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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 156343 matches for " Joshua B. Smith "
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Disease and Predation: Sorting out Causes of a Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) Decline
Joshua B. Smith, Jonathan A. Jenks, Troy W. Grovenburg, Robert W. Klaver
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088271
Abstract: Estimating survival and documenting causes and timing of mortality events in neonate bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) improves understanding of population ecology and factors influencing recruitment. During 2010–2012, we captured and radiocollared 74 neonates in the Black Hills, South Dakota, of which 95% (70) died before 52 weeks of age. Pneumonia (36%) was the leading cause of mortality followed by predation (30%). We used known fate analysis in Program MARK to estimate weekly survival rates and investigate the influence of intrinsic variables on 52-week survival. Model {S1 wk, 2–8 wks, >8 wks} had the lowest AICc (Akaike’s Information Criterion corrected for small sample size) value, indicating that age (3-stage age-interval: 1 week, 2–8 weeks, and >8 weeks) best explained survival. Weekly survival estimates for 1 week, 2–8 weeks, and >8 weeks were 0.81 (95% CI = 0.70–0.88), 0.86 (95% CI = 0.81–0.90), and 0.94 (95% CI = 0.91–0.96), respectively. Overall probability of surviving 52 weeks was 0.02 (95% CI = 0.01–0.07). Of 70 documented mortalities, 21% occurred during the first week, 55% during weeks 2–8, and 23% occurred >8 weeks of age. We found pneumonia and predation were temporally heterogeneous with lambs most susceptible to predation during the first 2–3 weeks of life, while the greatest risk from pneumonia occurred from weeks 4–8. Our results indicated pneumonia was the major factor limiting recruitment followed by predation. Mortality from predation may have been partly compensatory to pneumonia and its effects were less pronounced as alternative prey became available. Given the high rates of pneumonia-caused mortality we observed, and the apparent lack of pneumonia-causing pathogens in bighorn populations in the western Black Hills, management activities should be geared towards eliminating contact between diseased and healthy populations.
Eye Size at Birth in Prosimian Primates: Life History Correlates and Growth Patterns
Joshua R. Cummings, Magdalena N. Muchlinski, E. Christopher Kirk, Susan J. Rehorek, Valerie B. DeLeon, Timothy D. Smith
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036097
Abstract: Background Primates have large eyes relative to head size, which profoundly influence the ontogenetic emergence of facial form. However, growth of the primate eye is only understood in a narrow taxonomic perspective, with information biased toward anthropoids. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured eye and bony orbit size in perinatal prosimian primates (17 strepsirrhine taxa and Tarsius syrichta) to infer the extent of prenatal as compared to postnatal eye growth. In addition, multiple linear regression was used to detect relationships of relative eye and orbit diameter to life history variables. ANOVA was used to determine if eye size differed according to activity pattern. In most of the species, eye diameter at birth measures more than half of that for adults. Two exceptions include Nycticebus and Tarsius, in which more than half of eye diameter growth occurs postnatally. Ratios of neonate/adult eye and orbit diameters indicate prenatal growth of the eye is actually more rapid than that of the orbit. For example, mean neonatal transverse eye diameter is 57.5% of the adult value (excluding Nycticebus and Tarsius), compared to 50.8% for orbital diameter. If Nycticebus is excluded, relative gestation age has a significant positive correlation with relative eye diameter in strepsirrhines, explaining 59% of the variance in relative transverse eye diameter. No significant differences were found among species with different activity patterns. Conclusions/Significance The primate developmental strategy of relatively long gestations is probably tied to an extended period of neural development, and this principle appears to apply to eye growth as well. Our findings indicate that growth rates of the eye and bony orbit are disassociated, with eyes growing faster prenatally, and the growth rate of the bony orbit exceeding that of the eyes after birth. Some well-documented patterns of orbital morphology in adult primates, such as the enlarged orbits of nocturnal species, mainly emerge during postnatal development.
Increasing the Efficiency of a Thermionic Engine Using a Negative Electron Affinity Collector
Joshua Ryan Smith
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1063/1.4826202
Abstract: Most attention to improving vacuum thermionic energy conversion device (TEC) technology has been on improving electron emission with little attention to collector optimization. A model was developed to characterize the output characteristics of a TEC where the collector features negative electron affinity (NEA). According to the model, there are certain conditions for which the space charge limitation can be reduced or eliminated. The model is applied to devices comprised of materials reported in the literature, and predictions of output power and efficiency are made, targeting the sub-1000K hot-side regime. By slightly lowering the collector barrier height, an output power of around $1kW$, at $\geq 20%$ efficiency for a reasonably sized device ($\sim 0.1m^{2}$ emission area) can be achieved.
Control of an Industrial SCR Catalyst Using Ceramic NOx Sensors  [PDF]
Joshua Schmitt, Daniel B. Olsen
Energy and Power Engineering (EPE) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/epe.2011.33039
Abstract: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalysts respond slowly to transient inputs, which is troublesome when designing ammonia feed controllers. An experimental SCR test apparatus installed on a slipstream of a Coo-per-Bessemer GMV-4, 2-stroke cycle natural gas engine is utilized. Ammonia (NH3) feed rate control algo-rithm development is carried out. Two control algorithms are evaluated: a feed forward control algorithm, using a pre ammonia injection ceramic NOx sensor and a feed forward plus feedback control algorithm, us-ing a pre ammonia injection ceramic NOx sensor and post catalyst ceramic NOx sensor to generate feedback signals. The feed forward algorithm controls to constant user input NH3/NOx molar ratio. The data show the lack of pressure compensation on the ceramic NOx sensors cause errors in feed forward NOx readings, re-sulting in sub optimal ammonia feed. The feedback system minimizes the post catalyst ceramic NOx sensor signal by adjusting the NH3/NOx molar ratio. The NOx sensors respond to ammonia + NOx; therefore, the feed forward plus feedback algorithm minimizes the sum of NOx emissions and ammonia slip. Successful application of the feedback control minimization technique is demonstrated with feedback periods of 15 and 5 minutes with molar ratio step sizes of 5 and 2.5%, respectively.
Metapopulation Dynamics Enable Persistence of Influenza A, Including A/H5N1, in Poultry
Parviez Rana Hosseini, Trevon Fuller, Ryan Harrigan, Delong Zhao, Carmen Sofia Arriola, Armandoe Gonzalez, Matthew Joshua Miller, Xiangming Xiao, Tom B. Smith, Jamie Holland Jones, Peter Daszak
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080091
Abstract: Highly pathogenic influenza A/H5N1 has persistently but sporadically caused human illness and death since 1997. Yet it is still unclear how this pathogen is able to persist globally. While wild birds seem to be a genetic reservoir for influenza A, they do not seem to be the main source of human illness. Here, we highlight the role that domestic poultry may play in maintaining A/H5N1 globally, using theoretical models of spatial population structure in poultry populations. We find that a metapopulation of moderately sized poultry flocks can sustain the pathogen in a finite poultry population for over two years. Our results suggest that it is possible that moderately intensive backyard farms could sustain the pathogen indefinitely in real systems. This fits a pattern that has been observed from many empirical systems. Rather than just employing standard culling procedures to control the disease, our model suggests ways that poultry production systems may be modified.
Transcriptional and Translational Regulatory Responses to Iron Limitation in the Globally Distributed Marine Bacterium Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique
Daniel P. Smith,Joshua B. Kitner,Angela D. Norbeck,Therese R. Clauss,Mary S. Lipton,Michael S. Schwalbach,Laura Steindler,Carrie D. Nicora,Richard D. Smith,Stephen J. Giovannoni
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010487
Abstract: Iron is recognized as an important micronutrient that limits microbial plankton productivity over vast regions of the oceans. We investigated the gene expression responses of Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique cultures to iron limitation in natural seawater media supplemented with a siderophore to chelate iron. Microarray data indicated transcription of the periplasmic iron binding protein sfuC increased by 16-fold, and iron transporter subunits, iron-sulfur center assembly genes, and the putative ferroxidase rubrerythrin transcripts increased to a lesser extent. Quantitative peptide mass spectrometry revealed that sfuC protein abundance increased 27-fold, despite an average decrease of 59% across the global proteome. Thus, we propose sfuC as a marker gene for indicating iron limitation in marine metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic ecological surveys. The marked proteome reduction was not directly correlated to changes in the transcriptome, implicating post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms as modulators of protein expression. Two RNA-binding proteins, CspE and CspL, correlated well with iron availability, suggesting that they may contribute to the observed differences between the transcriptome and proteome. We propose a model in which the RNA-binding activity of CspE and CspL selectively enables protein synthesis of the iron acquisition protein SfuC during transient growth-limiting episodes of iron scarcity.
The Refinement of Ipsilateral Eye Retinotopic Maps Is Increased by Removing the Dominant Contralateral Eye in Adult Mice
Spencer L. Smith,Joshua T. Trachtenberg
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009925
Abstract: Shortly after eye opening, initially disorganized visual cortex circuitry is rapidly refined to form smooth retinotopic maps. This process asymptotes long before adulthood, but it is unknown whether further refinement is possible. Prior work from our lab has shown that the retinotopic map of the non-dominant ipsilateral eye develops faster when the dominant contralateral eye is removed. We examined whether input from the contralateral eye might also limit the ultimate refinement of the ipsilateral eye retinotopic map in adults. In addition, we examined whether the increased refinement involved the recruitment of adjacent cortical area.
The path to the enhanced and advanced LIGO gravitational-wave detectors
Joshua R Smith,for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/26/11/114013
Abstract: We report on the status of the Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the plans and progress towards Enhanced and Advanced LIGO. The initial LIGO detectors have finished a two year long data run during which a full year of triple-coincidence data was collected at design sensitivity. Much of this run was also coincident with the data runs of interferometers in Europe, GEO600 and Virgo. The joint analysis of data from this international network of detectors is ongoing. No gravitational wave signals have been detected in analyses completed to date. Currently two of the LIGO detectors are being upgraded to increase their sensitivity in a program called Enhanced LIGO. The Enhanced LIGO detectors will start another roughly one year long data run with increased sensitivity in 2009. In parallel, construction of Advanced LIGO, a major upgrade to LIGO, has begun. Installation and commissioning of Advanced LIGO hardware at the LIGO sites will commence at the end of the Enhanced LIGO data run in 2011. When fully commissioned, the Advanced LIGO detectors will be ten times as sensitive as the initial LIGO detectors. Advanced LIGO is expected to make several gravitational wave detections per year.
Minimal autocatalytic networks
Mike Steel,Wim Hordijk,Joshua Smith
Quantitative Biology , 2012,
Abstract: Self-sustaining autocatalytic chemical networks represent a necessary, though not sufficient condition for the emergence of early living systems. These networks have been formalised and investigated within the framework of RAF theory, which has led to a number of insights and results concerning the likelihood of such networks forming. In this paper, we extend this analysis by focussing on how {\em small} autocatalytic networks are likely to be when they first emerge. First we show that simulations are unlikely to settle this question, by establishing that the problem of finding a smallest RAF within a catalytic reaction system is NP-hard. However, irreducible RAFs (irrRAFs) can be constructed in polynomial time, and we show it is possible to determine in polynomial time whether a bounded size set of these irrRAFs contain the smallest RAFs within a system. Moreover, we derive rigorous bounds on the sizes of small RAFs and use simulations to sample irrRAFs under the binary polymer model. We then apply mathematical arguments to prove a new result suggested by those simulations: at the transition catalysis level at which RAFs first form in this model, small RAFs are unlikely to be present. We also investigate further the relationship between RAFs and another formal approach to self-sustaining and closed chemical networks, namely chemical organisation theory (COT).
Autocatalytic sets in a partitioned biochemical network
Joshua I Smith,Mike Steel,Wim Hordijk
Quantitative Biology , 2013,
Abstract: In previous work, RAF theory has been developed as a tool for making theoretical progress on the origin of life question, providing insight into the structure and occurrence of self-sustaining and collectively autocatalytic sets within catalytic polymer networks. We present here an extension in which there are two "independent" polymer sets, where catalysis occurs within and between the sets, but there are no reactions combining polymers from both sets. Such an extension reflects the interaction between nucleic acids and peptides observed in modern cells and proposed forms of early life.
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