Today state-of-the-art bioacoustic research requires high-sample-rate, multi-channel, and often long-term recording systems. Commercial systems are very costly. This paper proposes and demonstrates an ultrasonic recording system design that is arbitrarily scalable. The system is modular and based on retail components and open source software/hardware. Each module has four microphones and modules can be combined to extend the coverage area, obtain higher spatial recording resolution, and/or add recording redundancy. The system is designed to have no inherent scalability limits. The system has been deployed in four different test settings. The first setup tests the systems ability to make medium-term recordings (1 to 2?min) with many microphones. The second setup tests the robustness of the system, being deployed throughout the Danish winter with only minor issues. The third setup integrates the system in a mobile robot as an echolocating guidance system, while the fourth setup demonstrates full-spectrum transducer calibration. In most respects this systems hardware specification surpasses all competitors on the market at a quarter of the price. Tests demonstrate that large deployments are feasible and accurate ultrasonic measurements can be obtained.
The mechanisms underlying hemispheric specialization of memory are not completely understood. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to develop and test models of hemispheric specialization. In particular for memory tasks however, the interpretation of fMRI results is often hampered by the low reliability of the data. In the present study we therefore analyzed the test-retest reliability of fMRI brain activation related to an implicit memory encoding task, with a particular focus on brain activity of the medial temporal lobe (MTL). Fifteen healthy subjects were scanned with fMRI on two sessions (average retest interval 35?days) using a commonly applied novelty encoding paradigm contrasting known and unknown stimuli. To assess brain lateralization, we used three different stimuli classes that differed in their verbalizability (words, scenes, fractals). Test-retest reliability of fMRI brain activation was assessed by an intraclass-correlation coefficient (ICC), describing the stability of inter-individual differences in the brain activation magnitude over time. We found as expected a left-lateralized brain activation network for the words paradigm, a bilateral network for the scenes paradigm, and predominantly right-hemispheric brain activation for the fractals paradigm. Although these networks were consistently activated in both sessions on the group level, across-subject reliabilities were only poor to fair (ICCs???0.45). Overall, the highest ICC values were obtained for the scenes paradigm, but only in strongly activated brain regions. In particular the reliability of brain activity of the MTL was poor for all paradigms. In conclusion, for novelty encoding paradigms the interpretation of fMRI results on a single subject level is hampered by its low reliability. More studies are needed to optimize the retest reliability of fMRI activation for memory tasks.
Syneresis is a process observed during the maturation/aging of silica gels obtained by sol-gel synthesis that results in shrinkage and expulsion of water due to a rearrangement and increase in the number of bridging siloxane bonds. Here we describe how the process of biosilica deposition during spicule ("biosilica" skeleton of the siliceous sponges) formation involves a phase of syneresis that occurs after the enzyme-mediated polycondensation reaction. Primmorphs from the demosponge Suberites domuncula were used to study syneresis and the inhibition of this mechanism. We showed by scanning electron microscopy that spicules added to primmorphs that have been incubated with manganese sulfate fuse together through the deposition of silica spheres and bridges. Energy-dispersive X-ray mapping of the newly formed deposits showed high silicon and oxygen content. These biosilica deposits contain a comparably higher percentage of water than mature/aged spicules. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that the addition of silicate to primmorph cultures resulted in a marked upregulation of the expression of the aquaporin gene and of the genes encoding the silica anabolic enzyme silicatein-? and the silica catabolic enzyme silicase. On the other hand, addition of manganese sulfate, either alone or together with silicate, caused a strong reduction in the level of aquaporin transcripts, although this metal ion did not essentially affect the silicate-induced increase in silicatein-? and silicase gene expression. We conclude that the secondary silica deposits formed on spicules under physiological conditions in the presence of silicate fuse together and subsequently undergo syneresis, which is facilitated by the removal of water through aquaporin channels. In growing spicules, these processes of biosilica formation and syneresis in the lamellar monolithic structures precede the final step of "biosintering" during which the massive biosilica rods of the spicules are formed.
High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy used as the only treatment (monotherapy) for early prostate cancer is consistent with current concepts in prostate radiobiology, and the dose is reliably delivered in a prospectively defined anatomic distribution that meets all the requirements for safe and effective therapy. We report the disease control and toxicity of HDR monotherapy from California Endocurietherapy (CET) and William Beaumont Hospital (WBH) in low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients.
Previously, the cDNA and the respective gene for a presumed tauropine dehydrogenase (TaDH) from Suberites domuncula (GenBank accession nos. AM712888, AM712889) had been annotated. The conclusion that the sequences encode a TaDH had been inferred from the 68% identity with the TaDH protein from the marine demosponge Halichondria japonica. However, subsequent enzymatic assays shown here indicate that the presumed S. domuncula opine dehydrogenase is in fact a strombine dehydrogenase (StDH). The enzyme StDH is highly specific for glycine and is inhibited by an excess of the substrate pyruvate. Besides kinetic data, we report in this study also on the predicted tertiary and quaternary structure of the sponge StDH. It is concluded that the dimer (75 kDa) has a novel structure, distinguishing it from other known marine invertebrate OpDHs that exist as monomers.
Prostate cancer patients treated with high dose rate brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy were stratified by risk group for analysis to determine whether androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) affected outcome.
Silica-based materials are used in many high-tech products including microelectronics, optoelectronics, and catalysts. Siliceous sponges (Demospongiae and Hexactinellida) are unique in their ability to synthesize silica enzymatically. We have cloned the silica-forming enzymes, silicateins, from both demosponges (marine and freshwater sponges) and hexactinellid sponges. The recombinant enzymes allow the synthesis of silica under environmentally benign ambient conditions, while the technical (chemical) production of silica commonly requires high temperatures and pressures, and extremes of pH. Silicateins can be used for the fabrication of highly-ordered inorganic-organic composite materials with defined optical, electrical, and mechanical properties. The simple self-assembly properties of silicateins which are able to form silica and other metal oxides in aqueous solution allow the development of novel products in nano(bio)technology, medicine, and dentistry.
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