Wm Keck Science Center

Claremont, CA, United States

Wm Keck Science Center

Claremont, CA, United States
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Crino O.L.,University of Montana | Van Oorschot B.K.,University of Montana | Johnson E.E.,University of Montana | Malisch J.L.,University of Montana | And 2 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Roads have been associated with decreased reproductive success and biodiversity in avian communities and increased physiological stress in adult birds. Alternatively, roads may also increase food availability and reduce predator pressure. Previous studies have focused on adult birds, but nestlings may also be susceptible to the detrimental impacts of roads. We examined the effects of proximity to a road on nestling glucocorticoid activity and growth in the mountain white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha). Additionally, we examined several possible indirect factors that may influence nestling corticosterone (CORT) activity secretion in relation to roads. These indirect effects include parental CORT activity, nest-site characteristics, and parental provisioning. And finally, we assessed possible fitness consequences of roads through measures of fledging success. Nestlings near roads had increased CORT activity, elevated at both baseline and stress-induced levels. Surprisingly, these nestlings were also bigger. Generally, greater corticosterone activity is associated with reduced growth. However, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis matures through the nestling period (as nestlings get larger, HPA-activation is greater). Although much of the variance in CORT responses was explained by body size, nestling CORT responses were higher close to roads after controlling for developmental differences. Indirect effects of roads may be mediated through paternal care. Nestling CORT responses were correlated with paternal CORT responses and paternal provisioning increased near roads. Hence, nestlings near roads may be larger due to increased paternal attentiveness. And finally, nest predation was higher for nests close to the road. Roads have apparent costs for white-crowned sparrow nestlings - increased predation, and apparent benefits - increased size. The elevation in CORT activity seems to reflect both increased size (benefit) and elevation due to road proximity (cost). Whether or not roads are good or bad for nestlings remains equivocal. However, it is clear that roads affect nestlings; how or if these effects influence adult survival or reproduction remains to be elucidated. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Lundberg J.,Carleton University | McFarlane D.A.,Wm Keck Science Center | Brewer-Carias C.,Sociedad Venezolana de Ciencias Naturales
Geomorphology | Year: 2010

A distinctive suite of small-scale erosional forms that are oriented towards the light occur close to the entrance of Cueva Charles Brewer, a large cave in a sandstone tepui, in SE Venezuela. These are the third example of photokarren ever studied in the world, the other two being from Borneo and Ireland. They are the only photokarren ever described from sandstone, and the only example from a non-carbonate environment. The host rock is a poorly-lithified unit of the Precambrian quartz arenite of the Roraima Supergroup. The forms are all oriented towards the light at 30° regardless of rock surface orientation. The primary (negative) erosional form is the tube. Coalescence of tubes results in the positive remnant forms of rods, pinnacles, and cones. The final stage is a bumpy, wavy surface of degraded cones. The size of the features varies with erosion rate, and details of the form vary with development stage. The main population averages 4.4. cm in depth, with 55% of the surface eroded. This is divided into 10% tubes, 70% rods, 10% cones, 5% linear valley and 5% wavy lowland. The micro-ecosystem includes many bacteria, diatoms, red algae, green algae, liverworts, and oribatid mites, but, surprisingly, no cyanobacteria. The presence of a surface biofilm inside the forms but not on the remnant rock surface and, in the non-degraded forms, the direct relationship of biomass with depth suggests that biological activity is the dominant control on development. In addition, direct bacterial corrosion was noted. These same features occur to varying extents in the photokarren of Borneo and Ireland, and the model for development that we present provides a unifying theory for all photokarren. (This study also includes the first published petrographic analysis of uppermost unit of the Mataui Formation). © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Lundberg J.,Carleton University | Brewer-Carias C.,Sociedad Venezolana de Ciencias Naturales | McFarlane D.A.,Wm Keck Science Center
Quaternary Research | Year: 2010

Recent explorations in Cueva Charles Brewer, a large cave in a sandstone tepui, SE Venezuela, have revealed silica biospeleothems of unprecedented size and diversity. Study of one - a sub-spherical mass of opaline silica - reveals a complex, laminated internal structure consisting of three narrow dark bands alternating with two wider light bands. Uranium-thorium dating has produced 3 stratigraphically correct dates on the light bands from 298±6 (MIS 9) to 390±33ka (MIS 11). U concentration is only 30-110ppb. Initial 234U/238U ratios are high and increase over time from 1.8 to 5.3. Growth rate is very low, the fastest, at 0.37±0.23mm/ka, in MIS 9. Trace element and heavy metal content of the dark bands is distinctly higher than that of the light bands. It is hypothesized that the dark and light bands correlate with drier/glacial and wetter/interglacial periods, respectively, and that this sample probably began to grow in MIS 13. The cave is in a region that straddles a regionally important ecotone: the speleothem isotopic and trace element variations may preserve a useful paleoclimatic signal. This is the first published suite of U-Th dates from a single silica speleothem and the longest Quaternary record for this region. © 2010 University of Washington.

Lundberg J.,Carleton University | McFarlane D.A.,Wm Keck Science Center
International Journal of Speleology | Year: 2012

Several caves in Devon, England, have been noted for extensive cracking of substantial flowstone floors. Conjectural explanations have included earthquake damage, local shock damage from collapsing cave passages, hydraulic pressure, and cryogenic processes. Here we present a theoretical model to demonstrate that frost-heaving and fracture of flowstone floors that overlie wet sediments is both a feasible and likely consequence of unidirectional air flow or cold-air ponding in caves, and argue that this is the most likely mechanism for flowstone cracking in caves located in Pleistocene periglacial environments outside of tectonically active regions. Modeled parameters for a main passage in Kents Cavern, Devon, demonstrate that 1 to 6 months of -10 to -15° C air flow at very modest velocities will result in freezing of 1 to 3 m of saturated sediment fill. The resultant frost heave increases with passage width and depth of frozen sediments. In the most conservative estimate, freezing over one winter season of 2 m of sediment in a 6-m wide passage could fracture flowstone floors up to ~13 cm thick, rising to ~23 cm in a 12-m wide passage. Natural flaws in the flowstone increase the thickness that could be shattered. These numbers are quite consistent with the field evidence.

Lundberg J.,Carleton University | McFarlane D.A.,Wm Keck Science Center
Geomorphology | Year: 2011

A suite of distinctive freshwater subaerial phosphatic stromatolites is developed close to the northeastern entrance of Deer Cave, Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, in conditions of very low light but ample supply of nutrients from guano. These stromatolites are not particulate; they are composed of alternating layers of more porous and more dense amorphous hydroxylapatite. This biomineralization occurs as moulds of coccoid (the majority) and filamentous (less abundant) cyanobacteria. Mineralization occurs at a pH of ~. 7.0 in the extracellular sheaths and in micro-domains of varying carbonate content in the surrounding mucus of the biofilm. The most recent surfaces that are not yet strongly mineralized show still-living filamentous, coccoid and rod-shaped forms. Trace element composition shows enrichment in metal ions, especially Mn and Zn. The stromatolites are present as horizontal shelves arranged in series on a steep rock face that is vertically under a guano-laden shelf. The rock face undergoes active dissolution from acidic guano drainage water (e.g., pH of 2.43) and from aggressive rainwater from an overhead discharge. However, the rock surface under the stromatolite is protected while the rest of the cliff face is backcut, creating a hoodoo-like effect. The stromatolites are ~. 15-20. cm deep, ~. 4-7. cm thick, and of variable width, generally ~. 50. cm. Eventually, guano and biological detritus in the descending water film lodge in the lee of the stromatolite lip, causing local acidification and erosion of stromatolite and rock on the underside of the ledge. A dynamic equilibrium is established between upward accretion of the fresh surface and destruction at the base such that the base of the stromatolite does not reflect the date of its inception and the stromatolite climbs up the wall. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Tang Z.,Wm Keck Science Center | Luca M.,Wm Keck Science Center | Portillio J.,Wm Keck Science Center | Ngo B.,Wm Keck Science Center | And 4 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2011

The LAMMER kinases are conserved through evolution. They play vital roles in cell growth/differentiation, development, and metabolism. One of the best known functions of the kinases in animal cells is the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing. Kic1 is the LAMMER kinase in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Despite the reported pleiotropic effects of kic1 + deletion/overexpression on various cellular processes the involvement of Kic1 in splicing remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that Kic1 not only is required for efficient splicing but also affects mRNA export, providing evidence for the conserved roles of LAMMER kinases in the unicellular context of fission yeast. Consistent with the hypothesis of its direct participation in multiple steps of pre-mRNA processing, Kic1 is predominantly present in the nucleus during interphase. In addition, the kinase activity of Kic1 plays a role in modulating its own cellular partitioning. Interestingly, Kic1 expression oscillates in a cell cycle-dependent manner and the peak level coincides with mitosis and cytokinesis, revealing a potential mechanism for controlling the kinase activity during the cell cycle. The novel information about the in vivo functions and regulation of Kic1 offers insights into the conserved biological roles fundamental to LAMMER kinases in eukaryotes. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Insperger T.,Budapest University of Technology and Economics | Milton J.,Wm Keck Science Center
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2013

A model for human postural balance is considered in which the time-delayed feedback depends on position, velocity and acceleration (proportional- derivative-acceleration (PDA) feedback). It is shown that a PDA controller is equivalent to a predictive controller, in which the prediction is based on the most recent information of the state, but the control input is not involved into the prediction. A PDA controller is superior to the corresponding proportional-derivative controller in the sense that the PDA controller can stabilize systems with approximately 40 per cent larger feedback delays. The addition of a sensory dead zone to account for the finite thresholds for detection by sensory receptors results in highly intermittent, complex oscillations that are a typical feature of human postural sway. © 2012 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Osorio I.,University of Kansas Medical Center | Frei M.G.,Flint Hills Scientific | Sornette D.,ETH Zurich | Milton J.,Wm Keck Science Center | Lai Y.-C.,Arizona State University
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2010

A dynamical analogy supported by five scale-free statistics (the Gutenberg-Richter distribution of event sizes, the distribution of interevent intervals, the Omori and inverse Omori laws, and the conditional waiting time until the next event) is shown to exist between two classes of seizures ("focal" in humans and generalized in animals) and earthquakes. Increments in excitatory interneuronal coupling in animals expose the system's dependence on this parameter and its dynamical transmutability: moderate increases lead to power-law behavior of seizure energy and interevent times, while marked ones to scale-free (power-law) coextensive with characteristic scales and events. The coextensivity of power law and characteristic size regimes is predicted by models of coupled heterogeneous threshold oscillators of relaxation and underscores the role of coupling strength in shaping the dynamics of these systems. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Erupe M.E.,Utah State University | Liberman-Martin A.,Wm Keck Science Center | Silva P.J.,Utah State University | Silva P.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2010

An ion chromatography method with non-suppressed conductivity detection was developed for the simultaneous determination of methylamines (methylamine, dimethylamine, trimethylamine) and trimethylamine-N-oxide in particulate matter air samples. The analytes were well separated by means of cation-exchange chromatography using a 3 mM nitric acid/3.5% acetonitrile (v/v) eluent solution and a Metrosep C 2 250 (250 mm × 4 mm i.d.) separation column. The effects of the different chromatographic parameters on the separation were also investigated. Detection limits of methylamine, dimethylamine, trimethylamine, and trimethylamine-N-oxide were 43, 46, 76 and 72 μg/L, respectively. The relative standard deviations of the retention times were between 0.42% and 1.14% while the recoveries were between 78.8% and 88.3%. The method is suitable for determining if methylamines and trimethylamine-N-oxide are a significant component of organic nitrogen aerosol in areas with high concentration of these species. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Milton J.G.,Wm Keck Science Center
Epilepsy and Behavior | Year: 2010

How can clinical epileptologists and computational neuroscientists learn to function together within the confines of interdisciplinary teams to develop new and more effective treatment strategies for epilepsy? Here we introduce epileptologists to the way modelers think about epilepsy as a dynamic disease. Not only is there terminology to be learned, but also it is necessary to identify those areas where clinical input might be expected to have the greatest impact. It is concluded that both groups have major roles to play in educating, evaluating, and shaping the direction of the efforts of each other. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

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