Underlying Patterns (underlying + pattern)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Mechanical Gradient Cues for Guided Cell Motility and Control of Cell Behavior on Uniform Substrates

Barbara Cortese
Abstract A novel method for the fabrication and the use of simple uniform poly(dimethylsiloxane) PDMS substrates for controlling cell motility by a mechanical gradient is reported. The substrate is fabricated in PDMS using soft lithography and consists of a soft membrane suspended on top of a patterned PDMS substrate. The difference in the gradient stiffness is related to the underlying pattern. It is shown experimentally that these uniform substrates can modulate the response of cell motility, thus enabling patterning on the surfaces with precise cell motility. Because of the uniformity of the substrate, cells can spread equally and a directional movement to stiffer regions is clearly observed. Varying the geometry underlying the membrane, cell patterning and movement can be quantitatively characterized. This procedure is capable of controlling cell motility with high fidelity over large substrate areas. The most significant advance embodied in this method is that it offers the use of mechanical features to control cell adhesion and not topographical or chemical variations, which has not been reported so far. This modulation of the response of cell motility will be useful for the design and fabrication of advanced planar and 3D biological assemblies suitable for applications in the field of biotechnology and for tissue-engineering purposes. [source]

Temperature dependent larval resource allocation shaping adult body size in Drosophila melanogaster

Z. Bochdanovits
Abstract Geographical variation in Drosophila melanogaster body size is a long-standing problem of life-history evolution. Adaptation to a cold climate invariably produces large individuals, whereas evolution in tropical regions result in small individuals. The proximate mechanism was suggested to involve thermal evolution of resource processing by the developing larvae. In this study an attempt is made to merge proximate explanations, featuring temperature sensitivity of larval resource processing, and ultimate approaches focusing on adult and pre-adult life-history traits. To address the issue of temperature dependent resource allocation to adult size vs. larval survival, feeding was stopped at several stages during the larval development. Under these conditions of food deprivation, two temperate and two tropical populations reared at high and low temperatures produced different adult body sizes coinciding with different probabilities to reach the adult stage. In all cases a phenotypic trade-off between larval survival and adult size was observed. However, the underlying pattern of larval resource allocation differed between the geographical populations. In the temperate populations larval age but not weight predicted survival. Temperate larvae did not invest accumulated resources in survival, instead they preserved larval biomass to benefit adult weight. In other words, larvae from temperate populations failed to re-allocate accumulated resources to facilitate their survival. A low percentage of the larvae survived to adulthood but produced relatively large flies. Conversely, in tropical populations larval weight but not age determined the probability to reach adulthood. Tropical larvae did not invest in adult size, but facilitated their own survival. Most larvae succeeded in pupating but then produced small adults. The underlying physiological mechanism seemed to be an evolved difference in the accessibility of glycogen reserves as a result of thermal adaptation. At low rearing temperatures and in the temperate populations, glycogen levels tended to correlate positively with adult size but negatively with pupation probability. The data presented here offer an explanation of geographical variation in body size by showing that thermal evolution of resource allocation, specifically the ability to access glycogen storage, is the proximate mechanism responsible for the life-history trade-off between larval survival and adult size. [source]

Cytokine responses to mitogen and Schistosoma haematobium antigens are different in children with distinct infection histories

Janet T. Scott
Prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium infection in children from two neighbouring villages in Zimbabwe was 771% and 403%, respectively. The age-intensity data indicated peak intensities of infection at a lower age in the high prevalence village. This study investigated whether the difference in infection histories was reflected in a difference in cytokine profiles between children resident in these two villages. Blood samples were taken to assay for cytokine secretion 1 year after treatment for schistosomiasis. They were cultured with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), schistosome egg antigens (SEA) or cultured without stimulant and tested for the presence of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-10, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and IFN-,. Blood samples from children from the low prevalence village were more likely to produce IL-4 (P < 00001) and produced higher levels of IFN-, (P < 002) and GM-CSF (P < 003) when cultured with PHA for 24 h. Residence in the high prevalence village was associated with production of IL-10 (P < 0006) and GM-CSF (P < 004) in response to culture with SEA and IL-5 (P < 002) with PHA for 48 h. The interaction between age and village was not significant for these results; however, there was a significant interaction between age and village for IL-5 detected in blood samples cultured with PHA for 24 h (P < 001). These results concur with previous observations that major patterns of cytokine production can be related to immunosuppression, but also indicate an underlying pattern which reflects the importance of history of infection to the immune response. [source]

Variation in leaf functional trait values within and across individuals and species: an example from a Costa Rican dry forest

Catherine M. Hulshof
Summary 1.,Patterns of species co-existence and species diversity in plant communities remain an important research area despite over a century of intensive scrutiny. To provide mechanistic insight into the rules governing plant species co-existence and diversity, plant community ecologists are increasingly quantifying functional trait values for the species found in a wide range of communities. 2.,Despite the promise of a quantitative functional trait approach to plant community ecology, we suggest that, along with examining trait variation across species, an assessment of trait variation within species should also be a key component of a trait-based approach to community ecology. Variability within and between individuals and populations is likely widespread due to plastic responses to highly localized abiotic and biotic interactions. 3.,In this study, we quantify leaf trait variation within and across ten co-existing tree species in a dry tropical forest in Costa Rica to ask: (i) whether the majority of trait variation is located between species, within species, within individuals or within the leaves themselves; (ii) whether trait values collected using standardized methods correlate with those collected using unstandardized methods; and (iii) to what extent can we differentiate plant species on the basis of their traits? 4.,We find that the majority of variation in traits was often explained by between species differences; however, between leaflet trait variation was very high for compound-leaved species. We also show that many species are difficult to reliably differentiate on the basis of functional traits even when sampling many individuals. 5.,We suggest an ideal sample size of at least 10, and ideally 20, individuals be used when calculating mean trait values for individual species for entire communities, though even at large sample sizes, it remains unclear if community level trait values will allow comparisons on a larger geographic scale or if species traits are generally similar across scales. It will thus be critical to account for intraspecific variation by comparing species mean trait values across space in multiple microclimatic environments within local communities and along environmental gradients. Further, quantifying trait variability due to plasticity and inheritance will provide a better understanding of the underlying patterns and drivers of trait variation as well as the application of functional traits in outlining mechanisms of species co-existence. [source]

Richness patterns, species distributions and the principle of extreme deconstruction

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
Levi Carina Terribile
ABSTRACT Aim, To analyse the global patterns in species richness of Viperidae snakes through the deconstruction of richness into sets of species according to their distribution models, range size, body size and phylogenetic structure, and to test if environmental drivers explaining the geographical ranges of species are similar to those explaining richness patterns, something we called the extreme deconstruction principle. Location, Global. Methods, We generated a global dataset of 228 terrestrial viperid snakes, which included geographical ranges (mapped at 1 resolution, for a grid with 7331 cells world-wide), body sizes and phylogenetic relationships among species. We used logistic regression (generalized linear model; GLM) to model species geographical ranges with five environmental predictors. Sets of species richness were also generated for large and small-bodied species, for basal and derived species and for four classes of geographical range sizes. Richness patterns were also modelled against the five environmental variables through standard ordinary least squares (OLS) multiple regressions. These subsets are replications to test if environmental factors driving species geographical ranges can be directly associated with those explaining richness patterns. Results, Around 48% of the total variance in viperid richness was explained by the environmental model, but richness sets revealed different patterns across the world. The similarity between OLS coefficients and the primacy of variables across species geographical range GLMs was equal to 0.645 when analysing all viperid snakes. Thus, in general, when an environmental predictor it is important to model species geographical ranges, this predictor is also important when modelling richness, so that the extreme deconstruction principle holds. However, replicating this correlation using subsets of species within different categories in body size, range size and phylogenetic structure gave more variable results, with correlations between GLM and OLS coefficients varying from ,0.46 up to 0.83. Despite this, there is a relatively high correspondence (r = 0.73) between the similarity of GLM-OLS coefficients and R2 values of richness models, indicating that when richness is well explained by the environment, the relative importance of environmental drivers is similar in the richness OLS and its corresponding set of GLMs. Main conclusions, The deconstruction of species richness based on macroecological traits revealed that, at least for range size and phylogenetic level, the causes underlying patterns in viperid richness differ for the various sets of species. On the other hand, our analyses of extreme deconstruction using GLM for species geographical range support the idea that, if environmental drivers determine the geographical distribution of species by establishing niche boundaries, it is expected, at least in theory, that the overlap among ranges (i.e. richness) will reveal similar effects of these environmental drivers. Richness patterns may be indeed viewed as macroecological consequences of population-level processes acting on species geographical ranges. [source]

A Rogue is a Rogue is a Rogue: US Foreign Policy and the Korean Nuclear Crisis

Roland Bleiker
Two nuclear crises recently haunted the Korean peninsula, one in 1993/4, the other in 2002/3. In each case the events were strikingly similar: North Korea made public its ambition to acquire nuclear weapons and withdrew from the Nonproliferation Treaty. Then the situation rapidly deteriorated until the peninsular was literally on the verge of war. The dangers of North Korea's actions, often interpreted as nuclear brinkmanship, are evident and much discussed, but not so the underlying patterns that have shaped the conflict in the first place. This article sheds light on some of them. It examines the role of the United States in the crisis, arguing that Washington's inability to see North Korea as anything but a threatening ,rogue state' seriously hinders both an adequate understanding and possible resolution of the conflict. Particularly significant is the current policy of pre-emptive strikes against rogue states, for it reinforces half a century of American nuclear threats towards North Korea. The problematic role of these threats has been largely obscured, not least because the highly technical discourse of security analysis has managed to present the strategic situation on the peninsula in a manner that attributes responsibility for the crisis solely to North Korea's actions, even if the situation is in reality far more complex and interactive. [source]

Identifying patterns in primary care consultations: a cluster analysis

Abstract Background, A literature review revealed that little is known about the systems context of general practice consultations and their outcomes. Objectives, To describe the systems context and resulting underlying patterns of primary care consultations in a local area. Design, Cross-sectional multi-practice study based on a three-part questionnaire. Cluster analysis of data. Setting, Stratified random sample of general practices and general practitioners , NSW-Central Coast, Australia. Participants, A total of 1104 adults attending 12 general practitioners between February and November 1999. Results and Conclusions, The study identified seven subgroups within the study population uniquely defined by variables from the health system, individual doctor and patient, consultation and consultation outcomes domains. A systems approach provides a framework in which to track and consider the important variables and their known and/or expected workings and thus offer a contextual framework to guide primary care reform. [source]

Sex Determination from Hand and Foot Bone Lengths,

D. Troy Case Ph.D.
ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have addressed sex estimation from the hands and feet with varying results. These studies have utilized multiple measurements to determine sex from the hands and feet, including measures of robusticity (e.g., base width and midshaft diameter). However, robusticity measurements are affected by activity, which can disguise underlying patterns of sexual dimorphism. The purpose of this study is to investigate the utility of length measurements of the hands and feet to estimate sex. The sample consists of white females (n=123) and males (n=136) from the Terry Collection. Discriminant function analysis was used to classify individuals by sex. The left hand outperformed both the right hand and foot producing correct classification rates exceeding 80%. Surprisingly, the phalanges were better sex discriminators than either the metacarpals or metatarsals. This study suggests that length measures are more appropriate than robusticity measures for sex estimation. [source]


ABSTRACT:,The objective of this article is to explore some of the reasons for the growing number of participatory arrangements at the local level. An approach in terms of governance allows us to examine the underlying patterns of logic that induce public authorities to develop new policy tools such as participatory arrangements. Our study focuses on a medium-sized French city, Bordeaux, where eight types of relatively weak participatory arrangements have been implemented since 1995. The article shows that the French government and European Union have fostered this type of arrangement through a complex series of public programs and policies with the aim of rebuilding their political legitimacy by encouraging participation at the municipal level. This approach is relevant to understanding the origin of the reforms affecting local governments over the past decade. [source]

Shifting distributions and speciation: species divergence during rapid climate change

Abstract Questions about how shifting distributions contribute to species diversification remain virtually without answer, even though rapid climate change during the Pleistocene clearly impacted genetic variation within many species. One factor that has prevented this question from being adequately addressed is the lack of precision associated with estimates of species divergence made from a single genetic locus and without incorporating processes that are biologically important as populations diverge. Analysis of DNA sequences from multiple variable loci in a coalescent framework that (i) corrects for gene divergence pre-dating speciation, and (ii) derives divergence-time estimates without making a priori assumptions about the processes underlying patterns of incomplete lineage sorting between species (i.e. allows for the possibility of gene flow during speciation), is critical to overcoming the inherent logistical and analytical difficulties of inferring the timing and mode of speciation during the dynamic Pleistocene. Estimates of species divergence that ignore these processes, use single locus data, or do both can dramatically overestimate species divergence. For example, using a coalescent approach with data from six loci, the divergence between two species of montane Melanoplus grasshoppers is estimated at between 200 000 and 300 000 years before present, far more recently than divergence estimates made using single-locus data or without the incorporation of population-level processes. Melanoplus grasshoppers radiated in the sky islands of the Rocky Mountains, and the analysis of divergence between these species suggests that the isolation of populations in multiple glacial refugia was an important factor in promoting speciation. Furthermore, the low estimates of gene flow between the species indicate that reproductive isolation must have evolved rapidly for the incipient species boundaries to be maintained through the subsequent glacial periods and shifts in species distributions. [source]

Who Should Run Elections in the United States?

R. Michael Alvarez
Much has been said since the 2000 presidential election regarding the administration of elections in the United States, particularly about how election administrators are selected and to whom they are responsive. Unfortunately, there has been little research on the different administrative structures that are possible and the preferences of Americans regarding these different administrative options. In this article we present the results from a national survey of American adults in which we asked them their preference for whether elections should be run by partisan or nonpartisan officials, whether the officials should be elected or appointed, and whether the administration of elections should be by a single unitary executive or by an election board. In addition to eliciting the basic preferences of Americans about these administrative choices, we also undertake a deeper analysis of these data to determine the underlying patterns in support for the different administrative options. [source]

Sexual Dysfunction in an Internet Sample of U.S. Men Who Have Sex with Men

Sabina Hirshfield PhD
ABSTRACT Introduction., Relatively little is known about sexual dysfunction (SD) in men who have sex with men (MSM). Aim., In order to better understand SD symptoms in MSM, we assessed self-reported SD symptoms, individually and by latent class analysis (LCA). Methods., In 2004,2005 an Internet sample of U.S. MSM was recruited from gay-oriented sexual networking, chat and news websites. The analytic sample comprised 7,001 men aged 18 or older who reported lifetime male sex partners and oral or anal sex with a male partner in their most recent encounter within the past year. Main Outcome Measures., Seven questions on SD symptoms that occurred during the past 12 months inquired about low sexual desire, erection problems, inability to achieve an orgasm, performance anxiety, premature ejaculation, pain during sex, and sex not being pleasurable. Results., Self-reported symptoms of SD were high. Overall, 79% of men reported one or more SD symptoms in the past year, with low sexual desire, erection problems, and performance anxiety being the most prevalent. Four distinct underlying patterns of sexual functioning were identified by LCA: no/low SD, erection problems/performance anxiety, low desire/pleasure, and high SD/sexual pain. High SD/sexual pain was distinguished from the other patterns by club drug use and use of prescription and non-prescription erectile dysfunction medication before sex in the past year. Additionally, men associated with the high SD/sexual pain group were younger, single, more likely to have poor mental and physical health, and more likely to have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the past year compared to men in the no/low SD group. Conclusions., LCA enabled us to identify underlying patterns of sexual functioning among this sample of MSM recruited online. Future research should investigate these distinct subgroups with SD symptoms in order to develop tailored treatments and counseling for SD. Hirshfield S, Chiasson MA, Wagmiller RL, Remien RH, Humberstone M, Scheinmann R, and Grov C. Sexual dysfunction in an internet sample of U.S. men who have sex with men. J Sex Med 2010;7:3104,3114. [source]