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Ambrose J.L.,University of New Hampshire | Haase K.,University of New Hampshire | Russo R.S.,University of New Hampshire | Zhou Y.,University of New Hampshire | And 8 more authors.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques | Year: 2010

Toluene was measured using both a gas chromatographic system (GC), with a flame ionization detector (FID), and a proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) at the AIRMAP atmospheric monitoring station Thompson Farm (THF) in rural Durham, NH during the summer of 2004. Simultaneous measurements of monoterpenes, including α- and β-pinene, camphene, Δ3-carene, and d-limonene, by GC-FID demonstrated large enhancements in monoterpene mixing ratios relative to toluene, with median and maximum enhancement ratios of ∼2 and ∼30, respectively. A detailed comparison between the GC-FID and PTR-MS toluene measurements was conducted to test the specificity of PTR-MS for atmospheric toluene measurements under conditions often dominated by biogenic emissions. We derived quantitative estimates of potential interferences in the PTR-MS toluene measurements related to sampling and analysis of monoterpenes, including fragmentation of the monoterpenes and some of their primary carbonyl oxidation products via reactions with H3O+, O2+ and NO+ in the PTR-MS drift tube. The PTR-MS and GC-FID toluene measurements were in good quantitative agreement and the two systems tracked one another well from the instrumental limits of detection to maximum mixing ratios of ∼0.5 ppbv. A correlation plot of the PTR-MS versus GC-FID toluene measurements was described by the least squares regression equation y=(1.13± 0.02)x-(0.008±0.003) ppbv, suggesting a small ∼13% positive bias in the PTR-MS measurements. The bias corresponded with a ∼0.055 ppbv difference at the highest measured toluene level. The two systems agreed quantitatively within the combined 1σ measurement precisions for 60% of the measurements. Discrepancies in the measured mixing ratios were not well correlated with enhancements in the monoterpenes. Better quantitative agreement between the two systems was obtained by correcting the PTR-MS measurements for contributions from monoterpene fragmentation in the PTR-MS drift tube; however, the improvement was minor (<10%). Interferences in the PTR-MS measurements from fragmentation of the monoterpene oxidation products pinonaldehyde, caronaldehyde and α-pinene oxide were also likely negligible. A relatively large and variable toluene background in the PTR-MS instrument likely drove the measurement bias; however, the precise contribution was difficult to accurately quantify and thus was not corrected for in this analysis. The results from THF suggest that toluene can be reliably quantified by PTR-MS using our operating conditions (drift tube pressure, temperature and voltage of 2.0 mbar, 45 °C and 600 V, respectively) under the ambient compositions probed. This work extends the range of field conditions under which PTR-MS validation studies have been conducted. © 2010 Author(s). Source

Sucher N.J.,Crossing tech | Hennell J.R.,University of Western Sydney | Carles M.C.,Northern Essex Community College
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

DNA fingerprinting of plants has become an invaluable tool in forensic, scientific, and industrial laboratories all over the world. PCR has become part of virtually every variation of the plethora of approaches used for DNA fingerprinting today. DNA sequencing is increasingly used either in combination with or as a replacement for traditional DNA fingerprinting techniques. A prime example is the use of short, standardized regions of the genome as taxon barcodes for biological identification of plants. Rapid advances in "next generation sequencing" (NGS) technology are driving down the cost of sequencing and bringing large-scale sequencing projects into the reach of individual investigators. We present an overview of recent publications that demonstrate the use of "NGS" technology for DNA fingerprinting and DNA barcoding applications. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Sucher N.J.,Roxbury Community College | Sucher N.J.,Northern Essex Community College
Synergy | Year: 2014

In this paper, I examine the role of the idea of synergy in life science research using examples in the fields of pharmacology/toxicology, molecular genetics and development, biochemistry, ecology and metabolic engineering. The research shows that synergy exhibits scale invariance. Small molecules act synergistically in the activation of single receptor molecules. Proteins function synergistically in development, metabolism and signaling. Synergy was found in the interaction between communities of organisms. Synergy manifests itself quantitatively or qualitatively: synergistic effects can be smaller or larger or they can be entirely different from what was expected. There is no single mathematical model that can be used uniformly to detect and quantify synergy. Synergy provides benefits for human health, wellbeing and economy. Synergy has explanatory and heuristic value in our quest to understand the function of and in designing complex biological systems. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Weiner S.A.,Tufts University | Weiner S.A.,Iowa State University | Noble K.,Urbana University | Upton C.T.,Williams College | And 3 more authors.
Insectes Sociaux | Year: 2012

Polistes dominulus is a primitively eusocial paper wasp from Mediterranean Europe that is invasive to North America. In Eastern North America, P. dominulus is in competition with P. fuscatus. One reason for the success of P. dominulus is that their colonies produce more reproductive offspring than P. fuscatus colonies. A partial explanation for this difference is that P. dominulus foundresses make more foraging trips in the pre-worker period, which likely helps them to rear workers more quickly. In comparing the species, we found that P. dominulus had a lower absolute flight metabolic rate, but that P. fuscatus had a lower mass-specific flight metabolic rate. In addition, in P. fuscatus, wingloading correlated with flight metabolic rate, but that this was not the case in P. dominulus. This suggests that P. fuscatus is not able to transport large loads inexpensively. Therefore, the lower overall cost of transport of P. dominulus may provide an advantage by allowing the foundresses to make more relatively efficient foraging trips. In addition, we compared time in flight by P. dominulus and P. fuscatus over a range of temperatures and found that while P. fuscatus flew well over a broad range of temperatures, P. dominulus had a relatively narrow range of optimal temperatures for flight (30-33°C). These differences may help explain both the success and the limitations of the P. dominulus invasion. © 2011 International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI). Source

Lattin C.R.,Tufts University | Waldron-Francis K.,Tufts University | Richardson J.W.,Northern Essex Community College | de Bruijn R.,Tufts University | And 3 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Glucocorticoid hormones play a key role in the stress response, but plasma concentrations vary based on physiological, environmental, or social parameters. However, hormone titers alone do not determine organismal response. To enhance our understanding of glucocorticoid actions we can examine 'downstream' factors in the organismal stress response, measuring glucocorticoid receptors across target tissues. Here, we characterized intracellular binding sites for CORT (corticosterone, the avian glucocorticoid) in house sparrow (Passer domesticus) brain, liver, skeletal muscle, spleen, fat, testes, ovary, kidney and skin. We used radioligand binding assays to identify total capacity, relative density and affinity for CORT of intracellular receptors in each tissue. Most evidence supported two binding sites similar to mammalian low-affinity glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and a high-affinity mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) for brain, liver, kidney and testes, and only a GR-like receptor for muscle, spleen, fat, ovary and skin. However, kidney data were somewhat more complicated, possibly hinting at a mineralocorticoid function for CORT and/or GR in birds. In all tissues, GR and MR affinities were close to published house sparrow values (Kd∼6nM for GR, and ∼0.2nM for MR). Taken together, these data show that CORT receptor distribution appears to be as widespread in birds as it is in mammals, and suggest that independent regulation of peripheral receptors in different target tissues may play a role in CORT's diverse physiological effects. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

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