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Protected areas across the range of the African savannah elephant Loxodonta africana are increasingly being surrounded and isolated by agriculture and human settlements. Conflicts between people and crop-raiding elephants regularly lead to direct reprisals and diminish community support for conservation. We report on field trials in northern Tanzania that employed a new, humane way for wildlife managers to move elephants away from conflict zones, from distances of > 100 m, thereby enhancing the safety of wildlife managers, farmers and elephants. We deployed 10 unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) piloted by five trained teams of wildlife managers in the Tarangire–Manyara and Serengeti ecosystems. Game Scouts deployed the drones opportunistically during crop-raiding events at the peak of the maize ripening period in 2015 and 2016. In 100% of trials (n = 51) elephants responded to the presence of a drone by departing rapidly from crop fields (n = 38) and settlements (n = 13). The cost of five teams responsible for 617 km2 in Tarangire–Manyara was estimated to be USD 15,520 for 1 year, and all drones remained operational for the duration of the study. The initial success of this tool warrants further testing of the utility of small unmanned aerial vehicles as part of the toolbox for wildlife managers and communities dealing with high levels of conflict with wildlife.
Superparamagnetic magnetite nanoparticles were surface-modified with poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) or folic acid, to resist the protein adsorption and avoid their recognition by macrophage cells, and to improve their cell internalization and ability to target specific cells. The nanoparticle uptake into human osteosarcoma cells, MG63, was visualized using both fluorescence and confocal microscopy, and quantified using inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP) measurement. Fluorescence and confocal microscopy results showed that the nanoparticles were internalized into the cells after the cells were cultured for 48h in the medium containing the nanoparticles modified with PEG or folic acid. ICP measurements indicated that both the PEG and folic acid modification increased the amount of the nanoparticle uptake into the cells, in comparison with that of unmodified nanoparticles.
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