60 research outputs found

    Population characteristics and biology of striped marlin, Tetrapturus audax in the New Zealand fishery : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (MSc) in Physiology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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    Striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) are apex predators in the pelagic ecosystem and are seasonally abundant in the off-shore waters of New Zealand during December through May. Data presented in this thesis were derived from a variety of fishing databases from New Zealand, Australia and United States as well as biological samples collected from east Northland New Zealand. This thesis may be used to help answer questions about growth and size structure, factors influencing conventional tag recoveries, and the trophic dynamics of striped marlin in the New Zealand fishery. Results show that the average weight of striped marlin in the New Zealand recreational fishery has declined between 1925-1944 (117.9 ± 0.6 kg) and 1985-2003 (96.6 ± 0.3 kg) (Means ± S.E.). The root causes of this average size decline are unknown but appear to be related to the expansion of a surface longline fishery in the southwest Pacific Ocean during 1958. Despite the large average size (104.9 ± 0.2 kg) of striped marlin from New Zealand, parameters estimated in the von Bertalanffy growth model (L∞3010 mm, K=0.22 annual and t 0=-0.04) do not show higher growth rates compared to Hawaii or Mexico. During their residency in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) the condition Wr (relative weight) of striped marlin improves from 95.1 ± 1.2 to 109.4 ± 3.4 and average weight increases from 98.1 ± 2.0 kg to 114.6 = 0.4 kg. These data imply that striped marlin migrate to New Zealand in order to take advantage of the abundant food resources and to improve condition after spawning in warmer waters to the north. Arrow squid (Nototodarus spp.), jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) and saury (Scomberesox saurus) comprised a large portion of the diet from (n=20) striped marlin stomachs during March of 2004. Additionally, with a consumption rate of 0.962 to 1.28 kg of prey per day, striped marlin may consume the equivalent of 2.8-3.5% of New Zealand's current commercial catch of arrow squid and jack mackerel respectively. With concerns about declining pelagic fish stocks, tag-and-recovery programmes have become increasingly popular and over 50% of recreationally captured marlin in New Zealand are tagged and released annually. However, low tag recovery rates (<1.0%) have hindered progress in understanding growth, stock structure and migration patterns important for managing this species. Data from this study suggests that tag returns from striped marlin would increase if more fish were captured and released in less than 39 min and a greater number of small (< 89 kg) individuals were released. Tag recoveries and presumably post-release survivorship of striped marlin was reduced by increasing capture time and fish size. Rates of injury were lowest during capture times ranging from 20-29 min and in fish weighing 60-89 kg

    Metaphors in Nanomedicine: The Case of Targeted Drug Delivery

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    International audienceThe promises of nanotechnology have been framed by a variety of metaphors, that not only channel the attention of the public, orient the questions asked by researchers, and convey epistemic choices closely linked to ethical preferences. In particular, the image of the 'therapeutic missile' commonly used to present targeted drug delivery devices emphasizes precision, control, surveillance and efficiency. Such values are highly praised in the current context of crisis of pharmaceutical innovation where military metaphors foster a general mobilization of resources from multiple fields of cutting-edge research. The missile metaphor, reminiscent of Paul Ehrlich's 'magic bullet', has framed the problem in simple terms: how to deliver the right dose in the right place at the right moment? Chemists, physicists and engineers who design multi-functional devices operating in vitro can think in such terms, as long as the devices are not actually operating through the messy environment of the body. A close look at what has been done and what remains to be done suggests that the metaphor of the "therapeutic missile" is neither sufficient, nor even necessary. Recent developments in nanomedicine suggest that therapeutic efficacy cannot be obtained without negotiating with the biological milieu and taking advantage of what it affords. An 'oĂŻkological' approach seems more appropriate, more heuristic and more promising than the popular missile. It is based on the view of organism as an oikos that has to be carefully managed. The dispositions of nanocapsules have to be coupled with the affordances of the environment. As it requires dealing with nanoparticles as relational entities (defined by their potential for interactions) rather than as stable substances (defined by intrinsic properties) this metaphor eventually might well change research priorities in nanotechnology in general

    Wideband-tuneable, nanotube mode-locked, fibre laser

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    Ultrashort-pulse lasers with spectral tuning capability have widespread applications in fields such as spectroscopy, biomedical research and telecommunications1–3. Mode-locked fibre lasers are convenient and powerful sources of ultrashort pulses4, and the inclusion of a broadband saturable absorber as a passive optical switch inside the laser cavity may offer tuneability over a range of wavelengths5. Semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors are widely used in fibre lasers4–6, but their operating range is typically limited to a few tens of nanometres7,8, and their fabrication can be challenging in the 1.3–1.5 mm wavelength region used for optical communications9,10. Single-walled carbon nanotubes are excellent saturable absorbers because of their subpicosecond recovery time, low saturation intensity, polarization insensitivity, and mechanical and environmental robustness11–16. Here, we engineer a nanotube–polycarbonate film with a wide bandwidth (>300 nm) around 1.55 mm, and then use it to demonstrate a 2.4 ps Er31-doped fibre laser that is tuneable from 1,518 to 1,558 nm. In principle, different diameters and chiralities of nanotubes could be combined to enable compact, mode-locked fibre lasers that are tuneable over a much broader range of wavelengths than other systems

    MicroMotility: State of the art, recent accomplishments and perspectives on the mathematical modeling of bio-motility at microscopic scales

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    Mathematical modeling and quantitative study of biological motility (in particular, of motility at microscopic scales) is producing new biophysical insight and is offering opportunities for new discoveries at the level of both fundamental science and technology. These range from the explanation of how complex behavior at the level of a single organism emerges from body architecture, to the understanding of collective phenomena in groups of organisms and tissues, and of how these forms of swarm intelligence can be controlled and harnessed in engineering applications, to the elucidation of processes of fundamental biological relevance at the cellular and sub-cellular level. In this paper, some of the most exciting new developments in the fields of locomotion of unicellular organisms, of soft adhesive locomotion across scales, of the study of pore translocation properties of knotted DNA, of the development of synthetic active solid sheets, of the mechanics of the unjamming transition in dense cell collectives, of the mechanics of cell sheet folding in volvocalean algae, and of the self-propulsion of topological defects in active matter are discussed. For each of these topics, we provide a brief state of the art, an example of recent achievements, and some directions for future research

    Guidelines for the use of flow cytometry and cell sorting in immunological studies (second edition)

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    These guidelines are a consensus work of a considerable number of members of the immunology and flow cytometry community. They provide the theory and key practical aspects of flow cytometry enabling immunologists to avoid the common errors that often undermine immunological data. Notably, there are comprehensive sections of all major immune cell types with helpful Tables detailing phenotypes in murine and human cells. The latest flow cytometry techniques and applications are also described, featuring examples of the data that can be generated and, importantly, how the data can be analysed. Furthermore, there are sections detailing tips, tricks and pitfalls to avoid, all written and peer-reviewed by leading experts in the field, making this an essential research companion

    Cardio-respiratory development in bird embryos: new insights from a venerable animal model

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    Age estimation of billfishes (

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    Fin spine ageing is the most common technique used to estimate age and growth parameters of large pelagic billfishes from the families Istiophoridae and Xiphiidae. The most suitable methods for processing and interpreting these calcified structures for age estimation have not been clearly defined. Methodological differences between unvalidated ageing studies are of particular concern for highly migratory species because multiple researchers in different regions of the world may conduct age estimates on the same species or stock. This review provides a critical overview of the methods used in previous fin spine ageing studies on billfishes and provides recommendations towards the development of a standardized protocol for estimating the age of striped marlin, Kajikia audax and white marlin, Kajikia albida. Three on-going fin spine ageing studies from Australia, Hawaii, and Florida are used to illustrate some of the considerations and difficulties encountered when developing an ageing protocol for highly migratory fish species. Particular areas of concern that may influence age and growth estimates included differences in fin spine selection, sectioning methods, criteria for identifying and measuring annuli, distinguishing false annuli, validation procedures, identification of the first annulus, and methods used to replace annuli lost due to vascularization of the fin spine core

    Hypoxia, blackwater and fish kills: experimental lethal oxygen thresholds in juvenile predatory lowland river fishes.

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    Hypoxia represents a growing threat to biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems. Here, aquatic surface respiration (ASR) and oxygen thresholds required for survival in freshwater and simulated blackwater are evaluated for four lowland river fishes native to the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), Australia. Juvenile stages of predatory species including golden perch Macquaria ambigua, silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus, Murray cod Maccullochella peelii, and eel-tailed catfish Tandanus tandanus were exposed to experimental conditions of nitrogen-induced hypoxia in freshwater and hypoxic blackwater simulations using dried river red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis leaf litter. Australia's largest freshwater fish, M. peelii, was the most sensitive to hypoxia but given that we evaluated tolerances of juveniles (0.99 ± 0.04 g; mean mass ±SE), the low tolerance of this species could not be attributed to its large maximum attainable body mass (>100,000 g). Concentrations of dissolved oxygen causing 50% mortality (LC50) in freshwater ranged from 0.25 ± 0.06 mg l(-1) in T. tandanus to 1.58 ± 0.01 mg l(-1) in M. peelii over 48 h at 25-26 °C. Logistic models predicted that first mortalities may start at oxygen concentrations ranging from 2.4 mg l(-1) to 3.1 mg l(-1) in T. tandanus and M. peelii respectively within blackwater simulations. Aquatic surface respiration preceded mortality and this behaviour is documented here for the first time in juveniles of all four species. Despite the natural occurrence of hypoxia and blackwater events in lowland rivers of the MDB, juvenile stages of these large-bodied predators are vulnerable to mortality induced by low oxygen concentration and water chemistry changes associated with the decomposition of organic material. Given the extent of natural flow regime alteration and climate change predictions of rising temperatures and more severe drought and flooding, acute episodes of hypoxia may represent an underappreciated risk to riverine fish communities

    Aggressive encounters lead to negative affective state in fish.

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    Animals show various behavioural, neural and physiological changes in response to losing aggressive encounters. Here, we investigated affective state, which are emotion-like processes influenced by positive or negative experiences, in a territorial fish following aggressive encounters and explore links to bold/shy behavioural traits. Eighteen 15-month old Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) received three tests in order to determine bold/shy behavioural traits then underwent a typical go/no-go judgement bias (JB) test. The JB apparatus had five adjacent chambers with access provided by a sliding door and fish underwent a training procedure to enter a chamber at one end of the apparatus to receive a food reward but were chased using a net if they entered the chamber at the opposite end. Only one third (N = 6) of fish successfully completed the training procedure (trained fish), and the remaining 12 fish failed to reach the learning criterion (untrained fish). Trained fish housed with a larger aggressive Murray cod for 24 h were significantly less likely to enter intermediate chambers during probe tests compared to control fish, demonstrating a pessimistic response. Trained fish showed "bolder" responses in emergence and conspecific inspection tests than untrained fish, suggesting that shyer individuals were less able to apply a learned behaviour in a novel environment. Our limited sample was biased towards bold individuals but supports the hypothesis that losing an aggressive encounter leads to pessimistic decision-making