenolic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    All AB-type protein toxins have intracellular targets despite an initial extracellular location. These toxins use different methods to reach the cytosol and have different effects on the target cell. Broad-spectrum inhibitors against AB toxins are therefore hard to develop because the toxins use dif...

  5. Spider fauna of semiarid eastern Colorado agroecosystems: diversity, abundance, and effects of crop intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerzicnik, Lauren M; Peairs, Frank B; Cushing, Paula E; Draney, Michael L; Merrill, Scott C

    2013-02-01

    Spiders are critical predators in agroecosystems. Crop management practices can influence predator density and diversity, which, in turn, can influence pest management strategies. Crop intensification is a sustainable agricultural technique that can enhance crop production although optimizing soil moisture. To date, there is no information on how crop intensification affects natural enemy populations, particularly spiders. This study had two objectives: to characterize the abundance and diversity of spiders in eastern Colorado agroecosystems, and to test the hypothesis that spider diversity and density would be higher in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in crop-intensified rotations compared with wheat in conventional rotations. We collected spiders through pitfall, vacuum, and lookdown sampling from 2002 to 2007 to test these objectives. Over 11,000 spiders in 19 families from 119 species were captured from all sampling techniques. Interestingly, the hunting spider guild represented 89% of the spider fauna captured from all sites with the families Gnaphosidae and Lycosidae representing 75% of these spiders. Compared with European agroecosystems, these agroecosystems had greater diversity, which can be beneficial for the biological control of pests. Overall, spider densities were low in these semiarid cropping systems, and crop intensification effects on spider densities were not evident at this scale.

  6. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  7. An image filtering technique for SPIDER visible tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fonnesu, N., E-mail: nicola.fonnesu@igi.cnr.it; Agostini, M.; Brombin, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Serianni, G. [Consorzio RFX, Associazione EURATOM-ENEA sulla Fusione, Corso Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy)

    2014-02-15

    The tomographic diagnostic developed for the beam generated in the SPIDER facility (100 keV, 50 A prototype negative ion source of ITER neutral beam injector) will characterize the two-dimensional particle density distribution of the beam. The simulations described in the paper show that instrumental noise has a large influence on the maximum achievable resolution of the diagnostic. To reduce its impact on beam pattern reconstruction, a filtering technique has been adapted and implemented in the tomography code. This technique is applied to the simulated tomographic reconstruction of the SPIDER beam, and the main results are reported.

  8. An image filtering technique for SPIDER visible tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fonnesu, N.; Agostini, M.; Brombin, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Serianni, G.

    2014-01-01

    The tomographic diagnostic developed for the beam generated in the SPIDER facility (100 keV, 50 A prototype negative ion source of ITER neutral beam injector) will characterize the two-dimensional particle density distribution of the beam. The simulations described in the paper show that instrumental noise has a large influence on the maximum achievable resolution of the diagnostic. To reduce its impact on beam pattern reconstruction, a filtering technique has been adapted and implemented in the tomography code. This technique is applied to the simulated tomographic reconstruction of the SPIDER beam, and the main results are reported

  9. Volatile compounds from leaves of the African spider plant (Gynandropsis gynandra) with bioactivity against spider mite (Tetranychus urticae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyalala, Samuel Odeyo; Petersen, Mikael Agerlin; Grout, Brian William Wilson

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that Gynandropsis gynandra emits acetonitrile as a foliar volatile from intact plants and isolated leaves, and that this compound is an effective spider mite repellent. This study has used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to investigate volatile compounds...... emitted from homogenised G. gynandra leaves to evaluate their tissue acetonitrile content and to look for other compounds that might be exploited for the management of spider mites. Acetonitrile was absent from the homogenised tissues of five lines of G. gynandra, studied over two seasons. Thirteen...... volatile compounds were emitted by G. gynandra at significantly higher levels than mite-susceptible pot roses, including isothiocyanates, aldehydes, esters, alcohols and terpenes. Six representative compounds were selected to assess bioactivity. Spider mite populations were completely inactive after a 2¿h...

  10. [Environmental toxins in breast milk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratlid, Dag

    2009-12-17

    Breast milk is very important to ensure infants a well-composed and safe diet during the first year of life. However, the quality of breast milk seems to be affected by an increasing amount of environmental toxins (particularly so-called Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxins [PBTs]). Many concerns have been raised about the negative effects this may have on infant health. The article is a review of literature (mainly review articles) identified through a non-systematic search in PubMed. The concentration of PBTs in breast milk is mainly caused by man's position as the terminal link in the nutritional chain. Many breast-fed infants have a daily intake of such toxins that exceed limits defined for the population in general. Animal studies demonstrate effects on endocrine function and neurotoxicity in the offspring, and a number of human studies seem to point in the same direction. However the "original" optimal composition of breast milk still seems to protect against long-term effects of such toxicity. There is international consensus about the need to monitor breast milk for the presence of PBTs. Such surveillance will be a good indicator of the population's general exposure to these toxins and may also contribute to identifying groups as risk who should not breast-feed their children for a long time.

  11. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rex Munday

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved.

  12. Food irradiation and bacterial toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tranter, H.S.; Modi, N.K.; Hambleton, P.; Melling, J.; Rose, S.; Stringer, M.F.

    1987-01-01

    The authors' findings indicate that irradiation confers no advantage over heat processing in respect of bacterial toxins (clostridium botulinum, neurotoxin A and staphylococcal enterotoxin A). It follows that irradiation at doses less than the ACINF recommended upper limit of 10 kGy could not be used to improve the ambient temperature shelf life on non-acid foods. (author)

  13. Botulinum toxin for vaginismus treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Juliana Rocha; Souza, Renan Pedra

    2012-01-01

    Vaginismus is characterized by recurrent or persistent involuntary contraction of the perineal muscles surrounding the outer third of the vagina when penile, finger, tampon, or speculum penetration is attempted. Recent results have suggested the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of vaginismus. Here, we assessed previously published data to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of botulinum toxin for vaginismus. We have carried out a systematic review followed by a meta-analysis. Our results indicate that botulinum toxin is an effective therapeutic option for patients with vaginismus (pooled odds ratio of 8.723 with 95% confidence interval limits of 1.942 and 39.162, p = 0.005). This may hold particularly true in treatment-refractory patients because most of the studies included in this meta-analysis have enrolled these subjects in their primary analysis. Botulinum toxin appears to bea reasonable intervention for vaginismus. However, this conclusion should be read carefully because of the deficiency of placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials and the quality issues presented in the existing ones.

  14. Shigella Sonnei and Shiga Toxin

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2016-07-28

    Katherine Lamba, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health, discusses Shiga Toxin producing Shigella sonnei.  Created: 7/28/2016 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 7/28/2016.

  15. variability in condensed tannins and bitterness in spider plant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACSS

    Spider plant (Cleome gynandra L.) contributes considerably to the nutrition and medicines of communities in southern Africa. However, its utilisation is limited by its bitterness caused by condensed tannins. Unfortunately, processing options that reduce the bitterness also remove nutritionally and medicinally useful ...

  16. Crab spiders (Araeneae: Philodromidae, Thomisidae) of Ramsey County, Minnesota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel. T. Jennings; Bruce Cutler

    1996-01-01

    Crab spiders of 2 families, 10 genera, and 35 species were collected over a 31-year period in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Rarely collected species included Philodromus keyserlingi, Xysticus pellax, X. chippewa, X. banksi and X. alboniger. Identification source(s), season and collection frequency, and biology are summarized for each species.

  17. Biological control of fruit-tree red spider mite

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rabbinge, R.

    1976-01-01

    During the last decade, integrated pest control systems have been developed for several crops. One of the main fields of research in integrated control has been the control of orchard pests. Experience with modified spraying programmes in apple orchards, the increasing resistance of spider

  18. Inactivation of complement by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebel, H M; Finke, J H; Elgert, K D; Cambell, B J; Barrett, J T

    1979-07-01

    Zymosan depletion of serum complement in guinea pigs rendered them highly resistant to lesion by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom. Guinea pigs deficient in C4 of the complement system are as sensitive to the venom as normal guinea pigs. The injection of 35 micrograms of whole recluse venom intradermally into guinea pigs lowered their complement level by 35.7%. Brown recluse spider venom in concentrations as slight as 0.02 micrograms protein/ml can totally inactivate one CH50 of guinea pig complement in vitro. Bee, scorpion, and other spider venoms had no influence on the hemolytic titer of complement. Fractionation of recluse spider venom by Sephadex G-200 filtration separated the complement-inactivating property of the venom into three major regions which could be distinguished on the basis of heat stability as well as size. None was neutralized by antivenom. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of venom resolved the complement inactivators into five fractions. Complement inactivated by whole venom or the Sephadex fractions could be restored to hemolytic activity by supplements of fresh serum but not by heat-inactivated serum, pure C3, pure C5, or C3 and C5 in combination.

  19. Effects of Packaging and Storage Conditions on Quality of Spider ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development ... However, quality of spider plant seed is affected by one or more factors that cause negative ... The purpose of this research was to increase insight into how the seed quality of ...

  20. Spiders (Araneae) as polyphagous natural enemies in orchards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogya, S.

    1999-01-01

    Spiders (Araneae) occur in high abundance in all terrestrial ecosystems including agro-ecosystems. They are a very heterogeneous group of animals with different hunting tactics and therefore they play very different ecological roles. At family level these tactics are rather similar thus

  1. Competition between introduced and native spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, J.D.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The European sheet-web spider Linyphia triangularis (Araneae: Linyphiidae) has become established in Maine, where it often reaches very high densities. Two lines of evidence from previous work suggest that L. triangularis affects populations of the native linyphiid spider Frontinella communis. First, F. communis individuals are relatively scarce in both forest and coastal habitat where L. triangularis is common, but more common where L. triangularis is at low density. Second, in field experiments, F. communis species are less likely to settle in experimental plots when L. triangularis is present, and F. communis disappears from study plots when L. triangularis is introduced. Here we test two mechanisms that may underlie these patterns. First, we tested whether L. triangularis invades and usurps the webs of F. communis. When spiders were released onto webs of heterospecifics, L. triangularis was more likely to take over or share webs of F. communis than the reverse. We also observed natural takeovers of F. communis webs. Second, we explored the hypothesis that L. triangularis reduces prey availability for native species. We sampled flying prey in areas with L. triangularis and those where it had been removed, and found no effect of spider presence on measured prey density. We also found no effect of prey supplementation on web tenacity in F. communis, suggesting that F. communis movements are not highly dependent on prey availability. We conclude that web takeover is likely more important than prey reduction in driving negative effects of L. triangularis on F. communis.

  2. Determination of PCDDs in spider webs: preliminary studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybak, Justyna; Rutkowski, Radosław

    2018-01-01

    The application of spider webs for determination of polichlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs) has been studied for the first time. The aim of the studies was to find out if spider webs are suitable for such examinations as it was proved in the previous research they are excellent indicators of air pollutants. Spiders are ubiquitous, thus collection of samples is easy and non-invasive. Studies were conducted within the city of Wrocław and surroundings, one of the biggest and at the same time heaviest polluted city in Poland. Five research sites have been chosen, where spider webs were collected after 60 days of continuous exposure time. Webs belonging to two genera Tegenaria sylvestris and Tegenaria ferruginea (family Agelenidae) have been chosen as they are large and very dense, thus they are very suitable for such examinations. Webs were found to retain dioxins probably mainly by external exposure. These promising results should be continued and expanded in the future research.

  3. The ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility towards SPIDER operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toigo, V.; Dal Bello, S.; Gaio, E.; Luchetta, A.; Pasqualotto, R.; Zaccaria, P.; Bigi, M.; Chitarin, G.; Marcuzzi, D.; Pomaro, N.; Serianni, G.; Agostinetti, P.; Agostini, M.; Antoni, V.; Aprile, D.; Baltador, C.; Barbisan, M.; Battistella, M.; Boldrin, M.; Brombin, M.; Dalla Palma, M.; De Lorenzi, A.; Delogu, R.; De Muri, M.; Fellin, F.; Ferro, A.; Gambetta, G.; Grando, L.; Jain, P.; Maistrello, A.; Manduchi, G.; Marconato, N.; Pavei, M.; Peruzzo, S.; Pilan, N.; Pimazzoni, A.; Piovan, R.; Recchia, M.; Rizzolo, A.; Sartori, E.; Siragusa, M.; Spada, E.; Spagnolo, S.; Spolaore, M.; Taliercio, C.; Valente, M.; Veltri, P.; Zamengo, A.; Zaniol, B.; Zanotto, L.; Zaupa, M.; Boilson, D.; Graceffa, J.; Svensson, L.; Schunke, B.; Decamps, H.; Urbani, M.; Kushwah, M.; Chareyre, J.; Singh, M.; Bonicelli, T.; Agarici, G.; Garbuglia, A.; Masiello, A.; Paolucci, F.; Simon, M.; Bailly-Maitre, L.; Bragulat, E.; Gomez, G.; Gutierrez, D.; Mico, G.; Moreno, J.-F.; Pilard, V.; Chakraborty, A.; Baruah, U.; Rotti, C.; Patel, H.; Nagaraju, M. V.; Singh, N. P.; Patel, A.; Dhola, H.; Raval, B.; Fantz, U.; Fröschle, M.; Heinemann, B.; Kraus, W.; Nocentini, R.; Riedl, R.; Schiesko, L.; Wimmer, C.; Wünderlich, D.; Cavenago, M.; Croci, G.; Gorini, G.; Rebai, M.; Muraro, A.; Tardocchi, M.; Hemsworth, R.

    2017-08-01

    SPIDER is one of two projects of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility under construction in Padova, Italy, at the Consorzio RFX premises. It will have a 100 keV beam source with a full-size prototype of the radiofrequency ion source for the ITER neutral beam injector (NBI) and also, similar to the ITER diagnostic neutral beam, it is designed to operate with a pulse length of up to 3600 s, featuring an ITER-like magnetic filter field configuration (for high extraction of negative ions) and caesium oven (for high production of negative ions) layout as well as a wide set of diagnostics. These features will allow a reproduction of the ion source operation in ITER, which cannot be done in any other existing test facility. SPIDER realization is well advanced and the first operation is expected at the beginning of 2018, with the mission of achieving the ITER heating and diagnostic NBI ion source requirements and of improving its performance in terms of reliability and availability. This paper mainly focuses on the preparation of the first SPIDER operations—integration and testing of SPIDER components, completion and implementation of diagnostics and control and formulation of operation and research plan, based on a staged strategy.

  4. Remote monitoring of vibrational information in spider webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortimer, B.; Soler, A.; Siviour, C. R.; Vollrath, F.

    2018-06-01

    Spiders are fascinating model species to study information-acquisition strategies, with the web acting as an extension of the animal's body. Here, we compare the strategies of two orb-weaving spiders that acquire information through vibrations transmitted and filtered in the web. Whereas Araneus diadematus monitors web vibration directly on the web, Zygiella x-notata uses a signal thread to remotely monitor web vibration from a retreat, which gives added protection. We assess the implications of these two information-acquisition strategies on the quality of vibration information transfer, using laser Doppler vibrometry to measure vibrations of real webs and finite element analysis in computer models of webs. We observed that the signal thread imposed no biologically relevant time penalty for vibration propagation. However, loss of energy (attenuation) was a cost associated with remote monitoring via a signal thread. The findings have implications for the biological use of vibrations by spiders, including the mechanisms to locate and discriminate between vibration sources. We show that orb-weaver spiders are fascinating examples of organisms that modify their physical environment to shape their information-acquisition strategy.

  5. Multiple origins of subsociality in crab spiders (Thomisidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruch, Jasmin; Riehl, Torben; May-Collado, Laura J; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2015-01-01

    Determining factors that facilitate the transition from a solitary to a social lifestyle is a major challenge in evolutionary biology, especially in taxa that are usually aggressive towards conspecifics. Most spiders live solitarily and few species are known to be social. Nevertheless, sociality has evolved multiple times across several families and nearly all studied social lineages have originated from a periodically social (subsocial) ancestor. Group-living crab spiders (Thomisidae) are exclusively found in Australia and differ from most other social spiders because they lack a communal capture web. Three of the group-living species were placed in the genus Diaea and another in the genus Xysticus. Most Australian thomisids are, however, difficult to identify as most descriptions are old and of poor quality, and the genera Diaea and Xysticus may not correspond to monophyletic groups. Here, we clarify the phylogenetic relationships of the four group-living Australian thomisids and conclude that amongst these subsociality has evolved two to three times independently. The subsocial Xysticus bimaculatus is not closely related to any of the social Diaea and an independent origin of subsociality is likely in this case. The presented data indicates that within Diaea two origins of subsociality are possible. Our results help to understand the evolution of sociality in thomisids and support the hypothesis that permanent sociality in spiders has evolved multiple times relatively recently from subsocial ancestors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Preservice Teachers' Conceptions about Animals and Particularly about Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jambrina, Carmen Urones; Vacas, Jose Manuel; Sanchez-Barbudo, Miguel

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: This article explores the scientific ideas and alternative conceptions that pre-service teachers have regarding animal classification and spiders in particular. Method: The study involved 40 pre-service teachers of elementary education in Spain and the data was collected by means of questionnaires, descriptions and drawings. The…

  7. Untangling the web...spiders in Arizona fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many kinds of arthropod natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) inhabit crop fields in Arizona and can have a large negative impact on several pest insect species that also infest these crops. Many different species of spiders are common in cotton, alfalfa and other crops in Arizona. Among the ...

  8. The sejugal furrow in camel spiders and acariform mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunlop, Jason A.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Camel spiders (Arachnida: Solifugae are one of the arachnid groups characterised by a prosomal dorsal shield composed of three distinct elements: the pro-, meso- and metapeltidium. These are associated respectively with prosomal appendages one to four, five, and six. What is less well known, although noted in the historical literature, is that the coxae of the 4th and 5th prosomal segments (i.e. walking legs 2 and 3 of camel spiders are also separated ventrally by a distinct membranous region, which is absent between the coxae of the other legs. We suggest that this essentially ventral division of the prosoma specifically between coxae 2 and 3 is homologous with the so-called sejugal furrow (the sejugal interval sensu van der Hammen. This division constitutes a fundamental part of the body plan in acariform mites (Arachnida: Acariformes. If homologous, this sejugal furrow could represent a further potential synapomorphy for (Solifugae + Acariformes; a relationship with increasing morphological and molecular support. Alternatively, outgroup comparison with sea spiders (Pycnogonida and certain early Palaeozoic fossils could imply that the sejugal furrow defines an older tagma, derived from a more basal grade of organisation. In this scenario the (still divided prosoma of acariform mites and camel spiders would be plesiomorphic. This interpretation challenges the textbook arachnid character of a peltidium (or ‘carapace’ covering an undivided prosoma.

  9. Taxonomic revision of the spider family Penestomidae (Araneae, Entelegynae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miller, J.A.; Griswold, C.E.; Haddad, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    Conflicting character evidence and a scarcity of male specimens has historically made placement of the spider subfamily Penestominae Simon problematic. The Penestominae was recently removed from the family Eresidae and promoted to family rank based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study; a

  10. SPIDER OPTIMIZATION. II. OPTICAL, MAGNETIC, AND FOREGROUND EFFECTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Dea, D. T.; Clark, C. N.; Contaldi, C. R.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Burger, B.; Davis, G.; Benton, S. J.; Bock, J. J.; Crill, B. P.; Dore, O.; Filippini, J. P.; Bond, J. R.; Farhang, M.; Bonetti, J. A.; Bryan, S.; Chiang, H. C.; Fraisse, A. A.; Fissel, L. M.; Gandilo, N. N.

    2011-01-01

    SPIDER is a balloon-borne instrument designed to map the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with degree-scale resolution over a large fraction of the sky. SPIDER's main goal is to measure the amplitude of primordial gravitational waves through their imprint on the polarization of the CMB if the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, is greater than 0.03. To achieve this goal, instrumental systematic errors must be controlled with unprecedented accuracy. Here, we build on previous work to use simulations of SPIDER observations to examine the impact of several systematic effects that have been characterized through testing and modeling of various instrument components. In particular, we investigate the impact of the non-ideal spectral response of the half-wave plates, coupling between focal-plane components and Earth's magnetic field, and beam mismatches and asymmetries. We also present a model of diffuse polarized foreground emission based on a three-dimensional model of the Galactic magnetic field and dust, and study the interaction of this foreground emission with our observation strategy and instrumental effects. We find that the expected level of foreground and systematic contamination is sufficiently low for SPIDER to achieve its science goals.

  11. Czech Republic – the type material of spiders (Araneae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Růžička, Vlastimil; Kůrka, A.; Buchar, J.; Řezáč, M.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 174, 1-4 (2005), s. 13-64 ISSN 0139-9543 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6007401 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : spider s * type material * Czech Republic Subject RIV: EG - Zoology

  12. On the Colours of Spider Orb-Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhr, Wilfried; Schlichting, H. Joachim

    2011-01-01

    A sticky capture thread from the spiral element of spider orb-webs is formed of almost regularly spaced droplets that surround a supporting axial fibre. From the perspective of physical optics it represents a periodic linear array of scattering elements that acts as a diffraction grating. This is a novel aspect, which is of vital importance for…

  13. Central European habitats inhabited by spiders with disjunctive distributions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Růžička, Vlastimil

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 59, č. 2 (2011), s. 367-380 ISSN 1505-2249 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : spider s * glacial relicts * boreomontane species Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.506, year: 2011

  14. Ballooning behavior in the golden orbweb spider Nephilapilipes (Araneae: Nephilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M.J. Lee

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ballooning, a mode of aerial dispersal in spiders, is an innate behavior that requires appropriate physiological and meteorological conditions. Although only rarely reported in the golden orbweb spiders, family Nephilidae, the large geographic distributions of most nephilids—in particular of Nephila species—would imply that these spiders likely routinely disperse by ballooning in spite of giant female sizes. Here we study ballooning behavior in the golden orbweb spider Nephila pilipes (Fabricius, 1793. Specifically, we test for the propensity of spiderlings to deploy ballooning as a dispersal mechanism. We subjected a total of 59 first-instar spiderlings to a wind experiment at two wind speeds (2.17 ± 0.02 m s-1 and 3.17 ± 0.02 m s-1 under laboratory conditions. Under an average wind speed of 3.17 m s-1, none of the spiderlings exhibited pre-ballooning or ballooning behavior. However, at an average wind speed of 2.17 m s-1, 53 (89.8% spiderlings showed pre-ballooning behavior, and 17 (32.1% of the pre-ballooners ultimately ballooned. Our results concur with prior reports on spiderlings of other families that pre-ballooning behavior is a requirement for ballooning to occur. Furthermore, although we cannot rule out other dispersal mechanisms such as synanthropic spread, our findings suggest that the widespread N. pilipes uses ballooning to colonize remote oceanic islands.

  15. Mating duration and sperm precedence in the spider Linyphia triangularis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weldingh, Ditte L.; Toft, Søren; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2011-01-01

    , especially the males, are able to influence the outcome of mating for their own benefit. We studied the linyphiid spider Linyphia triangularis in which mating follows a strict sequence during which the male inducts two droplets of sperm and transfers them to the female. We performed sperm competition...

  16. Spider diversity in coffee agroecosystems: the influence of agricultural intensification and aggressive ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín, Linda; Perfecto, Ivette

    2013-04-01

    Spiders are a very diverse group of invertebrate predators found in agroecosystems and natural systems. However, spider distribution, abundance, and eventually their ecological function in ecosystems can be influenced by abiotic and biotic factors such as agricultural intensification and dominant ants. Here we explore the influence of both agricultural intensification and the dominant arboreal ant Azteca instabilis on the spider community in coffee agroecosystems in southern Mexico. To measure the influence of the arboreal ant Azteca instabilis (F. Smith) on the spider community inhabiting the coffee layer of coffee agroecosystems, spiders were collected from coffee plants that were and were not patrolled by the ant in sites differing in agricultural intensification. For 2008, generalized linear mixed models showed that spider diversity was affected positively by agricultural intensification but not by the ant. However, results suggested that some spider species were associated with A. instabilis. Therefore, in 2009 we concentrated our research on the effect of A. instabilis on spider diversity and composition. For 2009, generalized linear mixed models show that spider richness and abundance per plant were significantly higher in the presence of A. instabilis. In addition, analyses of visual counts of insects and sticky traps data show that more resources were present in plants patrolled by the ant. The positive effect of A. instabilis on spiders seems to be caused by at least two mechanisms: high abundance of insects and protection against predators.

  17. Characteristics of the first recorded spider (Arthropoda: Arachnida fauna from Sheringal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzana Khan Perveen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The spiders (order: Aranae are an important environmental indicator and play a significant role as predators in biological control of the most of the key insect pests. The present study was conducted to establish the characteristics of the first recorded spider fauna from Sheringal, Dir Upper (DU, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, Pakistan during June 2013-July 2014. Their 10 species belong to 7 families, and 10 genera (nt=123: total; ni=77: identified; nui=46: unidentified were recorded in the 6 quadrates, i.e., Daramdala, Doki, Guryaal, Samang, Shahoor and Sia-Sheringal of Sheringal. The largest family was Lycosidae (wolf spiders with respect to size and numbers of specimens collected (n=20, which contained Arctosa littorali Simon, 1897; Hippasa partita Takidar, 1970; Pardosa distincta Backwall, 1867, while the smallest family was Gnphosidae (ground spiders (n=3 with Gnaphosa eucalyptus Ghafoor and Beg, 2002; while other families Sparassidae (huntsman spiders (n=19 Halconia insignis Thorell, 1836, and Isopeda tuhogniga Barrion and Litsinger, 1995, Opilionidae (harvestmen spiders (n=12 Hadrobunus grandis Sundevall, 1833; Pholcidae (cellar spider (n=10 have Crossopriza lyoni Blackwall, 1867; Hersiliidae (two-tailed spiders (n=6 is having Harsilia savignyi Lucas, 1836; (n=5 with Araneus diadematus Clerck, 1757 were recorded. It was concluded that 50% of the spiders collected from the study area were venomous. A detail study is required for further exploration of spider fauna of Sheringal, KP, Pakistan with special reference to their taxonomical, physiological and ecological characteristics.

  18. Synthetic Spider Silk Production on a Laboratory Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Pacheco, Ryan; Kohler, Kristin; Jeffery, Felicia; Vierra, Craig

    2012-01-01

    As society progresses and resources become scarcer, it is becoming increasingly important to cultivate new technologies that engineer next generation biomaterials with high performance properties. The development of these new structural materials must be rapid, cost-efficient and involve processing methodologies and products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Spiders spin a multitude of different fiber types with diverse mechanical properties, offering a rich source of next generation engineering materials for biomimicry that rival the best manmade and natural materials. Since the collection of large quantities of natural spider silk is impractical, synthetic silk production has the ability to provide scientists with access to an unlimited supply of threads. Therefore, if the spinning process can be streamlined and perfected, artificial spider fibers have the potential use for a broad range of applications ranging from body armor, surgical sutures, ropes and cables, tires, strings for musical instruments, and composites for aviation and aerospace technology. In order to advance the synthetic silk production process and to yield fibers that display low variance in their material properties from spin to spin, we developed a wet-spinning protocol that integrates expression of recombinant spider silk proteins in bacteria, purification and concentration of the proteins, followed by fiber extrusion and a mechanical post-spin treatment. This is the first visual representation that reveals a step-by-step process to spin and analyze artificial silk fibers on a laboratory scale. It also provides details to minimize the introduction of variability among fibers spun from the same spinning dope. Collectively, these methods will propel the process of artificial silk production, leading to higher quality fibers that surpass natural spider silks. PMID:22847722

  19. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Cardoso

    Full Text Available The objectives of this work are: (1 to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2 test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3 compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4 compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5 relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1 sensing, (2 sheet, (3 space, and (4 orb web weavers; (5 specialists; (6 ambush, (7 ground, and (8 other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also

  20. SPIDERS (ARANEI OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH OSSETIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander V. Ponomarev

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. Until recently, spider fauna of the Republic of South Ossetia has been the least studied among the regional araneofaunas of the Caucasus. According to the literature data, as little as 30 spider species have been known from the republic’s territory (Mkheidze, 1997, Mikhailov, 1990; Ponomarev, Dvadnenko, 2013; Trilicauscas, Komarov, 2014. Therefore, the aim of the present article is to summarize available data on the spider fauna of South Ossetia.Location. Republic of South Ossetia.Methods. The material was collected in various districts of South Ossetia in 2011-2014 by Yu.E. Komarov. Mainly, the collecting was performed in the city of Tskhinvali and its environs, and in the South Ossetian State Reserve. Spiders were sampled with pitfall traps and sweep netting. The time of traps’ exposure is April–December.Results and main conclusions. To date, the spider fauna of the Republic of South Ossetia includes 230 species from 29 families. 222 species were registered by the authors, eight species (Clubiona pseudosimilis, Gnaphosa lugubris, Linyphia hortensis, Neriene peltata, Geolycosa vultuosa, Pardosa azerifalcata, Ero aphana, and Philodromus rufus are known from the literature only. Seven species are new to the Caucasus (Clubiona pseudosimilis, Gnaphosa lugubris, Linyphia hortensis, Neriene peltata, Geolycosa vultuosa, Pardosa azerifalcata, Ero aphana, and Philodromus rufus. Of these, two species were known earlier only from Turkey (Pardosa consimilis, Ozyptila spirembolus, and one species (Tegenaria pseudolyncea only from Azerbaijan. Against the background of the widespread species predominance, the Caucasian element is small and presented by twelve species (Tegenaria pseudolyncea, Dysdera tkibuliensis, Haplodrassus caucasius, Zelotes khostensis, Mansuphantes ovalis, Sintula oseticus, Tenuiphantes teberdaensis, Pardosa azerifalcata, P. caucasica, Piratula hurkai, Trochosa cachetiensis, and Xysticus ukrainicus.

  1. Competitive interactions between a native spider (Frontinella communis, Araneae: Linyphiidae) and an invasive spider (Linyphia triangularis, Araneae: Linyphiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednarski, Julie V.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2010-01-01

    There are numerous reports of spiders that have become established outside of their native ranges, but few studies examine their impact on native spiders. We examined the effect of the European hammock spider Linyphia triangularis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) on the native bowl-and-doily spider Frontinella communis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA. First, we added L. triangularis to established plots of F. communis. Significantly more F. communis abandoned their webs when L. triangularis were added compared to control plots. Second, we tested whether F. communis were deterred from building webs in areas where L. triangularis was established. Significantly fewer F. communis built webs on plots with L. triangularis than on control plots. In both experiments, L. triangularis sometimes took over webs of F. communis or incorporated F. communis webs into their own webs, but F. communisnever took over or incorporated L. triangularis webs. Competition between L. triangularis and F. communis for both webs and web sites may contribute to the decline of F. communis.

  2. Why do we study animal toxins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  3. Invited review current progress and limitations of spider silk for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhe, Mona; Johansson, Jan; Hedhammar, My; Rising, Anna

    2012-06-01

    Spider silk is a fascinating material combining remarkable mechanical properties with low density and biodegradability. Because of these properties and historical descriptions of medical applications, spider silk has been proposed to be the ideal biomaterial. However, overcoming the obstacles to produce spider silk in sufficient quantities and in a manner that meets regulatory demands has proven to be a difficult task. Also, there are relatively few studies of spider silk in biomedical applications available, and the methods and materials used vary a lot. Herein we summarize cell culture- and in vivo implantation studies of natural and synthetic spider silk, and also review the current status and future challenges in the quest for a large scale production of spider silk for medical applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Research on Artificial Spider Web Model for Farmland Wireless Sensor Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Through systematic analysis of the structural characteristics and invulnerability of spider web, this paper explores the possibility of combining the advantages of spider web such as network robustness and invulnerability with farmland wireless sensor network. A universally applicable definition and mathematical model of artificial spider web structure are established. The comparison between artificial spider web and traditional networks is discussed in detail. The simulation result shows that the networking structure of artificial spider web is better than that of traditional networks in terms of improving the overall reliability and invulnerability of communication system. A comprehensive study on the advantage characteristics of spider web has important theoretical and practical significance for promoting the invulnerability research of farmland wireless sensor network.

  5. How informative are case studies of spider bites in the medical literature?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Marielle; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2016-05-01

    We analyzed the reliability and information content of 134 medical case studies on spider bites, published in 91 journal articles. Overall, we found that only 22% of these studies fulfilled the criteria for a verified spider bite. This means that the majority of such case studies cannot be attributed to a given spider species and usually not even to a spider. Their scientific value is negligible, moreover, such publications are even dangerous because they suggest incorrect conclusions. Secondly, we found that such case studies usually do not follow an obvious structure and many details on the development of symptoms, therapy and healing process are widely lacking. So even for verified spider bites, the comparability of case studies is limited. We discuss the obvious failure of a reviewing process for case studies and give recommendations how to increase the currently low information content of medical case studies on spider bites. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Plastic material investment in load-bearing silk attachments in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; Jones, Braxton; Herberstein, Marie E

    2018-05-17

    The nature and size of attachments is a fundamental element of animal constructions. Presumably, these adhesive structures are plastically deployed to balance material investment and attachment strength. Here we studied plasticity in dragline anchorages of the golden orb web spider, Nephila plumipes. Specifically, we predict that spiders adjust the size and structure of dragline anchorages with load, i.e. spider mass. Mass was manipulated by attaching lead pieces to the spider's abdomen resulting in a 50 percent increase in mass. Loaded spiders spun larger but structurally similar thread anchorages than unloaded spiders. Thus, the spinning program that determines the overall anchor structure is highly stereotypic, and flexibility is introduced through varying the anchor size by increasing material investment. Our study showcases substrate attachments as suitable models to investigate the interplay between innate and changeable elements in the economy of building behaviours. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  7. Rapid visuomotor processing of phobic images in spider- and snake-fearful participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp; Schmidt, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    This study investigates enhanced visuomotor processing of phobic compared to fear-relevant and neutral stimuli. We used a response priming design to measure rapid, automatic motor activation by natural images (spiders, snakes, mushrooms, and flowers) in spider-fearful, snake-fearful, and control participants. We found strong priming effects in all tasks and conditions; however, results showed marked differences between groups. Most importantly, in the group of spider-fearful individuals, spider pictures had a strong and specific influence on even the fastest motor responses: Phobic primes entailed the largest priming effects, and phobic targets accelerated responses, both effects indicating speeded response activation by phobic images. In snake-fearful participants, this processing enhancement for phobic material was less pronounced and extended to both snake and spider images. We conclude that spider phobia leads to enhanced processing capacity for phobic images. We argue that this is enabled by long-term perceptual learning processes. © 2013.

  8. Evolutionary morphology of the hemolymph vascular system of basal araneomorph spiders (Araneae: Araneomorphae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huckstorf, Katarina; Michalik, Peter; Ramírez, Martín; Wirkner, Christian S

    2015-11-01

    The superfamily Austrochiloidea (Austrochilidae and Gradungulidae) take a pivotal position in araneomorph spider phylogeny. In this discussion crevice weaver spiders (Filistatidae) are of equal interest. Especially data from these phylogenetically uncertain yet basal off branching groups can enlighten our understanding on the evolution of organ systems. In the course of a survey on the evolutionary morphology of the circulatory system in spiders we therefore investigated the hemolymph vascular system in two austrochiloid and one filistatid species. Additionally some data on a hypochilid and a gradungulid species are included. Using up-to-date morphological methods, the vascular systems in these spiders are visualized three dimensionally. Ground pattern features of the circulatory systems in austrochiloid spiders are presented and the data discussed along recent lines of phylogenetic hypotheses. Special topics highlighted are the intraspecific variability of the origins of some prosomal arteries and the evolutionary correlation of respiratory and circulatory systems in spiders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Induction of direct and indirect plant responses by jasmonic acid, low spider mite densities, or a combination of jasmonic acid treatment and spider mite infestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gols, Rieta; Roosjen, Mara; Dijkman, Herman; Dicke, Marcel

    2003-12-01

    Jasmonic acid (JA) and the octadecanoid pathway are involved in both induced direct and induced indirect plant responses. In this study, the herbivorous mite, Tetranychus urticae, and its predator, Phytoseiulus persimilis, were given a choice between Lima bean plants induced by JA or spider mites and uninduced control plants. Infestation densities resulting in the induction of predator attractants were much lower than thus far assumed, i.e., predatory mites were significantly attracted to plants that were infested for 2 days with only one or four spider mites per plant. Phytoseiulus persimilis showed a density-dependent response to volatiles from plants that were infested with different numbers of spider mites. Similarly, treating plants with increasing concentrations of JA also led to increased attraction of P. persimilis. Moreover, the duration of spider mite infestation was positively correlated with the proportion of predators that were attracted to mite-infested plants. A pretreatment of the plants with JA followed by a spider mite infestation enhanced the attraction of P. persimilis to plant volatiles compared to attraction to volatiles from plants that were only infested with spider mites and did not receive a pretreatment with JA. The herbivore, T. urticae preferred leaf tissue that previously had been infested with conspecifics to uninfested leaf tissue. In the case of choice tests with JA-induced and control leaf tissue, spider mites slightly preferred control leaf tissue. When spider mites were given a choice between leaf discs induced by JA and leaf discs damaged by spider mite feeding, they preferred the latter. The presence of herbivore induced chemicals and/or spider mite products enhanced settlement of the mites, whereas treatment with JA seemed to impede settlement.

  10. Ontogenesis, gender, and molting influence the venom yield in the spider Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Herzig, Volker

    2010-01-01

    The demand for spider venom increases along with the growing popularity of venoms-based research. A deeper understanding of factors that influence the venom yield in spiders would therefore be of interest to both commercial venom suppliers and research facilities. The present study addresses the influence of several factors on the venom yield by systematically analyzing the data obtained from 1773 electrical milkings of the Australian theraphosid spider Coremiocnemis tropix. Gender and ontoge...

  11. On the predation of fly, Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) by a spider, Oxyopes sp. Latreille (Oxyopidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, C C; Mohamad, A M; John, J; Baharudin, O

    2008-04-01

    During a forensic entomological study conducted in a palm oil plantation in Tg.Sepat, Selangor in September 2007, a spider (Arachnida), Oxyopes sp. (Oxyopidae) was found to predate on a calliphorid fly (Chrysomya rufifacies). The female spider laid a silk thread, or "drag line", behind it as it moved. This spider bites its prey by using a pairs of chelicerae, and injecting venom into the fly. The fly was moving its wing trying to escape, however, it succumbed to the deadly bite.

  12. Exploring of the first recorded spider (Arachenida: Aranae) species of Sheringal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Farzana Perveen; Numan Khan

    2015-01-01

    The spiders (Arthropoada: Arachenida) are one of the groups of grasping animals. Their carapaces are found on the dorsal side of the cephalothorax, which is an important characteristic of spiders. The present study was conducted to explore the first recorded spider species (nti=75) of Sheringal, Dir Upper (DU), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Dir Upper, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The 10 genera with 10 species under 7 families were recorded from June 2013-July 2014. According to length of legs, th...

  13. Cuticular bacteria appear detrimental to social spiders in mixed but not monoculture exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keiser, Carl N.; Shearer, Taylor A.; DeMarco, Alexander E.; Brittingham, Hayley A.; Knutson, Karen A.; Kuo, Candice; Zhao, Katherine; Pruitt, Jonathan N.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Much of an animal’s health status, life history, and behavior are dictated by interactions with its endogenous and exogenous bacterial communities. Unfortunately, interactions between hosts and members of their resident bacterial community are often ignored in animal behavior and behavioral ecology. Here, we aim to identify the nature of host–microbe interactions in a nonmodel organism, the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola. We collected and identified bacteria from the cuticles of spiders in situ and then exposed spiders to bacterial monocultures cultures via topical application or injection. We also topically inoculated spiders with a concomitant “cocktail” of bacteria and measured the behavior of spiders daily for 24 days after inoculation. Lastly, we collected and identified bacteria from the cuticles of prey items in the capture webs of spiders, and then fed spiders domestic crickets which had been injected with these bacteria. We also injected 1 species of prey-borne bacteria into the hemolymph of spiders. Only Bacillus thuringiensis caused increased mortality when injected into the hemolymph of spiders, whereas no bacterial monocultures caused increased mortality when applied topically, relative to control solutions. However, a bacterial cocktail of cuticular bacteria caused weight loss and mortality when applied topically, yet did not detectibly alter spider behavior. Consuming prey injected with prey-borne bacteria was associated with an elongated lifespan in spiders. Thus, indirect evidence from multiple experiments suggests that the effects of these bacteria on spider survivorship appear contingent on their mode of colonization and whether they are applied in monoculture or within a mixed cocktail. We urge that follow-up studies should test these host–microbe interactions across different social contexts to determine the role that microbes play in colony performance. PMID:29491926

  14. Exploring of the first recorded spider (Arachenida: Aranae species of Sheringal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzana Perveen

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The spiders (Arthropoada: Arachenida are one of the groups of grasping animals. Their carapaces are found on the dorsal side of the cephalothorax, which is an important characteristic of spiders. The present study was conducted to explore the first recorded spider species (nti=75 of Sheringal, Dir Upper (DU, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, Dir Upper, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The 10 genera with 10 species under 7 families were recorded from June 2013-July 2014. According to length of legs, the largest spider was the huntsman spider, Halconia insignis Thorell having length of the first leg was 1.9±0.20, however, the same of the last leg was 1.44±0.25 (n=9. In the same contest, the smallest spider was the ground spider, Gnaphosa eucalyptus Ghafoor and Beg having length of the first leg was 0.4±0.08, while the same of the last leg was 0.4±0.08 (n=3. According to length of cephalothorax and abdomen, the largest spider was the wolf spider, Hippasa partita Takidar having length of the cephalothorax was 1.1±0.01, however, the same of the abdomen was 0.7±0.1 (n=6. In the same contest, the smallest spider was the harvestmen, Hadrobunus grandis Sundevall having length of the cephalothorax was 0.1±0.04, while the same of the abdomen was 0.3±0.04 (n=12. During present research, 10 spider species of Sheringal with different sizes were explored. The present research will be useful to educate and create awareness about spiders in the people of Sheringal.

  15. Ecosystem services in the face of invasion: the persistence of native and nonnative spiders in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogg, Brian N; Daane, Kent M

    2011-03-01

    The presence of intact natural ecosystems in agricultural landscapes can mitigate losses in the diversity of natural enemies and enhance ecosystem services. However, native natural enemies may fail to persist in agroecosystems if invaders dominate species interactions. In this study, native and nonnative spiders were sampled along transects that extended from oak woodland and riparian zones into surrounding California vineyards, to assess the role of natural habitat as a source for spider biodiversity in the vineyard landscape, and to compare the dominance of exotic Cheiracanthium spiders between habitats. Many spider species were more abundant in natural habitat than in vineyards, and numbers of spiders and spider species within vineyards were higher at the vineyard edge adjacent to oak woodland. These results suggest that natural habitat is a key source for spiders in vineyards. The positive effect of oak woodland on the vineyard spider community extended only to the vineyard edge, however. Proportions of Cheiracanthium spiders increased dramatically in the vineyard, while numbers of native wandering spiders (the native ecological homologues of Cheiracanthium spiders) decreased. Dispersal limitation and strong habitat preferences may have prevented native wandering spiders from establishing far from the vineyard edge. Exotic Cheiracanthium spiders, in contrast, may possess specific adaptations to vineyards or to a wide range of habitats. Results suggest that the ecosystem services provided by intact natural habitat may be limited in agricultural landscapes that are dominated by invasive species.

  16. Information processing biases in spider phobia: application of the Stroop and "White Noise" Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olatunji, Bunmi O; Sawchuk, Craig N; Lee, Thomas C; Lohr, Jeffrey M; Tolin, David F

    2008-06-01

    The present study examines attentional and implicit memory biases in spider phobic and nonphobic participants. The results showed that spider phobics demonstrated increased interference for neutral, negative, and spider-relevant words on a computerized Stroop task. However, no group differences emerged when adjusting for differences in color-naming speed. Prior exposure to a dead spider did result in higher overall Stroop interference in spider phobics and this appeared to be mostly pronounced for spider-relevant words. Implicit memory bias for threat was examined with a noise judgment task. Participants first heard neutral and spider-relevant sentences and implicit memory for these sentences was evaluated by having participants rate the volume of noise accompanying the presentation of old sentences intermixed with new sentences. An implicit memory bias is indicated if participants rate noise accompanying old sentences as less loud than noise accompanying new sentences. No evidence was found for an implicit memory bias in spider phobics. These findings are discussed in relation to the role of information processing biases in spider phobia.

  17. Biased interpretation and memory in children with varying levels of spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Anke M; Titulaer, Geraldine; Simons, Carlijn; Allart, Esther; de Gier, Erwin; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated multiple cognitive biases in children simultaneously, to investigate whether spider-fearful children display an interpretation bias, a recall bias, and source monitoring errors, and whether these biases are specific for spider-related materials. Furthermore, the independent ability of these biases to predict spider fear was investigated. A total of 121 children filled out the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children (SADS-C), and they performed an interpretation task, a memory task, and a Behavioural Assessment Test (BAT). As expected, a specific interpretation bias was found: Spider-fearful children showed more negative interpretations of ambiguous spider-related scenarios, but not of other scenarios. We also found specific source monitoring errors: Spider-fearful children made more fear-related source monitoring errors for the spider-related scenarios, but not for the other scenarios. Only limited support was found for a recall bias. Finally, interpretation bias, recall bias, and source monitoring errors predicted unique variance components of spider fear.

  18. Body burdens of metals in spiders from the Lidice coal dump near Ostrava (Czech Republic)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilczek, G.; Babczynska, A.; Majkus, Z. [Silesian University, Katowice (Poland)

    2005-09-01

    Spiders' feeding behaviour and external digestion expose them to man-made pollutants, especially those easily transferred along the food chain. The problem for this study was whether the levels of heavy metals in selected species of spiders from the Lidice coal dump reflect adaptation to environmental pollutants. We used flameless and flame AAS to measure the whole-body concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, Fe, Ni and Mg in male and female spiders differing in their hunting strategies, type of web construction, prey, and taxonomic position (Araneidae, Agelenidae, Linyphiidae, Theridiidae, Tetragnathidae, Lycosidae, Salticidae, Pisauridae, Clubionidae, Philodromidae). The levels of metals found in the spiders were species-dependent, indicating differences related to the hunting strategy and type of prey. Accumulation of Pb, Cu and Zn was always higher in ground spiders than in web-constructing species. Sheet-web spiders Linyphia triangularis and wandering spiders Clubiona lutescens had the lowest Cd, Mg and Cu content of all the studied species. Web-building spiders of the Tetragnathidae family showed the highest Cd, Cu and Pb content, even in species with feeding behaviour similar to spiders of other families. There were no interspecific differences in accumulation only for Fe and Mg. The concentrations of Cd, Ni and Pb were lower in females than in males, irrespective of their taxonomic position and the intensity of their hunting activity. This may suggest that females have better metal-excretion ability than males.

  19. Methods of assembling and disassembling spider and burnable poison rod structures for nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, G.T.; Schluderberg, D.C.

    1981-01-01

    A technique is provided for engaging and disengaging burnable poison rods from a spider in a nuclear reactor fuel assembly. A cap on the end of each of the burnable poison rods is provided with a shank or stem that is received in a respective bore formed in the spider. A frangible flange secures the shank and rod to the spider. Pressing the shank in the direction of the bore axis by means, e.g., of a plate ruptures the frangible flange to release the rod from the spider. (author)

  20. Spiders do not evoke greater early posterior negativity in the event-related potential as snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hongshen; Kubo, Kenta; Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2014-09-10

    It has been long believed that both snakes and spiders are archetypal fear stimuli for humans. Furthermore, snakes have been assumed as stronger threat cues for nonhuman primates. However, it is still unclear whether spiders hold a special status in human perception. The current study explored to what extent spider pictures draw early visual attention [as assessed with early posterior negativity (EPN)] when compared with insects similar to spiders. To measure the EPN, participants watched a random rapid serial presentation of pictures, which consisted of two conditions: spider condition (spider, wasp, bumblebee, beetle) and snake condition (snake, bird). EPN amplitudes revealed no significant difference between spider, wasp, bumblebee, and beetle pictures, whereas EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to bird pictures. In addition, EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to spider pictures. These results suggest that the early visual attentional capture of animate objects is stronger for snakes, whereas spiders do not appear to hold special early attentional value.

  1. Risk of spider predation alters food web structure and reduces local herbivory in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher, Roman; Menzel, Florian; Entling, Martin H

    2015-06-01

    Predators can indirectly enhance plant performance via herbivore suppression, with both prey consumption and changes in prey traits (e.g. changes in foraging behaviour) contributing to the reduction in herbivory. We performed a field experiment to determine the extent of such non-consumptive effects which consisted of repeatedly placing spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) on enclosed plants (Urtica dioica) for cue deposition. Control plants were enclosed in the same way but without spiders. After cue deposition, the enclosures were removed to allow arthropods to colonize the plants and feed on them. Arthropods were removed from the plants before the subsequent spider deposition or control enclosure. During six cycles of enclosure, we quantified leaf damage on the plants. After a seventh cycle, the colonizing arthropods were sampled to determine community composition in relation to the presence/absence of spider cues. We found that the presence of chemotactile spider cues reduced leaf damage by 50 %. In addition, spider cues led to changes in the arthropod community: smaller spiders avoided plants with spider cues. In contrast, the aphid-tending ant Myrmica rubra showed higher recruitment of workers on cue-bearing plants, possibly to protect aphids. Our results show that the risk of spider predation can reduce herbivory on wild plants and also demonstrate that non-consumptive effects can be particularly strong within the predator guild.

  2. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2015-06-08

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  3. Spider (Araneae) predations on white-backed planthopper Sogatella furcifera in subtropical rice ecosystems, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xue-Qin; Wang, Guang-Hua; Zhu, Zeng-Rong; Tang, Qi-Yi; Hu, Yang; Qiao, Fei; Heong, Kong Luen; Cheng, Jia-An

    2017-06-01

    Spiders are effective biological control agents in rice ecosystems, but the comparative study of predations among main spider species under field conditions has not been fully explored owing to a lack of practical methodology. In this study, more than 6000 spiders of dominant species were collected from subtropical rice ecosystems to compare their predations on Sogatella furcifera (Horváth) (white-backed planthopper, WBPH) using DNA-based gut content analysis. The positive rates for all spider taxa were closely related to prey densities, as well as their behaviors and niches. The relationships of positive rates to prey planthopper densities for Pardosa pseudoannulata (Böes. et Str.), Coleosoma octomaculata (Böes. et Str.), Tetragnatha maxillosa Thorell and Ummeliata insecticeps (Böes. et Str.) under field conditions could be described using saturated response curves. Quantitative comparisons of predations among the four spider species confirmed that P. pseudoannulata and C. octomaculata were more rapacious than U. insecticeps and T. maxillosa under field conditions. A comparison of ratio of spiders to WBPH and positive rates between fields revealed that biological control by spiders could be effectively integrated with variety resistance. Generalist spiders could follow up WBPH population timely, and assemblages of spiders coupled with variety resistance could effectively suppress WBPH population. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  4. A comparison of spider communities in Bt and non-Bt rice fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sue Yeon; Kim, Seung Tae; Jung, Jong Kook; Lee, Joon-Ho

    2014-06-01

    To assess the potential adverse effects of a Bt rice line (Japonica rice cultivar, Nakdong) expressing a synthetic cry1Ac1 gene, C7-1-9-1-B, which was highly active against all larval stages of Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), we investigated the community structure of spiders in Bt and non-Bt rice fields during the rice-growing season in 2007 and 2008 in Chungcheongnam-do, Korea. Spiders were surveyed with a sweep net and suction device. Suction sampling captured more spiders, measured in terms of species level and abundance, than sweeping. Araneidae and Thomisidae were captured more by sweeping, and certain species were captured only by sweeping. These findings show that both suction and sweep sampling methods should be used because these methods are most likely complementary. In total, 29 species in 23 genera and nine families were identified from the 4,937 spiders collected, and both Bt and non-Bt rice fields showed a typical Korean spider assemblage. The temporal patterns of spider species richness and spider abundance were very similar between Bt and non-Bt rice, although significant differences in species richness were observed on a few occasions. Overall, spider community structure, including diversity, the dominant species, and abundance did not differ between Bt and non-Bt rice. The results of the study indicated that the transgenic Cry1Ac rice lines tested in this study had no adverse effects on the spider community structure of the rice fields.

  5. Functional Group of Spiders in Cultivated Landscape Dominated by Paddy Fields in West Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I WAYAN SUANA

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of spiders in all colonized environments is limited by biotic and abiotic factors requiring adaptations with respect to, for example microhabitat choice and hunting behavior. These two factors were frequently used to group spiders into functional groups. In this study our objectives were to (i group of genera of spiders into functional group based on their microhabitat specificity, hunting behavior, and daily activity; and (ii compare the number and composition of functional group of spider at each habitat type and period of paddy growth. The study was conducted at a landscape dominated by paddy fields in Cianjur Watershed for a period of 9 months. Four different habitat types (paddy, vegetable, non-crop, and mixed garden, were sampled using five trapping techniques (pitfall traps, farmcop suction, sweep netting, yellow-pan traps, and sticky traps. The Unweighted Pair-Group Average and the Euclidean Distances were used to generate dendrogram of functional group of spider. We found 14 functional groups of spider at genus level. The number of functional group of spider at four habitat types was differing, but the composition was similar, because all habitats were closed to each other. Habitat structure diversity and disturbance level influenced the number of functional group of spider. Different architecture of vegetation and availability of differ prey during paddy growth, causing the composition of functional group of spider in each period of paddy growth was changed, although its number was unchanged.

  6. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Paola G. Ojeda; David Ramírez; Jans Alzate-Morales; Julio Caballero; Quentin Kaas; Wendy González

    2017-01-01

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics t...

  7. Collaborative Research Program on Seafood Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-08-14

    Crystallographic Structures of Saxitoxins Cl and C2 Appendix C: Collaborative Research Program an Seafcod Toxins Progress Report on Ciguatera and Related...radioimmunoassay for PSP were also evalumted. The Hokama stick test for ciguatera toxin was also evaluated. 4. initiate Studies on the Accumulation...tco•d which caie a form of b-mnn poisoning referred to as ciguatera . The respcnsible toxins originate from ll1ular rine algae of the division

  8. Failure of botulinum toxin injection for neurogenic detrusor overactivity: Switch of toxin versus second injection of the same toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyronnet, Benoit; Castel-Lacanal, Evelyne; Manunta, Andréa; Roumiguié, Mathieu; Marque, Philippe; Rischmann, Pascal; Gamé, Xavier

    2015-12-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of a second injection of the same toxin versus switching to a different botulinum toxin A after failure of a first detrusor injection in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity. The charts of all patients who underwent detrusor injections of botulinum toxin A (either abobotulinumtoxinA or onabotulinumtoxinA) for the management of neurogenic detrusor overactivity at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patients in whom a first detrusor injection had failed were included in the present study. They were managed by a second injection of the same toxin at the same dosage or by a new detrusor injection using a different botulinum toxin A. Success was defined as a resolution of urgency, urinary incontinence and detrusor overactivity in a patient self-catheterizing seven times or less per 24 h. A total of 58 patients were included for analysis. A toxin switch was carried out in 29 patients, whereas the other 29 patients received a reinjection of the same toxin at the same dose. The success rate was higher in patients who received a toxin switch (51.7% vs. 24.1%, P = 0.03). Patients treated with a switch from abobotulinumtoxinA to onabotulinumtoxinA and those treated with a switch from onabotulinumtoxinA to abobotulinumtoxinA had similar success rates (52.9% vs. 50%, P = 0.88). After failure of a first detrusor injection of botulinum toxin for neurogenic detrusor overactivity, a switch to a different toxin seems to be more effective than a second injection of the same toxin. The replacement of onabotulinumtoxin by abobotulinumtoxin or the reverse provides similar results. © 2015 The Japanese Urological Association.

  9. Spider-mediated flux of PCBs from contaminated sediments to terrestrial ecosystems and potential risks to arachnivorous birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated aquatic insect utilization and PCB exposure in riparian spiders at the Lake Hartwell superfund site (Clemson, SC , USA). We sampled sediments, adult chironomids, terrestrial insects, riparian spiders (Tetragnathidae, Araneidae, and Mecynogea lemniscata), and upla...

  10. The first venomous crustacean revealed by transcriptomics and functional morphology: remipede venom glands express a unique toxin cocktail dominated by enzymes and a neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species.

  11. Peptide toxin glacontryphan-M is present in the wings of the butterfly Hebomoia glaucippe (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Narkhyun; Li, Lin; Lödl, Martin; Lubec, Gert

    2012-10-30

    Protein profiling has revealed the presence of glacontryphan-M, a peptide toxin identified only in the sea snail genus Conus, in the wings of Hebomoia glaucippe (HG). The wings and body of HG were homogenized and the proteins were extracted and analyzed by 2D gel electrophoresis with subsequent in-gel digestion. Posttranslational protein modifications were detected and analyzed by nano-LC-MS/MS. An antibody was generated against glacontryphan-M, and protein extracts from the wings of HG samples from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines were tested by immunoblotting. Glacontryphan-M was unambiguously identified in the wings of HG containing the following posttranslational protein modifications: monoglutamylation at E55, methylation at E53, quinone modification at W61, cyanylation at C56, and amidation of the C terminus at G63. Immunoblotting revealed the presence of the toxin in the wings of HG from all origins, showing a single band for glacontryphan-M in HG samples from Malaysia and Philippines and a double band in HG samples from Indonesia. Intriguingly, sequence analysis indicated that the Conus glacontryphan is identical to that of HG. The toxin may function as a defense against diverse predators, including ants, mantes, spiders, lizards, green frogs, and birds.

  12. Battre sa (super) coulpe : Spider-Man (1962)

    OpenAIRE

    Tomasovic, Dick

    2016-01-01

    L’édification est l'une des grandes fonctions traditionnelles de la littérature de jeunesse. Spider-Man, héros populaire s'il en est, s'est révélé bien sûr l'ambassadeur de nombreuses valeurs sociétales américaines (le do it yourself, l'esprit d'entreprise et d'indépendance, la tolérance, la fidélité , la célébration du système éducationnel, la transmission et la solidarité intergénérationnelle, le sens des responsabilités, évidemment, etc.). Spider-Man se bat moins qu'il ne se débat. Il est ...

  13. A Spider That Lays Its Eggs in Rows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Edwards

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The small (2.5-3.0 mm, colorful metine spider, Homalometa nigritarsis Simon 1897, Family Tetragnathidae, has previously been reported from northern Mexico, Panama and the southern islands of the Lesser Antilles (Levi 1986. In the rain forest of northeastern Puerto Rico it is most frequently found with webbing on the larger outer concave surfaces of pendulous leaves. H. nigritarsis typically makes a circular, relatively flat retreat within which the female deposits two parallel rows of naked eggs. The rows are produced at intervals; as one row hatches another replaces it shortly thereafter. Evidence of up to four generations of rows has been observed. Above the retreat, and closely aligned with it, the spider builds a nearly invisible, delicate orb web, typically from edge to edge of the leaf (Fig. 1a and b. While retaining the traditional orb-web, H. nigritarsis has adopted a unique habitat and set of life history features.

  14.  “Spiders and Webs in American Literature”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Dussol

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available From Jonathan Edwards to Jorie Graham, spiders are strikingly present in American literature. The purpose of this article is first to show how that theme may have become something of a national tradition as very different writers, all of them careful observers of aranae, answered one another through the years. It is very likely that the attention paid to spiders by American authors was increased by those Native American myths in which spiders are a central figure. More than occasionally, on the female side of the American counter-culture, especially among its feminist and lesbian exponents, simple activists and creative writers have harnessed the symbolic power invested in the spider by Native Americans.There may be deeper reasons accounting for American authors’ fascination with spiders. The country’s phobia of disunion is one; a nation of settlers’ acute consciousness of the precariousness of its occupation of the territory is another. In demonstrating outstanding skills for adjustment to unknown places, spiders epitomize a form of identity permanence. The predominantly positive character of spider symbols in American literature will occasionally be inverted. Following the national logic of checks and balances, any web covering the whole of the United States will tend to come under suspicion.This study ends with an inventory of cultural productions linked with spiders and webs and whose Americanness is yet to be clearly determined.De Jonathan Edwards à Jorie Graham, l’araignée apparaît dans un nombre frappant de textes littéraires américains. On a d’abord voulu tenter de montrer comment a pu se construire cette tradition thématique et faire la preuve que différents écrivains, réunis par un souci de l’observation, se sont répondus à travers elle. L’attention prêtée à l’araignée s’est certainement trouvée renforcée par les récits mythologiques des peuples premiers américains qui font de l’araignée une

  15. Gravity Reception and Cardiac Function in the Spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finck, A.

    1985-01-01

    The following features of the arachnid gravity system were studied. (1) the absolute threshold to hyper-gz is quite low indicating fine proprioreceptive properties of the lyriform organ, the Gz/vibration detector; (2) the neurogenic heart of the spider is a good dependent variable for assessing its behavior to Gz and other stimuli which produce mechanical effects on the exoskeleton; (3) Not only is the cardiac response useful but it is now understood to be an integral part of the system which compensates for the consequences of gravity in the spider (an hydraulic leg extension); and (4) a theoretical model was proposed in which a mechanical amplifier, the leg lever, converts a weak force (at the tarsus) to a strong force (at the patella), capable of compressing the exoskeleton and consequently the lyriform receptor.

  16. Environmental Engineering Approaches toward Sustainable Management of Spider Mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Takeshi

    2012-10-26

    Integrated pest management (IPM), which combines physical, biological, and chemical control measures to complementary effect, is one of the most important approaches to environmentally friendly sustainable agriculture. To expand IPM, we need to develop new pest control measures, reinforce existing measures, and investigate interactions between measures. Continued progress in the development of environmental control technologies and consequent price drops have facilitated their integration into plant production and pest control. Here I describe environmental control technologies for the IPM of spider mites through: (1) the disturbance of photoperiod-dependent diapause by artificial light, which may lead to death in seasonal environments; (2) the use of ultraviolet radiation to kill or repel mites; and (3) the use of water vapor control for the long-term cold storage of commercially available natural enemies. Such environmental control technologies have great potential for the efficient control of spider mites through direct physical effects and indirect effects via natural enemies.

  17. Prey capture by the crab spider Misumena calycina (Araneae: Thomisidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, Douglass H

    1979-01-01

    Crab spiders Misumena calycina (L.) in pasture rose Rosa carolina flowers regularly attacked bumble bees, smaller bees, and syrphid flies that visited these flowers. Attacks reached a maximum rate of over 20/h during mid morning, but only 1.6% of the most important prey item, bumble bees, were captured. The next most important food source, the most frequently taken item, syrphid flies Toxomerus marginatus (Say), were captured in 39% of the attempts. Since these flies have a biomass only 1/60th that of bumble bees, they comprised a much less important food source than did bumble bees. Spiders would obtain over 7% more food by specializing on bumble bees than by attacking all insect visitors, and as much as 20% more food at certain times of the day. However, they did not show a tendency to specialize at any time.

  18. Spatial distribution of Madeira Island Laurisilva endemic spiders (Arachnida: Araneae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Madeira island presents a unique spider diversity with a high number of endemic species, many of which are still poorly known. A recent biodiversity survey on the terrestrial arthropods of the native forest, Laurisilva, provided a large set of standardized samples from various patches throughout the island. Out of the fifty two species recorded, approximately 33.3% are Madeiran endemics, many of which had not been collected since their original description. Two new species to science are reported – Ceratinopsis n. sp. and Theridion n. sp. – and the first records of Poeciloneta variegata (Blackwall, 1841) and Tetragnatha intermedia Kulczynski, 1891 are reported for the first time for Madeira island. Considerations on species richness and abundance from different Laurisilva locations are presented, together with distribution maps for endemic species. These results contribute to a better understanding of spider diversity patterns and endemic species distribution in the native forest of Madeira island. PMID:24855443

  19. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  20. Hamiltonian Dynamics of Spider-Type Multirotor Rigid Bodies Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doroshin, Anton V.

    2010-01-01

    This paper sets out to develop a spider-type multiple-rotor system which can be used for attitude control of spacecraft. The multirotor system contains a large number of rotor-equipped rays, so it was called a 'Spider-type System', also it can be called 'Rotary Hedgehog'. These systems allow using spinups and captures of conjugate rotors to perform compound attitude motion of spacecraft. The paper describes a new method of spacecraft attitude reorientation and new mathematical model of motion in Hamilton form. Hamiltonian dynamics of the system is investigated with the help of Andoyer-Deprit canonical variables. These variables allow obtaining exact solution for hetero- and homoclinic orbits in phase space of the system motion, which are very important for qualitative analysis.

  1. VIPR III VADR SPIDER Structural Design and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wesley; Chen, Tony

    2016-01-01

    In support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) Phase III team to evaluate the volcanic ash environment effects on the Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engine, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center has successfully performed structural design and analysis on the Volcanic Ash Distribution Rig (VADR) and the Structural Particulate Integration Device for Engine Research (SPIDER) for the ash ingestion test. Static and dynamic load analyses were performed to ensure no structural failure would occur during the test. Modal analysis was conducted, and the results were used to develop engine power setting avoidance zones. These engine power setting avoidance zones were defined to minimize the dwell time when the natural frequencies of the VADR/SPIDER system coincided with the excitation frequencies of the engine which was operating at various revolutions per minute. Vortex-induced vibration due to engine suction air flow during the ingestion test was also evaluated, but was not a concern.

  2. Animal Toxins as Therapeutic Tools to Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Jessica M.; Goncalves, Bruno D. C.; Gomez, Marcus V.; Vieira, Luciene B.; Ribeiro, Fabiola M.

    2018-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of individuals worldwide. So far, no disease-modifying drug is available to treat patients, making the search for effective drugs an urgent need. Neurodegeneration is triggered by the activation of several cellular processes, including oxidative stress, mitochondrial impairment, neuroinflammation, aging, aggregate formation, glutamatergic excitotoxicity, and apoptosis. Therefore, many research groups aim to identify drugs that may inhibit one or more of these events leading to neuronal cell death. Venoms are fruitful natural sources of new molecules, which have been relentlessly enhanced by evolution through natural selection. Several studies indicate that venom components can exhibit selectivity and affinity for a wide variety of targets in mammalian systems. For instance, an expressive number of natural peptides identified in venoms from animals, such as snakes, scorpions, bees, and spiders, were shown to lessen inflammation, regulate glutamate release, modify neurotransmitter levels, block ion channel activation, decrease the number of protein aggregates, and increase the levels of neuroprotective factors. Thus, these venom components hold potential as therapeutic tools to slow or even halt neurodegeneration. However, there are many technological issues to overcome, as venom peptides are hard to obtain and characterize and the amount obtained from natural sources is insufficient to perform all the necessary experiments and tests. Fortunately, technological improvements regarding heterologous protein expression, as well as peptide chemical synthesis will help to provide enough quantities and allow chemical and pharmacological enhancements of these natural occurring compounds. Thus, the main focus of this review is to highlight the most promising studies evaluating animal toxins as therapeutic tools to treat a wide variety of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, brain

  3. [Transcatheter embolization for huge pulmonary arteriovenous fistula using metallic "spider" and spring embolus--application of hand-made metallic "spider" using partial monorail technique].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirota, S; Sako, M; Fujita, Y; Hasegawa, Y; Sugimoto, K; Suzuki, Y; Kono, M

    1992-07-25

    We performed transcatheter embolization in two cases with huge pulmonary arteriovenous fistula (AVF) using a metallic "spider" and spring embolus. Conventional spring embolus or detachable balloon could not be used in these cases. Metallic spider was indicated for pulmonary AVF with a feeding artery diameter of more than 16 mm to prevent embolus passing through the AVF. In the first case, we used large handmade metallic spiders of 25 mm in diameter followed by embolization by numerous spring coils. At that time, a partial monorail technique was newly devised to carry the large metallic spider into the feeding artery, otherwise the spider could not pass into a 9F catheter. After embolization, symptoms and PaO2 in arterial blood improved remarkably in both cases. In the second case, a spring coil migrated into the normal pulmonary artery, but no infarction resulted. In conclusion, the metallic spider was very useful for embolization of hugee pulmonary AVF to avoid the embolus passing through and to tangle spring coils together with it. If commercially available "spiders" are too small, ones can be made easily.

  4. A troglomorphic spider from Java (Araneae, Ctenidae, Amauropelma)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jeremy; Rahmadi, Cahyo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A new troglomorphic spider from caves in Central Java, Indonesia, is described and placed in the ctenid genus Amauropelma Raven, Stumkat & Gray, until now containing only species from Queensland, Australia. Only juveniles and mature females of the new species are known. We give our reasons for placing the new species in Amauropelma, discuss conflicting characters, and make predictions about the morphology of the as yet undiscovered male that will test our taxonomic hypothesis. The description includes DNA barcode sequence data. PMID:22303127

  5. Signal conflict in spider webs driven by predators and prey

    OpenAIRE

    Blackledge, T. A.

    1998-01-01

    Variation in the sensory physiologies of organisms can bias the receptions of signals, driving the direction of signal evolution. Sensory drive in the evolution of signals may be particularly important for organisms that confront trade-offs in signal design between the need for conspicuousness to allow effective transfer of information and the need for crypsis of the signal to unintended receivers. Several genera of orb-weaving spiders include conspicuous silk designs, stabilimenta, in the ce...

  6. On the colours of spider orb-webs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suhr, Wilfried; Schlichting, H Joachim, E-mail: wilfried.suhr@uni-muenster.de, E-mail: schlichting@uni-muenster.de [Institut fuer Didaktik der Physik, University of Muenster, 48149 Muenster (Germany)

    2011-03-15

    A sticky capture thread from the spiral element of spider orb-webs is formed of almost regularly spaced droplets that surround a supporting axial fibre. From the perspective of physical optics it represents a periodic linear array of scattering elements that acts as a diffraction grating. This is a novel aspect, which is of vital importance for the understanding of the overall scattering pattern. To demonstrate its significance, we present our experimental findings and compare them with results of a simplified model.

  7. The effect of age on encounters between male crab spiders

    OpenAIRE

    Helen H. Hu; Douglass H. Morse

    2004-01-01

    In males that compete aggressively for females, size and age may determine which males obtain access to these females. In the present study, we use the crab spider, Misumena vatia, a species with males that do not grow after becoming sexually mature adults, to test the hypothesis that age affects the success of males competing for access to females. M. vatia is an excellent species to test this hypothesis because it is possible to disentangle age from size, characters that typically vary toge...

  8. Antenna-coupled TES bolometers for the SPIDER experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuo, C.L. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)]|[California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)]. E-mail: clkuo@astro.caltech.edu; Ade, P. [University of Wales, Cardiff, 5 The Parade, Cardiff, CF24 3YB, Wales (United Kingdom); Bock, J.J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)]|[California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Day, P. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)]|[California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Goldin, A.; Golwala, S.; Hristov, V.; Jones, W.C.; Lange, A.E.; Rossinot, P.; Vayonakis, A.; Wang, G. [California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Halpern, M. [University of British Columbia, 2329 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Hilton, G.; Irwin, K. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO (United States); Holmes, W.; Kenyon, M.; LeDuc, H.G. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); MacTavish, C. [University of Toronto, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A7 (Canada); Montroy, T.; Ruhl, J. [Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106 (United States); Netterfield, C.B. [University of Toronto, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A7 (Canada); Yun, M. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)]|[University of Pittsburgh, 348 Benedum Engineering Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261 (United States); Zmuidzinas, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)]|[California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2006-04-15

    SPIDER is a proposed balloon-borne experiment designed to search for the imprints of gravity waves on the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation. The required wide frequency coverage, large number of sensitive detectors, and the stringent power constraints on a balloon are made possible by antenna-coupled TES bolometers. Several prototype devices have been fabricated and optically characterized. Their spectral and angular responses agree well with the theoretical expectations.

  9. Innate pattern recognition and categorization in a jumping spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yinnon Dolev

    Full Text Available The East African jumping spider Evarcha culicivora feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by preferentially preying upon blood-fed Anopheles mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria1, using the distinct resting posture and engorged abdomen characteristic of these specific prey as key elements for their recognition. To understand perceptual categorization of objects by these spiders, we investigated their predatory behavior toward different digital stimuli--abstract 'stick figure' representations of Anopheles constructed solely by known key identification elements, disarranged versions of these, as well as non-prey items and detailed images of alternative prey. We hypothesized that the abstract images representing Anopheles would be perceived as potential prey, and would be preferred to those of non-preferred prey. Spiders perceived the abstract stick figures of Anopheles specifically as their preferred prey, attacking them significantly more often than non-preferred prey, even when the comprising elements of the Anopheles stick figures were disarranged and disconnected from each other. However, if the relative angles between the elements of the disconnected stick figures of Anopheles were altered, the otherwise identical set of elements was no longer perceived as prey. These data show that E. culicivora is capable of making discriminations based on abstract concepts, such as the hypothetical angle formed by discontinuous elements. It is this inter-element angle rather than resting posture that is important for correct identification of Anopheles. Our results provide a glimpse of the underlying processes of object recognition in animals with minute brains, and suggest that these spiders use a local processing approach for object recognition, rather than a holistic or global approach. This study provides an excellent basis for a comparative analysis on feature extraction and detection by animals as diverse as bees and mammals.

  10. Reproductive Seasonality in Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) Cave Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carver, Linnea M; Perlaky, Patricia; Cressler, Alan; Zigler, Kirk S

    2016-01-01

    Spiders of the family Nesticidae are members of cave communities around the world with cave-obligate (troglobiotic) species known from North America, Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific. A radiation of Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) in the southern Appalachians includes ten troglobiotic species. Many of these species are of conservation interest due to their small ranges, with four species being single-cave endemics. Despite conservation concerns and their important role as predators in cave communities, we know little about reproduction and feeding in this group. We addressed this knowledge gap by examining populations of two species on a monthly basis for one year. We made further observations on several other species and populations, totaling 671 individual spider observations. This more than doubled the reported observations of reproduction and feeding in troglobiotic Nesticus. Female Nesticus carry egg sacs, facilitating the determination of the timing and frequency of reproduction. We found that Nesticus exhibit reproductive seasonality. Females carried egg sacs from May through October, with a peak in frequency in June. These spiders were rarely observed with prey; only 3.3% (22/671) of individuals were observed with prey items. The frequency at which prey items were observed did not vary by season. Common prey items were flies, beetles and millipedes. Troglobiotic species constituted approximately half of all prey items observed. This result represents a greater proportion of troglobiotic prey than has been reported for various troglophilic spiders. Although our findings shed light on the life history of troglobiotic Nesticus and on their role in cave ecosystems, further work is necessary to support effective conservation planning for many of these rare species.

  11. Spiders in mountain habitats of the Giant Mountains

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Růžička, Vlastimil; Vaněk, J.; Šmilauer, P.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 43, č. 4 (2012), s. 341-347 ISSN 1067-4136 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Giant Mountains (Krkonoše, Karkonosze) * spider s * anemo-orographic systems Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.236, year: 2012 http://www.springerlink.com/content/0k5g721q1155r146/fulltext.pdf

  12. Innate Pattern Recognition and Categorization in a Jumping Spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolev, Yinnon; Nelson, Ximena J.

    2014-01-01

    The East African jumping spider Evarcha culicivora feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by preferentially preying upon blood-fed Anopheles mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria1, using the distinct resting posture and engorged abdomen characteristic of these specific prey as key elements for their recognition. To understand perceptual categorization of objects by these spiders, we investigated their predatory behavior toward different digital stimuli - abstract ‘stick figure’ representations of Anopheles constructed solely by known key identification elements, disarranged versions of these, as well as non-prey items and detailed images of alternative prey. We hypothesized that the abstract images representing Anopheles would be perceived as potential prey, and would be preferred to those of non-preferred prey. Spiders perceived the abstract stick figures of Anopheles specifically as their preferred prey, attacking them significantly more often than non-preferred prey, even when the comprising elements of the Anopheles stick figures were disarranged and disconnected from each other. However, if the relative angles between the elements of the disconnected stick figures of Anopheles were altered, the otherwise identical set of elements was no longer perceived as prey. These data show that E. culicivora is capable of making discriminations based on abstract concepts, such as the hypothetical angle formed by discontinuous elements. It is this inter-element angle rather than resting posture that is important for correct identification of Anopheles. Our results provide a glimpse of the underlying processes of object recognition in animals with minute brains, and suggest that these spiders use a local processing approach for object recognition, rather than a holistic or global approach. This study provides an excellent basis for a comparative analysis on feature extraction and detection by animals as diverse as bees and mammals. PMID:24893306

  13. On the colours of spider orb-webs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suhr, Wilfried; Schlichting, H Joachim

    2011-01-01

    A sticky capture thread from the spiral element of spider orb-webs is formed of almost regularly spaced droplets that surround a supporting axial fibre. From the perspective of physical optics it represents a periodic linear array of scattering elements that acts as a diffraction grating. This is a novel aspect, which is of vital importance for the understanding of the overall scattering pattern. To demonstrate its significance, we present our experimental findings and compare them with results of a simplified model.

  14. Colonization of subterranean habitats by spiders in Central Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Růžička, Vlastimil; Šmilauer, P.; Mlejnek, R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 42, č. 2 (2013), s. 133-140 ISSN 0392-6672 Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) GAJU 04-142/2010/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : superficial and deep subterranean habitats * caves * spider s Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.275, year: 2013 http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1288&context=ijs

  15. Early environmental conditions shape personality types in a jumping spider

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jannis eLiedtke

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Individuals of many species across the animal kingdom are found to be less plastic than expected, even in behavioral traits. The existence of consistent behavioral differences between individuals, termed personality differences, is puzzling, since plastic behavior is considered ideal to enable animals to adaptively respond to changes in environmental conditions. In order to elucidate which mechanisms are important for the evolution of personality differences, it is crucial to understand which aspects of the environment are important for the development of personality differences. Here, we tested whether physical or social aspects of the environment during development influence individual differentiation (mean level of behavior using the jumping spider Marpissa muscosa. Furthermore, we assessed whether those behaviors were repeatable, i.e. whether personalities existed. We applied a split-brood design and raised spider siblings in three different environments: a deprived environment with no enrichment, a socially and a physically enriched environment. We focused on exploratory behavior and repeatedly assessed individual behavior in a novel environment and a novel object test. Results show that the environment during development influenced spiders’ exploratory tendencies: spiders raised in enriched environments tended to be more exploratory. Most investigated behaviors were repeatable (i.e. personalities existed across all individuals tested, whereas only few behaviors were also repeatable across individuals that had experienced the same environmental condition. Taken together, our results indicate that external stimuli can influence the development of one aspect of personality, the inter-individual variation (mean level of behavior, in a jumping spider. We also found family by environment interactions on behavioral traits potentially suggesting genetic variation in developmental plasticity.

  16. A New Limit on CMB Circular Polarization from SPIDER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, J. M.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Benton, S. J.; Bergman, A. S.; Bihary, R.; Bock, J. J.; Bond, J. R.; Bryan, S. A.; Chiang, H. C.; Contaldi, C. R.; Doré, O.; Duivenvoorden, A. J.; Eriksen, H. K.; Farhang, M.; Filippini, J. P.; Fissel, L. M.; Fraisse, A. A.; Freese, K.; Galloway, M.; Gambrel, A. E.; Gandilo, N. N.; Ganga, K.; Gudmundsson, J. E.; Halpern, M.; Hartley, J.; Hasselfield, M.; Hilton, G.; Holmes, W.; Hristov, V. V.; Huang, Z.; Irwin, K. D.; Jones, W. C.; Kuo, C. L.; Kermish, Z. D.; Li, S.; Mason, P. V.; Megerian, K.; Moncelsi, L.; Morford, T. A.; Netterfield, C. B.; Nolta, M.; Padilla, I. L.; Racine, B.; Rahlin, A. S.; Reintsema, C.; Ruhl, J. E.; Runyan, M. C.; Ruud, T. M.; Shariff, J. A.; Soler, J. D.; Song, X.; Trangsrud, A.; Tucker, C.; Tucker, R. S.; Turner, A. D.; Van Der List, J. F.; Weber, A. C.; Wehus, I. K.; Wiebe, D. V.; Young, E. Y.

    2017-08-01

    We present a new upper limit on cosmic microwave background (CMB) circular polarization from the 2015 flight of Spider, a balloon-borne telescope designed to search for B-mode linear polarization from cosmic inflation. Although the level of circular polarization in the CMB is predicted to be very small, experimental limits provide a valuable test of the underlying models. By exploiting the nonzero circular-to-linear polarization coupling of the half-wave plate polarization modulators, data from Spider's 2015 Antarctic flight provide a constraint on Stokes V at 95 and 150 GHz in the range 33< {\\ell }< 307. No other limits exist over this full range of angular scales, and Spider improves on the previous limit by several orders of magnitude, providing 95% C.L. constraints on {\\ell }({\\ell }+1){C}{\\ell }{VV}/(2π ) ranging from 141 to 255 μK2 at 150 GHz for a thermal CMB spectrum. As linear CMB polarization experiments become increasingly sensitive, the techniques described in this paper can be applied to obtain even stronger constraints on circular polarization.

  17. A New Limit on CMB Circular Polarization from SPIDER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagy, J. M.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Benton, S. J.; Bergman, A. S.; Bihary, R.; Bock, J. J.; Bond, J. R.; Bryan, S. A.; Chiang, H. C.; Contaldi, C. R.; Doré, O.; Duivenvoorden, A. J.; Eriksen, H. K.; Farhang, M.; Filippini, J. P.; Fissel, L. M.; Fraisse, A. A.; Freese, K.; Galloway, M.; Gambrel, A. E.; Gandilo, N. N.; Ganga, K.; Gudmundsson, J. E.; Halpern, M.; Hartley, J.; Hasselfield, M.; Hilton, G.; Holmes, W.; Hristov, V. V.; Huang, Z.; Irwin, K. D.; Jones, W. C.; Kuo, C. L.; Kermish, Z. D.; Li, S.; Mason, P. V.; Megerian, K.; Moncelsi, L.; Morford, T. A.; Netterfield, C. B.; Nolta, M.; Padilla, I. L.; Racine, B.; Rahlin, A. S.; Reintsema, C.; Ruhl, J. E.; Runyan, M. C.; Ruud, T. M.; Shariff, J. A.; Soler, J. D.; Song, X.; Trangsrud, A.; Tucker, C.; Tucker, R. S.; Turner, A. D.; List, J. F. Van Der; Weber, A. C.; Wehus, I. K.; Wiebe, D. V.; Young, E. Y.

    2017-08-01

    We present a new upper limit on CMB circular polarization from the 2015 flight of SPIDER, a balloon-borne telescope designed to search for $B$-mode linear polarization from cosmic inflation. Although the level of circular polarization in the CMB is predicted to be very small, experimental limits provide a valuable test of the underlying models. By exploiting the non-zero circular-to-linear polarization coupling of the HWP polarization modulators, data from SPIDER's 2015 Antarctic flight provides a constraint on Stokes $V$ at 95 and 150 GHz from $33<\\ell<307$. No other limits exist over this full range of angular scales, and SPIDER improves upon the previous limit by several orders of magnitude, providing 95% C.L. constraints on $\\ell (\\ell+1)C_{\\ell}^{VV}/(2\\pi)$ ranging from 141 $\\mu K ^2$ to 203 $\\mu K ^2$ at 150 GHz for a thermal CMB spectrum. As linear CMB polarization experiments become increasingly sensitive, the techniques described in this paper can be applied to obtain stronger constraints on circular polarization.

  18. Detail design of the beam source for the SPIDER experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marcuzzi, D.; Agostinetti, P.; Dalla Palma, M.; Degli Agostini, F.; Pavei, M.; Rizzolo, A.; Tollin, M.; Trevisan, L.

    2010-01-01

    The ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility (PRIMA-Padova Research on Injector Megavolt Accelerated) is planned to be built at Consorzio RFX (Padova, Italy). PRIMA includes two experimental devices: a full size plasma source with low voltage extraction called SPIDER (Source for Production of Ion of Deuterium Extracted from RF plasma) and a full size neutral beam injector at full beam power called MITICA (Megavolt ITER Injector Concept Advancement). SPIDER is the first experimental device to be built and operated, aiming at testing the extraction of a negative ion beam (made of H - and in a later stage D - ions) from an ITER size ion source. The main requirements of this experiment are a H - /D - current of approximately 70 A/50 A and an energy of 100 keV. This paper presents an overview of the SPIDER beam source design, with a particular focus on the main design choices, aiming at reaching the best compromise between physics, optics, thermo-mechanical, cooling, assembly and electrical requirements.

  19. Jewelled spiders manipulate colour-lure geometry to deceive prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas E

    2017-03-01

    Selection is expected to favour the evolution of efficacy in visual communication. This extends to deceptive systems, and predicts functional links between the structure of visual signals and their behavioural presentation. Work to date has primarily focused on colour, however, thereby understating the multicomponent nature of visual signals. Here I examined the relationship between signal structure, presentation behaviour, and efficacy in the context of colour-based prey luring. I used the polymorphic orb-web spider Gasteracantha fornicata , whose yellow- or white-and-black striped dorsal colours have been broadly implicated in prey attraction. In a manipulative assay, I found that spiders actively control the orientation of their conspicuous banded signals in the web, with a distinct preference for near-diagonal bearings. Further field-based study identified a predictive relationship between pattern orientation and prey interception rates, with a local maximum at the spiders' preferred orientation. There were no morph-specific effects on capture success, either singularly or via an interaction with pattern orientation. These results reveal a dynamic element in a traditionally 'static' signalling context, and imply differential functions for chromatic and geometric signal components across visual contexts. More broadly, they underscore how multicomponent signal designs and display behaviours may coevolve to enhance efficacy in visual deception. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. Epigeic spiders of the pastures of northern Wielkopolska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woźny, Marek

    2000-10-01

    Full Text Available The fauna of epigeic spiders (Araneae occurring on three different types of pastures in northern Wielkopolska was analysed. Studies were conducted from May 1992 to October 1993. The 18,995 specimens collected were classified as belonging to 137 species and 17 families. The family Linyphiidae proved the richest in species while Lycosidae was the most abundantly in terms of number of specimens. Zoocenological analysis of spider communities showed their differentiation testifying to differences in the sites studied. The dominants were: 1 Osowo Stare (Site 1: Pardosa palustris, 2 Sycyn Dolny (Site 2: Xerolycosa miniata, P. palustris, Xysticus kochi, 3 Braczewo (Site 3: Erigone dentipalpis, P. palustris. Seasonal changes of dominance of the species at each site were established. A comparison of changes of the species’ dominances in the years 1992 and 1993 disclosed similar values of the individual dominance coefficient at the sites in Osowo Stare and Braczewo. This result indicates the occurrence of the process of stabilization of these biocenoses and a tendency to equilibrium in the environment. The least stable proved to be the site at Sycyn Dolny. Analysis of the seasonal dynamics of epigeic spider communities was also made by determining the mean number of species at each site in the two years of study. The highest number of species was noted in spring. It is interesting to note the appearance of species which are rare or very rare in Poland such as: Lepthyphantes insignis, Ostearius melanopygius, Enoplognatha mordax and Enoplognatha oelandica.

  1. Architecture of SPIDER control and data acquisition system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luchetta, A.; Manduchi, G.; Taliercio, C.; Soppelsa, A.; Barbalace, A.; Paolucci, F.; Sartori, F.; Barbato, P.; Breda, M.; Capobianco, R.; Molon, F.; Moressa, M.; Polato, S.; Simionato, P.; Zampiva, E.

    2012-01-01

    The ITER Heating Neutral Beam injectors will be implemented in three steps: development of the ion source prototype, development of the full injector prototype, and, finally, construction of up to three ITER injectors. The first two steps will be carried out in the ITER neutral beam test facility under construction in Italy. The ion source prototype, referred to as SPIDER, which is currently in the development phase, is a complex experiment involving more than 20 plant units and operating with beam-on pulses lasting up to 1 h. As for control and data acquisition it requires fast and slow control (cycle time around 0.1 ms and 10 ms, respectively), synchronization (10 ns resolution), and data acquisition for about 1000 channels (analogue and images) with sampling frequencies up to tens of MS/s, data throughput up to 200 MB/s, and data storage volume of up to tens of TB/year. The paper describes the architecture of the SPIDER control and data acquisition system, discussing the SPIDER requirements and the ITER CODAC interfaces and specifications for plant system instrumentation and control.

  2. Seasonal variation of ground spiders in a Brazilian Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Farcic Mineo

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The Brazilian Savanna Ecoregion (Cerrado is one of the richest biomes in the world, with a characteristic highly seasonal climate a dry season between May and September and a rainy season from October through April. Ground-dwelling spiders from three Cerrado phytophysiognomies, "campo cerrado", "cerrado" and "cerrad��o", were sampled using pitfall traps during two years, totaling 111 species and 3,529 individuals. The abundance of individuals and species richness was higher during the wet season. Fifty-eight species were captured exclusively during that period, whereas only nineteen were restricted to the dry season. Only two species were found in all samples. The number of juveniles was higher than the number of adults in all phytophysiognomies and in all species during both seasons. The highest abundance was registered in October and the lowest in April. Overall sex ratio was male-biased in all vegetation types sampled. Distinct climate variables affected the abundance of spiders depending on sex, age and vegetal physiognomy where they were sampled. This study involved the longest sampling of spider abundance and diversity on the ground of a Brazilian Savanna.

  3. Botulinum toxin in bruxism treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Piech

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Bruxism is defined as abnormal, fixed, unconscious chewing organ function, deviating qualitatively and quantitatively from normal function. Another definition speaks of motor dysfunction in the mouth, characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth, occurring during sleep. The etiology of this disorder has not been explained until now, but it is believed to be related to localized, mental, nervous and neurotransmitter disorders. Purpose: The aim of the study is to review literature and knowledge about the use of botulinum toxin in the treatment of bruxism. Methods of treatment: The patient reports to the physician usually after a distressing, difficult to locate pain. The basis for proper treatment is to detect parafunctions and to make the patient aware of their existence. Diagnostic symptoms include dentinal lesions, recesses, enamel cracks and abfractive cavities, as well as changes in the mucosal area of the cheeks. Treatment begins with the use of an occlusive therapy to relax muscles, reduce parafunction and relieve pain. In the form of severe pain, NSAIDs are introduced and, if necessary, anxiolytics, sedatives and antidepressants. In the absence of response to the treatment used, botulinum toxin type A injections are used. The dose of the agent depends on the initial muscle tone and the effect of decrease in its activity is maintained for 4 to 6 months. Conclusions: The use of botulinum toxin makes it possible to selectively exclude overactive muscles, which is a great advantage over other techniques. An additional benefit of this therapy is achieved good cosmetic effect, reversible effect and minimal amount of side effects.

  4. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shilpa, P S; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases.

  5. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day.

  6. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of a spider silk manufacturing process is of great interest. piggyBac vectors were used to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk prote...

  7. Differential predictive power of self report and implicit measures on behavioural and physiological fear responses to spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Bockstaele, B.; Verschuere, B.; Koster, E.H.W.; Tibboel, H.; de Houwer, J.; Crombez, G.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we investigated to what extent indirect measures predict behavioural and physiological fear responses towards spiders. Implicit attitudes towards spiders were assessed using an implicit association test and attentional bias towards spiders was assessed using a dot probe task and a

  8. An insect-feeding guild of carnivorous plants and spiders: does optimal foraging lead to competition or facilitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Philip H; Hopper, Kevin R; Krupa, James J

    2013-12-01

    Carnivorous plants and spiders, along with their prey, are main players in an insect-feeding guild found on acidic, poorly drained soils in disturbed habitat. Darwin's notion that these plants must actively attract the insects they capture raises the possibility that spiders could benefit from proximity to prey hotspots created by the plants. Alternatively, carnivorous plants and spiders may deplete prey locally or (through insect redistribution) more widely, reducing each other's gain rates from predation. Here, we formulate and analyze a model of this guild, parameterized for carnivorous sundews and lycosid spiders, under assumptions of random movement by insects and optimal foraging by predators. Optimal foraging here involves gain maximization via trap investment (optimal web sizes and sundew trichome densities) and an ideal free distribution of spiders between areas with and without sundews. We find no facilitation: spiders and sundews engage in intense exploitation competition. Insect attraction by plants modestly increases sundew gain rates but slightly decreases spider gain rates. In the absence of population size structure, optimal spider redistribution between areas with and without sundews yields web sizes that are identical for all spiders, regardless of proximity to sundews. Web-building spiders have higher gain rates than wandering spiders in this system at high insect densities, but wandering spiders have the advantage at low insect densities. Results are complex, indicating that predictions to be tested empirically must be based on careful quantitative assessment.

  9. A Quantitative Electrochemiluminescence Assay for Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Merrill, Gerald A; Rivera, Victor R; Neal, Dwayne D; Young, Charles; Poli, Mark A

    2006-01-01

    .... Biotinylated antibodies to C. perfringens alpha toxin bound to streptavidin paramagnetic beads specifically immunoadsorbed soluble sample alpha toxin which subsequently selectively immunoadsorbed ruthenium (Ru...

  10. Toxin-Antitoxin Battle in Bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cataudella, Ilaria

    This PhD thesis consists of three research projects revolving around the common thread of investigation of the properties and biological functions of Toxin-Antitoxin loci. Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) loci are transcriptionally regulated via an auto-inhibition mechanism called conditional cooperativity, ...

  11. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects' vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  12. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Ibanez

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  13. Stealth and mimicry by deadly bacterial toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yates, S.P.; Jørgensen, Rene; Andersen, Gregers Rom

    2006-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin and exotoxin A are well-characterized members of the ADP-ribosyltransferase toxin family that serve as virulence factors in the pathogenic bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  New high-resolution structural data of the Michaelis complex...

  14. Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garb Jessica E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroin evolutionary relationships have principally been determined from their non-repetitive carboxy (C-terminal domains, though they offer limited character data. The few known spidroin amino (N-terminal domains have been difficult to obtain, but potentially contain critical phylogenetic information for reconstructing the diversification of spider silks. Here we used silk gland expression data (ESTs from highly divergent species to evaluate the functional significance and phylogenetic utility of spidroin N-terminal domains. Results We report 11 additional spidroin N-termini found by sequencing ~1,900 silk gland cDNAs from nine spider species that shared a common ancestor > 240 million years ago. In contrast to their hyper-variable repetitive regions, spidroin N-terminal domains have retained striking similarities in sequence identity, predicted secondary structure, and hydrophobicity. Through separate and combined phylogenetic analyses of N-terminal domains and their corresponding C-termini, we find that combined analysis produces the most resolved trees and that N-termini contribute more support and less conflict than the C-termini. These analyses show that paralogs largely group by silk gland type, except for the major ampullate spidroins. Moreover, spidroin structural motifs associated with superior tensile strength arose early in the history of this gene family, whereas a motif conferring greater extensibility convergently evolved in two distantly related paralogs. Conclusions A non-repetitive N-terminal domain appears to be a universal attribute of spidroin proteins, likely retained from the origin of spider silk production. Since this time, spidroin N-termini have maintained several features, consistent with this domain playing a key role in silk

  15. Vibration transmission through sheet webs of hobo spiders (Eratigena agrestis) and tangle webs of western black widow spiders (Latrodectus hesperus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vibert, Samantha; Scott, Catherine; Gries, Gerhard

    2016-11-01

    Web-building spiders construct their own vibratory signaling environments. Web architecture should affect signal design, and vice versa, such that vibratory signals are transmitted with a minimum of attenuation and degradation. However, the web is the medium through which a spider senses both vibratory signals from courting males and cues produced by captured prey. Moreover, webs function not only in vibration transmission, but also in defense from predators and the elements. These multiple functions may impose conflicting selection pressures on web design. We investigated vibration transmission efficiency and accuracy through two web types with contrasting architectures: sheet webs of Eratigena agrestis (Agelenidae) and tangle webs of Latrodectus hesperus (Theridiidae). We measured vibration transmission efficiencies by playing frequency sweeps through webs with a piezoelectric vibrator and a loudspeaker, recording the resulting web vibrations at several locations on each web using a laser Doppler vibrometer. Transmission efficiencies through both web types were highly variable, with within-web variation greater than among-web variation. There was little difference in transmission efficiencies of longitudinal and transverse vibrations. The inconsistent transmission of specific frequencies through webs suggests that parameters other than frequency are most important in allowing these spiders to distinguish between vibrations of prey and courting males.

  16. The spider Harpactea sadistica: co-evolution of traumatic insemination and complex female genital morphology in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezác, Milan

    2009-08-07

    The males of invertebrates from a few phyla, including arthropods, have been reported to practise traumatic insemination (TI; i.e. injecting sperm by using the copulatory organ to penetrate the female's body wall). As all previously reported arthropod examples have been insects, there is considerable interest in whether TI might have evolved independently in other arthropods. The research reported here demonstrates the first case of TI in the arthropod subphylum Chelicerata, in particular how the genital morphology and mating behaviour of Harpactea sadistica (Rezác 2008), a spider from Israel, has become adapted specifically for reproduction based on TI. Males have needle-like intromittent organs and females have atrophied spermathecae. In other spiders, eggs are fertilized simultaneously with oviposition, but the eggs of H. sadistica are fertilized in the ovaries (internal fertilization) and develop as embryos before being laid. Sperm-storage organs of phylogenetically basal groups to H. sadistica provide males with last male sperm priority and allow removal of sperm by males that mate later, suggesting that TI might have evolved as an adaptive strategy to circumvent an unfavourable structure of the sperm-storage organs, allowing the first male to mate with paternity advantage. Understanding the functional significance of TI gives us insight into factors underlying the evolution of the genital and sperm-storage morphology in spiders.

  17. Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process.

  18. The age and evolution of sociality in Stegodyphus spiders: a molecular phylogenetic perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johannesen, Jes; Lubin, Yael; Smith, Deborah R.

    2007-01-01

    suggested to be unstable in evolutionary time, and hence sociality a rare phenomenon in spiders. Based on a partial molecular phylogeny of the genus Stegodyphus, we address the hypothesis that social spiders in this genus are evolutionary transient. We estimate the age of the three social species, test...

  19. Contamination vs. harm-relevant outcome expectancies and covariation bias in spider phobia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Peter J.; Peters, Madelon L.

    There is increasing evidence that spiders are not feared because of harmful outcome expectancies but because of disgust and contamination-relevant outcome expectancies. This study investigated the relative strength of contamination- and harm-relevant UCS expectancies and covariation bias in spider

  20. Phylogenomics, Diversification Dynamics, and Comparative Transcriptomics across the Spider Tree of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Rosa; Kallal, Robert J; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Ballesteros, Jesús A; Arnedo, Miquel A; Giribet, Gonzalo; Hormiga, Gustavo

    2018-05-07

    Dating back to almost 400 mya, spiders are among the most diverse terrestrial predators [1]. However, despite considerable effort [1-9], their phylogenetic relationships and diversification dynamics remain poorly understood. Here, we use a synergistic approach to study spider evolution through phylogenomics, comparative transcriptomics, and lineage diversification analyses. Our analyses, based on ca. 2,500 genes from 159 spider species, reject a single origin of the orb web (the "ancient orb-web hypothesis") and suggest that orb webs evolved multiple times since the late Triassic-Jurassic. We find no significant association between the loss of foraging webs and increases in diversification rates, suggesting that other factors (e.g., habitat heterogeneity or biotic interactions) potentially played a key role in spider diversification. Finally, we report notable genomic differences in the main spider lineages: while araneoids (ecribellate orb-weavers and their allies) reveal an enrichment in genes related to behavior and sensory reception, the retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA) clade-the most diverse araneomorph spider lineage-shows enrichment in genes related to immune responses and polyphenic determination. This study, one of the largest invertebrate phylogenomic analyses to date, highlights the usefulness of transcriptomic data not only to build a robust backbone for the Spider Tree of Life, but also to address the genetic basis of diversification in the spider evolutionary chronicle. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Neural correlation of successful cognitive behaviour therapy for spider phobia: a magnetoencephalography study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Barry; Alderson-Day, Ben; Prendergast, Garreth; Kennedy, Juliette; Bennett, Sophie; Docherty, Mary; Whitton, Clare; Manea, Laura; Gouws, Andre; Tomlinson, Heather; Green, Gary

    2013-12-30

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be an effective treatment for spider phobia, but the underlying neural correlates of therapeutic change are yet to be specified. The present study used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study responses within the first half second, to phobogenic stimuli in a group of individuals with spider phobia prior to treatment (n=12) and then in nine of them following successful CBT (where they could touch and manage live large common house spiders) at least 9 months later. We also compared responses to a group of age-matched healthy control participants (n=11). Participants viewed static photographs of real spiders, other fear-inducing images (e.g. snakes, sharks) and neutral stimuli (e.g. kittens). Beamforming methods were used to localise sources of significant power changes in response to stimuli. Prior to treatment, participants with spider phobia showed a significant maximum response in the right frontal pole when viewing images of real spiders specifically. No significant frontal response was observed for either control participants or participants with spider phobia post-treatment. In addition, participants' subjective ratings of spider stimuli significantly predicted peak responses in right frontal regions. The implications for understanding brain-based effects of cognitive therapies are discussed. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  2. Biased interpretation and memory in children with varying levels of spider fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, A.M.; Titulaer, G.; Simons, C.; Allart, E.; de Gier, E.; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated multiple cognitive biases in children simultaneously, to investigate whether spider-fearful children display an interpretation bias, a recall bias, and source monitoring errors, and whether these biases are specific for spider-related materials. Furthermore, the independent

  3. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana, E-mail: svetlana8@vin.bg.ac.rs [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Prekajski, Marija [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Rabasović, Mihailo [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Zarubica, Aleksandra [University of Niš, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Mathematics (Serbia); Branković, Goran [University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Department of Material Science (Serbia); Matović, Branko [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia)

    2017-02-15

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO{sub 3}){sub 3}) and ammonium hydroxide (NH{sub 4}OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce{sup 3+} ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  4. Species richness and composition assessment of spiders in a Mediterranean scrubland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bondoso Cardoso, Pedro Miguel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; Gaspar, Clara

    2009-01-01

    Intensive fieldwork has been undertaken in Portugal in order to develop a standardized and optimized sampling protocol for Mediterranean spiders. The present study had the objectives of testing the use of semi-quantitative sampling for obtaining an exhaustive species richness assessment of spiders...

  5. In Vitro Evaluation of Spider Silk Meshes as a Potential Biomaterial for Bladder Reconstruction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steins, A.; Dik, P.; Müller, W.H.; Vervoort, S.J.; Reimers, K.; Kubhier, J.W.; Vogt, P.M.; van Apeldoorn, Aart A.; Coffer, P.J.; Schepers, K.

    2015-01-01

    Reconstruction of the bladder by means of both natural and synthetic materials remains a challenge due to severe adverse effects such as mechanical failure. Here we investigate the application of spider major ampullate gland-derived dragline silk from the Nephila edulis spider, a natural biomaterial

  6. Active optical sensor assessment of spider mite damage on greenhouse beans and cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch is an important pest of cotton in mid-southern United States and causes yield reduction, and deprivation in fiber fitness. A greenhouse colony of the spider mite was used to infest cotton and pinto beans at the three-leaf and trifoliate stages, r...

  7. Utility Assessment Report for SPIDERS Phase 2: Ft. Carson (Rev 1.0)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barr, Jonathan L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tuffner, Francis K. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hadley, Mark D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Schneider, Kevin P. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-01-01

    This document contains the Utility Assessment Report (UAR) for the Phase 2 operational Demonstration (OD) of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD). The UAR for Phase 2 shows that the SPIDERS system was able to meet the requirements of the Implementation Directive at Ft. Carson.

  8. High School Students' Attitudes Towards Spiders: A cross-cultural comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Pavol; Tolarovičová, Andrea; Camerik, Anne M.; Peterková, Viera

    2010-08-01

    Spiders are traditionally considered to be among the least popular of animals. Current evidence suggests that a negative attitude towards spiders could be influenced by both cultural and evolutionary pressures. Some researchers suggest that science education activities could positively influence students' perceptions of spiders. Their evidence is, however, ambivalent. Using a five-point score Likert-type questionnaire in which the items were developed in a similar way to four of Kellert's categories of attitude (scientistic, negativistic, naturalistic, and ecologistic) towards invertebrates, we compared the level of knowledge of and attitudes towards spiders of high school students from two countries, Slovakia (n = 354) and South Africa (n = 382). The students represented different cultures and followed dissimilar science education curricula. Only among the Slovakian students there was a statistically significant but low correlation between knowledge and attitude (r = 0.30). The South African students scored higher in the categories of scientistic, naturalistic, and ecologistic attitudes. Comparison of attitude towards spiders of indigenous Africans from coeducational Catholic schools revealed that South African students have greater fear of spiders than Slovakian students, supporting the biological preparedness hypothesis. This hypothesis predicts a greater fear of spiders in South Africa than in Europe since several South African spiders possess venoms that are dangerous to humans. The results of this study are discussed from science education, cultural, and evolutionary perspectives.

  9. Pupils' Views about Spiders. Learning in Science Project (Primary). Working Paper No. 123.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawe, Eleanor

    The Learning in Science Project (Primary)--LISP(P)--investigated the ideas and interests about spiders held by 8- to 10-year-old children. Data included 303 questions--and answers to some of the questions--about spiders obtained from children in four classes and from responses obtained during individual interviews with 10 children from each age…

  10. Extended survival of spiders (Aranaeae) feeding on whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) honeydew

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeydew produced by homopteran insects such as aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs, can be abundant in some crops and may represent an important food resource for spiders and other honeydew feeding natural enemies. Woolly whiteflies are common in south Texas citrus, and spiders consistently make up a...

  11. Methods of assembling and disassembling spider and burnable poison rod structures for nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, L.A.

    1981-01-01

    A method is described of joining burnable poison rods to the spider arms of a pressurised water power reactor fuel assembly which is proof against the reactor core environment but permits these rods to be removed from the spider simply, swiftly and delicately. (U.K.)

  12. A Web of Learning: Beyond "Itsy Bitsy Spider," Preschool Students Learn Science Content Naturally

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evitt, Marie Faust

    2011-01-01

    One of the author's biggest challenges as a preschool teacher is helping children in a group see and touch and do. Hands-on explorations are important for everyone, but essential for young children. How can young children do hands-on explorations of spiders and their webs? Teachers do not want children handling all sorts of spiders. They worry…

  13. Species status and conservation issues of New Zealand's endemic Latrodectus spider species (Araneae: Theridiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vink, Cor J; Sirvid, Phillip J; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba

    2008-01-01

    New Zealand has two endemic widow spiders, Latrodectus katipo Powell, 1871 and L. atritus Urquhart, 1890. Both species face many conservation threats and are actively managed. The species status of the Latrodectus spiders of New Zealand was assessed using molecular (COI, ITS1, ITS2...

  14. Postharvest fumigation of California table grapes with ozone to control Western black widow spider (Araneae: Theridiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozone fumigations were evaluated for postharvest control of Western black widow spider (BWS), Latrodectus hesperus (Chamberlin and Ivie), in fresh table grapes destined for export from California USA. Mature adult female black widow spiders were contained in separate gas-permeable cages within a flo...

  15. Spider foraging strategy affects trophic cascades under natural and drought conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shengjie; Chen, Jin; Gan, Wenjin; Schaefer, Douglas; Gan, Jianmin; Yang, Xiaodong

    2015-07-23

    Spiders can cause trophic cascades affecting litter decomposition rates. However, it remains unclear how spiders with different foraging strategies influence faunal communities, or present cascading effects on decomposition. Furthermore, increased dry periods predicted in future climates will likely have important consequences for trophic interactions in detritus-based food webs. We investigated independent and interactive effects of spider predation and drought on litter decomposition in a tropical forest floor. We manipulated densities of dominant spiders with actively hunting or sit-and-wait foraging strategies in microcosms which mimicked the tropical-forest floor. We found a positive trophic cascade on litter decomposition was triggered by actively hunting spiders under ambient rainfall, but sit-and-wait spiders did not cause this. The drought treatment reversed the effect of actively hunting spiders on litter decomposition. Under drought conditions, we observed negative trophic cascade effects on litter decomposition in all three spider treatments. Thus, reduced rainfall can alter predator-induced indirect effects on lower trophic levels and ecosystem processes, and is an example of how such changes may alter trophic cascades in detritus-based webs of tropical forests.

  16. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana; Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav; Prekajski, Marija; Rabasović, Mihailo; Zarubica, Aleksandra; Branković, Goran; Matović, Branko

    2017-01-01

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO_3)_3) and ammonium hydroxide (NH_4OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce"3"+ ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  17. Spectral response of spider mite infested cotton: Mite density and miticide rate study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two-spotted spider mites are important pests in many agricultural systems. Spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) have been found to cause economic damage in corn, cotton, and sorghum. Adult glass vial bioassays indicate that Temprano™ (abamectin) is the most toxic technical miticide for adult two-spot...

  18. Differences among plant species in acceptance by the spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boom, van den C.E.M.; Beek, van T.A.; Dicke, M.

    2003-01-01

    The spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch has a broad range of host plants. However, the spider mite does not accept all plants to the same degree because of differences in nutritive and toxic constituents. Other factors, such as the induction of secondary metabolites, the morphology of a leaf

  19. Parasitization of a huntsman spider (Arachnida: Araneae: Sparassidae: Heteropoda venatoria by a mermithid nematode (Nematoda: Mermithidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachin P. Ranade

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The emergence of a mermithid worm from a huntsman spider Heteropoda venatoria was witnessed at Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal.  It appears to be a first record of the spider family Sparassidae serving as a host for a member of the family Mermithidae. 

  20. Interplay between toxin transport and flotillin localization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pust, Sascha; Dyve, Anne Berit; Torgersen, Maria L

    2010-01-01

    The flotillin proteins are localized in lipid domains at the plasma membrane as well as in intracellular compartments. In the present study, we examined the importance of flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 for the uptake and transport of the bacterial Shiga toxin (Stx) and the plant toxin ricin and we...... for flotillin-1 or -2. However, the Golgi-dependent sulfation of both toxins was significantly reduced in flotillin knockdown cells. Interestingly, when the transport of ricin to the ER was investigated, we obtained an increased mannosylation of ricin in flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 knockdown cells. The toxicity...... of both toxins was twofold increased in flotillin-depleted cells. Since BFA (Brefeldin A) inhibits the toxicity even in flotillin knockdown cells, the retrograde toxin transport is apparently still Golgi-dependent. Thus, flotillin proteins regulate and facilitate the retrograde transport of Stx and ricin....

  1. Crystallization of isoelectrically homogeneous cholera toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spangler, B.D.; Westbrook, E.M.

    1989-01-01

    Past difficulty in growing good crystals of cholera toxin has prevented the study of the crystal structure of this important protein. The authors have determined that failure of cholera toxin to crystallize well has been due to its heterogeneity. They have now succeeded in overcoming the problem by isolating a single isoelectric variant of this oligomeric protein (one A subunit and five B subunits). Cholera toxin purified by their procedure readily forms large single crystals. The crystal form has been described previously. They have recorded data from native crystals of cholera toxin to 3.0-angstrom resolution with our electronic area detectors. With these data, they have found the orientation of a 5-fold symmetry axis within these crystals, perpendicular to the screw dyad of the crystal. They are now determining the crystal structure of cholera toxin by a combination of multiple heavy-atom isomorphous replacement and density modification techniques, making use of rotational 5-fold averaging of the B subunits

  2. Immunotoxins: The Role of the Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David FitzGerald

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin bifunctional molecules that rely on intracellular toxin action to kill target cells. Target specificity is determined via the binding attributes of the chosen antibody. Mostly, but not exclusively, immunotoxins are purpose-built to kill cancer cells as part of novel treatment approaches. Other applications for immunotoxins include immune regulation and the treatment of viral or parasitic diseases. Here we discuss the utility of protein toxins, of both bacterial and plant origin, joined to antibodies for targeting cancer cells. Finally, while clinical goals are focused on the development of novel cancer treatments, much has been learned about toxin action and intracellular pathways. Thus toxins are considered both medicines for treating human disease and probes of cellular function.

  3. The path to the nest of spiders The path to the nest of spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Luz Bayer

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Italo Calvino writes in his preface to The Path to the Nest of Spiders that the novel answers to the "ripeness of the time" since ht wrote it after wartime, a period when everyone had a tale to tell. He tells us that this is a story in which iobody is a hero and nobody has the class consciousness necessary to unify them in the struggle. Calvino acknowledges that it was difficult to conciliate his experiences with the postwar literary movement which he calls Neo-expresSionism, a term which, he thinks, describes better Italian Neo-realism. This is a book with a full realistic depictior of the incongruousness of the whole situation, showing rumen beings driven by loneliness, aggressiveness, unfulfilment and failure to meet, their nerves frayed by the War. It reveals human beings in their weaknesses, subjected to deterministic fates changing roles according to circumstance. Partisans shift to the Nazi side and inform on their f rmer allies and vice-versa, being later chased in revenge. The novel has as its setting Italy under Fascism and unde German occupation, the Italian people being divided betw en the fascists of the "Black Brigade" and the "Partisa4s" who belonged to the Resistance. Although this is a pOlitical book, it has universal appeal. At the same time that it livens up historical facts about the period, it moves our feelings. Calvino's book is about World War II as it is viewed and felt by a small outcast, Pin, who makes considerable efforts to be accepted and understood by adults. In his daily life Pinsuffers the consequences Of the war. His aggressive disposition reflects the environment which he has been brought up in: since he was born, his country has been at war. Besides that, his only sister is a whore, whom he hates and despises. Italo Calvino writes in his preface to The Path to the Nest of Spiders that the novel answers to the "ripeness of the time" since ht wrote it after wartime, a period when everyone had a tale to tell

  4. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra M. Rodriguez-Artigas

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance, or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes. Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low

  5. Association of spiders and lichen on Robben Island, South Africa: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Mukherjee

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study is a firstrecord of spider occurrence on Robben Island, South Africa. Some habitats were rich in lichens. As we know, lichens enhance wildlife habitat in less direct ways. The objective of the study was to examine the potential importance of lichens in enriching spider diversity and abundance. A total of 260 spiders (170 from lichens and 90 from bush were collected following the visual search method over one year. Seasonal trends in overall species richness and abundance indicated that the relative density of spiders was greater in lichens than in bushes. The result suggests that habitat structure, such as branch size and epiphytic lichen abundance, can be an explanation for the greater number of spiders in lichen-rich patches of the island.

  6. Intercropping With Fruit Trees Increases Population Abundance and Alters Species Composition of Spider Mites on Cotton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haiqiang; Pan, Hongsheng; Wang, Dongmei; Liu, Bing; Liu, Jian; Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Yanhui

    2018-05-05

    With the recent increase in planting of fruit trees in southern Xinjiang, the intercropping of fruit trees and cotton has been widely adopted. From 2014 to 2016, a large-scale study was conducted in Aksu, an important agricultural area in southern Xinjiang, to compare the abundance and species composition of spider mites in cotton fields under jujube-cotton, apple-cotton, and cotton monocrop systems. The abundance of spider mites in cotton fields under both intercropping systems was generally higher than in the cotton monocrop. The species composition of spider mites also differed greatly between cotton intercropped with apple or jujube compared to the cotton monocrop. The relative proportion of Tetranychus truncates Ehara (Acari: Tetranychidae) in the species complex generally increased while that of another spider mite, Tetranychus dunhuangensis Wang (Acari: Tetranychidae), decreased under fruit tree-cotton systems. More attention should be paid to the monitoring and management of spider mites, especially T. truncates in this important region of China.

  7. Distribution and importance of spiders inhabiting a Brazilian sugar cane plantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabela Maria Piovesan Rinaldi

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna (Araneae of a sugar eane plantation was surveyed monthly by hand colteetion and beating vegetation in sugar cane fields across Botucatu, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Composition and rchness (family and species where identifieation to species was possible microhabitat preferenees were reeorded, and diversity and evenness indices were calculated. A total of 1291 spiders belonging to 73 species and 20 families were collected. The most diverse families were Theridiidae, Salticidae, and Araneidae, and the most abundant ones were Theridiidae, Saltieidae, Anyphaenidae, and Araneidae, Seven species represented 58.6% of the total fauna, with Crysso pulcherrima (Mello-Leitão,1917 (Theridiidae composing 28.2%. About 65% of the spiders occupied the upper part of the plants (above 20 cm. Five spider species were present in the sugar cane throughout crop development. Evidence of spiders feeding on sugar cane pest species was observed.

  8. The time course of location-avoidance learning in fear of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinck, Mike; Koene, Marieke; Telli, Sibel; Moerman-van den Brink, Wiltine; Verhoeven, Barbara; Becker, Eni S

    2016-01-01

    Two experiments were designed to study the time course of avoidance learning in spider fearfuls (SFs) under controlled experimental conditions. To achieve this, we employed an immersive virtual environment (IVE): While walking freely through a virtual art museum to search for specific paintings, the participants were exposed to virtual spiders. Unbeknown to the participants, only two of four museum rooms contained spiders, allowing for avoidance learning. Indeed, the more SF the participants were, the faster they learned to avoid the rooms that contained spiders (Experiment. 1), and within the first six trials, high fearfuls already developed a preference for starting their search task in rooms without spiders (Experiment 2). These results illustrate the time course of avoidance learning in SFs, and they speak to the usefulness of IVEs in fundamental anxiety research.

  9. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  10. Community structure of spiders in coastal habitats of a Mediterranean delta region (Nestos Delta, NE Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Buchholz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available (pp 101-115Habitat zonation and ecology of spider assemblages have been poorly studied in Mediterranean ecosystems. A first analysis of spider assemblages in coastal habitats in the east Mediterranean area is presented. The study area is the 250 km² Nestos Delta, located in East Macedonia in the North-East of Greece. Spiders were caught in pitfall traps at 17 sites from the beginning of April to the end of June 2004. Nonparametric estimators were used to determine species richness and alpha diversity. Ordination analysis (redundancy analysis indicated four clearly separable spider species groups (salt meadows, dunes, mea-dows and floodplain forests, along a soil salinity and moisture gradient. Based on these results we discuss the habitat preferences of these spiders and include the first ecological data on several species.

  11. Cognitive reappraisal of snake and spider pictures: An event-related potentials study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van Strien, Jan W

    2018-05-30

    Fear of snakes and spiders are common animal phobias. Emotion regulation can change the response to emotional stimuli, including snakes and spiders. It is well known that emotion regulation modulates the late positive potential (LPP), which reflects sustained motivated attention. However, research concerning the effect of emotion regulation on the early posterior negativity (EPN), which reflects early selective attention, is scarce. The present research question was whether the EPN and LPP amplitudes are modulated by regulation of emotional responses to snake and spider stimuli. Emotion up- and down-regulation were expected to enhance and reduce the LPP amplitude, respectively, but emotion regulation was not expected to modulate the EPN amplitude. Female participants passively viewed snake, spider, and bird pictures, and up- and down-regulated their emotional responses to the snake and spider pictures using self-focused reappraisal, while their electroencephalogram was recorded. There were EPNs for snakes and spiders vs. birds, as well as for snakes vs. spiders. The LPP amplitude tended to be enhanced for snakes and spiders compared to birds. Most importantly, the LPP amplitude was larger in the up-regulate than in the down-regulate condition for both snakes and spiders, but there was no evidence that the EPN amplitude was modulated by emotion regulation. This suggests that emotion regulation modulated sustained motivated attention, but not early selective attention, to snakes and spiders. The findings are in line with the notion that the emotional modulation of the EPN is more automatic than the emotional modulation of the LPP. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Beneficial Effects of Ants and Spiders on the Reproductive Value of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) in a Tropical Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefani, Vanessa; Pires, Tayna Lopes; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena Maura; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2015-01-01

    Predators affect plant fitness when they forage on them and reduce the action of herbivores. Our study evaluates the complementary effects of spiders and ants that visit the extrafloral nectaries of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) on the production of fruits and viable seeds of these savanna trees. Four experimental groups were established: control group - with free access of spiders and ants; exclusion group - spiders and ants excluded; ant group - absence of spiders; and spider group - absence of ants. The presence of ants reduced the spider richness; however, the presence of spiders did not affect the ant richness. A significantly higher number of fruits per buds were found in the presence of spiders alone or spiders and ants together (control group) compared with the absence of both predators (exclusion group). The number of seeds per fruits and seed viability were higher in the control group. This is the first study showing that spiders and ants may exert a positive and complementary effect on the reproductive value of an extrafloral nectaried plant. Mostly the impact of ants and/or spiders on herbivores is considered, whereas our study reinforces the importance of evaluating the effect of multiple predators simultaneously, exploring how the interactions among predators with distinct skills may affect the herbivores and the plants on which they forage.

  13. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Codd, Geoffrey A.; Morrison, Louise F.; Metcalf, James S.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles

  14. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Paola G; Ramírez, David; Alzate-Morales, Jans; Caballero, Julio; Kaas, Quentin; González, Wendy

    2017-12-22

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  15. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola G. Ojeda

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  16. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of bruxism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinastepe, Neslihan; Küçük, Burcu Bal; Oral, Koray

    2015-10-01

    Botulinum toxin, the most potent biological toxin, has been shown to be effective for a variety of disorders in several medical conditions, when used both therapeutically and cosmetically. In recent years, there has been a rising trend in the use of this pharmacological agent to control bruxing activity, despite its reported adverse effects. The aim of this review was to provide a brief overview to clarify the underlying essential ideas for the use of botulinum toxin in bruxism based on available scientific papers. An electronic literature search was performed to identify publications related to botulinum toxin and its use for bruxism in PubMed. Hand searching of relevant articles was also made to identify additional studies. Of the eleven identified studies, only two were randomized controlled trials, compared with the effectiveness of botulinum toxins on the reduction in the frequency of bruxism events and myofascial pain after injection. The authors of these studies concluded that botulinum toxin could be used as an effective treatment for reducing nocturnal bruxism and myofascial pain in patients with bruxism. Evidence-based research was limited on this topic. More randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm that botulinum toxin is safe and reliable for routine clinical use in bruxism.

  17. Engineering toxins for 21st century therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaddock, John A; Acharya, K Ravi

    2011-04-01

    'Engineering Toxins for 21st Century Therapies' (9-10 September 2010) was part of the Royal Society International Seminar series held at the Kavli International Centre, UK. Participants were assembled from a range of disciplines (academic, industry, regulatory, public health) to discuss the future potential of toxin-based therapies. The meeting explored how the current structural and mechanistic knowledge of toxins could be used to engineer future toxin-based therapies. To date, significant progress has been made in the design of novel recombinant biologics based on domains of natural toxins, engineered to exhibit advantageous properties. The meeting concluded, firstly that future product development vitally required the appropriate combination of creativity and innovation that can come from the academic, biotechnology and pharma sectors. Second, that continued investigation into understanding the basic science of the toxins and their targets was essential in order to develop new opportunities for the existing products and to create new products with enhanced properties. Finally, it was concluded that the clinical potential for development of novel biologics based on toxin domains was evident. © 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS.

  18. Can ant-eating Zodarion spiders (Araneae: Zodariidae) develop on a diet optimal for euryphagous arthropod predators?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekar, Stano; Toft, Søren

    2009-01-01

    . Such adaptations may then entail trade-offs in handling and utilization of alternative prey. To investigate behavioural as well as nutritional adaptations and the occurrence of the corresponding trade-offs in two ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion [Zodarion atlanticum Pekár & Cardoso and Zodarion germanicum...... (C. L. Koch)], spiders are reared on two diets: ants (i.e. their preferred prey) and fruit flies (i.e. an alternative prey that is nutritionally optimal for euryphagous spiders). Food consumption is observed and several fitness-related life-history parameters are measured. Although spiders readily...... accept ants, more than one-third of 35 spiders refuse to consume fruit flies and starve. Furthermore, severe hunger does not induce these individuals to accept fruit flies. Starving spiders die before moulting to the second stadium. Spiders that eat fruit flies increase only little and slowly in weight...

  19. From Midges to Spiders: Mercury Biotransport in Riparian Zones Near the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC), USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennuto, C M; Smith, M

    2015-12-01

    Riparian communities can receive environmental contaminants from adjacent aquatic 'donor' habitats. We investigated mercury biotransport from aquatic to terrestrial habitats via aquatic insect emergence and uptake by riparian spiders at sites within and upstream of the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC), a site with known sediment Hg contamination. Mercury concentration in emerging midges was roughly 10× less than contaminated sediment levels with the AOC, but biomagnification factors from midges to spiders ranged from 2.0 to 2.65 between sites. There was a significantly negative body mass:total mercury relationship in spiders (p Spiders contained significantly more mercury than their midge prey and spiders upstream of the AOC had higher mercury concentrations than spiders from within the AOC. Collectively, these data indicate that riparian spiders can be good mercury sentinels in urban environments, and that riparian communities upstream from the AOC may be at greater risk to mercury than has been previously considered.

  20. Role of Botulinum Toxin in Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsaik, Ajay K; Mascarenhas, Sonia S; Hashmi, Aqeel; Prokop, Larry J; John, Vineeth; Okusaga, Olaoluwa; Singh, Balwinder

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this review was to consolidate the evidence concerning the efficacy of botulinum toxin type A (onabotulinumtoxinA) in depression. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and Scopus through May 5, 2014, for studies evaluating the efficacy of botulinum toxin A in depression. Only randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. A pooled mean difference in primary depression score, and pooled odds ratio for response and remission rate with 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using the random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using Cochran Q test and χ statistic. Of the 639 articles that were initially retrieved, 5 studies enrolling 194 subjects (age 49±9.6 y) were included in the systematic review, and 3 randomized controlled trials enrolling 134 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis showed a significant decrease in mean primary depression scores among patients who received botulinum toxin A compared with placebo (-9.80; 95% CI, -12.90 to -6.69) with modest heterogeneity between the studies (Cochran Q test, χ=70). Response and remission rates were 8.3 and 4.6 times higher, respectively, among patients receiving botulinum toxin A compared with placebo, with no heterogeneity between the studies. The 2 studies excluded from the meta-analysis also found a significant decrease in primary depression scores in patients after receiving botulinum toxin A. A few subjects had minor side effects, which were similar between the groups receiving botulinum toxin and those receiving placebo. This study suggests that botulinum toxin A can produce significant improvement in depressive symptoms and is a safe adjunctive treatment for patients receiving pharmacotherapy for depression. Future trials are needed to evaluate the antidepressant effect per se of botulinum toxin A and to further elucidate the underlying antidepressant mechanism of botulinum toxin A.

  1. Botulinum toxin: yesterday, today, tomorrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Artemenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin (BoNT is a bacterial neurotoxin presented with seven serotypes that inhibit neurotransmitter release from nerve endings. The serotypes of BoNT are antigenically dissimilar, act via different, but interconnected mechanisms, and are not interchangeable. The activity of BoNT is associated with impaired neuroexocytosis occurring in several steps: from the binding of BoNT to its specific receptor on the axon terminal membrane to the proteolytic enzymatic cleavage of SNARE substrate. The effect of BoNT is considered to be restricted to the peripheral nervous system, but when given in particularly high doses, it has been recently shown to affect individual brain structures. In addition, by modulating peripheral afferentation, BoNT may influence the excitability of central neuronal structures at both spinal and cortical levels. Only BoNT serotypes A and B are used in clinical practice and aesthetic medicine. The type A has gained the widest acceptance as a therapeutic agent for more than 100 abnormalities manifesting themselves as muscular hyperactivity, hyperfunction of endocrine gland, and chronic pain. The effect of BoNT preparations shows itself 2-5 days after injection, lasts 3 months or more, and gradually decreases with as a result of pharmacokinetic and intracellular reparative processes. Biotechnology advances and potentialities allow purposefully modification of the protein molecular structure of BoNT, which expands the use and efficiency of performed therapy with neurotoxins. Recombinant technologies provide a combination of major therapeutic properties of each used BoNT serotype and expand indications for recombinant chimeric toxins.

  2. A novel endogenous inhibitor of phenoloxidase from Musca domestica has a cystine motif commonly found in snail and spider toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daquinag, A C; Sato, T; Koda, H; Takao, T; Fukuda, M; Shimonishi, Y; Tsukamoto, T

    1999-02-16

    Phenoloxidase inhibitor (POI), found in the hemolymph of housefly pupae, is a novel dopa-containing and cystine-rich peptide that competitively inhibits phenoloxidase with a Ki in the nanomolar range. [Tyr32]POI is a potential precursor molecule also found in the hemolymph that may be posttranslationally oxidized to the dopa-containing peptide after creation of a rigid structure. By employing both a solid-phase peptide synthesis system based on a 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl strategy and a specific air oxidation technique to ensure correct folding, we have been able to synthesize [Tyr32]POI. The synthetic [Tyr32]POI was confirmed to be identical to the native [Tyr32]POI by coelution high-performance liquid chromatography analysis and by enzymatic analysis using the phenoloxidase inhibition assay. To determine the disulfide pairings within the peptides, a series of enzyme hydrolyses and partial reduction/alkylation steps were performed. Three cystine pairs (Cys11-Cys25, Cys18-Cys29, and Cys24-Cys36) were determined by identification of the resulting peptides. The disulfide pairings of the two adjacent Cys residues (Cys11-Cys25 and Cys24-Cys36) were unambiguously assigned by comparing the derived fragments with the two possible isomers synthesized through a novel disulfide-linking technique. The arrangement of the disulfide bridges in POI was found to be topologically identical to those found for several peptides within the inhibitor cystine knot structural family. Although these peptides share a low primary sequence homology and display a diversity of biological functions, they nonetheless share similarities in their cystine motifs and tertiary structure. The tertiary structure model of POI, which was derived through molecular dynamics and energy minimization studies using restraints with determined disulfide connectivities, suggests that POI is a new class member of the inhibitor cystine-knot structural family.

  3. Expression of the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin from maize does not affect epigeic communities of carabid beetles and spiders

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Spitzer, L.; Růžička, Vlastimil; Hussein, Hany; Habuštová, Oxana; Sehnal, František

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 4 (2004), s. 110-112 ISSN 1335-258X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB6007304 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : GMO * Bt maize * agroecosystems Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  4. Toxin production in Dinophysis and the fate of these toxins in marine mussels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor

    Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) poses a considerable threat to food safety and to the economy of shellfish fishers and farmers in many parts of the world. Thousands of DSP intoxications have been reported, and bivalve harvesting can sometimes be closed down several months in a row. The toxins....... acuta. I grew the two species in laboratory cultures at different irradiances (7-130 μmol photons m-2 s-1) and with different food availability. The results showed that irradiance had no effects on toxin profiles, and only limited effects of the cellular toxin contents. Rather, toxin production rates...... are primarily produced by the marine mixotrophic dinoflagellates Dinophysis spp., known to occur in most parts of the world. Dinophysis can, along with other planktonic organisms, be consumed by filter-feeding bivalves, and thus the toxins can accumulate. Dinophysis can produce the three toxin groups, okadaic...

  5. Spider monkey, Muriqui and Woolly monkey relationships revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lima, Margarida Maria Celeira; Sampaio, Iracilda; Vieira, Ricardo dos Santos; Schneider, Horacio

    2007-01-01

    The taxonomic relationships among the four genera of the Atelidae family, Alouatta (Howler), Ateles (Spider), Lagothrix (Woolly) and Brachyteles (Muriqui), have been the subject of great debate. In general, almost all authors agree with the assignment of Howler monkeys as the basal genus, either in its own tribe Alouattini or in the subfamily Alouattinae, but they disagree on the associations among the other members of the family. Muriquis have been grouped with Spider monkeys based on the fact that they share various behavioral and morphological characteristics. Cladistic analyses using morphological, biochemical, karyotype and behavioral characteristics depicted a phylogenetic tree that places Howler as the basal genus and the remaining genera in an unresolved politomy. More recent studies using molecular data have suggested that Muriqui and Woolly monkeys are sister groups. However, a recent study based on nuclear and mtDNA argued that politomy is what best represents the relationships among Spider, Woolly and Muriqui. To contribute to this debate we have added new data from two nuclear genes, Transferrin and von Willebrand Factor, and using an alignment of 17,997 bp we demonstrate that a total analysis strongly supports the Muriqui-Woolly clade. A gene-to-gene approach showed that four of the eight nuclear genes provide support for the Muriqui-Woolly clade, two strongly and two moderately, while none of the eight genes provide support for any alternative arrangement. The mitochondrial genes were not able to resolve the politomy. A possible reason for the difficulty in resolving atelid relationships may be the short period of time separating each cladogenetic event in the evolutionary process that shaped this family.

  6. SPIDERS (ARANEI IN HEPRETOBIONT MESOFAUNA OF THE NORTHWEST CAUCASUS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Ponomarev

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Aim. We discussed in previous work a herpetobiont fauna of arachnids (Arachnida from the isolated yewboxwood wood, located in the Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve, 20 km near Sochi (Ponomarev, Chumachenko, 2007. The aim of the paper is to summarize available data about herpetobiont araneofauna of the Northwest Caucasus. Location. Republic of Adygea, Russia.Methods. Material was collected in 2009 on north macroslope of Main Caucasian Ridge within the territory of the Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve between 1000–1820 m. The following plant communities are studied: beech-silver fir (assotiation Abieti-Fagetion orientalis Korotkov et Belonovskaya 1987, maple forest (assotiation Petasito albae-Abietetum nordmannianae subassotiation Aceretosum trautvetteri Francuzov 2006, subalpine meadow (assotiation Poa longifolii – Calamagrostietum arundinaceae Semagina, 1992. Soil traps were used for collection of spiders.Results and main conclusions. During the period of study 100 species of spiders from 19 families are registered. Most diverse araneofauna of subalpine meadows includs 54 species belonging to 14 families. The least diverse araneofauna is in maple forest (24 species of 7 families. In beech-silver fir includes 45 species of 16 families of spiders. Only 3 species (Pireneitega ovtchinnikovi, Cybaeus abchasicus, Tenuiphantes mengei were found in all surveyed habitats. These 3 species clearly tend to forest habitats. Herpetobiont araneofauna of the Northwest Caucasus characterized by high taxonomic diversity with clear predominance of representatives of the family Linyphiidae. Specificity of araneofauna in different types of plant communities is high.

  7. Variation in Protein Intake Induces Variation in Spider Silk Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chun-Lin; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Background It is energetically expensive to synthesize certain amino acids. The proteins (spidroins) of spider major ampullate (MA) silk, MaSp1 and MaSp2, differ in amino acid composition. Glutamine and proline are prevalent in MaSp2 and are expensive to synthesize. Since most orb web spiders express high proline silk they might preferentially attain the amino acids needed for silk from food and shift toward expressing more MaSp1 in their MA silk when starved. Methodology/Principal Findings We fed three spiders; Argiope aetherea, Cyrtophora moluccensis and Leucauge blanda, high protein, low protein or no protein solutions. A. aetherea and L. blanda MA silks are high in proline, while C. moluccesnsis MA silks are low in proline. After 10 days of feeding we determined the amino acid compositions and mechanical properties of each species' MA silk and compared them between species and treatments with pre-treatment samples, accounting for ancestry. We found that the proline and glutamine of A. aetherea and L. blanda silks were affected by protein intake; significantly decreasing under the low and no protein intake treatments. Glutmaine composition in C. moluccensis silk was likewise affected by protein intake. However, the composition of proline in their MA silk was not significantly affected by protein intake. Conclusions Our results suggest that protein limitation induces a shift toward different silk proteins with lower glutamine and/or proline content. Contradictions to the MaSp model lie in the findings that C. moluccensis MA silks did not experience a significant reduction in proline and A. aetherea did not experience a significant reduction in serine on low/no protein. The mechanical properties of the silks could not be explained by a MaSp1 expressional shift. Factors other than MaSp expression, such as the expression of spidroin-like orthologues, may impact on silk amino acid composition and spinning and glandular processes may impact mechanics. PMID:22363691

  8. Conditional Toxin Splicing Using a Split Intein System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alford, Spencer C; O'Sullivan, Connor; Howard, Perry L

    2017-01-01

    Protein toxin splicing mediated by split inteins can be used as a strategy for conditional cell ablation. The approach requires artificial fragmentation of a potent protein toxin and tethering each toxin fragment to a split intein fragment. The toxin-intein fragments are, in turn, fused to dimerization domains, such that addition of a dimerizing agent reconstitutes the split intein. These chimeric toxin-intein fusions remain nontoxic until the dimerizer is added, resulting in activation of intein splicing and ligation of toxin fragments to form an active toxin. Considerations for the engineering and implementation of conditional toxin splicing (CTS) systems include: choice of toxin split site, split site (extein) chemistry, and temperature sensitivity. The following method outlines design criteria and implementation notes for CTS using a previously engineered system for splicing a toxin called sarcin, as well as for developing alternative CTS systems.

  9. The Linking Probability of Deep Spider-Web Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Pippenger, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    We consider crossbar switching networks with base $b$ (that is, constructed from $b\\times b$ crossbar switches), scale $k$ (that is, with $b^k$ inputs, $b^k$ outputs and $b^k$ links between each consecutive pair of stages) and depth $l$ (that is, with $l$ stages). We assume that the crossbars are interconnected according to the spider-web pattern, whereby two diverging paths reconverge only after at least $k$ stages. We assume that each vertex is independently idle with probability $q$, the v...

  10. Aggression and conflict management at fusion in spider monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aureli, Filippo; Schaffner, Colleen M

    2007-04-22

    In social systems characterized by a high degree of fission-fusion dynamics, members of a large community are rarely all together, spending most of their time in smaller subgroups with flexible membership. Although fissioning into smaller subgroups is believed to reduce conflict among community members, fusions may create conflict among individuals from joining subgroups. Here, we present evidence for aggressive escalation at fusion and its mitigation by the use of embraces in wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Our findings provide the first systematic evidence for conflict management at fusion and may have implications for the function of human greetings.

  11. Structure determination of spider silk from X-ray images

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ulrich, Stephan; Zippelius, Annette [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Theoretische Physik (Germany); Meling, Martin [Max-Planck-Institut fuer biophysikalische Chemie, Goettingen (Germany); Glisovic, Anja; Salditt, Tim [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Roentgenphysik (Germany)

    2008-07-01

    Spider silk consists of interconnected crystallites, which are typically aligned along the fiber axis. We present a method to systematically determine the structure of these crystallites. Hereby we introduce a model that calculates the scattering function G(q) which is fitted to the measured X-ray image (silk from nephila clavipes). With it, the crystallites' size, the constitution and dimensions of their unit cell, as well as their tilt with respect to the fiber axis is identified, and furthermore the effect of coherent scattering from different crystallites is investigated. The shown methods and the presented model can easily be generalized to a wide class of composite materials.

  12. Ineffective crypsis in a crab spider: a prey community perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Brechbühl, Rolf; Casas, Jérôme; Bacher, Sven

    2009-01-01

    Cryptic coloration is assumed to be beneficial to predators because of an increased encounter rate with unwary prey. This hypothesis is, however, very rarely, if ever, studied in the field. The aim of this study was to quantify the encounter rate and capture success of an ambush predator, in the field, as a function of its level of colour-matching with the background. We used the crab spider Misumena vatia, which varies its body colour and can thereby match the colour of the flower it hunts u...

  13. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Hénaut

    Full Text Available Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between 'Aechmea-areas' and 'control-areas' of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests.

  14. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hénaut, Yann; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Herault, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between 'Aechmea-areas' and 'control-areas' of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests.

  15. Environmental and hormonal factors controlling reversible colour change in crab spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llandres, Ana L; Figon, Florent; Christidès, Jean-Philippe; Mandon, Nicole; Casas, Jérôme

    2013-10-15

    Habitat heterogeneity that occurs within an individual's lifetime may favour the evolution of reversible plasticity. Colour reversibility has many different functions in animals, such as thermoregulation, crypsis through background matching and social interactions. However, the mechanisms underlying reversible colour changes are yet to be thoroughly investigated. This study aims to determine the environmental and hormonal factors underlying morphological colour changes in Thomisus onustus crab spiders and the biochemical metabolites produced during these changes. We quantified the dynamics of colour changes over time: spiders were kept in yellow and white containers under natural light conditions and their colour was measured over 15 days using a spectrophotometer. We also characterised the chemical metabolites of spiders changing to a yellow colour using HPLC. Hormonal control of colour change was investigated by injecting 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) into spiders. We found that background colouration was a major environmental factor responsible for colour change in crab spiders: individuals presented with white and yellow backgrounds changed to white and yellow colours, respectively. An ommochrome precursor, 3-OH-kynurenine, was the main pigment responsible for yellow colour. Spiders injected with 20E displayed a similar rate of change towards yellow colouration as spiders kept in yellow containers and exposed to natural sunlight. This study demonstrates novel hormonal manipulations that are capable of inducing reversible colour change.

  16. Comparative growth and development of spiders reared on live and dead prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yu; Zhang, Fan; Gui, Shaolan; Qiao, Huping; Hose, Grant C

    2013-01-01

    Scavenging (feeding on dead prey) has been demonstrated across a number of spider families, yet the implications of feeding on dead prey for the growth and development of individuals and population is unknown. In this study we compare the growth, development, and predatory activity of two species of spiders that were fed on live and dead prey. Pardosa astrigera (Lycosidae) and Hylyphantes graminicola (Lyniphiidae) were fed live or dead fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. The survival of P. astrigera and H. graminicola was not affected by prey type. The duration of late instars of P. astrigera fed dead prey were longer and mature spiders had less protein content than those fed live prey, whereas there were no differences in the rate of H. graminicola development, but the mass of mature spiders fed dead prey was greater than those fed live prey. Predation rates by P. astrigera did not differ between the two prey types, but H. graminicola had a higher rate of predation on dead than alive prey, presumably because the dead flies were easier to catch and handle. Overall, the growth, development and reproduction of H. graminicola reared with dead flies was better than those reared on live flies, yet for the larger P. astrigera, dead prey may suit smaller instars but mature spiders may be best maintained with live prey. We have clearly demonstrated that dead prey may be suitable for rearing spiders, although the success of the spiders fed such prey appears size- and species specific.

  17. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hénaut, Yann; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Herault, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between ‘Aechmea-areas’ and ‘control-areas’ of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests. PMID:25494055

  18. Effects of kaolin particle films on the life span of an orb-weaver spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benhadi-Marín, Jacinto; Pereira, José Alberto; Santos, Sónia A P

    2016-02-01

    Araniella cucurbitina (Araneae: Araneidae) is a widespread orb-weaver spider commonly found in agroecosystems. Mineral particle films such as kaolin, due to their protective or anti-feeding action, can represent an alternative to pesticides, especially in organic farming systems, but little is known about its effects on A. cucurbitina. Therefore, we tested the effect of kaolin sprays on the life span of A. cucurbitina under laboratory conditions. Four treatments were tested encompassing different exposure routes. Thus, kaolin sprays were applied on (i) the surface, (ii) the prey (fly), (iii) the spider and (iv) both spider & prey. A control group was tested with water in each treatment. Results showed that sprays of kaolin significantly affected the survival of A. curcubitina when applications were done on the surface and on both spider & prey registering a reduction of 48% and 56%, respectively. Spiders in control obtained higher probability of reaching alive at the end of the assay than those treated with kaolin. Differences observed can be explained by the feeding behavior of the species and may depend on the consumption of the web by the spider and the ratio spider/fly for body size. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Interpretative bias in spider phobia: Perception and information processing of ambiguous schematic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp

    2015-09-01

    This study investigates the interpretative bias in spider phobia with respect to rapid visuomotor processing. We compared perception, evaluation, and visuomotor processing of ambiguous schematic stimuli between spider-fearful and control participants. Stimuli were produced by gradually morphing schematic flowers into spiders. Participants rated these stimuli related to their perceptual appearance and to their feelings of valence, disgust, and arousal. Also, they responded to the same stimuli within a response priming paradigm that measures rapid motor activation. Spider-fearful individuals showed an interpretative bias (i.e., ambiguous stimuli were perceived as more similar to spiders) and rated spider-like stimuli as more unpleasant, disgusting, and arousing. However, we observed no differences between spider-fearful and control participants in priming effects for ambiguous stimuli. For non-ambiguous stimuli, we observed a similar enhancement for phobic pictures as has been reported previously for natural images. We discuss our findings with respect to the visual representation of morphed stimuli and to perceptual learning processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis - 2015. In this Table, provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases (≥1,000 cases reported during the preceding...

  1. Toxins and antimicrobial peptides: interactions with membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlamadinger, Diana E.; Gable, Jonathan E.; Kim, Judy E.

    2009-08-01

    The innate immunity to pathogenic invasion of organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms relies upon cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as the first line of defense. In addition to these natural peptide antibiotics, similar cationic peptides, such as the bee venom toxin melittin, act as nonspecific toxins. Molecular details of AMP and peptide toxin action are not known, but the universal function of these peptides to disrupt cell membranes of pathogenic bacteria (AMPs) or a diverse set of eukaryotes and prokaryotes (melittin) is widely accepted. Here, we have utilized spectroscopic techniques to elucidate peptide-membrane interactions of alpha-helical human and mouse AMPs of the cathelicidin family as well as the peptide toxin melittin. The activity of these natural peptides and their engineered analogs was studied on eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane mimics consisting of resistant pathogens.

  2. Bacterial toxins as pathogen weapons against phagocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana edo Vale

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favour microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signalling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed.

  3. How Parkinsonian Toxins Dysregulate the Autophagy Machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben K. Dagda

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery, Parkinsonian toxins (6-hydroxydopamine, MPP+, paraquat, and rotenone have been widely employed as in vivo and in vitro chemical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis, protein quality control pathways, and more recently, autophagy/mitophagy have been implicated in neurotoxin models of PD. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms by which different PD toxins dysregulate autophagy/mitophagy and how alterations of these pathways play beneficial or detrimental roles in dopamine neurons. The convergent and divergent effects of PD toxins on mitochondrial function and autophagy/mitophagy are also discussed in this review. Furthermore, we propose new diagnostic tools and discuss how pharmacological modulators of autophagy/mitophagy can be developed as disease-modifying treatments for PD. Finally, we discuss the critical need to identify endogenous and synthetic forms of PD toxins and develop efficient health preventive programs to mitigate the risk of developing PD.

  4. Botulinum toxin type a for chronic migraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazi, Avi

    2010-03-01

    Chronic migraine (CM) is the leading cause of chronic daily headache, a common and debilitating headache syndrome. The management of CM patients is challenging, with only limited benefit from available oral preventive medications. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) has been used extensively to treat disorders associated with increased muscle tone. More recent scientific data support an analgesic effect of the toxin. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of BoNT make it an appealing candidate for migraine prevention. Results from older clinical trials on the efficacy of the toxin in CM were inconclusive. However, recent trials using more stringent inclusion criteria have shown positive results, supporting the use of the toxin in some patients with this disorder. This review summarizes the scientific data on the analgesic properties of BoNT, as well as the clinical data on the efficacy of the toxin in treating CM.

  5. NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis - 2016. In this Table, provisional* cases of selected† notifiable diseases (≥1,000 cases reported during the preceding...

  6. Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth J. Roberson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Indirect ecological effects are a common feature of ecological systems, arising when one species affects interactions among two or more other species. We examined how browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus indirectly affected the abundance and composition of a web-building spider guild through their effects on the structure of the ground and shrub layers of northern hardwood forests. We examined paired plots consisting of deer-free and control plots in the Allegheny Plateau region Pennsylvania and Northern Highlands region of Wisconsin. We recorded the abundance of seven types of webs, each corresponding to a family of web-building spiders. We quantified vegetation structure and habitat suitability for the spiders by computing a web scaffold availability index (WSAI at 0.5 m and 1.0 m above the ground. At Northern Highlands sites, we recorded prey availability. Spider webs were twice as abundant in deer-free plots compared to control plots, while WSAI was 7–12 times greater in deerfree plots. Prey availability was lower in deer-free plots. With the exception of funnel web-builders, all spider web types were significantly more abundant in deer-free plots. Both deer exclusion and the geographic region of plots were significant predictors of spider community structure. In closed canopy forests with high browsing pressure, the low density of tree saplings and shrubs provides few locations for web-building spiders to anchor webs. Recruitment of these spiders may become coupled with forest disturbance events that increase tree and shrub recruitment. By modifying habitat structure, deer appear to indirectly modify arthropod food web interactions. As deer populations have increased in eastern North America over the past several decades, the effects of deer on web-building spiders may be widespread.

  7. Influence of Imidacloprid and Horticultural Oil on Spider Abundance on Eastern Hemlock in the Southern Appalachians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakeem, A; Grant, J F; Lambdin, P L; Hale, F A; Rhea, J R; Wiggins, G J; Coots, C

    2018-05-08

    Hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), is an exotic pest of eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière (Pinales: Pinaceae), in the eastern United States. Two commonly used insecticides to manage adelgid are imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid insecticide, and horticultural oil, a refined petroleum oil foliar spray. We have investigated the influence of imidacloprid and horticultural oil on spider abundance at different canopy strata in eastern hemlock. In total, 2,084 spiders representing 11 families were collected from the canopies of eastern hemlock. In beat-sheet and direct observation samples, the families Theridiidae, Araneidae, Salticidae, and Anyphaenidae were the most abundant. Significantly higher numbers of spiders were recorded on untreated control trees compared with trees treated with imidacloprid using soil drench and soil injection applications. Spider abundance in trees injected with imidacloprid and horticultural oil applications did not significantly differ from control trees. Spider abundance was significantly greater in the top and middle strata of the canopy than in the bottom stratum, where imidacloprid concentrations were the highest. Regression analysis showed that spider abundance was inversely associated with imidacloprid concentration. This research demonstrates that imidacloprid, when applied with selected methods, has the potential to result in reductions of spider densities at different strata. However, slight reductions in spider abundance may be an acceptable short-term ecological impact compared with the loss of an untreated hemlock and all the associated ecological benefits that it provides. Future studies should include investigations of long-term impact of imidacloprid on spiders associated with eastern hemlock.

  8. Updates on tetanus toxin: a fundamental approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Ahaduzzaman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium tetani is an anaerobic bacterium that produces second most poisonous protein toxins than any other bacteria. Tetanus in animals is sporadic in nature but difficult to combat even by using antibiotics and antiserum. It is crucial to understand the fundamental mechanisms and signals that control toxin production for advance research and medicinal uses. This review was intended for better understanding the basic patho-physiology of tetanus and neurotoxins (TeNT among the audience of related field.

  9. Subsocial behaviour and brood adoption in mixed-species colonies of two theridiid spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinsted, Lena; Agnarsson, Ingi; Bilde, Trine

    2012-01-01

    , aggression and cooperation through behavioural experiments and examine the potential for adoption of foreign brood. Morphological and genetic analyses confirmed that colonies consisted of two related species Chikunia nigra (O.P. Cambridge, 1880) new combination (previously Chrysso nigra) and a yet...... as in territorial, colonial spiders. Mixed species spider colonies, involving closely related species, have rarely been documented. We examined social interactions in newly discovered mixed-species colonies of theridiid spiders on Bali, Indonesia. Our aim was to test the degree of intra- and interspecific tolerance...

  10. Compositional changes in spider (Araneae) assemblages along an urbanisation gradient near a Danish town

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horváth, R.; Elek, Zoltán; Lövei, Gabor L

    2014-01-01

    Spider (Araneae) assemblages were studied over two years by pitfall trapping along an urbanisation gradient of forested habitats (rural forest - suburban forest fragment - urban forest fragment) in a Danish town, using the Globenet protocol. During the two years, we collected 4340 individuals of 90...... species, with money spiders (Linyphiidae) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) being most numerous. One species, Ero aphana, was new to the Danish fauna. In 2004, 45-47 species were captured in the habitats in various stages of urbanisation, while in 2005 (with a smaller collection effort), 28 (urban) - 37 (rural...

  11. Botulinum toxin therapy for limb dystonias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, D M; Aminoff, M J; Olney, R K

    1992-03-01

    We investigated the effectiveness of botulinum toxin in 17 patients with limb dystonias (10 with occupational cramps, three with idiopathic dystonia unrelated to activity, and two each with post-stroke and parkinsonian dystonia) in a placebo-controlled, blinded study. We identified affected muscles clinically and by recording the EMG from implanted wire electrodes at rest and during performance of tasks that precipitated abnormal postures. There were three injections given with graded doses of toxin (average doses, 5 to 10, 10 to 20, and 20 to 40 units per muscle) and one with placebo, in random order. Subjective improvement occurred after 53% of injections of botulinum toxin, and this was substantial in 24%. Only one patient (7%) improved after placebo injection. Subjective improvement occurred in 82% of patients with at least one dose of toxin, lasting for 1 to 4 months. Response rates were similar between clinical groups. Objective evaluation failed to demonstrate significant improvement following treatment with toxin compared with placebo. The major side effect was transient focal weakness after 53% of injections of toxin.

  12. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of strabismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Fiona J; Noonan, Carmel P

    2017-03-02

    The use of botulinum toxin as an investigative and treatment modality for strabismus is well reported in the medical literature. However, it is unclear how effective it is in comparison to other treatment options for strabismus. The primary objective was to examine the efficacy of botulinum toxin therapy in the treatment of strabismus compared with alternative conservative or surgical treatment options. This review sought to ascertain those types of strabismus that particularly benefit from the use of botulinum toxin as a treatment option (such as small angle strabismus or strabismus with binocular potential, i.e. the potential to use both eyes together as a pair). The secondary objectives were to investigate the dose effect and complication rates associated with botulinum toxin. We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register) (2016, Issue 6), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to July 2016), Embase (January 1980 to July 2016), Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS) (January 1982 to July 2016), the ISRCTN registry (www.isrctn.com/editAdvancedSearch), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 11 July 2016. We handsearched the British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, Australian Orthoptic Journal, proceedings of the European Strabismological Association (ESA), International Strabismological Association (ISA) and International Orthoptic Association (IOA) (www.liv.ac.uk/orthoptics/research/search.htm) and American Academy of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus meetings (AAPOS). We contacted researchers who are active in this field for information about further

  13. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of functionalities, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. One feature that has escaped extensive investigation is the silk-on-silk connection joints within spider webs, particularly from a structural mechanics perspective. We report a joint theoretical and computational analysis of an idealized silk-on-silk fibre junction. By modifying the theory of multiple peeling, we quantitatively compare the performance of the system while systematically increasing the rigidity of the anchor thread, by both scaling the stress–strain response and the introduction of an applied pre-strain. The results of our study indicate that compliance is a virtue—the more extensible the anchorage, the tougher and stronger the connection becomes. In consideration of the theoretical model, in comparison with rigid substrates, a compliant anchorage enormously increases the effective adhesion strength (work required to detach), independent of the adhered thread itself, attributed to a nonlinear alignment between thread and anchor (contact peeling angle). The results can direct novel engineering design principles to achieve possible load transfer from compliant fibre-to-fibre anchorages, be they silk-on-silk or another, as-yet undeveloped, system. PMID:25008083

  14. Nectar Meals of a Mosquito-Specialist Spider

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josiah O. Kuja

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Evarcha culicivora, an East African jumping spider, is known for feeding indirectly on vertebrate blood by actively choosing blood-carrying mosquitoes as prey. Using cold-anthrone tests to detect fructose, we demonstrate that E. culicivora also feeds on nectar. Field-collected individuals, found on the plant Lantana camara, tested positive for plant sugar (fructose. In the laboratory, E. culicivora tested positive for fructose after being kept with L. camara or one of another ten plant species (Aloe vera, Clerodendron magnifica, Hamelia patens, Lantana montevideo, Leonotis nepetaefolia, Parthenium hysterophorus, Ricinus communis, Senna didymobotrya, Striga asiatica, and Verbena trivernia. Our findings demonstrate that E. culicivora acquires fructose from its natural diet and can ingest fructose directly from plant nectaries. However, experiments in the laboratory also show that E. culicivora can obtain fructose indirectly by feeding on prey that have fed on fructose, implying a need to consider this possibility when field-collected spiders test positive for fructose. In laboratory tests, 53.5% of 1,215 small juveniles, but only 3.4% of 622 adult E. culicivora, left with plants for 24 hours, were positive for fructose. These findings, along with the field data, suggest that fructose is especially important for early-instar juveniles of E. culicivora.

  15. Tetracycline Reduces Kidney Damage Induced by Loxosceles Spider Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinthya Kimori Okamoto

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Envenomation by Loxosceles spider can result in two clinical manifestations: cutaneous and systemic loxoscelism, the latter of which includes renal failure. Although incidence of renal failure is low, it is the main cause of death, occurring mainly in children. The sphingomyelinase D (SMase D is the main component in Loxosceles spider venom responsible for local and systemic manifestations. This study aimed to investigate the toxicity of L. intermedia venom and SMase D on kidney cells, using both In vitro and in vivo models, and the possible involvement of endogenous metalloproteinases (MMP. Results demonstrated that venom and SMase D are able to cause death of human kidney cells by apoptosis, concomitant with activation and secretion of extracellular matrix metalloproteases, MMP-2 and MMP-9. Furthermore, cell death and MMP synthesis and secretion can be prevented by tetracycline. In a mouse model of systemic loxoscelism, Loxosceles venom-induced kidney failure was observed, which was abrogated by administration of tetracycline. These results indicate that MMPs may play an important role in Loxosceles venom-induced kidney injury and that tetracycline administration may be useful in the treatment of human systemic loxoscelism.

  16. Attention bias modification in specific fears: Spiders versus snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xijia; Ikani, Nessa; Barth, Anja; Rengers, Lea; Becker, Eni; Rinck, Mike

    2015-12-01

    Attention Bias Modification (ABM) is used to manipulate attention biases in anxiety disorders. It has been successful in reducing attention biases and anxious symptoms in social anxiety and generalized anxiety, but not yet in specific fears and phobias. We designed a new version of the dot-probe training task, aiming to train fearful participants' attention away from or towards pictures of threatening stimuli. Moreover, we studied whether the training also affected participants' avoidance behavior and their physical arousal upon being confronted with a real threat object. In Experiment 1, students with fear of spiders were trained. We found that the attention manipulation was successful, but the training failed to affect behavior or arousal. In Experiment 2, the same procedure was used on snake-fearful students. Again, attention was trained in the expected directions. Moreover, participants whose attention had been trained away from snakes showed lower physiological arousal upon being confronted with a real snake. The study involved healthy students with normal distribution of the fear of spider/snake. Future research with clinical sample could help with determining the generalizability of the current findings. The effect of ABM on specific phobia is still in question. The finding in the present study suggested the possibility to alter attentional bias with a dot-probe task with general positive stimuli and this training could even affect the behavior while encountering a real threat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habermann, E [Giessen Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Pharmakologisches Inst.

    1976-01-01

    /sup 125/I-labelled tetanus toxin and /sup 125/I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin.

  18. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Habermann, E.

    1976-01-01

    125 I-labelled tetanus toxin and 125 I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin. (orig.) [de

  19. Tests for attraction to prey and predator avoidance by chemical cues in spiders of the beech forest floor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wetter, Melissa B.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Spiders leave draglines, faeces and other secretions behind when traveling through their microhabitat. The presence of these secretions may unintentionally inform other animals, prey as well as predators, about a recent and possible current predation risk or food availability. For a wolf spider, other spiders including smaller conspecifics, form a substantial part of their prey, and larger wolf spiders, again including conspecifics, are potential predators. We tested two hypotheses: that large wolf spiders may locate patches of potential spider prey through the presence of silk threads and/or other secretions; and that prey spiders may use secretions from large wolf spiders to avoid patches with high predation risk. We used large (subadult or adult Pardosa saltans to provide predator cues and mixed dwarf spiders or small (juvenile P. saltans to provide prey cues. Subadult wolf spiders were significantly attracted to litter contaminated by dwarf spiders or small conspecifics after 6 hours but no longer after 24 hours. In contrast, neither dwarf spiders nor small P. saltans showed significant avoidance of substrate contaminated by adult P. saltans. However, small P. saltans showed different activity patterns on the two substrates. The results indicate that wolf spiders are able to increase the efficiency of foraging by searching preferentially in patches with the presence of intraguild prey. The lack of a clear patch selection response of the prey in spite of a modified activity pattern may possibly be associated with the vertical stratification of the beech litter habitat: the reduced volume of spaces in the deeper layers could make downward rather than horizontal movement a fast and safe tactic against a large predator that cannot enter these spaces.

  20. Botulinum toxin in parkinsonism: The when, how, and which for botulinum toxin injections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Francisco

    2018-06-01

    The aim of this article is to provide a review of the use of injections of botulinum toxin in the management of selected symptoms and signs of Parkinson's disease and other forms of parkinsonism. Sialorrhea is defined as inability to control oral secretions, resulting in excessive saliva in the oropharynx. There is a high level of evidence for the treatment of sialorrhea in parkinsonism with injections of different forms of botulinum toxin type A as well as botulinum toxin type B. Tremor can be improved by the use of botulinum toxin injections but improved tremor control often leads to concomitant motor weakness, limiting its use. Levodopa induced dyskinesias are difficult to treat with botulinum toxin injections because of their variable frequency and direction. Apraxia of eyelid opening, a sign more commonly seen in progressive supranuclear palsy and other tauopathies, often improves after botulinum toxin injections. Recent data suggest that regardless of the underlying mechanism, pain in parkinsonism can be alleviated by botulinum toxin injections. Finally, freezing of gait, camptocormia and Pisa syndrome in parkinsonism almost invariably fail to respond to botulinum toxin injections. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Stochastic prey arrivals and crab spider giving-up times: simulations of spider performance using two simple "rules of thumb".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kareiva, Peter; Morse, Douglass H; Eccleston, Jill

    1989-03-01

    We compared the patch-choice performances of an ambush predator, the crab spider Misumena vatia (Thomisidae) hunting on common milkweed Asclepias syriaca (Asclepiadaceae) umbles, with two stochastic rule-of-thumb simulation models: one that employed a threshold giving-up time and one that assumed a fixed probability of moving. Adult female Misumena were placed on milkweed plants with three umbels, each with markedly different numbers of flower-seeking prey. Using a variety of visitation regimes derived from observed visitation patterns of insect prey, we found that decreases in among-umbel variance in visitation rates or increases in overall mean visitation rates reduced the "clarity of the optimum" (the difference in the yield obtained as foraging behavior changes), both locally and globally. Yield profiles from both models were extremely flat or jagged over a wide range of prey visitation regimes; thus, differences between optimal and "next-best" strategies differed only modestly over large parts of the "foraging landscape". Although optimal yields from fixed probability simulations were one-third to one-half those obtained from threshold simulations, spiders appear to depart umbels in accordance with the fixed probability rule.

  2. Single toxin dose-response models revisited

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demidenko, Eugene, E-mail: eugened@dartmouth.edu [Department of Biomedical Data Science, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH03756 (United States); Glaholt, SP, E-mail: sglaholt@indiana.edu [Indiana University, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, IN47405 (United States); Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH03755 (United States); Kyker-Snowman, E, E-mail: ek2002@wildcats.unh.edu [Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH03824 (United States); Shaw, JR, E-mail: joeshaw@indiana.edu [Indiana University, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, IN47405 (United States); Chen, CY, E-mail: Celia.Y.Chen@dartmouth.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH03755 (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to offer a rigorous analysis of the sigmoid shape single toxin dose-response relationship. The toxin efficacy function is introduced and four special points, including maximum toxin efficacy and inflection points, on the dose-response curve are defined. The special points define three phases of the toxin effect on mortality: (1) toxin concentrations smaller than the first inflection point or (2) larger then the second inflection point imply low mortality rate, and (3) concentrations between the first and the second inflection points imply high mortality rate. Probabilistic interpretation and mathematical analysis for each of the four models, Hill, logit, probit, and Weibull is provided. Two general model extensions are introduced: (1) the multi-target hit model that accounts for the existence of several vital receptors affected by the toxin, and (2) model with a nonzero mortality at zero concentration to account for natural mortality. Special attention is given to statistical estimation in the framework of the generalized linear model with the binomial dependent variable as the mortality count in each experiment, contrary to the widespread nonlinear regression treating the mortality rate as continuous variable. The models are illustrated using standard EPA Daphnia acute (48 h) toxicity tests with mortality as a function of NiCl or CuSO{sub 4} toxin. - Highlights: • The paper offers a rigorous study of a sigmoid dose-response relationship. • The concentration with highest mortality rate is rigorously defined. • A table with four special points for five morality curves is presented. • Two new sigmoid dose-response models have been introduced. • The generalized linear model is advocated for estimation of sigmoid dose-response relationship.

  3. Active optical sensor assessment of spider mite damage on greenhouse beans and cotton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Daniel E; Latheef, Mohamed A

    2018-02-01

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, is an important pest of cotton in mid-southern USA and causes yield reduction and deprivation in fiber fitness. Cotton and pinto beans grown in the greenhouse were infested with spider mites at the three-leaf and trifoliate stages, respectively. Spider mite damage on cotton and bean canopies expressed as normalized difference vegetation index indicative of changes in plant health was measured for 27 consecutive days. Plant health decreased incrementally for cotton until day 21 when complete destruction occurred. Thereafter, regrowth reversed decline in plant health. On spider mite treated beans, plant vigor plateaued until day 11 when plant health declined incrementally. Results indicate that pinto beans were better suited as a host plant than cotton for rearing T. urticae in the laboratory.

  4. Mediterranean Recluse Spider, Loxosceles rufescens (Araneae: Sicariidae from Charkhab Cave, Southern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saber Sadeghi

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: The best-known dangerous spiders belong to the six genera. The genus Loxosceles or violin spiders are well known for their ability to cause skin necrosis or loxoscelism. All Loxosceles species have medical im­portance due to their necrotizing venom. The present article reports the occurrence of L. rufescens in Charkhab Cave, south of Iran (Larestan.Methods: The specimens were collected from the Charkhab Cave using handling forceps, paintbrush and aspirator and preserved in 96% ethanol.Results: Loxosceles rufescens, a medically important spider, is recorded from Charkhab Cave in Fars Province (southwest of Iran. Identification of L. rufescens was performed based on external morphology and the features of male genitalia.Conclusion: Presence of L. rufescens in south of Iran especially in a cave confirmed that this species is a widely distributed species in Iran. Therefore, cavers or cave visitors should be aware of this poisonous spider in caves.

  5. Contamination and Harm Relevant UCS-Expectancy Bias in Spider Phobic Individuals : Influence of Treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Overveld, Mark; de Jong, Peter J.; Huijding, Jorg; Peters, Madelon L.

    2010-01-01

    Phobic individuals expect aversive UCS's following encounters with phobic stimuli. Previous research using a thought-experiment procedure showed that contamination rather than harm-related outcome expectancies differentiated best between high and low spider fearful undergraduates. This study

  6. The distribution of spiders and Harvestmen (Chelicerata) in the Dutch National Park "De Hoge Veluwe"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammen, van der L.

    1983-01-01

    A preliminary study is made of the distribution of Araneida and Opilionida (Chelicerata) in a National Park in The Netherlands. Special attention is paid to the influence of vegetation structure on the distribution of the spiders.

  7. Envia garciai, a new genus and species of mygalomorph spiders (Araneae, Microstigmatidae from Brazilian Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ott Ricardo

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Envia, comprising only the new species Envia garciai, is proposed. These small mygalomorph spiders were abundantly collected in soil cores and litter samples in primary rain forests near Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

  8. Studies on the occurrence of true spiders as natural enemies in many Egyptian fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira A. Ibrahim

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available True spiders represent one of the most important natural predatory species in Egyptian fields. In this work, common true spiders were surveyed in wheat, cotton and maize fields, and were counted weekly by using the direct method. For evaluating the feeding consumption of true spiders, five feeding cases were tested (as preys. These cases were: eggs of Ephestia kuehniella, eggs of Phthorimaea operculella, one day eggs and larvae of E. kuehniella, larvae of E. kuehniella and P. operculella and larvae of E. kuehniella only. Results obtained revealed that, the highest average daily consumption for each spider was recorded in case of feeding on eggs of P. operculella. While, the longest survival period was recorded in case of feeding on larvae of E. kuehniella.

  9. Biomimetic Spider Leg Joints: A Review from Biomechanical Research to Compliant Robotic Actuators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Landkammer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Due to their inherent compliance, soft actuated joints are becoming increasingly important for robotic applications, especially when human-robot-interactions are expected. Several of these flexible actuators are inspired by biological models. One perfect showpiece for biomimetic robots is the spider leg, because it combines lightweight design and graceful movements with powerful and dynamic actuation. Building on this motivation, the review article focuses on compliant robotic joints inspired by the function principle of the spider leg. The mechanism is introduced by an overview of existing biological and biomechanical research. Thereupon a classification of robots that are bio-inspired by spider joints is presented. Based on this, the biomimetic robot applications referring to the spider principle are identified and discussed.

  10. The use of tetragnathid spiders as bioindicators of metal exposure at a coal ash spill site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otter, Ryan R; Hayden, Mary; Mathews, Teresa; Fortner, Allison; Bailey, Frank C

    2013-09-01

    On 22 December 2008, a dike containing coal fly ash from the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant (TN, USA) failed, resulting in the largest coal ash spill in US history. The present study was designed to determine sediment metal concentrations at multiple site locations and to determine whether site-specific bioaccumulation of metals existed in tetragnathid spiders. Selenium and nickel were the only 2 metals to exceed the US Environmental Protection Agency sediment screening levels. Selenium concentrations in spiders were significantly higher at ash-affected sites than in those from reference sites. The ratio of methylmercury to total mercury in spiders was found to be similar to that in other organisms (65-75%), which highlights the potential use of tetragnathid spiders as an indicator species for tracing contaminant transfer between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  11. Efficacy of DNA barcoding for the species identification of spiders from Western Ghats of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaikwad, Swapnil; Warudkar, Ashwin; Shouche, Yogesh

    2017-09-01

    DNA barcoding has emerged as an additional tool for taxonomy and as an aid to taxonomic impediments. Due to their extensive morphological variation, spiders are taxonomically challenging. Therefore, all over the world, attempts are being made to DNA barcode species of spiders. Till now no attempts were made to DNA barcode Indian spiders despite their rich diversity. We have generated DNA barcodes for 60 species (n = 112) of spiders for the first time from India. Although only 17 species were correctly identified at the species level, DNA barcoding correctly discriminated 99% of the species studied here. We have also found high intraspecies nucleotide divergence in Plexippus paykulli suggesting cryptic diversity that needs to be studied in detail. Our study also showed non-specific amplification of the Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) gene of endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia. However, these cases are very rare and could be resolved by the use of modified or group specific primers.

  12. Captive spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) arm-raise to solicit allo-grooming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheel, Matthew H; Edwards, Dori

    2012-03-01

    Old World monkeys solicit allo-grooming from conspecifics. However, there are relatively few studies of allo-grooming among spider monkeys, and descriptions of allo-grooming solicitation among spider monkeys are anecdotal. In this study, eighty-one hours of video, shot over eight weeks, captured 271 allo-grooming bouts among small groups of captive spider monkeys. Six of eight monkeys made heretofore unreported arm-raises that solicited higher than normal rates of allo-grooming. Allo-grooming bout durations following arm-raises also tended to be longer than bouts not preceded by arm-raises. The efficacy of the arm-raise at soliciting allo-grooming suggests spider monkeys are capable of intentional communication. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Investigating the influence of farm-scape geospatial characteristics on spider diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodiversity is an important aspect of sustainable crop management and agricultural production. Maintaining biodiversity within agricultural ecosystems, especially in regards to predator species, promotes natural pest control and many other ecosystem services. Spiders (Araneae) often prey upon commo...

  14. Prediction of abundance of forest spiders according to climate warming in South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of spiders will be changed as climate warms. Abundance of spider species was predicted nationwide in South Korea. Abundance of spiders was projected using temperature species distribution model based on a nationwide data (366 forest sites according to climate change scenario RCP 4.5 and 8.5. The model predicts that 9 out of 17 species will increase in abundance while 8 species will decrease. Based on this finding, a qualitative prediction (increase or decrease was conducted on the species with more than 1% occurrence: 68 species are expected to decrease, 9 to increase, and 8 to change a little. In pooled estimation, 76 species (75% are expected to decrease, 18 species (18% to increase, and by 8 species (8% to have little change. The projection indicates that majority of spider species will decrease, but minority of species will increase as climate warms, suggesting great increase of remained species in lowlands.

  15. Intersexual Trophic Niche Partitioning in an Ant-Eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekár, Stanislav; Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.

    2011-01-01

    lead to higher energy demands in females driven by fecundity selection, while males invest in mate searching. We tested predictions of the two hypotheses underlying intersexual trophic niche partitioning in a natural population of spiders. Zodarion jozefienae spiders specialize on Messor barbarus ants...... that are polymorphic in body size and hence comprise potential trophic niches for the spider, making this system well-suited to study intersexual trophic niche partitioning. Methodology/Principal Findings Comparative analysis of trophic morphology (the chelicerae) and body size of males, females and juveniles...... demonstrated highly female biased SSD (Sexual Size Dimorphism) in body size, body weight, and in the size of chelicerae, the latter arising from sex-specific growth patterns in trophic morphology. In the field, female spiders actively selected ant sub-castes that were larger than the average prey size...

  16. Spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on a military training base in Northwest Germany (Münster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buchholz, Sascha

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on the military training area of Dorbaum near Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia was investigated. From 2002 to 2003 a total of 11,194 mature spiders from 141 species and 20 families was caught by pitfall trapping and hand sampling. Among them are 18 species listed in the Red Data Book of North Rhine-Westphalia, four species are rare or previously rarely recorded. Most of the spiders are habitat generalists that extend their occurrence into all types of habitats, while the number of species which are stenotopic to sand habitats is noticeably low (n = 13. The spider data were analysed with Principal Component Analysis (PCA. It is possible to distinguish spider communities of neighbouring forested habitats from species groups of open habitats, but there is no uniform spider community which is characteristic for semi-dry grassland.

  17. Coagulopathy after spider bites in a six-year-old boy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ansari SH.

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Spider bites are common in most parts of the world. In some areas, where snake or scorpion bites are common, spider bites may not be considered a significant problem by the general public and those who have been bitten by spiders may not go to a hospital. However, significant problems are observed in the victims of certain species of spiders including: widow spider (of the genus Latrodectus, including the black widow and brown spiders (of the genus Loxosceles, such as the brown recluse. Case: We report a six-year-old boy, admitted to the hospital two weeks after suffering a spider bite. The patient presented with a severe nose bleed, ecchymosis and purpura, as well as anemia, indicating a clotting disorder. Laboratory results revealed abnormal values for prothrombin time (PT >50 sec, partial thromboplastin time (PTT >120 min and fibrinogen = 0 mg/dl, whereas factor VIII was normal according to a mixing study, with a normal platelet count of 350,000/µl. The patient was managed with fresh frozen plasma every 12 h, and was discharged one week after hospital admission. At present, the patient is well with more normal laboratory results one month after treatment: PT=13.4 sec, PTT= 34 sec, fibrinogen=105 mg/dl.         Conclusions: Although spider bites are uncommon in Iran, severe systemic reactions may occur in the pediatric population requiring admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. These systemic reactions may include hemolytic anemia coagulopathy and renal failure.

  18. Riparian spiders as sentinels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Gibson, Polly P.; Walters, David M.; Mills, Marc A.

    2017-01-01

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems.However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the hypothesis that riparian spiders may be effectively used to track spatial patterns of sediment pollution by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic ecosystems with high habitat heterogeneity. The spatial pattern of ΣPCB concentrations in 2 common families of riparian spiders sampled in 2011 to 2013 generally tracked spatial variation in sediment ΣPCBs across all sites within the Manistique River Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC), a rivermouth ecosystem located on the south shore of the Upper Peninsula, Manistique (MI,USA) that includes harbor, river, backwater, and lake habitats. Sediment ΣPCB concentrations normalized for total organic carbon explained 41% of the variation in lipid-normalized spider ΣPCB concentrations across 11 sites. Furthermore, 2 common riparian spider taxa (Araneidae and Tetragnathidae) were highly correlated (r2> 0.78) and had similar mean ΣPCB concentrations when averaged acrossall years. The results indicate that riparian spiders may be useful sentinels of relative PCB availability to aquatic and riparian food webs in heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems like rivermouths where habitat and contaminant variability may make the use of aquatic taxa lesseffective. Furthermore, the present approach appears robust to heterogeneity in shoreline development and riparian vegetation that support different families of large web-building spiders. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1–9. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  19. The functional morphology of color changing in a spider: development of ommochrome pigment granules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insausti, Teresita C; Casas, Jérôme

    2008-03-01

    Studies on the formation of ommochrome pigment granules are very few, despite their generalized occurrence as screening pigments in insect eyes. This is particularly true for ommochrome granules responsible for epidermal coloration. The aims of this study were to characterize the localization of major body pigments in a color changing mimetic spider, Misumena vatia (Thomisidae), and to describe the formation and location of ommochrome pigment granules responsible for the spider's color change from white to yellow. The unpigmented cuticula of this spider is transparent. Both the guanine localized in guanine cells in the opisthosoma and the uric acid localized in epidermis cells in the prosoma are responsible for the white coloration. The bright yellow color is due to the combination of ommochrome pigment granules and the white reflectance from coincident guanine and/or uric acid. The formation of ommochrome pigment granules in epidermis cells proceeds via three distinctive steps. Translucent, UV fluorescent, progranules (type I) are produced by a dense network of endoplasmic reticulum associated with numerous mitochondria and glycogen rosettes. These progranules are present in white spiders only, and regularly distributed in the cytoplasm. The merging of several progranules of type I into a transient state (progranule type II) leads to the formation of granules (type III) characterized by their lack of fluorescence, their spherical sections and their osmophilic-electron-dense contents. They are found in yellow spiders and in the red stripes on the body sides. Their color varies from yellow to red. Thus, white spiders contain only type I granules, yellow tinted spiders contain type II and III granules and bright yellow spiders contain only type III granules. We present a synthetic view of the ontogeny of ommochrome granules. We discuss the physiology of color changing and the nature of the chemical compounds in the different types of granules. Extended studies on the

  20. Design of the interlock and protection system for the SPIDER experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pomaro, N.; Grando, L.; Luchetta, A.; Paolucci, F.; Sartori, F.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •A custom designed interlock and protection system for SPIDER experiment is described. •It includes two subsystems implementing slow and fast protection functions. •High reliability PLCs are adopted for slow protection. •Fiber-optic based, custom designed fast logic circuitry is proposed for fast protection. •Accelerators breakdown events are also managed by the fast subsystem. -- Abstract: Unprecedented levels of beam energy and power are required for ITER Neutral Beam Heating systems. SPIDER experiment is an experimental device aimed to test and optimize a full size beam source satisfying ITER requirements. SPIDER experiment operation involves high power, voltage, temperature, and gas pressure. All these critical conditions are present simultaneously, so that any failure if not properly detected and managed is likely to cause severe damage. The Interlock and Protection System is a high-reliability system devoted to the investment protection of SPIDER. Its main purpose is to manage abnormal events occurring in one or more plants in order to minimize adverse consequences. The Interlock System also manages the SPIDER Operating Modes, defining the set and status of the Plants used in the various possible experimental configurations. In addition, the Interlock and Protection System takes care of particular events occurring during normal SPIDER operation, i.e. electrical arcs between accelerator grids, named breakdowns. Their treatment is committed to the Interlock and Protection System, as they need to be managed timely and with absolute reliability like actual faults. To perform the required functions, the Interlock and Protection System is interfaced with most SPIDER plants and with the SPIDER Control and Data Acquisition System. The paper describes the rationale of the protection functions, their implementation in the design and the technical specifications of the system

  1. Riparian spiders as sentinels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M; Gibson, Polly P; Walters, David M; Mills, Marc A

    2017-05-01

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems. However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the hypothesis that riparian spiders may be effectively used to track spatial patterns of sediment pollution by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic ecosystems with high habitat heterogeneity. The spatial pattern of ΣPCB concentrations in 2 common families of riparian spiders sampled in 2011 to 2013 generally tracked spatial variation in sediment ΣPCBs across all sites within the Manistique River Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC), a rivermouth ecosystem located on the south shore of the Upper Peninsula, Manistique (MI, USA) that includes harbor, river, backwater, and lake habitats. Sediment ΣPCB concentrations normalized for total organic carbon explained 41% of the variation in lipid-normalized spider ΣPCB concentrations across 11 sites. Furthermore, 2 common riparian spider taxa (Araneidae and Tetragnathidae) were highly correlated (r 2  > 0.78) and had similar mean ΣPCB concentrations when averaged across all years. The results indicate that riparian spiders may be useful sentinels of relative PCB availability to aquatic and riparian food webs in heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems like rivermouths where habitat and contaminant variability may make the use of aquatic taxa less effective. Furthermore, the present approach appears robust to heterogeneity in shoreline development and riparian vegetation that support different families of large web-building spiders. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1278-1286. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in

  2. Record breaking achievements by spiders and the scientists who study them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammola, Stefano; Michalik, Peter; Hebets, Eileen A; Isaia, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Organismal biology has been steadily losing fashion in both formal education and scientific research. Simultaneous with this is an observable decrease in the connection between humans, their environment, and the organisms with which they share the planet. Nonetheless, we propose that organismal biology can facilitate scientific observation, discovery, research, and engagement, especially when the organisms of focus are ubiquitous and charismatic animals such as spiders. Despite being often feared, spiders are mysterious and intriguing, offering a useful foundation for the effective teaching and learning of scientific concepts and processes. In order to provide an entryway for teachers and students-as well as scientists themselves-into the biology of spiders, we compiled a list of 99 record breaking achievements by spiders (the "Spider World Records"). We chose a world-record style format, as this is known to be an effective way to intrigue readers of all ages. We highlighted, for example, the largest and smallest spiders, the largest prey eaten, the fastest runners, the highest fliers, the species with the longest sperm, the most venomous species, and many more. We hope that our compilation will inspire science educators to embrace the biology of spiders as a resource that engages students in science learning. By making these achievements accessible to non-arachnologists and arachnologists alike, we suggest that they could be used: (i) by educators to draw in students for science education, (ii) to highlight gaps in current organismal knowledge, and (iii) to suggest novel avenues for future research efforts. Our contribution is not meant to be comprehensive, but aims to raise public awareness on spiders, while also providing an initial database of their record breaking achievements.

  3. Web building and silk properties functionally covary among species of wolf spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacava, Mariángeles; Camargo, Arley; Garcia, Luis F; Benamú, Marco A; Santana, Martin; Fang, Jian; Wang, Xungai; Blamires, Sean J

    2018-04-15

    Although phylogenetic studies have shown covariation between the properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silk and web building, both spider webs and silks are highly plastic so we cannot be sure whether these traits functionally covary or just vary across environments that the spiders occupy. As MaSp2-like proteins provide MA silk with greater extensibility, their presence is considered necessary for spider webs to effectively capture prey. Wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are predominantly non-web building, but a select few species build webs. We accordingly collected MA silk from two web-building and six non-web-building species found in semirural ecosystems in Uruguay to test whether the presence of MaSp2-like proteins (indicated by amino acid composition, silk mechanical properties and silk nanostructures) was associated with web building across the group. The web-building and non-web-building species were from disparate subfamilies so we estimated a genetic phylogeny to perform appropriate comparisons. For all of the properties measured, we found differences between web-building and non-web-building species. A phylogenetic regression model confirmed that web building and not phylogenetic inertia influences silk properties. Our study definitively showed an ecological influence over spider silk properties. We expect that the presence of the MaSp2-like proteins and the subsequent nanostructures improves the mechanical performance of silks within the webs. Our study furthers our understanding of spider web and silk co-evolution and the ecological implications of spider silk properties. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer N Smith

    Full Text Available Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations.

  5. On Graceful Spider Graphs with at Most Four Legs of Lengths Greater than One

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    A. Panpa

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A graceful labeling of a tree T with n edges is a bijection f:V(T→{0,1,2,…,n} such that {|f(u-f(v|:uv∈E(T} equal to {1,2,…,n}. A spider graph is a tree with at most one vertex of degree greater than 2. We show that all spider graphs with at most four legs of lengths greater than one admit graceful labeling.

  6. Characterisation of protein families in spider digestive fluids and their role in extra-oral digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, André; Bechsgaard, Jesper; Scavenius, Carsten; Dyrlund, Thomas S; Sanggaard, Kristian W; Enghild, Jan J; Bilde, Trine

    2017-08-10

    Spiders are predaceous arthropods that are capable of subduing and consuming relatively large prey items compared to their own body size. For this purpose, spiders have evolved potent venoms to immobilise prey and digestive fluids that break down nutrients inside the prey's body by means of extra-oral digestion (EOD). Both secretions contain an array of active proteins, and an overlap of some components has been anecdotally reported, but not quantified. We systematically investigated the extent of such protein overlap. As venom injection and EOD succeed each other, we further infer functional explanations, and, by comparing two spider species belonging to different clades, assess its adaptive significance for spider EOD in general. We describe the protein composition of the digestive fluids of the mygalomorph Acanthoscurria geniculata and the araneomorph Stegodyphus mimosarum, in comparison with previously published data on a third spider species. We found a number of similar hydrolases being highly abundant in all three species. Among them, members of the family of astacin-like metalloproteases were particularly abundant. While the importance of these proteases in spider venom and digestive fluid was previously noted, we now highlight their widespread use across different spider taxa. Finally, we found species specific differences in the protein overlap between venom and digestive fluid, with the difference being significantly greater in S. mimosarum compared to A. geniculata. The injection of venom precedes the injection with digestive fluid, and the overlap of proteins between venom and digestive fluid suggests an early involvement in EOD. Species specific differences in the overlap may reflect differences in ecology between our two study species. The protein composition of the digestive fluid of all the three species we compared is highly similar, suggesting that the cocktail of enzymes is highly conserved and adapted to spider EOD.

  7. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eden Steven, Jin Gyu Park, Anant Paravastu, Elsa Branco Lopes, James S Brooks, Ongi Englander, Theo Siegrist, Papatya Kaner and Rufina G Alamo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline and amorphous (helical structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 °C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size, on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain. The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  8. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S [Department of Physics and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Park, Jin Gyu [FAMU-FSU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, High-Performance Materials Institute, Florida State University, 2005 Levy Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G [FAMU-FSU Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Branco Lopes, Elsa [Departamento de Quimica, Instituto Tecnologico e Nuclear/CFMC-UL, P-2686-953 Sacavem (Portugal); Englander, Ongi, E-mail: esteven@magnet.fsu.edu [FAMU-FSU Department of Mechanical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, Florida 32310 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of {beta}-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and {beta}-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of {beta}-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  9. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S; Park, Jin Gyu; Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G; Branco Lopes, Elsa; Englander, Ongi

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof-of-concept applications of

  10. Botulinum Toxin in Management of Limb Tremor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elina Zakin

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Essential tremor is characterized by persistent, usually bilateral and symmetric, postural or kinetic activation of agonist and antagonist muscles involving either the distal or proximal upper extremity. Quality of life is often affected and one’s ability to perform daily tasks becomes impaired. Oral therapies, including propranolol and primidone, can be effective in the management of essential tremor, although adverse effects can limit their use and about 50% of individuals lack response to oral pharmacotherapy. Locally administered botulinum toxin injection has become increasingly useful in the management of essential tremor. Targeting of select muscles with botulinum toxin is an area of active research, and muscle selection has important implications for toxin dosing and functional outcomes. The use of anatomical landmarks with palpation, EMG guidance, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound has been studied as a technique for muscle localization in toxin injection. Earlier studies implemented a standard protocol for the injection of (predominantly wrist flexors and extensors using palpation and EMG guidance. Targeting of muscles by selection of specific activators of tremor (tailored to each patient using kinematic analysis might allow for improvement in efficacy, including functional outcomes. It is this individualized muscle selection and toxin dosing (requiring injection within various sites of a single muscle that has allowed for success in the management of tremors.

  11. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chumbler, Nicole M.; Rutherford, Stacey A.; Zhang, Zhifen; Farrow, Melissa A.; Lisher, John P.; Farquhar, Erik; Giedroc, David P.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Melnyk, Roman A.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2016-01-11

    Clostridium difficile infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis. Disease is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which cause the diarrhoea, as well as inflammation and necrosis within the colon. The toxins are large (308 and 270 kDa, respectively), homologous (47% amino acid identity) glucosyltransferases that target small GTPases within the host. The multidomain toxins enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and, upon exposure to the low pH of the endosome, insert into and deliver two enzymatic domains across the membrane. Eukaryotic inositol-hexakisphosphate (InsP6) binds an autoprocessing domain to activate a proteolysis event that releases the N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain into the cytosol. Here, we report the crystal structure of a 1,832-amino-acid fragment of TcdA (TcdA1832), which reveals a requirement for zinc in the mechanism of toxin autoprocessing and an extended delivery domain that serves as a scaffold for the hydrophobic α-helices involved in pH-dependent pore formation. A surface loop of the delivery domain whose sequence is strictly conserved among all large clostridial toxins is shown to be functionally important, and is highlighted for future efforts in the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics.

  12. Array biosensor for detection of toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligler, Frances S.; Taitt, Chris Rowe; Shriver-Lake, Lisa C.; Sapsford, Kim E.; Shubin, Yura; Golden, Joel P.

    2003-01-01

    The array biosensor is capable of detecting multiple targets rapidly and simultaneously on the surface of a single waveguide. Sandwich and competitive fluoroimmunoassays have been developed to detect high and low molecular weight toxins, respectively, in complex samples. Recognition molecules (usually antibodies) were first immobilized in specific locations on the waveguide and the resultant patterned array was used to interrogate up to 12 different samples for the presence of multiple different analytes. Upon binding of a fluorescent analyte or fluorescent immunocomplex, the pattern of fluorescent spots was detected using a CCD camera. Automated image analysis was used to determine a mean fluorescence value for each assay spot and to subtract the local background signal. The location of the spot and its mean fluorescence value were used to determine the toxin identity and concentration. Toxins were measured in clinical fluids, environmental samples and foods, with minimal sample preparation. Results are shown for rapid analyses of staphylococcal enterotoxin B, ricin, cholera toxin, botulinum toxoids, trinitrotoluene, and the mycotoxin fumonisin. Toxins were detected at levels as low as 0.5 ng mL(-1).

  13. Evaluation of the efficacy of vacuum cleaners for the integrated control of brown spider Loxosceles intermedia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. N. Ramires

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Some venomous spiders of the genus Loxosceles can reach high population densities inside and around houses. In Brazil, most spider accidents are related to Loxosceles intermedia. Control of loxoscelism should utilize integrated pest management tools, such as vacuum cleaners, to eliminate egg sacs, webs and spiders. The present study tested the efficacy of one type of vacuum cleaner (for professional and domestic use in the control of L. intermedia populations. Cockroaches (Pycnoscelus surinamensis were used in some tests for comparison. Vacuuming using standard accessories or a paper tube resulted in the death of all female (n=60, male (n=60, young (n=60 and just-hatched (n=60 L. intermedia, and all egg sacs (n=5 were destroyed. The removal of the plastic plate present at the bottom of the vacuuming tube inside the machine allowed some spiders to survive the vacuuming process. When kept inside a vacuum bag full of dust and debris, adult females (n=10 survived for 10 days; however, significant mortality was observed among male (n=10 and young individuals (n=10. Addition of cornstarch to the vacuum bag did not affect the spiders (n=20. Vacuum cleaners, such as the one used in the present investigation, are promising tools for integrated management of L. intermedia and other spiders in domestic environments.

  14. Local and Landscape Correlates of Spider Activity Density and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otoshi, Michelle D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Urbanization is a major threat to arthropod biodiversity and abundance due to reduction and loss of suitable natural habitat. Green spaces and small-scale agricultural areas may provide habitat and resources for arthropods within densely developed cities. We studied spider activity density (a measure of both abundance and degree of movement) and diversity in urban gardens in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties in central California, USA. We sampled for spiders with pitfall traps and sampled 38 local site characteristics for 5 mo in 19 garden sites to determine the relative importance of individual local factors. We also analyzed 16 landscape variables at 500-m and 1-km buffers surrounding each garden to determine the significance of landscape factors. We identified individuals from the most common families to species and identified individuals from other families to morphospecies. Species from the families Lycosidae and Gnaphosidae composed 81% of total adult spider individuals. Most of the significant factors that correlated with spider activity density and richness were local rather than landscape factors. Spider activity density and richness increased with mulch cover and flowering plant species, and decreased with bare soil. Thus, changes in local garden management have the potential to promote diversity of functionally important spiders in urban environments. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Geophagy in brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) in a lowland tropical rainforest in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Andres; de Luna, Ana Gabriela; Arango, Ricardo; Diaz, Maria Clara

    2011-01-01

    Spider monkeys and howler monkeys are the only Neotropical primates that eat soil from mineral licks. Not all species within these genera visit mineral licks, and geophagy has been restricted to populations of Ateles belzebuth belzebuth,Ateles belzebuth chamek and Alouatta seniculus in western Amazonian rainforests. With the aid of a camera trap we studied the visitation patterns of a group of brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus) to a mineral lick at Serrania de Las Quinchas, in Colombia. Spider monkeys visited the lick frequently throughout the year, with a monthly average of 21.7 ± 7.2 visits per 100 days of camera trapping (n = 14 months). Spider monkeys visited the mineral lick almost always on days with no rain, or very little (<3 mm) rain, suggesting that proximate environmental variables might determine spider monkeys' decisions to come to the ground at the licks. This study expands the geographical occurrence of mineral lick use by spider monkeys providing additional data for future assessments on the biogeographical correlates of mineral lick use by platyrrhines. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. Whiteflies interfere with indirect plant defense against spider mites in Lima bean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng-Jun; Zheng, Si-Jun; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Boland, Wilhelm; David, Anja; Mumm, Roland; Dicke, Marcel

    2009-01-01

    Plants under herbivore attack are able to initiate indirect defense by synthesizing and releasing complex blends of volatiles that attract natural enemies of the herbivore. However, little is known about how plants respond to infestation by multiple herbivores, particularly if these belong to different feeding guilds. Here, we report the interference by a phloem-feeding insect, the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, with indirect plant defenses induced by spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) in Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) plants. Additional whitefly infestation of spider-mite infested plants resulted in a reduced attraction of predatory mites (Phytoseiulus persimilis) compared to attraction to plants infested by spider mites only. This interference is shown to result from the reduction in (E)-β-ocimene emission from plants infested by both spider mites and whiteflies. When using exogenous salicylic acid (SA) application to mimic B. tabaci infestation, we observed similar results in behavioral and chemical analyses. Phytohormone and gene-expression analyses revealed that B. tabaci infestation, as well as SA application, inhibited spider mite-induced jasmonic acid (JA) production and reduced the expression of two JA-regulated genes, one of which encodes for the P. lunatus enzyme β-ocimene synthase that catalyzes the synthesis of (E)-β-ocimene. Remarkably, B. tabaci infestation concurrently inhibited SA production induced by spider mites. We therefore conclude that in dual-infested Lima bean plants the suppression of the JA signaling pathway by whitefly feeding is not due to enhanced SA levels. PMID:19965373

  17. Social makes smart: rearing conditions affect learning and social behaviour in jumping spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liedtke, J; Schneider, J M

    2017-11-01

    There is a long-standing debate as to whether social or physical environmental aspects drive the evolution and development of cognitive abilities. Surprisingly few studies make use of developmental plasticity to compare the effects of these two domains during development on behaviour later in life. Here, we present rearing effects on the development of learning abilities and social behaviour in the jumping spider Marpissa muscosa. These spiders are ideally suited for this purpose because they possess the ability to learn and can be reared in groups but also in isolation without added stress. This is a critical but rarely met requirement for experimentally varying the social environment to test its impact on cognition. We split broods of spiders and reared them either in a physically or in a socially enriched environment. A third group kept under completely deprived conditions served as a 'no-enrichment' control. We tested the spiders' learning abilities by using a modified T-maze. Social behaviour was investigated by confronting spiders with their own mirror image. Results show that spiders reared in groups outperform their conspecifics from the control, i.e. 'no-enrichment', group in both tasks. Physical enrichment did not lead to such an increased performance. We therefore tentatively suggest that growing up in contact with conspecifics induces the development of cognitive abilities in this species.

  18. Herbivory in spiders: the importance of pollen for orb-weavers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggs, Benjamin; Sanders, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Orb-weaving spiders (Araneidae) are commonly regarded as generalist insect predators but resources provided by plants such as pollen may be an important dietary supplementation. Their webs snare insect prey, but can also trap aerial plankton like pollen and fungal spores. When recycling their orb webs, the spiders may therefore also feed on adhering pollen grains or fungal spores via extraoral digestion. In this study we measured stable isotope ratios in the bodies of two araneid species (Aculepeira ceropegia and Araneus diadematus), their potential prey and pollen to determine the relative contribution of pollen to their diet. We found that about 25% of juvenile orb-weaving spiders' diet consisted of pollen, the other 75% of flying insects, mainly small dipterans and hymenopterans. The pollen grains in our study were too large to be taken up accidentally by the spiders and had first to be digested extraorally by enzymes in an active act of consumption. Therefore, pollen can be seen as a substantial component of the spiders' diet. This finding suggests that these spiders need to be classified as omnivores rather than pure carnivores.

  19. Stable isotopes of Hawaiian spiders reflect substrate properties along a chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Todd E.; Gillespie, Rosemary G.

    2018-01-01

    The Hawaiian Islands offer a unique opportunity to test how changes in the properties of an isolated ecosystem are propagated through the organisms that occur within that ecosystem. The age-structured arrangement of volcanic-derived substrates follows a regular progression over space and, by inference, time. We test how well documented successional changes in soil chemistry and associated vegetation are reflected in organisms at higher trophic levels—specifically, predatory arthropods (spiders)—across a range of functional groups. We focus on three separate spider lineages: one that builds capture webs, one that hunts actively, and one that specializes on eating other spiders. We analyze spiders from three sites across the Hawaiian chronosequence with substrate ages ranging from 200 to 20,000 years. To measure the extent to which chemical signatures of terrestrial substrates are propagated through higher trophic levels, we use standard stable isotope analyses of nitrogen and carbon, with plant leaves included as a baseline. The target taxa show the expected shift in isotope ratios of δ15N with trophic level, from plants to cursorial spiders to web-builders to spider eaters. Remarkably, organisms at all trophic levels also precisely reflect the successional changes in the soil stoichiometry of the island chronosequence, demonstrating how the biogeochemistry of the entire food web is determined by ecosystem succession of the substrates on which the organisms have evolved. PMID:29576984

  20. Dangerous mating systems: signal complexity, signal content and neural capacity in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herberstein, M E; Wignall, A E; Hebets, E A; Schneider, J M

    2014-10-01

    Spiders are highly efficient predators in possession of exquisite sensory capacities for ambushing prey, combined with machinery for launching rapid and determined attacks. As a consequence, any sexually motivated approach carries a risk of ending up as prey rather than as a mate. Sexual selection has shaped courtship to effectively communicate the presence, identity, motivation and/or quality of potential mates, which help ameliorate these risks. Spiders communicate this information via several sensory channels, including mechanical (e.g. vibrational), visual and/or chemical, with examples of multimodal signalling beginning to emerge in the literature. The diverse environments that spiders inhabit have further shaped courtship content and form. While our understanding of spider neurobiology remains in its infancy, recent studies are highlighting the unique and considerable capacities of spiders to process and respond to complex sexual signals. As a result, the dangerous mating systems of spiders are providing important insights into how ecology shapes the evolution of communication systems, with future work offering the potential to link this complex communication with its neural processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.