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During the months of February, March, and April, 2004, a haul-out site was observed on Prudence Island, RI, for harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) behavior with emphasis on nocturnal activity. Results showed an average of 22 seals hauled out during the day, with an average of 16 per night. The relationship between temperature and seal number was weak, r2 = 0.06, yet a slight trend revealed that seal numbers dropped as temperature increased. Wind speed had little effect with r2 = 0.02. Scanning behavior was divided into constant and semi-constant scanners with a ratio of 2–4 scanner seals in groups of 10–40, and individual scanners in groups of less than 7, for both day and night observations.
Genomic libraries served as the templates for the sequencing of all 3.2 billion base pairs of a human being. Genomic DNA cloned into the PAC shuttle vector pJCPAC-Mam2 can be propagated in both prokaryotic and mammalian cells. Since this vector contains both wild type and mutant loxP sites bracketing the genomic insertion site, genomic DNA cloned into this vector can be subjected to loxP-Cre-mediated deletion events from either end of the insert. Transposon vectors containing the same mutated loxP site and a tetracycline-resistance gene were created and introduced into individual PAC clones. Transposition of the mini-transposon cassette was initiated upon the addition of IPTG. Deletions were generated and recovered upon infecting the cells with the bacteriophage P1. The resulting phage lysate was used to infect bacterial cells to recover the deletions. The deletions were shown to emanate from the same starting point and could be generated from both ends of the genomic DNA depending on the transposon vector used. This transposon-mediated deletion technology can be used to delineate 5′ and 3′ gene boundaries as long as a functional assay exists for the gene of interest.
Proper nutrition is essential to meet the physiological demands of flying. Poor eating habits can be a contributory cause for decreased pilot performance. Research has shown that low blood glucose levels, especially after a fasting period, contribute toward decreased cognitive function. This is especially relevant for aircrew personnel given the physiological demands placed upon them. Previous work has indicated that some USAF fighter pilots do not regularly eat breakfast, an essential meal for restoring blood glucose after an overnight fast. Due to the detriment of low blood glucose on certain cognitive tasks, we investigated if skipping breakfast would adversely impact flying performance. Using a cross-over double-blinded design, eight individuals were provided alternating liquid breakfast drink conditions (low carbohydrate, high carbohydrate) and then tested on unusual attitude recovery using computerized flight simulator software and susceptibility to spatial disorientation using a motion based flight simulator (GAT-II flight trainer). Comparing mean response times, data analysis did not detect any significant differences between groups. Additionally, mean pilot errors between drink conditions were insignificant. Although analysis revealed equivocal results and suggest no adverse effects under the aforementioned conditions, there were trends that existed between the groups in terms of increased mean response times for those ingesting the lower carbohydrate drink. Additional study is warranted to fully evaluate the effects of the hypoglycemic state on pilot performance.