67 research outputs found

    The Ethnohistory of Freshwater Use on Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile)

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    Sources of drinking water on islands often present critical constraints to human habitation. On Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile), there is remarkably little surface fresh water due to the nature of the island’s volcanic geology. While several lakes exist in volcanic craters, most rainwater quickly passes into the subsurface and emerges at coastal springs. Nevertheless, the island sustained a relatively large human population for hundreds of years, one that built an impressive array of monumental platforms (ahu) and statues (moai). To understand how Rapanui acquired their scarce fresh water, we review ethnohistoric data from first European arrival (1722) through the mid-twentieth century. Ethnohistoric accounts identify a diversity of freshwater sources and describe various Rapanui freshwater management strategies. Our findings highlight the importance of coastal freshwater seeps and provide much-needed insight into how Rapanui procured this vital and necessary resource

    Administration of either anti-CD40 or interleukin-12 following lethal total body irradiation induces acute lethal toxicity affecting the gut

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    AbstractInterleukin (IL)-12 and antibodies against CD40 have demonstrated antitumor effects in a variety of in vivo model systems. However, both agents can also mediate significant toxicities either when used following lethal TBI or when administered in combination with other agents such as IL-2. In this study, we assessed the effects of anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody (MoAb) and IL-12 in lethally irradiated mice. Acute lethal toxicity was observed following the administration of either 10 microg anti-CD40 MoAb (FGK45) or 0.5 microg of recombinant murine (rm)IL-12 that resulted in 100% mortality of all mice within 4 to 6 days. Histological evaluation revealed destruction of the normal gut architecture in both anti-CD40 MoAb- and rmIL-12-treated mice. Analysis of serum cytokine levels in the lethally irradiated mice receiving anti-CD40 MoAb demonstrated a marked increase of interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-12 p40, whereas mice receiving rmIL-12 demonstrated a marked increase of IFN-gamma. Lethally irradiated IL-12 p40 knock-out mice were resistant to anti-CD40-induced toxicity, suggesting that the lack of IL-12 p40 with no possibility of making functional IL- 12 p70 is key for this toxic reaction. Similarly, lethally irradiated IFN-gamma knock-out mice were completely resistant to rmIL-12-induced toxicity, suggesting that IFN-gamma is a major player in IL-12-mediated toxicity. These results suggest that both anti-CD40 MoAb and rmIL-12 induce an acute fatal toxicity characterized by similar intestinal pathology and mediated in part by IFN-gamma.Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2002;8(6):316-25

    Rapa Nui (Easter Island) monument (ahu) locations explained by freshwater sources

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    Explaining the processes underlying the emergence of monument construction is a major theme in contemporary anthropological archaeology, and recent studies have employed spatially-explicit modeling to explain these patterns. Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) is famous for its elaborate ritual architecture, particularly numerous monumental platforms (ahu) and statuary (moai). To date, however, we lack explicit modeling to explain spatial and temporal aspects of monument construction. Here, we use spatially-explicit point-process modeling to explore the potential relations between ahu construction locations and subsis- tence resources, namely, rock mulch agricultural gardens, marine resources, and freshwa- ter sources—the three most critical resources on Rapa Nui. Through these analyses, we demonstrate the central importance of coastal freshwater seeps for precontact populations. Our results suggest that ahu locations are most parsimoniously explained by distance from freshwater sources, in particular coastal seeps, with important implications for community formation and inter-community competition in precontact times

    Invasive Plants in U. S. National Wildlife Refuges: A Coordinated Research Project Using Undergraduate Ecology Students

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    Answering large-scale questions in ecology can involve time-consuming data compilation. We show how networks of undergraduate classes can make these projects more manageable and provide an authentic research experience for students. With this approach, we examined the factors associated with plant species richness in US national wildlife refuges. We found that the richness of harmful invasive plants and the richness of native plants were positively correlated in mainland refuges but negatively correlated in island refuges. Nonnative richness and invasive richness were also positively correlated with colonization pressure as indicated by nonnative richness around each refuge. Associations between refuge characteristics and invasive plants varied substantially among regions, with refuge area and habitat diversity important predictors of invasion in some regions but not in others. Our results serve to identify the refuges that are most susceptible to plant invasion and demonstrate the potential value of a new model for education and research integration

    Climate Change, Coral Reef Ecosystems, and Management Options for Marine Protected Areas

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    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more “traditional” stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation

    Solution Structure of \u3ci\u3eB. subtilis \u3c/i\u3eAcyl Carrier Protein

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    Background: Acyl carrier protein (ACP) is a fundamental component of fatty acid biosynthesis in which the fatty acid chain is elongated by the fatty acid synthetase system while attached to the 4’-phosphopantetheine prosthetic group (4’- PP) of ACP. Activation of ACP is mediated by holo-acyl carrier protein synthase (ACPS) when ACPS transfers the 4’-PP moiety from coenzyme A (CoA) to Ser36 of apo-ACP. Both ACP and ACPS have been identified as essential for E. coli viability and potential targets for development of antibiotics. Results: The solution structure of B. subtilis ACP (9 kDa) has been determined using two-dimensional and three-dimensional heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy. A total of 22 structures were calculated by means of hybrid distance geometry-simulated annealing using a total of 1050 experimental NMR restraints. The atomic rmsd about the mean coordinate positions for the 22 structures is 0.45 ± 0.08 Å for the backbone atoms and 0.93 ± 0.07 Å for all atoms. The overall ACP structure consists of a four α-helical bundle in which 4’-PP is attached to the conserved Ser36 that is located in a helix II. Conclusions: Structural data were collected for both the apo and holo forms of ACP that suggest that the two forms of ACP are essentially identical. Comparison of the published structures for E. coli ACP and actinorhodin polyketide synthase acyl carrier protein (act apo-ACP) from Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) with B. subtilis ACP indicates similar secondary structure elements but an extremely large rmsd between the three ACP structures (\u3e4.3 Å). The structural difference between B. subtilis ACP and both E. coli and act apo-ACP is not attributed to an inherent difference in the proteins, but is probably a result of a limitation in the methodology available for the analysis for E. coli and act apo-ACP. Comparison of the structure of free ACP with the bound form of ACP in the ACP-ACPS complex reveals a displacement of helix II in the vicinity of Ser36. The induced perturbation of ACP by ACPS positions Ser36 proximal to coenzyme A and aligns the dipole of helix II to initiate transfer of 4’-PP to ACP