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  • Springer  (10)
  • 2000-2004  (10)
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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0495
    Keywords: Key words Karst terranes ; Electrical resistivity tomography ; Sinkholes ; Pinnacles and cutters
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract  Sinkhole collapse is one of the main limitations on the development of karst areas, especially where bedrock is covered by unconsolidated material. Studies of sinkhole formation have shown that sinkholes are likely to develop in cutter (enlarged joint) zones as a result of subterranean erosion by flowing groundwater. Because of the irregular distribution of pinnacles and cutters on the bedrock surface, uncertainties arise when "hit-or-miss" borehole drilling is used to locate potential collapse sites. A high-resolution geophysical technique capable of depicting the details of the bedrock surface is essential for guiding the drilling program. Dipole-dipole electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) was used to map the bedrock surface at a site in southern Indiana where limestone is covered by about 9 m of clayey soils. Forty-nine transects were conducted over an area of approximately 42,037 m2. The electrode spacing was 3 m. The length of the transects varied from 81 to 249 m. The tomographs were interpreted with the aid of soil borings. The repeatability of ERT was evaluated by comparing the rock surface elevations interpreted from pairs of transects where they crossed each other. The average difference was 2.4 m, with a maximum of 10 m. The discrepancy between interpreted bedrock-surface elevations for a transect intersection may be caused by variations in the subsurface geology normal to the transect. Averaging the elevation data interpreted from different transects improved the ERT results. A bedrock surface map was generated using only the averaged elevation data at the transect junctions. The accuracy of the map was further evaluated using data from four exploratory boreholes. The average difference between interpreted and actual bedrock surface-elevations was less than 0.4 m. The map shows two large troughs in the limestone surface: one coinciding with an existing sinkhole basin, while the other is in alignment with a small topographic valley. Because sinkholes were observed at the same elevation interval in similar valleys in the vicinity, the delineated trough may have implications for future land use at the site.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-041X
    Keywords: Key words Swallow ; bicoid ; Drosophila ; mRNA localization ; Oogenesis ; Embryogenesis
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract  We analyzed a functional homologue of the swallow gene from Drosophila pseudoobscura. The swallow gene of D. melanogaster plays an essential role in localizing bicoid mRNA in oocytes, and swallow mutant embryos show anterior pattern defects that result from the lack of localization of the bicoid morphogen. The pseudoobscura homologue rescues the function of swallow mutants when introduced into the genome of D. melanogaster, and its expression is similar to that of the melanogaster gene. The predicted pseudoobscura and melanogaster proteins are 49% identical and 69% conserved. The coiled-coil domain previously identified in the melanogaster swallow protein is strongly conserved in the pseudoobscura homologue, but the weak similarity of the melanogaster swallow protein to the RNP class of RNA-binding proteins is not conserved in the pseudoobscura homologue. These and other observations suggest a structural role for swallow in localizing bicoid mRNA, perhaps as part of the egg cytoskeleton.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1573-4803
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Notes: Abstract Structural properties such as flexural moduli and strength have been measured for a range of porous alumina specimens of different initial powder sizes and final porosities, sintered using the capsule-free hot isostatic pressing method. This processing method produces a porous body in which the closed porosity is negligible. The relationship of these structural properties to total porosity has been investigated. The results indicate that both a power and an exponential function could adequately describe the porosity dependence of flexural strength. The strength values obtained were test method dependent, and were significantly lower for specimens with sintering aids. A power law model based on a critical porosity, as proposed by Phani, gave the best fit for the modulus measurement data. No dependence of mechanical properties on particle size was observed. The strength measurement results did not appear to support suggestions that better strength could be obtained by the capsule-free hot isostatic pressing method than conventional sintering, as reported elsewhere.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1435-232X
    Keywords: Key words Hyperlipoproteinemia ; Lipoproteins ; LDL receptor ; Familial combined hyperlipidemia
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Factors predisposing to the phenotypic features of familial combined hyperlipidemia have not been clearly defined. In the course of investigating familial coronary artery disease in Utah, we identified a three-generation family in which multiple members were affected with type IIa hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP IIa), type IIb hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP IIb), or type IV hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP IV). Because several family members had relatively severe low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol elevation, in order to dissect the possible contribution to the plasma lipoprotein abnormalities in this pedigree, we identified a novel point mutation in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene, a G-to-A transition at nucleotide position 337 in exon 4. This change substituted lysine for glutamic acid at codon 92 (D92K) of the LDL receptor. By means of mutant allele-specific amplification we determined that the mutation co-segregated with elevated cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the plasma of family members with HLP IIa and HLP IIb, but not with the elevated plasma triglycerides seen in HLP IIb and HLP IV patients. Thus, in families with apparent familial combined hyperlipidemia, a defective LDLR allele and other genetic or environmental factors that elevate plasma triglycerides may account for the multiple lipid phenotypes observed in this kindred.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1741-0444
    Keywords: Virtual biopsies ; Barrett's oesophagus ; Bio-electrical impedance
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract It has previously been shown that it is possible to differentiate between squamous and columnar epithelia in rat and resected human tissues using an impedance probe to makein vitro measurements. This probe can be passed down an endoscope allowing measurements to be made in patients. However, the probe emerges parallel to the oesophageal wall, with little room to manoeuvre. The conditions of control required to give reliable readings have been investigated. The importance of pressure applied and the angle of approach to the oesophagus was assessed. Pressures in the range 26.6 Pa to 46.3 kPa and angles in the range 15–90 degrees were considered. Inin vitro studies it was observed that it was possible to obtain consistent readings with pressures greater than 2.9 kPa and with angles greater than 15 degrees between the probe and the oesophagus. These conditions can be achievedin vivo, and readings obtained from twelve patients are shown (45 readings on normal squamous, 34 on Barrett's oesophagus and 22 on stomach). At low frequencies (9.6–153.2 kHz), a Mann-Whitney test shows a significant difference (p〈0.001) when comparing the means from squamous and columnar, and also when readings from Barrett's and normal gastric epithelia are compared (p〈0.001).
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1476-5535
    Keywords: Keywords: vitamins; activated sludge; industrial wastewater; porous pots; Amtox™
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
    Notes: The process performance and metabolic rates of samples of activated sludge dosed with vitamin supplements have been compared. After initial screening, four vitamins and two metals as single supplements and in pairs, were dosed continuously into the mixed liquor of an activated sludge simulation. Toxicity, oxygen demand removal, respiration rates and suspended solids were measured to monitor the effect on process efficiency. It was confirmed experimentally that an industrial wastewater stream did not contain a sufficient supply of micronutrients for efficient biological treatment. This was concluded from the observation that control sludge batches (receiving no supplements) averaged chemical oxygen demand removal efficiency of 58%. Dosing micronutrients into the mixed liquor produced removal efficiencies of up to 69%. Some of the supplements increased the respiration rate of the sludge while some decreased it, indicating a range of stimulatory and inhibitory effects. Complex interactions between micronutrients that were dosed simultaneously were evident. Several positive effects led to the conclusion that micronutrients have the potential to optimise process performance of activated sludge plants treating industrial wastewater. The addition of phosphorus/niacin and molybdenum/lactoflavin removed wastewater components that were toxic to nitrifiers as indicated through toxicity testing, thus protecting downstream nitrification/denitrification treatment processes. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology (2000) 24, 267–274.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1573-2657
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract There is increasing evidence that endogenous glycogen depletion may affect excitation–contraction (E–C) coupling events in vertebrate skeletal muscle. One approach employed in physiological investigations of E–C coupling involves the use of mechanically skinned, single fibre preparations obtained from tissues stored under paraffin oil, at room temperature (RT: 20–24°C) and 4°C for several hours. In the present study, we examined the effect of these storage conditions on the glycogen content in three muscles frequently used in research on E–C coupling: rat extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus (SOL) and toad iliofibularis (IF). Glycogen content was determined fluorometrically in homogenates prepared from whole muscles, stored under paraffin oil for up to 6 h at RT or 4°C. Control muscles and muscles stored for 0.5 and 6 h were also analysed for total phosphorylase (Phostotal) and phosphorylase a (Phos a) activities. No significant change was observed in the glycogen content of EDL and SOL muscles stored at RT for 0.5 h. In rat muscles stored at RT for longer than 0.5 h, the glycogen content decreased to 67.6% (EDL) and 78.7% (SOL) of controls after 3 h and 25.3% (EDL) and 37.4% (SOL) after 6 h. Rat muscles stored at 4°C retained 79.0% (EDL) and 92.5% (SOL) of glycogen after 3 h and 75.2% (EDL) and 61.1% (SOL) after 6 h. The glycogen content of IF muscles stored at RT or 4°C for 6 h was not significantly different from controls. Phostotal was unchanged in all muscles over the 6 h period, at both temperatures. Phos a was also unchanged in the toad IF muscles, but in rat muscles it decreased rapidly, particularly in EDL (4.1-fold after 0.5 h at RT). Taken together these results indicate that storage under paraffin oil for up to 6 h at RT or 4°C is accompanied by minimal glycogen loss in toad IF muscles and by a time- and temperature-dependent glycogen loss in EDL and SOL muscles of the rat.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1573-2657
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Mechanisms of fatigue were studied in single muscle fibres of the cane toad (Bufo marinus) in which force, intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i), [Mg2+]i, glycogen and the rapidly releasable Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) were measured. Fatigue was produced by repeated tetani continued until force had fallen to 50%. Two patterns of fatigue in the absence of glucose were studied. In the first fatigue run force fell to 50% in 8–10 min. Fatigue runs were then repeated until force fell to 50% in 〈3 min in the final fatigue run. Addition of extracellular glucose after the final fatigue run prolonged a subsequent fatigue run. In the first fatigue run peak tetanic [Ca2+]i initially increased and then declined and at the time when force had fallen to 50% tetanic [Ca2+]i was 54 ± 5% of initial value. In the final fatigue run force and peak tetanic [Ca2+]i declined more rapidly but to the same level as in first fatigue runs. At the end of the first fatigue run, the rapidly releasable SR Ca2+ store fell to 46 ± 6% of the pre-fatigue value. At the end of the final fatigue run the rapidly releasable SR Ca2+ store was 109 ± 16% of the pre-fatigue value. In unstimulated fibres the nonwashable glycogen content was 176 ± 30 mmol glycosyl units/l fibre. After one fatigue run the glycogen content was 117 ± 17 mmol glycosyl units/l fibre; at the end of the final fatigue run the glycogen content was reduced to 85 ± 9 mmol glycosyl units/l fibre. [Mg2+]i did not change significantly at the end of fatigue in either the first or the final fatigue run suggesting that globally-averaged ATP does not decline substantially in either pattern of fatigue. These results suggest that different mechanisms are involved in the decline of tetanic [Ca2+]i in first compared to final fatigue runs. The SR Ca2+ store is reduced in first fatigue runs; this is not the case for the final fatigue run which is associated with a decline in glycogen and possibly related to either a non-metabolic effect of glycogen or a spatially-localised metabolic decline.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1573-2959
    Keywords: PM10 ; urban air quality ; background ; NAME ; ADMS ; long range transport ; air pollution ; particulates ; nitrogen dioxide ; sulphur dioxide
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Notes: Abstract Norwich is the eastern most city in the United Kingdom. Despite a population of only 100,000 and very little local industry, studies have shown that the city experiences levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulates and sulphur dioxide exceeding the UK Air Quality Standards. Because of Norwich's situation within a large, predominantly rural area a large non-resident workforce is one factor that contributes to large, often very congested traffic flows. The city's location close to the European mainland also exposes it to polluted airmasses transported from the continent, especially in the case of particulates and ozone. In order to assess the relative contributions of local and regional sources, data from rural and urban monitoring sites are to be used in conjunction with ADMS-Urban and the UK Meteorological Office's NAME model.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1572-9761
    Keywords: gap model ; gradient analysis ; landscape pattern ; sensitivity analysis ; Sierra Nevada ; spatial scale ; water balance
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Vegetation pattern on landscapes is the manifestation of physical gradients, biotic response to these gradients, and disturbances. Here we focus on the physical template as it governs the distribution of mixed-conifer forests in California's Sierra Nevada. We extended a forest simulation model to examine montane environmental gradients, emphasizing factors affecting the water balance in these summer-dry landscapes. The model simulates the soil moisture regime in terms of the interaction of water supply and demand: supply depends on precipitation and water storage, while evapotranspirational demand varies with solar radiation and temperature. The forest cover itself can affect the water balance via canopy interception and evapotranspiration. We simulated Sierran forests as slope facets, defined as gridded stands of homogeneous topographic exposure, and verified simulated gradient response against sample quadrats distributed across Sequoia National Park. We then performed a modified sensitivity analysis of abiotic factors governing the physical gradient. Importantly, the model's sensitivity to temperature, precipitation, and soil depth varies considerably over the physical template, particularly relative to elevation. The physical drivers of the water balance have characteristic spatial scales that differ by orders of magnitude. Across large spatial extents, temperature and precipitation as defined by elevation primarily govern the location of the mixed conifer zone. If the analysis is constrained to elevations within the mixed-conifer zone, local topography comes into play as it influences drainage. Soil depth varies considerably at all measured scales, and is especially dominant at fine (within-stand) scales. Physical site variables can influence soil moisture deficit either by affecting water supply or water demand; these effects have qualitatively different implications for forest response. These results have clear implications about purely inferential approaches to gradient analysis, and bear strongly on our ability to use correlative approaches in assessing the potential responses of montane forests to anthropogenic climatic change.
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