Historical approaches to protect the brain from outside the skull (eg, helmets and mouthpieces) have been ineffective in reducing internal injury to the brain that arises from energy absorption during sports-related collisions. We aimed to evaluate the effects of a neck collar, which applies gentle bilateral jugular vein compression, resulting in cerebral venous engorgement to reduce head impact energy absorption during collision. Specifically, we investigated the effect of collar wearing during head impact exposure on brain microstructure integrity following a competitive high school American football season.
Turning across the path of oncoming vehicle accidents are frequent and dangerous. To date not many car manufacturers have introduced Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) systems addressing this type of conflict situation, but it is foreseeable that these scenarios will be part of the Euro NCAP 2020 rating. Nine out of ten collisions are caused by the driver of the turning vehicle. An AEB system evaluating the ego and conflict vehicle driver’s possibilities to avoid a pending crash by either braking or steering was specified for application in various constellations of vehicle collisions. In virtual simulation, AEB system parameters were varied, covering parameters that are relevant for driver comfort such as longitudinal and lateral acceleration (to define avoidance possibilities), expected steering maneuvers to avoid conflict, and intervention response characteristics (brake delay and ramp up) to assess the safety benefit. The reference simulation showed a potential of the AEB system in the turning vehicle to avoid approximately half of the collisions. An AEB system of the straight going vehicle was less effective. The effectiveness of the turning vehicle’s AEB system increases if spatial limitations for the collision-avoidance steering maneuver are known. Such information could be provided by sensors detecting free space in or around the road environment or geographical information shared via vehicle to cloud communication. AEB interventions rarely result in collision avoidance for turning vehicles with speeds above 40km/h or for straight going vehicles with speeds above 60km/h. State of the art field-of-views of forward looking sensing systems designed for AEB rear-end interventions are capable of addressing turning across path situations.
Bird-window collisions cause an estimated one billion bird deaths annually in the United States. Building characteristics and surrounding habitat affect collision frequency. Given the importance of collisions as an anthropogenic threat to birds, mitigation is essential. Patterned glass and UV-reflective films have been proven to prevent collisions. At Duke University’s West campus in Durham, North Carolina, we set out to identify the buildings and building characteristics associated with the highest frequencies of collisions in order to propose a mitigation strategy. We surveyed six buildings, stratified by size, and measured architectural characteristics and surrounding area variables. During 21 consecutive days in spring and fall 2014, and spring 2015, we conducted carcass surveys to document collisions. In addition, we also collected ad hoc collision data year-round and recorded the data using the app iNaturalist. Consistent with previous studies, we found a positive relationship between glass area and collisions. Fitzpatrick, the building with the most window area, caused the most collisions. Schwartz and the Perk, the two small buildings with small window areas, had the lowest collision frequencies. Penn, the only building with bird deterrent pattern, caused just two collisions, despite being almost completely made out of glass. Unlike many research projects, our data collection led to mitigation action. A resolution supported by the student government, including news stories in the local media, resulted in the application of a bird deterrent film to the building with the most collisions: Fitzpatrick. We present our collision data and mitigation result to inspire other researchers and organizations to prevent bird-window collisions.
Sensory traps pose a considerable and often fatal risk for animals, leading them to misinterpret their environment. Bats predominantly rely on their echolocation system to forage, orientate, and navigate. We found that bats can mistake smooth, vertical surfaces as clear flight paths, repeatedly colliding with them, likely as a result of their acoustic mirror properties. The probability of collision is influenced by the number of echolocation calls and by the amount of time spent in front of the surface. The echolocation call analysis corroborates that bats perceive smooth, vertical surfaces as open flyways. Reporting on occurrences with different species in the wild, we argue that it is necessary to more closely monitor potentially dangerous locations with acoustic mirror properties (such as glass fronts) to assess the true frequency of fatalities around these sensory traps.
Patients with peripheral field loss complain of colliding with other pedestrians in open-space environments such as shopping malls. Field expansion devices (e.g., prisms) can create artificial peripheral islands of vision. We investigated the visual angle at which these islands can be most effective for avoiding pedestrian collisions, by modeling the collision risk density as a function of bearing angle of pedestrians relative to the patient. Pedestrians at all possible locations were assumed to be moving in all directions with equal probability within a reasonable range of walking speeds. The risk density was found to be highly anisotropic. It peaked at ≈45° eccentricity. Increasing pedestrian speed range shifted the risk to higher eccentricities. The risk density is independent of time to collision. The model results were compared to the binocular residual peripheral island locations of 42 patients with forms of retinitis pigmentosa. The natural residual island prevalence also peaked nasally at about 45° but temporally at about 75°. This asymmetry resulted in a complementary coverage of the binocular field of view. Natural residual binocular island eccentricities seem well matched to the collision-risk density function, optimizing detection of other walking pedestrians (nasally) and of faster hazards (temporally). Field expansion prism devices will be most effective if they can create artificial peripheral islands at about 45° eccentricities. The collision risk and residual island findings raise interesting questions about normal visual development.
Avoiding collisions is one of the most basic needs of any mobile agent, both biological and technical, when searching around or aiming toward a goal. We propose a model of collision avoidance inspired by behavioral experiments on insects and by properties of optic flow on a spherical eye experienced during translation, and test the interaction of this model with goal-driven behavior. Insects, such as flies and bees, actively separate the rotational and translational optic flow components via behavior, i.e. by employing a saccadic strategy of flight and gaze control. Optic flow experienced during translation, i.e. during intersaccadic phases, contains information on the depth-structure of the environment, but this information is entangled with that on self-motion. Here, we propose a simple model to extract the depth structure from translational optic flow by using local properties of a spherical eye. On this basis, a motion direction of the agent is computed that ensures collision avoidance. Flying insects are thought to measure optic flow by correlation-type elementary motion detectors. Their responses depend, in addition to velocity, on the texture and contrast of objects and, thus, do not measure the velocity of objects veridically. Therefore, we initially used geometrically determined optic flow as input to a collision avoidance algorithm to show that depth information inferred from optic flow is sufficient to account for collision avoidance under closed-loop conditions. Then, the collision avoidance algorithm was tested with bio-inspired correlation-type elementary motion detectors in its input. Even then, the algorithm led successfully to collision avoidance and, in addition, replicated the characteristics of collision avoidance behavior of insects. Finally, the collision avoidance algorithm was combined with a goal direction and tested in cluttered environments. The simulated agent then showed goal-directed behavior reminiscent of components of the navigation behavior of insects.
Migrating fibroblasts undergo contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL), a process that was discovered five decades ago and still is not fully understood at the molecular level. We identify the Slit2-Robo4-srGAP2 signaling network as a key regulator of CIL in fibroblasts. CIL involves highly dynamic contact protrusions with a specialized actin cytoskeleton that stochastically explore cell-cell overlaps between colliding fibroblasts. A membrane curvature-sensing F-BAR domain pre-localizes srGAP2 to protruding edges and terminates their extension phase in response to cell collision. A FRET-based biosensor reveals that Rac1 activity is focused in a band at the tip of contact protrusions, in contrast to the broad activation gradient in contact-free protrusions. SrGAP2 specifically controls the duration of Rac1 activity in contact protrusions, but not in contact-free protrusions. We propose that srGAP2 integrates cell edge curvature and Slit-Robo-mediated repulsive cues to fine-tune Rac1 activation dynamics in contact protrusions to spatiotemporally coordinate CIL.
Currently there is a critical need for accurate and standardized wildlife-vehicle collision data, because it is the underpinning of mitigation projects that protect both drivers and wildlife. Gathering data can be challenging because wildlife-vehicle collisions occur over broad areas, during all seasons of the year, and in large numbers. Collecting data of this magnitude requires an efficient data collection system. Presently there is no widely adopted system that is both efficient and accurate.
Hsp70s use ATP hydrolysis to disrupt protein-protein associations and to move macromolecules. One example is the Hsc70- mediated disassembly of the clathrin coats that form on vesicles during endocytosis. Here, we exploited the exceptional features of these coats to test three models-Brownian ratchet, power-stroke and entropic pulling-proposed to explain how Hsp70s transform their substrates. Our data rule out the ratchet and power-stroke models and instead support a collision-pressure mechanism whereby collisions between clathrin-coat walls and Hsc70s drive coats apart. Collision pressure is the complement to the pulling force described in the entropic pulling model. We also found that self-association augments collision pressure, thereby allowing disassembly of clathrin lattices that have been predicted to be resistant to disassembly. These results illuminate how Hsp70s generate the forces that transform their substrates.
A pocket-sized collision warning device equipped with a video camera was developed to predict impending collisions based on time to collision rather than proximity. A study was conducted in a high density obstacle course to evaluate the effect of the device on collision avoidance in people with peripheral field loss (PFL).