Quantitative Estimation (quantitative + estimation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Visual Quantitative Estimation: Semiquantitative Wall Motion Scoring and Determination of Ejection Fraction

ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Issue 5 2003
M.D., Steven J. Lavine
Ejection fraction (EF) is the most commonly used parameter of left ventricular (LV) systolic function and can be assessed by echocardiography. Quantitative echocardiography is time consuming and is as accurate as visual estimation, which has significant variability. We hypothesized that each echocardiographer has developed a mental set of guidelines that relate to how much individual segment shortening constitutes normal function or hypokinesis of varying extents. We determined the accuracy of applying these guidelines to an accepted technique of EF determination using a retrospective analysis of consecutive two-dimensional echocardiographic studies performed on patients who had radioventriculography (RVG) within 48 hours. Using a 12 segment model, we scored each segment at the base and mid-ventricular level based on segmental excursion and thickening. The apex was scored similarly but with 1/3 of the value based on a cylinder-cone model. EF was determined from the sum of segment scores and was estimated visually. We termed this approach visual quantitative estimation (VQE). We correlated the EF derived from VQE and visual estimation with RVG EF. In the training set, VQE demonstrated a strong correlation with RVG(r = 0.969), which was significantly greater than visual estimation(r = 0.896, P < 0.01). The limits of agreement for VQE (+12% to ,7%) were similar to the limits of RVG agreement with contrast ventriculography (+10% to ,11%) with similar intraobserver and interobserver variabilities. Similar correlation was noted in the prediction set between VQE and RVG EF(r = 0.967, P < 0.001). We conclude that VQE provides highly correlated estimates of EF with RVG. (ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Volume 20, July 2003) [source]


Protein adsorption drastically reduces surface-enhanced Raman signal of dye molecules

JOURNAL OF RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY, Issue 9 2010
Dongmao Zhang
Abstract There is an increasing interest in developing surface enhancement Raman spectroscopy methods for intracellular biomolecule and for in vitro protein detection that involve dye or protein,dye conjugates. In this work, we have demonstrated that protein adsorption on silver nanoparticle (AgNP) can significantly attenuate the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) signal of dye molecules in both protein/dye mixtures and protein/dye conjugates. SERS spectra of 12 protein/dye mixtures were acquired using 4 proteins [bovine serum albumin (BSA), lysozyme, trypsin, and concanavalin A] and three dyes [Rhodamine 6G, adenine, and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)]. Besides the protein/dye mixtures, spectra were also obtained for the free dyes and four FITC-conjugated proteins. While no SERS signal was observed in protein/FITC mixtures or conjugates, a significantly reduced SERS intensity (up to 3 orders of magnitude) was observed for both R6G and adenine in their respective protein mixtures. Quantitative estimation of the number of dye molecules absorbed onto AgNP implied that the degree of R6G SERS signal reduction in the R6G/BSA sample is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than what could be accounted for by the difference in the amount of the absorbed dyes. This finding has significant implications for both intracellular SERS analyses and in vitro protein detection using SERS tagging strategies that rely on Raman dyes as reporter molecules. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Quantitative estimation of thermal contact conductance of a real front-end component at SPring-8 front-ends

JOURNAL OF SYNCHROTRON RADIATION, Issue 1 2008
Mutsumi Sano
The thermal contact conductance (TCC) of a real front-end component at SPring-8 has been quantitatively estimated by comparing the results of experiments with those of finite-element analyses. In this paper one of the methods of predicting the TCC of a real instrument is presented. A metal filter assembly, which is an indirect-cooling instrument, was selected for the estimation of the TCC. The temperature of the metal filter assembly for the maximum heat load of synchrotron radiation was calculated from the TCC that is expected under normal conditions. This study contributes towards the ongoing research program being conducted to investigate the real thermal limitation of all front-end high-heat-load components. [source]


Different impacts of alleles ,LEPRA and ,LELY as assessed versus a novel, virtually null allele of the SPTA1 gene in trans

BRITISH JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY, Issue 1 2004
J. Delaunay
Summary The family of two siblings with severe hereditary spherocytosis was investigated. The decrease was evident on both the , - and the , -chains. The parents were haematologically normal. The mother was heterozygous for the low-expression polymorphic allele ,LEPRA. The father was heterozygous for a novel combination in which one allele showed the , -spectrin low expression polymorphic allele,LELY, while his other allele showed the ,LELY polymorphism in cis with a G,A substitution, named BicÍtre, found at the extreme 3, end of exon 51. This combination was designated . The children were compound heterozygotes for alleles ,LEPRA and . Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction detected only trace amounts of the mRNA coding for . Mutation is therefore an essentially null mutation with no functional protein product. The lack of disease in the ,LELY/ father compared with the marked haemolysis in the ,LEPRA/ children showed that expression of allele ,LELY is not low enough to expose null , -spectrin alleles on the other chromosome. Quantitative estimations from these findings suggest that, to evoke spherocytosis, it is necessary that , -spectrin expression must be reduced to less than 25% of normal, while a reduction to 8% is sufficient. [source]


Two-Dimensional Assessment of Right Ventricular Function: An Echocardiographic,MRI Correlative Study

ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Issue 5 2007
Nagesh S. Anavekar M.D.
Background: While echocardiography is used most frequently to assess right ventricular (RV) function in clinical practice, echocardiography is limited in its ability to provide an accurate measure of RV ejection fraction (RVEF). Hence, quantitative estimation of RV function has proven difficult in clinical practice. Objective: We sought to determine which commonly used echocardiographic measures of RV function were most accurate in comparison with an MRI-derived estimate of RVEF. Methods: We analyzed RV function in 36 patients who had cardiac MRI studies and echocardiograms within a 24 hour period. 2D parameters of RV function,right ventricular fractional area change (RVFAC), tricuspid annular motion (TAM), and transverse fractional shortening (TFS) were obtained from the four-chamber view. RV volumes and EFs were derived from volumetric reconstruction based on endocardial tracing of the RV chamber from the short axis images. Echocardiographic assessment of RV function was correlated with MRI findings. Results: RVFAC measured by echocardiography correlated best with MRI-derived RVEF (r = 0.80, P < 0.001). Neither TAM (r = 0.17; P = 0.30) nor TFC (r = 0.12; p< 0.38) were significantly correlated with RVEF. Conclusions: RVFAC is the best of commonly utilized echocardiographic 2D measure of RV function and correlated best with MRI-derived RV ejection fraction. Condensed Abstract: While echocardiography is used most frequently to assess RV function in clinical practice, echocardiography is limited in its ability to provide an accurate measure of RV ejection fraction (RVEF). Using cardiac MRI, RV fractional area change (RVFAC), determined either by MRI or echocardiography, was found to correlate best with MRI-derived RVEF. [source]


Visual Quantitative Estimation: Semiquantitative Wall Motion Scoring and Determination of Ejection Fraction

ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Issue 5 2003
M.D., Steven J. Lavine
Ejection fraction (EF) is the most commonly used parameter of left ventricular (LV) systolic function and can be assessed by echocardiography. Quantitative echocardiography is time consuming and is as accurate as visual estimation, which has significant variability. We hypothesized that each echocardiographer has developed a mental set of guidelines that relate to how much individual segment shortening constitutes normal function or hypokinesis of varying extents. We determined the accuracy of applying these guidelines to an accepted technique of EF determination using a retrospective analysis of consecutive two-dimensional echocardiographic studies performed on patients who had radioventriculography (RVG) within 48 hours. Using a 12 segment model, we scored each segment at the base and mid-ventricular level based on segmental excursion and thickening. The apex was scored similarly but with 1/3 of the value based on a cylinder-cone model. EF was determined from the sum of segment scores and was estimated visually. We termed this approach visual quantitative estimation (VQE). We correlated the EF derived from VQE and visual estimation with RVG EF. In the training set, VQE demonstrated a strong correlation with RVG(r = 0.969), which was significantly greater than visual estimation(r = 0.896, P < 0.01). The limits of agreement for VQE (+12% to ,7%) were similar to the limits of RVG agreement with contrast ventriculography (+10% to ,11%) with similar intraobserver and interobserver variabilities. Similar correlation was noted in the prediction set between VQE and RVG EF(r = 0.967, P < 0.001). We conclude that VQE provides highly correlated estimates of EF with RVG. (ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Volume 20, July 2003) [source]


Application of DNA diffusion assay in earthworm coelomocytes

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY, Issue 2 2008
A. A. Apte
Abstract We have applied the DNA diffusion assay proposed by Singh (2000) Exp Cell Res 256:328,337, for quantitative estimation of apoptosis in earthworm coelomocytes, exposed to Chromium (VI) and cypermethrin as model toxicants in vitro. The DNA diffusion assay was originally described for mammalian cells. H2O2, Sodium ascorbate, and hyperthermia were used as positive controls in present study. Apoptosis such as DNA diffusion occurred in dose-dependent manner for Chromium (VI) and cypermethrin at very low concentration (1, 3, and 10 ppm for Chromium (VI) and 4, 8, and 16 ppm for cypermethrin). Three distinct patterns (apoptosis like DNA diffusion, necrosis, and normal) were observed in exposed and nonexposed cells. Present study is probably the first report of application of the DNA diffusion technique in earthworm coelomocytes. Findings of this study indicate that this assay has potential for use in invertebrate cells to differentiate between apoptosis and necrosis. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2008. [source]


An examination of exergy destruction in organic Rankine cycles

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESEARCH, Issue 10 2008
P. J. Mago
Abstract The exergy topological method is used to present a quantitative estimation of the exergy destroyed in an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) operating on R113. A detailed roadmap of exergy flow is presented using an exergy wheel, and this visual representation clearly depicts the exergy accounting associated with each thermodynamic process. The analysis indicates that the evaporator accounts for maximum exergy destroyed in the ORC and the process responsible for this is the heat transfer across a finite temperature difference. In addition, the results confirm the thermodynamic superiority of the regenerative ORC over the basic ORC since regenerative heating helps offset a significant amount of exergy destroyed in the evaporator, thereby resulting in a thermodynamically more efficient process. Parameters such as thermodynamic influence coefficient and degree of thermodynamic perfection are identified as useful design metrics to assist exergy-based design of devices. This paper also examines the impact of operating parameters such as evaporator pressure and inlet temperature of the hot gases entering the evaporator on ORC performance. It is shown that exergy destruction decreases with increasing evaporator pressure and decreasing turbine inlet temperatures. Finally, the analysis reveals the potential of the exergy topological methodology as a robust technique to identify the magnitude of irreversibilities associated with real thermodynamic processes in practical thermal systems. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Effect of non-exponential and multi-exponential decay behavior on the performance of the direct exponential curve resolution algorithm (DECRA) in NMR investigations

JOURNAL OF CHEMOMETRICS, Issue 11 2003
Todd M. Alam
Abstract The effect of non-exponential and multi-exponential decay or relaxation behavior on the performance of the direct exponential curve resolution algorithm (DECRA) is investigated through a series of numerical simulations. Three different combinations of decay or relaxation behavior were investigated through DECRA analysis of simulated pulse gradient spin echo (PGSE) NMR diffusion spectra that contained the combination of two individual components. The diffusion decay behavior of one component was described by a single-exponential decay, while the second component was described by either (1) a multi-exponential decay, (2) a decay behavior described by the empirical Kohlrausch,Williams,Watts (KWW) relation or (3) a multi-exponential decay behavior correlated with variations in the NMR spectral line shape. The magnitudes and types of errors produced during the DECRA analysis of spectral data with deviations from a pure single-exponential decay behavior are presented. It is demonstrated that the deviation from single-exponential decay impacts the resulting calculated line shapes, the calculated relative concentrations and the quantitative estimation of the decay or relaxation time constants of both components present in the NMR spectra. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Sonographic assessment of fatty liver infiltration using the measurement of para- and perirenal fat thickness

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ULTRASOUND, Issue 9 2010
Satsuki Kawasaki MD
Abstract Purpose Usefulness of abdominal ultrasonography for quantitative estimation of fatty liver by measurement of para- and perirenal sonographic fat thickness (UFT) was investigated. Methods Study subjects were 286 patients hospitalized for the treatment of diabetes. These subjects underwent blood chemistry studies, abdominal ultrasonography, and CT. On sonography, the thickness of combined para- and perirenal fat was measured between the kidney and the inner aspect of the abdominal musculature. Measurements on both sides were averaged as the UFT. Fatty liver infiltration was graded on a scale of grade 0 to 3: 0, none; 1, mild; 2, moderate; and 3, severe. With abdominal CT, the ratio of CT attenuation value of the liver to that of the spleen (L/S ratio) was measured. Results A positive correlation was found between UFT and FL grade or between UFT and L/S ratio (p < 0.0001). Positive correlations were also found between UFT and glutamic pyruvic transaminase (p < 0.05), or cholinesterase (p < 0.0001). Conclusion Measurement of UFT is a useful method for the quantification of fatty liver as well as for the quantification of visceral fat. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Ultrasound, 2010 [source]


An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for monitoring of Aspergillus ochraceus growth in coffee powder, chilli powder and poultry feed

LETTERS IN APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY, Issue 1 2006
S. Anand
Abstract Aims:, The work was carried out to develop an immunoassay for estimation of Aspergillus ochraceus biomass on solid substrate. Methods and Results:, An indirect noncompetitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for determination of fungal biomass in food commodities using antibody raised against A. ochraceus mycelial antigen. The sensitivity of the assay was linear in the range of 10,160 ,g fungal biomass per millilitre extract of coffee (R2 = 0∑989), poultry feed (R2 = 0∑987) and chilli (R2 = 0∑989). The growth of A. ochraceus in the food commodities like chilli, coffee beans and poultry feed, under the influence of two levels of moisture (20% and 30%) were monitored by the ELISA. The maximum fungal colonization was observed in poultry feed (9∑8 and 11∑8 mg g,1) followed by coffee beans (6∑8 and 11∑3 mg g,1) and chilli (5∑1 and 6∑3 mg g,1) at 20% and 30% moisture after 20 days of incubation. Similarly the fungus produced maximum ochratoxin A in poultry feed (25 and 120 ,g g,1) followed by coffee beans (8 and 24 ,g g,1) and chilli (0∑2 and 0∑45 ,g g,1) at 20% and 30% moisture after 20 days of incubation. Conclusions:, The method can be used for quantitative estimation of fungal biomass and comparison of fungal colonization in food substrates varying in composition. Significance and Impact of the Study:, The method can be adapted for studying the fungal colonization in different solid substrates under different culture condition. The method is sensitive to mould colonization of ,0∑02% (w/w) and can be used for early detection of specific fungal infestation in food commodities. [source]


Statistical evaluation of time-dependent metabolite concentrations: estimation of post-mortem intervals based on in situ1H-MRS of the brain

NMR IN BIOMEDICINE, Issue 3 2005
Eva Scheurer
Abstract Knowledge of the time interval from death (post-mortem interval, PMI) has an enormous legal, criminological and psychological impact. Aiming to find an objective method for the determination of PMIs in forensic medicine, 1H-MR spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was used in a sheep head model to follow changes in brain metabolite concentrations after death. Following the characterization of newly observed metabolites (Ith et al., Magn. Reson. Med. 2002; 5: 915,920), the full set of acquired spectra was analyzed statistically to provide a quantitative estimation of PMIs with their respective confidence limits. In a first step, analytical mathematical functions are proposed to describe the time courses of 10 metabolites in the decomposing brain up to 3 weeks post-mortem. Subsequently, the inverted functions are used to predict PMIs based on the measured metabolite concentrations. Individual PMIs calculated from five different metabolites are then pooled, being weighted by their inverse variances. The predicted PMIs from all individual examinations in the sheep model are compared with known true times. In addition, four human cases with forensically estimated PMIs are compared with predictions based on single in situ MRS measurements. Interpretation of the individual sheep examinations gave a good correlation up to 250,h post-mortem, demonstrating that the predicted PMIs are consistent with the data used to generate the model. Comparison of the estimated PMIs with the forensically determined PMIs in the four human cases shows an adequate correlation. Current PMI estimations based on forensic methods typically suffer from uncertainties in the order of days to weeks without mathematically defined confidence information. In turn, a single 1H-MRS measurement of brain tissue in situ results in PMIs with defined and favorable confidence intervals in the range of hours, thus offering a quantitative and objective method for the determination of PMIs. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Validation of a real-time PCR for the quantitative estimation of a G143A mutation in the cytochrome bc1 gene of Pyrenophora teres

PEST MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (FORMERLY: PESTICIDE SCIENCE), Issue 3 2007
Arash Kianianmomeni
Abstract A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the cytochrome b gene confers resistance to strobilurin fungicides for several fungal pathogens. Therefore, on the basis of a change at amino acid position 143 from glycine to alanine, a real-time PCR assay was established for the quantitative detection of the analogous SNP in the cytochrome b sequence of Pyrenophora teres Drechsler, which causes barley net blotch. Allelic discrimination was achieved by using allele specific primers with artificially mismatched nucleic acid bases and minor groove binding probes. Validation parameters for the lower limits of the working range, namely limits of detection (LOD) and limits of quantification (LOQ), were statistically determined by the variance of calibration data, as well as by the variance of the 100% non-strobilurin-resistant allele DNA sample (blank values). It was found that the detection was limited by the variance of blank values (five in 801 458 copies; 0.0006%), whereas the quantification was limited by the variance of calibration data (37 in 801 458 copies; 0.0046%). The real-time PCR assay was finally used to monitor strobilurin-resistant cytochrome b alleles in barley net blotch field samples, which were already classified in in vivo biotests to be fully sensitive to strobilurins. All signals for strobilurin-resistant cytochrome b alleles were below the LOD, and therefore the results are in total agreement with the phenotypes revealed by biotests. Copyright © 2006 Society of Chemical Industry [source]


High-performance thin layer chromatographic analysis of anti-inflammatory triterpenoids from Boswellia serrata Roxb.

PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS, Issue 6 2001
K. Krohn
Abstract A rapid and simple high-performance thin layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method was developed for the simultaneous quantitative estimation of the biologically active triterpenoids ,-boswellic acid, 3- O -acetyl-,-boswellic acid, 11-keto-,-boswellic acid and 3- O -acetyl-11-keto-,-boswellic acid from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata. The assay combines the isolation and separation of boswellic acid derivatives on silica gel 60F254 -HPTLC plates with spot visualisation and scanning at 250,nm. Methanol was found to be the most appropriate solvent for the exhaustive extraction of boswellic acid derivatives. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Integrated analytical approach in veal calves administered the anabolic androgenic steroids boldenone and boldione: urine and plasma kinetic profile and changes in plasma protein expression

PROTEINS: STRUCTURE, FUNCTION AND BIOINFORMATICS, Issue 17 2007
Rosa Draisci
Abstract Surveillance of illegal use of steroids hormones in cattle breeding is a key issue to preserve human health. To this purpose, an integrated approach has been developed for the analysis of plasma and urine from calves treated orally with a single dose of a combination of the androgenic steroids boldenone and boldione. A quantitative estimation of steroid hormones was obtained by LC-APCI-Q-MS/MS analysis of plasma and urine samples obtained at various times up to 36 and 24,h after treatment, respectively. These experiments demonstrated that boldione was never found, while boldenone ,- and ,-epimers were detected in plasma and urine only within 2 and 24,h after drug administration, respectively. Parallel proteomic analysis of plasma samples was obtained by combined 2-DE, MALDI-TOF-MS and ,LC-ESI-IT-MS/MS procedures. A specific protein, poorly represented in normal plasma samples collected before treatment, was found upregulated even 36,h after hormone treatment. Extensive mass mapping experiments proved this component as an N-terminal truncated form of apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1), a protein involved in cholesterol transport. The expression profile of ApoA1 analysed by Western blot analysis confirmed a significant and time dependent increase of this ApoA1 fragment. Then, provided that further experiments performed with a growth-promoting schedule will confirm these preliminary findings, truncated ApoA1 may be proposed as a candidate biomarker for steroid boldenone and possibly other anabolic androgens misuse in cattle veal calves, when no traces of hormones are detectable in plasma or urine. [source]


Longitudinal study of airway dimensions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease using computed tomography

RESPIROLOGY, Issue 3 2008
Tadashi OHARA
Background and objective: Chest CT has been widely used for the evaluation of structural changes in lung parenchyma and airways in cross-sectional studies. There has been no report on the annual changes in airway dimensions as assessed by CT in COPD patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the annual changes in airway dimensions and lung attenuation using CT in patients with COPD and to evaluate the correlations among annual changes in CT measurements and pulmonary function. Methods: Eighty-three men with COPD had completed five annual assessments of CT scans and pulmonary function tests over 4 years. Airway dimensions of the basal segment bronchi and lung attenuation on CT images were analysed in 38 subjects in whom the same airway could be measured at least three times, including at entry and at the end of the study. Results: Mean annual decline in FEV1 was 21 mL/year. Annual changes in the percentage of low attenuation areas were not significantly correlated with decline in FEV1. On the other hand, annual changes in the percentage of wall area (WA%/year) were significantly inversely correlated with annual changes in FEV1 (r = ,0.363, P = 0.025), whereas WA%/year did not differ among severity stages at entry and did not correlate with baseline FEV1. Conclusions: The results showing that annual changes in airway thickening correlated with annual decline in air flow limitation suggests the importance of treatment of airway inflammation in COPD. CT is a useful tool for quantitative estimation not only of emphysema but also of airway lesions in longitudinal studies. [source]


Molecular interactions of isoxazolcurcumin with human serum albumin: Spectroscopic and molecular modeling studies

BIOPOLYMERS, Issue 2 2009
Bijaya Ketan Sahoo
Abstract Curcumin is a nontoxic natural product with diverse pharmacological potencies. We report the interaction of a potent synthetic derivative of curcumin, isoxazolcurcumin (IOC) with human serum albumin (HSA) using various biophysical methods. The observed fluorescence quenching of HSA by IOC is due to a complex formation by a static quenching process with a quenching constant of the order of 105M,1. The binding affinity and the number of binding sites were obtained from a Scatchard analysis. Thermodynamics reveals that the interaction is entropy driven with predominantly hydrophobic forces. From the observed FŲrster-type fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), the donor (Trp 214 in HSA) to acceptor (IOC) distance is calculated to be 3.2 nm. The conformational changes of HSA due to the interaction were investigated qualitatively from synchronous fluorescence spectra along with a quantitative estimation of the secondary structure from Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopies. Molecular docking studies were performed to obtain information on the possible residues involved in the interaction process, and changes in accessible surface area of the interacting residues were calculated. The preferred binding site of IOC was analyzed by ligand displacement experiments with 1-anilino-8-naphthalenesulfonate (ANS) and warfarin-bound HSA. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 91: 108,119, 2009. This article was originally published online as an accepted preprint. The "Published Online" date corresponds to the preprint version. You can request a copy of the preprint by emailing the Biopolymers editorial office at biopolymers@wiley.com [source]


Population estimation of human embryonic stem cell cultures

BIOTECHNOLOGY PROGRESS, Issue 2 2010
Thomas Thurnherr
Abstract Traditionally, the population of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) culture is estimated through haemacytometer counts, which include harvesting the cells and manually analyzing a fraction of an entire population. Obviously, through this highly invasive method, it is not possible to preserve any spatial information on the cell population. The goal of this study is to identify a fast and consistent method for in situ automated hESC population estimation to quantitatively estimate the cell growth. Therefore, cell cultures were fixed, stained, and their nuclei imaged through high-resolution microscopy, and the images were processed with different image analysis techniques. The proposed method first identifies signal and background by computing an image specific threshold for image segmentation. By applying a morphological operator (watershed), we split most physically overlapping nuclei, leading to a pixel area distribution of isolated signal areas on the image. On the basis of this distribution, we derive a nucleus area model, describing the distribution of the area of cell debris, single nuclei, and small groups of connected nuclei. Through the model, we can give a quantitative estimation of the population. The focus of this study is on low-density human embryonic stem cell populations; hence cultures were measured at days 2,3 after seeding. Compared with manual cell counts, the automatic method achieved higher accuracy with <6% error. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2010 [source]


Channels, wetlands and islands in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and their relation to hydrological and sedimentological processes

EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS, Issue 1 2004
T. Gumbricht
Abstract The Okavango wetland in northern Botswana is one of the world's largest inland deltas. The delta is a dynamic environment with shifting channel routes, causing growth and decay of ,anking wetlands, and giving birth to islands. Primary island nuclei are formed by ,uvial processes and bioengineering, and subsequently grow into secondary larger islands of irregular shape by clastic and chemical sedimentation, and later by coalescence. This article presents classi,cations and quantitative estimations of channels, wetlands and islands of the Okavango Delta. Islands were classi,ed dependent on composition, pattern of composition, shape and juxtaposition. 90 per cent of all islands in the entire wetland were identi,ed, with a classi,cation accuracy of 60 to 85 per cent. Smaller islands of the nucleus types dominate the upper parts of the delta, whereas larger secondary islands are more common in the distal part, a re,ection of the age of the islands. Islands in the entry valley of the delta, the Panhandle, are larger in the top end , the primary region of recent clastic sedimentation. The overall size distribution of islands in the delta, however, shows no clumps, indicating that island growth is a uniform process over time and space. The total area ,ooded at least every decade is approximately 14 000 km2, of which 9000 km2 is classi,ed as actual wetland. Channel meandering decreases from the Panhandle to the distal part of the delta, with the abandoned Thaoge channel as an exception. Occurrence of ,uvially formed islands in the distal delta indicates that the water ,ow and area of inundation must once have been much larger. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Energy density patterns of nectar resources permit coexistence within a guild of Neotropical flower-visiting bats

JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, Issue 1 2004
Marco Tschapka
Abstract Neotropical rainforests support guilds of nectar feeding bats (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae) with up to six coexisting species. To analyse guild structure and mechanisms of coexistence in a Costa Rican tropical lowland rainforest, the resource use and morphology of bats were compared to the energetic characteristics of preferred nectar resources and their spatio-temporal distribution. The relative abundance of nectar-feeding bats was determined from mistnet captures over 26 months. Food items were identified by analysis of pollen loads and faecal samples. Phenology, flower density and nectar sugar content of resource plants permitted quantitative estimations of resource availability expressed as energy density (kJ ha,1 day,1) throughout the annual cycle. Four glossophagine bat species co-occurred at La Selva: two permanent residents (Glossophaga commissarisi, Hylonycteris underwoodi) and two seasonal species (Lichonycteris obscura, Lonchophylla robusta) that were found in small numbers during a period of high nectar availability. The two resident species differed in their abundance and in their temporal feeding strategies. After the main flowering peak, the common G. commissarisi shifted to a more frugivorous diet, while the rarer H. underwoodi fed on the few remaining bat-flowers. Resource plant species differed in their energy density by up to two orders of magnitude. Hylonycteris underwoodi visited more often plant species with a low energy yield than G. commissarisi. Because of its smaller body size and a wing morphology that promotes fast flight, H. underwoodi appears to be better adapted to low and scattered nectar resource levels. The two seasonal species differed greatly in body mass, which suggests different strategies for high-quality resource tracking. Large body mass in Lonchophylla robusta provides an energy buffer that permits daily commuting flights between a permanent roost and profitable foraging areas, while the small Lichonycteris obscura seems to track resources nomadically. It is proposed that energy density may be a major niche dimension that restricts access of species to certain habitats and that may profoundly influence the structure of nectar-feeding bat guilds. [source]


Estimating observation impact without adjoint model in an ensemble Kalman filter

THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, Issue 634 2008
Junjie Liu
Abstract We propose an ensemble sensitivity method to calculate observation impacts similar to Langland and Baker (2004) but without the need for an adjoint model, which is not always available for numerical weather prediction models. The formulation is tested on the Lorenz 40-variable model, and the results show that the observation impact estimated from the ensemble sensitivity method is similar to that from the adjoint method. Like the adjoint method, the ensemble sensitivity method is able to detect observations that have large random errors or biases. This sensitivity could be routinely calculated in an ensemble Kalman filter, thus providing a powerful tool to monitor the quality of observations and give quantitative estimations of observation impact on the forecasts. Copyright © 2008 Royal Meteorological Society [source]


Quantification of vitellin/vitellogenin-like proteins in the oyster Crassostrea corteziensis (Hertlein 1951) as a tool to predict the degree of gonad maturity

AQUACULTURE RESEARCH, Issue 6 2009
Fabiola G. Arcos
Abstract The oyster's reproductive process is poorly documented, especially in terms of a quantitative approach. In recent years, investigations with this species have been directed at determining important reproductive factors. Within this scope, techniques that allow standardized and accurate quantitative estimations of gonad development have become of primary importance. In this study, the histological characteristics and the levels of vitellin/vitellogenin-like proteins (Vn/Vtg) from ovaries of the Mexican Pacific ,pleasure' oyster Crassostrea corteziensis (Hertlein 1951) were analysed during different stages of gonad maturation using quantitative histological techniques and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This was performed in order to evaluate a possible quantitative tool to predict the degrees of gonad maturity and to analyse the biological implications of the findings relative not only to broodstock conditioning but also to natural populations. Using this information, we expect to be able to undertake further research on different reproductive aspects of this oyster species, including, among others, evaluation of the response in Vn/Vtg concentrations to different diets and environmental conditions during laboratory conditioning. [source]