[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Winter, the dolphin, as therapist?


(While I strenuously object to catching dolphins for entertainment, therapy or anything other than science, the dolphins at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium are all rescued either from the beach or from other facilities that closed. – Mod. MJB)

Dolphin Therapy Proves Beneficial for Bloomingdale Library Attack Victim
The young woman visited Winter, the dolphin that lost its tail, for her 21st birthday present.
By D'Ann White |
She can utter only a few words, is unable to walk on her own and can see little more than shadows and colors.

But, over the past three years, the young woman who was attacked and left for dead behind the Bloomingdale Regional Library April 24, 2008, has learned to communicate with her family through hand squeezes, grunts and facial expressions.

So, when the young woman was asked what she wanted to do for her 21st birthday, she was able to make it clear to her family that she had a destination in mind.

She wanted to visit Winter, the 5-year-old dolphin that lost its tail in a fishing trap, now living at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater.

This wasn't the young woman's first visit to see the dolphin that will be featured in a 3-D Hollywood film, "Dolphin Tale," starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, to be released Sept. 23.

She's visited the dolphin twice before.

"The last time she was here, we lowered her onto a platform in 2 feet of water so she could interact with Winter," said Tom Orr, who sits on the board of directors at the aquarium. "She was very emotionally excited and laughed almost the entire time. She was really touched by Winter. Then we presented her with a stuffed Winter toy, and she carries it with her wherever she goes."

On the ride home from that visit, the young woman's mother was surprised to hear her daughter utter the word, "Winter," three times. She promptly called Orr with the good news.

"I was hoping the interaction would evoke a few words from her, and it did," said Orr. "Once again, animal therapy worked. I've seen some amazing things occur when people are exposed to the dolphins."

Like the young woman who was brutally attacked, Winter is a survivor, said Orr.

"They've both overcome amazing odds to survive," said Orr. "They both illustrate how indomitable spirits can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles."

Like the young woman, Winter, now 5 years old, wasn't expected to live. No dolphin that's lost its tail has ever survived before. But using new technology, Hanger Prosthetics was able to create a prosthetic tail for the dolphin that enabled her to swim again.

On Saturday, during the birthday party at the aquarium, Orr brought the prosthetic tail to the young woman, allowing her to touch the special gel liner developed especially for Winter that allows the aquarium to securely attach the prosthetic tail to the dolphin's body.

"They went through 50 tails before they found one that worked," said Orr. "It was a quarter of a million-dollar project. They are now using this same material developed for Winter, called Winter's gel, for military personnel who have lost limbs because it's so strong and has a sticky liner that keeps the prosthetic attached."

While some people are benefitting from the technology developed for Winter, others are benefitting from exposure to the dolphin herself.

Orr said Winter is often used in therapy, and has a proven track record of helping people.

"We had a young boy from Germany who had been hit by a train visit Winter," said Orr. "After interacting with Winter, he spoke for the first time. Dolphins have an ability to reach people sometimes better than humans."

He noted that recently a woman who lost her leg in a motorcyle accident visited Winter at the aquarium searching for inspiration, said Orr. "She happened to get her prosthetic from the same company that made Winter's."

On Saturday, in honor of the library attack victim's birthday, Winter created a painting for the young woman. The trainer placed a brush with paint on it in the dolphin's mouth, and Winter painted a design on paper.

That's just one of Winter's tricks. Orr said the dolphin has proven to be an eager student, learning 30 commands for the film she will star in.

"The producers created a mechanical dolphin that looked exactly like Winter," said Orr. "But, for the most part, they were able to use Winter herself in the filming."

Also for the film, the producers built an addition onto the aquarium featuring a large dolphin pool. They artificially aged the structure so it would blend with the existing aquarium. That pool is now home to Hope, a 7-month-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin that was found nursing her dead mother in the Indian River Lagoon on Florida's east coast.

Hope happened to arrive at the Clearwater aquarium on the night of the wrap-up party for the film," said Orr. "Harry Connick Jr. and the rest of the cast, all wearing cocktail attire, came out to see us unload her."

Eventually, Hope and Winter will be paired in the same tank, said Orr, because dolphins require the companionship of other dolphins.

During Saturday's visit with Winter, the young woman smiled and laughed as her wheelchair was pulled up next to the platform leading to Winter's tank. She clutched the stuffed likeness of Winter in her hands.

After visiting Winter, the young woman's family and friends hosted a luau-themed party for her in one of the aquarium's educational classrooms. They invited children visiting the aquarium to share ice cream with the young woman.

The young woman, who has regained some use of her hands, was able to reach into a gift bag and pluck out a present brought to her. She smiled as her sister described the gift to her.

Later, she squeezed her mother's hand to indicate her displeasure with her mother for talking about her too much.

"She doesn't like to be talked about," explained her mother. "She communicates with her expressions and by squeezing my hand. Sometimes she even gives me a little punch."

Darla DiFerdinando, an occupational therapist who has been working with the young woman for two years, said she's made amazing strides.

"She can now take 25 steps with assistance," said DiFerdinando.

On this day, however, the young woman remained in her wheelchair. After the party, she visited the movie set of "Dolphin Tale," including the houseboat that Connick Jr.'s character lived on in the movie. The film company donated the houseboat to the aquarium after filming.

The young woman, still mostly blind, was unable to see the houseboat but laughed as she was wheeled down the steep ramp leading to the boat.

Her mother believes one of the keys to her daughter's recovery is to frequently expose her to different places so she can experience new sensations. To that end, the family takes her to the movies, out to restaurants and even to the beach.

"I think she had fun today," said her sister of the visit to the aquarium. "She seems very happy."

But Saturday's party wasn't the only gift from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Orr announced that the young woman and her family is invited to the premiere of the film, "A Dolphin Tale," Sept. 22.

"I'm hoping the combined message of success from this young woman and Winter will serve as an inspiration to others," said Orr.

To see the trailer of the movies, visit http://www.seewinter.com/.

Recent Activity:


[forensic-science] qPCR NEWS - May 2011- focus on single-cell qPCR


qPCR NEWS - May 2011- focus on single-cell qPCR

Dear researcher,
dear Gene Quantification page reader,

Our newsletter informs about the latest news in quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR and qRT-PCR), which are compiled and summarised on the Gene Quantification homepage. The focus of this newsletter issue is:

- UPDATE - new papers and applications for single-cell qPCR - http://singlecell.gene-quantification.info
- MIQE qPCR APP for iPhone, iPad and iPod - iOS Universal - http://MIQE.gene-quantification.info
- TATAA Biocenter qPCR Symposium "Developments in Real-time PCR - From Preanalytics to Molecular Diagnostics"


Nature Methods - Summary of the supplement on single-cell analysis
Supplement issue: April 2011 Volume 8, No 4
Read the supplement http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v8/n4s/index.html


In a series of commissioned pieces, authors discuss methods for the analysis of single cells and consider technical developments still needed. Three Reviews describe methods to study single-cell gene expression, peptide, and small-molecule metabolite profiles. Two Perspectives describe live-cell imaging and clonal analysis applied to single stem cells. A Commentary provides an overview of the technological developments underlying single-cell analysis and discusses applications of genome analysis in single cells.

Single-cell analysis - Methods to study single cell genomics
Since the beginning of research on cell biology, say Stephen Quake and Tomer Kalisky in a Commentary, technological advances have driven biological understanding of the single cell. Early microscopes that permitted biologists to observe single cells have led, via molecular marking techniques and flow cytometry, to the ability to rapidly monitor dozens of markers on thousands of individual cells. But the scale of single-cell analysis has not stopped there. The authors discuss methodologies, such as microfluidics, that are enabling highly parallel genome-scale analysis at single-cell resolution. They consider new applications—including haplotyping of human cells and the analysis of complex bacterial populations—for whole-genome sequencing of single cells. (Nat. Methods 8, 311–314, 2011)

Transcriptomes - Methods for single-cell transcriptome profiling
Strategies for single-cell transcriptome analysis
Cells, even when derived from a common tissue source or progenitor, vary in their gene expression, and this in turn influences their behavior and fate. It is thus important to analyze transcriptomes at single-cell resolution. In a Review, Azim Surani and colleagues take the reader through the steps of single-cell transcriptome analysis, from the isolation of single cells to the release and reverse transcription of mRNA and the amplification of the resulting cDNA, followed by DNA microarray analysis or high-throughput sequencing. The authors present available software tools for bioinformatic analysis of sequence data and discuss current limitations of single-cell transcriptome analyses such as the lack of discrimination between sense and antisense strands and the exclusion of non-polyadenylated transcripts. Finally, they describe up-and-coming areas such as single-molecule sequencing for full-length RNAs and the ability to sequence RNA that is actively being translated. (Nat. Methods 8, S6–S11, 2011)

Transcript imaging - Validating transcripts in single cells
Schematic of a branched probe for transcript imaging
High-throughput sequencing of transcripts in a single cell yields bulk information on what is being transcribed; to follow up on single transcripts in more detail, one needs to visualize the transcripts. In a Review, Alexander van Oudenaarden and Shalev Itzkovitz discuss methods for single-molecule transcript imaging in living and fixed cells. For transcript imaging in fixed cells, they describe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and derivative approaches based on labeled probes. For live cells, the authors compare methods based on gene fusion to the MS2 bacteriophage coat protein and molecular beacons. They discuss imaging technology and data analysis needed to extract information from single-molecule FISH experiments. In an outlook section they provide a glimpse into what is still required to make these methods more sensitive and to combine them with quantitative measurements of DNA and protein for a more complete picture of the expression networks that underlie tissue function. (Nat. Methods 8, S12–S19, 2011)


single-cell qPCR publications updated in May 2011

Relevance of circulating tumor cells, extracellular nucleic acids, and exosomes in breast cancer
Visualizing high error levels during gene expression in living bacterial cells
An improved one-tube RT-PCR protocol for analyzing single-cell gene expression in individual mammalian cells
Defining cell populations with single-cell gene expression profiling: correlations and identification of astrocyte subpopulations
Single-cell qPCR on dispersed primary pituitary cells - an optimized protocol
RT-qPCR based quantitative analysis of gene expression in single bacterial cells
Real-time PCR of single bacterial cells on an array of adhering droplets
Paired analysis of TCRa and TCRß chains at the single-cell level in mice
Single Cell RT-PCR on Mouse Embryos: A General Approach for Developmental Biology
... ... and much more here ... ...


MIQE_qPCR APP for iPhone, iPad and iPod - iOS Universal

Get help from a special team of experts in qPCR while on the move. MIQE - qPCR helps you in reviewing scientific works and checking your own experiments, when qPCR is involved. Check your project's compliance to MIQE in minutes, have all required references to hand, and follow qPCR events and news.



Welcome to the TATAA Biocenter qPCR Symposium "Developments in Real-time PCR - From Preanalytics to Molecular Diagnostics"
This event will be held in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic, June 13-17, 2011

The symposium will consist of two days of scientific sessions and industrial exhibition and both pre- and post symposium workshops. Besides interesting talks about the new developments in real-time qPCR research, special focus in this symposium will be on preanalytics and standardization, as well as molecular diagnostics with a separate track on Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs).

Symposium Topics:
- Preanalytics - Sample preparation, extraction and purification
- Standardization and quality control; MIQE guidelines
- Experimental design and data analysis
- Molecular diagnostics of complex diseases, detection and profiling of circulating tumor cells, CTCs
- High throughput expression profiling
- Digital PCR and copy number variations
- Epigenetics and mutation analysis
- Single cell expression profiling
- MicroRNAs and non-coding RNAs

Scientific Board:
- Mikael Kubista, Institute of Biotechnology, CAS, and founder of TATAA Biocenter
- Klaus Pantel, Director, Institute of Tumorbiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
- Michael W. Pfaffl, Professor of Molecular Physiology, TUM, Weihenstephan, Germany
- Tomas Zima, Head Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine of the First Faculty of Medicine and General Teaching Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic
-Mario Pazzagli, Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and Clinical Molecular Biology, University of Florence, Italy
- Uwe Oelmueller, Vice president R&D Diagnostic Sample Preparation & Stabilization, QIAGEN GmbH, Hilden, Germany

qPCR Workshops:
In conjunction with the symposium several interesting courses will be given. Course program:
- Introduction to real-time qPCR, 1 day, 13th of June
- SPIDIA: Towards the standardization of the pre-analytical phase, 1 day, 13th of June
- Hands-on qPCR workshop, 2 days, 16th-17th of June
- Experimental design and statistical data analysis for qPCR workshop, 2 days, 16th-17th of June
- Sample preparation and quality control of nucleic acids workshop, 2 days, 16th-17th of June
- Invited speakers course, 1 day, 16th of June

- Symposium schedule is available.
- Join the Evening cruise with sightseeing.
- Sponsorships and exhibition opportunities are available.
- Students purchasing a post symposium workshop spot attend the symposium free of charge.
- REGISTRATION FORM => http://www.qpcrsymposium.eu/content/view/6/9/


Advanced qPCR Techniques for Publication Success: Following MIQE Recommendation

Overview -The real-time reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (RT-qPCR) and real time PCR methods address the evident requirement for quantitative data analysis in molecular medicine, biotechnology, microbiology, diagnostics and other areas and have become the methods of choice for the quantification of nucleic acid targets and identification of sequence specific variations. Although often described as a "gold" standard, these are far from being routine assays.
Date: July 11–15, 2011
Location: EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
Register: http://www.embl.de/training/events/2011/MIQ11-01/index.html


Forward Please send the qPCR NEWS to further scientists and friends who are interested in qPCR !

Best regards,

Michael W. Pfaffl
responsible Editor of the Gene Quantification Pages


If this newsletter is not displayed correctly by your email client, please use following link:

The qPCR NEWS and the Gene Quantification Pages are educational sites with the only purpose of facilitating access to qPCR related information on the internet. The qPCR NEWS and the Gene Quantification Pages are edited by Michael W. Pfaffl. Copyright © 2005 - 2011 All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use, reproduction, or transfer of this message or its contents, in any medium, is strictly prohibited. Disclaimer & Copyrights are displayed on the homepage www.gene-quantification.com
To subscribe or change your e-mail address in qPCR NEWS, and if you would like to receive future issues FREE of charge, please send an e-mail with the subject SUBSCRIBE to mailto:newsletter@gene-quantification.info?subject=SUBSCRIBE

Recent Activity:
To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To unsubscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/forensic-science
From the home page you can search the list archives.  It also includes links to forensic science sites and allows you to modify your account settings.


[forensic-science] Telephone Analysis Training Dutchess County NY 6/21


Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Dutchess County Sheriff's Office
150 N Hamilton Street
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601

PHONE FACTS© Telephone Analysis Seminars train members of law
enforcement, private investigators, prosecutors and attorneys to
understand the telephone communication process and analysis techniques
of electronic communication records to find revealing patterns, criminal
associations, uncovering hidden relationships and spotting conspiracies,
which will deliver actionable focused investigative leads and evidence.
This training will also cover determining cell phone locations, cell
tower and switch functions, the tricks and technology utilized by
criminals and others to deceive law enforcement, subpoena/court order
construction and enforcement and maintaining evidence integrity.

Seminar Cost $160.00 per person
Register on line at:

Additional details or to request invoice:

* Phone: 914 380-0241
Email: PhoneFacts@aol.com
Phone: 914 512-0241
* Email: Cal189@yahoo.com <mailto:Cal189@yahoo.com>

Phone Facts© Seminars have provided expert telephone analysis
training for:
NYPD, FBI, Greenwich CT Police Department, Dutchess County District
Attorney's Office, Putnam County Sheriff's Department,
Poughkeepsie Police Department, Rockland County Intel Center, Suffolk
County District Attorney's Office, Westchester County Department of
Corrections, Nassau County Police Department, District of Columbia
Public Defender's Office and many other law enforcement agencies.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Recent Activity:
To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To unsubscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/forensic-science
From the home page you can search the list archives.  It also includes links to forensic science sites and allows you to modify your account settings.

Stay on top of your group activity without leaving the page you're on - Get the Yahoo! Toolbar now.

Get great advice about dogs and cats. Visit the Dog & Cat Answers Center.



[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Sturgeon's death highlights threat to ancient fish


Tulcea, ROMANIA — Alas, poor Harald. Wired up to a satellite transmitter, he had much to teach science about the life of the great sturgeons of the Danube River and Black Sea.

His probable demise is a cautionary tale of the multiplying threats to the great sturgeons, sought since Roman times for the wealth they yield in meat and caviar.

Consider: A living creature from the age of the dinosaurs, a fish that can grow as long as a minibus, lives longer than most men, sniffs its way to its birthplace to spawn and can yield a fortune in caviar.

When in 2009 a team of Romanian and Norwegian researchers attached a satellite transmitter to Harald's 2.9 metre body, they hoped the data beamed back would show them ways of halting the rapid drop in the sturgeons' numbers. But now the Beluga sturgeon is missing, presumed to be a victim of poachers.

Sturgeon have thrived in the Danube for 200 million years, migrating from feeding grounds in the Black Sea to Germany 2,000 kilometres upstream. Archaeologists have found wooden sturgeon traps in the ruins of Roman fortresses behind the willow trees on the Danube's banks, along with sturgeon bones dated to the 3rd century.

In the 1970s and '80s Romania built giant dams across the Iron Gates gorge, cutting off half the sturgeons' spawning grounds.

Fishermen, unrestrained after the collapse of order in eastern Europe in 1989, caught them in huge numbers as they began their migration, trapping them before they could reproduce. Pollution from agricultural run-off and expanding cities put them under further pressure, although the construction of water treatment plants in the last decade has lessened the flow of filth.

Now environmentalists are trying to head off the latest threat: a European Union plan to deepen shipping channels in the Danube that they fear could eliminate the last shallows where the sturgeon deposit their eggs, which would doom the fish to vanish in its last stronghold in Europe.

"Right now it's teetering on the edge of extinction," said Andreas Beckmann, director of the Danube-Carpathian program of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, or WWF. "That one project, depending on how it's done, could push it over the edge."

Under the plan, engineers would block partially several side channels of the Danube and divert water to the main fairway, enabling year-round shipping through what are now low-water bottlenecks. Concrete would reinforce the banks of some islands.

European and Romanian officials insist the proposed action would not further endanger the fish in the wild, free-flowing waters of the Lower Danube.

"There will be enough water to ensure migration," said Serban Cucu, a senior Transport Ministry official and Romanian negotiator. Still, construction has been delayed for a year to allow more monitoring of the channels.

"If the data collected shows there is some influence, we will decide together whether to stop the project," said Cucu, interviewed in his Bucharest office.

Sturgeon, which can live a century or more in both salt and fresh water, are genetically wired to reproduce only where they themselves were born. Equipped with four nostrils, each fish sniffs its way to its birthplace, says researcher Radu Suciu.

After the Iron Gates went up, fish west of the two dams effectively were rendered infertile. The reproduction rate was reduced by half, said Suciu, of the Danube Delta National Institute in Tulcea, at the mouth of the Danube Delta.

Even now, 40 years later, older fish congregate at the foot of the dam in spawning season.

This month, conservationists, governments and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization agreed to explore building a fish ladder for the sturgeon to crawl around the Iron Gates dams. But unlike salmon, sturgeon cannot jump and would have to use powerful underside muscles to climb nearly 40 metres through a chain of pools.

In a separate attempt to revive sturgeon stocks, experiments have begun to breed sturgeon in fish farms, safe from poachers who kill them for their roe, which is processed into expensive caviar.

In 1999, Stelic Gerghi, an unemployed aquaculture engineer from the Tulcea area, famously caught a 450 kilogram fish and extracted 82 kilograms of roe. It earned him enough to finish building his home and buy a new car. He is now serving his third term as mayor of the Vacareni district.

International trade in sturgeon was banned in 2001, and in 2006 Romania outlawed sturgeon fishing, followed by Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova and lately Bulgaria.

"We stopped the clock," says Suciu.

But as Harald's story illustrates, the threats have not disappeared.

Harald, named for the king of Norway because that country sponsors sturgeon research, was 12 years old and weighed 80 kilograms when he was caught and taken to an experimental farm. There his sperm was harvested to artificially fertilize the eggs of females.

After a month he was tagged with a transmitter and released back into the Danube in May 2009, carrying the hopes of scientists to learn how sturgeons travel and behave.

"He was in very good health, a strong fish," said Suciu.

He made his way downstream to the Danube Delta and into the Black Sea. Abhorring light, he stayed in murky depths of 10 to 50 metres.

Scientists pieced together his movements from 11,000 messages transmitted over five days after the tag reached the surface six months later.

Harald had foraged for herring, sprats, mackerel and other small fish for several weeks. Then in October he swam north.

Suddenly, on Nov. 2, he stopped moving. For three days he stayed on the bottom of the sea, 65 metres down, immobile.

During the night of Nov. 6, sometime after 2 a.m., Harald rose swiftly to the surface and went in a straight line 11 kilometres to Ukraine's Crimean coast. He remained offshore for two days and on land for another two. The transmitter's final messages, plotted with the help of Google Earth, indicated movement along a railway line.

Much of Harald's data was lost during transmission to the satellite, but the scientists had enough information to surmise his fate: he had been snared by a hook or net, then hauled up in the dead of night and taken ashore by rowboat.

"This was really sad. It was a young fish. He came into the Danube to spawn for the first time," said Suciu.

But the scientist was consoled that Harald left offspring that were released into the river. "The sons and daughters of Harald are safe in the Black Sea. He didn't die for nothing," he said.

Recent Activity:


[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Sea Jellies put sting into holiday weekend at some Florida beaches


Research NOTE: Proper name should be "SEA JELLIES" not "Jellyfish"....Once again, they are not fish nor do they have a backbone!

Cocoa Beach, FL - Hundreds of people trying to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend on Atlantic beaches in central Florida encountered an unwelcome surprise: swarms of purplish, stinging jellyfish.

More than 800 people at beaches from Cocoa Beach to Cape Canaveral have been stung, Brevard County Ocean Rescue officials said.

Assistant Chief Eisen Witcher said the reports began coming in Friday, but as the Memorial Day weekend got into full swing, the numbers increased dramatically.

"Saturday, we got about 200 reports. Sunday, we got another 250," he said.

All weekend long, countless numbers of jellyfish washed up on shores, standing out against the sand due to their distinctive hue.

"They're very visible because of their color," Witcher said. "They come in large amounts, very large groups."

Witcher said Brevard County shores are more familiar with Portuguese man o' war and cannonball jellyfish, not this current species, which he said he believes are called mauve stingers.

"This time of year, this can happen when the conditions are perfect for jellyfish to wash up. You have an onshore breeze combined with an east swell."

The stings cause itching, burning and rashes and can sometimes spur an allergic reaction.

Although none of the stings was believed to be serious, officials said two people who were stung were taken to hospitals after suffering from respiratory distress. It was unclear whether the distress was directly caused by the sting or came from a pre-existing medical condition.

"Most of the stings are being reported on the ankles, but others have been getting it on the chest, arms, you name it," Witcher said.

He said victims were being treated by a vinegar solution stocked at the various lifeguard stations.

"We have that solution there at all times, but we knew that we were going to have a lot of people out here this weekend," Witcher said. "These jellyfish are not a major threat, but they are annoying."

Recent Activity:

Get great advice about dogs and cats. Visit the Dog & Cat Answers Center.

Stay on top of your group activity without leaving the page you're on - Get the Yahoo! Toolbar now.



[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Field Research Courses in Marine Mammals Science (Summer-2011)


The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI (www.thebdri.com) is pleased to announce the 10 days-long, Field Research-oriented Courses (FRC) in Marine Mammals Science (Summer and Fall, 2011 Season).
These training courses are limited to 6 students to ensure individualized instruction and specifically designed for everyone seriously interested in pursuing a career in marine mammal science. Students may choose one or more of the three exclusive courses, listed bellow, depending on interest. Each academical FRC combines exclusive lectures, hands-on boat-based field work and computer exercises, assignments and tests.

The variety of subjects approached on these FRC's provides students with the tools and practical experience needed for a greater understanding of dolphin populations and their conservation, as well as deeper insight into behavioural research concepts and methodology.
FRC are divided in three exclusive training courses (http://www.thebdri.com/education/courses.htm):
FRC 1001 (Dates: 6th June, 18th July, 15th August) 
MONITORING COASTAL BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN POPULATIONS: This FRC is general and provides an in-depth, hands-on immersion into the field of marine mammal science and more particularly applied dolphin research. As a result of successful completion of this course, you will be able to select and use appropriate research methods available to characterise the status of a coastal bottlenose dolphin population.
FRC 1002 (Dates: 20th June, 1st August, 12th September) 
SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNICATION IN A FISSION-FUSION SOCIETY: This advanced FRC aims to provide specialization in behavioural methods, focusing in particular on bottlenose dolphin social behaviour and communication. By the end of the course, students will be able to design a project to assess the social organization of a bottlenose dolphin population. In addition, course attendants will get experience in using bioacoustical methods via computer practical sessions involving classification and analyses of bottlenose dolphin vocalizations.
FRC 1003 (Dates: 4th July, 29th August) 
CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF COASTAL POPULATIONS: This advanced FRC surveys an extensive amount of knowledge and ongoing investigations concerning marine mammals conservation. Students will learn how to achieve an integrated approach to address human-dolphin conflicts and about mitigation. As a result of successful completion of this specialization course, attendants will gain a deeper insight into the various factors influencing the incidental capture of bottlenose dolphins, use of ecosystem-level models to predict the impact of human activities and explain the importance of local, national, and international policies that aim to protect bottlenose dolphin populations.
BDRI has developed a financial aid to support students and unemployed people, covering 10% of the FRC Tuition & Program fee. Accomodation (private and double rooms), with shared cooking and bathroom facilities are included in the courses fee.
There is no deadline to apply. However, applications are accepted on a first-come, first serve basis. Positions are open until filled.

Step 1. 
Read through this general information carefully:

Step 2.
Decide what course/s you want to study, take note of any dates that may be preferred.

Step 3. 
Submit your application by email to info@thebdri.com
More information:
Email: info@thebdri.com; 
Telephone: 00 39 346 0815414      

Selected scientific publications by BDRI:

1. Díaz López B., 2011. Whistle characteristics in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mediterranean Sea: influence of behaviour. Mammalian Biology 76:180-189
2. Díaz López B. & Shirai, J.A.B., 2009. Mediterranean common bottlenose dolphin's repertoire and communication use. In: Dolphins: Anatomy, Behavior, and Threats, A.G: Pierce & L. Correa (Eds.), Nova Science Publishers, New York. 
3. Diaz Lopez B., 2009. The bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus foraging around a fish farm: Effects of prey abundance on dolphins' behaviour. Current Zoology (Acta Zoologica Sinica) 55(4):243-248.
4. Diaz Lopez B., Bunke, M. and Shirai, J.A., 2008. Marine aquaculture off Sardinia Island (Italy): ecosystem effects evaluated through a trophic mass-balance model. Ecological Modelling 212: 292-303.
5. Diaz Lopez, B., Shirai, J.A.; Bilbao Prieto, A. & M?ndez Fern?ndez, P., 2008. Diving activity of a solitary wild free ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of Marine Biological Association U.K. 88(6): 1153-1157.
6. Diaz Lopez B. and Shirai, J.A., 2008. Marine aquaculture and bottlenose dolphins social structure. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 62(6): 887-894.
7. Diaz Lopez B. and Shirai, J.A., 2007. "Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presence and incidental capture in a marine fish farm on the noth-eastern coast of Sardinia (Italy)" Journal of Marine Biological Association U.K, 87, 113-117.
8. Diaz Lopez, B., 2006. "Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Predation on a Marine Fin Fish Farm: Some Underwater Observations". Aquatic Mammals 32(3): 305 - 310 pp.
9. Diaz Lopez, B., 2006. Interactions between Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and gillnets off Sardinia. ICES Journal of Marine Science 63:944-951 pp.
10. Diaz Lopez, B., Marini, L., Polo, F., 2005. The impact of a fish farm on a bottlenose dolphin population in the Mediterranean Sea. Thalassas 2005, 21(2): 53-58.

Bruno Diaz Lopez 
Chief Researcher / Marine Zoologist 
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI 
V.Armando Diaz Nº4 07020 Golfo Aranci (SS) Italy 
tel.+ 39 346 081 5414
tel. + 0789 183 1197

Recent Activity:

Stay on top of your group activity without leaving the page you're on - Get the Yahoo! Toolbar now.

Get great advice about dogs and cats. Visit the Dog & Cat Answers Center.



Re: [forensic-science] Could anyone please give me an answer


Dear f.fathalla,
The following is a cut and paste from the SWGMAT fiber training program:

Chapter 4 Fiber Transfer and Persistence
General Discussion
This training module will introduce the trainee to the basic concepts and theoretical knowledge of fiber transfer and persistence from two perspectives. First, it is transfer and persistence that imparts a value to textile fibers as associative trace evidence. Second, it is transfer and persistence that can result in fibrous evidence contamination and loss. It is intended that the trainee demonstrate a sound theoretical foundation of the contamination and loss concepts before exposure to actual evidentiary materials and practical basic skills.
Objectives Through completion of this module the trainee will develop the theoretical knowledge to be conversant in:
1. Locard's Exchange Principle;
2. the potential significance of fibers as associative trace evidence in forensic cases;
3. textile fiber sheddability;
4. fiber transfer mechanisms and factors affecting transfer;
5. fiber persistence mechanisms and factors influencing persistence, and
6. techniques utilized to prevent or reduce fibrous evidence contamination and loss from the time of field examinations through laboratory analyses including:
a. limiting contacts between items and individuals,
b. wearing appropriate protective apparel,
c. proper packaging, handling and labeling,
d. cleaning equipment and work surfaces,
e. maintaining controlled environments,
f. separation of evidence from different sources by location and/or time.

Here is the link:

If you explore this site:
I think you will find the answer to your question(s).

I hope this helps.
Ed Jones

>>> "f.fathalla" <f_f_ismail@yahoo.co.uk> 5/29/2011 4:28 PM >>>

Hello everyone
I want answer for this question please: Why shedding and shed tests are important concepts in the evaluation of forensic fibre evidence; what is shedding and shed tests? Could anyone please give me an answer for this question?
Many thanks

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Recent Activity:
To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To unsubscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/forensic-science
From the home page you can search the list archives.  It also includes links to forensic science sites and allows you to modify your account settings.


[forensic-science] Could anyone please give me an answer


Hello everyone
I want answer for this question please: Why shedding and shed tests are important concepts in the evaluation of forensic fibre evidence; what is shedding and shed tests? Could anyone please give me an answer for this question?
Many thanks

Recent Activity:
To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To unsubscribe send a blank e-mail to:  forensic-science-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/forensic-science
From the home page you can search the list archives.  It also includes links to forensic science sites and allows you to modify your account settings.




A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases <http://www.isid.org>

Date: 27 May 2011
Source: Savanna Now [edited]

A bacterial disease is the direct cause of a large fish kill on the Ogeechee River, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) announced Thursday [26 May 2011].

But the disease being fingered, columnaris, is only a threat to fish when they're under environmental stress, and EPD has still not pinpointed the cause of that stress. Humans are not known to be affected by this bacterium.

State, federal and local agencies became aware of reports of dead fish on the river late last week. A comprehensive sampling and lab analysis of water, fish tissue and sediment began Sunday. The investigation continues to try to pinpoint why the fish were stressed enough to succumb to the bacteria. In the meantime, EPD continues to advise citizens in Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham and Screven counties not to swim in or consume fish from the Ogeechee River until further notice.

As a holiday weekend begins, the Blackwater river's legions of swimmers, fishermen and boaters are sure to be disappointed. Dead fish have been reported from Screven County, about a half mile below King America Finishing Inc., a large textile factory, to Ga. 204 at the Chatham-Bryan county border.

Ogeechee Riverkeeper Dianna Wedincamp wants more information. "It's very disappointing because we (already) know that the fish are under a lot of stress," she said. "We want to know what's causing the stress."

The Riverkeeper organization is doing its own analysis of water, tissue and sediment samples and is awaiting lab results.

"There's a ban on swimming or eating fish from Screven to Chatham, so we know there are more issues," she said. "We're planning to get to the bottom of that. We'll be on the river all day tomorrow [28 May 2011]."

[Byline: Mary Landers]

Communicated by:
Healthmap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[I am a little uncertain of the precise name of the organism. The causative agent of columnaris is a bacterial organism that has had its name changed from _Myxobacteria_ to _Flexibacter_ and may be now called _Cytophaga_. However, some of the best references still list it by older names.

A presumptive diagnosis of columnaris disease can be made by the detection of long, slender gram-negative rods in smears of gills or scrapings obtained from cutaneous lesions. Frequently, material scraped from such lesions and examined under phase contrast microscopy in a wet mount will reveal the presence of unique, characteristic "haystack" colonies that are of diagnostic significance (Isolation of the organism on cytophaga medium; Annacker and Ordal 1959).

Columnaris disease, caused by the bacterium _Flexibacter columnaris_ may result in acute or chronic infections in both coldwater and warmwater fishes. It occurs both as external or systemic infections that result in significant losses of hatchery-reared fish, particularly at warm summer temperatures (Pacha and Ordal 1970; Becker and Fujihara 1978).

Epizootics of columnaris disease frequently occur in natural populations, and high losses of fish may be observed. Wood (1974) describes strains of high and low virulence; highly virulent forms attack gill tissue, and the latter strains are primarily responsible for cutaneous infections. Some disagreements still exist concerning proper taxonomic placement of this organism (Snieszko and Bullock 1976). However, Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (8th
ed.) classifies it as a flexibacterium.

In many species of fish, the 1st sign of the disease may be the appearance of discolored, gray, patchy areas in the area of the dorsal fin. These characteristic "saddleback" lesions may progress until skin erosion exposes underlying muscle tissue. These lesions may become yellow and cratered and are often prominent in the mouth and head regions (Wood 1979). Virulent strains of _F. columnaris_ may attack gill tissue and cause a "gill rot" condition (Wood 1974). Systemic infections due to less virulent strains may occur with no apparent external signs. However, cutaneous infections seem to be more prevalent in most species of fish.

Research has shown that _Flexibacter columnaris_ can be transmitted from fish to fish directly through the water when virulent strains are involved. Individual infected fish within a population harbor the bacteria over winter (Wood 1974) and serve as sources of infection during the following summer months when stresses occur due to overcrowding and water temperatures above 12.2 C (54 F), etc.
Microcysts formed by _F. columnaris_ have been shown experimentally to remain viable over a period of several years. Some uncertainty still exists as to the possibility that these forms are sources of infection under natural conditions (Wood 1979).

The period between exposure to _F. columnaris_ and the outbreak of clinical disease varies depending upon the virulence of the strain of bacteria and the ambient water temperature. Strains of high virulence may induce acute disease within 24 hours, whereas less virulent forms may require from 48 hours to several weeks (Warren 1981). Holt et al.
(1975) have shown experimentally that a high degree of correlation exists between clinical disease and high water temperatures. Their studies also revealed that host species differ in the time from exposure to death. Existing data reveal that the disease has a pronounced seasonal occurrence. Both natural and hatchery epizootics are concentrated during the warm summer months.

In closed water systems, such as in a farm-raised situation or in aquariums, there are several treatments. However, in an open water system such as this, the treatment may be quite different.


Amend, D.E 1970. Myxobacteria linfections of salmonids: prevention and treatment. p. 258-265. In SE Snieszko (ed.) A symposium on diseases of fishes and shellfishes. Am. Fish. Sot., Spec. Publ. No. 5, Bethesda, MD. 526 p.

Anacker, R.L., and E.J. Ordal. 1959. Studies on the myxobacterium Chondrococcus columnaris. I. Serological typing. J. Bact. 78: 25-32.

Becker, C.D., and M.F. Fujihara. 1978. The bacterial pathogen Flexibacter column & and its epizootiology among Columbia River fish.
Am. Fish. Sot., Monogr. No. 2, Bethesda, MD. 92 p.

Bullock, G.L., D.A. Conroy, and SE Snieszko. 1971. Book 2A: Bacterial diseases of fishes, TEH. Publications. Inc., Neptune City, NJ. 151 p.

Holt, R. A., J.E. Sanders, J, L. Zinn, J.L. Fryer, and K.S. Pilcher.
1975. Relation of water temperature to Flexibacter column infection in steelhead trout (Salmogairdnerz), coho (Oncorhyncus kisutch) and chinook (0. tshauytscha) salmon. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 32:

Pacha, R.E. and E.J. Ordal. 1970. Myxobacterial diseases of salmonids. p. 243-257. In S.E Snieszko (ed.) A symposium on diseases of fishes and shellfishes. Am. Fish. SIX., Spec. Publ. No. 5, Bethesda, MD.

Snieszko, S.E, and G.L. Bullock. 1976. Columnaris disease of fishes.
U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv., Fish Dis. Leafl. No. 45, Washington, DC. 10 p.

Warren, J. W. 1981. Diseases of hatchery fish. A fish disease manual.
U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv., Reg. 3, Twin Cities, MN. 91 p.

Wedemeyer, G.H. 1974. Stress as a predisposing factor in fish diseases. U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv., Fish Dis. Leafl. No. 38, Washington, DC. 8 p.

Wood, J. W. 1974. Diseases of Pacific salmon: their prevention and treatment. Wash. State Dep. Fish. Olympia, WA. 82 p.

Portions of this comment were extracted from:
<http://www.glfc.org/pubs/SpecialPubs/sp83_2/pdf/chap23.pdf>. - Mod.TG]

[see also:
Undiagnosed die-off, fish - USA (GA) 20110526.1599] .................................................sb/tg/msp/lm/ll
ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted or archived material.

Recent Activity:

Find useful articles and helpful tips on living with Fibromyalgia. Visit the Fibromyalgia Zone today!

Stay on top of your group activity without leaving the page you're on - Get the Yahoo! Toolbar now.