Natural Phenomenon (natural + phenomenon)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Differential expression of antenna and core genes in Prochlorococcus PCC 9511 (Oxyphotobacteria) grown under a modulated light,dark cycle

Laurence Garczarek
The continuous changes in incident solar light occurring during the day oblige oxyphototrophs, such as the marine prokaryote Prochlorococcus, to modulate the synthesis and degradation rates of their photosynthetic components finely. How this natural phenomenon influences the diel expression of photosynthetic genes has never been studied in this ecologically important oxyphotobacterium. Here, the high light-adapted strain Prochlorococcus sp. PCC 9511 was grown in large-volume continuous culture under a modulated 12 h,12 h light,dark cycle mimicking the conditions found in the upper layer of equatorial oceans. The pcbA gene encoding the major light-harvesting complex showed strong diel variations in transcript levels with two maxima, one before the onset of illumination and the other near the end of the photoperiod. In contrast, the mRNA level of psbA (encoding the reaction centre II subunit D1), the monocistronic transcript of psbD (encoding D2) and the dicistronic transcript of psbDC were all tightly correlated with light irradiance, with a minimum at night and a maximum at noon. The occurrence of a second peak during the dark period for the monocistronic transcript of psbC (encoding one of the PS II core Chl a antenna proteins) suggested the involvement of post-transcriptional regulation. Differential expression of the external antenna and core genes may constitute a mechanism of regulation of the antenna size to cope with the excess photon fluxes that Prochlorococcus cells experience in the upper layer of oceans around midday. The 5, ends of all transcripts were mapped, and a conserved motif, 5,-TTGATGA-3,, was identified within the putative psbA and pcbA promoters. [source]

Secular and multidecadal warmings in the North Atlantic and their relationships with major hurricane activity

David B. Enfield
Abstract Analysis of recent literature finds weaknesses in arguments to the effect that the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO),roughly 50,90 year fluctuations in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures,is externally forced by anthropogenic aerosols and greenhouse gases rather than an internal climate mode, plus indications from other sources that the contrary may be true. We are led to the conclusion that the AMO is probably comprised of both natural and anthropogenic forcing in ways that preclude a physically based separation of the two, using the limited historical data sets. A straightforward quadratic fitting of trend to temperature data accounts for some of the 20th century nonlinearity in secular warming and separates the secular and multidecadal components of variability without inherent assumptions about the nature of the multidecadal fluctuations. Doing this shows that the 20th century secular ocean warming in the North Atlantic is about equal to the peak-to-peak amplitude of the multidecadal fluctuations. However, over the last quarter-century (1975,2000) the most recent multidecadal warming has been almost three times the secular sea surface temperature (SST) increase over the main development region (MDR) for major Atlantic hurricanes. In the last quarter-century the multidecadal increase in late summer Atlantic warm pool (AWP) size (area of SSTs in excess of 28 °C) has been 36%, and the secular increase, 14%. Projections to the year 2025 show that the cumulative change in summer warm pool size since 1975 will depend critically on whether a subsequent cooling in the multidecadal cycle occurs, comparable to the warming between 1975 and 2000 AD. This places a high premium on understanding to what extent the AMO is a man-made or a natural phenomenon. Copyright © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

A viewpoint of mucosal immunity in relation to early feeding method

Michael Oladipo Ogundele
Summary Atopic diseases are common health problems in society and their incidence is increasing unabated. A number of studies in animal models have shown that antigen-specific IgE suppression could be induced for the treatment of allergic disorders. Many of the present therapeutic strategies in children have not been entirely successful and early breastfeeding could provide a practicable means of helping the affected children. An overview of the mucosal immune system is hereby presented to explain the natural mechanisms involved in protecting organisms from allergic reactions to food and other non-harmful antigens presented at the mucosal surfaces. The protective role of early breastfeeding in modulating this natural phenomenon is emphasized. The undeniable limitations of breastfeeding in the management of some peculiar cases of childhood dietary protein intolerance are also highlighted. [source]

Distributional Patterns of Diatoms and Limnodrilus Oligochaetes in a Kenyan Dry Streambed Following the 1999,2000 Drought Conditions

Jude M. Mathooko
Abstract Drought is a natural phenomenon experienced by many intermittent and also seasonal lotic systems. It has diverse effects on the structure and distribution of biological communities through habitat transition from wetted to terrestrial conditions. The Njoro River, a tropical stream, was drought-stressed between late 1999 and mid 2000, providing an opportunity to sample and describe the distributional patterns of diatoms and Limnodrilus oligochaetes in the vertical sediment profile. The dispersion of Limnodrilus oligochaetes with sediment depth profile varied from quasi-random (i.e. exponent k of the negative binomial distribution >2.0 or <0) at the surface to strong aggregation (0 < k < 1.0) in the deeper sediments. Diatoms were heterogenous, with most species contributing less than 1% of all the diatoms collected from the riverbed. Contagious dispersion was a common feature among the diatom species. The distribution of Fragilaria ulna was largely quasi-random in all sites, with Nitzschia amphibia and Cocconeis placentula demonstrating quasi-random distribution in the Kerma vertical sediment profile. Escape from stranding to deeper sediment strata as the drought progressed was not a universal response among the diatom species. Our results showed that drought-stress altered the structure of biological assemblages and also emphasized the need for the management of tropical lotic systems and their catchments for flow permanence. (© 2005 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni (1756,1827) and the origins of modern meteorite research

Ursula B. Marvin
These ideas violated two strongly held contemporary beliefs: 1) fragments of rock and metal do not fall from the sky, and 2) no small bodies exist in space beyond the Moon. From the beginning, Chladni was severely criticized for basing his hypotheses on historical eyewitness reports of falls, which others regarded as folk tales, and for taking gross liberties with the laws of physics. Ten years later, the study of fallen stones and irons was established as a valid field of investigation. Today, some scholars credit Chladni with founding meteoritics as a science; others regard his contributions as scarcely worthy of mention. Writings by his contemporaries suggest that Chladni's book alone would not have led to changes of prevailing theories; thus, he narrowly escaped the fate of those scientists who propose valid hypotheses prematurely. However, between 1794 and 1798, four falls of stones were witnessed and widely publicized. There followed a series of epoch-making analyses of fallen stones and "native irons" by the chemist Edward C. Howard and the mineralogist Jacques-Louis de Bournon. They showed that all the stones were much alike in texture and composition but significantly different from the Earth's known crustal rocks. Of primary importance was Howard's discovery of nickel in the irons and the metal grains of the stones. This linked the two as belonging to the same natural phenomenon. These chemical results, published in February 1802, persuaded some of the leading scientists in England, France, and Germany that bodies do fall from the sky. Within a few months, chemists in France reported similar results and a new field of study was inaugurated internationally, although opposition lingered on until April 1803, when nearly 3,000 stones fell at L'Aigle in Normandy and transformed the last skeptics into believers. Chladni immediately received full credit for his hypothesis of falls, but decades passed before his linking of falling bodies with fireballs received general acceptance. His hypothesis of their origin in cosmic space met with strong resistance from those who argued that stones formed within the Earth's atmosphere or were ejected by lunar volcanoes. After 1860, when both of these hypotheses were abandoned, there followed a century of debate between proponents of an interstellar versus a planetary origin. Not until the 1950s did conclusive evidence of their elliptical orbits establish meteorite parent bodies as members of the solar system. Thus, nearly 200 years passed before the questions of origin that Chladni raised finally were resolved. [source]

Oyster greening by outdoor mass culture of the diatom Haslea ostrearia Simonsen in enriched seawater

V Turpin
Abstract Oyster greening was first described in the seventeenth century as a natural phenomenon. However, it has recently been discovered that the diatom Haslea ostrearia Simonsen causes greening by synthesis of a blue pigment designated as ,marennine'. This phenomenon, which involves massive proliferation of H. ostrearia in oyster ponds, was not understood or controlled by oyster farmers in the Marennes-Oléron region (Atlantic coast of France). As greening oysters improved their market value, they tried to develop empirical methods to guarantee oyster fattening and improve profits. In this context, the present study investigated the feasibility of mass culture of diatoms outdoors in 10-m3 ponds, using enriched seawater. Different biotic and abiotic parameters were monitored daily to determine the influence of the day,night temperature range. After 8 days, H. ostrearia was the dominant diatom species (66%), reaching a mean cell concentration of 2 × 105 cell mL,1 and a marennine concentration of 3.4 mg L,1. Although intensive greening was obtained, further studies are required to optimize the production stages before this technology can be transferred to oyster farmers. [source]