WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological function construction

  1. Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Stanley N.; Chang, Annie C. Y.; Boyer, Herbert W.; Helling, Robert B.

    1973-01-01

    The construction of new plasmid DNA species by in vitro joining of restriction endonuclease-generated fragments of separate plasmids is described. Newly constructed plasmids that are inserted into Escherichia coli by transformation are shown to be biologically functional replicons that possess genetic properties and nucleotide base sequences from both of the parent DNA molecules. Functional plasmids can be obtained by reassociation of endonuclease-generated fragments of larger replicons, as well as by joining of plasmid DNA molecules of entirely different origins. Images PMID:4594039

  2. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

    Biological traits that serve functions, such as a zebra's coloration (for camouflage) or a kangaroo's tail (for balance), seem to have a special role in conceptual representations for biological kinds. In five experiments, we investigate whether and why functional features are privileged in biological kind classification. Experiment 1…

  3. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubichler, Manfred D; Stadler, Peter F; Prohaska, Sonja J; Nowick, Katja

    2015-12-01

    Function is a central concept in biological theories and explanations. Yet discussions about function are often based on a narrow understanding of biological systems and processes, such as idealized molecular systems or simple evolutionary, i.e., selective, dynamics. Conflicting conceptions of function continue to be used in the scientific literature to support certain claims, for instance about the fraction of "functional DNA" in the human genome. Here we argue that all biologically meaningful interpretations of function are necessarily context dependent. This implies that they derive their meaning as well as their range of applicability only within a specific theoretical and measurement context. We use this framework to shed light on the current debate about functional DNA and argue that without considering explicitly the theoretical and measurement contexts all attempts to integrate biological theories are prone to fail.

  4. Constructing new APN functions from known ones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Budaghyan, L.; Carlet, C.; Leander, Gregor

    2009-01-01

    We present a method for constructing new quadratic APN functions from known ones. Applying this method to the Gold power functions we construct an APN function x(3) + tr(x(9)) over F2(n). It is proven that for n >= 7 this function is CCZ-inequivalent to the Gold functions, and in the case n = 7...

  5. The Construction of Biology Lessons: A Meta-Paradigmatic Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Jaime

    1991-01-01

    The views of Piaget, Ausubel, and Bruner have been used to present an integrated view of biology lesson construction and to assist teachers in the design and development of tools and strategies to improve their teaching. The structure of an integrated model for biology lesson construction and an example of a biolesson using the metaparadigmatic…

  6. The biological function of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eEarl

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one’s ongoing experience—influences one’s behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1 contrary to one’s intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2 consciousness does have a biological function; and (3 consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc., is incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness.

  7. Constructing Ethical Principles for Synthetic Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dige, Morten

    2010-01-01

    The ethical discussion over synbio naturally raises metaquestions or questions of methodology: Which ethical principles and values could or should function as orientation or guidelines in discussing these issues?...

  8. Construction of bent functions from near-bent functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leander, Gregor; McGuire, G.

    2009-01-01

    We give a construction of bent functions in dimension 2m from near-bent functions in dimension 2m - 1. in particular, we give the first ever examples of non-weakly-normal bent functions in dimensions 10 and 12, which demonstrates the significance of our construction....

  9. Functional enrichment analyses and construction of functional similarity networks with high confidence function prediction by PFP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kihara Daisuke

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A new paradigm of biological investigation takes advantage of technologies that produce large high throughput datasets, including genome sequences, interactions of proteins, and gene expression. The ability of biologists to analyze and interpret such data relies on functional annotation of the included proteins, but even in highly characterized organisms many proteins can lack the functional evidence necessary to infer their biological relevance. Results Here we have applied high confidence function predictions from our automated prediction system, PFP, to three genome sequences, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Plasmodium falciparum (malaria. The number of annotated genes is increased by PFP to over 90% for all of the genomes. Using the large coverage of the function annotation, we introduced the functional similarity networks which represent the functional space of the proteomes. Four different functional similarity networks are constructed for each proteome, one each by considering similarity in a single Gene Ontology (GO category, i.e. Biological Process, Cellular Component, and Molecular Function, and another one by considering overall similarity with the funSim score. The functional similarity networks are shown to have higher modularity than the protein-protein interaction network. Moreover, the funSim score network is distinct from the single GO-score networks by showing a higher clustering degree exponent value and thus has a higher tendency to be hierarchical. In addition, examining function assignments to the protein-protein interaction network and local regions of genomes has identified numerous cases where subnetworks or local regions have functionally coherent proteins. These results will help interpreting interactions of proteins and gene orders in a genome. Several examples of both analyses are highlighted. Conclusion The analyses demonstrate that applying high confidence predictions from PFP

  10. The quality control for biological-shield heavy concrete construction of nuclear power project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Hongjun; Ma Xinchao

    2012-01-01

    The paper introduces the function and characteristics of biological protective heavy-concrete, and its main application scope and role in Fangjiashan nuclear power project. From the aspects of raw material selection, mixing ratio test, heavy concrete production, the paper discusses the main control points of heavy concrete construction process, points out the basic characteristics of heavy concrete construction, and put forward measures to prevent density non-uniformity during heavy concrete construction and to control slump during transportation. Results prove that reasonable construction process control can assure the engineering quality. (authors)

  11. Constructive biology and approaches to temporal grounding in postreactive robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehaniv, Chrystopher L.; Dautenhahn, Kerstin; Loomes, Martin J.

    1999-08-01

    Constructive Biology means understanding biological mechanisms through building systems that exhibit life-like properties. Applications include learning engineering tricks from biological system, as well as the validation in biological modeling. In particular, biological system in the course of development and experience become temporally grounded. Researchers attempting to transcend mere reactivity have been inspired by the drives, motivations, homeostasis, hormonal control, and emotions of animals. In order to contextualize and modulate behavior, these ideas have been introduced into robotics and synthetic agents, while further flexibility is achieved by introducing learning. Broadening scope of the temporal horizon further requires post-reactive techniques that address not only the action in the now, although such action may perhaps be modulated by drives and affect. Support is needed for expressing and benefitting from pats experiences, predictions of the future, and form interaction histories of the self with the world and with other agents. Mathematical methods provide a new way to support such grounding in the construction of post-reactive systems. Moreover, the communication of such mathematical encoded histories of experience between situated agents opens a route to narrative intelligence, analogous to communication or story telling in societies.

  12. Construction of a Linux based chemical and biological information system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnár, László; Vágó, István; Fehér, András

    2003-01-01

    A chemical and biological information system with a Web-based easy-to-use interface and corresponding databases has been developed. The constructed system incorporates all chemical, numerical and textual data related to the chemical compounds, including numerical biological screen results. Users can search the database by traditional textual/numerical and/or substructure or similarity queries through the web interface. To build our chemical database management system, we utilized existing IT components such as ORACLE or Tripos SYBYL for database management and Zope application server for the web interface. We chose Linux as the main platform, however, almost every component can be used under various operating systems.

  13. Partly occupied Wannier functions: Construction and applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thygesen, Kristian Sommer; Hansen, Lars Bruno; Jacobsen, Karsten Wedel

    2005-01-01

    We have developed a practical scheme to construct partly occupied, maximally localized Wannier functions (WFs) for a wide range of systems. We explain and demonstrate how the inclusion of selected unoccupied states in the definition of the WFs can improve both their localization and symmetry...

  14. Structure and function in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirs, C.H.W.

    1976-01-01

    A summary is given of the history of the developments of structural chemistry in biology beginning with the work of the bacteriologist Ehrlich leading to a comprehensive examination of the influence of size and configuration on the interaction between specific antibodies and side-chain determinants. Recent developments include the recognition of a higher order of specificity in the interaction of proteins with one another

  15. Construction of an efficient biologically contained Pseudomonas putida strain and its survival in outdoor assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molina, Lazaro; Rodriguez, Cayo Juan Ramos; Ronchel, Maria C.

    1998-01-01

    Active biological containment systems consist of two components, a killing element designed to induce cell death and a control element which modulates the expression of the killing function. We constructed a mini-Tn5 transposon bearing a fusion of the P(lac) promoter to the gef killing gene...

  16. Personal Constructions of Biological Concepts – The Repertory Grid Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas J. J. McCloughlin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This work discusses repertory grid analysis as a tool for investigating the structures of students’ representations of biological concepts. Repertory grid analysis provides the researcher with a variety of techniques that are not associated with standard methods of concept mapping for investigating conceptual structures. It can provide valuable insights into the learning process, and can be used as a diagnostic tool in identifying problems that students have in understanding biological concepts. The biological concepts examined in this work are ‘natural kinds’: a technical class of concepts which ‘appear’ to have invisible ‘essences’ meaning carrying more perceptual weight than being perceptually similar. Because children give more weight to natural-kind membership when reasoning about traits, it would seem pertinent to apply such knowledge to deep-level research into how children reason in biology. The concept of natural kinds has a particular resonance with biology since biological kinds hold the distinction of being almost all natural kinds, such as when the same ‘stuff or thing’ takes many different forms. We have conducted a range of studies using a diversity of biological natural kinds, but in this paper, we wish to explore some of the theoretical underpinnings in more detail. To afford this exploration, we outline one case-study in a small group of secondary school students exploring the concept of ‘equine’ – that is, what is an equine? Five positive examples were chosen to engaged with by the students and one ‘outlier’ with which to compare the construction process. Recommendations are offered in applying this approach to biological education research.

  17. An algorithm for constructing Lyapunov functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sigurdur Freyr Hafstein

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available In this monograph we develop an algorithm for constructing Lyapunov functions for arbitrary switched dynamical systems $dot{mathbf{x}} = mathbf{f}_sigma(t,mathbf{x}$, possessing a uniformly asymptotically stable equilibrium. Let $dot{mathbf{x}}=mathbf{f}_p(t,mathbf{x}$, $pinmathcal{P}$, be the collection of the ODEs, to which the switched system corresponds. The number of the vector fields $mathbf{f}_p$ on the right-hand side of the differential equation is assumed to be finite and we assume that their components $f_{p,i}$ are $mathcal{C}^2$ functions and that we can give some bounds, not necessarily close, on their second-order partial derivatives. The inputs of the algorithm are solely a finite number of the function values of the vector fields $mathbf{f}_p$ and these bounds. The domain of the Lyapunov function constructed by the algorithm is only limited by the size of the equilibrium's region of attraction. Note, that the concept of a Lyapunov function for the arbitrary switched system $dot{mathbf{x}} = mathbf{f}_sigma(t,mathbf{x}$ is equivalent to the concept of a common Lyapunov function for the systems $dot{mathbf{x}}=mathbf{f}_p(t,mathbf{x}$, $pinmathcal{P}$, and that if $mathcal{P}$ contains exactly one element, then the switched system is just a usual ODE $dot{mathbf{x}}=mathbf{f}(t,mathbf{x}$. We give numerous examples of Lyapunov functions constructed by our method at the end of this monograph.

  18. Paradigmatic List Constructions. Patterns and Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Benigni

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with listing as a useful conceptual tool for categorization and offers an overview of the different types of lists in Russian, highlighting both universal and language-specific characteristics of this kind of construction. The data-driven approach adopted in this study allows you to identify the main criteria according to which lists can be classified (exhaustiveness of the enumeration, conjunction, types of constituents, compositionality, and so on. Particular attention is paid to paradigmatic lists, i.e. lists whose items are in a paradigmatic relationship with each other as either synonyms, co-hyponyms or co-meronyms. The features of this family of lists are dealt with in the framework of Construction Grammar, which accounts for both similarities in structure and meaning and differences in pragmatic and communicative functions.

  19. Construction of CRISPR Libraries for Functional Screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carstens, Carsten P; Felts, Katherine A; Johns, Sarah E

    2018-01-01

    Identification of gene function has been aided by the ability to generate targeted gene knockouts or transcriptional repression using the CRISPR/CAS9 system. Using pooled libraries of guide RNA expression vectors that direct CAS9 to a specific genomic site allows identification of genes that are either enriched or depleted in response to a selection scheme, thus linking the affected gene to the chosen phenotype. The quality of the data generated by the screening is dependent on the quality of the guide RNA delivery library with regards to error rates and especially evenness of distribution of the guides. Here, we describe a method for constructing complex plasmid libraries based on pooled designed oligomers with high representation and tight distributions. The procedure allows construction of plasmid libraries of >60,000 members with a 95th/5th percentile ratio of less than 3.5.

  20. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hateren, J H

    2017-01-01

    A new theory that naturalizes biological function is explained and compared with earlier etiological and causal role theories. Etiological (or selected effects) theories explain functions from how they are caused over their evolutionary history. Causal role theories analyze how functional mechanisms serve the current capacities of their containing system. The new proposal unifies the key notions of both kinds of theories, but goes beyond them by explaining how functions in an organism can exist as factors with autonomous causal efficacy. The goal-directedness and normativity of functions exist in this strict sense as well. The theory depends on an internal physiological or neural process that mimics an organism's fitness, and modulates the organism's variability accordingly. The structure of the internal process can be subdivided into subprocesses that monitor specific functions in an organism. The theory matches well with each intuition on a previously published list of intuited ideas about biological functions, including intuitions that have posed difficulties for other theories.

  1. Functional Interaction Network Construction and Analysis for Disease Discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guanming; Haw, Robin

    2017-01-01

    Network-based approaches project seemingly unrelated genes or proteins onto a large-scale network context, therefore providing a holistic visualization and analysis platform for genomic data generated from high-throughput experiments, reducing the dimensionality of data via using network modules and increasing the statistic analysis power. Based on the Reactome database, the most popular and comprehensive open-source biological pathway knowledgebase, we have developed a highly reliable protein functional interaction network covering around 60 % of total human genes and an app called ReactomeFIViz for Cytoscape, the most popular biological network visualization and analysis platform. In this chapter, we describe the detailed procedures on how this functional interaction network is constructed by integrating multiple external data sources, extracting functional interactions from human curated pathway databases, building a machine learning classifier called a Naïve Bayesian Classifier, predicting interactions based on the trained Naïve Bayesian Classifier, and finally constructing the functional interaction database. We also provide an example on how to use ReactomeFIViz for performing network-based data analysis for a list of genes.

  2. Physically unclonable functions constructions, properties and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Maes, Roel

    2013-01-01

    Physically unclonable functions (PUFs) are innovative physical security primitives that produce unclonable and inherent instance-specific measurements of physical objects; in many ways they are the inanimate equivalent of biometrics for human beings. Since they are able to securely generate and store secrets, they allow us to bootstrap the physical implementation of an information security system. In this book the author discusses PUFs in all their facets: the multitude of their physical constructions, the algorithmic and physical properties which describe them, and the techniques required to

  3. Photoacoustic-Based Multimodal Nanoprobes: from Constructing to Biological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Duyang; Yuan, Zhen

    2017-01-01

    Multimodal nanoprobes have attracted intensive attentions since they can integrate various imaging modalities to obtain complementary merits of single modality. Meanwhile, recent interest in laser-induced photoacoustic imaging is rapidly growing due to its unique advantages in visualizing tissue structure and function with high spatial resolution and satisfactory imaging depth. In this review, we summarize multimodal nanoprobes involving photoacoustic imaging. In particular, we focus on the method to construct multimodal nanoprobes. We have divided the synthetic methods into two types. First, we call it "one for all" concept, which involves intrinsic properties of the element in a single particle. Second, "all in one" concept, which means integrating different functional blocks in one particle. Then, we simply introduce the applications of the multifunctional nanoprobes for in vivo imaging and imaging-guided tumor therapy. At last, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the present methods to construct the multimodal nanoprobes and share our viewpoints in this area.

  4. Explicit constructions of automorphic L-functions

    CERN Document Server

    Gelbart, Stephen; Rallis, Stephen

    1987-01-01

    The goal of this research monograph is to derive the analytic continuation and functional equation of the L-functions attached by R.P. Langlands to automorphic representations of reductive algebraic groups. The first part of the book (by Piatetski-Shapiro and Rallis) deals with L-functions for the simple classical groups; the second part (by Gelbart and Piatetski-Shapiro) deals with non-simple groups of the form G GL(n), with G a quasi-split reductive group of split rank n. The method of proof is to construct certain explicit zeta-integrals of Rankin-Selberg type which interpolate the relevant Langlands L-functions and can be analyzed via the theory of Eisenstein series and intertwining operators. This is the first time such an approach has been applied to such general classes of groups. The flavor of the local theory is decidedly representation theoretic, and the work should be of interest to researchers in group representation theory as well as number theory.

  5. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

    A functional model of biological neural networks, called temporal hierarchical probabilistic associative memory (THPAM), is proposed in this paper. THPAM comprises functional models of dendritic trees for encoding inputs to neurons, a first type of neuron for generating spike trains, a second type of neuron for generating graded signals to modulate neurons of the first type, supervised and unsupervised Hebbian learning mechanisms for easy learning and retrieving, an arrangement of dendritic trees for maximizing generalization, hardwiring for rotation-translation-scaling invariance, and feedback connections with different delay durations for neurons to make full use of present and past informations generated by neurons in the same and higher layers. These functional models and their processing operations have many functions of biological neural networks that have not been achieved by other models in the open literature and provide logically coherent answers to many long-standing neuroscientific questions. However, biological justifications of these functional models and their processing operations are required for THPAM to qualify as a macroscopic model (or low-order approximate) of biological neural networks.

  6. Research and development achievement report for fiscal 1998 on accelerated type biological function construction technologies. Development of new-type advanced-function enzyme creating technologies; 1998 nendo kasokugata seibutsu kino kochiku gijutsu no kenkyu kaihatsu seika hokokusho. Shingata kokino koso sosei gijutsu kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-03-01

    An artificial mutation/selection system was constructed in a laboratory based on molecular-level findings collected about the biological evolution mechanism, and biotechnology was studied for creating excellent biological functions. In the study of novel mutation generating technologies, selection is performed after the formation of numerous chimera enzymes by a family shuffling process using resistance to heat as the index. Then, a hybrid enzyme with its resistance to heat more than 10 times higher than that of the parent enzyme was obtained. In the study of establishing coordination between genotype and phenotype, a highly sensitive bacterial coordination technology was developed, and a highly sensitive detection method was constructed using a flow cytometer. As for technologies of highly efficient selection, a research was conducted about the selection of catalytic antibodies equipped with protease and esterase activity. In the study of technologies for enhancing adaptive walk in an evolution experimenting system, the usefulness is studied of a terrain survey based on the adaptive walk theory and a high-efficiency adaptive walk method using the mutation scrambling method. (NEDO)

  7. RAFT Nano-constructs: surfing to biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boturyn, Didier; Defrancq, Eric; Dolphin, Gunnar T; Garcia, Julian; Labbe, Pierre; Renaudet, Olivier; Dumy, Pascal

    2008-02-01

    Biologically programmed molecular recognition provides the basis of all natural systems and supplies evolution-optimized functional materials from self-assembly of a limited number of molecular building blocks. Biomolecules such as peptides, nucleic acids and carbohydrates represent a diverse supply of structural building blocks for the chemist to design and fabricate new functional nanostructured architectures. In this context, we review here the chemistry we have developed to conjugate peptides with nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and organic molecules, as well as combinations thereof using a template-assembled approach. With this methodology, we have prepared new integrated functional systems exhibiting designed properties in the field of nanovectors, biosensors as well as controlled peptide self-assembly. Thus this molecular engineering approach allows for the rational design of systems with integrated tailor-made properties and paves the way to more elaborate applications by bottom-up design in the domain of nanobiosciences.

  8. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Begg, Graham S; Cook, Samantha M; Dye, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Conservation biological control (CBC) is a sustainable approach to pest management that can contribute to a reduction in pesticide use as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. CBC is based on the premise that countering habitat loss and environmental disturbance associated...... CBC prescriptions have proved elusive. To tackle this, we consolidate existing knowledge of CBC using a simple conceptual model that organises the functional elements of CBC into a common, unifying framework. We identify and integrate the key biological processes affecting natural enemies...... and their biological control function across local and regional scales, and consider the interactions, interdependencies and constraints that determine the outcome of CBC strategies. Conservation measures are often effective in supporting natural enemy populations but their success cannot be guaranteed; the greatest...

  9. Biological sulfate removal from gypsum contaminated construction and demolition debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kijjanapanich, Pimluck; Annachhatre, Ajit P; Esposito, Giovanni; van Hullebusch, Eric D; Lens, Piet N L

    2013-12-15

    Construction and demolition debris (CDD) contains high levels of sulfate that can cause detrimental environmental impacts when disposed without adequate treatment. In landfills, sulfate can be converted to hydrogen sulfide under anaerobic conditions. CDD can thus cause health impacts or odor problems to landfill employees and surrounding residents. Reduction of the sulfate content of CDD is an option to overcome these problems. This study aimed at developing a biological sulfate removal system to reduce the sulfate content of gypsum contaminated CDD in order to decrease the amount of solid waste, to improve the quality of CDD waste for recycling purposes and to recover sulfur from CDD. The treatment leached out the gypsum contained in CDD by water in a leaching column. The sulfate loaded leachate was then treated in a biological sulfate reducing Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor to convert the sulfate to sulfide. The UASB reactor was operated at 23 ± 3 °C with a hydraulic retention time and upflow velocity of 15.5 h and 0.1 m h(-1), respectively while ethanol was added as electron donor at a final organic loading rate of 3.46 g COD L(-1) reactor d(-1). The CDD leachate had a pH of 8-9 and sulfate dissolution rates of 526.4 and 609.8 mg L(-1) d(-1) were achieved in CDD gypsum and CDD sand, respectively. Besides, it was observed that the gypsum dissolution was the rate limiting step for the biological treatment of CDD. The sulfate removal efficiency of the system stabilized at around 85%, enabling the reuse of the UASB effluent for the leaching step, proving the versatility of the bioreactor for practical applications. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Automatic Construction of Java Programs from Functional Program Specifications

    OpenAIRE

    Md. Humayun Kabir

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a novel approach to construct Java programs automatically from the input functional program specifications on natural numbers from the constructive proofs of the input specifications using an inductive theorem prover called Poiti'n. The construction of a Java program from the input functional program specification involves two phases. The theorem prover is used to construct a higher order functional (HOF) program from the input specification expressed as an existential the...

  11. Functional biology of sympatric krill species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2016-01-01

    Here we compare the functional biology of the sympatric krill species, Meganyctiphanes norvegica and Thysanoessa inermis. For M. norvegica, we investigated functional responses on diatoms and copepods, together with prey size spectra on plankton ,400 mm and copepods in the size range 500–3220 mm....... For T. inermis, only prey size spectrum on plankton ,400 mm were investigated. The prey size ranges of both species include organisms ,400 mm, and they consequently graze on several trophic levels. However, T. inermis feed on cells ,10 mm equivalent spherical diameter (ESD), whereas M. norvegica only...

  12. Constructive definition of functional derivatives in density-functional theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo Ji

    2006-01-01

    It is shown that the functional derivatives in density-functional theory (DFT) can be explicitly defined within the domain of electron densities restricted by the electron number, and a constructive definition of such restricted derivatives is suggested. With this definition, Kohn-Sham (KS) equations can be established for an N-electron system without extending the functional domain and introducing a Lagrange multiplier. This may clarify some of the fundamental questions raised by Nesbet (1998 Phys. Rev. A 58 R12). The definition naturally leads to the fact that the KS effective potential is determined only to within an additive constant, thus the KS levels can shift freely and the relation between the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy and the ionization potential of the system depends on the choice of the constant. On the other hand, if the domain of functionals is indeed extended beyond the electron number restriction, conclusions depend on whether the extended functionals have unrestricted derivatives or not. It is shown that the ensemble extension of DFT to open systems of mixed states (Perdew et al 1982 Phys. Rev. Lett. 49 1691) leads to an energy functional which has no unrestricted derivative at integer electron numbers. Hence after this extension, the relation between the HOMO energy and the ionization potential for an N-electron system is still uncertain. Besides, there are different extensions of the energy functional to a domain of densities unrestricted by the integer electron number, resulting in different unrestricted derivatives and electron systems with different chemical potentials. Even for the exact exchange-correlation potential, there is still an undetermined constant, whether it is a restricted or unrestricted derivative

  13. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vílchez, Carlos; Forján, Eduardo; Cuaresma, María; Bédmar, Francisco; Garbayo, Inés; Vega, José M.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon. PMID:21556162

  14. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Neurotrophins constitute a family of growth factors that play a key role in the regulation of the development and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. A common feature of all the neurotrophins is their synthesis in cells as long precursors (pre-pro-neurotrophins) that contain an N-terminal signal peptide, a following propeptide and the mature neurotrophin. Although the signal peptide functions have been well studied, the role of neurotrophin propeptides is not so clear. Here, we briefly summarize the biochemistry of neurotrophin propeptides, including their role as folding-assistants for the mature factor and their role in processing and in secretion of neurotrophins. In the main part of the review we summarize our current state of knowledge of the biological activity of neurotrophin propeptides, their possible mechanisms of action, and their potential influence on the activity of the mature neurotrophins.

  15. Effective automated feature construction and selection for classification of biological sequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uday Kamath

    Full Text Available Many open problems in bioinformatics involve elucidating underlying functional signals in biological sequences. DNA sequences, in particular, are characterized by rich architectures in which functional signals are increasingly found to combine local and distal interactions at the nucleotide level. Problems of interest include detection of regulatory regions, splice sites, exons, hypersensitive sites, and more. These problems naturally lend themselves to formulation as classification problems in machine learning. When classification is based on features extracted from the sequences under investigation, success is critically dependent on the chosen set of features.We present an algorithmic framework (EFFECT for automated detection of functional signals in biological sequences. We focus here on classification problems involving DNA sequences which state-of-the-art work in machine learning shows to be challenging and involve complex combinations of local and distal features. EFFECT uses a two-stage process to first construct a set of candidate sequence-based features and then select a most effective subset for the classification task at hand. Both stages make heavy use of evolutionary algorithms to efficiently guide the search towards informative features capable of discriminating between sequences that contain a particular functional signal and those that do not.To demonstrate its generality, EFFECT is applied to three separate problems of importance in DNA research: the recognition of hypersensitive sites, splice sites, and ALU sites. Comparisons with state-of-the-art algorithms show that the framework is both general and powerful. In addition, a detailed analysis of the constructed features shows that they contain valuable biological information about DNA architecture, allowing biologists and other researchers to directly inspect the features and potentially use the insights obtained to assist wet-laboratory studies on retainment or modification

  16. Anatomic Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Engineered Cartilage Constructs for Biologic Total Joint Replacement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxena, Vishal; Kim, Minwook; Keah, Niobra M.; Neuwirth, Alexander L.; Stoeckl, Brendan D.; Bickard, Kevin; Restle, David J.; Salowe, Rebecca; Wang, Margaret Ye; Steinberg, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Cartilage has a poor healing response, and few viable options exist for repair of extensive damage. Hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) polymerized through UV crosslinking can generate functional tissue, but this crosslinking is not compatible with indirect rapid prototyping utilizing opaque anatomic molds. Methacrylate-modified polymers can also be chemically crosslinked in a cytocompatible manner using ammonium persulfate (APS) and N,N,N′,N′-tetramethylethylenediamine (TEMED). The objectives of this study were to (1) compare APS/TEMED crosslinking with UV crosslinking in terms of functional maturation of MSC-seeded HA hydrogels; (2) generate an anatomic mold of a complex joint surface through rapid prototyping; and (3) grow anatomic MSC-seeded HA hydrogel constructs using this alternative crosslinking method. Juvenile bovine MSCs were suspended in methacrylated HA (MeHA) and crosslinked either through UV polymerization or chemically with APS/TEMED to generate cylindrical constructs. Minipig porcine femoral heads were imaged using microCT, and anatomic negative molds were generated by three-dimensional printing using fused deposition modeling. Molded HA constructs were produced using the APS/TEMED method. All constructs were cultured for up to 12 weeks in a chemically defined medium supplemented with TGF-β3 and characterized by mechanical testing, biochemical assays, and histologic analysis. Both UV- and APS/TEMED-polymerized constructs showed increasing mechanical properties and robust proteoglycan and collagen deposition over time. At 12 weeks, APS/TEMED-polymerized constructs had higher equilibrium and dynamic moduli than UV-polymerized constructs, with no differences in proteoglycan or collagen content. Molded HA constructs retained their hemispherical shape in culture and demonstrated increasing mechanical properties and proteoglycan and collagen deposition, especially at the edges compared to the center of these

  17. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charbel Niño El-Hani

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT. In this paper, we argue for a taxonomy of approaches to function based on different epistemological perspectives assumed with regard to the treatment of this central concept in the life sciences. We distinguish between etiological and organizational perspectives on function, analyzing two distinct theories related to each perspective: Wright’s selectionist etiological approach and Godfrey-Smith’s modern history theory of functions, in the case of the etiological perspective; and Cummins’ functional analysis and Collier’s interactivist approach to function, among organizational accounts. We explain differences and similarities between these theories and the broader perspectives on function, arguing for a particular way of understanding the consensus without unity in debates about function. While explaining the accounts of function, we also deal with the relationship between this concept and other important biological concepts, such as adaptation, selection, complexity, and autonomy. We also advance an argument for the limits and prospects of the explanatory role of function in evolution. By arguing that changes in functionality are always grounded on changes in systems’ organization, we show that function can never explain the origins of traits. Nevertheless, it can explain the spread of traits in populations, but only when we are dealing with functionally novel traits. Finally, we stress that organizational accounts of function are needed to understand how new functions appear by means of changes in systems’ organization. KEYWORDS: Function; Teleology; Explanation; Etiology; Organization.   RESUMEN. En este artículo, argumentamos a favor de una taxonomía de abordajes sobre función basada en diferentes perspectivas epistemológicas a cerca del tratamiento de este concepto central en las ciencias de la vida. Distinguimos entre perspectivas etiológicas y organizacionales sobre función, analizando dos teorías distintas

  18. The functional biology of human milk oligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Lars

    2015-11-01

    Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are a group of complex sugars that are highly abundant in human milk, but currently not present in infant formula. More than a hundred different HMOs have been identified so far. The amount and composition of HMOs are highly variable between women, and each structurally defined HMO might have a distinct functionality. HMOs are not digested by the infant and serve as metabolic substrates for select microbes, contributing to shape the infant gut microbiome. HMOs act as soluble decoy receptors that block the attachment of viral, bacterial or protozoan parasite pathogens to epithelial cell surface sugars, which may help prevent infectious diseases in the gut and also the respiratory and urinary tracts. HMOs are also antimicrobials that act as bacteriostatic or bacteriocidal agents. In addition, HMOs alter host epithelial and immune cell responses with potential benefits for the neonate. The article reviews current knowledge as well as future challenges and opportunities related to the functional biology of HMOs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Construction of analytically solvable models for interacting species. [biological species competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, G.

    1976-01-01

    The basic form of a model representation for systems of n interacting biological species is a set of essentially nonlinear autonomous ordinary differential equations. A generic canonical expression for the rate functions in the equations is reported which permits the analytical general solution to be obtained by elementary computation. It is shown that a general analytical solution is directly obtainable for models where the rate functions are prescribed by the generic canonical expression from the outset. Some illustrative examples are given which demonstrate that the generic canonical expression can be used to construct analytically solvable models for two interacting species with limit-cycle dynamics as well as for a three-species interdependence.

  20. A Synthetic Biology Framework for Programming Eukaryotic Transcription Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Ahmad S.; Lu, Timothy K.; Bashor, Caleb J.; Ramirez, Cherie L.; Pyenson, Nora C.; Joung, J. Keith; Collins, James J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Eukaryotic transcription factors (TFs) perform complex and combinatorial functions within transcriptional networks. Here, we present a synthetic framework for systematically constructing eukaryotic transcription functions using artificial zinc fingers, modular DNA-binding domains found within many eukaryotic TFs. Utilizing this platform, we construct a library of orthogonal synthetic transcription factors (sTFs) and use these to wire synthetic transcriptional circuits in yeast. We engineer complex functions, such as tunable output strength and transcriptional cooperativity, by rationally adjusting a decomposed set of key component properties, e.g., DNA specificity, affinity, promoter design, protein-protein interactions. We show that subtle perturbations to these properties can transform an individual sTF between distinct roles (activator, cooperative factor, inhibitory factor) within a transcriptional complex, thus drastically altering the signal processing behavior of multi-input systems. This platform provides new genetic components for synthetic biology and enables bottom-up approaches to understanding the design principles of eukaryotic transcriptional complexes and networks. PMID:22863014

  1. Application and Mechanics Analysis of Multi-Function Construction Platforms in Prefabricated-Concrete Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Meihua; Li, Rongshuai; Zhang, Wenze

    2017-11-01

    Multi-function construction platforms (MCPs) as an “old construction technology, new application” of the building facade construction equipment, its efforts to reduce labour intensity, improve labour productivity, ensure construction safety, shorten the duration of construction and other aspects of the effect are significant. In this study, the functional analysis of the multi-function construction platforms is carried out in the construction of the assembly building. Based on the general finite element software ANSYS, the static calculation and dynamic characteristics analysis of the MCPs structure are analysed, the simplified finite element model is constructed, and the selection of the unit, the processing and solution of boundary are under discussion and research. The maximum deformation value, the maximum stress value and the structural dynamic characteristic model are obtained. The dangerous parts of the platform structure are analysed, too. Multiple types of MCPs under engineering construction conditions are calculated, so as to put forward the rationalization suggestions for engineering application of the MCPs.

  2. A new construction of bent functions based on Z-bent functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gangopadhyay, Sugata; Joshi, Anand; Leander, Gregor

    2013-01-01

    Dobbertin has embedded the problem of construction of bent functions in a recursive framework by using a generalization of bent functions called -bent functions. Following his ideas, we generalize the construction of partial spreads bent functions to partial spreads -bent functions of arbitrary...

  3. Construction of A Trial Function In The Variational Procedure of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A form of variational method for calculating the ground state energy of a quantum mechanical system is considered. The method is based on a systematic construction of a trial variational function at each step of the calculation of the ground state energy. The construction involves introducing more variational parameters to ...

  4. Subtle Implicit Language Facts Emerge from the Functions of Constructions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Adele E

    2015-01-01

    Much has been written about the unlikelihood of innate, syntax-specific, universal knowledge of language (Universal Grammar) on the grounds that it is biologically implausible, unresponsive to cross-linguistic facts, theoretically inelegant, and implausible and unnecessary from the perspective of language acquisition. While relevant, much of this discussion fails to address the sorts of facts that generative linguists often take as evidence in favor of the Universal Grammar Hypothesis: subtle, intricate, knowledge about language that speakers implicitly know without being taught. This paper revisits a few often-cited such cases and argues that, although the facts are sometimes even more complex and subtle than is generally appreciated, appeals to Universal Grammar fail to explain the phenomena. Instead, such facts are strongly motivated by the functions of the constructions involved. The following specific cases are discussed: (a) the distribution and interpretation of anaphoric one, (b) constraints on long-distance dependencies, (c) subject-auxiliary inversion, and (d) cross-linguistic linking generalizations between semantics and syntax.

  5. A Constructive Sharp Approach to Functional Quantization of Stochastic Processes

    OpenAIRE

    Junglen, Stefan; Luschgy, Harald

    2010-01-01

    We present a constructive approach to the functional quantization problem of stochastic processes, with an emphasis on Gaussian processes. The approach is constructive, since we reduce the infinite-dimensional functional quantization problem to a finite-dimensional quantization problem that can be solved numerically. Our approach achieves the sharp rate of the minimal quantization error and can be used to quantize the path space for Gaussian processes and also, for example, Lévy processes.

  6. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

    Biology has been revolutionized in recent years by an explosion in the availability of data. Transforming this new wealth of data into meaningful biological insights and clinical breakthroughs requires a complete overhaul both in the questions being asked and the methodologies used to answer them. A major challenge in organizing and understanding…

  7. Numerical construction of 'optimal' nonoscillating amplitude and phase functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matzkin, A.; Lombardi, M.

    2002-01-01

    A numerical recipe for the construction of nonoscillating amplitude and phase functions for potentials with a single minimum is given. We give different examples illustrating the recipe, showing the usefulness of the procedure for the construction of basis functions in bound-state scattering processes, such as those described by quantum defect theory. The resulting amplitude and accumulated phase functions are coined as 'optimal' nonoscillating (as a function of the space and energy variables) because they are the counterpart for the quantum problem of the classical action for the analog semiclassical problem

  8. Feedback dynamics and cell function: Why systems biology is called Systems Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Mesarovic, Mihajlo

    2005-05-01

    A new paradigm, like Systems Biology, should challenge the way research has been conducted previously. This Opinion article aims to present Systems Biology, not as the application of engineering principles to biology but as a merger of systems- and control theory with molecular- and cell biology. In our view, the central dogma of Systems Biology is that it is system dynamics that gives rise to the functioning and function of cells. The concepts of feedback regulation and control of pathways and the coordination of cell function are emphasized as an important area of Systems Biology research. The hurdles and risks for this area are discussed from the perspective of dynamic pathway modelling. Most of all, the aim of this article is to promote mathematical modelling and simulation as a part of molecular- and cell biology. Systems Biology is a success if it is widely accepted that there is nothing more practical than a good theory.

  9. Measuring coalition functioning: refining constructs through factor analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Louis D; Feinberg, Mark E; Greenberg, Mark T

    2012-08-01

    Internal and external coalition functioning is an important predictor of coalition success that has been linked to perceived coalition effectiveness, coalition goal achievement, coalition ability to support evidence-based programs, and coalition sustainability. Understanding which aspects of coalition functioning best predict coalition success requires the development of valid measures of empirically unique coalition functioning constructs. The goal of the present study is to examine and refine the psychometric properties of coalition functioning constructs in the following six domains: leadership, interpersonal relationships, task focus, participation benefits/costs, sustainability planning, and community support. The authors used factor analysis to identify problematic items in our original measure and then piloted new items and scales to create a more robust, psychometrically sound, multidimensional measure of coalition functioning. Scales displayed good construct validity through correlations with other measures. Discussion considers the strengths and weaknesses of the refined instrument.

  10. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vilchez, C.; Forján, E.; Cuaresma, M.; Bédmar, F.; Garbayo, I.; Vega, J.M.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological

  11. IMRT optimization with pseudo-biologic objective function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi, B. Y.; Ahn, S. D.; Kim, J. H.; Lee, S. W.; Choi, E. K.

    2002-01-01

    The pseudo-biologic objective function has been proposed for the IMRT optimization. It is similar to the biological objective function in mathematical shape, but uses physical parameters. The pseudo-biologic objective function concept is consisted of the target coverage index (TCI) and the organ score index (OSI), was introduced. The TCI was expressed as the sum of all of the weighted bins of target dose volume histogram (DVH). The weights were given as the normal distribution of which the average is 100 % and the standard deviation is ±. The OSI was expressed as similar way. The average of the normal distribution was 0% of the dose and that of standard deviation was selected as a function of limiting dose and its importance. The objective function could be calculated as the product of the TCI and OSI's. The RTP Tool Box (RTB) was used for this study. The constraints applied in the optimization was intuitively clinical experience based numbers, while the physical objective function asks just numbers which are not necessarily based on the clinic, and the parameters for the biologic objective functions are uncertain. The OSI's from the pseudo-biological function showed better results than from the physical functions, while TCI's showed similar tendency. We could show that the pseudo-biologic function can be used for an IMRT objective function on behalf of the biological objective function

  12. Radical C-H functionalization to construct heterocyclic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jin-Tao; Pan, Changduo

    2016-02-07

    Heterocyclic compounds are widely present in natural products, pharmaceuticals and bioactive molecules. Thus, organic and pharmaceutical chemists have been making extensive efforts to construct those heterocyclic frameworks through developing versatile and efficient synthetic strategies. The direct C-H functionalization via the radical pathway has emerged as a promising and dramatic approach towards heterocycles with high atom- and step-economy. Heterocyclic compounds such as coumarins, furans, benzofurans, xanthones, benzothiazoles, indoles, indolines, oxindoles, quinolines, isoquinolines, quinoxaline, and phenanthridines have been successfully synthesized by C-H functionalization through the radical pathway. In this review, recent advances on radical C-H functionalization to construct heterocyclic compounds are highlighted with discussions.

  13. On the construction of translationally invariant deformed wave functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guardiola, R.

    1975-01-01

    Translationally invariant nuclear wave functions are constructed from deformed harmonic oscillator shell-model wave functions, with an exact projection of angular momentum quantum numbers. It is shown that the computation of matrix elements with the translationally invariant wave functions is as simple as the standard calculation, and formulae are obtained for (i) the potential energy, (ii) the kinetic energy and rms radius, and (iii) the charge form factor. (Auth.)

  14. Function-Based Algorithms for Biological Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohanty, Pragyan Sheela P.

    2015-01-01

    Two problems at two different abstraction levels of computational biology are studied. At the molecular level, efficient pattern matching algorithms in DNA sequences are presented. For gene order data, an efficient data structure is presented capable of storing all gene re-orderings in a systematic manner. A common characteristic of presented…

  15. Construction of Lyapunov Function for Dissipative Gyroscopic System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Wei; Ao Ping; Yuan Bo

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a force decomposition to construct a potential function in deterministic dynamics described by ordinary differential equations in the context of dissipative gyroscopic systems. Such a potential function serves as the corresponding Lyapunov function for the dynamics, hence it gives both quantitative and qualitative descriptions for stability of motion. As an example we apply our force decomposition to a four-dimensional dissipative gyroscopic system. We explicitly obtain the potential function for all parameter regimes in the linear limit, including those regimes where the Lyapunov function was previously believed not to exist. (general)

  16. Construction of Green's functions for the Black-Scholes equation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri A. Melnikov

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available A technique is proposed for the construction of Green's functions for terminal-boundary value problems of the Black-Scholes equation. The technique permits an application to a variety of problems that vary by boundary conditions imposed. This is possible by extension of an approach that was earlier developed for partial differential equations in applied mechanics. The technique is based on the method of integral Laplace transform and the method of variation of parameters. It provides closed form analytic representations for the constructed Green's functions.

  17. A Threshold Pseudorandom Function Construction and Its Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jesper Buus

    2002-01-01

    We give the first construction of a practical threshold pseudo- random function.The protocol for evaluating the function is efficient enough that it can be used to replace random oracles in some protocols relying on such oracles. In particular, we show how to transform the efficient...... cryptographically secure Byzantine agreement protocol by Cachin, Kursawe and Shoup for the random oracle model into a cryptographically secure protocol for the complexity theoretic model without loosing efficiency or resilience,thereby constructing an efficient and optimally resilient Byzantine agreement protocol...

  18. Fibroblast Growth Factors: Biology, Function, and Application for Tissue Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Rang Yun

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs that signal through FGF receptors (FGFRs regulate a broad spectrum of biological functions, including cellular proliferation, survival, migration, and differentiation. The FGF signal pathways are the RAS/MAP kinase pathway, PI3 kinase/AKT pathway, and PLCγ pathway, among which the RAS/MAP kinase pathway is known to be predominant. Several studies have recently implicated the in vitro biological functions of FGFs for tissue regeneration. However, to obtain optimal outcomes in vivo, it is important to enhance the half-life of FGFs and their biological stability. Future applications of FGFs are expected when the biological functions of FGFs are potentiated through the appropriate use of delivery systems and scaffolds. This review will introduce the biology and cellular functions of FGFs and deal with the biomaterials based delivery systems and their current applications for the regeneration of tissues, including skin, blood vessel, muscle, adipose, tendon/ligament, cartilage, bone, tooth, and nerve tissues.

  19. Functionalized Nanodiamonds for Biological and Medical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Lin; Barnard, Amanda S

    2015-02-01

    Nanodiamond is a promising material for biological and medical applications, owning to its relatively inexpensive and large-scale synthesis, unique structure, and superior optical properties. However, most biomedical applications, such as drug delivery and bio-imaging, are dependent upon the precise control of the surfaces, and can be significantly affected by the type, distribution and stability of chemical funtionalisations of the nanodiamond surface. In this paper, recent studies on nanodiamonds and their biomedical applications by conjugating with different chemicals are reviewed, while highlighting the critical importance of surface chemical states for various applications.

  20. Construction of functional linkage gene networks by data integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linghu, Bolan; Franzosa, Eric A; Xia, Yu

    2013-01-01

    Networks of functional associations between genes have recently been successfully used for gene function and disease-related research. A typical approach for constructing such functional linkage gene networks (FLNs) is based on the integration of diverse high-throughput functional genomics datasets. Data integration is a nontrivial task due to the heterogeneous nature of the different data sources and their variable accuracy and completeness. The presence of correlations between data sources also adds another layer of complexity to the integration process. In this chapter we discuss an approach for constructing a human FLN from data integration and a subsequent application of the FLN to novel disease gene discovery. Similar approaches can be applied to nonhuman species and other discovery tasks.

  1. Distinguishing between "function" and "effect" in genome biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, W Ford; Brunet, Tyler D P; Linquist, Stefan; Gregory, T Ryan

    2014-05-09

    Much confusion in genome biology results from conflation of possible meanings of the word "function." We suggest that, in this connection, attention should be paid to evolutionary biologists and philosophers who have previously dealt with this problem. We need only decide that although all genomic structures have effects, only some of them should be said to have functions. Although it will very often be difficult or impossible to establish function (strictly defined), it should not automatically be assumed. We enjoin genomicists in particular to pay greater attention to parsing biological effects. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. ASSESSMENT CRITERIA OF FUNCTIONALITY GEOTEXTILES USED IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LUCA Cristinel

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This work was performed in order to assess the functionality of geotextiles used in road construction. To increase the quality of road works requires the use of geotextiles in their structure. Depending on the role and the benefits they offer, geotextiles have a number of physical properties, hydraulic, endurance and optimal characteristics regarding their degradation. Geotextile properties were identified and divided according to their characteristics area. Thus, there were obtained textile properties oriented towards geotextiles and properties geared to the application field respectively reinforcement, drainage, and filtration. Value engineering works at the level of constructive product conception and production. The instrumentation is done by functional analysis, value functions and design or redesign of geotextile based on the necessary functions. Systematic research method allowed geotextiles dimensioning functions in order to obtain products in terms of quality, reliability and maximum operational performance. Functions obtained from the analysis are appropriate for a single property. After obtaining the set of decisions was possible functions geotextiles hierarchy after the significance of their use. Establishing the importance of the coefficients or characteristics hierarchy after their weight requires the comparison of the features between them and grading them in proportion to their degree of importance. The ranking of these functions is beneficial when designing or redesigning geotextiles.

  3. Bioprinting of a functional vascularized mouse thyroid gland construct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulanova, Elena A; Koudan, Elizaveta V; Degosserie, Jonathan; Heymans, Charlotte; Pereira, Frederico DAS; Parfenov, Vladislav A; Sun, Yi; Wang, Qi; Akhmedova, Suraya A; Sviridova, Irina K; Sergeeva, Natalia S; Frank, Georgy A; Khesuani, Yusef D; Pierreux, Christophe E; Mironov, Vladimir A

    2017-08-18

    Bioprinting can be defined as additive biofabrication of three-dimensional (3D) tissues and organ constructs using tissue spheroids, capable of self-assembly, as building blocks. The thyroid gland, a relatively simple endocrine organ, is suitable for testing the proposed bioprinting technology. Here we report the bioprinting of a functional vascularized mouse thyroid gland construct from embryonic tissue spheroids as a proof of concept. Based on the self-assembly principle, we generated thyroid tissue starting from thyroid spheroids (TS) and allantoic spheroids (AS) as a source of thyrocytes and endothelial cells (EC), respectively. Inspired by mathematical modeling of spheroid fusion, we used an original 3D bioprinter to print TS in close association with AS within a collagen hydrogel. During the culture, closely placed embryonic tissue spheroids fused into a single integral construct, EC from AS invaded and vascularized TS, and epithelial cells from the TS progressively formed follicles. In this experimental setting, we observed formation of a capillary network around follicular cells, as observed during in utero thyroid development when thyroid epithelium controls the recruitment, invasion and expansion of EC around follicles. To prove that EC from AS are responsible for vascularization of the thyroid gland construct, we depleted endogenous EC from TS before bioprinting. EC from AS completely revascularized depleted thyroid tissue. The cultured bioprinted construct was functional as it could normalize blood thyroxine levels and body temperature after grafting under the kidney capsule of hypothyroid mice. Bioprinting of functional vascularized mouse thyroid gland construct represents a further advance in bioprinting technology, exploring the self-assembling properties of tissue spheroids.

  4. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hateren, J. H.

    2017-01-01

    A new theory that naturalizes biological function is explained and compared with earlier etiological and causal role theories. Etiological (or selected effects) theories explain functions from how they are caused over their evolutionary history. Causal role theories analyze how functional mechanisms

  5. Explaining Biological Functionality: Is Control Theory Enough ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    I argue that the etiological approach, as understood in terms of control theory, suffers from a problem of symmetry, by which function can equally well be placed in the environment as in the organism. Focusing on the autonomy view, I note that it can be understood to some degree in terms of control theory in its version called ...

  6. Functional mapping in biology and medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McEachron, D.L.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains 10 selections. Some of the titles are: Two Views of Functional Mapping and Autoradiography; Quantitative Analysis of Autoradiographs; Hardware and Software Design Considerations in Engineering an Image Processing Workstation: Autoradiographic Analysis with DUMAS and the BRAIN Autoradiograph Analysis Software Package (with 1 color plate); and Quantitative Autoradiography and in vitro Radioligand Binding

  7. Towards Integration of Biological and Physiological Functions at Multiple Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taishin eNomura

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available An aim of systems physiology today can be stated as to establish logical and quantitative bridges between phenomenological attributes of physiological entities such as cells and organs and physical attributes of biological entities, i.e., biological molecules, allowing us to describe and better understand physiological functions in terms of underlying biological functions. This article illustrates possible schema that can be used for promoting systems physiology by integrating quantitative knowledge of biological and physiological functions at multiple levels of time and space with the use of information technology infrastructure. Emphasis will be made for systematic, modular, hierarchical, and standardized descriptions of mathematical models of the functions and advantages for the use of them.

  8. Genomic Functionalization: The Next Revolution In Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Peter [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Schoeniger, Joseph S. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Imbro, Paula M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-07-01

    We have implemented a ligand-alignment algorithm into our developed computational pipeline for identifying specificity-determining features (SDFs) in protein-ligand complexes. Given a set of protein-ligand complex structures, the algorithm aligns the complexes by ligand rather than by the C -RMSD or standard approach, providing a single reference frame for extracting SDFs. We anticipate that this ligand-alignment capability will be highly useful for protein function prediction. We already have a database containing > 20 K ligand-protein complex crystal structures taken from the Protein Data Bank. By aligning these proteins to single reference frames using ligand alignment, we can submit the complexes to our pipeline for SDF extraction. The SDFs derived from this training procedure can be used as thumbprints that are hallmarks of individual enzyme classes. These SDF thumbprints may then serve as guides to the prediction of function of new unknown proteins.

  9. Non-perturbative construction of the Luttinger-Ward functional

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.Potthoff

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available For a system of correlated electrons, the Luttinger-Ward functional provides a link between static thermodynamic quantities on the one hand and single-particle excitations on the other. The functional is useful in deriving several general properties of the system as well as in formulating the thermodynamically consistent approximations. Its original construction, however, is perturbative as it is based on the weak-coupling skeleton-diagram expansion. Here, it is shown that the Luttinger-Ward functional can be derived within a general functional-integral approach. This alternative and non-perturbative approach stresses the fact that the Luttinger-Ward functional is universal for a large class of models.

  10. Constructing Markov State Models to elucidate the functional conformational changes of complex biomolecules

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Wei

    2017-10-06

    The function of complex biomolecular machines relies heavily on their conformational changes. Investigating these functional conformational changes is therefore essential for understanding the corresponding biological processes and promoting bioengineering applications and rational drug design. Constructing Markov State Models (MSMs) based on large-scale molecular dynamics simulations has emerged as a powerful approach to model functional conformational changes of the biomolecular system with sufficient resolution in both time and space. However, the rapid development of theory and algorithms for constructing MSMs has made it difficult for nonexperts to understand and apply the MSM framework, necessitating a comprehensive guidance toward its theory and practical usage. In this study, we introduce the MSM theory of conformational dynamics based on the projection operator scheme. We further propose a general protocol of constructing MSM to investigate functional conformational changes, which integrates the state-of-the-art techniques for building and optimizing initial pathways, performing adaptive sampling and constructing MSMs. We anticipate this protocol to be widely applied and useful in guiding nonexperts to study the functional conformational changes of large biomolecular systems via the MSM framework. We also discuss the current limitations of MSMs and some alternative methods to alleviate them.

  11. Dynamic Biological Functioning Important for Simulating and Stabilizing Ocean Biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, P. J.; Matear, R. J.; Chase, Z.; Phipps, S. J.; Bindoff, N. L.

    2018-04-01

    The biogeochemistry of the ocean exerts a strong influence on the climate by modulating atmospheric greenhouse gases. In turn, ocean biogeochemistry depends on numerous physical and biological processes that change over space and time. Accurately simulating these processes is fundamental for accurately simulating the ocean's role within the climate. However, our simulation of these processes is often simplistic, despite a growing understanding of underlying biological dynamics. Here we explore how new parameterizations of biological processes affect simulated biogeochemical properties in a global ocean model. We combine 6 different physical realizations with 6 different biogeochemical parameterizations (36 unique ocean states). The biogeochemical parameterizations, all previously published, aim to more accurately represent the response of ocean biology to changing physical conditions. We make three major findings. First, oxygen, carbon, alkalinity, and phosphate fields are more sensitive to changes in the ocean's physical state. Only nitrate is more sensitive to changes in biological processes, and we suggest that assessment protocols for ocean biogeochemical models formally include the marine nitrogen cycle to assess their performance. Second, we show that dynamic variations in the production, remineralization, and stoichiometry of organic matter in response to changing environmental conditions benefit the simulation of ocean biogeochemistry. Third, dynamic biological functioning reduces the sensitivity of biogeochemical properties to physical change. Carbon and nitrogen inventories were 50% and 20% less sensitive to physical changes, respectively, in simulations that incorporated dynamic biological functioning. These results highlight the importance of a dynamic biology for ocean properties and climate.

  12. Construction of Nanowire Heterojunctions: Photonic Function-Oriented Nanoarchitectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong Jun; Yan, Yongli; Zhao, Yong Sheng; Yao, Jiannian

    2016-02-10

    Nanophotonics has received broad research interest because it may provide an alternative opportunity to overcome the fundamental limitations of electronic circuits. So far, diverse photonic functions, such as light generation, modulation, and detection, have been realized based on various nano-materials. The exact structural features of these material systems, including geometric characteristics, surface morphology, and material composition, play a key role in determining the photonic functions. Therefore, rational designs and constructions of materials on both morphological and componential levels, namely nanoarchitectonics, are indispensable for any photonic device with specific functionalities. Recently, a series of nanowire heterojunctions (NWHJs), which are usually made from two or more kinds of material compositions, were constructed for novel photonic applications based on various interactions between different materials at the junctions, for instance, energy transfer, exciton-plasmon coupling, or photon-plasmon coupling. A summary of these works is necessary to get a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between photonic functions and architectonics of NWHJs, which will be instructive for designing novel photonic devices towards integrated circuits. Here, photonic function oriented nanoarchitectonics based on recent breakthroughs in nanophotonic devices are discussed, with emphasis on the design mechanisms, fabrication strategies, and excellent performances. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. The role of domain-general cognitive resources in children's construction of a vitalist theory of biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bascandziev, Igor; Tardiff, Nathan; Zaitchik, Deborah; Carey, Susan

    2018-03-24

    Some episodes of learning are easier than others. Preschoolers can learn certain facts, such as "my grandmother gave me this purse," only after one or two exposures (easy to learn; fast mapping), but they require several years to learn that plants are alive or that the sun is not alive (hard to learn). One difference between the two kinds of knowledge acquisition is that hard cases often require conceptual construction, such as the construction of the biological concept alive, whereas easy cases merely involve forming new beliefs formulated over concepts the child already has (belief revision, a form of knowledge enrichment). We asked whether different domain-general cognitive resources support these two types of knowledge acquisition (conceptual construction and knowledge enrichment that supports fast mapping) by testing 82 6-year-olds in a pre-training/training/post-training study. We measured children's improvement in an episode involving theory construction (the beginning steps of acquisition of the framework theory of vitalist biology, which requires conceptual change) and in an episode involving knowledge enrichment alone (acquisition of little known facts about animals, such as the location of crickets' ears and the color of octopus blood). In addition, we measured children's executive functions and receptive vocabulary to directly compare the resources drawn upon in the two episodes of learning. We replicated and extended previous findings highlighting the differences between conceptual construction and knowledge enrichment, and we found that Executive Functions predict improvement on the Vitalism battery but not on the Fun Facts battery and that Receptive Vocabulary predicts improvement the Fun Facts battery but not on the Vitalism battery. This double dissociation provides new evidence for the distinction between the two types of knowledge acquisition, and bears on the nature of the learning mechanisms involved in each. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All

  14. The hydrological functioning of a constructed fen wetland watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ketcheson, Scott J; Price, Jonathan S; Sutton, Owen; Sutherland, George; Kessel, Eric; Petrone, Richard M

    2017-12-15

    Mine reclamation requires the reconstruction of entire landforms and drainage systems. The hydrological regime of reclaimed landscapes will be a manifestation of the processes operating within the individual landforms that comprise it. Hydrology is the most important process regulating wetland function and development, via strong controls on chemical and biotic processes. Accordingly, this research addresses the growing and immediate need to understand the hydrological processes that operate within reconstructed landscapes following resource extraction. In this study, the function of a constructed fen watershed (the Nikanotee Fen watershed) is evaluated for the first two years following construction (2013-2014) and is assessed and discussed within the context of the construction-level design. The system design was capable of sustaining wet conditions within the Nikanotee Fen during the snow-free period in 2013 and 2014, with persistent ponded water in some areas. Evapotranspiration dominated the water fluxes from the system. These losses were partially offset by groundwater discharge from the upland aquifer, which demonstrated strong hydrologic connectivity with the fen in spite of most construction materials having lower than targeted saturated hydraulic conductivities. However, the variable surface infiltration rates and thick placement of a soil-capping layer constrained recharge to the upland aquifer, which remained below designed water contents in much of the upland. These findings indicate that it is possible to engineer the landscape to accommodate the hydrological functions of a fen peatland following surface oil sands extraction. Future research priorities should include understanding the storage and release of water within coarse-grained reclaimed landforms as well as evaluating the relative importance of external water sources and internal water conservation mechanisms for the viability of fen ecosystems over the longer-term. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B

  15. On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Jordi; Tarnita, Corina E

    2017-10-17

    Biology is marked by a hierarchical organization: all life consists of cells; in some cases, these cells assemble into groups, such as endosymbionts or multicellular organisms; in turn, multicellular organisms sometimes assemble into yet other groups, such as primate societies or ant colonies. The construction of new organizational layers results from hierarchical evolutionary transitions, in which biological units (e.g., cells) form groups that evolve into new units of biological organization (e.g., multicellular organisms). Despite considerable advances, there is no bottom-up, dynamical account of how, starting from the solitary ancestor, the first groups originate and subsequently evolve the organizing principles that qualify them as new units. Guided by six central questions, we propose an integrative bottom-up approach for studying the dynamics underlying hierarchical evolutionary transitions, which builds on and synthesizes existing knowledge. This approach highlights the crucial role of the ecology and development of the solitary ancestor in the emergence and subsequent evolution of groups, and it stresses the paramount importance of the life cycle: only by evaluating groups in the context of their life cycle can we unravel the evolutionary trajectory of hierarchical transitions. These insights also provide a starting point for understanding the types of subsequent organizational complexity. The central research questions outlined here naturally link existing research programs on biological construction (e.g., on cooperation, multilevel selection, self-organization, and development) and thereby help integrate knowledge stemming from diverse fields of biology.

  16. Construction and Analysis of Functional Networks in the Gut Microbiome of Type 2 Diabetes Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lianshuo; Wang, Zicheng; He, Peng; Ma, Shining; Du, Jie; Jiang, Rui

    2016-10-01

    Although networks of microbial species have been widely used in the analysis of 16S rRNA sequencing data of a microbiome, the construction and analysis of a complete microbial gene network are in general problematic because of the large number of microbial genes in metagenomics studies. To overcome this limitation, we propose to map microbial genes to functional units, including KEGG orthologous groups and the evolutionary genealogy of genes: Non-supervised Orthologous Groups (eggNOG) orthologous groups, to enable the construction and analysis of a microbial functional network. We devised two statistical methods to infer pairwise relationships between microbial functional units based on a deep sequencing dataset of gut microbiome from type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients as well as healthy controls. Networks containing such functional units and their significant interactions were constructed subsequently. We conducted a variety of analyses of global properties, local properties, and functional modules in the resulting functional networks. Our data indicate that besides the observations consistent with the current knowledge, this study provides novel biological insights into the gut microbiome associated with T2D. Copyright © 2016. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Hybrid printing of mechanically and biologically improved constructs for cartilage tissue engineering applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Tao; Binder, Kyle W; Albanna, Mohammad Z; Dice, Dennis; Zhao Weixin; Yoo, James J; Atala, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Bioprinting is an emerging technique used to fabricate viable, 3D tissue constructs through the precise deposition of cells and hydrogels in a layer-by-layer fashion. Despite the ability to mimic the native properties of tissue, printed 3D constructs that are composed of naturally-derived biomaterials still lack structural integrity and adequate mechanical properties for use in vivo, thus limiting their development for use in load-bearing tissue engineering applications, such as cartilage. Fabrication of viable constructs using a novel multi-head deposition system provides the ability to combine synthetic polymers, which have higher mechanical strength than natural materials, with the favorable environment for cell growth provided by traditional naturally-derived hydrogels. However, the complexity and high cost associated with constructing the required robotic system hamper the widespread application of this approach. Moreover, the scaffolds fabricated by these robotic systems often lack flexibility, which further restrict their applications. To address these limitations, advanced fabrication techniques are necessary to generate complex constructs with controlled architectures and adequate mechanical properties. In this study, we describe the construction of a hybrid inkjet printing/electrospinning system that can be used to fabricate viable tissues for cartilage tissue engineering applications. Electrospinning of polycaprolactone fibers was alternated with inkjet printing of rabbit elastic chondrocytes suspended in a fibrin–collagen hydrogel in order to fabricate a five-layer tissue construct of 1 mm thickness. The chondrocytes survived within the printed hybrid construct with more than 80% viability one week after printing. In addition, the cells proliferated and maintained their basic biological properties within the printed layered constructs. Furthermore, the fabricated constructs formed cartilage-like tissues both in vitro and in vivo as evidenced by the

  18. Parallel keyed hash function construction based on chaotic maps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Di; Liao Xiaofeng; Deng Shaojiang

    2008-01-01

    Recently, a variety of chaos-based hash functions have been proposed. Nevertheless, none of them works efficiently in parallel computing environment. In this Letter, an algorithm for parallel keyed hash function construction is proposed, whose structure can ensure the uniform sensitivity of hash value to the message. By means of the mechanism of both changeable-parameter and self-synchronization, the keystream establishes a close relation with the algorithm key, the content and the order of each message block. The entire message is modulated into the chaotic iteration orbit, and the coarse-graining trajectory is extracted as the hash value. Theoretical analysis and computer simulation indicate that the proposed algorithm can satisfy the performance requirements of hash function. It is simple, efficient, practicable, and reliable. These properties make it a good choice for hash on parallel computing platform

  19. Evaluation of gene association methods for coexpression network construction and biological knowledge discovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sapna Kumari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Constructing coexpression networks and performing network analysis using large-scale gene expression data sets is an effective way to uncover new biological knowledge; however, the methods used for gene association in constructing these coexpression networks have not been thoroughly evaluated. Since different methods lead to structurally different coexpression networks and provide different information, selecting the optimal gene association method is critical. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study, we compared eight gene association methods - Spearman rank correlation, Weighted Rank Correlation, Kendall, Hoeffding's D measure, Theil-Sen, Rank Theil-Sen, Distance Covariance, and Pearson - and focused on their true knowledge discovery rates in associating pathway genes and construction coordination networks of regulatory genes. We also examined the behaviors of different methods to microarray data with different properties, and whether the biological processes affect the efficiency of different methods. CONCLUSIONS: We found that the Spearman, Hoeffding and Kendall methods are effective in identifying coexpressed pathway genes, whereas the Theil-sen, Rank Theil-Sen, Spearman, and Weighted Rank methods perform well in identifying coordinated transcription factors that control the same biological processes and traits. Surprisingly, the widely used Pearson method is generally less efficient, and so is the Distance Covariance method that can find gene pairs of multiple relationships. Some analyses we did clearly show Pearson and Distance Covariance methods have distinct behaviors as compared to all other six methods. The efficiencies of different methods vary with the data properties to some degree and are largely contingent upon the biological processes, which necessitates the pre-analysis to identify the best performing method for gene association and coexpression network construction.

  20. Integrating external biological knowledge in the construction of regulatory networks from time-series expression data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lo Kenneth

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inference about regulatory networks from high-throughput genomics data is of great interest in systems biology. We present a Bayesian approach to infer gene regulatory networks from time series expression data by integrating various types of biological knowledge. Results We formulate network construction as a series of variable selection problems and use linear regression to model the data. Our method summarizes additional data sources with an informative prior probability distribution over candidate regression models. We extend the Bayesian model averaging (BMA variable selection method to select regulators in the regression framework. We summarize the external biological knowledge by an informative prior probability distribution over the candidate regression models. Conclusions We demonstrate our method on simulated data and a set of time-series microarray experiments measuring the effect of a drug perturbation on gene expression levels, and show that it outperforms leading regression-based methods in the literature.

  1. Modified glycogen as construction material for functional biomimetic microfibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabyk, Mariia; Hruby, Martin; Vetrik, Miroslav; Kucka, Jan; Proks, Vladimir; Parizek, Martin; Konefal, Rafal; Krist, Pavel; Chvatil, David; Bacakova, Lucie; Slouf, Miroslav; Stepanek, Petr

    2016-11-05

    We describe a conceptually new, microfibrous, biodegradable functional material prepared from a modified storage polysaccharide also present in humans (glycogen) showing strong potential as direct-contact dressing/interface material for wound healing. Double bonds were introduced into glycogen via allylation and were further exploited for crosslinking of the microfibers. Triple bonds were introduced by propargylation and served for further click functionalization of the microfibers with bioactive peptide. A simple solvent-free method allowing the preparation of thick layers was used to produce microfibers (diameter ca 2μm) from allylated and/or propargylated glycogen. Crosslinking of the samples was performed by microtron beta-irradiation, and the irradiation dose was optimized to 2kGy. The results from biological testing showed that these highly porous, hydrophilic, readily functionalizable materials were completely nontoxic to cells growing in their presence. The fibers were gradually degraded in the presence of cells. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Biological mechanisms associated with triazophos (TAP) removal by horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands (HSFCW)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Juan; Feng, Yuqin; Dai, Yanran; Cui, Naxin; Anderson, Bruce; Cheng, Shuiping

    2016-01-01

    Triazophos (TAP) is a widely used pesticide that is easily accumulated in the environment due to its relatively high stability: this accumulation from agricultural runoff results in potential hazards to aquatic ecosystems. Constructed wetlands are generally considered to be an effective technology for treating TAP polluted surface water. However, knowledge about the biological mechanisms of TAP removal is still lacking. This study investigates the responses of a wetland plant (Canna indica), substrate enzymes and microbial communities in bench-scale horizontal subsurface-flow constructed wetlands (HSCWs) loaded with different TAP concentrations (0, 0.1, 0.5 and 5 mg·L"−"1). The results indicate that TAP stimulated the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) in the roots of C. indica. The highest TAP concentrations significantly inhibited photosynthetic activities, as shown by a reduced effective quantum yield of PS II (Φ_P_S_I_I) and lower electron transport rates (ETR). However, interestingly, the lower TAP loadings exhibited some favorable effects on these two variables, suggesting that C. indica is a suitable species for use in wetlands designed for treatment of low TAP concentrations. Urease and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in the wetland substrate were activated by TAP. Two-way ANOVA demonstrated that urease activity was influenced by both the TAP concentrations and season, while acidphosphatase (ACP) only responded to seasonal variations. Analysis of high throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA revealed seasonal variations in the microbial community structure of the wetland substrate at the phylum and family levels. In addition, urease activity had a greater correlation with the relative abundance of some functional microbial groups, such as the Bacillaceae family, and the ALP and ACP may be influenced by the plant more than substrate microbial communities. - Highlights: • Physiological responses of the wetland plant to triazophos loads

  3. Biological mechanisms associated with triazophos (TAP) removal by horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands (HSFCW)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Juan; Feng, Yuqin; Dai, Yanran; Cui, Naxin [State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and ResourceReuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092 (China); Anderson, Bruce [Department of Civil Engineering, Queen' s University, Kingston K7L3N6 (Canada); Cheng, Shuiping, E-mail: shpcheng@tongji.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and ResourceReuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092 (China)

    2016-05-15

    Triazophos (TAP) is a widely used pesticide that is easily accumulated in the environment due to its relatively high stability: this accumulation from agricultural runoff results in potential hazards to aquatic ecosystems. Constructed wetlands are generally considered to be an effective technology for treating TAP polluted surface water. However, knowledge about the biological mechanisms of TAP removal is still lacking. This study investigates the responses of a wetland plant (Canna indica), substrate enzymes and microbial communities in bench-scale horizontal subsurface-flow constructed wetlands (HSCWs) loaded with different TAP concentrations (0, 0.1, 0.5 and 5 mg·L{sup −1}). The results indicate that TAP stimulated the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) in the roots of C. indica. The highest TAP concentrations significantly inhibited photosynthetic activities, as shown by a reduced effective quantum yield of PS II (Φ{sub PSII}) and lower electron transport rates (ETR). However, interestingly, the lower TAP loadings exhibited some favorable effects on these two variables, suggesting that C. indica is a suitable species for use in wetlands designed for treatment of low TAP concentrations. Urease and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in the wetland substrate were activated by TAP. Two-way ANOVA demonstrated that urease activity was influenced by both the TAP concentrations and season, while acidphosphatase (ACP) only responded to seasonal variations. Analysis of high throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA revealed seasonal variations in the microbial community structure of the wetland substrate at the phylum and family levels. In addition, urease activity had a greater correlation with the relative abundance of some functional microbial groups, such as the Bacillaceae family, and the ALP and ACP may be influenced by the plant more than substrate microbial communities. - Highlights: • Physiological responses of the wetland plant to triazophos

  4. A Model-Based Approach to Constructing Music Similarity Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Kris; Lamere, Paul

    2006-12-01

    Several authors have presented systems that estimate the audio similarity of two pieces of music through the calculation of a distance metric, such as the Euclidean distance, between spectral features calculated from the audio, related to the timbre or pitch of the signal. These features can be augmented with other, temporally or rhythmically based features such as zero-crossing rates, beat histograms, or fluctuation patterns to form a more well-rounded music similarity function. It is our contention that perceptual or cultural labels, such as the genre, style, or emotion of the music, are also very important features in the perception of music. These labels help to define complex regions of similarity within the available feature spaces. We demonstrate a machine-learning-based approach to the construction of a similarity metric, which uses this contextual information to project the calculated features into an intermediate space where a music similarity function that incorporates some of the cultural information may be calculated.

  5. Biological pathways and genetic mechanisms involved in social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordoñana, Juan R; Bartels, Meike; Boomsma, Dorret I; Cella, David; Mosing, Miriam; Oliveira, Joao R; Patrick, Donald L; Veenhoven, Ruut; Wagner, Gert G; Sprangers, Mirjam A G

    2013-08-01

    To describe the major findings in the literature regarding associations between biological and genetic factors and social functioning, paying special attention to: (1) heritability studies on social functioning and related concepts; (2) hypothesized biological pathways and genetic variants that could be involved in social functioning, and (3) the implications of these results for quality-of-life research. A search of Web of Science and PubMed databases was conducted using combinations of the following keywords: genetics, twins, heritability, social functioning, social adjustment, social interaction, and social dysfunction. Variability in the definitions and measures of social functioning was extensive. Moderate to high heritability was reported for social functioning and related concepts, including prosocial behavior, loneliness, and extraversion. Disorders characterized by impairments in social functioning also show substantial heritability. Genetic variants hypothesized to be involved in social functioning are related to the network of brain structures and processes that are known to affect social cognition and behavior. Better knowledge and understanding about the impact of genetic factors on social functioning is needed to help us to attain a more comprehensive view of health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) and will ultimately enhance our ability to identify those patients who are vulnerable to poor social functioning.

  6. Uncovering Biological Network Function via Graphlet Degree Signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataša Pržulj

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Motivation: Proteins are essential macromolecules of life and thus understanding their function is of great importance. The number of functionally unclassified proteins is large even for simple and well studied organisms such as baker’s yeast. Methods for determining protein function have shifted their focus from targeting specific proteins based solely on sequence homology to analyses of the entire proteome based on protein-protein interaction (PPI networks. Since proteins interact to perform a certain function, analyzing structural properties of PPI networks may provide useful clues about the biological function of individual proteins, protein complexes they participate in, and even larger subcellular machines.Results: We design a sensitive graph theoretic method for comparing local structures of node neighborhoods that demonstrates that in PPI networks, biological function of a node and its local network structure are closely related. The method summarizes a protein’s local topology in a PPI network into the vector of graphlet degrees called the signature of the protein and computes the signature similarities between all protein pairs. We group topologically similar proteins under this measure in a PPI network and show that these protein groups belong to the same protein complexes, perform the same biological functions, are localized in the same subcellular compartments, and have the same tissue expressions. Moreover, we apply our technique on a proteome-scale network data and infer biological function of yet unclassified proteins demonstrating that our method can provide valuable guidelines for future experimental research such as disease protein prediction.Availability: Data is available upon request.

  7. The functioning and behaviour of biological parents of children ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parenting a child with ADHD may intensify parental stress through functional impairment notwithstanding the diagnosis of ADHD. Methods: Eighty-one biological parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder were screened using self-reporting measurements. ADHD self-report scale (ASRS-V 1.1) ...

  8. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from "endless forms most beautiful".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B

    2015-12-15

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. © 2015 Richardson et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  9. Linking structural features of protein complexes and biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Breen, Edmond J; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2015-09-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) establishes the central basis for complex cellular networks in a biological cell. Association of proteins with other proteins occurs at varying affinities, yet with a high degree of specificity. PPIs lead to diverse functionality such as catalysis, regulation, signaling, immunity, and inhibition, playing a crucial role in functional genomics. The molecular principle of such interactions is often elusive in nature. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of known protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is essential for the characterization of structural interface features to determine structure-function relationship. Thus, we analyzed a nonredundant dataset of 278 heterodimer protein complexes, categorized into major functional classes, for distinguishing features. Interestingly, our analysis has identified five key features (interface area, interface polar residue abundance, hydrogen bonds, solvation free energy gain from interface formation, and binding energy) that are discriminatory among the functional classes using Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test. Significant correlations between these PPI interface features amongst functional categories are also documented. Salt bridges correlate with interface area in regulator-inhibitors (r = 0.75). These representative features have implications for the prediction of potential function of novel protein complexes. The results provide molecular insights for better understanding of PPIs and their relation to biological functions. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  10. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteins are involved in every aspects of life: structure, motion, catalysis, recognition and regulation. Today's highly sophisticated science of the modifications of proteins has ancient roots. The tailoring of proteins for food and medical uses precedes the beginning of what is called biochemistry. Chemical modification of proteins was pursued early in the twentieth century as an analytical procedure for side-chain amino acids. Later, methods were developed for specific inactivation of biologically active proteins and titration of their essential groups. Enzymatic modifications were mainly developed in the seventies when many more enzymes became economically available. Protein engineering has become a valuable tool for creating or improving proteins for practical use and has provided new insights into protein structure and function. The actual and potential use of milk proteins as food ingredients has been a popular topic for research over the past 40 years. With today's sophisticated analytical, biochemical and biological research tools, the presence of compounds with biological activity has been demonstrated. Improvements in separation techniques and enzyme technology have enabled efficient and economic isolation and modification of milk proteins, which has made possible their use as functional foods, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and medical foods. In this review, some chemical and enzymatic modifications of milk proteins are described, with particular focus on their functional and biological properties.

  11. Quality function deployment for buildable and sustainable construction

    CERN Document Server

    Natee, Singhaputtangkul; Teo, Evelyn A L

    2016-01-01

    This book focuses on the implementation of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in the construction industry as a tool to help building designers arrive at optimal decisions for external envelope systems with sustainable and buildable design goals. In particular, the book integrates special features into the conventional QFD tool to enhance its performance. These features include a fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making method, fuzzy consensus scheme, and Knowledge Management System (KMS). This integration results in a more robust decision support tool, known as the Knowledge-based Decision Support System QFD (KBDSS-QFD) tool. As an example, the KBDSS-QFD tool is used for the assessment of building envelope materials and designs for high-rise residential buildings in Singapore in the early design stage. The book provides the reader with a conceptual framework for understanding the development of the KBDSS-QFD tool. The framework is presented in a generalized form in order to benefit building professionals, decisio...

  12. Utility function under decision theory: A construction arbitration application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alozn, Ahmad E.; Galadari, Abdulla

    2017-08-01

    While a wide range of dispute resolution mechanisms exist, practitioners favor legally binding ones such as litigation and arbitration. Since initiating a litigation or arbitration case against a business partner may dissolve the business relationship between them, predicting the arbitrator's decision becomes valuable to the arbitrating parties. This paper proposes a construction-specific utility framework for the arbitrating party through decision theory, and based on expected utility theory. The proposed framework preserves the industry practicality and most importantly, considers direct short-term factors and indirect long-term factors as well. It is suggested that the arbitrating parties' utility functions could be then used to identify equilibrium points among them when interact via game theory principles, which would serve the purpose of predicting the arbitration outcome.

  13. Hash function construction using weighted complex dynamical networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song Yu-Rong; Jiang Guo-Ping

    2013-01-01

    A novel scheme to construct a hash function based on a weighted complex dynamical network (WCDN) generated from an original message is proposed in this paper. First, the original message is divided into blocks. Then, each block is divided into components, and the nodes and weighted edges are well defined from these components and their relations. Namely, the WCDN closely related to the original message is established. Furthermore, the node dynamics of the WCDN are chosen as a chaotic map. After chaotic iterations, quantization and exclusive-or operations, the fixed-length hash value is obtained. This scheme has the property that any tiny change in message can be diffused rapidly through the WCDN, leading to very different hash values. Analysis and simulation show that the scheme possesses good statistical properties, excellent confusion and diffusion, strong collision resistance and high efficiency. (general)

  14. Content-rich biological network constructed by mining PubMed abstracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharp Burt M

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The integration of the rapidly expanding corpus of information about the genome, transcriptome, and proteome, engendered by powerful technological advances, such as microarrays, and the availability of genomic sequence from multiple species, challenges the grasp and comprehension of the scientific community. Despite the existence of text-mining methods that identify biological relationships based on the textual co-occurrence of gene/protein terms or similarities in abstract texts, knowledge of the underlying molecular connections on a large scale, which is prerequisite to understanding novel biological processes, lags far behind the accumulation of data. While computationally efficient, the co-occurrence-based approaches fail to characterize (e.g., inhibition or stimulation, directionality biological interactions. Programs with natural language processing (NLP capability have been created to address these limitations, however, they are in general not readily accessible to the public. Results We present a NLP-based text-mining approach, Chilibot, which constructs content-rich relationship networks among biological concepts, genes, proteins, or drugs. Amongst its features, suggestions for new hypotheses can be generated. Lastly, we provide evidence that the connectivity of molecular networks extracted from the biological literature follows the power-law distribution, indicating scale-free topologies consistent with the results of previous experimental analyses. Conclusions Chilibot distills scientific relationships from knowledge available throughout a wide range of biological domains and presents these in a content-rich graphical format, thus integrating general biomedical knowledge with the specialized knowledge and interests of the user. Chilibot http://www.chilibot.net can be accessed free of charge to academic users.

  15. Synthetic constructs in/for the environment: managing the interplay between natural and engineered Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Markus; de Lorenzo, Víctor

    2012-07-16

    The plausible release of deeply engineered or even entirely synthetic/artificial microorganisms raises the issue of their intentional (e.g. bioremediation) or accidental interaction with the Environment. Containment systems designed in the 1980s-1990s for limiting the spread of genetically engineered bacteria and their recombinant traits are still applicable to contemporary Synthetic Biology constructs. Yet, the ease of DNA synthesis and the uncertainty on how non-natural properties and strains could interplay with the existing biological word poses yet again the challenge of designing safe and efficacious firewalls to curtail possible interactions. Such barriers may include xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs) instead of DNA as information-bearing molecules, rewriting the genetic code to make it non-understandable by the existing gene expression machineries, and/or making growth dependent on xenobiotic chemicals. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Enhanced Matrix Power Function for Cryptographic Primitive Construction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eligijus Sakalauskas

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available A new enhanced matrix power function (MPF is presented for the construction of cryptographic primitives. According to the definition in previously published papers, an MPF is an action of two matrices powering some base matrix on the left and right. The MPF inversion equations, corresponding to the MPF problem, are derived and have some structural similarity with classical multivariate quadratic (MQ problem equations. Unlike the MQ problem, the MPF problem seems to be more complicated, since its equations are not defined over the field, but are represented as left–right action of two matrices defined over the infinite near-semiring on the matrix defined over the certain infinite, additive, noncommuting semigroup. The main results are the following: (1 the proposition of infinite, nonsymmetric, and noncommuting algebraic structures for the construction of the enhanced MPF, satisfying associativity conditions, which are necessary for cryptographic applications; (2 the proof that MPF inversion is polynomially equivalent to the solution of a certain kind of generalized multivariate quadratic (MQ problem which can be reckoned as hard; (3 the estimation of the effectiveness of direct MPF value computation; and (4 the presentation of preliminary security analysis, the determination of the security parameter, and specification of its secure value. These results allow us to make a conjecture that enhanced MPF can be a candidate one-way function (OWF, since the effective (polynomial-time inversion algorithm for it is not yet known. An example of the application of the proposed MPF for the Key Agreement Protocol (KAP is presented. Since the direct MPF value is computed effectively, the proposed MPF is suitable for the realization of cryptographic protocols in devices with restricted computation resources.

  17. Design in nature how the constructal law governs evolution in biology, physics, technology, and social organization

    CERN Document Server

    Bejan, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    In this groundbreaking book, Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the constructal law, accounts for the evolution of these and many other designs in our world. Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical “flowcharts” or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies. All are governed by the same principle, known as the constructal law, and configure and reconfigure themselves...

  18. On The Construction of Models for Electrical Conduction in Biological Tissues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez-Aguilar, F.; Bernal-Alvarado, J.; Cordova-Fraga, T.; Rosales-Garcia, J.; Guia-Calderon, M.

    2010-01-01

    Applying RC circuit theory, a theoretical representation for the electrical conduction in a biological multilayer system was developed. In particular an equivalent circuit for the epidermis, dermis and the subcutaneous tissue was constructed. This model includes an equivalent circuit, inside the dermis, in order to model a small formation like tumor. This work shows the feasibility to apply superficial electrodes to detect subcutaneous abnormalities. The behavior of the model is shown in the form of a frequency response chart. The Bode and Nyquist plots are also obtained. This theoretical frame is proposed to be a general treatment to describe the bioelectrical transport in a three layer bioelectrical system.

  19. The construction of control chart for PM10 functional data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaadan, Norshahida; Jemain, Abdul Aziz; Deni, Sayang Mohd

    2014-06-01

    In this paper, a statistical procedure to construct a control chart for monitoring air quality (PM10) using functional data is proposed. A set of daily indices that represent the daily PM10 curves were obtained using Functional Principal Component Analysis (FPCA). By means of an iterative charting procedure, a reference data set that represented a stable PM10 process was obtained. The data were then used as a reference for monitoring future data. The application of the procedure was conducted using seven-year (2004-2010) period of recorded data from the Klang air quality monitoring station located in the Klang Valley region of Peninsular Malaysia. The study showed that the control chart provided a useful visualization tool for monitoring air quality and was capable in detecting abnormality in the process system. As in the case of Klang station, the results showed that with reference to 2004-2008, the air quality (PM10) in 2010 was better than that in 2009.

  20. A Model-Based Approach to Constructing Music Similarity Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamere Paul

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Several authors have presented systems that estimate the audio similarity of two pieces of music through the calculation of a distance metric, such as the Euclidean distance, between spectral features calculated from the audio, related to the timbre or pitch of the signal. These features can be augmented with other, temporally or rhythmically based features such as zero-crossing rates, beat histograms, or fluctuation patterns to form a more well-rounded music similarity function. It is our contention that perceptual or cultural labels, such as the genre, style, or emotion of the music, are also very important features in the perception of music. These labels help to define complex regions of similarity within the available feature spaces. We demonstrate a machine-learning-based approach to the construction of a similarity metric, which uses this contextual information to project the calculated features into an intermediate space where a music similarity function that incorporates some of the cultural information may be calculated.

  1. Knowledge base and functionality of concepts of some Filipino biology teachers in five biology topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barquilla, Manuel B.

    2018-01-01

    This mixed research, is a snapshot of some Filipino Biology teachers' knowledge structure and how their concepts of the five topics in Biology (Photosynthesis, Cellular Respiration, human reproductive system, Mendelian genetics and NonMendelian genetics) functions and develops inside a biology classroom. The study focuses on the six biology teachers and a total of 222 students in their respective classes. Of the Six (6) teachers, three (3) are under the Science curriculum and the other three (3) are under regular curriculum in both public and private schools in Iligan city and Lanao del Norte, Philippines. The study utilized classroom discourses, concept maps, interpretative case-study method, bracketing method, and concept analysis for qualitative part; the quantitative part uses a nonparametric statistical tool, Kendall's tau Coefficient for determining relationship and congruency while measures of central tendencies and dispersion (mean, and standard deviation) for concept maps scores interpretation. Knowledge Base of Biology teachers were evaluated by experts in field of specialization having a doctorate program (e.g. PhD in Genetics) and PhD Biology candidates. The data collection entailed seven (7) months immersion: one (1) month for preliminary phase for the researcher to gain teachers' and students' confidence and the succeeding six (6) months for main observation and data collection. The evaluation of teachers' knowledge base by experts indicated that teachers' knowledge of (65%) is lower than the minimum (75%) recommended by ABD-el-Khalick and Boujaoude (1997). Thus, the experts believe that content knowledge of the teachers is hardly adequate for their teaching assignment. Moreover, the teachers in this study do not systematically use reallife situation to apply the concepts they teach. They can identify concepts too abstract for their student; however, they seldom use innovative ways to bring the discussion to their students' level of readiness and

  2. Progress in the biological function of alpha-enolase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Ji

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Alpha-enolase (ENO1, also known as 2-phospho-D-glycerate hydrolase, is a metalloenzyme that catalyzes the conversion of 2-phosphoglyceric acid to phosphoenolpyruvic acid in the glycolytic pathway. It is a multifunctional glycolytic enzyme involved in cellular stress, bacterial and fungal infections, autoantigen activities, the occurrence and metastasis of cancer, parasitic infections, and the growth, development and reproduction of organisms. This article mainly reviews the basic characteristics and biological functions of ENO1.

  3. SU-E-T-54: Benefits of Biological Cost Functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirag, N

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To verify the benefits of the biological cost functions. Methods: TG166 patients were used for the test case scenarios. Patients were planned using Monaco V5.0 (CMS/Elekta, St.Louis, MO) Monaco has 3 biological and 8 physical CFs. In this study the plans were optimized using 3 different scenarios. 1- Biological CFs only 2-Physical CFs only 3- Combination of Physical and Biological CFsMonaco has 3 biological CFs. Target EUD used for the targets, derived from the poisson cell kill model, has an α value that controls the cold spots inside the target. α values used in the optimization were 0.5 and 0.8. if cold spots needs to be penalized α value increased. Serial CF: it's called serial to mimic the behaviour of the serial organs, if a high k value like 12 or 14 is used it controls the maximum dose. Serial CF has a k parameter that is used to shape the whole dvh curve. K value ranges between 1–20. k:1 is used to control the mean dose, lower k value controls the mean dose, higher k value controls the higher dose, using 2 serial CFs with different k values controls the whole DVH. Paralel CF controls the percentage of the volume that tolerates higher doses than the reference dose to mimic the behaviour of the paralel organs. Results: It was possible to achive clinically accepted plans in all 3 scenarios. The benefit of the biological cost functions were to control the mean dose for target and OAR, to shape the DVH curve using one EUD value and one k value simplifies the optimization process. Using the biological CFs alone, it was hard to control the dose at a point. Conclusion: Biological CFs in Monaco doesn't require the ntcp/tcp values from the labs and useful to shape the whole dvh curve. I work as an applications support specialist for Elekta and I am a Ph.D. Student in Istanbul University for radiation therapy physics

  4. [Mandible function in taking construction bite for activator].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irie, M

    1989-06-01

    Functional effects of construction bite for activator (Andresen type) especially on lateral pterygoid muscle, as well as the positional changes of the mandible, hyoid bone and surface EMGs from bilateral anterior temporal (TA) and masseter (MM) muscle, were studied on the electric force scale, MKG, EMG and cephalometric radiographs in 14 subjects with anterior cross bite in mixed dentition. The cephalometric radiographs were taken at the start of each patient's treatment. One was taken with the mandible in the intercuspal position and one was also taken with the activator in the mouth at the overjet improvement. The activator patients were divided into two groups because of differences in the direction of movement of the hyoid bone in the FH plane. In group O (7 patients), the movement of the hyoid bone was at an oblique angle to the FH plane, while in group D (7 patients) the movement ot the hyoid bone with nearly direct below angle to FH plane. The patients were further divided into three types because of differences in the distance between the hyoid bone and mental spine, and combined with the groups OA (3 patients), OB (2 patients), OC (2 patients), DA (5 patients), DB (2 patients) and DC (Naught). The results obtained were as follows: The forces for the construction bite for groups O and D were 2.71 Kg and 2.72 kg, respectively. Type OC required significantly heavier force. (p less than 0.05) In the condylar test, O group was significantly smaller at the start of treatment, but not after overjet improvement. Type OA and OB were also significantly smaller at the start of treatment. (p less than 0.05) Velocity of opening for group D was significantly (p less than 0.05) faster at the start of treatment, but not after that. There was no significant difference in EMGs between the groups, with activator in the mouse D group much increased as it EMGs. The EMGs M/T ratio for both groups was approximately 100% at the start of treatment for overjet improvement. In cases

  5. Construction of new biological research facility for internal emitter and prospect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuoka, Osamu

    1979-01-01

    The construction of the new biological research facility for internal emitters is to start in 1979 in the National Institute of Radiological Sciences. The bodily harm of plutonium had been studied in 1965 for the first time in Japan, and mice and rats were tested as the experimental animals. The conceptual design of the biological research facility for internal emitters has been conducted from 1976 to 1978. The causes making the construction of this facility difficult are as follows: 1) the regulation concerning the handling of plutonium has no lower limit, and the animals administered with dosage of plutonium are not permitted to be kept outdoors, 2) the waste disposal of dead bodies and excrements of the animals is controlled very severely, 3) many animal breeders with the knowledge of radiation protection are needed for the special experiment, and 4) the budget is not sufficient for this experiment of handling plutonium. To resolve these problems, much efforts have been exerted on the test of breeding dogs and monkeys, the disposal of radioactive animal wastes, the treatment of urine of radioactive animals, the reduction of labor for breeding contaminated animals, and keeping of safety. The present situation of the researches on internal emitters in the USA, Germany, Britain, France and the Soviet Union is reviewed for reference. The outline of the new biological research facility for internal emitters is presented. The building has seven floors with the total area of about 13,000 m 2 , and comprises three controlled areas and no contamination laboratories. The future experiments, which are expected to be conducted after the completion of this facility, are the animal tests to evaluate the influence of fissile materials, especially plutonium, and the fundamental experiments to take out the radioactive nuclides accidentally taken into bodies. (Nakai, Y.)

  6. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yáñez-Mó, María; Siljander, Pia R.-M.; Andreu, Zoraida; Zavec, Apolonija Bedina; Borràs, Francesc E.; Buzas, Edit I.; Buzas, Krisztina; Casal, Enriqueta; Cappello, Francesco; Carvalho, Joana; Colás, Eva; Silva, Anabela Cordeiro-da; Fais, Stefano; Falcon-Perez, Juan M.; Ghobrial, Irene M.; Giebel, Bernd; Gimona, Mario; Graner, Michael; Gursel, Ihsan; Gursel, Mayda; Heegaard, Niels H. H.; Hendrix, An; Kierulf, Peter; Kokubun, Katsutoshi; Kosanovic, Maja; Kralj-Iglic, Veronika; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria; Laitinen, Saara; Lässer, Cecilia; Lener, Thomas; Ligeti, Erzsébet; Linē, Aija; Lipps, Georg; Llorente, Alicia; Lötvall, Jan; Manček-Keber, Mateja; Marcilla, Antonio; Mittelbrunn, Maria; Nazarenko, Irina; Hoen, Esther N.M. Nolte-‘t; Nyman, Tuula A.; O'Driscoll, Lorraine; Olivan, Mireia; Oliveira, Carla; Pállinger, Éva; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Reventós, Jaume; Rigau, Marina; Rohde, Eva; Sammar, Marei; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Santarém, N.; Schallmoser, Katharina; Ostenfeld, Marie Stampe; Stoorvogel, Willem; Stukelj, Roman; Van der Grein, Susanne G.; Vasconcelos, M. Helena; Wauben, Marca H. M.; De Wever, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system. PMID:25979354

  7. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Yáñez-Mó

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system.

  8. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl-Heinz Wagner

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products.

  9. On the construction of Wannier functions in topological insulators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cornean, Decebal Horia; Monaco, Domenico

    2017-01-01

    vanish, we provide an algorithm which constructs a “multi-step logarithm” that is employed to continuously deform the given family into a constant one, identically equal to the identity matrix. This algorithm leads to a constructive procedure to produce the composite Wannier bases mentioned above....

  10. Biological sulfate removal from construction and demolition debris leachate: Effect of bioreactor configuration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kijjanapanich, Pimluck; Do, Anh Tien; Annachhatre, Ajit P.; Esposito, Giovanni; Yeh, Daniel H.; Lens, Piet N.L.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Novel biological technique for gypsum removal from CDD. • CDDS leachate treatment performed using different sulfate reducing bioreactors. • Gypsum in CDD can be used as a source of sulfate for sulfate reducing bacteria. • High calcium concentration (1000 mg L −1 ) did not affect the bioreactor performance. - Abstract: Due to the contamination of construction and demolition debris (CDD) by gypsum drywall, especially, its sand fraction (CDD sand, CDDS), the sulfate content in CDDS exceeds the posed limit of the maximum amount of sulfate present in building sand (1.73 g sulfate per kg of sand for the Netherlands). Therefore, the CDDS cannot be reused for construction. The CDDS has to be washed in order to remove most of the impurities and to obtain the right sulfate content, thus generating a leachate, containing high sulfate and calcium concentrations. This study aimed at developing a biological sulfate reduction system for CDDS leachate treatment and compared three different reactor configurations for the sulfate reduction step: the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, inverse fluidized bed (IFB) reactor and gas lift anaerobic membrane bioreactor (GL-AnMBR). This investigation demonstrated that all three systems can be applied for the treatment of CDDS leachate. The highest sulfate removal efficiency of 75–85% was achieved at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 15.5 h. A high calcium concentration up to 1000 mg L −1 did not give any adverse effect on the sulfate removal efficiency of the IFB and GL-AnMBR systems

  11. Biological sulfate removal from construction and demolition debris leachate: Effect of bioreactor configuration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kijjanapanich, Pimluck, E-mail: som_cheng00@hotmail.com [Pollution Prevention and Resource Recovery Chair Group, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft (Netherlands); Do, Anh Tien [Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620 (United States); Annachhatre, Ajit P. [Environmental Engineering and Management, Asian Institute of Technology, PO Box 4, Klongluang, Pathumthani 12120 (Thailand); Esposito, Giovanni [Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Via Di Biasio 43, 03043 Cassino (Italy); Yeh, Daniel H. [Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620 (United States); Lens, Piet N.L. [Pollution Prevention and Resource Recovery Chair Group, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft (Netherlands)

    2014-03-01

    Highlights: • Novel biological technique for gypsum removal from CDD. • CDDS leachate treatment performed using different sulfate reducing bioreactors. • Gypsum in CDD can be used as a source of sulfate for sulfate reducing bacteria. • High calcium concentration (1000 mg L{sup −1}) did not affect the bioreactor performance. - Abstract: Due to the contamination of construction and demolition debris (CDD) by gypsum drywall, especially, its sand fraction (CDD sand, CDDS), the sulfate content in CDDS exceeds the posed limit of the maximum amount of sulfate present in building sand (1.73 g sulfate per kg of sand for the Netherlands). Therefore, the CDDS cannot be reused for construction. The CDDS has to be washed in order to remove most of the impurities and to obtain the right sulfate content, thus generating a leachate, containing high sulfate and calcium concentrations. This study aimed at developing a biological sulfate reduction system for CDDS leachate treatment and compared three different reactor configurations for the sulfate reduction step: the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, inverse fluidized bed (IFB) reactor and gas lift anaerobic membrane bioreactor (GL-AnMBR). This investigation demonstrated that all three systems can be applied for the treatment of CDDS leachate. The highest sulfate removal efficiency of 75–85% was achieved at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 15.5 h. A high calcium concentration up to 1000 mg L{sup −1} did not give any adverse effect on the sulfate removal efficiency of the IFB and GL-AnMBR systems.

  12. CONSTRUCTING A FLEXIBLE LIKELIHOOD FUNCTION FOR SPECTROSCOPIC INFERENCE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Czekala, Ian; Andrews, Sean M.; Mandel, Kaisey S.; Green, Gregory M.; Hogg, David W.

    2015-01-01

    We present a modular, extensible likelihood framework for spectroscopic inference based on synthetic model spectra. The subtraction of an imperfect model from a continuously sampled spectrum introduces covariance between adjacent datapoints (pixels) into the residual spectrum. For the high signal-to-noise data with large spectral range that is commonly employed in stellar astrophysics, that covariant structure can lead to dramatically underestimated parameter uncertainties (and, in some cases, biases). We construct a likelihood function that accounts for the structure of the covariance matrix, utilizing the machinery of Gaussian process kernels. This framework specifically addresses the common problem of mismatches in model spectral line strengths (with respect to data) due to intrinsic model imperfections (e.g., in the atomic/molecular databases or opacity prescriptions) by developing a novel local covariance kernel formalism that identifies and self-consistently downweights pathological spectral line “outliers.” By fitting many spectra in a hierarchical manner, these local kernels provide a mechanism to learn about and build data-driven corrections to synthetic spectral libraries. An open-source software implementation of this approach is available at http://iancze.github.io/Starfish, including a sophisticated probabilistic scheme for spectral interpolation when using model libraries that are sparsely sampled in the stellar parameters. We demonstrate some salient features of the framework by fitting the high-resolution V-band spectrum of WASP-14, an F5 dwarf with a transiting exoplanet, and the moderate-resolution K-band spectrum of Gliese 51, an M5 field dwarf

  13. Metabolomics for functional genomics, systems biology, and biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Kazuki; Matsuda, Fumio

    2010-01-01

    Metabolomics now plays a significant role in fundamental plant biology and applied biotechnology. Plants collectively produce a huge array of chemicals, far more than are produced by most other organisms; hence, metabolomics is of great importance in plant biology. Although substantial improvements have been made in the field of metabolomics, the uniform annotation of metabolite signals in databases and informatics through international standardization efforts remains a challenge, as does the development of new fields such as fluxome analysis and single cell analysis. The principle of transcript and metabolite cooccurrence, particularly transcriptome coexpression network analysis, is a powerful tool for decoding the function of genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. This strategy can now be used for the identification of genes involved in specific pathways in crops and medicinal plants. Metabolomics has gained importance in biotechnology applications, as exemplified by quantitative loci analysis, prediction of food quality, and evaluation of genetically modified crops. Systems biology driven by metabolome data will aid in deciphering the secrets of plant cell systems and their application to biotechnology.

  14. Biological sulfate removal from construction and demolition debris leachate: effect of bioreactor configuration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kijjanapanich, Pimluck; Do, Anh Tien; Annachhatre, Ajit P; Esposito, Giovanni; Yeh, Daniel H; Lens, Piet N L

    2014-03-30

    Due to the contamination of construction and demolition debris (CDD) by gypsum drywall, especially, its sand fraction (CDD sand, CDDS), the sulfate content in CDDS exceeds the posed limit of the maximum amount of sulfate present in building sand (1.73 g sulfate per kg of sand for the Netherlands). Therefore, the CDDS cannot be reused for construction. The CDDS has to be washed in order to remove most of the impurities and to obtain the right sulfate content, thus generating a leachate, containing high sulfate and calcium concentrations. This study aimed at developing a biological sulfate reduction system for CDDS leachate treatment and compared three different reactor configurations for the sulfate reduction step: the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, inverse fluidized bed (IFB) reactor and gas lift anaerobic membrane bioreactor (GL-AnMBR). This investigation demonstrated that all three systems can be applied for the treatment of CDDS leachate. The highest sulfate removal efficiency of 75-85% was achieved at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 15.5h. A high calcium concentration up to 1,000 mg L(-1) did not give any adverse effect on the sulfate removal efficiency of the IFB and GL-AnMBR systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Structure, function, and behaviour of computational models in systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens; Dittrich, Peter; Le Novère, Nicolas

    2013-05-31

    Systems Biology develops computational models in order to understand biological phenomena. The increasing number and complexity of such "bio-models" necessitate computer support for the overall modelling task. Computer-aided modelling has to be based on a formal semantic description of bio-models. But, even if computational bio-models themselves are represented precisely in terms of mathematical expressions their full meaning is not yet formally specified and only described in natural language. We present a conceptual framework - the meaning facets - which can be used to rigorously specify the semantics of bio-models. A bio-model has a dual interpretation: On the one hand it is a mathematical expression which can be used in computational simulations (intrinsic meaning). On the other hand the model is related to the biological reality (extrinsic meaning). We show that in both cases this interpretation should be performed from three perspectives: the meaning of the model's components (structure), the meaning of the model's intended use (function), and the meaning of the model's dynamics (behaviour). In order to demonstrate the strengths of the meaning facets framework we apply it to two semantically related models of the cell cycle. Thereby, we make use of existing approaches for computer representation of bio-models as much as possible and sketch the missing pieces. The meaning facets framework provides a systematic in-depth approach to the semantics of bio-models. It can serve two important purposes: First, it specifies and structures the information which biologists have to take into account if they build, use and exchange models. Secondly, because it can be formalised, the framework is a solid foundation for any sort of computer support in bio-modelling. The proposed conceptual framework establishes a new methodology for modelling in Systems Biology and constitutes a basis for computer-aided collaborative research.

  16. Scavenger Receptor CD163 and Its Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Onofre

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available CD163 is a member of scavenger receptor super family class B of the first subgroup. It is mapped to the region p13 on chromosome 12. Five different isoforms of CD163 have been described, which differ in the structure of their cytoplasmic domains and putative phosporylation sites. This scavenger receptor is selectively expressed on cells of monocytes and macrophages lineage exclusively. CD163 immunological function is essentially homeostatic. It also has other functions because participates in adhesion to endothelial cells, in tolerance induction and tissues regeneration. Other very important function of CD163 is the clearance of hemoglobin in its cell-free form and participation in anti-inflammation in its soluble form, exhibiting cytokine-like functions. We review the biological functions of CD163 which have been discovered until now. It seems apparent from this review that CD163 scavenger receptor can be used as biomarker in different diseases and as a valuable diagnostic parameter for prognosis of many diseases especially inflammatory disorders and sepsis.

  17. STAT6: its role in interleukin 4-mediated biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, K; Kishimoto, T; Akira, S

    1997-05-01

    Interleukin (IL) 4 is known to be a cytokine which plays a central role in the regulation of immune response. Studies on cytokine signal transduction have clarified the mechanism by which IL4 exerts its functions. Two cytoplasmic proteins, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 6 and IL4-induced phosphotyrosine substrate/insulin receptor substrate 2 (4PS/IRS2), are activated in IL4 signal transduction. Recent studies from STAT6-deficient mice have revealed the essential role of STAT6 in IL4-mediated biological actions. In addition, STAT6 has also been demonstrated to be important for the functions mediated by IL13, which is related to IL4. IL4 and IL13 have been shown to induce the production of IgE, which is a major mediator in an allergic response. These findings indicate that STAT6 activation is involved in IL4- and IL13-mediated disorders such as allergy.

  18. Effect of biological factors during functional scintigraphy of the heart

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breuel, H P; Emrich, D; Luig, H [Goettingen Univ. (F.R. Germany). Abt. fuer Nuklearmedizin

    1976-07-01

    The parameters relating to functional scintigraphy of the heart (average circulation time, peak time) depend not only on the method (injection technique, radiopharmaceutical), but also on biological factors. Failure to take these into consideration may result in an erroneous interpretation of the findings. Circulation time in normal children aged 6 to 14 years, as determined by isotope methods is significantly shorter than in normal adults. Patients with compensated heart disease, as well trained athletes, show significant increase in all portions of the circulation time, when compared with normals of similar ages. This indicates that deviation in the haemodynamics of the circulation as shown by functional scintigraphy, can only be interpreted in the light of clinical findings.

  19. Functions of MicroRNAs in Cardiovascular Biology and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hata, Akiko

    2015-01-01

    In 1993, lin-4 was discovered as a critical modulator of temporal development in Caenorhabditis elegans and, most notably, as the first in the class of small, single-stranded noncoding RNAs now defined as microRNAs (miRNAs). Another eight years elapsed before miRNA expression was detected in mammalian cells. Since then, explosive advancements in the field of miRNA biology have elucidated the basic mechanism of miRNA biogenesis, regulation, and gene-regulatory function. The discovery of this new class of small RNAs has augmented the complexity of gene-regulatory programs as well as the understanding of developmental and pathological processes in the cardiovascular system. Indeed, the contributions of miRNAs in cardiovascular development and function have been widely explored, revealing the extensive role of these small regulatory RNAs in cardiovascular physiology. PMID:23157557

  20. Carotenoids from Marine Organisms: Biological Functions and Industrial Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Galasso

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available As is the case for terrestrial organisms, carotenoids represent the most common group of pigments in marine environments. They are generally biosynthesized by all autotrophic marine organisms, such as bacteria and archaea, algae and fungi. Some heterotrophic organisms also contain carotenoids probably accumulated from food or partly modified through metabolic reactions. These natural pigments are divided into two chemical classes: carotenes (such as lycopene and α- and β-carotene that are composed of hydrogen and carbon; xanthophylls (such as astaxanthin, fucoxanthin and lutein, which are constituted by hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Carotenoids, as antioxidant compounds, assume a key role in the protection of cells. In fact, quenching of singlet oxygen, light capture and photosynthesis protection are the most relevant biological functions of carotenoids. The present review aims at describing (i the biological functions of carotenoids and their benefits for human health, (ii the most common carotenoids from marine organisms and (iii carotenoids having large success in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries, highlighting the scientific progress in marine species cultivation for natural pigments production.

  1. Event-based text mining for biology and functional genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Paul; Nawaz, Raheel; McNaught, John; Kell, Douglas B.

    2015-01-01

    The assessment of genome function requires a mapping between genome-derived entities and biochemical reactions, and the biomedical literature represents a rich source of information about reactions between biological components. However, the increasingly rapid growth in the volume of literature provides both a challenge and an opportunity for researchers to isolate information about reactions of interest in a timely and efficient manner. In response, recent text mining research in the biology domain has been largely focused on the identification and extraction of ‘events’, i.e. categorised, structured representations of relationships between biochemical entities, from the literature. Functional genomics analyses necessarily encompass events as so defined. Automatic event extraction systems facilitate the development of sophisticated semantic search applications, allowing researchers to formulate structured queries over extracted events, so as to specify the exact types of reactions to be retrieved. This article provides an overview of recent research into event extraction. We cover annotated corpora on which systems are trained, systems that achieve state-of-the-art performance and details of the community shared tasks that have been instrumental in increasing the quality, coverage and scalability of recent systems. Finally, several concrete applications of event extraction are covered, together with emerging directions of research. PMID:24907365

  2. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel McDougall

    Full Text Available In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the

  3. Biological response to purification and acid functionalization of carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figarol, Agathe; Pourchez, Jérémie; Boudard, Delphine; Forest, Valérie; Tulliani, Jean-Marc; Lecompte, Jean-Pierre; Cottier, Michèle; Bernache-Assollant, Didier; Grosseau, Philippe

    2014-07-01

    Acid functionalization has been considered as an easy way to enhance the dispersion and biodegradation of carbon nanotubes (CNT). However, inconsistencies between toxicity studies of acid functionalized CNT remain unexplained. This could be due to a joint effect of the main physicochemical modifications resulting from an acid functionalization: addition of surface acid groups and purification from catalytic metallic impurities. In this study, the impact on CNT biotoxicity of these two physiochemical features was assessed separately. The in vitro biological response of RAW 264.7 macrophages was evaluated after exposure to 15-240 µg mL-1 of two types of multi-walled CNT. For each type of CNT (small: 20 nm diameter, and big: 90 nm diameter), three different surface chemical properties were studied (total of six CNT samples): pristine, acid functionalized and desorbed. Desorbed CNT were purified by the acid functionalization but presented a very low amount of surface acid groups due to a thermal treatment under vacuum. A Janus effect of acid functionalization with two opposite impacts is highlighted. The CNT purification decreased the overall toxicity, while the surface acid groups intensified it when present at a specific threshold. These acid groups especially amplified the pro-inflammatory response. The threshold mechanism which seemed to regulate the impact of acid groups should be further studied to determine its value and potential link to the other physicochemical state of the CNT. The results suggest that, for a safer-design approach, the benefit-risk balance of an acid functionalization has to be considered, depending on the CNT primary state of purification. Further research should be conducted in this direction.

  4. Multiwire proportional chambers in the devices for molecular biology constructed at JINR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anisimov, Y S; Chernenko, S P; Ivanov, A B; Peshekhonov, V D; Skvaril, J; Zanevsky, Y V [Joint Inst. for Nuclear Research, Dubna (USSR). Lab. of High Energy; Kheiker, D M [Joint Inst. for Nuclear Research, Dubna (USSR). Lab. of High Energy; AN SSSR, Moscow. Inst. Kristallografii)

    1980-10-01

    The automation of measuring processes in molecular biology is a current problem. In order to solve this problem, conventionally used methods should be changed for an up-to-date technique which allows the processes of data measurement and analysis to be automated. Toward this end two-coordinate proportional chambers (MWPCs) are coming widely into use. The use of MWPCs in devices for radiochromatography and x-ray diffractrometry is discussed in this paper. A new device consisting of proportional chambers has been constructed for an automated analysis of thin layer radiochromatograms. The device enables one to localize radioactive zones (labelled with /sup 3/H, /sup 14/C, /sup 32/P), to identify radionuclides and to measure their activities. The device has a high sensitivity (5 pCi for tritium), a small dead time, good space resolution (in the case of /sup 3/H zones spaced 1-2 mm apart are separated) and high reproducibility. For x-ray diffractometry of single crystals, a high counting rate device has been constructed on the basis of a MWPC with a total number of channels amounting to 350 x 200 = 70,000. The dead time of the device is about 0.6 ..mu..s which allows to detect 3 x 10/sup 5/ events/s at counting losses of no more than 20%. The quantum efficiency (Cu K..cap alpha..) is about 73%. The X and Y space resolution (fwhm) is equal to 1 mm and 1.7 mm, respectively.

  5. CONSTRUCTION OF A FUNCTIONAL LACTOSE PERMEASE DEVOID OF CYSTEINE RESIDUES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VANIWAARDEN, PR; PASTORE, JC; KONINGS, WN; KABACK, HR

    1991-01-01

    By use of oligonucleotide-directed, site-specific mutagenesis, a lactose (lac) permease molecule was constructed in which all eight cysteinyl residues were simultaneously mutagenized (C-less permease). Cys154 was replaced with valine, and Cys117, -148, -176, -234, -333, -353, and -355 were replaced

  6. 3D Printing Polymers with Supramolecular Functionality for Biological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekkanen, Allison M; Mondschein, Ryan J; Williams, Christopher B; Long, Timothy E

    2017-09-11

    Supramolecular chemistry continues to experience widespread growth, as fine-tuned chemical structures lead to well-defined bulk materials. Previous literature described the roles of hydrogen bonding, ionic aggregation, guest/host interactions, and π-π stacking to tune mechanical, viscoelastic, and processing performance. The versatility of reversible interactions enables the more facile manufacturing of molded parts with tailored hierarchical structures such as tissue engineered scaffolds for biological applications. Recently, supramolecular polymers and additive manufacturing processes merged to provide parts with control of the molecular, macromolecular, and feature length scales. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, generates customizable constructs desirable for many applications, and the introduction of supramolecular interactions will potentially increase production speed, offer a tunable surface structure for controlling cell/scaffold interactions, and impart desired mechanical properties through reinforcing interlayer adhesion and introducing gradients or self-assembled structures. This review details the synthesis and characterization of supramolecular polymers suitable for additive manufacture and biomedical applications as well as the use of supramolecular polymers in additive manufacturing for drug delivery and complex tissue scaffold formation. The effect of supramolecular assembly and its dynamic behavior offers potential for controlling the anisotropy of the printed objects with exquisite geometrical control. The potential for supramolecular polymers to generate well-defined parts, hierarchical structures, and scaffolds with gradient properties/tuned surfaces provides an avenue for developing next-generation biomedical devices and tissue scaffolds.

  7. AFM imaging of functionalized carbon nanotubes on biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamprecht, C; Danzberger, J; Rangl, M; Gruber, H J; Hinterdorfer, P; Kienberger, F; Ebner, A; Liashkovich, I; Neves, V; Heister, E; Coley, H M; McFadden, J; Flahaut, E

    2009-01-01

    Multifunctional carbon nanotubes are promising for biomedical applications as their nano-size, together with their physical stability, gives access into the cell and various cellular compartments including the nucleus. However, the direct and label-free detection of carbon nanotube uptake into cells is a challenging task. The atomic force microscope (AFM) is capable of resolving details of cellular surfaces at the nanometer scale and thus allows following of the docking of carbon nanotubes to biological membranes. Here we present topographical AFM images of non-covalently functionalized single walled (SWNT) and double walled carbon nanotubes (DWNT) immobilized on different biological membranes, such as plasma membranes and nuclear envelopes, as well as on a monolayer of avidin molecules. We were able to visualize DWNT on the nuclear membrane while at the same time resolving individual nuclear pore complexes. Furthermore, we succeeded in localizing individual SWNT at the border of incubated cells and in identifying bundles of DWNT on cell surfaces by AFM imaging.

  8. Biological activity of lactoferrin-functionalized biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nocerino N

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Nunzia Nocerino,1 Andrea Fulgione,1 Marco Iannaccone,1 Laura Tomasetta,1 Flora Ianniello,1 Francesca Martora,1 Marco Lelli,2 Norberto Roveri,2 Federico Capuano,3 Rosanna Capparelli1 1Department of Agriculture Special Biotechnology Center Federico II, CeBIOTEC Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, 2Department of Chemistry, G Ciamician, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, 3Department of Food Inspection IZS ME, Naples, Italy Abstract: The emergence of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics is a general public health problem. Progress in developing new molecules with antimicrobial properties has been made. In this study, we evaluated the biological activity of a hybrid nanocomposite composed of synthetic biomimetic hydroxyapatite surface-functionalized by lactoferrin (LF-HA. We evaluated the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of LF-HA and found that the composite was active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and that it modulated proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses and enhanced antioxidant properties as compared with LF alone. These results indicate the possibility of using LF-HA as an antimicrobial system and biomimetic hydroxyapatite as a candidate for innovative biomedical applications. Keywords: lactoferrin, hydroxyapatite nanocrystals, biomimetism, biological activity, drug delivery

  9. Click Chemistry Mediated Functionalization of Vertical Nanowires for Biological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica; Buch-Månson, Nina; Bovet, Nicolas; Nygård, Jesper; Martinez, Karen L; Meldal, Morten

    2016-01-11

    Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are gaining significant importance in various biological applications, such as biosensing and drug delivery. Efficient and controlled immobilization of biomolecules on the NW surface is crucial for many of these applications. Here, we present for the first time the use of the Cu(I) -catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition and its strain-promoted variant for the covalent functionalization of vertical NWs with peptides and proteins. The potential of the approach was demonstrated in two complementary applications of measuring enzyme activity and protein binding, which is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use of covalently modified NWs for diagnostic purposes using minute amounts of material. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  11. Biological effects of simple changes in functionality on rhodium metalloinsertors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidmann, Alyson G.; Komor, Alexis C.; Barton, Jacqueline K.

    2013-01-01

    DNA mismatch repair (MMR) is crucial to ensuring the fidelity of the genome. The inability to correct single base mismatches leads to elevated mutation rates and carcinogenesis. Using metalloinsertors–bulky metal complexes that bind with high specificity to mismatched sites in the DNA duplex–our laboratory has adopted a new chemotherapeutic strategy through the selective targeting of MMR-deficient cells, that is, those that have a propensity for cancerous transformation. Rhodium metalloinsertors display inhibitory effects selectively in cells that are deficient in the MMR machinery, consistent with this strategy. However, a highly sensitive structure–function relationship is emerging with the development of new complexes that highlights the importance of subcellular localization. We have found that small structural modifications, for example a hydroxyl versus a methyl functional group, can yield profound differences in biological function. Despite similar binding affinities and selectivities for DNA mismatches, only one metalloinsertor shows selective inhibition of cellular proliferation in MMR-deficient versus -proficient cells. Studies of whole-cell, nuclear and mitochondrial uptake reveal that this selectivity depends upon targeting DNA mismatches in the cell nucleus. PMID:23776288

  12. Biologically inspired information theory: Adaptation through construction of external reality models by living systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Toshiyuki

    2015-12-01

    Higher animals act in the world using their external reality models to cope with the uncertain environment. Organisms that have not developed such information-processing organs may also have external reality models built in the form of their biochemical, physiological, and behavioral structures, acquired by natural selection through successful models constructed internally. Organisms subject to illusions would fail to survive in the material universe. How can organisms, or living systems in general, determine the external reality from within? This paper starts with a phenomenological model, in which the self constitutes a reality model developed through the mental processing of phenomena. Then, the it-from-bit concept is formalized using a simple mathematical model. For this formalization, my previous work on an algorithmic process is employed to constitute symbols referring to the external reality, called the inverse causality, with additional improvements to the previous work. Finally, as an extension of this model, the cognizers system model is employed to describe the self as one of many material entities in a world, each of which acts as a subject by responding to the surrounding entities. This model is used to propose a conceptual framework of information theory that can deal with both the qualitative (semantic) and quantitative aspects of the information involved in biological processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Estimate of K-functionals and modulus of smoothness constructed ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... and -functionals. The main result of the paper is the proof of the equivalence theorem for a -functional and a modulus of smoothness for the Dunkl transform on R d . Author Affiliations. M El Hamma1 R Daher1. Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences Aïn Chock, University of Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco ...

  14. Pectin: cell biology and prospects for functional analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willats, W G; McCartney, L; Mackie, W; Knox, J P

    2001-09-01

    Pectin is a major component of primary cell walls of all land plants and encompasses a range of galacturonic acid-rich polysaccharides. Three major pectic polysaccharides (homogalacturonan, rhamnogalacturonan-I and rhamnogalacturonan-II) are thought to occur in all primary cell walls. This review surveys what is known about the structure and function of these pectin domains. The high degree of structural complexity and heterogeneity of the pectic matrix is produced both during biosynthesis in the endomembrane system and as a result of the action of an array of wall-based pectin-modifying enzymes. Recent developments in analytical techniques and in the generation of anti-pectin probes have begun to place the structural complexity of pectin in cell biological and developmental contexts. The in muro de-methyl-esterification of homogalacturonan by pectin methyl esterases is emerging as a key process for the local modulation of matrix properties. Rhamnogalacturonan-I comprises a highly diverse population of spatially and developmentally regulated polymers, whereas rhamnogalacturonan-II appears to be a highly conserved and stable pectic domain. Current knowledge of biosynthetic enzymes, plant and microbial pectinases and the interactions of pectin with other cell wall components and the impact of molecular genetic approaches are reviewed in terms of the functional analysis of pectic polysaccharides in plant growth and development.

  15. Construction of membrane-bound artificial cells using microfluidics: a new frontier in bottom-up synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elani, Yuval

    2016-06-15

    The quest to construct artificial cells from the bottom-up using simple building blocks has received much attention over recent decades and is one of the grand challenges in synthetic biology. Cell mimics that are encapsulated by lipid membranes are a particularly powerful class of artificial cells due to their biocompatibility and the ability to reconstitute biological machinery within them. One of the key obstacles in the field centres on the following: how can membrane-based artificial cells be generated in a controlled way and in high-throughput? In particular, how can they be constructed to have precisely defined parameters including size, biomolecular composition and spatial organization? Microfluidic generation strategies have proved instrumental in addressing these questions. This article will outline some of the major principles underpinning membrane-based artificial cells and their construction using microfluidics, and will detail some recent landmarks that have been achieved. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Estimate of K-functionals and modulus of smoothness constructed ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    functional and a modulus of smoothness for the Dunkl transform on Rd. Author Affiliations. M El Hamma1 R Daher1. Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences Aïn Chock, University of Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco. Dates.

  17. Construction of Bethe Salpeter wave functions and applications in QCD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gromes, D.

    1993-01-01

    We suggest an ansatz for the Bethe Salpeter wave function which is strictly covariant, obeys the spectrum conditions, and has the correct non relativistic limit. As a first simple application we present a wave function for the pion. It contains two parameters, one of them being the quark mass. The decay constant and the form factor derived from this are in excellent agreement with the data. (orig.)

  18. Further Results on Constructions of Generalized Bent Boolean Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    China; 2Naval Postgraduate School, Applied Mathematics Department, Monterey, CA 93943, USA; 3Science and Technology on Communication Security...in 1976 as an interesting combinatorial object with the important property of having op- timal nonlinearity [1]. Since bent functions have many...77–94 10 Zhao Y, Li H L. On bent functions with some symmet- ric properties. Discret Appl Math, 2006, 154: 2537– 2543

  19. Functional anthology of intrinsic disorder. 1. Biological processes and functions of proteins with long disordered regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hongbo; Vucetic, Slobodan; Iakoucheva, Lilia M; Oldfield, Christopher J; Dunker, A Keith; Uversky, Vladimir N; Obradovic, Zoran

    2007-05-01

    Identifying relationships between function, amino acid sequence, and protein structure represents a major challenge. In this study, we propose a bioinformatics approach that identifies functional keywords in the Swiss-Prot database that correlate with intrinsic disorder. A statistical evaluation is employed to rank the significance of these correlations. Protein sequence data redundancy and the relationship between protein length and protein structure were taken into consideration to ensure the quality of the statistical inferences. Over 200,000 proteins from the Swiss-Prot database were analyzed using this approach. The predictions of intrinsic disorder were carried out using PONDR VL3E predictor of long disordered regions that achieves an accuracy of above 86%. Overall, out of the 710 Swiss-Prot functional keywords that were each associated with at least 20 proteins, 238 were found to be strongly positively correlated with predicted long intrinsically disordered regions, whereas 302 were strongly negatively correlated with such regions. The remaining 170 keywords were ambiguous without strong positive or negative correlation with the disorder predictions. These functions cover a large variety of biological activities and imply that disordered regions are characterized by a wide functional repertoire. Our results agree well with literature findings, as we were able to find at least one illustrative example of functional disorder or order shown experimentally for the vast majority of keywords showing the strongest positive or negative correlation with intrinsic disorder. This work opens a series of three papers, which enriches the current view of protein structure-function relationships, especially with regards to functionalities of intrinsically disordered proteins, and provides researchers with a novel tool that could be used to improve the understanding of the relationships between protein structure and function. The first paper of the series describes our

  20. Functional Anthology of Intrinsic Disorder. I. Biological Processes and Functions of Proteins with Long Disordered Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hongbo; Vucetic, Slobodan; Iakoucheva, Lilia M.; Oldfield, Christopher J.; Dunker, A. Keith; Uversky, Vladimir N.; Obradovic, Zoran

    2008-01-01

    Identifying relationships between function, amino acid sequence and protein structure represents a major challenge. In this study we propose a bioinformatics approach that identifies functional keywords in the Swiss-Prot database that correlate with intrinsic disorder. A statistical evaluation is employed to rank the significance of these correlations. Protein sequence data redundancy and the relationship between protein length and protein structure were taken into consideration to ensure the quality of the statistical inferences. Over 200,000 proteins from Swiss-Prot database were analyzed using this approach. The predictions of intrinsic disorder were carried out using PONDR VL3E predictor of long disordered regions that achieves an accuracy of above 86%. Overall, out of the 710 Swiss-Prot functional keywords that were each associated with at least 20 proteins, 238 were found to be strongly positively correlated with predicted long intrinsically disordered regions, whereas 302 were strongly negatively correlated with such regions. The remaining 170 keywords were ambiguous without strong positive or negative correlation with the disorder predictions. These functions cover a large variety of biological activities and imply that disordered regions are characterized by a wide functional repertoire. Our results agree well with literature findings, as we were able to find at least one illustrative example of functional disorder or order shown experimentally for the vast majority of keywords showing the strongest positive or negative correlation with intrinsic disorder. This work opens a series of three papers, which enriches the current view of protein structure-function relationships, especially with regards to functionalities of intrinsically disordered proteins and provides researchers with a novel tool that could be used to improve the understanding of the relationships between protein structure and function. The first paper of the series describes our statistical

  1. A Bayesian spatial model for neuroimaging data based on biologically informed basis functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huertas, Ismael; Oldehinkel, Marianne; van Oort, Erik S B; Garcia-Solis, David; Mir, Pablo; Beckmann, Christian F; Marquand, Andre F

    2017-11-01

    The dominant approach to neuroimaging data analysis employs the voxel as the unit of computation. While convenient, voxels lack biological meaning and their size is arbitrarily determined by the resolution of the image. Here, we propose a multivariate spatial model in which neuroimaging data are characterised as a linearly weighted combination of multiscale basis functions which map onto underlying brain nuclei or networks or nuclei. In this model, the elementary building blocks are derived to reflect the functional anatomy of the brain during the resting state. This model is estimated using a Bayesian framework which accurately quantifies uncertainty and automatically finds the most accurate and parsimonious combination of basis functions describing the data. We demonstrate the utility of this framework by predicting quantitative SPECT images of striatal dopamine function and we compare a variety of basis sets including generic isotropic functions, anatomical representations of the striatum derived from structural MRI, and two different soft functional parcellations of the striatum derived from resting-state fMRI (rfMRI). We found that a combination of ∼50 multiscale functional basis functions accurately represented the striatal dopamine activity, and that functional basis functions derived from an advanced parcellation technique known as Instantaneous Connectivity Parcellation (ICP) provided the most parsimonious models of dopamine function. Importantly, functional basis functions derived from resting fMRI were more accurate than both structural and generic basis sets in representing dopamine function in the striatum for a fixed model order. We demonstrate the translational validity of our framework by constructing classification models for discriminating parkinsonian disorders and their subtypes. Here, we show that ICP approach is the only basis set that performs well across all comparisons and performs better overall than the classical voxel-based approach

  2. Biological manganese removal from acid mine drainage in constructed wetlands and prototype bioreactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallberg, Kevin B; Johnson, D Barrie

    2005-02-01

    Mine drainage waters vary considerably in the range and concentration of heavy metals they contain. Besides iron, manganese is frequently present at elevated concentrations in waters draining both coal and metal mines. Passive treatment systems (aerobic wetlands and compost bioreactors) are designed to remove iron by biologically induced oxidation/precipitation. Manganese, however, is problematic as it does not readily form sulfidic minerals and requires elevated pH (>8) for abiotic oxidation of Mn (II) to insoluble Mn (IV). As a result, manganese removal in passive remediation systems is often less effective than removal of iron. This was found to be the case at the pilot passive treatment plant (PPTP) constructed to treat water draining the former Wheal Jane tin mine in Cornwall, UK, where effective removal of manganese occurred only in one of the three rock filter components of the composite systems over a 1-year period of monitoring. Water in the two rock filter systems where manganese removal was relatively poor was generally system. These differences in water chemistry and manganese removal were due to variable performances in the compost bioreactors that feed the rock filter units in the composite passive systems at Wheal Jane. An alternative approach for removing soluble manganese from mine waters, using fixed bed bioreactors, was developed. Ferromanganese nodules (about 2 cm diameter), collected from an abandoned mine adit in north Wales, were used to inoculate the bioreactors (working volume ca. 700 ml). Following colonization by manganese-oxidizing microbes, the aerated bioreactor catalysed the removal of soluble manganese, via oxidation of Mn (II) and precipitation of the resultant Mn (IV) in the bioreactor, in synthetic media and mine water from the Wheal Jane PPTP. Such an approach has potential application for removing soluble Mn from mine streams and other Mn-contaminated water courses.

  3. Facile construction of structurally diverse thiazolidinedione-derived compounds via divergent stereoselective cascade organocatalysis and their biological exploratory studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yongqiang; Wang, Shengzheng; Wu, Shanchao; Zhu, Shiping; Dong, Guoqiang; Miao, Zhenyuan; Yao, Jianzhong; Zhang, Wannian; Sheng, Chunquan; Wang, Wei

    2013-06-10

    In this article, we present a new approach by merging two powerful synthetic tactics, divergent synthesis and cascade organocatalysis, to create a divergent cascade organocatalysis strategy for the facile construction of new "privileged" substructure-based DOS (pDOS) library. As demonstrated, notably 5 distinct molecular architectures are produced facilely from readily available simple synthons thiazolidinedione and its analogues and α,β-unsaturated aldehydes in 1-3 steps with the powerful strategy. The beauty of the chemistry is highlighted by the efficient formation of structurally new and diverse products from structurally close reactants under the similar reaction conditions. Notably, structurally diverse spiro-thiazolidinediones and -rhodanines are produced from organocatalytic enantioselective 3-component Michael-Michael-aldol cascade reactions of respective thiazolidinediones and rhodanines with enals. Nevertheless, under the similar reaction conditions, reactions of isorhodanine via a Michael-cyclization cascade lead to structurally different fused thiopyranoid scaffolds. This strategy significantly minimizes time- and cost-consuming synthetic works. Furthermore, these molecules possess high structural complexity and functional, stereochemical, and skeletal diversity with similarity to natural scaffolds. In the preliminary biological studies of these molecules, compounds 4f, 8a, and 10a exhibit inhibitory activity against the human breast cancer cells, while compounds 8a, 9a, and 9b display good antifungal activities against Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. Notably, their structures are different from clinically used triazole antifungal drugs. Therefore, they could serve as good lead compounds for the development of new generation of antifungal agents.

  4. Constructing rule-based models using the belief functions framework

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Almeida, R.J.; Denoeux, T.; Kaymak, U.; Greco, S.; Bouchon-Meunier, B.; Coletti, G.; Fedrizzi, M.; Matarazzo, B.; Yager, R.R.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract. We study a new approach to regression analysis. We propose a new rule-based regression model using the theoretical framework of belief functions. For this purpose we use the recently proposed Evidential c-means (ECM) to derive rule-based models solely from data. ECM allocates, for each

  5. Estimate of K-functionals and modulus of smoothness constructed ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Casablanca, Morocco. E-mail: m_elhamma@yahoo.fr. MS received 17 January 2013. Abstract. Using a generalized spherical mean operator, we define generalized modu- lus of smoothness in the space L2 k. (Rd). Based on the Dunkl operator we define. Sobolev-type space and K-functionals. The main result of the paper ...

  6. A Construction of Boolean Functions with Good Cryptographic Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT...2008, LNCS 5350, Springer–Verlag, 2008, pp. 425–440. [10] C. Carlet and K. Feng, “An Infinite Class of Balanced Vectorial Boolean Functions with Optimum

  7. Redox Biology in Neurological Function, Dysfunction, and Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Rodrigo; Vargas, Marcelo R

    2018-04-23

    Reduction oxidation (redox) reactions are central to life and when altered, they can promote disease progression. In the brain, redox homeostasis is recognized to be involved in all aspects of central nervous system (CNS) development, function, aging, and disease. Recent studies have uncovered the diverse nature by which redox reactions and homeostasis contribute to brain physiology, and when dysregulated to pathological consequences. Redox reactions go beyond what is commonly described as oxidative stress and involve redox mechanisms linked to signaling and metabolism. In contrast to the nonspecific nature of oxidative damage, redox signaling involves specific oxidation/reduction reactions that regulate a myriad of neurological processes such as neurotransmission, homeostasis, and degeneration. This Forum is focused on the role of redox metabolism and signaling in the brain. Six review articles from leading scientists in the field that appraise the role of redox metabolism and signaling in different aspects of brain biology including neurodevelopment, neurotransmission, aging, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and neurotoxicity are included. An original research article exemplifying these concepts uncovers a novel link between oxidative modifications, redox signaling, and neurodegeneration. This Forum highlights the recent advances in the field and we hope it encourages future research aimed to understand the mechanisms by which redox metabolism and signaling regulate CNS physiology and pathophysiology. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.

  8. Function and regulation of lipid biology in Caenorhabditis elegans aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefitting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging.

  9. Method of construction of the Riemann function for a second-order hyperbolic equation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aksenov, A. V.

    2017-12-01

    A linear hyperbolic equation of the second order in two independent variables is considered. The Riemann function of the adjoint equation is shown to be invariant with respect to the fundamental solutions transformation group. Symmetries and symmetries of fundamental solutions of the Euler-Poisson-Darboux equation are found. The Riemann function is constructed with the aid of fundamental solutions symmetries. Examples of the application of the algorithm for constructing Riemann function are given.

  10. Constructing and deriving reciprocal trigonometric relations: a functional analytic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninness, Chris; Dixon, Mark; Barnes-Holmes, Dermot; Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne; Rumph, Robin; McCuller, Glen; Holland, James; Smith, Ronald; Ninness, Sharon K; McGinty, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    Participants were pretrained and tested on mutually entailed trigonometric relations and combinatorially entailed relations as they pertained to positive and negative forms of sine, cosine, secant, and cosecant. Experiment 1 focused on training and testing transformations of these mathematical functions in terms of amplitude and frequency followed by tests of novel relations. Experiment 2 addressed training in accordance with frames of coordination (same as) and frames of opposition (reciprocal of) followed by more tests of novel relations. All assessments of derived and novel formula-to-graph relations, including reciprocal functions with diversified amplitude and frequency transformations, indicated that all 4 participants demonstrated substantial improvement in their ability to identify increasingly complex trigonometric formula-to-graph relations pertaining to same as and reciprocal of to establish mathematically complex repertoires.

  11. Phytochrome from Green Plants: Properties and biological Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quail, Peter H.

    2014-07-25

    Pfr conformer reverses this activity upon initial light exposure, inducing the switch to photomorphogenic development. This reversal involves light-triggered translocation of the photoactivated phy molecule into the nucleus where it interacts with PIF-family members, inducing rapid phosphorylation and degradation of the PIFs via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This degradation in turn elicits rapid alterations in gene expression that drive the deetiolation transition. This project has made considerable progress in defining phy-PIF signaling activity in controlling the SAR. The biological functions of the multiple PIF-family members in controlling the SAR, including dissection of the relative contributions of the individual PIFs to this process, as well as to diurnal growth-control oscillations, have been investigated using higher-order pif-mutant combinations. Using microarray analysis of a quadruple pif mutant we have defined the shade-induced, PIF-regulated transcriptional network genome-wide. This has revealed that a dynamic antagonism between the phys and PIFs generates selective reciprocal responses during deetiolation and the SAR in a rapidly light-responsive transcriptional network. Using integrated RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analysis of higher order pif-mutant combinations, we have defined the direct gene-targets of PIF transcriptional regulation, and have obtained evidence that this regulation involves differential direct targeting of rapidly light-responsive genes by the individual PIF-family members. This project has provided significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the phy-PIF photosensory signaling pathway regulates an important bioenergy-related plant response to the light environment. The identification of molecular targets in the primary transcriptional-regulatory circuitry of this pathway has the potential to enable genetic or reverse-genetic manipulation of the partitioning of carbon between reproductive and

  12. Investigations on construction material and construction concepts in order to obtain dose-reducing effects in the dismantling of the biological shield of a 1300 MWe-PWR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bittner, A.; Jungwirth, D.; Knell, M.; Schnitzler, L.

    1984-04-01

    Numerical values of neutron fluxes, activations, dose rates etc. as a function of characteristic values of materials required for optimization purposes to reduce the radiation effect of the biological shield of a PWR are not available. Design concepts are presented for biological shields of PWRs made of concrete with respect to both the most suitable application of materials and the design principles aiming at reduced radiation exposure as compared to present designs during entering, waste disposal and ultimate storage. To evaluate the present-state design the above values have been calculated. Suggested alternative designs are biological shields with selective material application, built from precast elements with or without boron carbide layer arranged in front of it. (orig./HP) [de

  13. Flexible gateway constructs for functional analyses of genes in plant pathogenic fungi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mehrabi, Rahim; Mirzadi Gohari, Amir; Silva, da Gilvan Ferreira; Steinberg, Gero; Kema, Gert H.J.; Wit, de Pierre J.G.M.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic manipulation of fungi requires quick, low-cost, efficient, high-throughput and molecular tools. In this paper, we report 22 entry constructs as new molecular tools based on the Gateway technology facilitating rapid construction of binary vectors that can be used for functional analysis of

  14. [Sugar Chain Construction of Functional Natural Products Using Plant Glucosyltransferases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizukami, Hajime

    2015-01-01

    Plant secondary product glycosyltransferases belong to family 1 of the glycosyltransferase superfamily and mediate the transfer of a glycosyl residue from activated nucleotide sugars to lipophilic small molecules, thus affecting the solubility, stability and pharmacological activities of the sugar-accepting compounds. The biotechnological application of plant glycosyltransferases in glycoside synthesis has attracted attention because enzymatic glycosylation offers several advantages over chemical methods, including (1) avoiding the use of harsh conditions and toxic catalysts, (2) providing strict control of regio-and stereo-selectivity and (3) high efficiency. This review describes the in vivo and in vitro glycosylation of natural organic compounds using glycosyltransferases, focusing on our investigation of enzymatic synthesis of curcumin glycosides. Our current efforts toward functional characterization of some glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of iridoids and crocin, as well as in the sugar chain elongation of quercetin glucosides, are described. Finally, I describe the relationship of the structure of sugar chains and the intestinal absorption which was investigated using chemoenzymatically synthesized quercetin glycosides.

  15. Membership function used to construction of a hand homogeneous phantom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pavan, Ana Luiza Menegatti; Alvarez, Matheus; Alves, Allan Felipe Fattori; Rosa, Maria Eugenia Dela; Miranda, Jose Ricardo de Arruda

    2014-01-01

    Fractures and dislocations of the hand are some injuries most frequently encountered in trauma of the musculoskeletal system. In evaluating these lesions, in addition to physical examination, radiography, in at least two incidents, is the investigation of choice, and rarely is necessary the help of other images to establish the diagnosis and treatment. The image quality of X-ray examination is therefore essential. In this study, a homogeneous phantom hand was developed to be used in the optimization of images from hand using computed radiography system process. In this procedure were quantified thicknesses of different tissues that constitute an anthropomorphic phantom hand. To perform the classification and quantification of tissue was applied membership functions for histograms of CT scans. The same procedure was adopted for retrospective examinations of 30 patients of the Hospital das Clinicas, Botucatu Medicine School, UNESP (HCFMB-UNESP). The results showed agreement between the thicknesses of tissues that make up the anthropomorphic phantom and sampling of patients, presenting variations between 12.63% and 6.48% for soft tissue and bone, respectively. (author)

  16. Unsupervised Learning and Pattern Recognition of Biological Data Structures with Density Functional Theory and Machine Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chien-Chang; Juan, Hung-Hui; Tsai, Meng-Yuan; Lu, Henry Horng-Shing

    2018-01-11

    By introducing the methods of machine learning into the density functional theory, we made a detour for the construction of the most probable density function, which can be estimated by learning relevant features from the system of interest. Using the properties of universal functional, the vital core of density functional theory, the most probable cluster numbers and the corresponding cluster boundaries in a studying system can be simultaneously and automatically determined and the plausibility is erected on the Hohenberg-Kohn theorems. For the method validation and pragmatic applications, interdisciplinary problems from physical to biological systems were enumerated. The amalgamation of uncharged atomic clusters validated the unsupervised searching process of the cluster numbers and the corresponding cluster boundaries were exhibited likewise. High accurate clustering results of the Fisher's iris dataset showed the feasibility and the flexibility of the proposed scheme. Brain tumor detections from low-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging datasets and segmentations of high-dimensional neural network imageries in the Brainbow system were also used to inspect the method practicality. The experimental results exhibit the successful connection between the physical theory and the machine learning methods and will benefit the clinical diagnoses.

  17. Constructing Markov State Models to elucidate the functional conformational changes of complex biomolecules

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Wei; Cao, Siqin; Zhu, Lizhe; Huang, Xuhui

    2017-01-01

    bioengineering applications and rational drug design. Constructing Markov State Models (MSMs) based on large-scale molecular dynamics simulations has emerged as a powerful approach to model functional conformational changes of the biomolecular system

  18. Membrane Binding of Recoverin: From Mechanistic Understanding to Biological Functionality

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Timr, S.; Pleskot, Roman; Kadlec, J.; Kohagen, M.; Magarkar, A.; Jungwirth, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 8 (2017), s. 868-874 ISSN 2374-7943 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : recoverin * membrane * myristoyl Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 7.481, year: 2016

  19. The functional and biological properties of whey proteins: prospects for the development of functional foods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. T. KORHONEN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Advances in processing technologies and the accumulation of scientific data on the functional and biological properties of whey components have contributed to the growing commercial valuation of cheese whey over the last decade. New membrane separation and chromatographic techniques have made it possible to fractionate and enrich various components of whey more efficiently than before. The specific properties of these components can now be examined in greater detail and new applications developed accordingly. The utilisation of cheese whey is evolving into a new industry producing a multitude of purified ingredients for numerous purposes. The most significant areas of R&D related to whey proteins include functional foods, the rheological properties of foodstuffs, and biopharmaceuticals.

  20. Construction of a high-EGFR expression cell line and its biological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2010-07-26

    Jul 26, 2010 ... activator of transcription (STAT) pathways, which regulate cell transformation ... Construction of a EGFR eukaryotic expression vector. The plasmid .... was 4-5 times greater in the Aft-HEK293 cells following transfection. EGFR ...

  1. Lipid polymorphism and the functional roles of lipids in biological membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cullis, P.R.; Kruijff, B. de

    1979-01-01

    The reasons for the great variety of lipids found in biological membranes, and the relations between lipid composition and membrane function pose major unsolved problems in membrane biology. Perhaps the only major functional role of lipids which may be regarded as firmly established involves the

  2. Exploring candidate biological functions by Boolean Function Networks for Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Simak

    Full Text Available The great amount of gene expression data has brought a big challenge for the discovery of Gene Regulatory Network (GRN. For network reconstruction and the investigation of regulatory relations, it is desirable to ensure directness of links between genes on a map, infer their directionality and explore candidate biological functions from high-throughput transcriptomic data. To address these problems, we introduce a Boolean Function Network (BFN model based on techniques of hidden Markov model (HMM, likelihood ratio test and Boolean logic functions. BFN consists of two consecutive tests to establish links between pairs of genes and check their directness. We evaluate the performance of BFN through the application to S. cerevisiae time course data. BFN produces regulatory relations which show consistency with succession of cell cycle phases. Furthermore, it also improves sensitivity and specificity when compared with alternative methods of genetic network reverse engineering. Moreover, we demonstrate that BFN can provide proper resolution for GO enrichment of gene sets. Finally, the Boolean functions discovered by BFN can provide useful insights for the identification of control mechanisms of regulatory processes, which is the special advantage of the proposed approach. In combination with low computational complexity, BFN can serve as an efficient screening tool to reconstruct genes relations on the whole genome level. In addition, the BFN approach is also feasible to a wide range of time course datasets.

  3. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

    Melt polymerization and novel monomers enabled the synthesis of polyesters for electronic and biological applications. Inspiration from nature and a passion for environmental preservation instigated an emphasis on the incorporation of renewable resources into polymeric materials. Critical analysis of current research surrounding bisphenol-A replacements and ioncontaining segmented polyurethanes aided in identifying benchmark polymers, including limitations, challenges, and future needs. Struc...

  4. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    To gain a better understanding of the beneficial biological activities of lycopene on cancer prevention, a greater knowledge of the metabolism of lycopene is needed. In particular, the identification of lycopene metabolites and oxidation products in vivo; the importance of tissue specific lycopene c...

  5. Click chemistry mediated functionalization of vertical nanowires for biological applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use...

  6. Function of dynamic models in systems biology: linking structure to behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens

    2013-10-08

    Dynamic models in Systems Biology are used in computational simulation experiments for addressing biological questions. The complexity of the modelled biological systems and the growing number and size of the models calls for computer support for modelling and simulation in Systems Biology. This computer support has to be based on formal representations of relevant knowledge fragments. In this paper we describe different functional aspects of dynamic models. This description is conceptually embedded in our "meaning facets" framework which systematises the interpretation of dynamic models in structural, functional and behavioural facets. Here we focus on how function links the structure and the behaviour of a model. Models play a specific role (teleological function) in the scientific process of finding explanations for dynamic phenomena. In order to fulfil this role a model has to be used in simulation experiments (pragmatical function). A simulation experiment always refers to a specific situation and a state of the model and the modelled system (conditional function). We claim that the function of dynamic models refers to both the simulation experiment executed by software (intrinsic function) and the biological experiment which produces the phenomena under investigation (extrinsic function). We use the presented conceptual framework for the function of dynamic models to review formal accounts for functional aspects of models in Systems Biology, such as checklists, ontologies, and formal languages. Furthermore, we identify missing formal accounts for some of the functional aspects. In order to fill one of these gaps we propose an ontology for the teleological function of models. We have thoroughly analysed the role and use of models in Systems Biology. The resulting conceptual framework for the function of models is an important first step towards a comprehensive formal representation of the functional knowledge involved in the modelling and simulation process

  7. A reverse engineering approach to optimize experiments for the construction of biological regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaomeng; Shao, Bin; Wu, Yangle; Qi, Ouyang

    2013-01-01

    One of the major objectives in systems biology is to understand the relation between the topological structures and the dynamics of biological regulatory networks. In this context, various mathematical tools have been developed to deduct structures of regulatory networks from microarray expression data. In general, from a single data set, one cannot deduct the whole network structure; additional expression data are usually needed. Thus how to design a microarray expression experiment in order to get the most information is a practical problem in systems biology. Here we propose three methods, namely, maximum distance method, trajectory entropy method, and sampling method, to derive the optimal initial conditions for experiments. The performance of these methods is tested and evaluated in three well-known regulatory networks (budding yeast cell cycle, fission yeast cell cycle, and E. coli. SOS network). Based on the evaluation, we propose an efficient strategy for the design of microarray expression experiments.

  8. Use of Constructed-Response Questions to Support Learning of Cell Biology during Lectures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Foong May Yeong

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The use of class-response systems such as the Clickers to promote active-learning during lectures has been wide-spread. However, the often-used MCQ format in class activities as well as in assessments for large classes might lower students’ expectations and attitudes towards learning. Here, I describe my experience converting MCQs to constructed-response questions for in-class learning activities by removing cues from the MCQs. From the responses submitted, students seemed capable of providing answers without the need for cues. Using class-response systems such as Socrative for such constructed-response questions could be useful to challenge students to express their ideas in their own words. Moreover, by constructing their own answers, mis-conceptions could be revealed and corrected in a timely manner.

  9. Recent Advances in Momordica charantia: Functional Components and Biological Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Jia

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Momordica charantia L. (M. charantia, a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, and its fruit has been used as a vegetable for thousands of years. Phytochemicals including proteins, polysaccharides, flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, ascorbic acid and steroids have been found in this plant. Various biological activities of M. charantia have been reported, such as antihyperglycemic, antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, immunomodulation, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anthelmintic, antimutagenic, antiulcer, antilipolytic, antifertility, hepatoprotective, anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. However, both in vitro and in vivo studies have also demonstrated that M. charantia may also exert toxic or adverse effects under different conditions. This review addresses the chemical constituents of M. charantia and discusses their pharmacological activities as well as their adverse effects, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the phytochemistry and biological activities of M. charantia.

  10. Recent Advances in Momordica charantia: Functional Components and Biological Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Shuo; Shen, Mingyue; Zhang, Fan; Xie, Jianhua

    2017-11-28

    Momordica charantia L. ( M. charantia ), a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, and its fruit has been used as a vegetable for thousands of years. Phytochemicals including proteins, polysaccharides, flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, ascorbic acid and steroids have been found in this plant. Various biological activities of M. charantia have been reported, such as antihyperglycemic, antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, immunomodulation, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anthelmintic, antimutagenic, antiulcer, antilipolytic, antifertility, hepatoprotective, anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. However, both in vitro and in vivo studies have also demonstrated that M. charantia may also exert toxic or adverse effects under different conditions. This review addresses the chemical constituents of M. charantia and discusses their pharmacological activities as well as their adverse effects, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the phytochemistry and biological activities of M. charantia .

  11. Self-Relevance Constructions of Biology Concepts: Meaning-Making and Identity-Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Yonaton Sahar

    2018-01-01

    Recent research supports the benefit of students' construction of relevance through writing about the connection of content to their life. However, most such research defines relevance narrowly as utility value--perceived instrumentality of the content to the student's career goals. Furthermore, the scope of phenomenological and conceptual…

  12. Construction of integrable model Kohn-Sham potentials by analysis of the structure of functional derivatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaiduk, Alex P.; Staroverov, Viktor N.

    2011-01-01

    A directly approximated exchange-correlation potential should, by construction, be a functional derivative of some density functional in order to avoid unphysical results. Using generalized gradient approximations (GGAs) as an example, we show that functional derivatives of explicit density functionals have a very rigid inner structure, the knowledge of which allows one to build the entire functional derivative from a small part. Based on this analysis, we develop a method for direct construction of integrable Kohn-Sham potentials. As an illustration, we transform the model potential of van Leeuwen and Baerends (which is not a functional derivative) into a semilocal exchange potential that has a parent GGA, yields accurate energies, and is free from the artifacts inherent in existing semilocal potential approximations.

  13. FUSE: a profit maximization approach for functional summarization of biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seah Boon-Siew

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The availability of large-scale curated protein interaction datasets has given rise to the opportunity to investigate higher level organization and modularity within the protein interaction network (PPI using graph theoretic analysis. Despite the recent progress, systems level analysis of PPIS remains a daunting task as it is challenging to make sense out of the deluge of high-dimensional interaction data. Specifically, techniques that automatically abstract and summarize PPIS at multiple resolutions to provide high level views of its functional landscape are still lacking. We present a novel data-driven and generic algorithm called FUSE (Functional Summary Generator that generates functional maps of a PPI at different levels of organization, from broad process-process level interactions to in-depth complex-complex level interactions, through a pro t maximization approach that exploits Minimum Description Length (MDL principle to maximize information gain of the summary graph while satisfying the level of detail constraint. Results We evaluate the performance of FUSE on several real-world PPIS. We also compare FUSE to state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment by constructing the biological process landscape of the PPIS. Using AD network as our case study, we further demonstrate the ability of FUSE to quickly summarize the network and identify many different processes and complexes that regulate it. Finally, we study the higher-order connectivity of the human PPI. Conclusion By simultaneously evaluating interaction and annotation data, FUSE abstracts higher-order interaction maps by reducing the details of the underlying PPI to form a functional summary graph of interconnected functional clusters. Our results demonstrate its effectiveness and superiority over state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment.

  14. FUSE: a profit maximization approach for functional summarization of biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seah, Boon-Siew; Bhowmick, Sourav S; Dewey, C Forbes; Yu, Hanry

    2012-03-21

    The availability of large-scale curated protein interaction datasets has given rise to the opportunity to investigate higher level organization and modularity within the protein interaction network (PPI) using graph theoretic analysis. Despite the recent progress, systems level analysis of PPIS remains a daunting task as it is challenging to make sense out of the deluge of high-dimensional interaction data. Specifically, techniques that automatically abstract and summarize PPIS at multiple resolutions to provide high level views of its functional landscape are still lacking. We present a novel data-driven and generic algorithm called FUSE (Functional Summary Generator) that generates functional maps of a PPI at different levels of organization, from broad process-process level interactions to in-depth complex-complex level interactions, through a pro t maximization approach that exploits Minimum Description Length (MDL) principle to maximize information gain of the summary graph while satisfying the level of detail constraint. We evaluate the performance of FUSE on several real-world PPIS. We also compare FUSE to state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment by constructing the biological process landscape of the PPIS. Using AD network as our case study, we further demonstrate the ability of FUSE to quickly summarize the network and identify many different processes and complexes that regulate it. Finally, we study the higher-order connectivity of the human PPI. By simultaneously evaluating interaction and annotation data, FUSE abstracts higher-order interaction maps by reducing the details of the underlying PPI to form a functional summary graph of interconnected functional clusters. Our results demonstrate its effectiveness and superiority over state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment.

  15. Teacher and student actions to construct biology literacy at a community college: A bounded case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesel, Patricia

    2000-10-01

    Science content area literacy, particularly literacy development in college level biology, is the focus of this study. The study investigates the actions and activities of an instructor and six students over the course of 16 weeks. The study is in response to interest in the literate practices in science classes (NSES, 1996) and to the call for contextual studies that facilitate the learning of science (Borasi & Siegel, 1999; Moje, 1996; Nist & Holschuh, 1996; Prentiss, 1998). A collaborative study between the biology teacher and the researcher, this study investigates the practices believed to be effective for the development of biology literacy. Data sources, in the qualitative bounded case study (Bogdin & Biklin, 1982; Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Miles & Huberman, 1994), include: field notes of classroom observations, in-depth interviews (Seidman, 1992), class surveys, and literate artifacts. The data were coded and analyzed using a constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The six students reveal similarities and differences regarding the actions, patterns, practices and use of materials and their beliefs about effective practice in the development of biology literacy. The results indicate that a variety of actions and activities are needed to facilitate the development of biology literacy. The common themes to develop from the students' data about effective teacher actions are the following: (a) involves and engages students in inquiry learning through group projects, hands-on, and group discussions; (b) relates examples, experiences, and stories; (c) exhibits expertise; (d) encourages a relaxed classroom atmosphere; (e) facilitates and coaches students; and (f) credits creativity. Further, students report their teacher to be an expert, in terms of science knowledge and literate practices, and that her expertise contributes to their understanding of biology literacy. The teachers' data reveals three themes embedded in her classroom actions: science as

  16. Heavy water effects on the structure, functions and behavior of biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buzgariu, Wanda; Caloianu, Maria; Moldovan, Lucia; Titescu, G.

    2003-01-01

    The H 2 O substitution for D 2 O either in environment or in the culture medium of the living systems generates changes in their main functions and composition. In this paper some of the heavy water effects in biological systems such as structural and functional changes were reviewed: normal cell architecture alterations, cell division and membrane functions disturbance, muscular contractility and the perturbations of biological oscillators such as circadian rhythm, heart rate, respiratory cycle, tidal and ultradian rhythm. (authors)

  17. Critical Quality Source Diagnosis for Dam Concrete Construction Based on Quality Gain-loss Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Wang

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In dam concrete construction process, it not only has quality loss arising from quality fluctuation, but also gains quality compensation effect due to the mutual cooperation and adaptation coupling between working procedures (WPs. The calculation and transmission complexity of the quality loss and quality compensation affect the quality management of dam concrete construction. As the quality compensation effect existing in the production practice cannot be described by Taguchi quality loss function, the concept of quality gain-loss function was presented in this paper, which was based on endowing the constant term in the expansion of Taylor series with physical meaning—quality compensation. Based on quality gain-loss function theory, a new quality gain-loss transmission model of dam concrete construction based on GERT network was constructed and its effective algorithm was designed. WP quality gain-loss and its impact on the final product were reasonably measured, and the critical quality routes and critical quality WPs were detected and diagnosed in dam concrete construction network. Summer temperature-controlled concrete construction in the third phase of Three Gorges Project (TGP was taken as an example to carry out the study, and the calculation results showed the validity and practicability of the presented model and algorithm.

  18. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed; Meier, Stuart Kurt

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that functionally related genes are often co-expressed and that computational based co-expression analysis can be used to accurately identify functional relationships between genes and by inference, their encoded proteins. Here we describe how a computational based co-expression analysis can be used to link the function of a specific gene of interest to a defined cellular response. Using a worked example we demonstrate how this methodology is used to link the function of the Arabidopsis Wall-Associated Kinase-Like 10 gene, which encodes a functional guanylyl cyclase, to host responses to pathogens. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

  19. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed

    2013-09-03

    A number of studies have shown that functionally related genes are often co-expressed and that computational based co-expression analysis can be used to accurately identify functional relationships between genes and by inference, their encoded proteins. Here we describe how a computational based co-expression analysis can be used to link the function of a specific gene of interest to a defined cellular response. Using a worked example we demonstrate how this methodology is used to link the function of the Arabidopsis Wall-Associated Kinase-Like 10 gene, which encodes a functional guanylyl cyclase, to host responses to pathogens. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

  20. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/.

  1. A template for constructing Bayesian networks in forensic biology cases when considering activity level propositions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Duncan; Biedermann, Alex; Hicks, Tacha; Champod, Christophe

    2018-03-01

    The hierarchy of propositions has been accepted amongst the forensic science community for some time. It is also accepted that the higher up the hierarchy the propositions are, against which the scientist are competent to evaluate their results, the more directly useful the testimony will be to the court. Because each case represents a unique set of circumstances and findings, it is difficult to come up with a standard structure for evaluation. One common tool that assists in this task is Bayesian networks (BNs). There is much diversity in the way that BN can be constructed. In this work, we develop a template for BN construction that allows sufficient flexibility to address most cases, but enough commonality and structure that the flow of information in the BN is readily recognised at a glance. We provide seven steps that can be used to construct BNs within this structure and demonstrate how they can be applied, using a case example. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The lectins: properties, functions, and applications in biology and medicine

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Liener, Irvin E; Sharon, Nathan; Goldstein, Irwin J

    1986-01-01

    ... (Editors). The Enzymology of Post-Translational Modification of Proteins, Volume 1, 1980. Volume 2, 1985 W A I YIU CHEUNG (Editor). Calcium and Cell Function, Volume I: Calmodulin, 1980. Volume II, ...

  3. The construction of an amino acid network for understanding protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wenying; Zhou, Jianhong; Sun, Maomin; Chen, Jiajia; Hu, Guang; Shen, Bairong

    2014-06-01

    Amino acid networks (AANs) are undirected networks consisting of amino acid residues and their interactions in three-dimensional protein structures. The analysis of AANs provides novel insight into protein science, and several common amino acid network properties have revealed diverse classes of proteins. In this review, we first summarize methods for the construction and characterization of AANs. We then compare software tools for the construction and analysis of AANs. Finally, we review the application of AANs for understanding protein structure and function, including the identification of functional residues, the prediction of protein folding, analyzing protein stability and protein-protein interactions, and for understanding communication within and between proteins.

  4. Construction and Use of Recombinant Isogenic Cell Libraries in Functional Genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Helle

      While nowadays robotics enable performing whole genome functional screens within a few days, the availability of suitable cellular systems to investigate the function or pathway of choice represents as a major bottleneck. In most applications, it is desirable to use cell lines with stably...... or inactivation of a gene of choice in a constitutive or tetracycline-inducible fashion. We also provide proof-of-principle that this technique can be used for the construction of double recombinant cell lines, which allows for analyses at advanced levels of complexity, e. g. by the construction of double...

  5. Construction of renormalized coefficient functions of the Feynman diagrams by means of a computer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarasov, O.V.

    1978-01-01

    An algorithm and short description of computer program, written in SCHOONSCHIP, are given. The program is assigned for construction of integrands of renormalized coefficient functions of the Feynman diagrams in scalar theories in the case of arbitrary subtraction point. For the given Feynman graph computer completely realizes the R-operation of Bogolubov-Parasjuk and gives the result as an integral over Feynman parameters. With the help of the program the time construction of the whole renormalized coefficient function is equal approximately 30 s on the CDC-6500 computer

  6. Recent advances of molecular toolbox construction expand Pichia pastoris in synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Zhen; Huang, Hao; Zhang, Yunfeng; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Pichia pastoris: (reclassified as Komagataella phaffii), a methylotrophic yeast strain has been widely used for heterologous protein production because of its unique advantages, such as readily achievable high-density fermentation, tractable genetic modifications and typical eukaryotic post-translational modifications. More recently, P. pastoris as a metabolic pathway engineering platform has also gained much attention. In this mini-review, we addressed recent advances of molecular toolboxes, including synthetic promoters, signal peptides, and genome engineering tools that established for P. pastoris. Furthermore, the applications of P. pastoris towards synthetic biology were also discussed and prospected especially in the context of genome-scale metabolic pathway analysis.

  7. Predictive value and construct validity of the work functioning screener-healthcare (WFS-H)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boezeman, Edwin J.; Nieuwenhuijsen, Karen; Sluiter, Judith K.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To test the predictive value and convergent construct validity of a 6-item work functioning screener (WFS-H). Methods: Healthcare workers (249 nurses) completed a questionnaire containing the work functioning screener (WFS-H) and a work functioning instrument (NWFQ) measuring the following: cognitive aspects of task execution and general incidents, avoidance behavior, conflicts and irritation with colleagues, impaired contact with patients and their family, and level of energy and motivation. Productivity and mental health were also measured. Negative and positive predictive values, AUC values, and sensitivity and specificity were calculated to examine the predictive value of the screener. Correlation analysis was used to examine the construct validity. Results: The screener had good predictive value, since the results showed that a negative screener score is a strong indicator of work functioning not hindered by mental health problems (negative predictive values: 94%-98%; positive predictive values: 21%-36%; AUC:.64-.82; sensitivity: 42%-76%; and specificity 85%-87%). The screener has good construct validity due to moderate, but significant (pvalue and good construct validity. Its score offers occupational health professionals a helpful preliminary insight into the work functioning of healthcare workers. PMID:27010085

  8. Predictive value and construct validity of the work functioning screener-healthcare (WFS-H).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boezeman, Edwin J; Nieuwenhuijsen, Karen; Sluiter, Judith K

    2016-05-25

    To test the predictive value and convergent construct validity of a 6-item work functioning screener (WFS-H). Healthcare workers (249 nurses) completed a questionnaire containing the work functioning screener (WFS-H) and a work functioning instrument (NWFQ) measuring the following: cognitive aspects of task execution and general incidents, avoidance behavior, conflicts and irritation with colleagues, impaired contact with patients and their family, and level of energy and motivation. Productivity and mental health were also measured. Negative and positive predictive values, AUC values, and sensitivity and specificity were calculated to examine the predictive value of the screener. Correlation analysis was used to examine the construct validity. The screener had good predictive value, since the results showed that a negative screener score is a strong indicator of work functioning not hindered by mental health problems (negative predictive values: 94%-98%; positive predictive values: 21%-36%; AUC:.64-.82; sensitivity: 42%-76%; and specificity 85%-87%). The screener has good construct validity due to moderate, but significant (ppredictive value and good construct validity. Its score offers occupational health professionals a helpful preliminary insight into the work functioning of healthcare workers.

  9. Biological image construction by using Raman radiation and Pca: preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez E, J. C.; Cordova F, T.; Hugo R, V.

    2015-10-01

    Full text: In the last years, the Raman spectroscopy (Rs) technique has had some applications in the study and analysis of biological samples, due to it is able to detect concentrations or presence of certain organic and inorganic compounds of medical interest. In this work, raw data were obtained through measurements in selected points on a square regions in order to detect specific organic / inorganic compounds on biological samples. Gold nano stars samples were prepared and coated with membrane markers (CD 10+ and CD 19+) and diluted in leukemic B lymphocytes. Each data block was evaluated independently by the method of principal component analysis (Pca) in order to find representative dimensionless values (Cp) for each Raman spectrum in a specific coordinate. Each Cp was normalized in a range of 0-255 in order to generate a representative image of 8 bits of the region under study. Data acquisition was performed with Raman microscopy system Renishaw in Via in the range of 550 to 1700 cm-1 with a 785 nm laser source, with a power of 17 m W and 15 s of exposure time were used for each spectrum. In preliminary results could detect the presence of molecular markers CD 10+ and CD 19+ with gold nano stars and discrimination between both markers. The results suggest conducting studies with specific concentrations organic and inorganic materials. (Author)

  10. Biological shielding design and qualification of concreting process for construction of electron beam irradiation facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petwal, V.C.; Kumar, P.; Suresh, N.; Parchani, G.; Dwivedi, J.; Thakurta, A.C.

    2011-01-01

    A technology demonstration facility for irradiation of food and agricultural products is being set-up by RRCAT at Indore. The facility design is based on linear electron accelerator with maximum beam power of 10 kW and can be operated either in electron mode at 10 MeV or photon modes at 5/7.5 MeV. Biological shielding has been designed in accordance with NCRP 51 to achieve dose rate at all accessible points outside the irradiation vault less than the permissible limit of 0.1 mR/hr. In addition to radiation attenuation property, concrete must have satisfactory mechanical properties to meet the structural requirements. There are number of site specific variables which affect the structural, thermal and radiological properties of concrete, leading to considerable difference in actual values and design values. Hence it is essential to establish a suitable site and environmental specific process to cast the concrete and qualify the process by experimental measurement. For process qualification we have cast concrete test blocks of different thicknesses up to 3.25 m and evaluated the radiological and mechanical properties by radiometry, ultrasonic and mechanical tests. In this paper we describe the biological shielding design of the facility and analyse the results of tests carried out for qualification of the process. (author)

  11. Biological image construction by using Raman radiation and Pca: preliminary results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martinez E, J. C. [IPN, Unidad Profesional Interdisciplinaria de Ingenieria, Campus Guanajuato, Av. Mineral de Valenciana 200, Col. Fracc. Industrial Puerto Interior, 36275 Silao, Guanajuato (Mexico); Cordova F, T. [Universidad de Guanajuato, DIC, Departamento de Ingenieria Fisica, Loma del Bosque No. 103, Col. Lomas del Campestre, 37150 Leon, Guanajuato (Mexico); Hugo R, V., E-mail: jcmartineze@ipn.mx [Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Tonala, Morelos No. 180, 69584 Tonala, Jalisco (Mexico)

    2015-10-15

    Full text: In the last years, the Raman spectroscopy (Rs) technique has had some applications in the study and analysis of biological samples, due to it is able to detect concentrations or presence of certain organic and inorganic compounds of medical interest. In this work, raw data were obtained through measurements in selected points on a square regions in order to detect specific organic / inorganic compounds on biological samples. Gold nano stars samples were prepared and coated with membrane markers (CD 10+ and CD 19+) and diluted in leukemic B lymphocytes. Each data block was evaluated independently by the method of principal component analysis (Pca) in order to find representative dimensionless values (Cp) for each Raman spectrum in a specific coordinate. Each Cp was normalized in a range of 0-255 in order to generate a representative image of 8 bits of the region under study. Data acquisition was performed with Raman microscopy system Renishaw in Via in the range of 550 to 1700 cm-1 with a 785 nm laser source, with a power of 17 m W and 15 s of exposure time were used for each spectrum. In preliminary results could detect the presence of molecular markers CD 10+ and CD 19+ with gold nano stars and discrimination between both markers. The results suggest conducting studies with specific concentrations organic and inorganic materials. (Author)

  12. Biological Cr(VI) removal using bio-filters and constructed wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michailides, Michail K; Sultana, Mar-Yam; Tekerlekopoulou, Athanasia G; Akratos, Christos S; Vayenas, Dimitrios V

    2013-01-01

    The bioreduction of hexavalent chromium from aqueous solution was carried out using suspended growth and packed-bed reactors under a draw-fill operating mode, and horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands. Reactors were inoculated with industrial sludge from the Hellenic Aerospace Industry using sugar as substrate. In the suspended growth reactors, the maximum Cr(VI) reduction rate (about 2 mg/L h) was achieved for an initial concentration of 12.85 mg/L, while in the attached growth reactors, a similar reduction rate was achieved even with high initial concentrations (109 mg/L), thus confirming the advantage of these systems. Two horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands (CWs) pilot-scale units were also built and operated. The units contained fine gravel. One unit was planted with common reeds and one was kept unplanted. The mean influent concentrations of Cr(VI) were 5.61 and 5.47 mg/L for the planted and unplanted units, respectively. The performance of the planted CW units was very effective as mean Cr(VI) removal efficiency was 85% and efficiency maximum reached 100%. On the contrary, the unplanted CW achieved very low Cr(VI) removal with a mean value of 26%. Both attached growth reactors and CWs proved efficient and viable means for Cr(VI) reduction.

  13. Robust biological nitrogen removal by creating multiple tides in a single bed tidal flow constructed wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yuansheng; Zhao, Yaqian; Rymszewicz, Anna

    2014-02-01

    Achieving effective total nitrogen (TN) removal is one of the major challenges faced by constructed wetlands (CWs). To address this issue, multiple "tides" were proposed in a single stage tidal flow constructed wetland (TFCW). With this adoption, exceptional TN removal (85% on average) was achieved under a high nitrogen loading rate (NLR) of around 28 g Nm(-2)day(-1), which makes the proposed system an adequate option to provide advanced wastewater treatment for peri-urban communities and rural area. It was revealed that the multiple "tides" not only promoted TN removal performance, but also brought more flexibility to TFCWs. Adsorption of NH4(+)-N onto the wetland medium (during contact period) and regeneration of the adsorption capacity via nitrification (during bed resting) were validated as the key processes for NH4(+)-N conversion in TFCWs. Moreover, simultaneous nitrification denitrification (SND) was found to be significant during the bed resting period. These findings will provide a new foundation for the design and modeling of nitrogen conversion and oxygen transfer in TFCWs. © 2013.

  14. Single-wavelength functional photoacoustic microscopy in biological tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielli, Amos; Favazza, Christopher P; Maslov, Konstantin; Wang, Lihong V

    2011-03-01

    Recently, we developed a reflection-mode relaxation photoacoustic microscope, based on saturation intensity, to measure picosecond relaxation times using a nanosecond laser. Here, using the different relaxation times of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin molecules, both possessing extremely low fluorescence quantum yields, the oxygen saturation was quantified in vivo with single-wavelength photoacoustic microscopy. All previous functional photoacoustic microscopy measurements required imaging with multiple-laser-wavelength measurements to quantify oxygen saturation. Eliminating the need for multiwavelength measurements removes the influence of spectral properties on oxygenation calculations and improves the portability and cost-effectiveness of functional or molecular photoacoustic microscopy.

  15. Chemically-functionalized microcantilevers for detection of chemical, biological and explosive material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinnaduwage, Lal A [Knoxville, TN; Thundat, Thomas G [Knoxville, TN; Brown, Gilbert M [Knoxville, TN; Hawk, John Eric [Olive Branch, MS; Boiadjiev, Vassil I [Knoxville, TN

    2007-04-24

    A chemically functionalized cantilever system has a cantilever coated on one side thereof with a reagent or biological species which binds to an analyte. The system is of particular value when the analyte is a toxic chemical biological warfare agent or an explosive.

  16. Biological markers for kidney injury and renal function in the intensive care unit

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Royakkers, A.A.N.M.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the investigations described in this thesis was to seek for answers to two relevant questions in ICUs in resource-rich settings, i.e., can new biological markers play a role in early recognition of AKI, and can new biological markers predict recovery of renal function in patients who

  17. Functional or constructive attitudes: Which type drives consumers' evaluation of meat products?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamlin, Robert

    2016-07-01

    Consumer attitudes towards meat can be divided up into two types: Functional attitudes which are stable and exist over long periods of time, and constructive attitudes which are ephemeral and usually constructed at the point of sale. This research investigated the temporal and situational stability of meat consumers' attitudes by using the same established functional, multidimensional attitude instrument to generate attitude profiles for the four meat types: chicken/beef/lamb/poultry both as an abstracted construct and as a cue on a range of meat and meat-based products. The results showed that strong attitude profile was generated by the meat types as abstracted constructs, but that this profile broke down completely when the food products carrying the same meat types were evaluated. This result indicates that consumer attitudes may not be temporally or situationally stable, which in turn suggests that consumers' evaluation and choice of meat products may be driven to a greater or lesser extent by constructive rather than functional attitudes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Exosome function: from tumor immunology to pathogen biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-06-01

    Exosomes are the newest family member of 'bioactive vesicles' that function to promote intercellular communication. Exosomes are derived from the fusion of multivesicular bodies with the plasma membrane and extracellular release of the intraluminal vesicles. Recent studies have focused on the biogenesis and composition of exosomes as well as regulation of exosome release. Exosomes have been shown to be released by cells of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic origin, yet their function remains enigmatic. Much of the prior work has focused on exosomes as a source of tumor antigens and in presentation of tumor antigens to T cells. However, new studies have shown that exosomes might also promote cell-to-cell spread of infectious agents. Moreover, exosomes isolated from cells infected with various intracellular pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Toxoplasma gondii, have been shown to contain microbial components and can promote antigen presentation and macrophage activation, suggesting that exosomes may function in immune surveillance. In this review, we summarize our understanding of exosome biogenesis but focus primarily on new insights into exosome function. We also discuss their possible use as disease biomarkers and vaccine candidates.

  19. Advancing Functional Metagenomics using Synthetic Biology from Soil to Sequence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Helm, Eric

    as ‘functional metagenomics’, the DNA of these bacteria can be recovered from the environment and used by host-bacteria which can be grown in a lab. This allows us to make use of the capabilities of the billions of bacteria that a represent in the environment without actually growing them but by making use...

  20. Single-wavelength functional photoacoustic microscopy in biological tissue

    OpenAIRE

    Danielli, Amos; Favazza, Christopher P.; Maslov, Konstantin; Wang, Lihong V.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, we developed a reflection-mode relaxation photoacoustic microscope, based on saturation intensity, to measure picosecond relaxation times using a nanosecond laser. Here, using the different relaxation times of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin molecules, both possessing extremely low fluorescence quantum yields, the oxygen saturation was quantified in vivo with single-wavelength photoacoustic microscopy. All previous functional photoacoustic microscopy measurements required ima...

  1. Preliminary biological evaluation of a urea-functionalized dendrimer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stephan, H.; Syhre, R.; Spies, H.; Johannsen, B.; Zessin, J.; Steinbach, J.; Klein, L.; Werner, N.; Voegtle, F.

    2002-01-01

    A new third generation ethylurea-functionalized polypropyleneamine dendrimer was prepared. After labelling this dendrimer with 11-carbon the biodistribution in rats was studied. The highest level of radioactivity was found in the liver (30-35% ID). The 11 C-labelled dendrimer was well tolerated by the rats. (orig.)

  2. Chemical construction and structural permutation of potent cytotoxin polytheonamide B: discovery of artificial peptides with distinct functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itoh, Hiroaki; Inoue, Masayuki

    2013-07-16

    Polytheonamide B (1), isolated from the marine sponge Theonella swinhoei, is a posttranslationally modified ribosomal peptide (MW 5030 Da) that displays extraordinary cytotoxicity. Among its 48 amino acid residues, this peptide includes a variety D- and L-amino acids that do not occur in proteins, and the chiralities of these amino acids alternate in sequence. These structural features induce the formation of a stable β6.3-helix, giving rise to a tubular structure of over 4 nm in length. In the biological setting, this fold is believed to transport cations across the lipid bilayer through a pore, thereby acting as an ion channel. In this Account, we discuss the construction and structural permutations of this potent cytotoxin. First we describe the 161-step chemical construction of this unusual peptide 1. By developing a synthetic route to 1, we established the chemical basis for subsequent SAR studies to pinpoint the proteinogenic and nonproteinogenic building blocks within the molecule that confer its toxicity and channel function. Using fully synthetic 1, we generated seven analogues with point mutations, and studies of their activity revealed the importance of the N-terminal moiety. Next, we simplified the structure of 1 by substituting six amino acid residues of 1 to design a more synthetically accessible analogue 9. This dansylated polytheonamide mimic 9 was synthesized in 127 total steps, and we evaluated its function to show that it can emulate the toxic and ion channel activities of 1 despite its multiple structural modifications. Finally, we applied a highly automated synthetic route to 48-mer 9 to generate 13 substructures of 27-39-mers. The 37-mer 12 exhibited nanomolar level toxicity through a potentially distinct mode of action from 1 and 9. The SAR studies of polytheonamide B and the 21 artificial analogues have deepened our understanding of the precise structural requirements for the biological functions of 1. They have also led to the discovery of

  3. Construction of new synthetic biology tools for the control of gene expression in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zess, Erin K; Begemann, Matthew B; Pfleger, Brian F

    2016-02-01

    Predictive control of gene expression is an essential tool for developing synthetic biological systems. The current toolbox for controlling gene expression in cyanobacteria is a barrier to more in-depth genetic analysis and manipulation. Towards relieving this bottleneck, this work describes the use of synthetic biology to construct an anhydrotetracycline-based induction system and adapt a trans-acting small RNA (sRNA) system for use in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. An anhydrotetracycline-inducible promoter was developed to maximize intrinsic strength and dynamic range. The resulting construct, PEZtet , exhibited tight repression and a maximum 32-fold induction upon addition of anhydrotetracycline. Additionally, a sRNA system based on the Escherichia coli IS10 RNA-IN/OUT regulator was adapted for use in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. This system exhibited 70% attenuation of target gene expression, providing a demonstration of the use of sRNAs for differential gene expression in cyanobacteria. These systems were combined to produce an inducible sRNA system, which demonstrated 59% attenuation of target gene expression. Lastly, the role of Hfq, a critical component of sRNA systems in E. coli, was investigated. Genetic studies showed that the Hfq homolog in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 did not impact repression by the engineered sRNA system. In summary, this work describes new synthetic biology tools that can be applied to physiological studies, metabolic engineering, or sRNA platforms in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Genome Partitioner: A web tool for multi-level partitioning of large-scale DNA constructs for synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christen, Matthias; Del Medico, Luca; Christen, Heinz; Christen, Beat

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in lower-cost DNA synthesis techniques have enabled new innovations in the field of synthetic biology. Still, efficient design and higher-order assembly of genome-scale DNA constructs remains a labor-intensive process. Given the complexity, computer assisted design tools that fragment large DNA sequences into fabricable DNA blocks are needed to pave the way towards streamlined assembly of biological systems. Here, we present the Genome Partitioner software implemented as a web-based interface that permits multi-level partitioning of genome-scale DNA designs. Without the need for specialized computing skills, biologists can submit their DNA designs to a fully automated pipeline that generates the optimal retrosynthetic route for higher-order DNA assembly. To test the algorithm, we partitioned a 783 kb Caulobacter crescentus genome design. We validated the partitioning strategy by assembling a 20 kb test segment encompassing a difficult to synthesize DNA sequence. Successful assembly from 1 kb subblocks into the 20 kb segment highlights the effectiveness of the Genome Partitioner for reducing synthesis costs and timelines for higher-order DNA assembly. The Genome Partitioner is broadly applicable to translate DNA designs into ready to order sequences that can be assembled with standardized protocols, thus offering new opportunities to harness the diversity of microbial genomes for synthetic biology applications. The Genome Partitioner web tool can be accessed at https://christenlab.ethz.ch/GenomePartitioner.

  5. Genome Partitioner: A web tool for multi-level partitioning of large-scale DNA constructs for synthetic biology applications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Christen

    Full Text Available Recent advances in lower-cost DNA synthesis techniques have enabled new innovations in the field of synthetic biology. Still, efficient design and higher-order assembly of genome-scale DNA constructs remains a labor-intensive process. Given the complexity, computer assisted design tools that fragment large DNA sequences into fabricable DNA blocks are needed to pave the way towards streamlined assembly of biological systems. Here, we present the Genome Partitioner software implemented as a web-based interface that permits multi-level partitioning of genome-scale DNA designs. Without the need for specialized computing skills, biologists can submit their DNA designs to a fully automated pipeline that generates the optimal retrosynthetic route for higher-order DNA assembly. To test the algorithm, we partitioned a 783 kb Caulobacter crescentus genome design. We validated the partitioning strategy by assembling a 20 kb test segment encompassing a difficult to synthesize DNA sequence. Successful assembly from 1 kb subblocks into the 20 kb segment highlights the effectiveness of the Genome Partitioner for reducing synthesis costs and timelines for higher-order DNA assembly. The Genome Partitioner is broadly applicable to translate DNA designs into ready to order sequences that can be assembled with standardized protocols, thus offering new opportunities to harness the diversity of microbial genomes for synthetic biology applications. The Genome Partitioner web tool can be accessed at https://christenlab.ethz.ch/GenomePartitioner.

  6. The functionality of biological knowledge in the workplace. Integrating school and workplace learning about reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazereeuw, M.

    2013-01-01

    This thesis reports on a design research project about a learning, supervising and teaching strategy to enable students in agricultural preparatory vocational secondary education (VMBO) to recognize the functionality of biological knowledge of reproduction in work placement sites. Although

  7. MicroRNA functional network in pancreatic cancer: From biology to ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    [Wang J and Sen S 2011 MicroRNA functional network in pancreatic cancer: From biology to biomarkers of disease. ... growth factor type I receptor; INSR, insulin receptor; IPA, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis; IPMN, ..... Prostate cancer signalling.

  8. The technique of the modified hamiltonian for construction of the spin-projected wave function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsaune, A.Ya.; Glushkov, V.N.

    1991-01-01

    A method is suggested to construct the wave function, which is an eigenfunction for operator S 2 . A combination of Lowdin's projection operators and the method of taking into account the orthogonality conditions in variational problems previously developed by the authors is used for determination of the spin-current wave functions component. It is shown that the suggested method gives better results for the energies that the traditional restricted Hartee-Fock scheme

  9. Library construction and biological evaluation of enmein-type diterpenoid analogues as potential anticancer agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dahong; Xu, Shengtao; Cai, Hao; Pei, Lingling; Wang, Lei; Wu, Xiaoming; Yao, Hequan; Jiang, Jieyun; Sun, Yijun; Xu, Jinyi

    2013-05-01

    A library of promising enmein-type 14-O-diterpenoid derivatives was constructed from a commercially available kaurene-type oridonin by practical and efficient synthetic methods. These synthetic derivatives were evaluated for their antiproliferative activities against a set of four human cancer cell lines. The IC50 values are similar to or improved over those of the parent molecule and paclitaxel, the latter of which was used as a positive control. Compound 29 was further investigated for its apoptotic properties against human hepatocarcinoma Bel-7402 cells to better understand its mode of action. Moreover, compound 29 was shown to have potent antitumor activity in vivo in studies with a murine model of gastric cancer (MGC-803 mice). These results warrant further preclinical investigations of these diterpenoid-based analogues as potential novel anticancer chemotherapeutics. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Construction of secure and fast hash functions using nonbinary error-correcting codes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Lars Ramkilde; Preneel, Bart

    2002-01-01

    constructions based on block ciphers such as the Data Encryption Standard (DES), where the key size is slightly smaller than the block size; IDEA, where the key size is twice the block size; Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), with a variable key size; and to MD4-like hash functions. Under reasonable...

  11. On Segal-Wilson's construction for the τ-functions of the constrained KP hierarchies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang You-jin.

    1994-06-01

    In this letter we study the constrained KP hierachies by employing Segal-Wilson's theory on the τ-functions of the KP hierarchy. We first describe the elements of the Grassmannian which correspond to solutions of the constrained KP hierarchy, and then we show how to construct its rational and soliton solutions from these elements of the Grassmannian. (author). 10 refs

  12. A sampling approach to constructing Lyapunov functions for nonlinear continuous–time systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bobiti, R.V.; Lazar, M.

    2016-01-01

    The problem of constructing a Lyapunov function for continuous-time nonlinear dynamical systems is tackled in this paper via a sampling-based approach. The main idea of the sampling-based method is to verify a Lyapunov-type inequality for a finite number of points (known state vectors) in the

  13. Enhanced surface functionality via plasma modification and plasma deposition techniques to create more biologically relevant materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, Jeffrey C.

    Functionalizing nanoparticles and other unusually shaped substrates to create more biologically relevant materials has become central to a wide range of research programs. One of the primary challenges in this field is creating highly functionalized surfaces without modifying the underlying bulk material. Traditional wet chemistry techniques utilize thin film depositions to functionalize nanomaterials with oxygen and nitrogen containing functional groups, such as --OH and --NHx. These functional groups can serve to create surfaces that are amenable to cell adhesion or can act as reactive groups for further attachment of larger structures, such as macromolecules or antiviral agents. Additional layers, such as SiO2, are often added between the nanomaterial and the functionalized coating to act as a barrier films, adhesion layers, and to increase overall hydrophilicity. However, some wet chemistry techniques can damage the bulk material during processing. This dissertation examines the use of plasma processing as an alternative method for producing these highly functionalized surfaces on nanoparticles and polymeric scaffolds through the use of plasma modification and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition techniques. Specifically, this dissertation will focus on (1) plasma deposition of SiO2 barrier films on nanoparticle substrates; (2) surface functionalization of amine and alcohol groups through (a) plasma co-polymerization and (b) plasma modification; and (3) the design and construction of plasma hardware to facilitate plasma processing of nanoparticles and polymeric scaffolds. The body of work presented herein first examines the fabrication of composite nanoparticles by plasma processing. SiOxC y and hexylamine films were coated onto TiO2 nanoparticles to demonstrate enhanced water dispersion properties. Continuous wave and pulsed allyl alcohol plasmas were used to produce highly functionalized Fe2 O3 supported nanoparticles. Specifically, film composition was

  14. Functional nanostructured platforms for chemical and biological sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Létant, S. E.

    2006-05-01

    The central goal of our work is to combine semiconductor nanotechnology and surface functionalization in order to build platforms for the selective detection of bio-organisms ranging in size from bacteria (micron range) down to viruses, as well as for the detection of chemical agents (nanometer range). We will show on three porous silicon platforms how pore geometry and pore wall chemistry can be combined and optimized to capture and detect specific targets. We developed a synthetic route allowing to directly anchor proteins on silicon surfaces and illustrated the relevance of this technique by immobilizing live enzymes onto electrochemically etched luminescent nano-porous silicon. The powerful association of the specific enzymes with the transducing matrix led to a selective hybrid platform for chemical sensing. We also used light-assisted electrochemistry to produce periodic arrays of through pores on pre-patterned silicon membranes with controlled diameters ranging from many microns down to tens of nanometers. We demonstrated the first covalently functionalized silicon membranes and illustrated their selective capture abilities with antibody-coated micro-beads. These engineered membranes are extremely versatile and could be adapted to specifically recognize the external fingerprints (size and coat composition) of target bio-organisms. Finally, we fabricated locally functionalized single nanopores using a combination of focused ion beam drilling and ion beam assisted oxide deposition. We showed how a silicon oxide ring can be grown around a single nanopore and how it can be functionalized with DNA probes to detect single viral-sized beads. The next step for this platform is the detection of whole viruses and bacteria.

  15. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-01-01

    Humans circulate quadrillions of exosomes at all times. Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles released by all cells, with a size range of 40?150 nm and a lipid bilayer membrane. Exosomes contain DNA, RNA, and proteins. Exosomes likely remove excess and/or unnecessary constituents from the cells, functioning like garbage bags, although their precise physiological role remains unknown. Additionally, exosomes may mediate specific cell-to-cell communication and activate signaling pathway...

  16. Biology and Function of Fetal and Pediatric Skin

    OpenAIRE

    Leung, Alice; Balaji, Swathi; Keswani, Sundeep G

    2013-01-01

    The development of the integumentary system is a series of events, which start in utero and continue throughout life. Although at birth, skin in full-term infants is anatomically mature, functional maturity develops during the first year of life. Pediatric skin transitions again with the onset of puberty. At each stage, there are changes in transepidermal water loss, skin hydration, and skin acidity that define the specific period of development.

  17. Biological factors of natural and artificial ecosystems stable (unstable) functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nikolai S.

    The problem of sustainable development of humanity on Earth and the problem of supporting human life in space have the same scientific and methodological bases. The key to solve both problems is a long term maintenance of balanced material cycle. As a whole, natural or artificial ecosystems are to be more closed than open, but their elements (links of systems) are to be substantially open in interactions with each other. Prolonged stable interactions of different links have to have unique joint results - closed material cycling or biotic turnover. It is necessary to include, at least, three types of main links into any system to support real material cycling: producers, consumers, reducers. Producer links are now under studies in many laboratories. It is evident that the higher productivity of link, the lower link stability. Especially, it concerns with parasite impact to plants. As usual, artificial ecosystems are more simple (incomplete) than natural ecosystems, sometimes, they have not enough links for prolonged stable functioning. For example, life support system for space flight can be incomplete in consumer link, having only some crew persons, instead of interacting populations of consumers. As for reducer link, it is necessary to "organize" a special coordinated work of microbial biocenoses to fulfill proper cycling. Possible evolution of links, their self development is a matter of special attention for the maintenance of prolonged stable functioning. It's the most danger for systems with populations of quickly reproducing, so-called, R - strategists, according to symbols of logistic equation. From another side, quick reproduction of R - strategists is able to increase artificial ecosystems and their links functioning. After some damages of system, R - strategist's link can be quickly "self repaired" up to level of normal functioning. Some experimental data of this kind and mathematical models are to be discussed in the paper. This work is supported by

  18. Design and construction of a first-generation high-throughput integrated robotic molecular biology platform for bioenergy applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephen R; Butt, Tauseef R; Bartolett, Scott; Riedmuller, Steven B; Farrelly, Philip

    2011-08-01

    The molecular biological techniques for plasmid-based assembly and cloning of gene open reading frames are essential for elucidating the function of the proteins encoded by the genes. High-throughput integrated robotic molecular biology platforms that have the capacity to rapidly clone and express heterologous gene open reading frames in bacteria and yeast and to screen large numbers of expressed proteins for optimized function are an important technology for improving microbial strains for biofuel production. The process involves the production of full-length complementary DNA libraries as a source of plasmid-based clones to express the desired proteins in active form for determination of their functions. Proteins that were identified by high-throughput screening as having desired characteristics are overexpressed in microbes to enable them to perform functions that will allow more cost-effective and sustainable production of biofuels. Because the plasmid libraries are composed of several thousand unique genes, automation of the process is essential. This review describes the design and implementation of an automated integrated programmable robotic workcell capable of producing complementary DNA libraries, colony picking, isolating plasmid DNA, transforming yeast and bacteria, expressing protein, and performing appropriate functional assays. These operations will allow tailoring microbial strains to use renewable feedstocks for production of biofuels, bioderived chemicals, fertilizers, and other coproducts for profitable and sustainable biorefineries. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Construction and biological activities of the first infectious cDNA clones of the genus Foveavirus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng, Baozhong, E-mail: bmeng@uoguelph.ca [Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G2W1 (Canada); Venkataraman, Srividhya; Li, Caihong; Wang, Weizhou [Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G2W1 (Canada); Dayan-Glick, Cathy; Mawassi, Munir [The Plant Pathology Department-The Virology Unit, Plant Protection Institute, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan 50250 (Israel)

    2013-01-20

    Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV, genus Foveavirus, family Betaflexiviridae) is one of the most prevalent viruses in grapevines and is associated with three distinct diseases: rupestris stem pitting, vein necrosis and Syrah decline. Little is known about the biology and pathological properties of GRSPaV. In this work, we engineered a full-length infectious cDNA clone for GRSPaV and a GFP-tagged variant, both under the transcriptional control of Cauliflower mosaic virus 35 S promoter. We demonstrated that these cDNA clones were infectious in grapevines and Nicotiana benthamiana through fluorescence microscopy, RT-PCR, Western blotting and immuno electron microscopy. Interestingly, GRSPaV does not cause systemic infection in four of the most commonly used herbaceous plants, even in the presence of the movement proteins of two other viruses which are known to complement numerous movement-defective viruses. These infectious clones are the first of members of Foveavirus which would allow further investigations into mechanisms governing different aspects of replication for GRSPaV and perhaps related viruses.

  20. Biological functions of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thelin, Martin A; Bartolini, Barbara; Axelsson, Jakob; Gustafsson, Renata; Tykesson, Emil; Pera, Edgar; Oldberg, Åke; Maccarana, Marco; Malmstrom, Anders

    2013-05-01

    The presence of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate changes the properties of the polysaccharides because it generates a more flexible chain with increased binding potentials. Iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate influences multiple cellular properties, such as migration, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and the regulation of cytokine/growth factor activities. Under pathological conditions such as wound healing, inflammation and cancer, iduronic acid has diverse regulatory functions. Iduronic acid is formed by two epimerases (i.e. dermatan sulfate epimerase 1 and 2) that have different tissue distribution and properties. The role of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate is highlighted by the vast changes in connective tissue features in patients with a new type of Ehler-Danlos syndrome: adducted thumb-clubfoot syndrome. Future research aims to understand the roles of the two epimerases and their interplay with the sulfotransferases involved in chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Furthermore, a better definition of chondroitin/dermatan sulfate functions using different knockout models is needed. In this review, we focus on the two enzymes responsible for iduronic acid formation, as well as the role of iduronic acid in health and disease. © 2013 The Authors Journal compilation © 2013 FEBS.

  1. Biological effects of functionalizing copolymer scaffolds with nanodiamond particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Zhe; Pedersen, Torbjorn O; Wu, Xujun; Xue, Ying; Sun, Yang; Finne-Wistrand, Anna; Kloss, Frank R; Waag, Thilo; Krueger, Anke; Steinmüller-Nethl, Doris; Mustafa, Kamal

    2013-08-01

    Significant evidence has indicated that poly(L-lactide)-co-(ɛ-caprolactone) [(poly(LLA-co-CL)] scaffolds could be one of the suitable candidates for bone tissue engineering. Oxygen-terminated nanodiamond particles (n-DP) were combined with poly(LLA-co-CL) and revealed to be positive for cell growth. In this study, we evaluated the influence of poly(LLA-co-CL) scaffolds modified by n-DP on attachment, proliferation, differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) in vitro, and on bone formation using a sheep calvarial defect model. BMSCs were seeded on either poly(LLA-co-CL)- or n-DP-coated scaffolds and incubated for 1 h. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy were used in addition to protein and DNA measurements to evaluate cellular attachment on the scaffolds. To determine the effect of n-DP on proliferation of BMSCs, cell/scaffold constructs were harvested after 3 days and evaluated by Bicinchoninic Acid (BCA) protein assay and SEM. In addition, the osteogenic differentiation of cells grown for 2 weeks on the various scaffolds and in a dynamic culture condition was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR. Unmodified and modified scaffolds were implanted into the calvaria of six-year-old sheep. The expression of collagen type I (COL I) and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) after 4 weeks as well as the formation of new bone after 12 and 24 weeks were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and histology. Scaffolds modified with n-DP supported increased cell attachment and the mRNA expression of osteopontin (OPN), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and BMP-2 were significantly increased after 2 weeks of culture. The BMSCs had spread well on the various scaffolds investigated after 3 days in the study with no significant difference in cell proliferation. Furthermore, the in vivo data revealed more positive staining of COL I and BMP-2 in relation to the n-DP-coated scaffolds after 4 weeks and presented more bone formation after 12 and 24 weeks. n

  2. One-way hash function construction based on the spatiotemporal chaotic system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo Yu-Ling; Du Ming-Hui

    2012-01-01

    Based on the spatiotemporal chaotic system, a novel algorithm for constructing a one-way hash function is proposed and analysed. The message is divided into fixed length blocks. Each message block is processed by the hash compression function in parallel. The hash compression is constructed based on the spatiotemporal chaos. In each message block, the ASCII code and its position in the whole message block chain constitute the initial conditions and the key of the hash compression function. The final hash value is generated by further compressing the mixed result of all the hash compression values. Theoretic analyses and numerical simulations show that the proposed algorithm presents high sensitivity to the message and key, good statistical properties, and strong collision resistance. (general)

  3. Development of biological functional material and product from Nelumbo nucifera

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Il Yun; Park, Yong Dae; Jin, Chang Hyun; Choi, Dae Seong

    2008-01-01

    The solvent extracts of Nelumbo nucifera G. were investigated for the activities of antioxidant, whitening, anti-wrinkle and antimicrobial effects to apply as a functional ingredient for cosmetic products. The electron donating ability of irradiated NN-L extract was above 85% at the concentration of 50ppm. The superoxide dismutase(SOD)-like activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 76% at 1,000ppm concentration. The xanthine oxidase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 15% at 1,000ppm. The tyrosinase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 18% at 1,000ppm. Anti-wrinkle effect, the elastase inhibition activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 45% at 1,000ppm concentration. All these findings suggested that Nelumbo nucifera G. has a great potential as a cosmeceutical ingredient

  4. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-04-01

    Humans circulate quadrillions of exosomes at all times. Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles released by all cells, with a size range of 40-150 nm and a lipid bilayer membrane. Exosomes contain DNA, RNA, and proteins. Exosomes likely remove excess and/or unnecessary constituents from the cells, functioning like garbage bags, although their precise physiological role remains unknown. Additionally, exosomes may mediate specific cell-to-cell communication and activate signaling pathways in cells they fuse or interact with. Exosomes are detected in the tumor microenvironment, and emerging evidence suggests that they play a role in facilitating tumorigenesis by regulating angiogenesis, immunity, and metastasis. Circulating exosomes can be used as liquid biopsies and noninvasive biomarkers for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer patients.

  5. The functions of biological diversity in an age of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, Shahid; Duffy, J Emmett; Zavaleta, Erika

    2012-06-15

    Ecosystems worldwide are rapidly losing taxonomic, phylogenetic, genetic, and functional diversity as a result of human appropriation of natural resources, modification of habitats and climate, and the spread of pathogenic, exotic, and domestic plants and animals. Twenty years of intense theoretical and empirical research have shown that such biotic impoverishment can markedly alter the biogeochemical and dynamic properties of ecosystems, but frontiers remain in linking this research to the complexity of wild nature, and in applying it to pressing environmental issues such as food, water, energy, and biosecurity. The question before us is whether these advances can take us beyond merely invoking the precautionary principle of conserving biodiversity to a predictive science that informs practical and specific solutions to mitigate and adapt to its loss.

  6. Development of biological functional material and product from Nelumbo nucifera

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Il Yun; Park, Yong Dae; Jin, Chang Hyun; Choi, Dae Seong

    2008-01-15

    The solvent extracts of Nelumbo nucifera G. were investigated for the activities of antioxidant, whitening, anti-wrinkle and antimicrobial effects to apply as a functional ingredient for cosmetic products. The electron donating ability of irradiated NN-L extract was above 85% at the concentration of 50ppm. The superoxide dismutase(SOD)-like activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 76% at 1,000ppm concentration. The xanthine oxidase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 15% at 1,000ppm. The tyrosinase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 18% at 1,000ppm. Anti-wrinkle effect, the elastase inhibition activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 45% at 1,000ppm concentration. All these findings suggested that Nelumbo nucifera G. has a great potential as a cosmeceutical ingredient.

  7. Biological function of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritu Kumar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID is an essential regulator of B cell diversification, but its full range of action has until recently been an enigma. Based on homology, it was originally proposed to be an RNA-editing enzyme, but so far, no RNA substrates are known. Rather, it functions by deaminating cytidine, and in this manner, coupled with base-excision repair or mismatch repair machinery, it is a natural mutator. This allows it to play a central role in adaptive immunity, whereby it initiates the processes of class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation to help generate a diverse and high-affinity repertoire of immunoglobulin isotypes. More recently, it has been appreciated that methylated cytidine, already known as a key epigenetic mark on DNA controlling gene expression, can also be a target for AID modification. Coupled with repair machinery, this can facilitate the active removal of methylated DNA. This activity can impact the process of cellular reprogramming, including transition of a somatic cell to pluripotency, which requires major reshuffling of epigenetic memory. Thus, seemingly disparate roles for AID in controlling immune diversity and epigenetic memory have a common mechanistic basis. However, the very activity that is so useful for B cell diversity and cellular reprogramming is dangerous for the integrity of the genome. Thus, AID expression and activity is tightly regulated, and deregulation is associated with diseases including cancer. Here, we review the range of AID functions with a focus on its mechanisms of action and regulation. Major questions remain to be answered concerning how and when AID is targeted to specific loci and how this impacts development and disease.

  8. Selenium and arsenic in biology: their chemical forms and biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Y; Morita, M; Fuwa, K

    1992-01-01

    Based on the recent development of analytical methods, sensitive systems for the analysis and speciation of selenium and arsenic have been established. A palladium addition technique was developed for the accurate determination of selenium in biological samples using graphite furnace atomic absorption analysis. For the speciation of the elements, combined methods of HPLC either with ICP-AES or with ICP-MS were found to work well. These systems were applied to the elucidation of the chemical form of the elements in natural samples. Some chemical properties of the selenium-mercury complex in dolphin liver were elucidated: i.e., it was a cationic, water-soluble, low molecular weight compound containing selenium and mercury in a 1:1 molar ratio, and was shown to be different from a known selenium-mercury complex, bis(methylmercuric)selenide. The major selenium compound excreted in human urine was revealed to be other than any of those previously identified (TMSe, selenate, and selenite). TMSe, a suspected major metabolite in urine, was found, if at all, in low levels. The major water-soluble, and lipid-soluble arsenic compounds in a brown seaweed, U. pinnatifida (WAKAME), were rigorously identified, and the results were compared with other data on marine algae and animals. The major organic arsenic compounds (termed "arseno-sugars") in marine algae commonly contain 5-deoxy-5-dimethylarsinyl-ribofuranoside moiety. There are various kinds of arseno-sugar derivatives containing different side-chains attached to the anomeric position of the sugar, and the distribution of each arsenic species seems to be related to algal species. The arseno-sugar (A-XI) is present in every alga so far examined, is metabolized to lipids, and possibly may play some specific role in the algal cells. On the other hand, the major arsenic compound in fish, crustacea and molluscs has been identified as arsenobetaine, which is an arseno-analog of glycinebetaine, a very common osmo-regulator in

  9. Biological Functions of the Secretome of Neisseria meningitidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tommassen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Neisseria meningitidis is a Gram-negative bacterial pathogen that normally resides as a commensal in the human nasopharynx but occasionally causes disease with high mortality and morbidity. To interact with its environment, it transports many proteins across the outer membrane to the bacterial cell surface and into the extracellular medium for which it deploys the common and well-characterized autotransporter, two-partner and type I secretion mechanisms, as well as a recently discovered pathway for the surface exposure of lipoproteins. The surface-exposed and secreted proteins serve roles in host-pathogen interactions, including adhesion to host cells and extracellular matrix proteins, evasion of nutritional immunity imposed by iron-binding proteins of the host, prevention of complement activation, neutralization of antimicrobial peptides, degradation of immunoglobulins, and permeabilization of epithelial layers. Furthermore, they have roles in interbacterial interactions, including the formation and dispersal of biofilms and the suppression of the growth of bacteria competing for the same niche. Here, we will review the protein secretion systems of N. meningitidis and focus on the functions of the secreted proteins.

  10. Functionalized diamond nanopowder for phosphopeptides enrichment from complex biological fluids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hussain, Dilshad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Najam-ul-Haq, Muhammad, E-mail: najamulhaq@bzu.edu.pk [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria); Jabeen, Fahmida; Ashiq, Muhammad N.; Athar, Muhammad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Rainer, Matthias; Huck, Christian W.; Bonn, Guenther K. [Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria)

    2013-05-02

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •Derivatization of diamond nanopowder as IMAC and RP. •Characterization with SEM, EDX and FT-IR. •Phosphopeptide enrichment from standard as well as real samples. •Desalting and human serum profiling with reproducible results. •MALDI-MS analysis with database identification. -- Abstract: Diamond is known for its high affinity and biocompatibility towards biomolecules and is used exclusively in separation sciences and life science research. In present study, diamond nanopowder is derivatized as Immobilized Metal Ion Affinity Chromatographic (IMAC) material for the phosphopeptides enrichment and as Reversed Phase (C-18) media for the desalting of complex mixtures and human serum profiling through MALDI-TOF-MS. Functionalized diamond nanopowder is characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. Diamond-IMAC is applied to the standard protein (β-casein), spiked human serum, egg yolk and non-fat milk for the phosphopeptides enrichment. Results show the selectivity of synthesized IMAC-diamond immobilized with Fe{sup 3+} and La{sup 3+} ions. To comprehend the elaborated use, diamond-IMAC is also applied to the serum samples from gall bladder carcinoma for the potential biomarkers. Database search is carried out by the Mascot program ( (www.matrixscience.com)) for the assignment of phosphorylation sites. Diamond nanopowder is thus a separation media with multifunctional use and can be applied to cancer protein profiling for the diagnosis and biomarker identification.

  11. Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelian, K.

    2011-01-01

    Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living component of the biosphere on the surface of the Earth of greatest biomass, the plants and cyanobacteria, are involved in the transpiration of a vast amount of water. Transpiration is part of the global water cycle, and it is this cycle that distinguishes Earth from its apparently life barren neighboring planets, Venus and Mars. The dissipation of sunlight into heat by organic molecules in the biosphere and its coupling to the water cycle (as well as other abiotic processes), is by far the greatest entropy producing process occurring on Earth. Life, from this perspective, can be viewed as performing an important thermodynamic function; acting as a dynamic catalyst by aiding irreversible abiotic process such as the water cycle, hurricanes, and ocean and wind currents to produce entropy. The role of animals in this view is that of unwitting but dedicated servants of the plants and cyanobacteria, helping them to grow and to spread into initially inhospitable areas.

  12. Towards understanding the biological function of hopanoids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, D. M.; Hunter, R.; Summons, R. E.; Newman, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 expresses bacterial hopanoid lipids that are structurally similar and evolutionarily related to eukaryotic sterols. The genome of R. palustris TIE-1 contains two copies of the hpnN gene (hpnN1 and hpnN2) that are orthologs of genes encoding eukaryotic sterol and lipid transporters. Hopanoid localization to the outer membrane was found to be dependent upon hpnN1. Since the cell cycle of R. palustris TIE-1 is obligately bimodal with each cell division resulting in the generation of one mother and one swarmer cell, evidence was obtained that hopanoids where specifically localized to the outer membrane of mother cells. The sequestration of hopanoids to the mother cells was also disrupted by the deletion of the hpnN1 gene. Mutants lacking the hopanoid transporters were able to grow normally at 30 °C but showed decreased growth at 38 °C. The hopanoid transporter mutant formed cellular filaments when grown at elevated temperature. Because sedimentary steranes and hopanes comprise some of the earliest evidence for the emergence of distinct bacteria and eukaryotic phyla, a better appreciation of the function of hopanoids will improve our ability to interpret the evolution of life on Earth.

  13. Justifying molecular images in cell biology textbooks: From constructions to primary data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serpente, Norberto

    2016-02-01

    For scientific claims to be reliable and productive they have to be justified. However, on the one hand little is known on what justification precisely means to scientists, and on the other the position held by philosophers of science on what it entails is rather limited; for justifications customarily refer to the written form (textual expressions) of scientific claims, leaving aside images, which, as many cases from the history of science show are relevant to this process. The fact that images can visually express scientific claims independently from text, plus their vast variety and origins, requires an assessment of the way they are currently justified and in turn used as sources to justify scientific claims in the case of particular scientific fields. Similarly, in view of the different nature of images, analysis is required to determine on what side of the philosophical distinction between data and phenomena these different kinds of images fall. This paper historicizes and documents a particular aspect of contemporary life sciences research: the use of the molecular image as vehicle of knowledge production in cell studies, a field that has undergone a significant shift in visual expressions from the early 1980s onwards. Focussing on textbooks as sources that have been overlooked in the historiography of contemporary biomedicine, the aim is to explore (1) whether the shift of cell studies, entailing a superseding of the optical image traditionally conceptualised as primary data, by the molecular image, corresponds with a shift of justificatory practices, and (2) to assess the role of the molecular image as primary data. This paper also explores the dual role of images as teaching resources and as resources for the construction of knowledge in cell studies especially in its relation to discovery and justification. Finally, this paper seeks to stimulate reflection on what kind of archival resources could benefit the work of present and future epistemic

  14. Mechanical properties and structure-function relationships of human chondrocyte-seeded cartilage constructs after in vitro culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middendorf, Jill M; Griffin, Darvin J; Shortkroff, Sonya; Dugopolski, Caroline; Kennedy, Stephen; Siemiatkoski, Joseph; Cohen, Itai; Bonassar, Lawrence J

    2017-10-01

    Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) is a widely recognized method for the repair of focal cartilage defects. Despite the accepted use, problems with this technique still exist, including graft hypertrophy, damage to surrounding tissue by sutures, uneven cell distribution, and delamination. Modified ACI techniques overcome these challenges by seeding autologous chondrocytes onto a 3D scaffold and securing the graft into the defect. Many studies on these tissue engineered grafts have identified the compressive properties, but few have examined frictional and shear properties as suggested by FDA guidance. This study is the first to perform three mechanical tests (compressive, frictional, and shear) on human tissue engineered cartilage. The objective was to understand the complex mechanical behavior, function, and changes that occur with time in these constructs grown in vitro using compression, friction, and shear tests. Safranin-O histology and a DMMB assay both revealed increased sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) content in the scaffolds with increased maturity. Similarly, immunohistochemistry revealed increased lubricin localization on the construct surface. Confined compression and friction tests both revealed improved properties with increased construct maturity. Compressive properties correlated with the sGAG content, while improved friction coefficients were attributed to increased lubricin localization on the construct surfaces. In contrast, shear properties did not improve with increased culture time. This study suggests the various mechanical and biological properties of tissue engineered cartilage improve at different rates, indicating thorough mechanical evaluation of tissue engineered cartilage is critical to understanding the performance of repaired cartilage. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:2298-2306, 2017. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. The reflection of life functional entailment and imminence in relational biology

    CERN Document Server

    Louie, A H

    2013-01-01

    A. H. Louie’s The Reflection of Life: Functional Entailment and Imminence in Relational Biology is a continuation of the exploratory journey in relational biology which began with his 2009 monograph More Than Life Itself: A Synthetic Continuation in Relational Biology. The theme of his first book was ‘What is life?’; the theme of this sequel is “How do two life forms interact?” Biology is a subject concerned with organization of relations. Relational biology is the approach that advocates ‘function dictates structure”, rather than ‘structure implies function’. It is mathematics decoded into biological realizations. The book demonstrates some of the powers of the approach of relational biology, and illustrates how pertinent problems in biology can be better addressed this way. In the first volume the theory was developed by using partially ordered sets, lattices, simulations, models, Aristotle’s four causes, graphs, categories, simple and complex systems, anticipatory systems, and metabolis...

  16. Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function among Danish Construction Workers. A Cross-Sectional Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanskov, Dorte Jessing Agerby; Brauer, Charlotte; Breinegaard, Nina

    2015-01-01

    Objective:This study investigated whether Danish construction workers had an increased prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or affected lung function and if the prevalence differed between types of jobs within construction. Methods:A cross-sectional study of 899 Danish male...... workers: demolition workers, insulators, carpenters and a control group of hospital porters aged 35-60 years answered a questionnaire and performed spirometry. Results were tested statistically for differences between occupational groups, and all analyses were adjusted for smoking status, age and body.......7 (95% CI 1.3-5.5) and for insulators compared to carpenters was 1.8 (95% CI 0.8-3.9). Demolition workers had significantly lower odds compared to all other groups for forced vital capacity construction workers...

  17. Measuring personality functioning in older adults: construct validity of the Severity Indices of Personality Functioning - Short Form (SIPP-SF).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Gina; Debast, Inge; van Alphen, S P J

    2017-07-01

    The dimensional personality disorders model in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-5 section III conceptually differentiates impaired personality functioning (criterion A) from the presence of pathological traits (criterion B). This study is the first to specifically address the measurement of criterion A in older adults. Moreover, the convergent/divergent validity of criterion A and criterion B will be compared in younger and older age groups. The Severity Indices of Personality Functioning - Short Form (SIPP-SF) was administered in older (N = 171) and younger adults (N = 210). The factorial structure was analyzed with exploratory structural equation modeling. Differences in convergent/divergent validity between personality functioning (SIPP-SF) and pathological traits (Personality Inventory for DSM-5; Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology-Basic Questionnaire) were examined across age groups. Identity Integration, Relational Capacities, Responsibility, Self-Control, and Social Concordance were corroborated as higher order domains. Although the SIPP-SF domains measured unique variation, some high correlations with pathological traits referred to overlapping constructs. Moreover, in older adults, personality functioning was more strongly related to Psychoticism, Disinhibition, Antagonism and Dissocial Behavior compared to younger adults. The SIPP-SF construct validity was demonstrated in terms of a structure of five higher order domains of personality functioning. The instrument is promising as a possible measure of impaired personality functioning in older adults. As such, it is a useful clinical tool to follow up effects of therapy on levels of personality functioning. Moreover, traits were associated with different degrees of personality functioning across age groups.

  18. Environmental and biological monitoring of occupational exposure to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons during highway pavement construction in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fostinelli, Jacopo; Madeo, Egidio; Toraldo, Emanuele; Sarnico, Michela; Luzzana, Giorgio; Tomasi, Cesare; De Palma, Giuseppe

    2018-06-09

    We performed a cross-sectional study with the main aim of evaluating occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in workers involved in the pavement construction of a new highway in Northern Italy, where modified bitumen was used as binder for Hot Mix Asphalt. We applied a combined approach of air and biological monitoring. Both the aerosol and vapour phases of bitumen were collected applying the NIOSH 5506 method. The 16 PAHs listed as high priority by EPA were determined by HPLC-UV. End-of-shift urine samples were collected from 144 workers to determine 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) and 2-naphthol (2-NAP) concentrations after enzyme digestion and HPLC-UV analysis. Socio-demographic and lifestyle information was collected by a questionnaire. Paving workers were actually exposed to PAHs, including carcinogenic compounds, that were measurable only in the aerosol phase. Higher exposure as well as dose levels were measured for the paver group. Biological monitoring confirmed that 1-OHP was less affected by smoking habits as compared to 2-NAP and showed a higher association with occupational exposure. Carcinogenic PAH compounds were detectable only in the aerosol phase and this must be taken into account in the adoption of preventive measures. Biomonitoring supported the superiority of 1-OHP as compared to 2-NAP in assessing the internal dose in such workers. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Construction of the Cognitive Dimension of the Scientific Literacy in the Students through the Costa Rican Biological Sciences Olympics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirley Camacho-Vargas

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This research recognizes the cognitive contributions to the students participating in the Third Costa Rican Biological Sciences Olympics that will define the advancement and strengthening in the construction of its conceptual dimension in the scientific literacy.  This paper is based, mainly, on qualitative approach techniques (ethnographic design:  case study; however, some data are interpreted through quantitative methodologies (descriptive design with an explanatory and exploratory touch for the analysis of a sample of 54 high school students, finalists in the category A of the Olympics, through the use of tools such as a documentary study and a survey, in July 2009.  The information generated was analyzed using elements of inferential and descriptive statistics, figures and histograms.  It was proved that there is a better cognitive management in the topics assessed, an increase in the students’ academic performance as the tests are applied, a commitment for the academic update supported by the development of several tasks for previous preparation, curriculum contributions unprecedented based on our sample, a consent to optimize student’s knowledge about Biology, which will allow the application of scientific notions to diversify and renew the knowledge, according to what is established in the principles of scientific literacy.

  20. Posttraumatic Growth in Populations with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-A Systematic Review on Growth-Related Psychological Constructs and Biological Variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Christine F; Schmidt, Ulrike; Rosner, Rita

    2016-11-01

    Posttraumatic growth (PTG) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are possible consequences of trauma. PTG is supposed to emerge from cognitive processes and can have functional and dysfunctional aspects. This systematic review aims to identify and evaluate publications assessing PTG in adults diagnosed with PTSD in order to analyse the relationship between both constructs, how PTG is related to specific psychological variables and if there are biological variables linked to PTG. This extended review evaluates the quality of measures applied and is the first to study PTG only in populations meeting full PTSD criteria. In addition, the relationship between PTG and other relevant constructs, such as openness, optimism and social support, is explored. Our systematic literature search identified 140 studies of which 19 fulfilled our inclusion criteria; most of them used the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory. Results indicate that trauma survivors with PTSD exhibit more PTG than those without PTSD and that PTG can be intensified during the therapeutic process whereat it is unclear whether PTG is a desirable outcome of PTSD therapy. Positive correlations between PTG and PTSD are reported. For diagnosed populations, we could not find strong evidence of a quadratic relationship between PTG and PTSD, although some studies support this hypothesis. Findings regarding the association of PTG with psychological variables are heterogeneous. Only one study focused on PTG as well as on biological variables (salivary cortisol) but did not discuss possible links between these two so far unconnected research fields in PTSD. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Trauma survivors with PTSD develop more PTG than those without PTSD, it remains unclear whether PTSD and PTG are curvilinearly related. PTG can be enhanced through PTSD therapy, nevertheless one must not assume that PTG is a favorable treatment outcome since we do not know if the development of PTG during therapy promotes

  1. Revealing complex function, process and pathway interactions with high-throughput expression and biological annotation data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nitesh Kumar; Ernst, Mathias; Liebscher, Volkmar; Fuellen, Georg; Taher, Leila

    2016-10-20

    The biological relationships both between and within the functions, processes and pathways that operate within complex biological systems are only poorly characterized, making the interpretation of large scale gene expression datasets extremely challenging. Here, we present an approach that integrates gene expression and biological annotation data to identify and describe the interactions between biological functions, processes and pathways that govern a phenotype of interest. The product is a global, interconnected network, not of genes but of functions, processes and pathways, that represents the biological relationships within the system. We validated our approach on two high-throughput expression datasets describing organismal and organ development. Our findings are well supported by the available literature, confirming that developmental processes and apoptosis play key roles in cell differentiation. Furthermore, our results suggest that processes related to pluripotency and lineage commitment, which are known to be critical for development, interact mainly indirectly, through genes implicated in more general biological processes. Moreover, we provide evidence that supports the relevance of cell spatial organization in the developing liver for proper liver function. Our strategy can be viewed as an abstraction that is useful to interpret high-throughput data and devise further experiments.

  2. RNA synthetic biology inspired from bacteria: construction of transcription attenuators under antisense regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawid, Alexandre; Cayrol, Bastien; Isambert, Hervé

    2009-07-01

    Among all biopolymers, ribonucleic acids or RNA have unique functional versatility, which led to the early suggestion that RNA alone (or a closely related biopolymer) might have once sustained a primitive form of life based on a single type of biopolymer. This has been supported by the demonstration of processive RNA-based replication and the discovery of 'riboswitches' or RNA switches, which directly sense their metabolic environment. In this paper, we further explore the plausibility of this 'RNA world' scenario and show, through synthetic molecular design guided by advanced RNA simulations, that RNA can also perform elementary regulation tasks on its own. We demonstrate that RNA synthetic regulatory modules directly inspired from bacterial transcription attenuators can efficiently activate or repress the expression of other RNA by merely controlling their folding paths 'on the fly' during transcription through simple RNA-RNA antisense interaction. Factors, such as NTP concentration and RNA synthesis rate, affecting the efficiency of this kinetic regulation mechanism are also studied and discussed in the light of evolutionary constraints. Overall, this suggests that direct coupling among synthesis, folding and regulation of RNAs may have enabled the early emergence of autonomous RNA-based regulation networks in absence of both DNA and protein partners.

  3. RNA synthetic biology inspired from bacteria: construction of transcription attenuators under antisense regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dawid, Alexandre; Cayrol, Bastien; Isambert, Hervé

    2009-01-01

    Among all biopolymers, ribonucleic acids or RNA have unique functional versatility, which led to the early suggestion that RNA alone (or a closely related biopolymer) might have once sustained a primitive form of life based on a single type of biopolymer. This has been supported by the demonstration of processive RNA-based replication and the discovery of 'riboswitches' or RNA switches, which directly sense their metabolic environment. In this paper, we further explore the plausibility of this 'RNA world' scenario and show, through synthetic molecular design guided by advanced RNA simulations, that RNA can also perform elementary regulation tasks on its own. We demonstrate that RNA synthetic regulatory modules directly inspired from bacterial transcription attenuators can efficiently activate or repress the expression of other RNA by merely controlling their folding paths 'on the fly' during transcription through simple RNA–RNA antisense interaction. Factors, such as NTP concentration and RNA synthesis rate, affecting the efficiency of this kinetic regulation mechanism are also studied and discussed in the light of evolutionary constraints. Overall, this suggests that direct coupling among synthesis, folding and regulation of RNAs may have enabled the early emergence of autonomous RNA-based regulation networks in absence of both DNA and protein partners

  4. Cumulative exposure to dust and gases as determinants of lung function decline in tunnel construction workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakke, B; Ulvestad, B; Stewart, P; Eduard, W

    2004-03-01

    To study the relation between lung function decrease and cumulative exposure to dust and gases in tunnel construction workers. A total of 651 male construction workers (drill and blast workers, tunnel concrete workers, shotcreting operators, and tunnel boring machine workers) were followed up by spirometric measurements in 1989-2002 for an average of six years. Outdoor concrete workers, foremen, and engineers served as a low exposed referent population. The between worker component of variability was considerably reduced within the job groups compared to the whole population, suggesting that the workers within job groups had similar exposure levels. The annual decrease in FEV1 in low-exposed non-smoking workers was 21 ml and 24 ml in low-exposed ever smokers. The annual decrease in FEV1 in tunnel construction workers was 20-31 ml higher than the low exposed workers depending on job group for both non-smokers and ever smokers. After adjustment for age and observation time, cumulative exposure to nitrogen dioxide showed the strongest association with a decrease in FEV1 in both non-smokers, and ever smokers. Cumulative exposure to nitrogen dioxide appeared to be a major risk factor for lung function decreases in these tunnel construction workers, although other agents may have contributed to the observed effect. Contact with blasting fumes should be avoided, diesel exhaust emissions should be reduced, and respiratory devices should be used to protect workers against dust and nitrogen dioxide exposure.

  5. Wave functions constructed from an invariant sum over histories satisfy constraints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halliwell, J.J.; Hartle, J.B.

    1991-01-01

    Invariance of classical equations of motion under a group parametrized by functions of time implies constraints between canonical coordinates and momenta. In the Dirac formulation of quantum mechanics, invariance is normally imposed by demanding that physical wave functions are annihilated by the operator versions of these constraints. In the sum-over-histories quantum mechanics, however, wave functions are specified, directly, by appropriate functional integrals. It therefore becomes an interesting question whether the wave functions so specified obey the operator constraints of the Dirac theory. In this paper, we show for a wide class of theories, including gauge theories, general relativity, and first-quantized string theories, that wave functions constructed from a sum over histories are, in fact, annihilated by the constraints provided that the sum over histories is constructed in a manner which respects the invariance generated by the constraints. By this we mean a sum over histories defined with an invariant action, invariant measure, and an invariant class of paths summed over

  6. Constructing a one-way hash function based on the unified chaotic system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Long Min; Peng Fei; Chen Guanrong

    2008-01-01

    A new one-way hash function based on the unified chaotic system is constructed. With different values of a key parameter, the unified chaotic system represents different chaotic systems, based on which the one-way hash function algorithm is constructed with three round operations and an initial vector on an input message. In each round operation, the parameters are processed by three different chaotic systems generated from the unified chaotic system. Feed-forwards are used at the end of each round operation and at the end of each element of the message processing. Meanwhile, in each round operation, parameter-exchanging operations are implemented. Then, the hash value of length 160 bits is obtained from the last six parameters. Simulation and analysis both demonstrate that the algorithm has great flexibility, satisfactory hash performance, weak collision property, and high security. (general)

  7. SEARCHING FOR ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES, PHENOMENA AND MECHANISMS IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND FUNCTION OF CHROMOSOMES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Kanev

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Our studies reveal previously unidentified electrical properties of chromosomes: (1 chromosomes are amazingly similar in construction and function to electrical transformers; (2 chromosomes possess in their construction and function, components similar to those of electric generators, conductors, condensers, switches, and other components of electrical circuits; (3 chromosomes demonstrate in nano-scale level electromagnetic interactions, resonance, fusion and other phenomena similar to those described by equations in classical physics. These electrical properties and phenomena provide a possible explanation for unclear and poorly understood mechanisms in clinical genetics including: (a electrically based mechanisms responsible for breaks, translocations, fusions, and other chromosomal abnormalities associated with cancer, intellectual disability, infertility, pregnancy loss, Down syndrome, and other genetic disorders; (b electrically based mechanisms involved in crossing over, non-disjunction and other events during meiosis and mitosis; (c mechanisms demonstrating heterochromatin to be electrically active and genetically important.

  8. Sharing Structure and Function in Biological Design with SBOL 2.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Beal, Jacob; Clancy, Kevin; Bartley, Bryan; Misirli, Goksel; Grünberg, Raik; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Bissell, Michael; Madsen, Curtis; Nguyen, Tramy; Zhang, Michael; Zhang, Zhen; Zundel, Zach; Densmore, Douglas; Gennari, John H; Wipat, Anil; Sauro, Herbert M; Myers, Chris J

    2016-06-17

    The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a standard that enables collaborative engineering of biological systems across different institutions and tools. SBOL is developed through careful consideration of recent synthetic biology trends, real use cases, and consensus among leading researchers in the field and members of commercial biotechnology enterprises. We demonstrate and discuss how a set of SBOL-enabled software tools can form an integrated, cross-organizational workflow to recapitulate the design of one of the largest published genetic circuits to date, a 4-input AND sensor. This design encompasses the structural components of the system, such as its DNA, RNA, small molecules, and proteins, as well as the interactions between these components that determine the system's behavior/function. The demonstrated workflow and resulting circuit design illustrate the utility of SBOL 2.0 in automating the exchange of structural and functional specifications for genetic parts, devices, and the biological systems in which they operate.

  9. Active Interaction Mapping as a tool to elucidate hierarchical functions of biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farré, Jean-Claude; Kramer, Michael; Ideker, Trey; Subramani, Suresh

    2017-07-03

    Increasingly, various 'omics data are contributing significantly to our understanding of novel biological processes, but it has not been possible to iteratively elucidate hierarchical functions in complex phenomena. We describe a general systems biology approach called Active Interaction Mapping (AI-MAP), which elucidates the hierarchy of functions for any biological process. Existing and new 'omics data sets can be iteratively added to create and improve hierarchical models which enhance our understanding of particular biological processes. The best datatypes to further improve an AI-MAP model are predicted computationally. We applied this approach to our understanding of general and selective autophagy, which are conserved in most eukaryotes, setting the stage for the broader application to other cellular processes of interest. In the particular application to autophagy-related processes, we uncovered and validated new autophagy and autophagy-related processes, expanded known autophagy processes with new components, integrated known non-autophagic processes with autophagy and predict other unexplored connections.

  10. Diurnal rhythmicity in biological processes involved in bioavailability of functional food factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurusaki, Takashi; Sakakibara, Hiroyuki; Aoshima, Yoshiki; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Sakono, Masanobu; Shimoi, Kayoko

    2013-05-01

    In the past few decades, many types of functional factors have been identified in dietary foods; for example, flavonoids are major groups widely distributed in the plant kingdom. However, the absorption rates of the functional food factors are usually low, and many of these are difficult to be absorbed in the intact forms because of metabolization by biological processes during absorption. To gain adequate beneficial effects, it is therefore mandatory to know whether functional food factors are absorbed in sufficient quantity, and then reach target organs while maintaining beneficial effects. These are the reasons why the bioavailability of functional food factors has been well investigated using rodent models. Recently, many of the biological processes have been reported to follow diurnal rhythms recurring every 24 h. Therefore, absorption and metabolism of functional food factors influenced by the biological processes may vary with time of day. Consequently, the evaluation of the bioavailability of functional food factors using rodent models should take into consideration the timing of consumption. In this review, we provide a perspective overview of the diurnal rhythm of biological processes involved in the bioavailability of functional food factors, particularly flavonoids.

  11. A comprehensive software suite for protein family construction and functional site prediction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Renfrew Haft

    Full Text Available In functionally diverse protein families, conservation in short signature regions may outperform full-length sequence comparisons for identifying proteins that belong to a subgroup within which one specific aspect of their function is conserved. The SIMBAL workflow (Sites Inferred by Metabolic Background Assertion Labeling is a data-mining procedure for finding such signature regions. It begins by using clues from genomic context, such as co-occurrence or conserved gene neighborhoods, to build a useful training set from a large number of uncharacterized but mutually homologous proteins. When training set construction is successful, the YES partition is enriched in proteins that share function with the user's query sequence, while the NO partition is depleted. A selected query sequence is then mined for short signature regions whose closest matches overwhelmingly favor proteins from the YES partition. High-scoring signature regions typically contain key residues critical to functional specificity, so proteins with the highest sequence similarity across these regions tend to share the same function. The SIMBAL algorithm was described previously, but significant manual effort, expertise, and a supporting software infrastructure were required to prepare the requisite training sets. Here, we describe a new, distributable software suite that speeds up and simplifies the process for using SIMBAL, most notably by providing tools that automate training set construction. These tools have broad utility for comparative genomics, allowing for flexible collection of proteins or protein domains based on genomic context as well as homology, a capability that can greatly assist in protein family construction. Armed with this new software suite, SIMBAL can serve as a fast and powerful in silico alternative to direct experimentation for characterizing proteins and their functional interactions.

  12. N-acylation of phosphatidylethanolamine and its biological functions in mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wellner, Niels; Diep, Thi Ai; Janfelt, Christian

    2013-01-01

    N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) and N-acylplasmenylethanolamine (pNAPE) are widely found phospholipids, and they are precursors for N-acylethanolamines, a group of compounds that has a variety of biological effects and encompasses the endocannabinoid anandamide. NAPE and pNAPE are synthesiz...... reviews the metabolism, occurrence and assay of NAPE and pNAPE, and discusses the putative biological functions in mammals of these phospholipids. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Phospholipids and Phospholipid Metabolism....

  13. A data-driven approach to reverse engineering customer engagement models: towards functional constructs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie Jane de Vries

    Full Text Available Online consumer behavior in general and online customer engagement with brands in particular, has become a major focus of research activity fuelled by the exponential increase of interactive functions of the internet and social media platforms and applications. Current research in this area is mostly hypothesis-driven and much debate about the concept of Customer Engagement and its related constructs remains existent in the literature. In this paper, we aim to propose a novel methodology for reverse engineering a consumer behavior model for online customer engagement, based on a computational and data-driven perspective. This methodology could be generalized and prove useful for future research in the fields of consumer behaviors using questionnaire data or studies investigating other types of human behaviors. The method we propose contains five main stages; symbolic regression analysis, graph building, community detection, evaluation of results and finally, investigation of directed cycles and common feedback loops. The 'communities' of questionnaire items that emerge from our community detection method form possible 'functional constructs' inferred from data rather than assumed from literature and theory. Our results show consistent partitioning of questionnaire items into such 'functional constructs' suggesting the method proposed here could be adopted as a new data-driven way of human behavior modeling.

  14. A data-driven approach to reverse engineering customer engagement models: towards functional constructs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Natalie Jane; Carlson, Jamie; Moscato, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    Online consumer behavior in general and online customer engagement with brands in particular, has become a major focus of research activity fuelled by the exponential increase of interactive functions of the internet and social media platforms and applications. Current research in this area is mostly hypothesis-driven and much debate about the concept of Customer Engagement and its related constructs remains existent in the literature. In this paper, we aim to propose a novel methodology for reverse engineering a consumer behavior model for online customer engagement, based on a computational and data-driven perspective. This methodology could be generalized and prove useful for future research in the fields of consumer behaviors using questionnaire data or studies investigating other types of human behaviors. The method we propose contains five main stages; symbolic regression analysis, graph building, community detection, evaluation of results and finally, investigation of directed cycles and common feedback loops. The 'communities' of questionnaire items that emerge from our community detection method form possible 'functional constructs' inferred from data rather than assumed from literature and theory. Our results show consistent partitioning of questionnaire items into such 'functional constructs' suggesting the method proposed here could be adopted as a new data-driven way of human behavior modeling.

  15. Photoligation of self-assembled DNA constructs containing anthracene-functionalized 2'-amino-LNA monomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pasternak, Karol; Pasternak, Anna; Gupta, Pankaj

    2011-01-01

    Efficient synthesis of a novel anthracene-functionalized 2'-amino-LNA phosphoramidite derivative is described together with its incorporation into oligodeoxynucleotides. Two DNA strands with the novel 2'-N-anthracenylmethyl-2'-amino-LNA monomers can be effectively cross-linked by photoligation...... at 366nm in various types of DNA constructs. Successful application of three differently functionalized 2'-amino-LNA monomers in self-assembled higher ordered structures for simultaneous cross-linking and monitoring of assembly formation is furthermore demonstrated....

  16. Construction of a fuel demand function portraying inter-fuel substitution, a system dynamics approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abada, Ibrahim; Briat, Vincent; Massol, Olivier

    2011-04-01

    Most of the recent numerical market equilibrium models of natural gas markets use imperfect competition assumptions. These models are typically embedded with an oversimplified representation of the demand side, usually a single-variable affine function, that does not capture any dynamic adjustment to past prices. To remedy this, we report an effort to construct an enhanced functional specification using the system dynamics-based model of Moxnes (1987, 1990). Thanks to a vintage representation of capital stock, this putty-clay model captures the effect of both past and current energy prices on fuel consumption. Using a re-calibrated version of this model, we first confirm the pertinence of this modeling framework to represent inter-fuel substitutions at different fuel prices in the industrial sector. Building on these findings, a dynamic functional specification of the demand function for natural gas is then proposed and calibrated. (authors)

  17. Crafting the TALE: construction of a measure to assess the functions of autobiographical remembering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluck, Susan; Alea, Nicole

    2011-07-01

    Theory suggests that autobiographical remembering serves several functions. This research builds on previous empirical efforts (Bluck, Alea, Habermas, & Rubin, 2005) with the aim of constructing a brief, valid measure of three functions of autobiographical memory. Participants (N=306) completed 28 theoretically derived items concerning the frequency with which they use autobiographical memory to serve a variety of functions. To examine convergent and discriminant validity, participants rated their tendency to think about and talk about the past, and measures of future time orientation, self-concept clarity, and trait personality. Confirmatory factor analysis of the function items resulted in a respecified model with 15 items in three factors. The newly developed Thinking about Life Experiences scale (TALE) shows good internal consistency as well as convergent validity for three subscales: Self-Continuity, Social-Bonding, and Directing-Behaviour. Analyses demonstrate factorial equivalence across age and gender groups. Potential use and limitations of the TALE are discussed.

  18. Construction of a Smooth Lyapunov Function for the Robust and Exact Second-Order Differentiator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonametl Sanchez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Differentiators play an important role in (continuous feedback control systems. In particular, the robust and exact second-order differentiator has shown some very interesting properties and it has been used successfully in sliding mode control, in spite of the lack of a Lyapunov based procedure to design its gains. As contribution of this paper, we provide a constructive method to determine a differentiable Lyapunov function for such a differentiator. Moreover, the Lyapunov function is used to provide a procedure to design the differentiator’s parameters. Also, some sets of such parameters are provided. The determination of the positive definiteness of the Lyapunov function and negative definiteness of its derivative is converted to the problem of solving a system of inequalities linear in the parameters of the Lyapunov function candidate and also linear in the gains of the differentiator, but bilinear in both.

  19. Deconstructing and constructing innate immune functions using molecular sensors and actuators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Kester; Inoue, Takanari

    2016-05-01

    White blood cells such as neutrophils and macrophages are made competent for chemotaxis and phagocytosis -- the dynamic cellular behaviors that are hallmarks of their innate immune functions -- by the reorganization of complex biological circuits during differentiation. Conventional loss-of-function approaches have revealed that more than 100 genes participate in these cellular functions, and we have begun to understand the intricate signaling circuits that are built up from these gene products. We now appreciate: (1) that these circuits come in a variety of flavors -- so that we can make a distinction between genetic circuits, metabolic circuits and signaling circuits; and (2) that they are usually so complex that the assumption of multiple feedback loops, as well as that of crosstalk between seemingly independent pathways, is now routine. It has not escaped our notice, however, that just as physicists and electrical engineers have long been able to disentangle complex electric circuits simply by repetitive cycles of probing and measuring electric currents using a voltmeter, we might similarly be able to dissect these intricate biological circuits by incorporating equivalent approaches in the fields of cell biology and bioengineering. Existing techniques in biology for probing individual circuit components are unfortunately lacking, so that the overarching goal of drawing an exact circuit diagram for the whole cell -- complete with kinetic parameters for connections between individual circuit components -- is not yet in near sight. My laboratory and others have thus begun the development of a new series of molecular tools that can measurably investigate the circuit connectivity inside living cells, as if we were doing so on a silicon board. In these proceedings, I will introduce some of these techniques, provide examples of their implementation, and offer a perspective on directions moving forward.

  20. Composite Structural Motifs of Binding Sites for Delineating Biological Functions of Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinjo, Akira R.; Nakamura, Haruki

    2012-01-01

    Most biological processes are described as a series of interactions between proteins and other molecules, and interactions are in turn described in terms of atomic structures. To annotate protein functions as sets of interaction states at atomic resolution, and thereby to better understand the relation between protein interactions and biological functions, we conducted exhaustive all-against-all atomic structure comparisons of all known binding sites for ligands including small molecules, proteins and nucleic acids, and identified recurring elementary motifs. By integrating the elementary motifs associated with each subunit, we defined composite motifs that represent context-dependent combinations of elementary motifs. It is demonstrated that function similarity can be better inferred from composite motif similarity compared to the similarity of protein sequences or of individual binding sites. By integrating the composite motifs associated with each protein function, we define meta-composite motifs each of which is regarded as a time-independent diagrammatic representation of a biological process. It is shown that meta-composite motifs provide richer annotations of biological processes than sequence clusters. The present results serve as a basis for bridging atomic structures to higher-order biological phenomena by classification and integration of binding site structures. PMID:22347478

  1. Adipose-Derived Cell Construct Stabilizes Heart Function and Increases Microvascular Perfusion in an Established Infarct

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Quang T.; Touroo, Jeremy S.; Aird, Allison L.; Chang, Raymond C.; Ng, Chin K.; Hoying, James B.; Williams, Stuart K.

    2013-01-01

    We have previously shown that myocardial infarction (MI) immediately treated with an epicardial construct containing stromal vascular fraction (SVF) from adipose tissue preserved microvascular function and left ventricle contractile mechanisms. In order to evaluate a more clinically relevant condition, we investigated the cardiac recovery potential of an SVF construct implanted onto an established infarct. SVF cells were isolated from rat adipose tissue, plated on Vicryl, and cultured for 14 days. Fischer-344 rats were separated into MI groups: (a) 6-week MI (MI), (b) 6-week MI treated with an SVF construct at 2 weeks (MI SVF), (c) 6-week MI with Vicryl construct at 2 weeks (MI Vicryl), and (d) MI 2wk (time point of intervention). Emax, an indicator of systolic performance and contractile function, was lower in the MI and MI Vicryl versus MI SVF. Positron emission tomography imaging (18F-fluorodeoxyglucose) revealed a decreased percentage of relative infarct volume in the MI SVF versus MI and MI Vicryl. Total vessel count and percentage of perfusion assessed via immunohistochemistry were both increased in the infarct region of MI SVF versus MI and MI Vicryl. Overall cardiac function, percentage of relative infarct, and percentage of perfusion were similar between MI SVF and MI 2wk; however, total vessel count increased after SVF treatment. These data suggest that SVF treatment of an established infarct stabilizes the heart at the time point of intervention by preventing a worsening of cardiac performance and infarcted volume, and is associated with increased microvessel perfusion in the area of established infarct. PMID:24106337

  2. Revealing the functions of the transketolase enzyme isoforms in Rhodopseudomonas palustris using a systems biology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Wei Hu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rhodopseudomonas palustris (R. palustris is a purple non-sulfur anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium that belongs to the class of proteobacteria. It is capable of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it to biomass via the process of photosynthesis and the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB cycle. Transketolase is a key enzyme involved in the CBB cycle. Here, we reveal the functions of transketolase isoforms I and II in R. palustris using a systems biology approach. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By measuring growth ability, we found that transketolase could enhance the autotrophic growth and biomass production of R. palustris. Microarray and real-time quantitative PCR revealed that transketolase isoforms I and II were involved in different carbon metabolic pathways. In addition, immunogold staining demonstrated that the two transketolase isoforms had different spatial localizations: transketolase I was primarily associated with the intracytoplasmic membrane (ICM but transketolase II was mostly distributed in the cytoplasm. Comparative proteomic analysis and network construction of transketolase over-expression and negative control (NC strains revealed that protein folding, transcriptional regulation, amino acid transport and CBB cycle-associated carbon metabolism were enriched in the transketolase I over-expressed strain. In contrast, ATP synthesis, carbohydrate transport, glycolysis-associated carbon metabolism and CBB cycle-associated carbon metabolism were enriched in the transketolase II over-expressed strain. Furthermore, ATP synthesis assays showed a significant increase in ATP synthesis in the transketolase II over-expressed strain. A PEPCK activity assay showed that PEPCK activity was higher in transketolase over-expressed strains than in the negative control strain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our results indicate that the two isoforms of transketolase in R. palustris could affect photoautotrophic growth

  3. Constructed Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    these systems can improve water quality, engineers and scientists construct systems that replicate the functions of natural wetlands. Constructed wetlands are treatment systems that use natural processes

  4. Constructing a working taxonomy of functional Ada software components for real-time embedded system applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Robert

    1986-01-01

    A major impediment to a systematic attack on Ada software reusability is the lack of an effective taxonomy for software component functions. The scope of all possible applications of Ada software is considered too great to allow the practical development of a working taxonomy. Instead, for the purposes herein, the scope of Ada software application is limited to device and subsystem control in real-time embedded systems. A functional approach is taken in constructing the taxonomy tree for identified Ada domain. The use of modular software functions as a starting point fits well with the object oriented programming philosophy of Ada. Examples of the types of functions represented within the working taxonomy are real time kernels, interrupt service routines, synchronization and message passing, data conversion, digital filtering and signal conditioning, and device control. The constructed taxonomy is proposed as a framework from which a need analysis can be performed to reveal voids in current Ada real-time embedded programming efforts for Space Station.

  5. The cell engineering construction and function evaluation of multi-layer biochip dialyzer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wen; Li, Jiwei; Liu, Jianfeng

    2013-10-01

    We report the fabrication and function evaluation of multi-layer biochip dialyzer. Such device may potentially be applied to the wearable hemodialysis systems. By merging the advantages of microfluidic chip technology with cell engineering, both functions of glomerular filtration and renal tubule physiological activity are integrated in the same device. This device is designed into a laminated structure, in which the chip number of the superimposed layer can be arbitrarily tailored in accordance with the requirements of dialysis capacity. We propose that such structure can overcome the obstacles of large size and detached structure of the traditional hollow fiber dialyzer. To construct this multilayer biochips dialyzer, two types of dialyzer device with two-layered and six-layered chips are assembled, respectively. Cell adhesion and proliferation on three different dialysis membrane materials under static and dynamic conditions are investigated and compared. The filtration capability, re-absorption function and excrete ammonia function of the resulting multi-layer biochip dialyzer are evaluated. The results reveal that the constructed device can perform higher filtration efficiency and also play a role of renal tubule. This methodology may be useful in developing "scaling down" artificial kidneys that can act as wearable or even implantable hemodialysis systems.

  6. Biologic variability and correlation of platelet function testing in healthy dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blois, Shauna L; Lang, Sean T; Wood, R Darren; Monteith, Gabrielle

    2015-12-01

    Platelet function tests are influenced by biologic variability, including inter-individual (CVG ) and intra-individual (CVI ), as well as analytic (CVA ) variability. Variability in canine platelet function testing is unknown, but if excessive, would make it difficult to interpret serial results. Additionally, the correlation between platelet function tests is poor in people, but not well described in dogs. The aims were to: (1) identify the effect of variation in preanalytic factors (venipuncture, elapsed time until analysis) on platelet function tests; (2) calculate analytic and biologic variability of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and arachidonic acid (AA)-induced thromboelastograph platelet mapping (TEG-PM), ADP-, AA-, and collagen-induced whole blood platelet aggregometry (WBA), and collagen/ADP and collagen/epinephrine platelet function analysis (PFA-CADP, PFA-CEPI); and (3) determine the correlation between these variables. In this prospective observational trial, platelet function was measured once every 7 days, for 4 consecutive weeks, in 9 healthy dogs. In addition, CBC, TEG-PM, WBA, and PFA were performed. Overall coefficients of variability ranged from 13.3% to 87.8% for the platelet function tests. Biologic variability was highest for AA-induced maximum amplitude generated during TEG-PM (MAAA; CVG = 95.3%, CVI = 60.8%). Use of population-based reference intervals (RI) was determined appropriate only for PFA-CADP (index of individuality = 10.7). There was poor correlation between most platelet function tests. Use of population-based RI appears inappropriate for most platelet function tests, and tests poorly correlate with one another. Future studies on biologic variability and correlation of platelet function tests should be performed in dogs with platelet dysfunction and those treated with antiplatelet therapy. © 2015 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

  7. A comparative approach for the investigation of biological information processing: An examination of the structure and function of computer hard drives and DNA

    OpenAIRE

    D'Onofrio, David J; An, Gary

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background The robust storage, updating and utilization of information are necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of dynamic systems. These systems can exist as constructs of metal-oxide semiconductors and silicon, as in a digital computer, or in the "wetware" of organic compounds, proteins and nucleic acids that make up biological organisms. We propose that there are essential functional properties of centralized information-processing systems; for digital computers these pr...

  8. Biological dosimetry of ionizing radiation: Evaluation of the dose with cytogenetic methodologies by the construction of calibration curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafiropoulos, Demetre; Facco, E.; Sarchiapone, Lucia

    2016-09-01

    In case of a radiation accident, it is well known that in the absence of physical dosimetry biological dosimetry based on cytogenetic methods is a unique tool to estimate individual absorbed dose. Moreover, even when physical dosimetry indicates an overexposure, scoring chromosome aberrations (dicentrics and rings) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) at metaphase is presently the most widely used method to confirm dose assessment. The analysis of dicentrics and rings in PBLs after Giemsa staining of metaphase cells is considered the most valid assay for radiation injury. This work shows that applying the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique, using telomeric/centromeric peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes in metaphase chromosomes for radiation dosimetry, could become a fast scoring, reliable and precise method for biological dosimetry after accidental radiation exposures. In both in vitro methods described above, lymphocyte stimulation is needed, and this limits the application in radiation emergency medicine where speed is considered to be a high priority. Using premature chromosome condensation (PCC), irradiated human PBLs (non-stimulated) were fused with mitotic CHO cells, and the yield of excess PCC fragments in Giemsa stained cells was scored. To score dicentrics and rings under PCC conditions, the necessary centromere and telomere detection of the chromosomes was obtained using FISH and specific PNA probes. Of course, a prerequisite for dose assessment in all cases is a dose-effect calibration curve. This work illustrates the various methods used; dose response calibration curves, with 95% confidence limits used to estimate dose uncertainties, have been constructed for conventional metaphase analysis and FISH. We also compare the dose-response curve constructed after scoring of dicentrics and rings using PCC combined with FISH and PNA probes. Also reported are dose response curves showing scored dicentrics and rings per cell, combining

  9. Data for constructing insect genome content matrices for phylogenetic analysis and functional annotation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Rosenfeld

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Twenty one fully sequenced and well annotated insect genomes were used to construct genome content matrices for phylogenetic analysis and functional annotation of insect genomes. To examine the role of e-value cutoff in ortholog determination we used scaled e-value cutoffs and a single linkage clustering approach.. The present communication includes (1 a list of the genomes used to construct the genome content phylogenetic matrices, (2 a nexus file with the data matrices used in phylogenetic analysis, (3 a nexus file with the Newick trees generated by phylogenetic analysis, (4 an excel file listing the Core (CORE genes and Unique (UNI genes found in five insect groups, and (5 a figure showing a plot of consistency index (CI versus percent of unannotated genes that are apomorphies in the data set for gene losses and gains and bar plots of gains and losses for four consistency index (CI cutoffs.

  10. The relationship between oral health status and biological and psychosocial function in the bedridden elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanada, N; Tada, A

    2001-01-01

    The present study was conducted in order to determine what item of biological and psychosocial function is related to oral health status in the bedridden elderly. The subjects were 94 elderly individuals (30 males, 64 females) who had been admitted to a nursing home in Chiba city, Japan. We assessed the number of remaining teeth and the number of functional teeth as oral health status variables. Biological and psychosocial function levels were determined using the functional independence measure method developed by the State University of New York at Buffalo. More than 70% of subjects had less than ten remaining teeth. Almost all subjects needed prosthesis treatment. More than 50% of subjects had 27 or less functional teeth. Mann-Whitney U-test and logistic regression models showed that 'expression' was concerned with the number of remaining teeth and 'bladder management', 'locomotion', 'transfers' were related to the number of functional teeth. These data suggest close relation between oral health status and biological and psychosocial function levels in the bedridden elderly.

  11. Constructive remodeling of biologic scaffolds is dependent on early exposure to physiologic bladder filling in a canine partial cystectomy model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boruch, Alan V; Nieponice, Alejandro; Qureshi, Irfan R; Gilbert, Thomas W; Badylak, Stephen F

    2010-06-15

    Biologic scaffolds composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) have been used to facilitate the constructive remodeling of several tissue types. Previous studies suggest that the ECM scaffold remodeling process is dependent on microenvironmental factors, including tissue-specific biomechanical loading. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of long-term catheterization (LTC), with its associated inhibition of bladder filling and physiologic biomechanical loading, on ECM scaffold remodeling following partial cystectomy in a canine model. Reconstruction of the partial cystectomy site was performed using ECM scaffolds prepared from porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) or porcine urinary bladder matrix (UBM). Animals were randomly assigned to either a long-term catheterization (LTC) group (n=5, catheterized 28 d) or a short-term catheterization group (STC, n=5, catheterized 24 h), and scaffold remodeling was assessed by histologic methods at 4 and 12 wk postoperatively. By 4 wk, animals in the STC group showed a well-developed and highly differentiated urothelium, a robust vascularization network, abundant smooth muscle actin (SMA), and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (smMHC) expressing spindle-shaped cells, and many neuronal processes associated with newly formed arterioles. In contrast, at 4 wk the scaffolds in LTC animals were not epithelialized, and did not express neuronal markers. The scaffolds in the LTC group developed a dense granulation tissue containing SMA+, smMHC-, spindle-shaped cells that were morphologically and phenotypically consistent with myofibroblasts, but not smooth muscle cells. By 12 wk postoperatively, the ECM scaffolds in the STC animals showed a constructive remodeling response, with a differentiated urothelium and islands of smooth muscle cells within the remodeled scaffold. In contrast, at 12 wk the scaffolds in LTC animals had a remodeling response more consistent with fibrosis even though catheters had been

  12. Enhanced cytocompatibility of silver-containing biointerface by constructing nitrogen functionalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Wei, E-mail: weizhang@mail.ipc.ac.cn [Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China); Liu, Jun [Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China); Wang, Huaiyu [Department of Physics & Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Xu, Ying; Wang, Pingli [Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China); Ji, Junhui, E-mail: jhji@mail.ipc.ac.cn [Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China); Chu, Paul K. [Department of Physics & Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)

    2015-09-15

    Graphical abstract: Constructing nitrogen functionalities is promising method to enhance cytocompatibility of the biointerface by simultaneous Ag and N{sub 2} plasma modification. - Highlights: • N{sub 2} plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) treatment generates plenty of nitrogen functionalities on polymer substrate. • N{sub 2} PIII treatment increases surface roughness and hydrophilicity and improves its capability to adsorb protein. • Simultaneous Ag and N{sub 2} plasma modification constructs nitrogen functionalities to enhance cytocompatibility of the biointerface. - Abstract: Silver (Ag) has recently been introduced into polymeric biomedical implants by plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) to enhance the antibacterial capability. However, Ag ions and nanoparticles can increase the cytotoxicity and inhibit cellular proliferation and the relationship is time- and dose-dependent. In this study, Ag and N{sub 2} PIII is conducted in concert to produce nitrogen functional groups as well as Ag-containing biointerface. In addition to the creation of nitrogen functionalities, the surface roughness and hydrophilicity are improved in favor of protein adsorption. Compared to the biointerface created by Ag PIII only, the nitrogen functionalities generated by N{sub 2} co-PIII do not affect DNA synthesis and the total protein level but evidently enhance cellular adhesion, viability, and proliferation at the biointerface. The modified surface is observed to upregulate the osteogenesis-related marker expression of bone cells in contact. Our findings suggest that dual Ag and N{sub 2} PIII is a desirable technique to enhance both the cytocompatibility and antibacterial capability of medical polymers.

  13. A novel aerated surface flow constructed wetland using exhaust gas from biological wastewater treatment: Performance and mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xinwen; Hu, Zhen; Zhang, Jian; Fan, Jinlin; Ngo, Huu Hao; Guo, Wenshan; Zeng, Chujun; Wu, Yiwen; Wang, Siyuan

    2018-02-01

    In this study, a novel aerated surface flow constructed wetland (SFCW) using exhaust gas from biological wastewater treatment was investigated. Compared with un-aerated SFCW, the introduction of exhaust gas into SFCW significantly improved NH 4 + -N, TN and COD removal efficiencies by 68.30 ± 2.06%, 24.92 ± 1.13% and 73.92 ± 2.36%, respectively. The pollutants removal mechanism was related to the microbial abundance and the highest microbial abundance was observed in the SFCW with exhaust gas because of the introduction of exhaust gas from sequencing batch reactor (SBR), and thereby optimizing nitrogen transformation processes. Moreover, SFCW would significantly mitigate the risk of exhaust gas pollution. SFCW removed 20.00 ± 1.23%, 34.78 ± 1.39%, and 59.50 ± 2.33% of H 2 S, NH 3 and N 2 O in the exhaust gas, respectively. And 31.32 ± 2.23% and 32.02 ± 2.86% of bacterial and fungal aerosols in exhaust gas were also removed through passing SFCW, respectively. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. [Recent advances of synthetic biology for production of functional ingredients in Chinese materia medica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Xin-Yao; Xue, Jian-Ping; Wang, Cai-Xia

    2016-11-01

    The functional ingredients in Chinese materia medica are the main active substance for traditional Chinese medicine and most of them are secondary metabolites derivatives. Until now,the main method to obtain those functional ingredients is through direct extraction from the Chinese materia medica. However, the income is very low because of the high extraction costs and the decreased medicinal plants. Synthetic biology technology, as a new and microbial approach, can be able to carry out large-scale production of functional ingredients and greatly ease the shortage of traditional Chinese medicine ingredients. This review mainly focused on the recent advances in synthetic biology for the functional ingredients production. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  15. PANTHER version 6: protein sequence and function evolution data with expanded representation of biological pathways

    OpenAIRE

    Mi, Huaiyu; Guo, Nan; Kejariwal, Anish; Thomas, Paul D.

    2006-01-01

    PANTHER is a freely available, comprehensive software system for relating protein sequence evolution to the evolution of specific protein functions and biological roles. Since 2005, there have been three main improvements to PANTHER. First, the sequences used to create evolutionary trees are carefully selected to provide coverage of phylogenetic as well as functional information. Second, PANTHER is now a member of the InterPro Consortium, and the PANTHER hidden markov Models (HMMs) are distri...

  16. Late-stage diversification of biologically active pyridazinones via a direct C-H functionalization strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Fan, Zhoulong; Geng, Kaijun; Xu, Youjun; Zhang, Ao

    2015-01-14

    Divergent C-H functionalization reactions (arylation, carboxylation, olefination, thiolation, acetoxylation, halogenation, naphthylation) using a pyridazinone moiety as an internal directing group were successfully established. This approach offers a late-stage, ortho-selective diversification of a biologically active pyridazinone scaffold. Seven series of novel pyridazinone analogues were synthesized conveniently as the synthetic precursors of potential sortase A (SrtA) inhibitors.

  17. Applying systemic functional linguistics to conversations with dementia: the linguistic construction of relationships between participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Nicole; Mok, Zaneta

    2012-02-01

    Social isolation in dementia is a growing concern as the incidence and prevalence of dementing conditions is on the rise in many societies. Positive social interactions, which foster the construction and enactment of positive interpersonal relationships and therefore positive discursive identities, make an important contribution to emotional well-being. In this article, we investigate how two women diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer's type use language to relate to each other and two visiting graduate students. We use Systemic Functional Linguistics as an analytical framework, specifically investigating the use of vocatives and naming, and conversational moves and exchanges. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  18. Collaborative role construction in a conversation with dementia: an application of systemic functional linguistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Nicole; Wilson, Brent T

    2008-01-01

    This study applies the tools provided by Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) to the description of patterns in a conversation between a person with dementia and a person without. It shows how, in the presence of, on the one hand, considerable communicative and cognitive deficits, and on the other, a collaborative interlocutor, a person with dementia succeeds in leading and sustaining a lengthy conversation, and of constructing for himself a positive role in the interaction, namely that of the elder advising a much younger man.

  19. A biologically inspired psychometric function for accuracy of visual identification as a function of exposure duration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    , all of these having a temporal offset included, as well as the ex-Gaussian, and finally a new psychometric function, motivated from single-neuron studies by (Albrecht, Geisler, Frazor & Crane, 2002). The new psychometric function stands out by having a nonmonotonous hazard rate which is initially...

  20. Fibrin Gels Exhibit Improved Biological, Structural, and Mechanical Properties Compared with Collagen Gels in Cell-Based Tendon Tissue-Engineered Constructs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyment, Nathaniel A.; Lu, Yinhui; Rao, Marepalli; Shearn, Jason T.; Rowe, David W.; Kadler, Karl E.; Butler, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The prevalence of tendon and ligament injuries and inadequacies of current treatments is driving the need for alternative strategies such as tissue engineering. Fibrin and collagen biopolymers have been popular materials for creating tissue-engineered constructs (TECs), as they exhibit advantages of biocompatibility and flexibility in construct design. Unfortunately, a few studies have directly compared these materials for tendon and ligament applications. Therefore, this study aims at determining how collagen versus fibrin hydrogels affect the biological, structural, and mechanical properties of TECs during formation in vitro. Our findings show that tendon and ligament progenitor cells seeded in fibrin constructs exhibit improved tenogenic gene expression patterns compared with their collagen-based counterparts for approximately 14 days in culture. Fibrin-based constructs also exhibit improved cell-derived collagen alignment, increased linear modulus (2.2-fold greater) compared with collagen-based constructs. Cyclic tensile loading, which promotes the maturation of tendon constructs in a previous work, exhibits a material-dependent effect in this study. Fibrin constructs show trending reductions in mechanical, biological, and structural properties, whereas collagen constructs only show improved tenogenic expression in the presence of mechanical stimulation. These findings highlight that components of the mechanical stimulus (e.g., strain amplitude or time of initiation) need to be tailored to the material and cell type. Given the improvements in tenogenic expression, extracellular matrix organization, and material properties during static culture, in vitro findings presented here suggest that fibrin-based constructs may be a more suitable alternative to collagen-based constructs for tissue-engineered tendon/ligament repair. PMID:25266738

  1. Wigner functions for noncommutative quantum mechanics: A group representation based construction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chowdhury, S. Hasibul Hassan, E-mail: shhchowdhury@gmail.com [Chern Institute of Mathematics, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071 (China); Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec H3G 1M8 (Canada); Ali, S. Twareque, E-mail: twareque.ali@concordia.ca [Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec H3G 1M8 (Canada)

    2015-12-15

    This paper is devoted to the construction and analysis of the Wigner functions for noncommutative quantum mechanics, their marginal distributions, and star-products, following a technique developed earlier, viz, using the unitary irreducible representations of the group G{sub NC}, which is the three fold central extension of the Abelian group of ℝ{sup 4}. These representations have been exhaustively studied in earlier papers. The group G{sub NC} is identified with the kinematical symmetry group of noncommutative quantum mechanics of a system with two degrees of freedom. The Wigner functions studied here reflect different levels of non-commutativity—both the operators of position and those of momentum not commuting, the position operators not commuting and finally, the case of standard quantum mechanics, obeying the canonical commutation relations only.

  2. Construction of energy loss function for low-energy electrons in helium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dayashankar, [Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay (India). Div. of Radiation Protection

    1976-02-01

    The energy loss function for electrons in the energy range from 50 eV to 1 keV in helium gas has been constructed by considering separately the energy loss in overcoming the ionization threshold, the loss manifested as kinetic energy of secondary electrons and the loss in the discrete state excitations. This has been done by utilizing recent measurements of Opal et al. on the energy spectrum of secondary electrons and incorporating the experimental data on cross sections for twenty-four excited states. The present results of the energy loss function are in good agreement with the Bethe formula for energies above 500 eV. For lower energies, where the Bethe formula is not applicable, the present results should be particularly useful.

  3. One-way Hash function construction based on the chaotic map with changeable-parameter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Di; Liao Xiaofeng; Deng Shaojiang

    2005-01-01

    An algorithm for one-way Hash function construction based on the chaotic map with changeable-parameter is proposed in this paper. A piecewise linear chaotic map with changeable-parameter P is chosen, and cipher block chaining mode (CBC) is introduced to ensure that the parameter P in each iteration is dynamically decided by the last-time iteration value and the corresponding message bit in different positions. The final Hash value is obtained by means of the linear transform on the iteration sequence. Theoretical analysis and computer simulation indicate that our algorithm can satisfy all the performance requirements of Hash function in an efficient and flexible manner. It is practicable and reliable, with high potential to be adopted for E-commerce

  4. One-way Hash function construction based on the chaotic map with changeable-parameter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao Di [College of Computer Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China) and College of Mechanical Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China)]. E-mail: xiaodi_cqu@hotmail.com; Liao Xiaofeng [College of Computer Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China)]. E-mail: xfliao@cqu.edu.cn; Deng Shaojiang [College of Computer Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China)

    2005-04-01

    An algorithm for one-way Hash function construction based on the chaotic map with changeable-parameter is proposed in this paper. A piecewise linear chaotic map with changeable-parameter P is chosen, and cipher block chaining mode (CBC) is introduced to ensure that the parameter P in each iteration is dynamically decided by the last-time iteration value and the corresponding message bit in different positions. The final Hash value is obtained by means of the linear transform on the iteration sequence. Theoretical analysis and computer simulation indicate that our algorithm can satisfy all the performance requirements of Hash function in an efficient and flexible manner. It is practicable and reliable, with high potential to be adopted for E-commerce.

  5. Single amino acid substitution in important hemoglobinopathies does not disturb molecular function and biological process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viroj Wiwanitkit

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Viroj WiwanitkitDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, ThailandAbstract: Hemoglobin is an important protein found in the red cells of many animals. In humans, the hemoglobin is mainly distributed in the red blood cell. Single amino acid substitution is the main pathogenesis of most hemoglobin disorders. Here, the author used a new gene ontology technology to predict the molecular function and biological process of four important hemoglobin disorders with single substitution. The four studied important abnormal hemoglobins (Hb with single substitution included Hb S, Hb E, Hb C, and Hb J-Baltimore. Using the GoFigure server, the molecular function and biological process in normal and abnormal hemoglobins was predicted. Compared with normal hemoglobin, all studied abnormal hemoglobins had the same function and biological process. This indicated that the overall function of oxygen transportation is not disturbed in the studied hemoglobin disorders. Clinical findings of oxygen depletion in abnormal hemoglobin should therefore be due to the other processes rather than genomics, proteomics, and expression levels.Keywords: hemoglobin, amino acid, substitution, function

  6. A systems biology approach to construct the gene regulatory network of systemic inflammation via microarray and databases mining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lan Chung-Yu

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inflammation is a hallmark of many human diseases. Elucidating the mechanisms underlying systemic inflammation has long been an important topic in basic and clinical research. When primary pathogenetic events remains unclear due to its immense complexity, construction and analysis of the gene regulatory network of inflammation at times becomes the best way to understand the detrimental effects of disease. However, it is difficult to recognize and evaluate relevant biological processes from the huge quantities of experimental data. It is hence appealing to find an algorithm which can generate a gene regulatory network of systemic inflammation from high-throughput genomic studies of human diseases. Such network will be essential for us to extract valuable information from the complex and chaotic network under diseased conditions. Results In this study, we construct a gene regulatory network of inflammation using data extracted from the Ensembl and JASPAR databases. We also integrate and apply a number of systematic algorithms like cross correlation threshold, maximum likelihood estimation method and Akaike Information Criterion (AIC on time-lapsed microarray data to refine the genome-wide transcriptional regulatory network in response to bacterial endotoxins in the context of dynamic activated genes, which are regulated by transcription factors (TFs such as NF-κB. This systematic approach is used to investigate the stochastic interaction represented by the dynamic leukocyte gene expression profiles of human subject exposed to an inflammatory stimulus (bacterial endotoxin. Based on the kinetic parameters of the dynamic gene regulatory network, we identify important properties (such as susceptibility to infection of the immune system, which may be useful for translational research. Finally, robustness of the inflammatory gene network is also inferred by analyzing the hubs and "weak ties" structures of the gene network

  7. Strategies for specifically directing metal functionalization of protein nanotubes: constructing protein coated silver nanowires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carreño-Fuentes, Liliana; Palomares, Laura A; Ramírez, Octavio T; Ascencio, Jorge A; Medina, Ariosto; Aguila, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    Biological molecules that self-assemble in the nanoscale range are useful multifunctional materials. Rotavirus VP6 protein self-assembles into tubular structures in the absence of other rotavirus proteins. Here, we present strategies for selectively directing metal functionalization to the lumen of VP6 nanotubes. The specific in situ metal reduction in the inner surface of nanotube walls was achieved by the simple modification of a method previously reported to functionalize the nanotube outer surface. Silver nanorods and nanowires as long as 1.5 μm were formed inside the nanotubes by coalescence of nanoparticles. Such one-dimensional structures were longer than others previously obtained using bioscaffolds. The interactions between silver ions and the nanotube were simulated to understand the conditions that allowed nanowire formation. Molecular docking showed that a naturally occurring arrangement of aspartate residues enabled the stabilization of silver ions on the internal surface of the VP6 nanotubes. This is the first time that such a spatial arrangement has been proposed for the nucleation of silver nanoparticles, opening the possibility of using such an array to direct functionalization of other biomolecules. These results demonstrate the natural capabilities of VP6 nanotubes to function as a versatile biotemplate for nanomaterials. (paper)

  8. MOBILE HOUSING AS A FUNCTIONAL-TYPOLOGICAL VARIETY OF THE INDUSTRY OF MODERN CONSTRUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MIRONENKO V. P.

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement. Current socio-demographic conditions in Ukraine and the level of housing of different types and quality suggest the possibility of active development mobile home construction. Practical advantages of mobile homes in various regions of the world reflected in the popularity of their use, especially as a temporary, recreational, holiday and tourist accommodation. The use of mobile housing in Ukraine currently is limited functional-typological composition. Aim. Identify the features of the design and construction of mobile homes on the basis of studying the world and domestic experience based integrated assessment formative factors (environmental and fire safety, energy efficiency, reliability and sustainability, etc.. Analyzing of the resent research. In research on mobility and transform element residential buildings addressed such issues: the experience of adaptation of housing to changes in the life of their inhabitants in the form of transformation of the internal space and its versatility [1; 11]; the methodology and design of constructions differing movable , collapsible or foldable parts and features of formation of mobile home recreational purpose[19]; the evolution of human dwellings and projected a futuristic look at the structure of the living environment [14]. In the scientific development of modern authors on architectural topics most relevant topics related to energy issues: a study of the historical background of the development of energy efficient housing, development of the basic requirements and solutions, their formation, and the creation of engineering and efficient method of designing low-rise architecture [15]; an analysis of the use of alternative energy sources, identify the main ways of saving energy and the development of architecture energy-saving residential buildings of low and medium-rise [16]; the development of an integrated approach to the ecological – economic substantiation of creation of

  9. Long-term symptomatic, functional, and work outcomes of carpal tunnel syndrome among construction workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evanoff, Bradley; Gardner, Bethany T; Strickland, Jaime R; Buckner-Petty, Skye; Franzblau, Alfred; Dale, Ann Marie

    2016-05-01

    The long-term outcomes of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) including symptoms, functional status, work disability, and economic impact are unknown. We conducted a retrospective study of 234 active construction workers with medical claims for CTS and 249 workers without CTS claims; non-cases were matched on age, trade, and insurance eligibility. We conducted telephone interviews with cases and non-cases and collected administrative data on work hours. Compared to non-cases, CTS cases were more likely to report recurrent hand symptoms, decreased work productivity/quality, decreased performance of physical work demands, and greater functional limitations. Surgical cases showed larger improvements on multiple outcomes than non-surgical cases. Minimal differences in paid work hours were seen between cases and non-cases in the years preceding and following CTS claims. Persistent symptoms and functional impairments were present several years after CTS diagnosis. Long-term functional limitations shown by this and other studies indicate the need for improved prevention and treatment. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Using scale and feather traits for module construction provides a functional approach to chicken epidermal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Weier; Greenwold, Matthew J; Sawyer, Roger H

    2017-11-01

    Gene co-expression network analysis has been a research method widely used in systematically exploring gene function and interaction. Using the Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) approach to construct a gene co-expression network using data from a customized 44K microarray transcriptome of chicken epidermal embryogenesis, we have identified two distinct modules that are highly correlated with scale or feather development traits. Signaling pathways related to feather development were enriched in the traditional KEGG pathway analysis and functional terms relating specifically to embryonic epidermal development were also enriched in the Gene Ontology analysis. Significant enrichment annotations were discovered from customized enrichment tools such as Modular Single-Set Enrichment Test (MSET) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). Hub genes in both trait-correlated modules showed strong specific functional enrichment toward epidermal development. Also, regulatory elements, such as transcription factors and miRNAs, were targeted in the significant enrichment result. This work highlights the advantage of this methodology for functional prediction of genes not previously associated with scale- and feather trait-related modules.

  11. The bottom-up approach to defining life : deciphering the functional organization of biological cells via multi-objective representation of biological complexity from molecules to cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In silico representation of cellular systems needs to represent the adaptive dynamics of biological cells, recognizing a cell’s multi-objective topology formed by spatially and temporally cohesive intracellular structures. The design of these models needs to address the hierarchical and concurrent nature of cellular functions and incorporate the ability to self-organise in response to transitions between healthy and pathological phases, and adapt accordingly. The functions of biological systems are constantly evolving, due to the ever changing demands of their environment. Biological systems meet these demands by pursuing objectives, aided by their constituents, giving rise to biological functions. A biological cell is organised into an objective/task hierarchy. These objective hierarchy corresponds to the nested nature of temporally cohesive structures and representing them will facilitate in studying pleiotropy and polygeny by modeling causalities propagating across multiple interconnected intracellular processes. Although biological adaptations occur in physiological, developmental and reproductive timescales, the paper is focused on adaptations that occur within physiological timescales, where the biomolecular activities contributing to functional organisation, play a key role in cellular physiology. The paper proposes a multi-scale and multi-objective modelling approach from the bottom-up by representing temporally cohesive structures for multi-tasking of intracellular processes. Further the paper characterises the properties and constraints that are consequential to the organisational and adaptive dynamics in biological cells.

  12. Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding physiology: a network biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsen, Peter K; Turan, Nil; Egginton, Stuart; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The overall aim of physiological research is to understand how living systems function in an integrative manner. Consequently, the discipline of physiology has since its infancy attempted to link multiple levels of biological organization. Increasingly this has involved mathematical and computational approaches, typically to model a small number of components spanning several levels of biological organization. With the advent of "omics" technologies, which can characterize the molecular state of a cell or tissue (intended as the level of expression and/or activity of its molecular components), the number of molecular components we can quantify has increased exponentially. Paradoxically, the unprecedented amount of experimental data has made it more difficult to derive conceptual models underlying essential mechanisms regulating mammalian physiology. We present an overview of state-of-the-art methods currently used to identifying biological networks underlying genomewide responses. These are based on a data-driven approach that relies on advanced computational methods designed to "learn" biology from observational data. In this review, we illustrate an application of these computational methodologies using a case study integrating an in vivo model representing the transcriptional state of hypoxic skeletal muscle with a clinical study representing muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The broader application of these approaches to modeling multiple levels of biological data in the context of modern physiology is discussed. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Teleology then and now: the question of Kant's relevance for contemporary controversies over function in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zammito, John

    2006-12-01

    'Naturalism' is the aspiration of contemporary philosophy of biology, and Kant simply cannot be refashioned into a naturalist. Instead, epistemological 'deflation' was the decisive feature of Kant's treatment of the 'biomedical' science in his day, so it is not surprising that this might attract some philosophers of science to him today. A certain sense of impasse in the contemporary 'function talk' seems to motivate renewed interest in Kant. Kant--drawing on his eighteenth-century predecessors-provided a discerning and powerful characterization of what biologists had to explain in organic form. His difference from the rest is that he opined that it was impossible to explain it. Its 'inscrutability' was intrinsic. The third Critique essentially proposed the reduction of biology to a kind of pre-scientific descriptivism, doomed never to attain authentic scientificity, to have its 'Newton of the blade of grass'. By contrast, for Locke, and a fortiori for Buffon and his followers, 'intrinsic purposiveness' was a fact of the matter about concrete biological phenomena; the features of internal self-regulation were hypotheses arising out of actual research practice. The difference comes most vividly to light once we recognize Kant's distinction of the concept of organism from the concept of life. If biology must conceptualize self-organization as actual in the world, Kant's regulative/constitutive distinction is pointless in practice and the (naturalist) philosophy of biology has urgent work to undertake for which Kant turns out not to be very helpful.

  14. TCA Cycle and Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Are Necessary for Diverse Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Reyes, Inmaculada; Diebold, Lauren P; Kong, Hyewon; Schieber, Michael; Huang, He; Hensley, Christopher T; Mehta, Manan M; Wang, Tianyuan; Santos, Janine H; Woychik, Richard; Dufour, Eric; Spelbrink, Johannes N; Weinberg, Samuel E; Zhao, Yingming; DeBerardinis, Ralph J; Chandel, Navdeep S

    2016-01-21

    Mitochondrial metabolism is necessary for the maintenance of oxidative TCA cycle function and mitochondrial membrane potential. Previous attempts to decipher whether mitochondria are necessary for biological outcomes have been hampered by genetic and pharmacologic methods that simultaneously disrupt multiple functions linked to mitochondrial metabolism. Here, we report that inducible depletion of mitochondrial DNA (ρ(ο) cells) diminished respiration, oxidative TCA cycle function, and the mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in diminished cell proliferation, hypoxic activation of HIF-1, and specific histone acetylation marks. Genetic reconstitution only of the oxidative TCA cycle function specifically in these inducible ρ(ο) cells restored metabolites, resulting in re-establishment of histone acetylation. In contrast, genetic reconstitution of the mitochondrial membrane potential restored ROS, which were necessary for hypoxic activation of HIF-1 and cell proliferation. These results indicate that distinct mitochondrial functions associated with respiration are necessary for cell proliferation, epigenetics, and HIF-1 activation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Characteristics of microbial community functional structure of a biological coking wastewater treatment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Dev Raj; Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Hong; Gao, Yingxin; Yang, Min

    2018-01-01

    Nitrogenous heterocyclic compounds are key pollutants in coking wastewater; however, the functional potential of microbial communities for biodegradation of such contaminants during biological treatment is still elusive. Herein, a high throughput functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) in combination with Illumina HiSeq2500 sequencing was used to compare and characterize the microbial community functional structure in a long run (500days) bench scale bioreactor treating coking wastewater, with a control system treating synthetic wastewater. Despite the inhibitory toxic pollutants, GeoChip 5.0 detected almost all key functional gene (average 61,940 genes) categories in the coking wastewater sludge. With higher abundance, aromatic ring cleavage dioxygenase genes including multi ring1,2diox; one ring2,3diox; catechol represented significant functional potential for degradation of aromatic pollutants which was further confirmed by Illumina HiSeq2500 analysis results. Response ratio analysis revealed that three nitrogenous compound degrading genes- nbzA (nitro-aromatics), tdnB (aniline), and scnABC (thiocyanate) were unique for coking wastewater treatment, which might be strong cause to increase ammonia level during the aerobic process. Additionally, HiSeq2500 elucidated carbozole and isoquinoline degradation genes in the system. These findings expanded our understanding on functional potential of microbial communities to remove organic nitrogenous pollutants; hence it will be useful in optimization strategies for biological treatment of coking wastewater. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaughan, D.

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs

  17. Mediating objects: scientific and public functions of models in nineteenth-century biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this article is to examine the scientific and public functions of two- and three-dimensional models in the context of three episodes from nineteenth-century biology. I argue that these models incorporate both data and theory by presenting theoretical assumptions in the light of concrete data or organizing data through theoretical assumptions. Despite their diverse roles in scientific practice, they all can be characterized as mediators between data and theory. Furthermore, I argue that these different mediating functions often reflect their different audiences that included specialized scientists, students, and the general public. In this sense, models in nineteenth-century biology can be understood as mediators between theory, data, and their diverse audiences.

  18. PMS2 endonuclease activity has distinct biological functions and is essential for genome maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oers, Johanna M M; Roa, Sergio; Werling, Uwe; Liu, Yiyong; Genschel, Jochen; Hou, Harry; Sellers, Rani S; Modrich, Paul; Scharff, Matthew D; Edelmann, Winfried

    2010-07-27

    The DNA mismatch repair protein PMS2 was recently found to encode a novel endonuclease activity. To determine the biological functions of this activity in mammals, we generated endonuclease-deficient Pms2E702K knock-in mice. Pms2EK/EK mice displayed increased genomic mutation rates and a strong cancer predisposition. In addition, class switch recombination, but not somatic hypermutation, was impaired in Pms2EK/EK B cells, indicating a specific role in Ig diversity. In contrast to Pms2-/- mice, Pms2EK/EK male mice were fertile, indicating that this activity is dispensable in spermatogenesis. Therefore, the PMS2 endonuclease activity has distinct biological functions and is essential for genome maintenance and tumor suppression.

  19. Automated quantitative assessment of proteins' biological function in protein knowledge bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gabriele; Lepperdinger, Günter; Lackner, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

  20. Automated Quantitative Assessment of Proteins' Biological Function in Protein Knowledge Bases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Mayr

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

  1. The functional biology and trophic role of krill (Thysanoessa raschii) in a Greenlandic fjord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Munk, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Despite being a key zooplankton group, knowledge on krill biology from the Arctic is inadequate. The present study examine the functional biology and evaluate the trophic role of krill in the GodthAyenbsfjord (64 degrees N, 51 degrees W) SW Greenland, through a combination of fieldwork...... and laboratory experiments. Krill biomass was highest in the middle fjord and inner fjord, whereas no krill was found offshore. The dominating species Thysanoessa raschii revealed a type III functional response when fed with the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii. At food saturation, T. raschii exhibited a daily...... ration of 1% body C d(-1). Furthermore, T. raschii was capable of exploiting plankton cells from 5 to 400 mu m, covering several trophic levels of the pelagic food web. The calculated grazing impact by T. raschii on the fjord plankton community was negligible. However, the schooling and migratory...

  2. PreproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract: expression and biological function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bredkjoer, H E; Palle, C; Ekblad, E

    1997-01-01

    The aim of the study was to elucidate the localization, distribution, colocalization and biological effect of preproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract. Radioimmunoassays applying antisera against the five functional domains of the VIP precursor in combination with immunohistoc......The aim of the study was to elucidate the localization, distribution, colocalization and biological effect of preproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract. Radioimmunoassays applying antisera against the five functional domains of the VIP precursor in combination...... with immunohistochemistry were used. The effect of preproVIP 22-79, preproVIP 111-122 and preproVIP 156-170 on genital smooth muscle activity in the Fallopian tube was investigated in vitro and compared to that of VIP. All the preproVIP-derived peptides were expressed throughout the genital tract in neuronal elements...

  3. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaughan, D. (ed.)

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs.

  4. Tongue and Taste Organ Biology and Function: Homeostasis Maintained by Hedgehog Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistretta, Charlotte M; Kumari, Archana

    2017-02-10

    The tongue is an elaborate complex of heterogeneous tissues with taste organs of diverse embryonic origins. The lingual taste organs are papillae, composed of an epithelium that includes specialized taste buds, the basal lamina, and a lamina propria core with matrix molecules, fibroblasts, nerves, and vessels. Because taste organs are dynamic in cell biology and sensory function, homeostasis requires tight regulation in specific compartments or niches. Recently, the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway has emerged as an essential regulator that maintains lingual taste papillae, taste bud and progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation, and neurophysiological function. Activating or suppressing Hh signaling, with genetic models or pharmacological agents used in cancer treatments, disrupts taste papilla and taste bud integrity and can eliminate responses from taste nerves to chemical stimuli but not to touch or temperature. Understanding Hh regulation of taste organ homeostasis contributes knowledge about the basic biology underlying taste disruptions in patients treated with Hh pathway inhibitors.

  5. Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mandolesi

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Much evidence shows that physical exercise (PE is a strong gene modulator that induces structural and functional changes in the brain, determining enormous benefit on both cognitive functioning and wellbeing. PE is also a protective factor for neurodegeneration. However, it is unclear if such protection is granted through modifications to the biological mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration or through better compensation against attacks. This concise review addresses the biological and psychological positive effects of PE describing the results obtained on brain plasticity and epigenetic mechanisms in animal and human studies, in order to clarify how to maximize the positive effects of PE while avoiding negative consequences, as in the case of exercise addiction.

  6. Triazole: a unique building block for the construction of functional materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juríček, Michal; Kouwer, Paul H J; Rowan, Alan E

    2011-08-21

    Over the past 50 years, numerous roads towards carbon-based materials have been explored, all of them being paved using mainly one functional group as the brick: acetylene. The acetylene group, or the carbon-carbon triple bond, is one of the oldest and simplest functional groups in chemistry, and although not present in any of the naturally occurring carbon allotropes, it is an essential tool to access their synthetic carbon-rich family. In general, two strategies towards the synthesis of π-conjugated carbon-rich structures can be employed: (a) either the acetylene group serves as a building block to access acetylene-derived structures or (b) it serves as a synthetic tool to provide other, usually benzenoid, structures. The recently discovered copper-catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction, however, represents a new powerful alternative: it transforms the acetylene group into a five-membered heteroaromatic 1H-1,2,3-triazole (triazole) ring and this gives rise to new opportunities. Compared with all-carbon aromatic non-functional rings, the triazole ring possesses three nitrogen atoms and, thus, can serve as a ligand to coordinate metals, or as a hydrogen bond acceptor and donor. This Feature Article summarises examples of using the triazole ring to construct conjugation- and/or function-related heteroaromatic materials, such as tuneable multichromophoric covalent ensembles, macrocyclic receptors or responsive foldamers. These recent examples, which open a new sub-field within organic materials, started to appear only few years ago and represent "a few more bricks" on the road to carbon-rich functional materials. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011

  7. Impacts of multiple stressors on ecosystem function: Leaf decomposition in constructed urban wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackintosh, Teresa J.; Davis, Jenny A.; Thompson, Ross M.

    2016-01-01

    The impact of stormwater on stream biota is well documented, but less is known about the impacts on ecosystem processes, such as the breakdown of organic matter. This study sought to establish whether the degree of urbanisation affected rates of leaf-litter breakdown within constructed wetlands. A litter bag method was used to ascertain rate of decomposition along a gradient of urbanisation (total imperviousness, TI), in constructed wetlands in western and south-eastern Melbourne. A significant positive relationship between TI and breakdown rate was found in the south-eastern wetlands. The significant reduction in rate of invertebrate-mediated breakdown with increasing concentration of certain metals was consistent with other studies. However, overall there was an increase in rate of breakdown. Studies have shown that the effects of heavy metals can be negated if nutrient levels are high. Our results suggest that other parameters besides exposure to contaminants are likely to affect leaf litter breakdown. - Highlights: • There have been few studies on the effect of urbanisation on ecosystem function. • Rate of leaf litter breakdown increased moving along a gradient of urbanisation. • There was a reduction in invertebrate mediated breakdown with certain metals. • Results suggest other parameters besides contaminants affect leaf litter breakdown. - Certain heavy metals led to a decrease in leaf litter breakdown; however overall, there was a positive relationship between breakdown and increasing urbanisation.

  8. The concept of biologically motivated time-pulse information processing for design and construction of multifunctional devices of neural logic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasilenko, Vladimir G.; Nikolsky, Alexander I.; Lazarev, Alexander A.; Sholohov, V. I.

    2004-04-01

    On the basis of the analysis of advanced approaches and optoelectronic systems for realization of various logics: two-valued, multi-valued, neural, continuous and others the biologically motivated time-pulse conception for building of multifunctional reconfigurable universal elements with programmable tuning for neurobiologic is grounded. The concept consists in usage of preliminary conversion of multi-level or continuous optic 2D signals into durations of time intervals (the conversion to a temporal area) and further use of time-pulse two-level digital signals that allows to ensure fast tuning to a required function of two-valued, multi-valued and other logics. It is shown that optoelectronic pulse-phase and pulse-width modulators (PPM and PWM) are the base elements for that. Time-pulse coding universal elements for matrix two-valued and multi-valued logics and structural-functional design of universal time-pulse coding elements for neural (continuous) logic are considered in the article. PPMs realized on 1.5μm technology CMOS transistors are considered. The PPMs have parameters: the input photocurrent range is 10nA...10μA the conversion period is 10μs...1ms the conversion relative error is 0.1...1%; the conversion law is ramp; the supply voltage is 3V and the power consumption is 83μW. The small power consumption of such PPMs enables successfully their integration in 2Darray with size of 128x128 elements and more and productivity equals 1...10 Giga continuous logic operations per sec.

  9. [Construct validity of a Portuguese version of the Female Sexual Function Index].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacagnella, Rodolfo de Carvalho; Martinez, Edson Zangiacomi; Vieira, Elisabeth Meloni

    2009-11-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the construct validity of a version of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The version was inserted into a multidimensional questionnaire and applied face-to-face to 235 sterilized women. Non-response rate was 1.7%. The sample proved to be highly homogeneous, with low income and education. Cronbach's alpha of 0.948 indicated high internal consistency. Factor analysis showed that the instrument was measuring four factors: desire/arousal, lubrication, orgasm/satisfaction, and pain. This may reflect characteristics of the instrument itself, female sexual response, or even the sample's cultural peculiarities, which can affect understanding of the questions or concepts with which the instrument deals. This study emphasizes the need for further research in the general population to determine the psychometric properties of the FSFI, such as its factor composition and definition of appropriate cut-off points for the Brazilian population.

  10. MIAMI cells embedded within a biologically-inspired construct promote recovery in a mouse model of peripheral vascular disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grau-Monge, Cristina; Delcroix, Gaëtan J.-R; Bonnin-Marquez, Andrea; Valdes, Mike; Awadallah, Ead Lewis Mazen; Quevedo, Daniel F.; Armour, Maxime R.; Montero, Ramon B.; Schiller, Paul C.; Andreopoulos, Fotios M.; D’Ippolito, Gianluca

    2017-01-01

    Peripheral vascular disease is one of the major vascular complications in individuals suffering from diabetes and in the elderly that is associated with significant burden in terms of morbidity and mortality. Stem cell therapy is being tested as an attractive alternative to traditional surgery to prevent and treat this disorder. The goal of this study was to enhance the protective and reparative potential of marrow-isolated adult multilineage inducible (MIAMI) cells by incorporating them within a bio-inspired construct (BIC) made of 2 layers of gelatin B electrospun nanofibers. We hypothesized that the BIC would enhance MIAMI cell survival and engraftment, ultimately leading to a better functional recovery of the injured limb in our mouse model of critical limb ischemia compared to MIAMI cells used alone. Our study demonstrated that MIAMI cell-seeded BIC resulted in a wide range of positive outcomes with an almost full recovery of blood flow in the injured limb, thereby limiting the extent of ischemia and necrosis. Functional recovery was also the greatest when MIAMI cells were combined with BICs, compared to MIAMI cells alone or BICs in the absence of cells. Histology was performed 28 days after grafting the animals to explore the mechanisms at the source of these positive outcomes. We observed that our critical limb ischemia model induces an extensive loss of muscular fibers that are replaced by intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT), together with a highly disorganized vascular structure. The use of MIAMI cells-seeded BIC prevented IMAT infiltration with some clear evidence of muscular fibers regeneration. PMID:28211362

  11. Yeast 2.0-connecting the dots in the construction of the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pretorius, I S; Boeke, J D

    2018-06-01

    Historians of the future may well describe 2018 as the year that the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome became a reality. Without the benefit of hindsight, it might be hard to completely grasp the long-term significance of a breakthrough moment in the history of science like this. The role of synthetic biology in the imminent birth of a budding Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cell carrying 16 man-made chromosomes causes the world of science to teeter on the threshold of a future-defining scientific frontier. The genome-engineering tools and technologies currently being developed to produce the ultimate yeast genome will irreversibly connect the dots between our improved understanding of the fundamentals of a complex cell containing its DNA in a specialised nucleus and the application of bioengineered eukaryotes designed for advanced biomanufacturing of beneficial products. By joining up the dots between the findings and learnings from the international Synthetic Yeast Genome project (known as the Yeast 2.0 or Sc2.0 project) and concurrent advancements in biodesign tools and smart data-intensive technologies, a future world powered by a thriving bioeconomy seems realistic. This global project demonstrates how a collaborative network of dot connectors-driven by a tinkerer's indomitable curiosity to understand how things work inside a eukaryotic cell-are using cutting-edge biodesign concepts and synthetic biology tools to advance science and to positively frame human futures (i.e. improved quality of life) in a planetary context (i.e. a sustainable environment). Explorations such as this have a rich history of resulting in unexpected discoveries and unanticipated applications for the benefit of people and planet. However, we must learn from past explorations into controversial futuristic sciences and ensure that researchers at the forefront of an emerging science such as synthetic biology remain connected to all stakeholders' concerns about the

  12. Paul Langerhans: a prilgrim "traveling" from functional histology to marine biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raica, Marius; Cimpean, Anca Maria

    2017-06-01

    The nineteenth century was the time of a real revolution in science and medicine. A lot of seminal discoveries in medicine and biology were done in this time, and many of them were coincident with the introduction of the compound microscope by Hermann van Deijl and the standard histological technique by Paul Ehrlich. The main tissue types and individual cells were characterized and originally classified more than hundred years ago, although less attention was paid to their basic functions. This was mainly due to the modality of tissue specimen processing that allowed particularly detailed descriptive studies. Even so, we can notice some attempts to correlate the structure with the function. The German scientist Paul Langerhans, well-known for the discovery of Langerhans islets of the pancreas and Langerhans cells from the epidermis, tried to change the conventional fate of morphological studies introducing in his works functional hypothesis based on traditional microscopic observations even from the beginning of his scientific career. Paul Langerhans was a complex personality of the second half of the nineteenth century, not only in medicine, but also in other fields of biology. In the present review, presented is the life and research activity of Paul Langerhans, not only because of the importance of his discoveries, but also for perspectives that were opened by these findings in unexpected fields of medicine and biology.

  13. Determining the impacts of trawling on benthic function in European waters : a biological traits approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

    characteristics, have allowed us to better understand the interactions between the benthic fauna and their environment at a functional level. We present the initial findings of work conducted under the auspices of the EU-funded project ‘BENTHIS’ which aims to improve our understanding of the impacts of trawling...... on benthic ecosystem functioning over much larger spatial scales than previously undertaken. Biological traits information from 887 stations across European waters (Norwegian, UK, Belgian, Dutch, Danish waters, the Mediterranean and Black Sea) were analysed to: i) quantify the relationships between infaunal...

  14. Learning can be all Fun and Games: Constructing and Utilizing a Biology Taboo Wiktionary to Enhance Student Learning in an Introductory Biology Course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey T. Olimpo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Most introductory courses in the biological sciences are inherently content-dense and rich with jargon—jargon that is often confusing and nonsensical to novice students. These characteristics present an additional paradox to instructors, who strive to achieve a balance between simply promoting passive, rote memorization of facts and engaging students in developing true, concrete understanding of the terminology. To address these concerns, we developed and implemented a Biology Taboo Wiktionary that provided students with an interactive opportunity to review and describe concepts they had encountered during their first semester of introductory biology. However, much like the traditional Taboo game, the rules were such that students could not use obvious terms to detail the main term. It was our belief that if the student could synthesize a thoughtful, scientific explanation of the term under these conditions, he or she demonstrated a true understanding of the conceptual context and meaning of the term.

  15. Establishing Early Functional Perfusion and Structure in Tissue Engineered Cardiac Constructs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Patnaik, Sourav S; Brazile, Bryn; Butler, J Ryan; Claude, Andrew; Zhang, Ge; Guan, Jianjun; Hong, Yi; Liao, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Myocardial infarction (MI) causes massive heart muscle death and remains a leading cause of death in the world. Cardiac tissue engineering aims to replace the infarcted tissues with functional engineered heart muscles or revitalize the infarcted heart by delivering cells, bioactive factors, and/or biomaterials. One major challenge of cardiac tissue engineering and regeneration is the establishment of functional perfusion and structure to achieve timely angiogenesis and effective vascularization, which are essential to the survival of thick implants and the integration of repaired tissue with host heart. In this paper, we review four major approaches to promoting angiogenesis and vascularization in cardiac tissue engineering and regeneration: delivery of pro-angiogenic factors/molecules, direct cell implantation/cell sheet grafting, fabrication of prevascularized cardiac constructs, and the use of bioreactors to promote angiogenesis and vascularization. We further provide a detailed review and discussion on the early perfusion design in nature-derived biomaterials, synthetic biodegradable polymers, tissue-derived acellular scaffolds/whole hearts, and hydrogel derived from extracellular matrix. A better understanding of the current approaches and their advantages, limitations, and hurdles could be useful for developing better materials for future clinical applications.

  16. Construction of a fucoidan/laminin functional multilayer to direction vascular cell fate and promotion hemocompatibility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye, Changrong; Wang, Yan; Su, Hong; Yang, Ping; Huang, Nan; Maitz, Manfred F.; Zhao, Anshan

    2016-01-01

    Surface biofunctional modification of cardiovascular stents is a versatile approach to reduce the adverse effects after implantation. In this work, a novel multifunctional coating was fabricated by coimmobilization of the sulfated polysaccharide of brown algae fucoidan and laminin to biomimic the vascular intimal conditions in order to support rapid endothelialization, prevent restenosis and improve hemocompatibility. The surface properties of the coating such as hydrophilicity, bonding density of biomolecules and stability were evaluated and optimized. According to the biocompatibility tests, the fucoidan/laminin multilayer coated surface displayed less platelet adhesion with favorable anticoagulant property. In addition, the fucoidan/laminin complex showed function to selectively regulate vascular cells growth behavior. The proliferation of endothelial cells (ECs) on the fucoidan/laminin biofunctional coating was significantly promoted. For the smooth muscle cells (SMCs), inhibitory effects on cell adhesion and proliferation were observed. In conclusion, the fucoidan/laminin biofunctional coating was successfully fabricated with desirable anticoagulant and endothelialization properties which show a promising application in the vascular devices such as vascular stents or grafts surface modification. - Highlights: • Construction of fucoidan/laminin functional multilayer to biomimic the basement membrane of vascular • The fucoidan/laminin complex demonstrates anti-coagulation property. • The fucoidan/laminin complex can selectively regulate EC and SMC growth behavior to prevent restenosis.

  17. [Construction and functional identification of eukaryotic expression vector carrying Sprague-Dawley rat MSX-2 gene].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xian-Xian; Zhang, Mei; Yan, Zhao-Wen; Zhang, Ru-Hong; Mu, Xiong-Zheng

    2008-01-01

    To construct a high effective eukaryotic expressing plasmid PcDNA 3.1-MSX-2 encoding Sprague-Dawley rat MSX-2 gene for the further study of MSX-2 gene function. The full length SD rat MSX-2 gene was amplified by PCR, and the full length DNA was inserted in the PMD1 8-T vector. It was isolated by restriction enzyme digest with BamHI and Xhol, then ligated into the cloning site of the PcDNA3.1 expression plasmid. The positive recombinant was identified by PCR analysis, restriction endonudease analysis and sequence analysis. Expression of RNA and protein was detected by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis in PcDNA3.1-MSX-2 transfected HEK293 cells. Sequence analysis and restriction endonudease analysis of PcDNA3.1-MSX-2 demonstrated that the position and size of MSX-2 cDNA insertion were consistent with the design. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis showed specific expression of mRNA and protein of MSX-2 in the transfected HEK293 cells. The high effective eukaryotic expression plasmid PcDNA3.1-MSX-2 encoding Sprague-Dawley Rat MSX-2 gene which is related to craniofacial development can be successfully reconstructed. It may serve as the basis for the further study of MSX-2 gene function.

  18. Construction and pilot assessment of the Lower Limb Function Assessment Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allart, Etienne; Paquereau, Julie; Rogeau, Caroline; Daveluy, Walter; Kozlowski, Odile; Rousseaux, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Stroke often leads to upright standing and walking impairments. Clinical assessments do not sufficiently address ecological aspects and the patient's subjective evaluation of function. To perform a pilot assessment of the psychometric properties of the Lower Limb-Function Assessment Scale (LL-FAS). The LL-FAS includes 30 items assessing the patient's perception (in a questionnaire) and the examiner's perception (in a practical test) of upright standing and walking impairments and their impact on activities of daily living. We analyzed the LL-FAS's reliability, construct validity, internal consistency, predictive validity and feasibility. Thirty-five stroke patients were included. The scale's mean ± SD completion time was 25 ± 6 min. Intra-observer reliability was good to excellent (intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC >0.82). Interobserver reliability was moderate (0.67 0.9) and predictive validity were excellent. The LL-FAS showed fair psychometric properties in this pilot study and may be of value for evaluating post-stroke lower limb impairment.

  19. Construction of a fucoidan/laminin functional multilayer to direction vascular cell fate and promotion hemocompatibility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ye, Changrong; Wang, Yan; Su, Hong; Yang, Ping; Huang, Nan [Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials Technology of Ministry of Education, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031 (China); Maitz, Manfred F. [Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden, Dresden 01069 (Germany); Zhao, Anshan [Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials Technology of Ministry of Education, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031 (China)

    2016-07-01

    Surface biofunctional modification of cardiovascular stents is a versatile approach to reduce the adverse effects after implantation. In this work, a novel multifunctional coating was fabricated by coimmobilization of the sulfated polysaccharide of brown algae fucoidan and laminin to biomimic the vascular intimal conditions in order to support rapid endothelialization, prevent restenosis and improve hemocompatibility. The surface properties of the coating such as hydrophilicity, bonding density of biomolecules and stability were evaluated and optimized. According to the biocompatibility tests, the fucoidan/laminin multilayer coated surface displayed less platelet adhesion with favorable anticoagulant property. In addition, the fucoidan/laminin complex showed function to selectively regulate vascular cells growth behavior. The proliferation of endothelial cells (ECs) on the fucoidan/laminin biofunctional coating was significantly promoted. For the smooth muscle cells (SMCs), inhibitory effects on cell adhesion and proliferation were observed. In conclusion, the fucoidan/laminin biofunctional coating was successfully fabricated with desirable anticoagulant and endothelialization properties which show a promising application in the vascular devices such as vascular stents or grafts surface modification. - Highlights: • Construction of fucoidan/laminin functional multilayer to biomimic the basement membrane of vascular • The fucoidan/laminin complex demonstrates anti-coagulation property. • The fucoidan/laminin complex can selectively regulate EC and SMC growth behavior to prevent restenosis.

  20. Clinical history and biologic age predicted falls better than objective functional tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerdhem, Paul; Ringsberg, Karin A M; Akesson, Kristina; Obrant, Karl J

    2005-03-01

    Fall risk assessment is important because the consequences, such as a fracture, may be devastating. The objective of this study was to find the test or tests that best predicted falls in a population-based sample of elderly women. The fall-predictive ability of a questionnaire, a subjective estimate of biologic age and objective functional tests (gait, balance [Romberg and sway test], thigh muscle strength, and visual acuity) were compared in 984 randomly selected women, all 75 years of age. A recalled fall was the most important predictor for future falls. Only recalled falls and intake of psycho-active drugs independently predicted future falls. Women with at least five of the most important fall predictors (previous falls, conditions affecting the balance, tendency to fall, intake of psychoactive medication, inability to stand on one leg, high biologic age) had an odds ratio of 11.27 (95% confidence interval 4.61-27.60) for a fall (sensitivity 70%, specificity 79%). The more time-consuming objective functional tests were of limited importance for fall prediction. A simple clinical history, the inability to stand on one leg, and a subjective estimate of biologic age were more important as part of the fall risk assessment.

  1. A biological model for construction of meaning to serve as an interface between an intelligent system and its environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, W.J. [Univ of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    There are two main levels of neural function to be modeled with appropriate state variables and operations. Microscopic activity is seen in the fraction of the variance of single neuron pulse trains (>99.9%) that is largely random and uncorrelated with pulse trains of other neurons in the neuropil. Macroscopic activity is revealed in the >0.1% of the total variance of each neuron that is covariant with all other neurons in neuropil comprising a population. It is observed in dendritic potentials recorded as surface EEGs. The {open_quotes}spontaneous{close_quotes} background activity of neuropil at both levels arises from mutual excitation within a population of excitatory neurons. Its governing point attractor is set by the macroscopic state, which acts as an order parameter to regulate the contributing neurons. The point attractor manifests a homogeneous field of white noise, which can be modeled by a continuous time state variable for pulse density. Neuropil comprises both excitatory and inhibitory neurons Their interactions at the macroscopic level give oscillations, manifesting a limit cycle attractor. Multiple areas of neuropil comprising a sensory system interact. Due to their incommensurate characteristic frequencies and the long axonal delays between them, the system maintains a global chaotic attractor having multiple wings, one for each discriminable class of stimuli. Access to each wing is by stimulus- induced state transitions, causing construction of macroscopic chaotic patterns, that are carried to targets of cortical transmission by axon tracts. AM patterns of the carrier are extracted by the targets by spatiotemporal integration, thereby retrieving the covariance comprising the chaotic signal. In digital models, noise serves to stabilize the chaotic attractors. An example will be given of the model operating as an interface between the environment and a pattern classifier, which learns to form its own feature detectors.

  2. Lead Coolant Test Facility Technical and Functional Requirements, Conceptual Design, Cost and Construction Schedule

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soli T. Khericha

    2006-01-01

    This report presents preliminary technical and functional requirements (T and FR), thermal hydraulic design and cost estimate for a lead coolant test facility. The purpose of this small scale facility is to simulate lead coolant fast reactor (LFR) coolant flow in an open lattice geometry core using seven electrical rods and liquid lead or lead-bismuth eutectic. Based on review of current world lead or lead-bismuth test facilities and research need listed in the Generation IV Roadmap, five broad areas of requirements of basis are identified: Develop and Demonstrate Prototype Lead/Lead-Bismuth Liquid Metal Flow Loop Develop and Demonstrate Feasibility of Submerged Heat Exchanger Develop and Demonstrate Open-lattice Flow in Electrically Heated Core Develop and Demonstrate Chemistry Control Demonstrate Safe Operation and Provision for Future Testing. These five broad areas are divided into twenty-one (21) specific requirements ranging from coolant temperature to design lifetime. An overview of project engineering requirements, design requirements, QA and environmental requirements are also presented. The purpose of this T and FRs is to focus the lead fast reactor community domestically on the requirements for the next unique state of the art test facility. The facility thermal hydraulic design is based on the maximum simulated core power using seven electrical heater rods of 420 kW; average linear heat generation rate of 300 W/cm. The core inlet temperature for liquid lead or Pb/Bi eutectic is 420 C. The design includes approximately seventy-five data measurements such as pressure, temperature, and flow rates. The preliminary estimated cost of construction of the facility is $3.7M. It is also estimated that the facility will require two years to be constructed and ready for operation

  3. Functional profiles reveal unique ecological roles of various biological soil crust organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Mau, R.L.; Maestre, F.T.; Escolar, C.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.

    2011-01-01

    1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled 'functional profiles' of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. 3. In two data sets, one representing multiple sites around the semi-arid regions of Spain (regional scale), and another from a single site in central Spain (local scale), we examined correlations between the abundance or frequency of BSC species in a community, and multiple surrogates of ecosystem functioning. There was a wide array of apparent effects of species on specific functions. 4. Notably, in gypsiferous soils and at regional scale, we found that indicators of carbon (C) and phosphorus cycling were apparently suppressed and promoted by the lichens Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera, respectively. The moss Pleurochaete squarrosa appears to promote C cycling in calcareous soils at this spatial scale. At the local scale in gypsiferous soils, D. diacapsis positively correlated with carbon cycling, but negatively with nitrogen cycling, whereas numerous lichens exhibited the opposite profile. 5. We found a high degree of functional singularity, i.e. that species were highly individualistic in their effects on multiple functions. Many functional attributes were not easily predictable from existing functional grouping systems based primarily on morphology. 6. Our results suggest that maintaining

  4. Uniformly constructing combinatorial solutions, combining a rational function with hyperbolic or trigonometric functions, for the (2+1) dimensional Broer-Kaup-Kupershmidt equation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Qing; Wang Zihua

    2010-01-01

    According to two dependent rational solutions to a generalized Riccati equation together with the equation itself, a rational-exponent solution to a nonlinear partial differential equation can be constructed. By selecting different parameter values in the rational-exponent solution, many families of combinatorial solutions combined with a rational function such as hyperbolic functions or trigonometric functions, are rapidly derived. This method is applied to the Whitham-Broer-Kaup equation and a series of combinatorial solutions are obtained, showing that this method is a more concise and efficient approach and can uniformly construct many types of combined solutions to nonlinear partial differential equations.

  5. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses in order to test the sensitivity, ease and cost of performance and biological significance of the data output. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation......Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...

  6. GenCLiP 2.0: a web server for functional clustering of genes and construction of molecular networks based on free terms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jia-Hong; Zhao, Ling-Feng; Lin, Pei; Su, Xiao-Rong; Chen, Shi-Jun; Huang, Li-Qiang; Wang, Hua-Feng; Zhang, Hai; Hu, Zhen-Fu; Yao, Kai-Tai; Huang, Zhong-Xi

    2014-09-01

    Identifying biological functions and molecular networks in a gene list and how the genes may relate to various topics is of considerable value to biomedical researchers. Here, we present a web-based text-mining server, GenCLiP 2.0, which can analyze human genes with enriched keywords and molecular interactions. Compared with other similar tools, GenCLiP 2.0 offers two unique features: (i) analysis of gene functions with free terms (i.e. any terms in the literature) generated by literature mining or provided by the user and (ii) accurate identification and integration of comprehensive molecular interactions from Medline abstracts, to construct molecular networks and subnetworks related to the free terms. http://ci.smu.edu.cn. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Sufficient Condition for Monotonicity in Constructing the Distribution Function With Bernoulli Scheme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vedenyapin Aleksandr Dmitrievich

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper is the construction of the distribution function using the Bernoulli scheme, and is also designed to correct some of the mistakes that were made in the article [2]. Namely, a function built in [2] need not be monotonous, and some formulas need to be adjusted. The idea of building as well as in [2], is based on the model of Cox-Ross-Rubinstein "binary market". The essence of the model was to divide time into N steps, and assuming that the price of an asset at each step can move either up to a certain value with probability p, or down also by some certain value with probability q = 1 - p. Prices in step N can take only a finite number of values. "Success" or "failure" was the changing price for some fixed value in the model of Cox-Ross-Rubinstein. Here as a "success" or "failure" at every step we consider the affiliation of changing the index value to the section [r, S] either to the interval [I, r. Further a function P(r was introduced, which at any step gives us the probability of "success". The maximum index value increase for the all period of time [T, 2T] will be equal nS, and the maximum possible reduction will be equal nI. Then let x ∈ [nI, nS]. This segment will reflect every possible total variation that we can get at the end of a period of time [T, 2T]. The further introduced inequality k ≥ (x - nI/(S - I gives us the minimum number of successes that needed for total changing could be in the section [x, nS] if was n - k reductions with the index value to I. Then was introduced the function r(x, kmin which is defined on the interval (nI, nS] and provided us some assurance that the total index changing could be in the section [x, nS] if successful interval is [r(x, kmin, S] and the amount of success is satisfying to our inequality. The probability of k "successes" and n - k "failures" is calculated according to the formula of Bernoulli, where the probability of "success" is determined by the function P(r, and r is determined

  8. [Effects of ADAM28 on biological functions of human dental pulp stem cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zheng; Liu, Hong-chen; E, Ling-ling; Wang, Yi; Wang, Dong-sheng

    2010-06-01

    To investigate the effects of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 28 (ADAM28) on proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of human dental pulp stem cells (HDPSCs) and the possible mechanism. Firstly, HDPSCs were isolated and cultured in vitro and identified. ADAM28 eukaryotic expression plasmid was constructed via gene rebuilt technique and transfected into HDPSCs. Then MTT chromatometry, enzyme dynamics and flow cytometry (FCM) techniques were performed to detect the effects of ADAM28 on biological characteristics of HDPSCs. Immunocytochemical and image analysis techniques were used to determine the influence of ADAM28 on HDPSCs expressing dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), bone sialoprotein (BSP) and osteopontin (OPN). Statistical significance was assessed by the Student-Newman-Keuls (SNK) test with SPSS 13.0 software package. ADAM28 eukaryotic plasmid was constructed and transfected into HDPSCs for 48 hours successfully. In ADAM28 eukaryotic plasmid group, proliferation activity and index of HDPSCs were lower than those of pcDNA3.1(+) group and untransfected group significantly.Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) secretion level and percentage of apoptotic cells went up remarkly. Significant difference was detected between eukaryotic plasmid group and other groups (P<0.05). The expression level of DSPP in HDPSCs elevated significantly (P<0.05). ADAM28 could inhibit HDPSCs proliferation, promote ALP secretion activity and DSPP expression in HDPSCs and induce HDPSCs apoptosis significantly.

  9. A Gaussian mixture model based cost function for parameter estimation of chaotic biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shekofteh, Yasser; Jafari, Sajad; Sprott, Julien Clinton; Hashemi Golpayegani, S. Mohammad Reza; Almasganj, Farshad

    2015-02-01

    As we know, many biological systems such as neurons or the heart can exhibit chaotic behavior. Conventional methods for parameter estimation in models of these systems have some limitations caused by sensitivity to initial conditions. In this paper, a novel cost function is proposed to overcome those limitations by building a statistical model on the distribution of the real system attractor in state space. This cost function is defined by the use of a likelihood score in a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) which is fitted to the observed attractor generated by the real system. Using that learned GMM, a similarity score can be defined by the computed likelihood score of the model time series. We have applied the proposed method to the parameter estimation of two important biological systems, a neuron and a cardiac pacemaker, which show chaotic behavior. Some simulated experiments are given to verify the usefulness of the proposed approach in clean and noisy conditions. The results show the adequacy of the proposed cost function.

  10. Graphene-Based Functional Architectures: Sheets Regulation and Macrostructure Construction toward Actuators and Power Generators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Huhu; Huang, Yaxin; Shi, Gaoquan; Jiang, Lan; Qu, Liangti

    2017-07-18

    regulated graphene sheets and well-constructed assemblies present promising applications in energy-conversion materials and device systems focusing on actuators that can convert different energy forms (e.g., electric, chemical, photonic, thermal, etc.) to mechanical actuation and electrical generators that can directly transform environmental energy to electric power. These results reveal that graphene sheets with surface chemistry and microstructure regulations as well as their rationally designed assemblies provide a promising and abundant platform for development of diverse functional devices. We hope that this Account will promote further efforts toward fundamental research on graphene regulation and the wide applications of advanced designed assemblies in new types of energy-conversion materials/devices and beyond.

  11. Integration of multiscale dendritic spine structure and function data into systems biology models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J Mancuso

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Comprising 1011 neurons with 1014 synaptic connections the human brain is the ultimate systems biology puzzle. An increasing body of evidence highlights the observation that changes in brain function, both normal and pathological, consistently correlate with dynamic changes in neuronal anatomy. Anatomical changes occur on a full range of scales from the trafficking of individual proteins, to alterations in synaptic morphology both individually and on a systems level, to reductions in long distance connectivity and brain volume. The major sites of contact for synapsing neurons are dendritic spines, which provide an excellent metric for the number and strength of signaling connections between elements of functional neuronal circuits. A comprehensive model of anatomical changes and their functional consequences would be a holy grail for the field of systems neuroscience but its realization appears far on the horizon. Various imaging technologies have advanced to allow for multi-scale visualization of brain plasticity and pathology, but computational analysis of the massive big data sets involved forms the bottleneck toward the creation of multiscale models of brain structure and function. While a full accounting of techniques and progress toward a comprehensive model of brain anatomy and function is beyond the scope of this or any other single paper, this review serves to highlight the opportunities for analysis of neuronal spine anatomy and function provided by new imaging technologies and the high-throughput application of older technologies while surveying the strengths and weaknesses of currently available computational analytical tools and room for future improvement.

  12. Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro biological evaluation of highly stable diversely functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharya, Dipsikha; Sahu, Sumanta K.; Banerjee, Indranil; Das, Manasmita; Mishra, Debashish; Maiti, Tapas K.; Pramanik, Panchanan

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we report the design and synthesis of a series of well-dispersed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) using chitosan as a surface modifying agent to develop a potential T 2 contrast probe for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The amine, carboxyl, hydroxyl, and thiol functionalities were introduced on chitosan-coated magnetic probe via simple reactions with small reactive organic molecules to afford a series of biofunctionalized nanoparticles. Physico-chemical characterizations of these functionalized nanoparticles were performed by TEM, XRD, DLS, FTIR, and VSM. The colloidal stability of these functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles was investigated in presence of phosphate buffer saline, high salt concentrations and different cell media for 1 week. MRI analysis of human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines treated with nanoparticles elucidated that the amine-functionalized nanoparticles exhibited higher amount of signal darkening and lower T 2 relaxation in comparison to the others. The cellular internalization efficacy of these functionalized SPIONs was also investigated with HeLa cancer cell line by magnetically activated cell sorting (MACS) and fluorescence microscopy and results established selectively higher internalization efficacy of amine-functionalized nanoparticles to cancer cells. These positive attributes demonstrated that these nanoconjugates can be used as a promising platform for further in vitro and in vivo biological evaluations.

  13. Synthesis and Characterization of Rhodamine B-ethylenediamine-hyaluronan Acid as Potential Biological Functional Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y. L.; Wang, W. X.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, W. B.; Gong, H. M.; Liu, M. X.

    2018-05-01

    The purpose of this study is to synthesize and characterize fluorescent polymers, rhodamine B-ethylenediamine-hyaluronan acid (RhB-EA-HA). RhB-EA-HA was successfully synthesized by ester ammonolysis reaction and amidation reaction. Moreover, the structural properties of RhB-EA-HA were characterized by 1H-NMR spectra, UV-vis spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). RhB-EA-HA can be grafted on the surface of silica nanomaterials, which may be potential biological functional materials for drug delivery system.

  14. THE FUNCTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OF A CELL-ENGINEERED CONSTRUCT FOR THE REGENERATION OF ARTICULAR CARTILAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. I. Sevastianov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is an analysis of the functional effectiveness of a biomedical cell product consisting of a biopolymer microheterogeneous collagen-containing hydrogel (BMCH, human adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hADMSCs, and chondrogenic induction medium in the regeneration of articular cartilage. Materials and methods. The test model of the adjuvant arthritis was used (female Soviet Chinchilla rabbits with the further development into osteoarthrosis (OA combined with the clinical, biochemical, radiological, and histochemical trials. Results. On Day 92 of the OA model it has been found that the intra-articular introduction of a BMCH with hADMSCs into the left knee joint (n = 3 30 days after the OA modeling, as opposed to the right joint (negative control, n = 3, stimulates the regenerative processes of the cartilaginous tissue structure characterized by the formation of chondrocyte «columns», the emergence of isogenic groups in the intracellular matrix and the regeneration of its structure. Upon the intra-articular introduction of a BMCH (n = 3 such effects are markedly less pronounced. Conclusions. A significant regenerative potential of a cell-engineered construct of human articular tissue (CEC ATh has been proven. It is possible to presume that biostimulating properties of CEC ATh are due to the activating effect of a biomedical cell product on the stem cell migration processes from the surrounding tissue into the injured area with their subsequent differentiation. 

  15. Positive Psychological Functioning: evidence for a new construct and its measurement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mª Dolores Merino

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2007, the Institute of Happiness conducted one of the most ambitious studies ever done on this subject in Spain. Many different variables were measured: socio-demographics and psychological, (the latter through new instruments and all were applied to a representative sample of 3000 participants of the Spanish population. Study 1 of this research used that database. The objective of this Study was to understand how key psychological resources are organized (Autonomy, Resilience, Self-Esteem, Purpose in life, Enjoyment, Optimism, Curiosity, Creativity, Humor, Environmental mastery and Vitality. The purpose of Study 2 was to replicate the results of Study 1 and to test the psychometrical properties of the new scales used in Study 1, but using a sample of 130 college students. This research proves that key psychological resources are interconnected, forming a second order construct we call Positive Psychological Functioning (PPF, and, it develops a new Spanish scale to assess it. This measure is formed with 11 subscales each containing three items. This scale structure allows a general and a specific assessment of PPF and, in consequence, of human psychological well-being.

  16. Blind polarization demultiplexing by constructing a cost function for coherent optical PDM-OFDM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhenming; Chen, Minghua; Chen, Hongwei; Yi, Xingwen; Yang, Sigang; Xie, Shizhong

    2015-07-13

    We propose a training symbols-free polarization demultiplexing method by constructing a cost function (CCF-PDM) for coherent optical PDM-OFDM. This method is applicable for high-speed, wide-bandwidth OFDM signals, different subcarrier modulation formats and long-haul transmission. It shows comparable performance with that of conventional method but without overhead and converges fast. Since the neighboring subcarriers experience similar polarization effects, we set the initial matrix parameters by the neighboring subcarrier to reduce the number of iteration for the gradient algorithm and prevent swapping the data of the two orthogonal polarizations. We verify this method in experiment by transmitting 66.6-Gb/s PDM-OFDM signal with 4QAM subcarrier modulation over 5440 km SSMF and 133.3-Gb/s PDM-OFDM signal with 16QAM subcarrier modulation over 960 km SSMF respectively. We compare its performance with that of training symbols. We also analyze the convergence speed of this method.

  17. [Construction of FANCA mutant protein from Fanconi anemia patient and analysis of its function].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fei; Zhang, Ke-Jian; Zuo, Xue-Lan; Zeng, Xian-Chang

    2007-11-01

    To study FANCA protein expression in Fanconi anemia patient's (FA) cells and explore its function. FANCA protein expression was analyzed in 3 lymphoblast cell lines derived from 3 cases of type A FA (FA-A) patients using Western blot. Nucleus and cytoplasm localization of FANCA protein was analyzed in one case of FA-A which contained a truncated FANCA (exon 5 deletion). The FANCA mutant was constructed from the same patient and its interaction with FANCG was evaluated by mammalian two-hybrid (M2H) assay. FANCA protein was not detected in the 3 FA-A patients by rabbit anti-human MoAb, but a truncated FANCA protein was detected in 1 of them by mouse anti-human MoAb. The truncated FANCA could not transport from cytoplasm into nucleus. The disease-associated FANCA mutant was defective in binding to FANCG in M2H system. FANCA proteins are defective in the 3 FA-A patients. Disfunction of disease-associated FANCA mutant proved to be the pathogenic mutations in FANCA gene. Exon 5 of FANCA gene was involved in the interaction between FANCA and FANCG.

  18. Organizational bases of creation and functioning of the integrated structures in the investment in construction sphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subbotin Artem Sergeevich

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Integration is one of the results of the world industrial and economic processes globalization. Integration of production and commercial units and formation of modern structures of corporate level are one of current trends of development of the organization and management, both science, and practice. Formation and development of integrated structures became an important modern phenomenon in the organization of corporate level. Integration processes in organizations to large extend influence the relation of competitive strengths on the market and as a result the competitive ability of its objects. It is accepted to distinguish vertically and horizontally integrated structures. The use of the integrated structures allows providing steady development of investment and construction activity within state-private partnership, and thanks to its flexible structure it is capable to react to changes of external and internal factors quickly and adequately. Moreover, it is necessary to point out the possibility of using the cluster model in the process of describing functioning of integrated structures.

  19. Functional knowledge transfer for high-accuracy prediction of under-studied biological processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Y Park

    Full Text Available A key challenge in genetics is identifying the functional roles of genes in pathways. Numerous functional genomics techniques (e.g. machine learning that predict protein function have been developed to address this question. These methods generally build from existing annotations of genes to pathways and thus are often unable to identify additional genes participating in processes that are not already well studied. Many of these processes are well studied in some organism, but not necessarily in an investigator's organism of interest. Sequence-based search methods (e.g. BLAST have been used to transfer such annotation information between organisms. We demonstrate that functional genomics can complement traditional sequence similarity to improve the transfer of gene annotations between organisms. Our method transfers annotations only when functionally appropriate as determined by genomic data and can be used with any prediction algorithm to combine transferred gene function knowledge with organism-specific high-throughput data to enable accurate function prediction. We show that diverse state-of-art machine learning algorithms leveraging functional knowledge transfer (FKT dramatically improve their accuracy in predicting gene-pathway membership, particularly for processes with little experimental knowledge in an organism. We also show that our method compares favorably to annotation transfer by sequence similarity. Next, we deploy FKT with state-of-the-art SVM classifier to predict novel genes to 11,000 biological processes across six diverse organisms and expand the coverage of accurate function predictions to processes that are often ignored because of a dearth of annotated genes in an organism. Finally, we perform in vivo experimental investigation in Danio rerio and confirm the regulatory role of our top predicted novel gene, wnt5b, in leftward cell migration during heart development. FKT is immediately applicable to many bioinformatics

  20. Functional evaluation of artificial skeletal muscle tissue constructs fabricated by a magnetic force-based tissue engineering technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Yasunori; Ito, Akira; Fujita, Hideaki; Nagamori, Eiji; Kawabe, Yoshinori; Kamihira, Masamichi

    2011-01-01

    Skeletal muscle tissue engineering is currently applied in a variety of research fields, including regenerative medicine, drug screening, and bioactuator development, all of which require the fabrication of biomimic and functional skeletal muscle tissues. In the present study, magnetite cationic liposomes were used to magnetically label C2C12 myoblast cells for the construction of three-dimensional artificial skeletal muscle tissues by an applied magnetic force. Skeletal muscle functions, such as biochemical and contractile properties, were evaluated for the artificial tissue constructs. Histological studies revealed that elongated and multinucleated myotubes were observed within the tissue. Expression of muscle-specific markers, such as myogenin, myosin heavy chain and tropomyosin, were detected in the tissue constructs by western blot analysis. Further, creatine kinase activity increased during differentiation. In response to electric pulses, the artificial tissue constructs contracted to generate a physical force (the maximum twitch force, 33.2 μN [1.06 mN/mm2]). Rheobase and chronaxie of the tissue were determined as 4.45 V and 0.72 ms, respectively. These results indicate that the artificial skeletal muscle tissue constructs fabricated in this study were physiologically functional and the data obtained for the evaluation of their functional properties may provide useful information for future skeletal muscle tissue engineering studies.

  1. Construction typification as the tool for optimizing the functioning of a robotized manufacturing system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwiazda, A.; Banas, W.; Sekala, A.; Foit, K.; Hryniewicz, P.; Kost, G.

    2015-11-01

    Process of workcell designing is limited by different constructional requirements. They are related to technological parameters of manufactured element, to specifications of purchased elements of a workcell and to technical characteristics of a workcell scene. This shows the complexity of the design-constructional process itself. The results of such approach are individually designed workcell suitable to the specific location and specific production cycle. Changing this parameters one must rebuild the whole configuration of a workcell. Taking into consideration this it is important to elaborate the base of typical elements of a robot kinematic chain that could be used as the tool for building Virtual modelling of kinematic chains of industrial robots requires several preparatory phase. Firstly, it is important to create a database element, which will be models of industrial robot arms. These models could be described as functional primitives that represent elements between components of the kinematic pairs and structural members of industrial robots. A database with following elements is created: the base kinematic pairs, the base robot structural elements, the base of the robot work scenes. The first of these databases includes kinematic pairs being the key component of the manipulator actuator modules. Accordingly, as mentioned previously, it includes the first stage rotary pair of fifth stage. This type of kinematic pairs was chosen due to the fact that it occurs most frequently in the structures of industrial robots. Second base consists of structural robot elements therefore it allows for the conversion of schematic structures of kinematic chains in the structural elements of the arm of industrial robots. It contains, inter alia, the structural elements such as base, stiff members - simple or angular units. They allow converting recorded schematic three-dimensional elements. Last database is a database of scenes. It includes elements of both simple and complex

  2. Carcinogenesis: alterations in reciprocal interactions of normal functional structure of biologic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davydyan, Garri

    2015-12-01

    The evolution of biologic systems (BS) includes functional mechanisms that in some conditions may lead to the development of cancer. Using mathematical group theory and matrix analysis, previously, it was shown that normally functioning BS are steady functional structures regulated by three basis regulatory components: reciprocal links (RL), negative feedback (NFB) and positive feedback (PFB). Together, they form an integrative unit maintaining system's autonomy and functional stability. It is proposed that phylogenetic development of different species is implemented by the splitting of "rudimentary" characters into two relatively independent functional parts that become encoded in chromosomes. The functional correlate of splitting mechanisms is RL. Inversion of phylogenetic mechanisms during ontogenetic development leads cell differentiation until cells reach mature states. Deterioration of reciprocal structure in the genome during ontogenesis gives rise of pathological conditions characterized by unsteadiness of the system. Uncontrollable cell proliferation and invasive cell growth are the leading features of the functional outcomes of malfunctioning systems. The regulatory element responsible for these changes is RL. In matrix language, pathological regulation is represented by matrices having positive values of diagonal elements ( TrA  > 0) and also positive values of matrix determinant ( detA  > 0). Regulatory structures of that kind can be obtained if the negative entry of the matrix corresponding to RL is replaced with the positive one. To describe not only normal but also pathological states of BS, a unit matrix should be added to the basis matrices representing RL, NFB and PFB. A mathematical structure corresponding to the set of these four basis functional patterns (matrices) is a split quaternion (coquaternion). The structure and specific role of basis elements comprising four-dimensional linear space of split quaternions help to understand what

  3. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yang; Huang, Wan; Ma, Li-Tian; Jiang, Jian-Li; Chen, Zhi-Nan

    2014-01-01

    Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation. PMID:24739808

  4. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  5. The RNAi Universe in Fungi: A Varied Landscape of Small RNAs and Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Martínez, Santiago; Ruiz-Vázquez, Rosa M

    2017-09-08

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a conserved eukaryotic mechanism that uses small RNA molecules to suppress gene expression through sequence-specific messenger RNA degradation, translational repression, or transcriptional inhibition. In filamentous fungi, the protective function of RNAi in the maintenance of genome integrity is well known. However, knowledge of the regulatory role of RNAi in fungi has had to wait until the recent identification of different endogenous small RNA classes, which are generated by distinct RNAi pathways. In addition, RNAi research on new fungal models has uncovered the role of small RNAs and RNAi pathways in the regulation of diverse biological functions. In this review, we give an up-to-date overview of the different classes of small RNAs and RNAi pathways in fungi and their roles in the defense of genome integrity and regulation of fungal physiology and development, as well as in the interaction of fungi with biotic and abiotic environments.

  6. Structural and Conformational Chemistry from Electrochemical Molecular Machines. Replicating Biological Functions. A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, Toribio F

    2017-12-14

    Each constitutive chain of a conducting polymer electrode acts as a reversible multi-step electrochemical molecular motor: reversible reactions drive reversible conformational movements of the chain. The reaction-driven cooperative actuation of those molecular machines generates, or destroys, inside the film the free volume required to lodge/expel balancing counterions and solvent: reactions drive reversible film volume variations, which basic structural components are here identified and quantified from electrochemical responses. The content of the reactive dense gel (chemical molecular machines, ions and water) mimics that of the intracellular matrix in living functional cells. Reaction-driven properties (composition-dependent properties) and devices replicate biological functions and organs. An emerging technological world of soft, wet, reaction-driven, multifunctional and biomimetic devices and the concomitant zoomorphic or anthropomorphic robots is presented. © 2017 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Microstructure, mechanical properties, and biological response to functionally graded HA coatings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rabiei, Afsaneh; Blalock, Travis; Thomas, Brent; Cuomo, Jerry; Yang, Y.; Ong, Joo

    2007-01-01

    Hydroxyapatite (HA) [Ca 10 (PO 4 ) 6 (OH) 2 ] is the primary mineral content, representing 43% by weight, of bone. Applying a thin layer of HA, to the surface of a metal implant, can promote osseointegration and increase the mechanical stability of the implant. In this study, a biocompatible coating comprising an HA film with functionally graded crystallinity is being deposited on a heated substrate in an Ion Beam Assisted Deposition (IBAD) system. The microstructure of the film was studied using Transmission Electron Microscopy techniques. Finally, initial cell adhesion and cell differentiation on the coating was evaluated using ATCC CRL 1486 human embryonic palatal mesenchymal cell, an osteoblast precursor cell line. The results have shown superior mechanical properties and biological response to the functionally graded HA film

  8. Enzymes for ecdysteroid biosynthesis: their biological functions in insects and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Ryusuke; Niwa, Yuko S

    2014-01-01

    Steroid hormones are responsible for the coordinated regulation of many aspects of biological processes in multicellular organisms. Since the last century, many studies have identified and characterized steroidogenic enzymes in vertebrates, including mammals. However, much less is known about invertebrate steroidogenic enzymes. In the last 15 years, a number of steroidogenic enzymes and their functions have been characterized in ecdysozoan animals, especially in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In this review, we summarize the latest knowledge of enzymes crucial for synthesizing ecdysteroids, the principal insect steroid hormones. We also discuss the functional conservation and diversity of ecdysteroidogenic enzymes in other insects and even non-insect species, such as nematodes, vertebrates, and lower eukaryotes.

  9. Strategies for the chemical and biological functionalization of scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallawi, Marwa; Rosellini, Elisabetta; Barbani, Niccoletta; Cascone, Maria Grazia; Rai, Ranjana; Saint-Pierre, Guillaume; Boccaccini, Aldo R

    2015-07-06

    The development of biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) is challenging, primarily owing to the requirement of achieving a surface with favourable characteristics that enhances cell attachment and maturation. The biomaterial surface plays a crucial role as it forms the interface between the scaffold (or cardiac patch) and the cells. In the field of CTE, synthetic polymers (polyglycerol sebacate, polyethylene glycol, polyglycolic acid, poly-l-lactide, polyvinyl alcohol, polycaprolactone, polyurethanes and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)) have been proven to exhibit suitable biodegradable and mechanical properties. Despite the fact that they show the required biocompatible behaviour, most synthetic polymers exhibit poor cell attachment capability. These synthetic polymers are mostly hydrophobic and lack cell recognition sites, limiting their application. Therefore, biofunctionalization of these biomaterials to enhance cell attachment and cell material interaction is being widely investigated. There are numerous approaches for functionalizing a material, which can be classified as mechanical, physical, chemical and biological. In this review, recent studies reported in the literature to functionalize scaffolds in the context of CTE, are discussed. Surface, morphological, chemical and biological modifications are introduced and the results of novel promising strategies and techniques are discussed.

  10. Embryonic stem cell interactomics: the beginning of a long road to biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi, Maram; Hajihoseini, Vahid; Jung, Woojin; Hosseinpour, Batol; Rassouli, Hassan; Lee, Bonghee; Baharvand, Hossein; Lee, KiYoung; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2012-12-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are capable of unlimited self-renewal while maintaining pluripotency. They are of great interest in regenerative medicine due to their ability to differentiate into all cell types of the three embryonic germ layers. Recently, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have shown similarities to ESCs and thus promise great therapeutic potential in regenerative medicine. Despite progress in stem cell biology, our understanding of the exact mechanisms by which pluripotency and self-renewal are established and maintained is largely unknown. A better understanding of these processes may lead to discovery of alternative ways for reprogramming, differentiation and more reliable applications of stem cells in therapies. It has become evident that proteins generally function as members of large complexes that are part of a more complex network. Therefore, the identification of protein-protein interactions (PPI) is an efficient strategy for understanding protein function and regulation. Systematic genome-wide and pathway-specific PPI analysis of ESCs has generated a network of ESC proteins, including major transcription factors. These PPI networks of ESCs may contribute to a mechanistic understanding of self-renewal and pluripotency. In this review we describe different experimental approaches for the identification of PPIs along with various databases. We discuss biological findings and technical challenges encountered with interactome studies of pluripotent stem cells, and provide insight into how interactomics is likely to develop.

  11. Biological adaptations for functional features of language in the face of cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Morten H; Reali, Florencia; Chater, Nick

    2011-04-01

    Although there may be no true language universals, it is nonetheless possible to discern several family resemblance patterns across the languages of the world. Recent work on the cultural evolution of language indicates the source of these patterns is unlikely to be an innate universal grammar evolved through biological adaptations for arbitrary linguistic features. Instead, it has been suggested that the patterns of resemblance emerge because language has been shaped by the brain, with individual languages representing different but partially overlapping solutions to the same set of nonlinguistic constraints. Here, we use computational simulations to investigate whether biological adaptation for functional features of language, deriving from cognitive and communicative constraints, may nonetheless be possible alongside rapid cultural evolution. Specifically, we focus on the Baldwin effect as an evolutionary mechanism by which previously learned linguistic features might become innate through natural selection across many generations of language users. The results indicate that cultural evolution of language does not necessarily prevent functional features of language from becoming genetically fixed, thus potentially providing a particularly informative source of constraints on cross-linguistic resemblance patterns.

  12. Biology of bone and how it orchestrates the form and function of the skeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommerfeldt, D. W.; Rubin, C. T.

    2001-01-01

    The principal role of the skeleton is to provide structural support for the body. While the skeleton also serves as the body's mineral reservoir, the mineralized structure is the very basis of posture, opposes muscular contraction resulting in motion, withstands functional load bearing, and protects internal organs. Although the mass and morphology of the skeleton is defined, to some extent, by genetic determinants, it is the tissue's ability to remodel--the local resorption and formation of bone--which is responsible for achieving this intricate balance between competing responsibilities. The aim of this review is to address bone's form-function relationship, beginning with extensive research in the musculoskeletal disciplines, and focusing on several recent cellular and molecular discoveries which help understand the complex interdependence of bone cells, growth factors, physical stimuli, metabolic demands, and structural responsibilities. With a clinical and spine-oriented audience in mind, the principles of bone cell and molecular biology and physiology are presented, and an attempt has been made to incorporate epidemiologic data and therapeutic implications. Bone research remains interdisciplinary by nature, and a deeper understanding of bone biology will ultimately lead to advances in the treatment of diseases and injuries to bone itself.

  13. Investigational study on construction of the physical function database; Shintai kino data base no kochiku ni kansuru chosa kenkyu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    An investigational study was carried out on construction of the physical function database which can supply data useful for planning, design and production when companies provide products and barrier-free environment for the aged society. Up to now, the final image of database was studied as to the visual function. In addition, this study is aimed at constructing the physical function database. In the literature survey, basic data on physical characteristics of the aged which have lain scattered were collected and systematically sorted in relation to the exercise function in order to make an analysis of the data and measuring technology in terms of reliability, importance, and applied values. In the survey of corporate needs, an examination of concrete needs for the exercise function and auditory function was made for general companies and companies related to the medical and welfare apparatus field. As to the visual function, a study was conducted on selection of new items for visual measurement and measuring methods. In the study of the database structure, a pilot database was constructed and subjects were extracted. 529 refs., 57 figs., 15 tabs.

  14. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  15. Role of soil biology and soil functions in relation to land use intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondi, Giulia; Wall, David; Bacher, Matthias; Emmet-Booth, Jeremy; Graça, Jessica; Marongiu, Irene; Creamer, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    The delivery of the ecosystem's functions is predominantly controlled by soil biology. The biology found in a gram of soil contains more than ten thousand individual species of bacteria and fungi (Torsvik et al., 1990). Understanding the role and the requirements of these organisms is essential for the protection and the sustainable use of soils. Soil biology represents the engine of all the processes occurring in the soil and it supports the ecosystem services such as: 1) nutrient mineralisation 2) plant production 3) water purification and regulation and 4) carbon cycling and storage. During the last years land management type and intensity have been identified as major drivers for microbial performance in soil. For this reason land management needs to be appropriately studied to understand the role of soil biology within this complex interplay of functions. We aimed to study whether and how land management drives soil biological processes and related functions. To reach this objective we built a land use intensity index (LUI) able to quantify the impact of the common farming practices carried out in Irish grassland soils. The LUI is derived from a detailed farmer questionnaire on grassland management practices at 38 farms distributed in the five major agro-climatic regions of Ireland defined by Holden and Brereton (2004). Soils were classified based on their drainage status according to the Irish Soil Information System by Creamer et al. (2014). This detailed questionnaire is then summarised into 3 management intensity components: (i) intensity of Fertilisation (Fi), (ii) frequency of Mowing (Mi) and (iii) intensity of Livestock Grazing (Gi). Sites were sampled to assess the impact of land management intensity on microbial community structure and enzyme behaviour in relation to nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycling. Preliminary results for enzymes linked to C and N cycles showed higher activity in relation to low grazing pressure (low Gi). Enzymes linked to P

  16. The role of cysteine residues in the sulphate transporter, SHST1: construction of a functional cysteine-less transporter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howitt, Susan M

    2005-05-20

    We investigated the role of cysteine residues in the sulphate transporter, SHST1, with the aim of generating a functional cysteine-less variant. SHST1 contains five cysteine residues and none was essential for function. However, replacement of C421 resulted in a reduction in transport activity. Sulphate transport by C205 mutants was dependent on the size of the residue at this position. Alanine at position 205 resulted in a complete loss of function whereas leucine resulted in a 3-fold increase in sulphate transport relative to wild type SHST1. C205 is located in a putative intracellular loop and our results suggest that this loop may be important for sulphate transport. By replacing C205 with leucine and the other four cysteine residues with alanine, we constructed a cysteine-less variant of SHST1 that has transport characteristics indistinguishable from wild type. This construct will be useful for further structure and function studies of SHST1.

  17. Design and practice of a comprehensively functional integrated management information system for major construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuling; Wang, Xiaoping; Zhu, Yuhui; Fei, Lanlan

    2017-08-01

    This paper introduces a Comprehensively Functional Integrated Management Information System designed for the Optical Engineering Major by the College of Optical Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, which combines the functions of teaching, students learning, educational assessment and management. The system consists of 5 modules, major overview, online curriculum, experiment teaching management, graduation project management and teaching quality feedback. The major overview module introduces the development history, training program, curriculums and experiment syllabus and teaching achievements of optical engineering major in Zhejiang University. The Management Information System is convenient for students to learn in a mobile and personalized way. The online curriculum module makes it very easy for teachers to setup a website for new curriculums. On the website, teachers can help students on their problems about the curriculums in time and collect their homework online. The experiment teaching management module and the graduation project management module enables the students to fulfill their experiment process and graduation thesis under the help of their supervisors. Before students take an experiment in the lab, they must pass the pre-experiment quiz on the corresponding module. After the experiment, students need to submit the experiment report to the web server. Moreover, the module contains experiment process video recordings, which are very helpful to improve the effect of the experiment education. The management of the entire process of a student's graduation program, including the project selection, mid-term inspection, progress report of every two weeks, final thesis, et al, is completed by the graduation project management module. The teaching quality feedback module is not only helpful for teachers to know whether the education effect of curriculum is good or not, but also helpful for the administrators of the college to know whether the

  18. Validation of systems biology derived molecular markers of renal donor organ status associated with long term allograft function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perco, Paul; Heinzel, Andreas; Leierer, Johannes; Schneeberger, Stefan; Bösmüller, Claudia; Oberhuber, Rupert; Wagner, Silvia; Engler, Franziska; Mayer, Gert

    2018-05-03

    Donor organ quality affects long term outcome after renal transplantation. A variety of prognostic molecular markers is available, yet their validity often remains undetermined. A network-based molecular model reflecting donor kidney status based on transcriptomics data and molecular features reported in scientific literature to be associated with chronic allograft nephropathy was created. Significantly enriched biological processes were identified and representative markers were selected. An independent kidney pre-implantation transcriptomics dataset of 76 organs was used to predict estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values twelve months after transplantation using available clinical data and marker expression values. The best-performing regression model solely based on the clinical parameters donor age, donor gender, and recipient gender explained 17% of variance in post-transplant eGFR values. The five molecular markers EGF, CD2BP2, RALBP1, SF3B1, and DDX19B representing key molecular processes of the constructed renal donor organ status molecular model in addition to the clinical parameters significantly improved model performance (p-value = 0.0007) explaining around 33% of the variability of eGFR values twelve months after transplantation. Collectively, molecular markers reflecting donor organ status significantly add to prediction of post-transplant renal function when added to the clinical parameters donor age and gender.

  19. How biological soil crusts became recognized as a functional unit: a selective history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    It is surprising that despite the world-wide distribution and general importance of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), scientific recognition and functional analysis of these communities is a relatively young field of science. In this chapter, we sketch the historical lines that led to the recognition of biocrusts as a community with important ecosystem functions. The idea of biocrusts as a functional ecological community has come from two main scientific branches: botany and soil science. For centuries, botanists have long recognized that multiple organisms colonize the soil surface in the open and often dry areas occurring between vascular plants. Much later, after the initial taxonomic and phyto-sociological descriptions were made, soil scientists and agronomists observed that these surface organisms interacted with soils in ways that changed the soil structure. In the 1970’s, research on these communities as ecological units that played an important functional role in drylands began in earnest, and these studies have continued to this day. Here, we trace the history of these studies from the distant past until 1990, when biocrusts became well-known to scientists and the public.

  20. Evaluation of functionality and biological response of the multilayer flow modulator in porcine animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultan, Sherif; Kavanagh, Edel P; Hynes, Niamh; Diethrich, Edward B

    2016-02-01

    This study outlines the use of non-aneurysmal porcine animal models to study device functionality and biological response of the Multilayer Flow Modulator (MFM) (Cardiatis, Isnes, Belgium), with an emphasis on preclinical device functionality and biological response characteristics in an otherwise healthy aorta. Twelve animals were implanted with the study device in the abdominal aorta, in 6 animals for 1 month and 6 animals for 6 months. Upon completion of the study period, each animal underwent a necropsy to examine how the implanted device had affected the artery and surrounding tissue. Neointima and stenosis formation were recorded via morphometry, and endothelialization via histopathological analysis. The MFM devices were delivered to their respective implantation sites without difficulty. Six of the implanted stents were oversized with percentages ranging from 2.6% to 18.8%. Statistical analysis was carried out and showed no significance between the regular sized stent group and oversized stent group for neointimal area (P=0.17), neointimal thickness (P=0.17), and percentage area stenosis (P=0.65). Histopathological findings showed in most areas flattened endothelium like cells lined the luminal surface of the neointima. Scanning electron microscopy also showed the devices were well tolerated, inciting only a minimal neointimal covering and little fibrin or platelet deposition. Neointimal thickness of 239.7±55.6 μm and 318.3±130.4 μm, and percentage area stenosis of 9.6±2.6% and 12.6±5% were recorded at 1 and 6 months respectively. No statistical differences were found between these results. The MFM devices were delivered to their respective implantation sites without difficulty and incited little neointimal and stenosis formation in the aorta, affirming its functionality and biocompatibility.

  1. Structural and functional characteristics of natural and constructed channels draining a reclaimed mountaintop removal and valley fill coal mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mountaintop removal and valley fill (MTR/VF) coal mining has altered the landscape of the Central Appalachian region in the United States. The goals of this study were to 1) compare the structure and function of natural and constructed stream channels in forested and MTR/VF catch...

  2. Virtual Agonist-antagonist Mechanisms Produce Biological Muscle-like Functions: An Application for Robot Joint Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2014-01-01

    Purpose – Biological muscles of animals have a surprising variety of functions, i.e., struts, springs, and brakes. According to this, the purpose of this paper is to apply virtual agonist-antagonist mechanisms to robot joint control allowing for muscle-like functions and variably compliant joint......, variably compliant joint motions can be produced without mechanically bulky and complex mechanisms or complex force/toque sensing at each joint. Moreover, through tuning the damping coefficient of the VAAM, the functions of the VAAM are comparable to biological muscles. Originality/value – The model (i.......e., VAAM) provides a way forward to emulate muscle-like functions that are comparable to those found in physiological experiments of biological muscles. Based on these muscle-like functions, the robotic joints can easily achieve variable compliance that does not require complex physical components...

  3. Modeling injury rates as a function of industrialized versus on-site construction techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio-Romero, J C; Suárez-Cebador, M; Abad, Jesús

    2014-05-01

    It is often predicted that the industrialization of building activities will lead to a reduction of accident rates in the construction sector, particularly as a result of switching activities from building sites to factories. However, to date no scientific research has provided objective quantitative results to back up this claim. The aim of this paper is to evaluate how industrialization affects the accident rate in different industrialized building systems in Spain. Our results revealed that the industrialized steel modular system presents the lowest accident rate, while the highest accident rate was recorded in the construction method with cast-in-place concrete. The lightweight construction system also presents a high accident rate. Accordingly, industrialized building systems cannot claim to be safer than traditional ones. The different types of "on-site work" seem to be the main variable which would explain the accident rates recorded in industrialized construction systems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. [Differential gene expression profile in ischemic myocardium of Wistar rats with acute myocardial infarction: the study on gene construction, identification and function].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Chun Yu; Yin, Hui Jun; Jiang, Yue Rong; Xue, Mei; Zhang, Lu; Shi, Da Zhuo

    2008-06-18

    To construct the differential genes expressed profile in the ischemic myocardium tissue reduced from acute myocardial infarction(AMI), and determine the biological functions of target genes. AMI model was generated by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery in Wistar rats. Total RNA was extracted from the normal and the ischemic heart tissues under the ligation point 7 days after the operation. Differential gene expression profiles of the two samples were constructed using Long Serial Analysis of Gene Expression(LongSAGE). Real time fluorescence quantitative PCR was used to verify gene expression profile and to identify the expression of 2 functional genes. The activities of enzymes from functional genes were determined by histochemistry. A total of 15,966 tags were screened from the normal and the ischemic LongSAGE maps. The similarities of the sequences were compared using the BLAST algebra in NCBI and 7,665 novel tags were found. In the ischemic tissue 142 genes were significantly changed compared with those in the normal tissue (Ppathways of oxidation and phosphorylation, ATP synthesis and glycolysis. The partial genes identified by LongSAGE were confirmed using real time fluorescence quantitative PCR. Two genes related to energy metabolism, COX5a and ATP5e, were screened and quantified. Expression of two functional genes down-regulated at their mRNA levels and the activities of correlative functional enzymes decreased compared with those in the normal tissue. AMI causes a series of changes in gene expression, in which the abnormal expression of genes related to energy metabolism could be one of the molecular mechanisms of AMI. The intervention of the expressions of COX5a and ATP5e may be a new target for AMI therapy.

  5. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Wang

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  6. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2015-04-10

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  7. Green leaf volatiles: biosynthesis, biological functions and their applications in biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ul Hassan, Muhammad Naeem; Zainal, Zamri; Ismail, Ismanizan

    2015-08-01

    Plants have evolved numerous constitutive and inducible defence mechanisms to cope with biotic and abiotic stresses. These stresses induce the expression of various genes to activate defence-related pathways that result in the release of defence chemicals. One of these defence mechanisms is the oxylipin pathway, which produces jasmonates, divinylethers and green leaf volatiles (GLVs) through the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). GLVs have recently emerged as key players in plant defence, plant-plant interactions and plant-insect interactions. Some GLVs inhibit the growth and propagation of plant pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. In certain cases, GLVs released from plants under herbivore attack can serve as aerial messengers to neighbouring plants and to attract parasitic or parasitoid enemies of the herbivores. The plants that perceive these volatile signals are primed and can then adapt in preparation for the upcoming challenges. Due to their 'green note' odour, GLVs impart aromas and flavours to many natural foods, such as vegetables and fruits, and therefore, they can be exploited in industrial biotechnology. The aim of this study was to review the progress and recent developments in research on the oxylipin pathway, with a specific focus on the biosynthesis and biological functions of GLVs and their applications in industrial biotechnology. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert; Schofield, P. N.; Gkoutos, G. V.

    2015-01-01

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  9. Exploring new biological functions of amyloids: bacteria cell agglutination mediated by host protein aggregation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Torrent

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial proteins and peptides (AMPs are important effectors of the innate immune system that play a vital role in the prevention of infections. Recent advances have highlighted the similarity between AMPs and amyloid proteins. Using the Eosinophil Cationic Protein as a model, we have rationalized the structure-activity relationships between amyloid aggregation and antimicrobial activity. Our results show how protein aggregation can induce bacteria agglutination and cell death. Using confocal and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy we have tracked the formation in situ of protein amyloid-like aggregates at the bacteria surface and on membrane models. In both cases, fibrillar aggregates able to bind to amyloid diagnostic dyes were detected. Additionally, a single point mutation (Ile13 to Ala can suppress the protein amyloid behavior, abolishing the agglutinating activity and impairing the antimicrobial action. The mutant is also defective in triggering both leakage and lipid vesicle aggregation. We conclude that ECP aggregation at the bacterial surface is essential for its cytotoxicity. Hence, we propose here a new prospective biological function for amyloid-like aggregates with potential biological relevance.

  10. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with unchanged calculation precision. So the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule becomes a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the Ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), are presented. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The precision of structure determination of inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  11. Functional biology and ecological role of krill in Northern marine ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

    Krill is an understudied key group of zooplankton, which transfers energy through the food web by linking lower and higher trophic levels. Furthermore, krill play an important role in the biological pump by transporting carbon out of the euphotic zone to depth by diel vertical migration (DVM...... to be the key factor determining the trophic position of a species, where the largest species had the highest trophic position. The species were feeding on the same food items, which could lead to competition for food. However, there is a difference between the two functional groups, represented by M. norvegica...... for the two dominating species within the fjord, T. inermis and T. raschii. The krill grazed community at this time of year. Yet, the grazing impact was similar to the copepods’, which are normally...

  12. The Hadamard construction of Green's functions on a curved space-time: physics and explicit rigorous results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John, R.W.

    1987-01-01

    First, in connection with their construction due to Hadamard, the mathematical and physical meaning of covariant Green's functions in relativistic gravitational fields - according to Einstein: on curved space-time - is discussed. Then, in the case of a general static spherically symmetric space-time the construction equations for a scalar Green's function are cast into symmetry-adapted form providing a convenient starting point for an explicit calculation of the Hadamard building elements. In applying the obtained basic scheme to a special one-parameter family of model metrics one succeeds in advancing to the explicit exact calculation of tail-term coefficients of a massless Green's function which are simultaneously coefficients in the Schwinger-De Witt expansion of the Feynman propagator for the corresponding massive Klein-Gordon equation on curved space-time. (author)

  13. A Model of Functional Integration and Conflict: The Case of Purchasing-Production in a Construction Company

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellegaard, Chris; Koch, Christian

    2014-01-01

    into cross-functional conflict. Facing a conflicting functional relationship, managers must resort to conflict resolution methods, instead of attempting to integrate, as several integrative devices are not appropriate in conflicting interfaces. Originality/value – The proposed model contributes by connecting......Purpose – The purpose of this article is to generate theory on how functional integration and conflict interrelate by studying the interface between production and purchasing. Design/methodology/approach – An interpretive single case research methodology is adopted. The authors rely on in......-depth interviewing of managers in the production and purchasing functions of a construction company, as well as by its suppliers. Findings – Given low functional integration, antagonistic reasoning within each function and resultant conflicting behaviors are allowed to develop in a negative cycle, escalating...

  14. Detection of Metabolism Function of Microbial Community of Corpses by Biolog-Eco Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, X Y; Wang, J F; Zhu, G H; Ma, M Y; Lai, Y; Zhou, H

    2016-06-01

    To detect the changes of microbial community functional diversity of corpses with different postmortem interval (PMI) and to evaluate forensic application value for estimating PMI. The cultivation of microbial community from the anal swabs of a Sus scrofa and a human corpse placed in field environment from 0 to 240 h after death was performed using the Biolog-Eco Microplate and the variations of the absorbance values were also monitored. Combined with the technology of forensic pathology and flies succession, the metabolic characteristics and changes of microbial community on the decomposed corpse under natural environment were also observed. The diversity of microbial metabolism function was found to be negatively correlated with the number of maggots in the corpses. The freezing processing had the greatest impact on average well color development value at 0 h and the impact almost disappeared after 48 h. The diversity of microbial metabolism of the samples became relatively unstable after 192 h. The principal component analysis showed that 31 carbon sources could be consolidated for 5 principal components (accumulative contribution ratio >90%).The carbon source tsquare-analysis showed that N -acetyl- D -glucosamine and L -serine were the dominant carbon sources for estimating the PMI (0=240 h) of the Sus scrofa and human corpse. The Biolog-Eco method can be used to reveal the metabolic differences of the carbon resources utilization of the microbial community on the corpses during 0-240 h after death, which could provide a new basis for estimating the PMI. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine

  15. [Historic and functional biology: the inadequacy of a system theory of evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regelmann, J P

    1982-01-01

    In the first half of the 20th century neo-Kantianism in a broad sense proved itself the main conceptual and methodological background of the central European biology. As such it contributed much to the victory on the typological, idealistic-morphological and psycho-vitalistic interpretations of life. On the other hand it could not give tools to the biologists for working out a strictly darwinian evolution theory. Kant's theory of organism was conceived without evolution as a theory of the internal functionality of the organism. There was only some 'play' with the evolutionary differentiation of the species. Since then the disputes around the work of August Weismann, a synthetical evolution theory which is now behind time, arose. This theory developed from coinciding claims, elaborated by geneticists, mathematicians, and by biologists studying development, natural history and systematics. This was done under a strong influence of marxist ideas. Through the interweaving of such different approaches it was possible for this evolutionary synthesis to influence successfully the development of evolution research during more than 40 years. Philosophically speaking modern evolution theory means therefore an aversion, even a positive abolition of Kantian positions. A number of biologists however--as L. von Bertalanffy--refused to adhere to a misinterpreted Kantian methodology and oriented themselves to an approach via system theory, which obtained a place in evolution research. In fact this is a Kantian approach as well. They only repeated the Kantian dilemma of the evolution which can also be found in Lamarck and Hegel. The system theory of the functionality of the organism never reaches to the level of the evolving species, but remains always on the level of epigenetic thinking, because of its philosophical origin. This paper points out the consequences of this still current dilemma. At the same time an all-enclosing reflection on the methodological, epistemological and

  16. Decarbonylative Cross-Couplings: Nickel Catalyzed Functional Group Interconversion Strategies for the Construction of Complex Organic Molecules

    KAUST Repository

    Guo, Lin

    2018-04-13

    -mediated decarbonylation process of esters and proposed a reaction mechanism involving a C(acyl)-O bond cleavage and a CO extrusion. Key nickel intermediates were isolated and characterized by Shi and co-workers, supporting the assumption of a nickel/ N-heterocyclic carbene-promoted C(acyl)-O bond activation and functionalization. Our combined experimental and computational study of a ligand-controlled chemoselective nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling of aromatic esters with alkylboron reagents provided further insight into the reaction mechanism. We demonstrated that nickel complexes with bidentate ligands favor the C(aryl)-C bond cleavage in the oxidative addition step, resulting in decarbonylative alkylations, while nickel complexes with monodentate phosphorus ligands promote the activation of the C(acyl)-O bond, leading to the production of ketone products. Although more detailed mechanistic investigations need to be undertaken, the successful development of decarbonylative cross-coupling reactions can serve as a solid foundation for future studies. We believe that this type of decarbonylative cross-coupling reactions will be of significant value, in particularly in combination with the retrosynthetic analysis and synthesis of natural products and biologically active molecules. Thus, the presented ester substitution methods will pave the way for successful applications in the construction of complex frameworks by late-stage modification and functionalization of carboxylic acid derivatives.

  17. Decarbonylative Cross-Couplings: Nickel Catalyzed Functional Group Interconversion Strategies for the Construction of Complex Organic Molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Lin; Rueping, Magnus

    2018-05-15

    -mediated decarbonylation process of esters and proposed a reaction mechanism involving a C(acyl)-O bond cleavage and a CO extrusion. Key nickel intermediates were isolated and characterized by Shi and co-workers, supporting the assumption of a nickel/ N-heterocyclic carbene-promoted C(acyl)-O bond activation and functionalization. Our combined experimental and computational study of a ligand-controlled chemoselective nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling of aromatic esters with alkylboron reagents provided further insight into the reaction mechanism. We demonstrated that nickel complexes with bidentate ligands favor the C(aryl)-C bond cleavage in the oxidative addition step, resulting in decarbonylative alkylations, while nickel complexes with monodentate phosphorus ligands promote the activation of the C(acyl)-O bond, leading to the production of ketone products. Although more detailed mechanistic investigations need to be undertaken, the successful development of decarbonylative cross-coupling reactions can serve as a solid foundation for future studies. We believe that this type of decarbonylative cross-coupling reactions will be of significant value, in particularly in combination with the retrosynthetic analysis and synthesis of natural products and biologically active molecules. Thus, the presented ester substitution methods will pave the way for successful applications in the construction of complex frameworks by late-stage modification and functionalization of carboxylic acid derivatives.

  18. Decarbonylative Cross-Couplings: Nickel Catalyzed Functional Group Interconversion Strategies for the Construction of Complex Organic Molecules

    KAUST Repository

    Guo, Lin; Rueping, Magnus

    2018-01-01

    -mediated decarbonylation process of esters and proposed a reaction mechanism involving a C(acyl)-O bond cleavage and a CO extrusion. Key nickel intermediates were isolated and characterized by Shi and co-workers, supporting the assumption of a nickel/ N-heterocyclic carbene-promoted C(acyl)-O bond activation and functionalization. Our combined experimental and computational study of a ligand-controlled chemoselective nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling of aromatic esters with alkylboron reagents provided further insight into the reaction mechanism. We demonstrated that nickel complexes with bidentate ligands favor the C(aryl)-C bond cleavage in the oxidative addition step, resulting in decarbonylative alkylations, while nickel complexes with monodentate phosphorus ligands promote the activation of the C(acyl)-O bond, leading to the production of ketone products. Although more detailed mechanistic investigations need to be undertaken, the successful development of decarbonylative cross-coupling reactions can serve as a solid foundation for future studies. We believe that this type of decarbonylative cross-coupling reactions will be of significant value, in particularly in combination with the retrosynthetic analysis and synthesis of natural products and biologically active molecules. Thus, the presented ester substitution methods will pave the way for successful applications in the construction of complex frameworks by late-stage modification and functionalization of carboxylic acid derivatives.

  19. Expedient construction of small molecule macroarrays via sequential palladium- and copper-mediated reactions and their ex situ biological testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frei, Reto; Breitbach, Anthony S; Blackwell, Helen E

    2012-05-01

    We report the highly efficient syntheses of a series of focused libraries in the small molecule macroarray format using Suzuki-Miyaura and copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (or "click") reactions. The libraries were based on stilbene and triazole scaffolds, which are known to have a broad range of biological activities, including quorum-sensing (QS) modulation in bacteria. The library products were generated in parallel on the macroarray in extremely short reaction times (~10-20 min) and isolated in excellent purities. Biological testing of one macroarray library post-cleavage (ex situ) revealed several potent agonists of the QS receptor, LuxR, in Vibrio fischeri. These synthetic agonists, in contrast to others that we have reported, were only active in the presence of the native QS signal in V. fischeri, which is suggestive of a different mode of activity. Notably, the results presented herein showcase the ready compatibility of the macroarray platform with chemical reactions that are commonly utilized in small molecule probe and drug discovery today. As such, this work serves to expand the utility of the small molecule macroarray as a rapid and operationally straightforward approach toward the synthesis and screening of bioactive agents.

  20. Construction of uricase-overproducing strains of Hansenula polymorpha and its application as biological recognition element in microbial urate biosensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schuhmann Wolfgang

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The detection and quantification of uric acid in human physiological fluids is of great importance in the diagnosis and therapy of patients suffering from a range of disorders associated with altered purine metabolism, most notably gout and hyperuricaemia. The fabrication of cheap and reliable urate-selective amperometric biosensors is a challenging task. Results A urate-selective microbial biosensor was developed using cells of the recombinant thermotolerant methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha as biorecognition element. The construction of uricase (UOX producing yeast by over-expression of the uricase gene of H. polymorpha is described. Following a preliminary screening of the transformants with increased UOX activity in permeabilized yeast cells the optimal cultivation conditions for maximal UOX yield namely a 40-fold increase in UOX activity were determined. The UOX producing cells were coupled to horseradish peroxidase and immobilized on graphite electrodes by physical entrapment behind a dialysis membrane. A high urate selectivity with a detection limit of about 8 μM was found. Conclusion A strain of H. polymorpha overproducing UOX was constructed. A cheap urate selective microbial biosensor was developed.

  1. [The hyperiricosuria as an indicator of derangement of biologic functions of endoecology and adaptation, biologic reactions of excretion, inflammation and arterial tension].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Oshchepkova, E V; Dmitriev, V A; Gushchina, O V; Shiriaeva, Iu K; Iashin, A Ia

    2012-04-01

    During millions years in all animals allantoine (oxidized by uricase uric acid) was catabolite of purines and ascorbic acid was an acceptor of active forms of oxygen. The proximal tubules of nephron reabsorbed the trace amounts of uric acid Then during phylogenesis the primates had a mutation of ascorbic acid gen minus. Later on occurred a second spontaneous mutation and uricase gen minus and uric acid became catabolites of purines. In absence of ascorbic acid synthesis ions of urates became a major capturers of active forms of oxygen and all uric acid as before underwent the reabsorption. Later the carriers were formed which began in epithelium of proximal tubules to secrete all uric acid into urine. At every incident of "littering" of intercellular medium with endogenic flogogens (impairment of biologic function of endoecology) under compensatory development of biologic reaction of inflammation the need in inactivation of active forms of oxygen increases. Hence later on in phylogenesis one more stage was formed--post secretory reabsorption of uric acid In the biologic reaction of inflammation epithelium of proximal tubules initiates retentional hyperiricosuria. The general antioxidant activity of human blood plasma in 60% is presented by urates' ions. The excretion of uric acid includes 4 stages: filtration, full reabsorption, secretion and post secretory reabsorption. In phylogenesis these stages formed in sequence. The mild hyperiricosuria is most frequently considered as a non-specific indicator of activation of biologic reaction of inflammation. The productive hyperiricosuria develops more infrequently under surplus of meat food and cytolysis syndrome (intensification of cell loss in vivo). Under concentration of uric acid more than 400 mkmol/l part of urates circulates in intercellular medium in the form of crystals. The microcrystals of uric acid (biologic "litter") initiate the syndrome of systemic inflammatory response as an endogenic flogogen

  2. From essential to persistent genes: a functional approach to constructing synthetic life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G.; Fang, Gang; Schmidt, Markus

    2013-01-01

    A central undertaking in synthetic biology (SB) is the quest for the ‘minimal genome’. However, ‘minimal sets’ of essential genes are strongly context-dependent and, in all prokaryotic genomes sequenced to date, not a single protein-coding gene is entirely conserved. Furthermore, a lack...

  3. Re-evaluating concepts of biological function in clinical medicine: towards a new naturalistic theory of disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin-Yee, Benjamin; Upshur, Ross E G

    2017-08-01

    Naturalistic theories of disease appeal to concepts of biological function, and use the notion of dysfunction as the basis of their definitions. Debates in the philosophy of biology demonstrate how attributing functions in organisms and establishing the function-dysfunction distinction is by no means straightforward. This problematization of functional ascription has undermined naturalistic theories and led some authors to abandon the concept of dysfunction, favoring instead definitions based in normative criteria or phenomenological approaches. Although this work has enhanced our understanding of disease and illness, we need not necessarily abandon naturalistic concepts of function and dysfunction in the disease debate. This article attempts to move towards a new naturalistic theory of disease that overcomes the limitations of previous definitions and offers advantages in the clinical setting. Our approach involves a re-evaluation of concepts of biological function employed by naturalistic theories. Drawing on recent insights from the philosophy of biology, we develop a contextual and evaluative account of function that is better suited to clinical medicine and remains consistent with contemporary naturalism. We also show how an updated naturalistic view shares important affinities with normativist and phenomenological positions, suggesting a possibility for consilience in the disease debate.

  4. Optimization of polysaccharides extraction from watermelon rinds: Structure, functional and biological activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romdhane, Molka Ben; Haddar, Anissa; Ghazala, Imen; Jeddou, Khawla Ben; Helbert, Claire Boisset; Ellouz-Chaabouni, Semia

    2017-02-01

    In the present work, optimization of hot water extraction, structural characteristics, functional properties, and biological activities of polysaccharides extracted from watermelon rinds (WMRP) were investigated. The physicochemical characteristics and the monosaccharide composition of these polysaccharides were then determined using chemical composition analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID). SEM images showed that extracted polysaccharides had a rough surface with many cavities. GC-FID results proved that galactose was the dominant sugar in the extracted polysaccharides, followed by arabinose, glucose, galacturonic acid, rhamnose, mannose, xylose and traces of glucuronic acid. The findings revealed that WMRP displayed excellent antihypertensive and antioxidant activities. Those polysaccharides had also a protection effect against hydroxyl radical-induced DNA damage. Functional properties of extracted polysaccharides were also evaluated. WMRP showed good interfacial dose-dependent proprieties. Overall, the results suggested that WMRP presents a promising natural source of antioxidants and antihypertensive agents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A postprocessing method in the HMC framework for predicting gene function based on biological instrumental data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shou; Fu, Ping; Zheng, Wenbin

    2018-03-01

    Predicting gene function based on biological instrumental data is a complicated and challenging hierarchical multi-label classification (HMC) problem. When using local approach methods to solve this problem, a preliminary results processing method is usually needed. This paper proposed a novel preliminary results processing method called the nodes interaction method. The nodes interaction method revises the preliminary results and guarantees that the predictions are consistent with the hierarchy constraint. This method exploits the label dependency and considers the hierarchical interaction between nodes when making decisions based on the Bayesian network in its first phase. In the second phase, this method further adjusts the results according to the hierarchy constraint. Implementing the nodes interaction method in the HMC framework also enhances the HMC performance for solving the gene function prediction problem based on the Gene Ontology (GO), the hierarchy of which is a directed acyclic graph that is more difficult to tackle. The experimental results validate the promising performance of the proposed method compared to state-of-the-art methods on eight benchmark yeast data sets annotated by the GO.

  6. Functionalized polypyrrole film: synthesis, characterization, and potential applications in chemical and biological sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Hua; Cao, Xiaodong; Li, Chang Ming

    2009-07-01

    In this paper, we report the synthesis of a carboxyl-functionalized polypyrrole derivative, a poly(pyrrole-N-propanoic acid) (PPPA) film, by electrochemical polymerization, and the investigation of its basic properties via traditional characterization techniques such as confocal-Raman, FTIR, SEM, AFM, UV-vis, fluorescence microscopy, and contact-angle measurements. The experimental data show that the as-prepared PPPA film exhibits a hydrophilic nanoporous structure, abundant -COOH functional groups in the polymer backbone, and high fluorescent emission under laser excitation. On the basis of these unique properties, further experiments were conducted to demonstrate three potential applications of the PPPA film in chemical and biological sensors: a permeable and permselective membrane, a membrane with specific recognition sites for biomolecule immobilization, and a fluorescent conjugated polymer for amplification of fluorescence quenching. Specifically, the permeability and permselectivity of ion species through the PPPA film are detected by means of rotating-disk-electrode voltammetry; the specific recognition sites on the film surface are confirmed with protein immobilization, and the amplification of fluorescence quenching is measured by the addition of a quenching agent with fluorescence microscopy. The results are in good agreement with our expectations.

  7. Biology of Bone Tissue: Structure, Function, and Factors That Influence Bone Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinaldo Florencio-Silva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the concerted actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts, whereas osteocytes act as mechanosensors and orchestrators of the bone remodeling process. This process is under the control of local (e.g., growth factors and cytokines and systemic (e.g., calcitonin and estrogens factors that all together contribute for bone homeostasis. An imbalance between bone resorption and formation can result in bone diseases including osteoporosis. Recently, it has been recognized that, during bone remodeling, there are an intricate communication among bone cells. For instance, the coupling from bone resorption to bone formation is achieved by interaction between osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Moreover, osteocytes produce factors that influence osteoblast and osteoclast activities, whereas osteocyte apoptosis is followed by osteoclastic bone resorption. The increasing knowledge about the structure and functions of bone cells contributed to a better understanding of bone biology. It has been suggested that there is a complex communication between bone cells and other organs, indicating the dynamic nature of bone tissue. In this review, we discuss the current data about the structure and functions of bone cells and the factors that influence bone remodeling.

  8. Unexpected functional similarities between gatekeeper tumour suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes revealed by systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yongzhong; Epstein, Richard J

    2011-05-01

    Familial tumor suppressor genes comprise two subgroups: caretaker genes (CTs) that repair DNA, and gatekeeper genes (GKs) that trigger cell death. Since GKs may also induce cell cycle delay and thus enhance cell survival by facilitating DNA repair, we hypothesized that the prosurvival phenotype of GKs could be selected during cancer progression, and we used a multivariable systems biology approach to test this. We performed multidimensional data analysis, non-negative matrix factorization and logistic regression to compare the features of GKs with those of their putative antagonists, the proto-oncogenes (POs), as well as with control groups of CTs and functionally unrelated congenital heart disease genes (HDs). GKs and POs closely resemble each other, but not CTs or HDs, in terms of gene structure (Pexpression level and breadth (Pimplied suggest a common functional attribute that is strongly negatively selected-that is, a shared phenotype that enhances cell survival. The counterintuitive finding of similar evolutionary pressures affecting GKs and POs raises an intriguing possibility: namely, that cancer microevolution is accelerated by an epistatic cascade in which upstream suppressor gene defects subvert the normal bifunctionality of wild-type GKs by constitutively shifting the phenotype away from apoptosis towards survival. If correct, this interpretation would explain the hitherto unexplained phenomenon of frequent wild-type GK (for example, p53) overexpression in tumors.

  9. Biology of Bone Tissue: Structure, Function, and Factors That Influence Bone Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florencio-Silva, Rinaldo; Sasso, Gisela Rodrigues da Silva; Sasso-Cerri, Estela; Simões, Manuel Jesus; Cerri, Paulo Sérgio

    2015-01-01

    Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the concerted actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts, whereas osteocytes act as mechanosensors and orchestrators of the bone remodeling process. This process is under the control of local (e.g., growth factors and cytokines) and systemic (e.g., calcitonin and estrogens) factors that all together contribute for bone homeostasis. An imbalance between bone resorption and formation can result in bone diseases including osteoporosis. Recently, it has been recognized that, during bone remodeling, there are an intricate communication among bone cells. For instance, the coupling from bone resorption to bone formation is achieved by interaction between osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Moreover, osteocytes produce factors that influence osteoblast and osteoclast activities, whereas osteocyte apoptosis is followed by osteoclastic bone resorption. The increasing knowledge about the structure and functions of bone cells contributed to a better understanding of bone biology. It has been suggested that there is a complex communication between bone cells and other organs, indicating the dynamic nature of bone tissue. In this review, we discuss the current data about the structure and functions of bone cells and the factors that influence bone remodeling.

  10. Structural and functional biological materials: Abalone nacre, sharp materials, and abalone foot adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Albert Yu-Min

    A three-part study of lessons from nature is presented through the examination of various biological materials, with an emphasis on materials from the mollusk Haliotis rufescens, commonly referred to as the red abalone. The three categories presented are: structural hierarchy, self-assembly, and functionality. Ocean mollusk shells are composed of aragonite/calcite crystals interleaved with layers of a visco-elastic protein, having dense, tailored structures with excellent mechanical properties. The complex nano-laminate structure of this bio-composite material is characterized and related to its mechanical properties. Three levels of structural hierarchy are identified: macroscale mesolayers separating larger regions of tiled aragonite, microscale organization of 0.5 mum by 10 mum aragonite bricks; nanoscale mineral bridges passing through 30 nm layers of organic matrix separating individual aragonite tiles. Composition and growth mechanisms of this nanostructure were observed through close examination of laboratory-grown samples using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Glass slides and nacre pucks were implanted onto the growth surface of living abalone and removed periodically to observe trends in nacre deposition. Various deproteinization and demineralization experiments are used to explore the inorganic and organic components of the nacre's structure. The organic component of the shell is characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The functionality of various biological materials is described and investigated. Two specific types of functionality are characterized, the ability of some materials to cut and puncture through sharp designs, and the ability for some materials to be used as attachment devices. Aspects of cutting materials employed by a broad range of animals were characterized and compared. In respect to the attachment mechanisms the foot of the abalone and the tree frog were

  11. The potential-free approach to the construction of the NN-wave functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Troitsky, V.E.

    1984-01-01

    The traditional approaches to the nonrelativistic NN-interaction use local and nonlocal potentials of the kind defined by different dynamical speculations. The wave functions are obtained then from the Schroedinger equation with the chosen potential. Here the author obtains the wave functions (scattering wave function and bound state wave function) directly from the scattering phases in the frame of a dispersion approach without use of potential. (Auth.)

  12. Multi-functional photonic crystal sensors enabled by biological silica (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Alan X.

    2017-02-01

    Diatoms are microalgae found in every habitat where water is present. They produce 40% of the ocean's yearly production of organic carbon and 20% of the oxygen that we breathe. Their abundance and wide distribution make them ideal materials for a wide range of applications as living organisms. In our previous work, we have demonstrated that diatom biosilica with self-assembled silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) can be used as ultra-sensitive, low-cost substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensing. The enhancement comes from the photonic crystal enhancement of diatom frustules that could improve the hot-spots of Ag NPs. In this work, we report the unique micro-fluidic flow, analyte concentration effect, and thin layer chromatography (TLC) on diatom biosilica, which enables selection, separation, detection, and analysis of complex chemical and biological samples. Particularly, we show that the microscopic fluidic flow induced by the evaporation of liquid droplet can concentrate the analyte and achieve label-free sensing of single molecule detection of R6G and label-free sensing of 4.5×10-17g trinitrotoluene (TNT) from only 200 nano-liter solution. We also demonstrated a facile method for instant on-site separation and detection of analytes by TLC in tandem with SERS spectroscopy using high density diatom thin film. This lab-on-chip technology has been successfully applied for label-free detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from human plasma and histamine from salmon fish. Our research suggests that such cost-effective, multi-functional photonic crystal sensors enabled by diatom biosilica opens a new route for lab-on-chip systems and possess significant engineering potentials for chemical and biological sensing.

  13. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen Krauss

    Full Text Available Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short

  14. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Jochen; Gallenberger, Iris; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional) and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short-term effects on aphid

  15. Functional Metagenomics: Construction and High-Throughput Screening of Fosmid Libraries for Discovery of Novel Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ufarté, Lisa; Bozonnet, Sophie; Laville, Elisabeth; Cecchini, Davide A; Pizzut-Serin, Sandra; Jacquiod, Samuel; Demanèche, Sandrine; Simonet, Pascal; Franqueville, Laure; Veronese, Gabrielle Potocki

    2016-01-01

    Activity-based metagenomics is one of the most efficient approaches to boost the discovery of novel biocatalysts from the huge reservoir of uncultivated bacteria. In this chapter, we describe a highly generic procedure of metagenomic library construction and high-throughput screening for carbohydrate-active enzymes. Applicable to any bacterial ecosystem, it enables the swift identification of functional enzymes that are highly efficient, alone or acting in synergy, to break down polysaccharides and oligosaccharides.

  16. Modeling injury rates as a function of industrialized versus on-site construction techniques

    OpenAIRE

    Rubio Romero, Juan Carlos; Suárez Cebador, Manuel; Abad Puente, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    It is often predicted that the industrialization of building activities will lead to a reduction of accident rates in the construction sector, particularly as a result of switching activities from building sites to factories. However, to date no scientific research has provided objective quantitative results to back up this claim. The aim of this paper is to evaluate how industrialization affects the accident rate in different industrialized building systems in Spain. Our results revealed tha...

  17. Supernatant from bifidobacterium differentially modulates transduction signaling pathways for biological functions of human dendritic cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrille Hoarau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Probiotic bacteria have been shown to modulate immune responses and could have therapeutic effects in allergic and inflammatory disorders. However, the signaling pathways engaged by probiotics are poorly understood. We have previously reported that a fermentation product from Bifidobacterium breve C50 (BbC50sn could induce maturation, high IL-10 production and prolonged survival of DCs via a TLR2 pathway. We therefore studied the roles of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K pathways on biological functions of human monocyte-derived DCs treated with BbC50sn. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: DCs were differentiated from human monocytes with IL-4 and GM-CSF for 5 days and cultured with BbC50sn, lipopolysaccharide (LPS or Zymosan, with or without specific inhibitors of p38MAPK (SB203580, ERK (PD98059, PI3K (LY294002 and GSK3 (SB216763. We found that 1 the PI3K pathway was positively involved in the prolonged DC survival induced by BbC50sn, LPS and Zymosan in contrast to p38MAPK and GSK3 which negatively regulated DC survival; 2 p38MAPK and PI3K were positively involved in DC maturation, in contrast to ERK and GSK3 which negatively regulated DC maturation; 3 ERK and PI3K were positively involved in DC-IL-10 production, in contrast to GSK3 that was positively involved in DC-IL-12 production whereas p38MAPK was positively involved in both; 4 BbC50sn induced a PI3K/Akt phosphorylation similar to Zymosan and a p38MAPK phosphorylation similar to LPS. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We report for the first time that a fermentation product of a bifidobacteria can differentially activate MAPK, GSK3 and PI3K in order to modulate DC biological functions. These results give new insights on the fine-tuned balance between the maintenance of normal mucosal homeostasis to commensal and probiotic bacteria and the specific inflammatory immune responses to pathogen bacteria.

  18. Biological function evaluation and effects of laser micro-pore burn-denatured acellular dermal matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Youlai; Zeng, Yuanlin; Xin, Guohua; Zou, Lijin; Ding, Yuewei; Duyin, Jiang

    2018-03-01

    In the field of burns repairs, many problems exist in the shortage of donor skin, the expense of allograft or xenograft skin, temporary substitution and unsatisfactory extremity function after wound healing. Previous studies showed that burn-denatured skin could return to normal dermis formation and function. This study investigates the application of laser micro-pore burn-denatured acellular dermis matrix (DADM) from an escharotomy in the repair of burn wounds and evaluates the biological properties and wound repair effects of DADM in implantation experiments in Kunming mice. Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Kunming mice were used in this study. A deep II° burn wound was created on the dorsum of the mice by an electric heated water bath. The full-thickness wound tissue was harvested. The necrotic tissue and subcutaneous tissue were removed. The denatured dermis was preserved and treated with 0.25% trypsin, 0.5% Triton X-100. The DADM was drilled by laser micro-pore. The biological properties and grafting effects of laser micro-pore burn-DADM were evaluated by morphology, cytokine expression levels and subcutaneous implantation experiments in Kunming mice. We found statistical significance (Ppore burn-DADM (experimental group) compared to the control group (no laser micro-pore burn-DADM). Cytokine expression level was different in the dermal matrixes harvested at various time points after burn (24h, 48h, 72h and infected wound group). Comparing the dermal matrix from 24h burn tissue to infected wound tissue, the expression level of IL-6, MMP-24, VE-cadherin and VEGF were decreased. We found no inflammatory cells infiltration in the dermal matrix were observed in both experimental and control groups (24h burn group), while the obviously vascular infiltration and fiber fusion were observed in the experimental group after subcutaneous implantation experiments. There was better bio-performance, low immunogenicity and better dermal incorporation after treated by laser

  19. Properties of healthcare teaming networks as a function of network construction algorithms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin S Zand

    Full Text Available Network models of healthcare systems can be used to examine how providers collaborate, communicate, refer patients to each other, and to map how patients traverse the network of providers. Most healthcare service network models have been constructed from patient claims data, using billing claims to link a patient with a specific provider in time. The data sets can be quite large (106-108 individual claims per year, making standard methods for network construction computationally challenging and thus requiring the use of alternate construction algorithms. While these alternate methods have seen increasing use in generating healthcare networks, there is little to no literature comparing the differences in the structural properties of the generated networks, which as we demonstrate, can be dramatically different. To address this issue, we compared the properties of healthcare networks constructed using different algorithms from 2013 Medicare Part B outpatient claims data. Three different algorithms were compared: binning, sliding frame, and trace-route. Unipartite networks linking either providers or healthcare organizations by shared patients were built using each method. We find that each algorithm produced networks with substantially different topological properties, as reflected by numbers of edges, network density, assortativity, clustering coefficients and other structural measures. Provider networks adhered to a power law, while organization networks were best fit by a power law with exponential cutoff. Censoring networks to exclude edges with less than 11 shared patients, a common de-identification practice for healthcare network data, markedly reduced edge numbers and network density, and greatly altered measures of vertex prominence such as the betweenness centrality. Data analysis identified patterns in the distance patients travel between network providers, and a striking set of teaming relationships between providers in the Northeast

  20. Use of expression constructs to dissect the functional domains of the CHS/beige protein: identification of multiple phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Diane McVey; Shiflett, Shelly L; Huynh, Dinh; Vaughn, Michael B; Prestwich, Glenn; Kaplan, Jerry

    2003-06-01

    The Chediak-Higashi Syndrome (CHS) and the orthologous murine disorder beige are characterized at the cellular level by the presence of giant lysosomes. The CHS1/Beige protein is a 3787 amino acid protein of unknown function. To determine functional domains of the CHS1/Beige protein, we generated truncated constructs of the gene/protein. These truncated proteins were transiently expressed in Cos-7 or HeLa cells and their effect on membrane trafficking was examined. Beige is apparently a cytosolic protein, as are most transiently expressed truncated Beige constructs. Expression of the Beige construct FM (amino acids 1-2037) in wild-type cells led to enlarged lysosomes. Similarly, expression of a 5.5-kb region (amino acids 2035-3787) of the carboxyl terminal of Beige (22B) also resulted in enlarged lysosomes. Expression of FM solely affected lysosome size, whereas expression of 22B led to alterations in lysosome size, changes in the Golgi and eventually cell death. The two constructs could be used to further dissect phenotypes resulting from loss of the Beige protein. CHS or beigej fibroblasts show an absence of nuclear staining using a monoclonal antibody directed against phosphatidylinositol 4,5 bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5) P2]. Transformation of beige j fibroblasts with a YAC containing the full-length Beige gene resulted in the normalization of lysosome size and nuclear PtdIns(4,5)P2 staining. Expression of the carboxyl dominant negative construct 22B led to loss of nuclear PtdIns(4,5)P2 staining. Expression of the FM dominant negative clone did not alter nuclear PtdIns(4,5) P2 localization. These results suggest that the Beige protein interacts with at least two different partners and that the Beige protein affects cellular events, such as nuclear PtdIns(4,5)P2 localization, in addition to lysosome size.

  1. The suffix-free-prefix-free hash function construction and its indifferentiability security analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bagheri, Nasour; Gauravaram, Praveen; Knudsen, Lars R.

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we observe that in the seminal work on indifferentiability analysis of iterated hash functions by Coron et al. and in subsequent works, the initial value $$(IV)$$ of hash functions is fixed. In addition, these indifferentiability results do not depend on the Merkle–Damgård (MD) str...

  2. Invited review: Caseins and the casein micelle: their biological functions, structures, and behavior in foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, C; Carver, J A; Ecroyd, H; Thorn, D C

    2013-10-01

    A typical casein micelle contains thousands of casein molecules, most of which form thermodynamically stable complexes with nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate. Like many other unfolded proteins, caseins have an actual or potential tendency to assemble into toxic amyloid fibrils, particularly at the high concentrations found in milk. Fibrils do not form in milk because an alternative aggregation pathway is followed that results in formation of the casein micelle. As a result of forming micelles, nutritious milk can be secreted and stored without causing either pathological calcification or amyloidosis of the mother's mammary tissue. The ability to sequester nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate in a stable complex is not unique to caseins. It has been demonstrated using a number of noncasein secreted phosphoproteins and may be of general physiological importance in preventing calcification of other biofluids and soft tissues. Thus, competent noncasein phosphoproteins have similar patterns of phosphorylation and the same type of flexible, unfolded conformation as caseins. The ability to suppress amyloid fibril formation by forming an alternative amorphous aggregate is also not unique to caseins and underlies the action of molecular chaperones such as the small heat-shock proteins. The open structure of the protein matrix of casein micelles is fragile and easily perturbed by changes in its environment. Perturbations can cause the polypeptide chains to segregate into regions of greater and lesser density. As a result, the reliable determination of the native structure of casein micelles continues to be extremely challenging. The biological functions of caseins, such as their chaperone activity, are determined by their composition and flexible conformation and by how the casein polypeptide chains interact with each other. These same properties determine how caseins behave in the manufacture of many dairy products and how they can be used as functional

  3. Carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity of legume lectins in respect to their proposed biological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio Viana Ramos

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The lectins, proteins which specifically recognize carbohydrate moieties, have been extensively studied in many biochemical and structural aspects in order to establish the molecular basis of this non-catalytic event. On the other hand, their clinical and agricultural potentials have been growing fast. Although lectins, mainly those from legume plants, had been investigated for biological properties, studies about the physiological functions of lectins are scarce in literature. Therefore, despite the accumulated data on lectins (as proteins, the role played by these signalizing molecules is poorly discussed. In the light of our accumulated results on legume lectins, specially those obtained from plants belonging to the Diocleinae sub-tribe and available data in literature, we discuss here the main hypothesis of their functions according to their carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity.As lectinas, proteinas que especificamente reconhecem estruturas que contém carboidratos, têm sido extensivamente estudadas em muitos aspectos bioquímicos e estruturais, objetivando estabelecer as bases moleculares deste evento não-catalítico. Por outro lado, os potenciais clínicos e agriculturais destas proteínas têm crescido rapidamente. Embora as lectinas, principalmente aquelas de legumes tenham sido bastante investigadas em suas propriedades biológicas, estudos sobre as funcões fisiológicas de lectinas são escassos na literatura. Além disto, a despeito da quantidade de dados acumulados sobre lectinas (como proteínas, o papel desempenhado por estas moléculas de sinalização é pobremente discutido. Valendo-se de nossos estudos sobre lectinas de leguminosas, principalmente da sub-tribo Diocleinae, e outros dados presentes na literatura, discutimos aqui, as principais hipóteses de suas funções com base na especificidade por carboidratos e glicanos complexos.

  4. Does constructive neutral evolution play an important role in the origin of cellular complexity? Making sense of the origins and uses of biological complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speijer, Dave

    2011-05-01

    Recently, constructive neutral evolution has been touted as an important concept for the understanding of the emergence of cellular complexity. It has been invoked to help explain the development and retention of, amongst others, RNA splicing, RNA editing and ribosomal and mitochondrial respiratory chain complexity. The theory originated as a welcome explanation of isolated small scale cellular idiosyncrasies and as a reaction to 'overselectionism'. Here I contend, that in its extended form, it has major conceptual problems, can not explain observed patterns of complex processes, is too easily dismissive of alternative selectionist models, underestimates the creative force of complexity as such, and--if seen as a major evolutionary mechanism for all organisms--could stifle further thought regarding the evolution of highly complex biological processes. Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  6. Ants: Major Functional Elements in Fruit Agro-Ecosystems and Biological Control Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamine Diamé

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ants are a very diverse taxonomic group. They display remarkable social organization that has enabled them to be ubiquitous throughout the world. They make up approximately 10% of the world’s animal biomass. Ants provide ecosystem services in agrosystems by playing a major role in plant pollination, soil bioturbation, bioindication, and the regulation of crop-damaging insects. Over recent decades, there have been numerous studies in ant ecology and the focus on tree cropping systems has given added importance to ant ecology knowledge. The only missing point in this knowledge is the reasons underlying difference between the positive and negative effects of ants in tree cropping systems. This review article provides an overview of knowledge of the roles played by ants in orchards as functional elements, and on the potential of Oecophylla weaver ants as biological control agents. It also shows the potential and relevance of using ants as an agro-ecological diagnosis tool in orchards. Lastly, it demonstrates the potential elements which may determine the divergent negative and positive of their effects on cropping systems.

  7. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-01-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s −1 and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s) −1 . Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm. (paper)

  8. Structural changes in PVDF fibers due to electrospinning and its effect on biological function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damaraju, Sita M; Wu, Siliang; Jaffe, Michael; Arinzeh, Treena Livingston

    2013-01-01

    Polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) is being investigated as a potential scaffold for bone tissue engineering because of its proven biocompatibility and piezoelectric property, wherein it can generate electrical activity when mechanically deformed. In this study, PVDF scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning using different voltages (12–30 kV), evaluated for the presence of the piezoelectric β-crystal phase and its effect on biological function. Electrospun PVDF was compared with unprocessed/raw PVDF, films and melt-spun fibers for the presence of the piezoelectric β-phase using differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was evaluated on scaffolds electrospun at 12 and 25 kV (PVDF-12 kV and PVDF-25 kV, respectively) and compared to tissue culture polystyrene (TCP). Electrospinning PVDF resulted in the formation of the piezoelectric β-phase with the highest β-phase fraction of 72% for electrospun PVDF at 25 kV. MSCs cultured on both the scaffolds were well attached as indicated by a spread morphology. Cells on PVDF-25 kV scaffolds had the greatest alkaline phosphatase activity and early mineralization by day 10 as compared to TCP and PVDF-12 kV. The results demonstrate the potential for the use of PVDF scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. (paper)

  9. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-06-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s(-1) and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s)(-1). Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm.

  10. A novel biological function of soluble biglycan: Induction of erythropoietin production and polycythemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Helena; Moreth, Kristin; Hsieh, Louise Tzung-Harn; Zeng-Brouwers, Jinyang; Rathkolb, Birgit; Fuchs, Helmut; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Iozzo, Renato V; de Angelis, Martin Hrabě; Schaefer, Liliana

    2017-06-01

    Secondary polycythemia, a disease characterized by a selective increase in circulating mature erythrocytes, is caused by enhanced erythropoietin (Epo) concentrations triggered by hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α). While mechanisms of hypoxia-dependent stabilization of HIF-2α protein are well established, data regarding oxygen-independent regulation of HIF-2α are sparse. In this study, we generated a novel transgenic mouse model, in which biglycan was constitutively overexpressed and secreted by hepatocytes (BGN Tg ), thereby providing a constant source of biglycan released into the blood stream. We discovered that although the mice were apparently normal, they harbored an increase in mature circulating erythrocytes. In addition to erythrocytosis, the BGN Tg mice showed elevated hemoglobin concentrations, hematocrit values and enhanced total iron binding capacity, revealing a clinical picture of polycythemia. In BGN Tg mice markedly enhanced Epo mRNA expression was observed in the liver and kidney, while elevated Epo protein levels were found in liver, kidney and blood. Mechanistically, we showed that the transgenic animals had an abundance of HIF-2α protein in the liver and kidney. Finally, by transiently overexpressing circulating biglycan in mice deficient in various Toll-like receptors (TLRs), we determined that this novel function of biglycan to promote Epo synthesis was specifically mediated by a selective interaction with TLR2. Thus, we discovered a novel biological pathway of soluble biglycan inducing HIF-2α protein stabilization and Epo production presumably in an oxygen-independent manner, ultimately giving rise to secondary polycythemia.

  11. Improved normal tissue sparing in head and neck radiotherapy using biological cost function based-IMRT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, N; Lawford, C; Khoo, V; Rolfo, M; Joon, D L; Wada, M

    2011-12-01

    Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has reduced the impact of acute and late toxicities associated with head and neck radiotherapy. Treatment planning system (TPS) advances in biological cost function based optimization (BBO) and improved segmentation techniques have increased organ at risk (OAR) sparing compared to conventional dose-based optimization (DBO). A planning study was undertaken to compare OAR avoidance in DBO and BBO treatment planning. Simultaneous integrated boost treatment plans were produced for 10 head and neck patients using both planning systems. Plans were compared for tar get coverage and OAR avoidance. Comparisons were made using the BBO TPS Monte Carlo dose engine to eliminate differences due to inherent algorithms. Target coverage (V95%) was maintained for both solutions. BBO produced lower OAR doses, with statistically significant improvement to left (12.3%, p = 0.005) and right parotid mean dose (16.9%, p = 0.004), larynx V50_Gy (71.0%, p = 0.005), spinal cord (21.9%, p < 0.001) and brain stem dose maximums (31.5%, p = 0.002). This study observed improved OAR avoidance with BBO planning. Further investigations will be undertaken to review any clinical benefit of this improved planned dosimetry.

  12. Impacts of multiple stressors on ecosystem function: Leaf decomposition in constructed urban wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackintosh, Teresa J; Davis, Jenny A; Thompson, Ross M

    2016-01-01

    The impact of stormwater on stream biota is well documented, but less is known about the impacts on ecosystem processes, such as the breakdown of organic matter. This study sought to establish whether the degree of urbanisation affected rates of leaf-litter breakdown within constructed wetlands. A litter bag method was used to ascertain rate of decomposition along a gradient of urbanisation (total imperviousness, TI), in constructed wetlands in western and south-eastern Melbourne. A significant positive relationship between TI and breakdown rate was found in the south-eastern wetlands. The significant reduction in rate of invertebrate-mediated breakdown with increasing concentration of certain metals was consistent with other studies. However, overall there was an increase in rate of breakdown. Studies have shown that the effects of heavy metals can be negated if nutrient levels are high. Our results suggest that other parameters besides exposure to contaminants are likely to affect leaf litter breakdown. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Exp-function method for constructing exact solutions of Sharma-Tasso-Olver equation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erbas, Baris; Yusufoglu, Elcin

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we use the Exp-function method for the analytic treatment of Sharma-Tasso-Olver equation. New solitonary solutions are formally derived. Change of parameters, which drastically changes the characteristics of the equations, is examined. It is shown that the Exp-function method provides a powerful mathematical tool for solving high-dimensional nonlinear evolutions in mathematical physics. The proposed schemes are reliable and manageable.

  14. Functional consequences of trust in the construction supply chain: a multi-dimensional view

    OpenAIRE

    Manu, E; Ankrah, N; Chinyio, EA; Proverbs, D

    2016-01-01

    Trust is often linked to the emergence of cooperative behaviours that contribute to successful project outcomes. However, some have questioned the functional relevance of trust in contractual relations, arguing that control-induced cooperation can emerge from enforcement of contracts. These mixed views are further complicated by the multi-dimensional nature of trust, as different trust dimensions could have varying functional consequences. The aim of this study was to provide some clarity on ...

  15. Short term recovery of soil biological functions in a new vineyard cultivated in organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Agnelli, Alessandro; Fabiani, Arturo; Gagnarli, Elena; Mocali, Stefano; Priori, Simone; Simoni, Sauro; Valboa, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    soil biological classes). Physical soil characteristics remained unchanged after the first year from the earthworks and did not change under grass cover. Chemical analysis only indicated a significant effect of earthworks. Over the 2010-2013 period, the new vineyard showed a slight increase of TOC and total N contents; as compared to the old vineyard, it averaged lower TOC and total N, and higher CaCO3 contents, suggesting still evolving equilibrium conditions. Microarthropod analysis showed significant different abundances and communities' structures both by management system and by year, increasing where the land use pressure was reduced by permanent grass cover and along with the aging of vineyard. Though the euedaphic forms, well adapted to soil life, were always rare. Microbiological analysis showed a different structure of eubacterial communities and a lower microbial activity in the new vineyard, especially during 2010-2012. In contrast, significant differences were not observed between the two vineyards in 2013, and grass cover effect was controversial. To sum up, the consequence of deep earthworks on chemical and biological properties were still evident after four years from planting and more time was needed to recover soil functions. Permanent grass cover did not always show a consistent positive effect.

  16. Single Fluorescent Molecules as Nano-Illuminators for Biological Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

    Since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. {62}, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. For example, the shape of single filaments in a living cell can be extracted simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS {103}, 10929 (2006)). The addition of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (super-resolution) and a new array of acronyms (PALM, STORM, F-PALM etc.) and advances have appeared. We have used the native blinking and switching of a common yellow-emitting variant of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) reported more than a decade ago (Nature {388}, 355 (1997)) to achieve sub-40 nm super-resolution imaging of several protein structures in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the quasi-helix of the actin-like protein MreB (Nat. Meth. {5}, 947 (2008)), the cellular distribution of the DNA binding protein HU (submitted), and the recently discovered division spindle composed of ParA filaments (Nat. Cell Biol. {12}, 791 (2010)). Even with these advances, better emitters would provide more photons and improved resolution, and a new photoactivatable small-molecule emitter has recently been synthesized and targeted to specific structures in living cells to provide super-resolution images (JACS {132}, 15099 (2010)). Finally, a new optical method for extracting three-dimensional position information based on

  17. Construction of U-gauge Green's functions of gauge theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking and Slavnov identities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flume, R.

    1978-01-01

    The unitary (U) gauge Green's functions of the U(1) and SU(2) Higgs-Kibble models are constructed applying a renormalized point transformation and a non-local gauge changing transformation to a manifestly renormalizable (R gauge) version of the respective theory. It is shown that the cancellation mechanism known as 'tree graph unitarity' rendering in tree graph approximation a smooth high energy behaviour of the U gauge Green's functions on mass shell can in a natural way be extended to all orders of perturbation theory. The conditions imposed by this 'generalized tree graph unitarity' on the renormalization programme are shown to be equivalent with the requirement of renormalized Slavnov identities for the R gauge Green's functions

  18. Connecting Structure-Property and Structure-Function Relationships across the Disciplines of Chemistry and Biology: Exploring Student Perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Kathryn P.; Underwood, Sonia M.; Cooper, Melanie M.

    2018-01-01

    While many university students take science courses in multiple disciplines, little is known about how they perceive common concepts from different disciplinary perspectives. Structure-property and structure-function relationships have long been considered important explanatory concepts in the disciplines of chemistry and biology, respectively.…

  19. Perchlorate exposure and association with iron homeostasis and other biological functions among NHANES 2005-2008 subjects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perchlorate exposure and association with iron homeostasis and other biological functions among NHANES 2005-2008 subjects Schreinemachers DM, Ghio AJ, Cascio WE, Sobus JR. U.S. EPA, RTP, NC, USA Perchlorate (ClO4-), an environmental pollutant, is a known thyroid toxicant and...

  20. Unexpected properties of bandwidth choice when smoothing discrete data for constructing a functional data classifier

    KAUST Repository

    Carroll, Raymond J.

    2013-12-01

    The data functions that are studied in the course of functional data analysis are assembled from discrete data, and the level of smoothing that is used is generally that which is appropriate for accurate approximation of the conceptually smooth functions that were not actually observed. Existing literature shows that this approach is effective, and even optimal, when using functional data methods for prediction or hypothesis testing. However, in the present paper we show that this approach is not effective in classification problems. There a useful rule of thumb is that undersmoothing is often desirable, but there are several surprising qualifications to that approach. First, the effect of smoothing the training data can be more significant than that of smoothing the new data set to be classified; second, undersmoothing is not always the right approach, and in fact in some cases using a relatively large bandwidth can be more effective; and third, these perverse results are the consequence of very unusual properties of error rates, expressed as functions of smoothing parameters. For example, the orders of magnitude of optimal smoothing parameter choices depend on the signs and sizes of terms in an expansion of error rate, and those signs and sizes can vary dramatically from one setting to another, even for the same classifier.

  1. Unexpected properties of bandwidth choice when smoothing discrete data for constructing a functional data classifier

    KAUST Repository

    Carroll, Raymond J.; Delaigle, Aurore; Hall, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The data functions that are studied in the course of functional data analysis are assembled from discrete data, and the level of smoothing that is used is generally that which is appropriate for accurate approximation of the conceptually smooth functions that were not actually observed. Existing literature shows that this approach is effective, and even optimal, when using functional data methods for prediction or hypothesis testing. However, in the present paper we show that this approach is not effective in classification problems. There a useful rule of thumb is that undersmoothing is often desirable, but there are several surprising qualifications to that approach. First, the effect of smoothing the training data can be more significant than that of smoothing the new data set to be classified; second, undersmoothing is not always the right approach, and in fact in some cases using a relatively large bandwidth can be more effective; and third, these perverse results are the consequence of very unusual properties of error rates, expressed as functions of smoothing parameters. For example, the orders of magnitude of optimal smoothing parameter choices depend on the signs and sizes of terms in an expansion of error rate, and those signs and sizes can vary dramatically from one setting to another, even for the same classifier.

  2. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Matthew P; Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-11-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  3. Generalized 3D Zernike functions for analytic construction of band-limited line-detecting wavelets

    OpenAIRE

    Janssen, Augustus J. E. M.

    2015-01-01

    We consider 3D versions of the Zernike polynomials that are commonly used in 2D in optics and lithography. We generalize the 3D Zernike polynomials to functions that vanish to a prescribed degree $\\alpha\\geq0$ at the rim of their supporting ball $\\rho\\leq1$. The analytic theory of the 3D generalized Zernike functions is developed, with attention for computational results for their Fourier transform, Funk and Radon transform, and scaling operations. The Fourier transform of generalized 3D Zern...

  4. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  5. Biological oscillations for learning walking coordination: dynamic recurrent neural network functionally models physiological central pattern generator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoellinger, Thomas; Petieau, Mathieu; Duvinage, Matthieu; Castermans, Thierry; Seetharaman, Karthik; Cebolla, Ana-Maria; Bengoetxea, Ana; Ivanenko, Yuri; Dan, Bernard; Cheron, Guy

    2013-01-01

    The existence of dedicated neuronal modules such as those organized in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, or spinal cord raises the question of how these functional modules are coordinated for appropriate motor behavior. Study of human locomotion offers an interesting field for addressing this central question. The coordination of the elevation of the 3 leg segments under a planar covariation rule (Borghese et al., 1996) was recently modeled (Barliya et al., 2009) by phase-adjusted simple oscillators shedding new light on the understanding of the central pattern generator (CPG) processing relevant oscillation signals. We describe the use of a dynamic recurrent neural network (DRNN) mimicking the natural oscillatory behavior of human locomotion for reproducing the planar covariation rule in both legs at different walking speeds. Neural network learning was based on sinusoid signals integrating frequency and amplitude features of the first three harmonics of the sagittal elevation angles of the thigh, shank, and foot of each lower limb. We verified the biological plausibility of the neural networks. Best results were obtained with oscillations extracted from the first three harmonics in comparison to oscillations outside the harmonic frequency peaks. Physiological replication steadily increased with the number of neuronal units from 1 to 80, where similarity index reached 0.99. Analysis of synaptic weighting showed that the proportion of inhibitory connections consistently increased with the number of neuronal units in the DRNN. This emerging property in the artificial neural networks resonates with recent advances in neurophysiology of inhibitory neurons that are involved in central nervous system oscillatory activities. The main message of this study is that this type of DRNN may offer a useful model of physiological central pattern generator for gaining insights in basic research and developing clinical applications.

  6. Functional near infrared spectroscopy as a potential biological assessment of addiction recovery: preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey, Jared P; Harris, Kitty S; Shumway, Sterling T; Kimball, Thomas G; Herrera, J Caleb; Dsauza, Cynthia M; Bradshaw, Spencer D

    2015-03-01

    Addiction science has primarily utilized self-report, continued substance use, and relapse factors to explore the process of recovery. However, the entry into successful abstinence substantially reduces our assessment abilities. Advances in neuroscience may be the key to objective understanding, treating, and monitoring long-term success in addiction recovery. To explore functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) as a viable technique in the assessment of addiction-cue reactivity. Specifically, prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation to alcohol cues was explored among formally alcohol-dependent individuals, across varying levels of successful abstinence. The aim of the investigation was to identify patterns of PFC activation change consistent with duration of abstinence. A total of 15 formally alcohol-dependent individuals, with abstinence durations ranging from 1 month to 10 years, viewed alcohol images during fNIR PFC assessment. Participants also subjectively rated the same images for affect and arousal level. Subjective ratings of alcohol cues did not significantly correlate with duration of abstinence. As expected, days of abstinence did not significantly correlate with neutral cue fNIR reactivity. However, for alcohol cues, fNIR results showed increased days of abstinence was associated with decreased activation within the dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex regions. The present results suggest that fNIR may be a viable tool in the assessment of addiction-cue reactivity. RESULTS also support previous findings on the importance of dorsolateral and dorsomedial PFC in alcohol-cue activation. The findings build upon these past results suggesting that fNIR-assessed activation may represent a robust biological marker of successful addiction recovery.

  7. Construction of New Electronic Density Functionals with Error Estimation Through Fitting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petzold, V.; Bligaard, T.; Jacobsen, K. W.

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the possibilities and limitations for the development of new electronic density functionals through large-scale fitting to databases of binding energies obtained experimentally or through high-quality calculations. We show that databases with up to a few hundred entries allow for u...

  8. Generalized 3D Zernike functions for analytic construction of band-limited line-detecting wavelets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, A.J.E.M.

    2015-01-01

    We consider 3D versions of the Zernike polynomials that are commonly used in 2D in optics and lithography. We generalize the 3D Zernike polynomials to functions that vanish to a prescribed degree $\\alpha\\geq0$ at the rim of their supporting ball $\\rho\\leq1$. The analytic theory of the 3D generalized

  9. Executive Function and Mathematics Achievement: Are Effects Construct- and Time-General or Specific?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Robert; Nguyen, Tutrang; Miao, Alicia; McClelland, Megan; Bailey, Drew

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) is considered a set of interrelated cognitive processes, including inhibitory control, working memory, and attentional shifting, that are connected to the development of the prefrontal cortex and contribute to children's problem solving skills and self regulatory behavior (Best & Miller, 2010; Garon, Bryson, &…

  10. An algebraic construction of the Green functions for P(φ)2 theory with source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houard, J.C.; Irac-Astaud, M.

    1987-01-01

    The retarded solutions of nonlinear forced wave equations in two-dimensional space-time are diagrammatically expanded in a new way, different from the Feynman method. The Green functions associated with these diagrams are obtained in an explicit form. (author). 4 refs

  11. The development of peptide-based interfacial biomaterials for generating biological functionality on the surface of bioinert materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Steven R; Khoo, Xiaojuan; Huang, Xin; Walsh, Elisabeth B; Grinstaff, Mark W; Kenan, Daniel J

    2009-01-01

    Biomaterials used in implants have traditionally been selected based on their mechanical properties, chemical stability, and biocompatibility. However, the durability and clinical efficacy of implantable biomedical devices remain limited in part due to the absence of appropriate biological interactions at the implant interface and the lack of integration into adjacent tissues. Herein, we describe a robust peptide-based coating technology capable of modifying the surface of existing biomaterials and medical devices through the non-covalent binding of modular biofunctional peptides. These peptides contain at least one material binding sequence and at least one biologically active sequence and thus are termed, "Interfacial Biomaterials" (IFBMs). IFBMs can simultaneously bind the biomaterial surface while endowing it with desired biological functionalities at the interface between the material and biological realms. We demonstrate the capabilities of model IFBMs to convert native polystyrene, a bioinert surface, into a bioactive surface that can support a range of cell activities. We further distinguish between simple cell attachment with insufficient integrin interactions, which in some cases can adversely impact downstream biology, versus biologically appropriate adhesion, cell spreading, and cell survival mediated by IFBMs. Moreover, we show that we can use the coating technology to create spatially resolved patterns of fluorophores and cells on substrates and that these patterns retain their borders in culture.

  12. Development of an instrument to measure behavioral health function for work disability: item pool construction and factor analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marfeo, Elizabeth E; Ni, Pengsheng; Haley, Stephen M; Jette, Alan M; Bogusz, Kara; Meterko, Mark; McDonough, Christine M; Chan, Leighton; Brandt, Diane E; Rasch, Elizabeth K

    2013-09-01

    To develop a broad set of claimant-reported items to assess behavioral health functioning relevant to the Social Security disability determination processes, and to evaluate the underlying structure of behavioral health functioning for use in development of a new functional assessment instrument. Cross-sectional. Community. Item pools of behavioral health functioning were developed, refined, and field tested in a sample of persons applying for Social Security disability benefits (N=1015) who reported difficulties working because of mental or both mental and physical conditions. None. Social Security Administration Behavioral Health (SSA-BH) measurement instrument. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) specified that a 4-factor model (self-efficacy, mood and emotions, behavioral control, social interactions) had the optimal fit with the data and was also consistent with our hypothesized conceptual framework for characterizing behavioral health functioning. When the items within each of the 4 scales were tested in CFA, the fit statistics indicated adequate support for characterizing behavioral health as a unidimensional construct along these 4 distinct scales of function. This work represents a significant advance both conceptually and psychometrically in assessment methodologies for work-related behavioral health. The measurement of behavioral health functioning relevant to the context of work requires the assessment of multiple dimensions of behavioral health functioning. Specifically, we identified a 4-factor model solution that represented key domains of work-related behavioral health functioning. These results guided the development and scale formation of a new SSA-BH instrument. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Constructing fine-granularity functional brain network atlases via deep convolutional autoencoder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yu; Dong, Qinglin; Chen, Hanbo; Iraji, Armin; Li, Yujie; Makkie, Milad; Kou, Zhifeng; Liu, Tianming

    2017-12-01

    State-of-the-art functional brain network reconstruction methods such as independent component analysis (ICA) or sparse coding of whole-brain fMRI data can effectively infer many thousands of volumetric brain network maps from a large number of human brains. However, due to the variability of individual brain networks and the large scale of such networks needed for statistically meaningful group-level analysis, it is still a challenging and open problem to derive group-wise common networks as network atlases. Inspired by the superior spatial pattern description ability of the deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs), a novel deep 3D convolutional autoencoder (CAE) network is designed here to extract spatial brain network features effectively, based on which an Apache Spark enabled computational framework is developed for fast clustering of larger number of network maps into fine-granularity atlases. To evaluate this framework, 10 resting state networks (RSNs) were manually labeled from the sparsely decomposed networks of Human Connectome Project (HCP) fMRI data and 5275 network training samples were obtained, in total. Then the deep CAE models are trained by these functional networks' spatial maps, and the learned features are used to refine the original 10 RSNs into 17 network atlases that possess fine-granularity functional network patterns. Interestingly, it turned out that some manually mislabeled outliers in training networks can be corrected by the deep CAE derived features. More importantly, fine granularities of networks can be identified and they reveal unique network patterns specific to different brain task states. By further applying this method to a dataset of mild traumatic brain injury study, it shows that the technique can effectively identify abnormal small networks in brain injury patients in comparison with controls. In general, our work presents a promising deep learning and big data analysis solution for modeling functional connectomes, with

  14. Interpolation functions and the Lions-Peetre interpolation construction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ovchinnikov, V I

    2014-01-01

    The generalization of the Lions-Peetre interpolation method of means considered in the present survey is less general than the generalizations known since the 1970s. However, our level of generalization is sufficient to encompass spaces that are most natural from the point of view of applications, like the Lorentz spaces, Orlicz spaces, and their analogues. The spaces φ(X 0 ,X 1 ) p 0 ,p 1 considered here have three parameters: two positive numerical parameters p 0 and p 1 of equal standing, and a function parameter φ. For p 0 ≠p 1 these spaces can be regarded as analogues of Orlicz spaces under the real interpolation method. Embedding criteria are established for the family of spaces φ(X 0 ,X 1 ) p 0 ,p 1 , together with optimal interpolation theorems that refine all the known interpolation theorems for operators acting on couples of weighted spaces L p and that extend these theorems beyond scales of spaces. The main specific feature is that the function parameter φ can be an arbitrary natural functional parameter in the interpolation. Bibliography: 43 titles

  15. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibition as a potent diagnostic tool for gene function in plant biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Christer; Sun, Chuanxin; Ghebramedhin, Haile; Hoglund, Anna-Stina; Jansson, Christer

    2008-01-15

    Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) inhibition emerges as an effective means for probing gene function in plant cells. Employing this method we have established the importance of the SUSIBA2 transcription factor for regulation of starch synthesis in barley endosperm, and arrived at a model for the role of the SUSIBAs in sugar signaling and source-sink commutation during cereal endosperm development. In this addendum we provide additional data demonstrating the suitability of the antisense ODN technology in studies on starch branching enzyme activities in barley leaves. We also comment on the mechanism for ODN uptake in plant cells. Antisense ODNs are short (12-25 nt-long) stretches of single-stranded ODNs that hybridize to the cognate mRNA in a sequence-specific manner, thereby inhibiting gene expression. They are naturally occurring in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes where they partake in gene regulation and defense against viral infection. The mechanisms for antisense ODN inhibition are not fully understood but it is generally considered that the ODN either sterically interferes with translation or promotes transcript degradation by RNase H activation. The earliest indication of the usefulness of antisense ODN technology for the purposes of molecular biology and medical therapy was the demonstration in 1978 that synthetic ODNs complementary to Raos sarcoma virus could inhibit virus replication in tissue cultures of chick embryo fibroblasts. Since then the antisense ODN technology has been widely used in animal sciences and as an important emerging therapeutic approach in clinical medicine. However, antisense ODN inhibition has been an under-exploited strategy for plant tissues, although the prospects for plant cells in suspension cultures to take up single-stranded ODNs was reported over a decade ago. In 2001, two reports from Malho and coworker demonstrated the use of cationic-complexed antisense ODNs to suppress expression of genes encoding pollen

  16. Construction of bioartificial renal tubule assist device in vitro and its function of transporting sodium and glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xinggang; Chen, Jianghua; He, Qiang; Yang, Yi; Zhang, Wei

    2009-08-01

    To explore a new way of constructing bioartificial renal tubule assist device (RAD) in vitro and its function of transporting sodium (Na(+)) and glucose and to evaluate the application of atomic force microscope in the RAD construction, rat renal tubular epithelial cell line NRK-52E was cultured in vitro, seeded onto the outer surfaces of hollow fibers in a bioreactor, and then cultured for two weeks to construct RAD. Bioreactor hollow fibers without NRK-52E cells were used as control. The morphologies of attached cells were observed with scanning electron microscope, and the junctions of cells and polysulfone membrane were observed with atomic force microscope. Transportation of Na(+) and glucose was measured. Oubaine and phlorizin were used to inhibit the transporting property. The results showed that NRK-52E cells and polysulfone membrane were closely linked, as observed under atomic force microscope. After exposure to oubaine and phlorizin, transporting rates of Na(+) and glucose were decreased significantly in the RAD group as compared with that in the control group (Pconstructed successfully in vitro, and it is able to selectively transport Na(+) and glucose.

  17. Clinical Functional Capacity Testing in Patients With Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy: Construct Validity and Interrater Reliability of Antigravity Tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijken, Noortje H; van Engelen, Baziel G; Weerdesteyn, Vivian; Geurts, Alexander C

    2015-12-01

    To evaluate the construct validity and interrater reliability of 4 simple antigravity tests in a small group of patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Case-control study. University medical center. Patients with various severity levels of FSHD (n=9) and healthy control subjects (n=10) were included (N=19). Not applicable. A 4-point ordinal scale was designed to grade performance on the following 4 antigravity tests: sit to stance, stance to sit, step up, and step down. In addition, the 6-minute walk test, 10-m walking test, Berg Balance Scale, and timed Up and Go test were administered as conventional tests. Construct validity was determined by linear regression analysis using the Clinical Severity Score (CSS) as the dependent variable. Interrater agreement was tested using a κ analysis. Patients with FSHD performed worse on all 4 antigravity tests compared with the controls. Stronger correlations were found within than between test categories (antigravity vs conventional). The antigravity tests revealed the highest explained variance with regard to the CSS (R(2)=.86, P=.014). Interrater agreement was generally good. The results of this exploratory study support the construct validity and interrater reliability of the proposed antigravity tests for the assessment of functional capacity in patients with FSHD taking into account the use of compensatory strategies. Future research should further validate these results in a larger sample of patients with FSHD. Copyright © 2015 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Synthesis, characterization and functionalization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials for photovoltaic and biological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zejing

    Silicon nanoparticles are attractive candidates for biological, photovoltaic and energy storage applications due to their size dependent optoelectronic properties. These include tunable light emission, high brightness, and stability against photo-bleaching relative to organic dyes (see Chapter 1). The preparation and characterization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials and their relevance to photovoltaic and biological applications are described. The surface-passivated silicon nanoparticles were produced in one step from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with various organic ligands. The surface structure and optical properties of the passivated silicon nanoparticles were systematically characterized. Fast approaches for purifying and at the same time size separating the silicon nanoparticles using a gravity GPC column were developed. The hydrodynamic diameter and size distribution of these size-separated silicon nanoparticles were determined using GPC and Diffusion Ordered NMR Spectroscopy (DOSY) as fast, reliable alternative approaches to TEM. Water soluble silicon nanoparticles were synthesized by grafting PEG polymers onto functionalized silicon nanoparticles with distal alkyne or azide moieties. The surface-functionalized silicon nanoparticles were produced from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with a mixture of either 5-chloro-1-pentyne in 1-pentyne or 1,7 octadiyne in 1-hexyne to afford air and water stable chloroalkyl or alkynyl terminated nanoparticles, respectively. Nanoparticles with the ω-chloroalkyl substituents were easily converted to ω-azidoalkyl groups through the reaction of the silicon nanoparticles with sodium azide in DMF. The azido terminated nanoparticles were then grafted with monoalkynyl-PEG polymers using a copper catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction to afford core-shell silicon nanoparticles with a covalently attached PEG shell. Covalently

  19. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  20. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications.

  1. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications. PMID:25022769

  2. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Smart sensors are needed for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. ► Smart sensors detect analytes with rapid speed, high sensitivity and selectivity. ► Functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can potentially smart sense threat agents. ► Functionalized GNPs support multiple analytical methods for sensing threat agents. ► Threat agents of all types can be detected using functionalized GNPs. - Abstract: There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad range of threat agents, including radioactive substances, explosive compounds, chemical warfare agents, biotoxins, and

  3. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K., E-mail: Upadhyayula.Venkata@epa.gov [Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE), MC-100-44, PO Box 117, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States)

    2012-02-17

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Smart sensors are needed for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Smart sensors detect analytes with rapid speed, high sensitivity and selectivity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can potentially smart sense threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functionalized GNPs support multiple analytical methods for sensing threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Threat agents of all types can be detected using functionalized GNPs. - Abstract: There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad

  4. A prospective study of lung function among boilermaker construction workers exposed to combustion particulates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hauser, R.; Eisen, E.A.; Pothier, L.; Christiani, D.C. [Harvard University, Boston, MA (USA). School of Public Health, Occupational Health Program, Dept. of Environmental Health

    2001-05-01

    As part of an ongoing investigation, a 2-year longitudinal study of lung function among 118 boilermakers was conducted. Exposure was assessed with a work history questionnaire. Spirometry measurements were performed annually. Results show an association between annual FEV1 and hours worked at a gas-fired plant during the previous year, beta = -9.8 mls/100 hours worked (85% CI:-16.0,-3.5) after adjustment for age, baseline FEV1 and cigarette smoking status. The adjusted association between FEV1 and 'ever' worked at a gas-fired plant was -99.7 mls (95% CI: -154.8, -44.5). There was also evidence of a negative association between FEV1 and 'ever' worked and hours worked at oil and coal-fired plants. These data suggest an association between annual lung function loss and working at gas, coal and oil-fired plants. Further follow-up of this cohort of boilermakers is in progress.

  5. Construction of multi-functional open modulized Matlab simulation toolbox for imaging ladar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Long; Zhao, Yuan; Tang, Meng; He, Jiang; Zhang, Yong

    2011-06-01

    Ladar system simulation is to simulate the ladar models using computer simulation technology in order to predict the performance of the ladar system. This paper presents the developments of laser imaging radar simulation for domestic and overseas studies and the studies of computer simulation on ladar system with different application requests. The LadarSim and FOI-LadarSIM simulation facilities of Utah State University and Swedish Defence Research Agency are introduced in details. This paper presents the low level of simulation scale, un-unified design and applications of domestic researches in imaging ladar system simulation, which are mostly to achieve simple function simulation based on ranging equations for ladar systems. Design of laser imaging radar simulation with open and modularized structure is proposed to design unified modules for ladar system, laser emitter, atmosphere models, target models, signal receiver, parameters setting and system controller. Unified Matlab toolbox and standard control modules have been built with regulated input and output of the functions, and the communication protocols between hardware modules. A simulation based on ICCD gain-modulated imaging ladar system for a space shuttle is made based on the toolbox. The simulation result shows that the models and parameter settings of the Matlab toolbox are able to simulate the actual detection process precisely. The unified control module and pre-defined parameter settings simplify the simulation of imaging ladar detection. Its open structures enable the toolbox to be modified for specialized requests. The modulization gives simulations flexibility.

  6. Permeating disciplines: Overcoming barriers between molecular simulations and classical structure-function approaches in biological ion transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Delemotte, Lucie; Hellmich, Ute A; Rothberg, Brad S

    2018-04-01

    Ion translocation across biological barriers is a fundamental requirement for life. In many cases, controlling this process-for example with neuroactive drugs-demands an understanding of rapid and reversible structural changes in membrane-embedded proteins, including ion channels and transporters. Classical approaches to electrophysiology and structural biology have provided valuable insights into several such proteins over macroscopic, often discontinuous scales of space and time. Integrating these observations into meaningful mechanistic models now relies increasingly on computational methods, particularly molecular dynamics simulations, while surfacing important challenges in data management and conceptual alignment. Here, we seek to provide contemporary context, concrete examples, and a look to the future for bridging disciplinary gaps in biological ion transport. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Beyond the Structure-Function Horizon of Membrane Proteins edited by Ute Hellmich, Rupak Doshi and Benjamin McIlwain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Baseline levels of bioaerosols and volatile organic compounds around a municipal waste incinerator prior to the construction of a mechanical-biological treatment plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilavert, Lolita; Nadal, Marti; Inza, Isabel; Figueras, Maria J.; Domingo, Jose L.

    2009-01-01

    New waste management programs are currently aimed at developing alternative treatment technologies such as mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) and composting plants. However, there is still a high uncertainty concerning the chemical and microbiological risks for human health, not only for workers of these facilities, but also for the population living in the neighborhood. A new MBT plant is planned to be constructed adjacently to a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) in Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain). In order to evaluate its potential impact and to differentiate the impacts of MSWI from those of the MBT when the latter is operative, a pre-operational survey was initiated by determining the concentrations of 20 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and bioaerosols (total bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, fungi and Aspergillus fumigatus) in airborne samples around the MSWI. The results indicated that the current concentrations of bioaerosols (ranges: 382-3882, 18-790, 44-926, and 3 for fungi at 25 deg. C, fungi at 37 deg. C, total bacteria, and Gram-negative bacteria, respectively) and VOCs (ranging from 0.9 to 121.2 μg/m 3 ) are very low in comparison to reported levels in indoor and outdoor air in composting and MBT plants, as well in urban and industrial zones. With the exception of total bacteria, no correlations were observed between the environmental concentrations of biological agents and the direction/distance from the facility. However, total bacteria presented significantly higher levels downwind. Moreover, a non-significant increase of VOCs was detected in sites closer to the incinerator, which means that the MSWI could have a very minor impact on the surrounding environment.

  8. Biological assessment of the effects of construction and operation of a depleted uranium hexafluoride conversion facility at the Paducah, Kentucky, site.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Lonkhuyzen, R.

    2005-09-09

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF{sub 6}) Management Program evaluated alternatives for managing its inventory of DUF{sub 6} and issued the ''Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Alternative Strategies for the Long-Term Management and Use of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride'' (DUF{sub 6} PEIS) in April 1999 (DOE 1999). The DUF{sub 6} inventory is stored in cylinders at three DOE sites: Paducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; and East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In the Record of Decision for the DUF{sub 6} PEIS, DOE stated its decision to promptly convert the DUF6 inventory to a more stable chemical form. Subsequently, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, the ''2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States'' (Public Law No. 107-206). This law stipulated in part that, within 30 days of enactment, DOE must award a contract for the design, construction, and operation of a DUF{sub 6} conversion plant at the Department's Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth, Ohio, sites, and for the shipment of DUF{sub 6} cylinders stored at ETTP to the Portsmouth site for conversion. This biological assessment (BA) has been prepared by DOE, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act of 1974, to evaluate potential impacts to federally listed species from the construction and operation of a conversion facility at the DOE Paducah site.

  9. Impacts of road construction and removal on the hydrologic and geochemical function of a fen peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, C. M.; Petrone, R. M.; Sutherland, G.; Price, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    Linear disturbances such as roads cover vast swaths of northeastern Alberta, the majority of which are wetlands with shallow and local hydrologic connections. Thus, the effects of road construction on wetland hydrological pathways can have significant implications on water movement within the region, and by extension the productivity of vegetation communities and carbon sequestration. However, little is known about the effect that roads have on wetland hydrology. In 2013, a gravel road built within a fen peatland was reclaimed to evaluate hydrologic impacts post removal. Prior to removal, ground and surface water flow was obstructed leading to surface ponding, and vegetation mortality was observed on the up-gradient (wet) side of the road. Rebounding of the peat column was observed throughout the fen immediately following road removal in 2013 (maximum of 12 cm, mean of 2 cm), with modest but slightly smaller expansion in 2014. For both years, peat rebound was greatest in areas where the road was removed. Peat physical properties contrasted sharply between the reclaimed road (RR) peat and the adjacent, unimpacted peatland (UP). Surface bulk densities (pb, 0-10 cm) ranged from 0.1-0.25 g cm-3 along the RR compared to 0.02-0.07 g cm-3 for the UP and on average, pb for all depths were lower at the RR compared to the UP. Similar spatial patterns were observed for peat porosity. Correspondingly low horizontal saturated hydraulic conductivities (Kh) were observed along the RR compared to the UP, averaging 5.7x10-4 m s-1 and 1.7x10-3 m s-1, respectively. The local flow system across the RR and thus subsurface flow was impeded by almost half (0.4 m d-1) compared to flow observed within the UP (0.8 m d-1), leading to ponding on the upgradient side. A marked change in hydrophysical properties and ground and surface water flow patterns post road removal has implications for plant reestablishment and restoration and will form the basis of further study.

  10. A novel method for one-way hash function construction based on spatiotemporal chaos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ren Haijun; Wang Yong; Xie Qing; Yang Huaqian

    2009-01-01

    A novel hash algorithm based on a spatiotemporal chaos is proposed. The original message is first padded with zeros if needed. Then it is divided into a number of blocks each contains 32 bytes. In the hashing process, each block is partitioned into eight 32-bit values and input into the spatiotemporal chaotic system. Then, after iterating the system for four times, the next block is processed by the same way. To enhance the confusion and diffusion effect, the cipher block chaining (CBC) mode is adopted in the algorithm. The hash value is obtained from the final state value of the spatiotemporal chaotic system. Theoretic analyses and numerical simulations both show that the proposed hash algorithm possesses good statistical properties, strong collision resistance and high efficiency, as required by practical keyed hash functions.

  11. A novel method for one-way hash function construction based on spatiotemporal chaos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ren Haijun [College of Software Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China); State Key Laboratory of Power Transmission Equipment and System Security and New Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China)], E-mail: jhren@cqu.edu.cn; Wang Yong; Xie Qing [Key Laboratory of Electronic Commerce and Logistics of Chongqing, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing 400065 (China); Yang Huaqian [Department of Computer and Modern Education Technology, Chongqing Education of College, Chongqing 400067 (China)

    2009-11-30

    A novel hash algorithm based on a spatiotemporal chaos is proposed. The original message is first padded with zeros if needed. Then it is divided into a number of blocks each contains 32 bytes. In the hashing process, each block is partitioned into eight 32-bit values and input into the spatiotemporal chaotic system. Then, after iterating the system for four times, the next block is processed by the same way. To enhance the confusion and diffusion effect, the cipher block chaining (CBC) mode is adopted in the algorithm. The hash value is obtained from the final state value of the spatiotemporal chaotic system. Theoretic analyses and numerical simulations both show that the proposed hash algorithm possesses good statistical properties, strong collision resistance and high efficiency, as required by practical keyed hash functions.

  12. Characterization of nonprimate hepacivirus and construction of a functional molecular clone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheel, Troels K H; Kapoor, Amit; Nishiuchi, Eiko

    2015-01-01

    Nonprimate hepacivirus (NPHV) is the closest known relative of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its study could enrich our understanding of HCV evolution, immunity, and pathogenesis. High seropositivity is found in horses worldwide with ∼ 3% viremic. NPHV natural history and molecular virology remain...... circulating liver enzymes and mild hepatitis was observed, followed by viral clearance. This establishes the molecular components of a functional NPHV genome. Thus, NPHV appears to resemble HCV not only in genome structure but also in its ability to establish chronic infection with delayed seroconversion...... and hepatitis. This NPHV infectious clone and resulting acute phase sera will facilitate more detailed studies on the natural history, pathogenesis, and immunity of this novel hepacivirus in its natural host....

  13. One-way hash function construction based on chaotic map network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Huaqian; Wong, K.-W.; Liao Xiaofeng; Wang Yong; Yang Degang

    2009-01-01

    A novel chaotic hash algorithm based on a network structure formed by 16 chaotic maps is proposed. The original message is first padded with zeros to make the length a multiple of four. Then it is divided into a number of blocks each contains 4 bytes. In the hashing process, the blocks are mixed together by the chaotic map network since the initial value and the control parameter of each tent map are dynamically determined by the output of its neighbors. To enhance the confusion and diffusion effect, the cipher block chaining (CBC) mode is adopted in the algorithm. Theoretic analyses and numerical simulations both show that the proposed hash algorithm possesses good statistical properties, strong collision resistance and high flexibility, as required by practical keyed hash functions.

  14. Conformal field theory construction for non-Abelian hierarchy wave functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tournois, Yoran; Hermanns, Maria

    2017-12-01

    The fractional quantum Hall effect is the paradigmatic example of topologically ordered phases. One of its most fascinating aspects is the large variety of different topological orders that may be realized, in particular non-Abelian ones. Here we analyze a class of non-Abelian fractional quantum Hall model states which are generalizations of the Abelian Haldane-Halperin hierarchy. We derive their topological properties and show that the quasiparticles obey non-Abelian fusion rules of type su (q)k . For a subset of these states we are able to derive the conformal field theory description that makes the topological properties—in particular braiding—of the state manifest. The model states we study provide explicit wave functions for a large variety of interesting topological orders, which may be relevant for certain fractional quantum Hall states observed in the first excited Landau level.

  15. Construction and functional characterization of double and triple mutants of parallel beta-bulge of ubiquitin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Mrinal; Prabha, C Ratna

    2011-12-01

    Ubiquitin, a small eukaryotic protein serving as a post-translational modification on many important proteins, plays central role in cellular homeostasis and cell cycle regulation. Ubiquitin features two beta-bulges, the second beta-bulge, located at the C-terminal region of the protein along with type II turn, holds 3 residues Glu64(1), Ser65(2) and Gln2(X). Percent frequency of occurrence of such a sequence in parallel beta-bulge is very low. However, the sequence and structure have been conserved in ubiquitin through out the evolution. Present study involves replacement of residues in unusual beta-bulge of ubiquitin by introducing mutations in combination through site directed mutagenesis, generating double and triple mutants and their functional characterization. Mutant ubiquitins cloned in yeast expression vector YEp96 tested for growth profile, viability assay and heat stress complementation study have revealed significant decrease in growth rate, loss of viability and non-complementation of heat sensitive phenotype with UbE64G-S65D and UbQ2N-E64G-S65D mutations. However, UbQ2N-S65D did not show any negative effects in the above assays. Present results show that, replacement of residues in beta-bulge of ubiquitin exerts severe effects on growth and viability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae due to functional failure of the mutant ubiquitins UbE64G-S65D and UbQ2N-E64G-S65D.

  16. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  17. Construction of recombinant adenovirus with Egr-1 promoter and Smad7 cDNA and study of the Egr-1 promoter's biological activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai Xuwei; Fu Xiaolong; Yang Jian; Song Houyan

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To construct a recombinant replication-defective adenovirus containing Egr-1 promoter and Smad7 cDNA, then to evaluate the biological activity of Egr-1 promoter. Methods: Based on Adeno- X TM expression system, CMV promoter of the pShuttle vector was replaced by Egr-1 promoter, and the Smad7 cDNA was subcloned into the MCS(multiple cloning site) of pShuttle. The recombinant pShuttle was then sub-cloned into the Adeno-X TM genome, which was transformed into E. coli to get recombinant Adeno-X TM plasmid DNA. The recombinant adenovirus was packaged and amplified in the transfected HEK293 cells before it was purified and tested for viral titer. The fibroblasts (3T6 cells) infected by the recombinant adenovirus were irradiated , and the activity of Egr-1 promoter was quantitively determined by the amount of Smad7 protein expressed in the 3T6 cells using Western blot. Results: Identified by restriction endonuclease analysis and PCR, the recombinant adenovirus containing Egr-1 promoter and Smad7 cDNA was constructed successfully, with a viral titer of 1.0 x 10 11 TCID 50 /ml. The expressed amount of Smad7 protein varied at different dose levels and different time points post-irradiation in the 3T6 cells infected with the recombinant adenovirus. The amount of Smad7 protein increased along with the rising of the irradiation dose, and remained at a high expression level from 8 Gy to 15 Gy. The amount of Smad7 protein started to increase at 2 hours post-irradiation, and maintained a relatively high level for the next 5 hours before it descended, which was not observed in the control 3T6 cells. Conclusions: With the aid of Adeno-X TM expression system and molecular cloning techniques, construction of recombinant adenovirus could be quick and efficient. The recombined Egr-1 promoter has the activity of regulating the expression of downstream Smad7 cDNA. The increase in Smad7 expression under control of Egr-1 promoter induced by ionizing radiation is time- and dose

  18. WORKING OUT OF A METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION OF A RATING OF LIQUIDITY OF FUNCTIONING OF COMMERCIAL BANKS OF UZBEKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Altinbek Ya. Abdullaev

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Article is devoted to a technique of construction of a rating of liquidity of functioning of commercial banks. In article are analyzed probability of event which consists that commercial bank during a certain interval of time will be liquid to function taking into account influence of random factors, i.e. regularly and in due time to carry out all functions. The special attention is given to questions of a problem of working out and introduction of a method of a rating of liquidity of commercial banks in Uzbekistan. By working out and research of the given problem methods and receptions of probability theory, the mathematical statistics and econometric modeling are used. The author comes to conclusion, that in article the technique of forecasting of a financial condition of commercial bank according to which liquidity of commercial bank is defined by probability of the event, consisting is proved what to be during a certain interval of time in the near future will be liquid to function taking into account influence of casual parameters. By imitation of parameters of the equations there is a possibility of monitoring, the control and the forecast of a rating of liquidity of commercial bank in the near future. By results of research are prepared corresponding prognosis recommendations and offers for the persons making of the decision.

  19. Method for constructing bound state wave functions of two interacting particles on nullplanes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leidigh, T.J.

    1980-01-01

    Nullplane position and momentum coordinates are defined in terms of the generators of the Poincare group. A transformation to center-of-mass and relative coordinates for a two-particle system is made. Then, another transformation from the original relative coordinates to a new set is made. In terms of the new relative coordinates the formal analogy with nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, already familiar in the nullplane formalism, is greatly enhanced. These coordinates do not appear to have been used previously. The most general form for a two-particle interaction is then partially determined and two methods for solving the remaining constraints are shown to be equivalent. The similarity to nonrelativistic quantum mechanics is used to solve a bound state problem with an interaction resembling a harmonic oscillator. The wave function is then used to model an unstable particle, which has zero spin in the limit in which the particle becomes stable. In the presence of the decay-producing interaction it is shown that the spin spectrum of the parent particle does not remain sharply zero. This is the first relativistic model to unequivocally display this result. The result is interpreted as indicating that real, relativistic, unstable particles may not possess a sharp spin spectrum

  20. Surrogate-assisted identification of influences of network construction on evolving weighted functional networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahn, Kirsten; Lehnertz, Klaus

    2017-12-01

    We aim at identifying factors that may affect the characteristics of evolving weighted networks derived from empirical observations. To this end, we employ various chains of analysis that are often used in field studies for a data-driven derivation and characterization of such networks. As an example, we consider fully connected, weighted functional brain networks before, during, and after epileptic seizures that we derive from multichannel electroencephalographic data recorded from epilepsy patients. For these evolving networks, we estimate clustering coefficient and average shortest path length in a time-resolved manner. Lastly, we make use of surrogate concepts that we apply at various levels of the chain of analysis to assess to what extent network characteristics are dominated by properties of the electroencephalographic recordings and/or the evolving weighted networks, which may be accessible more easily. We observe that characteristics are differently affected by the unavoidable referencing of the electroencephalographic recording, by the time-series-analysis technique used to derive the properties of network links, and whether or not networks were normalized. Importantly, for the majority of analysis settings, we observe temporal evolutions of network characteristics to merely reflect the temporal evolutions of mean interaction strengths. Such a property of the data may be accessible more easily, which would render the weighted network approach—as used here—as an overly complicated description of simple aspects of the data.

  1. Presence of transient hydronephrosis immediately after surgery has a limited influence on renal function 1 year after ileal neobladder construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narita, Takuma; Hatakeyama, Shingo; Koie, Takuya; Hosogoe, Shogo; Matsumoto, Teppei; Soma, Osamu; Yamamoto, Hayato; Yoneyama, Tohru; Tobisawa, Yuki; Yoneyama, Takahiro; Hashimoto, Yasuhiro; Ohyama, Chikara

    2017-08-31

    Urinary tract obstruction and postoperative hydronephrosis are risk factor for renal function deterioration after orthotopic ileal neobladder construction. However, reports of relationship between transient hydronephrosis and renal function are limited. We assess the influence of postoperative transient hydronephrosis on renal function in patients with orthotopic ileal neobladder construction. Between January 2006 and June 2013, we performed radical cystectomy in 164 patients, and 101 received orthotopic ileal neobladder construction. This study included data available from 64 patients with 128 renal units who were enrolled retrospectively. The hydronephrosis grade of each renal unit scored 0-4. The patients were divided into 4 groups according to the grade of hydronephrosis: control, low, intermediate, and high. The grade of postoperative hydronephrosis was compared with renal function 1 month and 1 year after surgery. There were no significant differences in renal function before surgery between groups. One month after surgery, the presence of hydronephrosis was significantly associated with decreased renal function. However, 1 year after urinary diversion hydronephrosis grades were improved significantly, and renal function was comparable between groups. Postoperative hydronephrosis at 1 month had no significant influence on renal function 1 year after ileal neobladder construction. Limitations include retrospective design, short follow-up periods, and a sample composition. The presence of transient hydronephrosis immediately after surgery may have limited influence on renal function 1 year after ileal neobladder construction.

  2. Understanding the Biological Roles of Pectins in Plants through Physiological and Functional Characterizations of Plant and Fungal Mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

    The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure and it is involved in regulating a number of physiological features of plants such as physical strength, growth, cell differentiation, intercellular communication, water movement and defense responses. Pectins constitute a major class of plant cell wall...... polysaccharides and consist of backbones rich in galacturonic acids, which are decorated with a range of functional groups including acetyl esters and arabinan sidechains. Although much effort has been made to uncover biological functions of pectins in plants and remarkable progresses have taken place, many...... aspects remain elusive. Studies described in this thesis aimed at gaining new insights into the biological roles of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The thesis consists of four chapters: physiological characterization of cell wall mutants affected in cell...

  3. Differential reactivity of maleimide and bromoacetyl functions with thiols: application to the preparation of liposomal diepitope constructs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schelté, P; Boeckler, C; Frisch, B; Schuber, F

    2000-01-01

    The comparative reactivity of maleimide and bromoacetyl groups with thiols (2-mercaptoethanol, free cysteine, and cysteine residues present at the N-terminus of peptides) was investigated in aqueous media. These studies were performed (i) with water-soluble functionalized model molecules, i.e., polyoxyethylene-based spacer arms that could also be coupled to lipophilic anchors destined to be incorporated into liposomes, and (ii) with small unilamellar liposomes carrying at their surface these thiol-reactive functions. Our results indicate that an important kinetic discrimination (2-3 orders of magnitude in terms of rate constants) can be achieved between the maleimide and bromoacetyl functions when the reactions with thiols are performed at pH 6.5. The bromoacetyl function which reacts at higher pH values (e.g., pH 9.0) retained a high chemoselectivity; i.e., under conditions where it reacted appreciably with the thiols of, e.g., HS-peptides, it did react with other nucleophilic functions such as alpha- and epsilon-amino groups or imidazole, which could also be present in peptides. This differential reactivity was applied to design chemically defined and highly immunogenic liposomal diepitope constructs as synthetic vaccines, i.e., vesicles carrying at their surface two different peptides conjugated each to a specific amphiphilic anchor. This was realized by coupling sequentially at pH 6.5 and 9.0 two HS-peptides to preformed vesicles containing lipophilic anchors functionalized with maleimide and bromoacetyl groups [Boeckler, C., et al. (1999) Eur. J. Immunol. 29, 2297-2308].

  4. Application of Multi-Valued Weighting Logical Functions in the Analysis of a Degree of Importance of Construction Parameters on the Example of Hydraulic Valves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deptuła, A.

    2014-08-01

    In the optimization process, changes in the construction parameters value influence the behaviour of functions depending on time. Weighting logical coefficients for the stabilisation time are taken into consideration here, i.e., a shorter (better) stabilisation time has a more important (bigger) value of the weighting coefficient. An example of applying weighting logical functions in the analysis of a degree of importance of construction parameters of a hydraulic valve is presented in the paper

  5. Discovering and validating biological hypotheses from coherent patterns in functional genomics data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joachimiak, Marcin Pawel

    2008-08-12

    The area of transcriptomics analysis is among the more established in computational biology, having evolved in both technology and experimental design. Transcriptomics has a strong impetus to develop sophisticated computational methods due to the large amounts of available whole-genome datasets for many species and because of powerful applications in regulatory network reconstruction as well as elucidation and modeling of cellular transcriptional responses. While gene expression microarray data can be noisy and comparisons across experiments challenging, there are a number of sophisticated methods that aid in arriving at statistically and biologically significant conclusions. As such, computational transcriptomics analysis can provide guidance for analysis of results from newer experimental technologies. More recently, search methods have been developed to identify modules of genes, which exhibit coherent expression patterns in only a subset of experimental conditions. The latest advances in these methods allow to integrate multiple data types anddatasets, both experimental and computational, within a single statistical framework accounting for data confidence and relevance to specific biological questions. Such frameworks provide a unified environment for the exploration of specific biological hypothesis and for the discovery of coherent data patterns along with the evidence supporting them.

  6. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea

    This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project...

  7. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea; Svendsen, Winnie Edith; Dimaki, Maria

    2016-01-01

    This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project...

  8. Systems Biology-Derived Biomarkers to Predict Progression of Renal Function Decline in Type 2 Diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayer, Gert; Heerspink, Hiddo J. L.; Aschauer, Constantin; Heinzel, Andreas; Heinze, Georg; Kainz, Alexander; Sunzenauer, Judith; Perco, Paul; de Zeeuw, Dick; Rossing, Peter; Pena, Michelle; Oberbauer, Rainer

    OBJECTIVE: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in diabetes has a complex molecular and likely multifaceted pathophysiology. We aimed to validate a panel of biomarkers identified using a systems biology approach to predict the individual decline of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in a large

  9. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  10. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex systems biology models: emulation, global parameter searches and evaluation of gene functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, Ian; Liu, Junli; Goldstein, Michael; Rowe, James; Topping, Jen; Lindsey, Keith

    2018-01-02

    Many mathematical models have now been employed across every area of systems biology. These models increasingly involve large numbers of unknown parameters, have complex structure which can result in substantial evaluation time relative to the needs of the analysis, and need to be compared to observed data of various forms. The correct analysis of such models usually requires a global parameter search, over a high dimensional parameter space, that incorporates and respects the most important sources of uncertainty. This can be an extremely difficult task, but it is essential for any meaningful inference or prediction to be made about any biological system. It hence represents a fundamental challenge for the whole of systems biology. Bayesian statistical methodology for the uncertainty analysis of complex models is introduced, which is designed to address the high dimensional global parameter search problem. Bayesian emulators that mimic the systems biology model but which are extremely fast to evaluate are embeded within an iterative history match: an efficient method to search high dimensional spaces within a more formal statistical setting, while incorporating major sources of uncertainty. The approach is demonstrated via application to a model of hormonal crosstalk in Arabidopsis root development, which has 32 rate parameters, for which we identify the sets of rate parameter values that lead to acceptable matches between model output and observed trend data. The multiple insights into the model's structure that this analysis provides are discussed. The methodology is applied to a second related model, and the biological consequences of the resulting comparison, including the evaluation of gene functions, are described. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex models using both emulators and history matching is shown to be a powerful technique that can greatly aid the study of a large class of systems biology models. It both provides insight into model behaviour

  11. The quality assurance function with respect to the design and construction of steel structures for pre-stressed nuclear vessels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garrard, R.S.; Salmons, B.H.

    1976-01-01

    The paper deals with experience gained at Hartlepool and Heysham. These Power Station Projects have now passed through the 'enquiry', 'tender' and 'placing-of-order' stages, and are deeply involved at present in the detailed 'design', 'construction' and 'setting-to-work' phases. Quality Assurance in the widest concept has been active throughout, but experience has shown that Quality Assurance Programmes should have played a more positive role, particularly in the early stages. Difficulties have arisen because the prototype nature of the plant was not fully appreciated at the time of Enquiry and Tender. On occasion, manufacture has had to proceed, before detailed design proving was achieved, in order to maintain the Construction Programme. However, in one or two instances, this approach was shown to be false economy as more time was used in rework after all the technical parameters had been established. It is now recognised that a fully integrated Quality Assurance function is one of the essential tools for establishing a viable Programme for the Project, and maintaining Product Quality consistent with Plant Reliability. A description is given in this Paper of the methods which have been developed for the approval of Designs and Manufacturing Procedures, together with Techniques in use to ensure that Quality Requirements are known, understood and implemented. (author)

  12. [Construction and Function Verification of a Novel Shuttle Vector Containing a Marker Gene Self-deletion System].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lili; Wang, Zhan; Zhou, Yubai; Zhang, Fang; Shen, Sisi; Li, Zelin; Zeng, Yi

    2015-09-01

    For rapid and accurate screening of recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA) that satisfied the quality standards of clinical trials, a novel shuttle vector that can delete the marker gene automatically during virus propagation was construted: pZL-EGFP. To construct the pZL-EGFP, the original shuttle vector pSC11 was modified by replacing the LacZ marker gene with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and then inserting homologous sequences of TKL into the flank regions of EGFP. Baby hamster kidney (BHK)-21 cells were cotransfected with pZL-EGFP and MVA, and underwent ten passages and one plaque screening to obtain the EGFP-free rMVA carrying the exogenous gene. Resulting rMVA was tested by polymerase chain reaction and western blotting to verify pZL-EGFP function. A novel shuttle vector pZL-EGFP containing an EGFP marker gene which could be deleted automatically was constructed. This gene deletion had no effect on the activities of rMVA, and the exogenous gene could be expressed stably. These results suggest that rMVA can be packaged efficiently by homologous recombination between pZL-EGFP and MVA in BHK-21 cells, and that the carried EGFP gene can be removed automatically by intramolecular homologous recombination during virus passage. Meanwhile, the gene deletion had no influence on the activities of rMVA and the expression of exogenous target gene. This study lays a solid foundation for the future research.

  13. Constructing the correlation function of four stress-tensor multiplets and the four-particle amplitude in N=4 SYM

    CERN Document Server

    Eden, Burkhard; Korchemsky, Gregory P; Sokatchev, Emery

    2012-01-01

    We present a construction of the integrand of the correlation function of four stress-tensor multiplets in N=4 SYM at weak coupling. It does not rely on Feynman diagrams and makes use of the recently discovered symmetry of the integrand under permutations of external and integration points. This symmetry holds for any gauge group, so it can be used to predict the integrand both in the planar and non-planar sectors. We demonstrate the great efficiency of graph-theoretical tools in the systematic study of the possible permutation symmetric integrands. We formulate a general ansatz for the correlation function as a linear combination of all relevant graph topologies, with arbitrary coefficients. Powerful restrictions on the coefficients come from the analysis of the logarithmic divergences of the correlation function in two singular regimes: Euclidean short-distance and Minkowski light-cone limits. We demonstrate that the planar integrand is completely fixed by the procedure up to six loops and probably beyond. ...

  14. Construction of exchange-correlation functionals through interpolation between the non-interacting and the strong-correlation limit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Yongxi; Ernzerhof, Matthias; Bahmann, Hilke

    2015-01-01

    Drawing on the adiabatic connection of density functional theory, exchange-correlation functionals of Kohn-Sham density functional theory are constructed which interpolate between the extreme limits of the electron-electron interaction strength. The first limit is the non-interacting one, where there is only exchange. The second limit is the strong correlated one, characterized as the minimum of the electron-electron repulsion energy. The exchange-correlation energy in the strong-correlation limit is approximated through a model for the exchange-correlation hole that is referred to as nonlocal-radius model [L. O. Wagner and P. Gori-Giorgi, Phys. Rev. A 90, 052512 (2014)]. Using the non-interacting and strong-correlated extremes, various interpolation schemes are presented that yield new approximations to the adiabatic connection and thus to the exchange-correlation energy. Some of them rely on empiricism while others do not. Several of the proposed approximations yield the exact exchange-correlation energy for one-electron systems where local and semi-local approximations often fail badly. Other proposed approximations generalize existing global hybrids by using a fraction of the exchange-correlation energy in the strong-correlation limit to replace an equal fraction of the semi-local approximation to the exchange-correlation energy in the strong-correlation limit. The performance of the proposed approximations is evaluated for molecular atomization energies, total atomic energies, and ionization potentials

  15. The construction of a two-dimensional reproducing kernel function and its application in a biomedical model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qi; Shen, Shu-Ting

    2016-04-29

    There are two major classes of cardiac tissue models: the ionic model and the FitzHugh-Nagumo model. During computer simulation, each model entails solving a system of complex ordinary differential equations and a partial differential equation with non-flux boundary conditions. The reproducing kernel method possesses significant applications in solving partial differential equations. The derivative of the reproducing kernel function is a wavelet function, which has local properties and sensitivities to singularity. Therefore, study on the application of reproducing kernel would be advantageous. Applying new mathematical theory to the numerical solution of the ventricular muscle model so as to improve its precision in comparison with other methods at present. A two-dimensional reproducing kernel function inspace is constructed and applied in computing the solution of two-dimensional cardiac tissue model by means of the difference method through time and the reproducing kernel method through space. Compared with other methods, this method holds several advantages such as high accuracy in computing solutions, insensitivity to different time steps and a slow propagation speed of error. It is suitable for disorderly scattered node systems without meshing, and can arbitrarily change the location and density of the solution on different time layers. The reproducing kernel method has higher solution accuracy and stability in the solutions of the two-dimensional cardiac tissue model.

  16. Mechanical and biological properties of the micro-/nano-grain functionally graded hydroxyapatite bioceramics for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Changchun; Deng, Congying; Chen, Xuening; Zhao, Xiufen; Chen, Ying; Fan, Yujiang; Zhang, Xingdong

    2015-08-01

    Functionally graded materials (FGM) open the promising approach for bone tissue repair. In this study, a novel functionally graded hydroxyapatite (HA) bioceramic with micrograin and nanograin structure was fabricated. Its mechanical properties were tailored by composition of micrograin and nanograin. The dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) indicated that the graded HA ceramics had similar mechanical property compared to natural bones. Their cytocompatibility was evaluated via fluorescent microscopy and MTT colorimetric assay. The viability and proliferation of rabbit bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on ceramics indicated that this functionally graded HA ceramic had better cytocompatibility than conventional HA ceramic. This study demonstrated that functionally graded HA ceramics create suitable structures to satisfy both the mechanical and biological requirements of bone tissues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Measuring selfhood according to self-determination theory: Construction and validation of the Ego Functioning Questionnaire (EFQ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majstorović Nebojša

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this research was to develop and validate an instrument designed to measure the three types of self proposed by Hodgins and Knee (2002: integrated, ego-invested, and impersonal. This measure was termed The Ego Functioning Questionnaire (EFQ. In Study 1 (N=202, the factorial structure of the EFQ was examined by means of an exploratory factor analysis, and the metric properties of its subscales were documented. In Study 2 (N=300, the 3 factor structure of the EFQ was successfully corroborated using a confirmatory factor analysis. In Study 3 (N=131, associations between the EFQ and a variety of cognitive, affective, and social variables were found to display meaningful patterns, thereby providing support for the EFQ’s construct validity. Also, the EFQ was not susceptible to socially desirable responding. Results are discussed in terms of their fundamental and applied implications.

  18. Thyroid Autoimmunity and Function after Treatment with Biological Antirheumatic Agents in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bliddal, Sofie; Borresen, Stina Willemoes; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla

    2017-01-01

    With the increased pro-inflammatory response in both rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid autoimmune diseases, treatment with biological antirheumatic agents (BAAs) of the former may affect the course of the latter. In hepatitis C and cancer patients, treatment with biological agents substantially...... increases the risk of developing thyroid autoimmunity. As the use of BAAs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is increasing, this review aimed to investigate if such use affected thyroid status in rheumatoid arthritis patients. We conducted a systematic literature search and included six studies...... status: a reduction of thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibody concentrations, and a reduction of thyrotropin levels in hypothyroid patients. Despite the small number of studies, they presented compliant data. The BAAs used in rheumatoid arthritis thus did not seem to negatively affect thyroid...

  19. Recent Progress in Synthesis and Functionalization of Multimodal Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanoparticles for Biological Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raquel Serrano García

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a great interest in the development of new nanomaterials for multimodal imaging applications in biology and medicine. Multimodal fluorescent-magnetic based nanomaterials deserve particular attention as they can be used as diagnostic and drug delivery tools, which could facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and many other diseases. This review focuses on the recent developments of magnetic-fluorescent nanocomposites and their biomedical applications. The recent advances in synthetic strategies and approaches for the preparation of fluorescent-magnetic nanocomposites are presented. The main biomedical uses of multimodal fluorescent-magnetic nanomaterials, including biological imaging, cancer therapy and drug delivery, are discussed, and prospects of this field are outlined.

  20. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L.

    2018-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific tre...... with ustekinumab.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.31....

  1. Bio-templated CdSe quantum dots green synthesis in the functional protein, lysozyme, and biological activity investigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Qisui; Li, Song; Liu, Peng; Min, Xinmin

    2012-01-01

    Bifunctional fluorescence (CdSe Quantum Dots) – protein (Lysozyme) nanocomposites were synthesized at room temperature by a protein-directed, solution-phase, green-synthetic method. Fluorescence (FL) and absorption spectra showed that CdSe QDs were prepared successfully with Lyz. The average particle size and crystalline structure of QDs were investigated by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. With attenuated total reflection-fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra and thermogravimetric (TG) analysis, it was confirmed that there is interaction between QDs and amide I, amide II groups in Lyz. FL polarization was measured and FL imaging was done to monitor whether QDs could be responsible for possible changes in the conformation and activity of Lyz. Interestingly, the results showed Lyz still retain the biological activity after formation of QDs, but the secondary structure of the Lyz was changed. And the advantage of this synthesis method is producing excellent fluorescent QDs with specifically biological function. -- Highlights: ► Lysozyme-directed green synthesis of CdSe quantum dots. ► Lysozyme still retain the biological activity after formation of CdSe. ► The method is the production of fluorescent QDs with highly specific and functions.

  2. A comparative approach for the investigation of biological information processing: An examination of the structure and function of computer hard drives and DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background The robust storage, updating and utilization of information are necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of dynamic systems. These systems can exist as constructs of metal-oxide semiconductors and silicon, as in a digital computer, or in the "wetware" of organic compounds, proteins and nucleic acids that make up biological organisms. We propose that there are essential functional properties of centralized information-processing systems; for digital computers these properties reside in the computer's hard drive, and for eukaryotic cells they are manifest in the DNA and associated structures. Methods Presented herein is a descriptive framework that compares DNA and its associated proteins and sub-nuclear structure with the structure and function of the computer hard drive. We identify four essential properties of information for a centralized storage and processing system: (1) orthogonal uniqueness, (2) low level formatting, (3) high level formatting and (4) translation of stored to usable form. The corresponding aspects of the DNA complex and a computer hard drive are categorized using this classification. This is intended to demonstrate a functional equivalence between the components of the two systems, and thus the systems themselves. Results Both the DNA complex and the computer hard drive contain components that fulfill the essential properties of a centralized information storage and processing system. The functional equivalence of these components provides insight into both the design process of engineered systems and the evolved solutions addressing similar system requirements. However, there are points where the comparison breaks down, particularly when there are externally imposed information-organizing structures on the computer hard drive. A specific example of this is the imposition of the File Allocation Table (FAT) during high level formatting of the computer hard drive and the subsequent loading of an operating system (OS). Biological

  3. A comparative approach for the investigation of biological information processing: an examination of the structure and function of computer hard drives and DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Onofrio, David J; An, Gary

    2010-01-21

    The robust storage, updating and utilization of information are necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of dynamic systems. These systems can exist as constructs of metal-oxide semiconductors and silicon, as in a digital computer, or in the "wetware" of organic compounds, proteins and nucleic acids that make up biological organisms. We propose that there are essential functional properties of centralized information-processing systems; for digital computers these properties reside in the computer's hard drive, and for eukaryotic cells they are manifest in the DNA and associated structures. Presented herein is a descriptive framework that compares DNA and its associated proteins and sub-nuclear structure with the structure and function of the computer hard drive. We identify four essential properties of information for a centralized storage and processing system: (1) orthogonal uniqueness, (2) low level formatting, (3) high level formatting and (4) translation of stored to usable form. The corresponding aspects of the DNA complex and a computer hard drive are categorized using this classification. This is intended to demonstrate a functional equivalence between the components of the two systems, and thus the systems themselves. Both the DNA complex and the computer hard drive contain components that fulfill the essential properties of a centralized information storage and processing system. The functional equivalence of these components provides insight into both the design process of engineered systems and the evolved solutions addressing similar system requirements. However, there are points where the comparison breaks down, particularly when there are externally imposed information-organizing structures on the computer hard drive. A specific example of this is the imposition of the File Allocation Table (FAT) during high level formatting of the computer hard drive and the subsequent loading of an operating system (OS). Biological systems do not have an

  4. A comparative approach for the investigation of biological information processing: An examination of the structure and function of computer hard drives and DNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D'Onofrio David J

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The robust storage, updating and utilization of information are necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of dynamic systems. These systems can exist as constructs of metal-oxide semiconductors and silicon, as in a digital computer, or in the "wetware" of organic compounds, proteins and nucleic acids that make up biological organisms. We propose that there are essential functional properties of centralized information-processing systems; for digital computers these properties reside in the computer's hard drive, and for eukaryotic cells they are manifest in the DNA and associated structures. Methods Presented herein is a descriptive framework that compares DNA and its associated proteins and sub-nuclear structure with the structure and function of the computer hard drive. We identify four essential properties of information for a centralized storage and processing system: (1 orthogonal uniqueness, (2 low level formatting, (3 high level formatting and (4 translation of stored to usable form. The corresponding aspects of the DNA complex and a computer hard drive are categorized using this classification. This is intended to demonstrate a functional equivalence between the components of the two systems, and thus the systems themselves. Results Both the DNA complex and the computer hard drive contain components that fulfill the essential properties of a centralized information storage and processing system. The functional equivalence of these components provides insight into both the design process of engineered systems and the evolved solutions addressing similar system requirements. However, there are points where the comparison breaks down, particularly when there are externally imposed information-organizing structures on the computer hard drive. A specific example of this is the imposition of the File Allocation Table (FAT during high level formatting of the computer hard drive and the subsequent loading of an operating

  5. From transcriptome to biological function: environmental stress in an ectothermic vertebrate, the coral reef fish Pomacentrus moluccensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Alister C

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Our understanding of the importance of transcriptional regulation for biological function is continuously improving. We still know, however, comparatively little about how environmentally induced stress affects gene expression in vertebrates, and the consistency of transcriptional stress responses to different types of environmental stress. In this study, we used a multi-stressor approach to identify components of a common stress response as well as components unique to different types of environmental stress. We exposed individuals of the coral reef fish Pomacentrus moluccensis to hypoxic, hyposmotic, cold and heat shock and measured the responses of approximately 16,000 genes in liver. We also compared winter and summer responses to heat shock to examine the capacity for such responses to vary with acclimation to different ambient temperatures. Results We identified a series of gene functions that were involved in all stress responses examined here, suggesting some common effects of stress on biological function. These common responses were achieved by the regulation of largely independent sets of genes; the responses of individual genes varied greatly across different stress types. In response to heat exposure over five days, a total of 324 gene loci were differentially expressed. Many heat-responsive genes had functions associated with protein turnover, metabolism, and the response to oxidative stress. We were also able to identify groups of co-regulated genes, the genes within which shared similar functions. Conclusion This is the first environmental genomic study to measure gene regulation in response to different environmental stressors in a natural population of a warm-adapted ectothermic vertebrate. We have shown that different types of environmental stress induce expression changes in genes with similar gene functions, but that the responses of individual genes vary between stress types. The functions of heat

  6. Self-assembly and stability of double rosette nanostructures with biological functionalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Cate, M.G.J.; Omerovic, Merdan; Oshovsky, G.; Crego Calama, Mercedes; Reinhoudt, David

    2005-01-01

    The syntheses of calix[4]arene dimelamines that are functionalized with alkyl, aminoalkyl, ureido, pyridyl, carbohydrate, amino acid and peptide functionalities, and their self-assembly with barbituric acid or cyanuric acid derivatives into well-defined hydrogen-bonded nanostructures are described.

  7. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-03-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms.

  8. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-01-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms

  9. The ecological and construct validity of a newly developed measure of executive function: the Virtual Library Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renison, Belinda; Ponsford, Jennie; Testa, Renee; Richardson, Barry; Brownfield, Kylie

    2012-05-01

    Virtual reality (VR) assessment paradigms have the potential to address the limited ecological validity of pen and paper measures of executive function (EF) and the pragmatic and reliability issues associated with functional measures. To investigate the ecological validity and construct validity of a newly developed VR measure of EF, the Virtual Library Task (VLT); a real life analogous task--the Real Library Task (RLT); and five neuropsychological measures of EF were administered to 30 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 30 healthy Controls. Significant others for each participant also completed the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX), which is a behavioral rating scale of everyday EF. Performances on the VLT and the RLT were significantly positively correlated indicating that VR performance is similar to real world performance. The TBI group performed significantly worse than the Control group on the VLT and the Modified Six Elements Test (MSET) but the other four neuropsychological measures of EF failed to differentiate the groups. Both the MSET and the VLT significantly predicted everyday EF suggesting that they are both ecologically valid tools for the assessment of EF. The VLT has the advantage over the MSET of providing objective measurement of individual components of EF.

  10. Unbiased group-wise image registration: applications in brain fiber tract atlas construction and functional connectivity analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Xiujuan; Gu, Hong; Shin, Wanyong; Ross, Thomas J; Yang, Yihong

    2011-10-01

    We propose an unbiased implicit-reference group-wise (IRG) image registration method and demonstrate its applications in the construction of a brain white matter fiber tract atlas and the analysis of resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) connectivity. Most image registration techniques pair-wise align images to a selected reference image and group analyses are performed in the reference space, which may produce bias. The proposed method jointly estimates transformations, with an elastic deformation model, registering all images to an implicit reference corresponding to the group average. The unbiased registration is applied to build a fiber tract atlas by registering a group of diffusion tensor images. Compared to reference-based registration, the IRG registration improves the fiber track overlap within the group. After applying the method in the fMRI connectivity analysis, results suggest a general improvement in functional connectivity maps at a group level in terms of larger cluster size and higher average t-scores.

  11. The relationship between the connecting peptide of recombined single chain insulin and its biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG; Yiding; (

    2001-01-01

    [1]Straus, D. S., Growth-stimulatory of insulin in vitro and in vivo, Endocr. Rev., 1984, 5(2): 356-369.[2]Svenningsen, A. F., Kanje, M., Insulin and the insulin-like growth factors I and II are mitogenic to cultured rat sciatic nerve segments and stimulate [3H] thuymidine incorporation through their respective receptors, Glia, 1996, 18(1): 68-72.[3]Ogihara, S., Yamada, M., Saito, T. et al., Insulin potentiates mitogenic effect of epidermal growth factor on cultured guinea pig gastric mucous cells, Am. J. Physiol., 1996, 271(1 Pt 1): G104-121.[4]Steiner, D. F., Oyer, P. E., The biosynthesis of insulin and a probable precursor of insulin by a human islet cell adenoma, Proc. Nalt. Acad. Sci. USA, 1967, 57(2): 473-480.[5]King, G. L., Kahn, C. R., The growth-promoting effects of insulin, in Growth and Maturation Factors(ed. Guroff, G.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1984, 223-265.[6]Peavy, D. E., Brunner, M. R., Duckworth, W. C. et al., Receptor binding and biological potency of several split forms (conversion intermediates) of human proinsulin, Studies in cultured IM-9 lymphocytes and in vivo and in vitro in rats, J. Biol. Chem., 1985, 260: 13989-13994.[7]Derewenda, U., Derewenda, Z., Dodson, E. J. et al., X-ray analysis of the single chain B29-A1 peptide-linked insulin molecule. A completely inactive analogue, J. Mol. Biol., 1991, 220: 425-433.[8]Hua, Q. X., Shoelson, S. E., Kochoyan, M. et al., Receptor binding redefined by a structural switch in a mutant human insulin, Nature, 1991, 354: 238-241.[9]Hua, Q. X., Gozani, S. N., Chance, R. E. et al., Structure of a protein in a kinetic trap, Nat. Struc. Boil, 1995, 2: 129-138.[10]Kristensen, C., Andersen, A. S., Hach, M., A single-chain insulin-like growth factor I/insulin hybrid binds with high affinity to the insulin receptor, Biochem. J., 1995, 305: 981-986.[11]Humbel, R. E., Insulin-like growth factors I and II, Euro. J. Biochem., 1990, 190: 445-462.[12]Cooke, R. M

  12. Biological assessment of the effects of construction and operation of a depleted uranium hexafluoride conversion facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio,site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Lonkhuyzen, R.

    2005-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF 6 ) Management Program evaluated alternatives for managing its inventory of DUF 6 and issued the ''Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Alternative Strategies for the Long-Term Management and Use of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride'' (DUF 6 PEIS) in April 1999 (DOE 1999). The DUF 6 inventory is stored in cylinders at three DOE sites: Paducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; and East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In the Record of Decision for the DUF 6 PEIS, DOE stated its decision to promptly convert the DUF 6 inventory to a more stable chemical form. Subsequently, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, the ''2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States'' (Public Law No. 107-206). This law stipulated in part that, within 30 days of enactment, DOE must award a contract for the design, construction, and operation of a DUF 6 conversion plant at the Department's Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth, Ohio, sites, and for the shipment of DUF 6 cylinders stored at ETTP to the Portsmouth site for conversion. This biological assessment (BA) has been prepared by DOE, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Endangered Species Act of 1974, to evaluate potential impacts to federally listed species from the construction and operation of a conversion facility at the DOE Portsmouth site. The Indiana bat is known to occur in the area of the Portsmouth site and may potentially occur on the site during spring or summer. Evaluations of the Portsmouth site indicated that most of the site was found to have poor summer habitat for the Indiana bat because of the small size, isolation, and insufficient maturity of the few woodlands on the site. Potential summer habitat for the Indiana bat was identified outside the developed area bounded by Perimeter Road, within the corridors

  13. Biological half-life of iodine in adults with intact thyroid function and in athyreotic persons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kramer, G.H.; Hauck, B.M.; Chamberlain, M.J

    2002-07-01

    A joint project between the Human Monitoring Laboratory (HML) and the Ottawa Hospital has measured the retention of {sup 131}I in patients who have received the radioiodine diagnostically. Thirty-nine subjects with intact thyroid glands and nine athyreotic subjects were measured in the HML's whole-body/thyroid counter to determine the retention of {sup 131}I following its medical administration. The average biological half-life of {sup 131}I in 26 euthyroid subjects was found to be 66.1{+-}6.3 days which may be statistically significantly lower than the ICRP recommended value of 80 days. Nine hyperthyroid patients had a mean biological half-life of 38.2{+-}8.6 days and in three hypothyroid patients the corresponding value was 29.3{+-}8.8 days. Thyroid {sup 131}I uptake was measured in a conventional clinical fashion at the Ottawa Hospital Civic campus 24 h after oral administration of the radioiodine using a collimated thick sodium iodide detector placed over the neck arteriorly. Measured values were 0.144{+-}0.009, 0.314{+-}0.035 and 0.045{+-}0.010 of the administered dose in euthyroid, hyperthyroid and hypothyroid patients respectively. The euthyroid range at the hospital is 0.06-0.22. Uptake was significantly lower for the euthyroid group than the ICRP value of 0.3. The radioiodine retention in athyreotic subjects followed a two compartment model with biological half-lives of 1.0{+-}0.2 days and 18.4{+-}1.1. days. (author)

  14. Biological aspects and life table of Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas, 1878) as a function of temperature

    OpenAIRE

    Auad Alexander Machado; Moraes Jair Campos de

    2003-01-01

    The aphid Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas) is considered a pest of hidroponically-grown lettuce, but basic and applied information on its control are scarce in Brazil. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different temperatures on biological aspects and life history of U. ambrosiae (Thomas) developing on hydroponic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) crop. Newly emerged nymphs were placed on 4-cm discs of hydroponic lettuce, var. Verônica, which were maintained on 5-cm Petri dishes, at te...

  15. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L

    2017-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific...... of ustekinumab treatment. Associations between genetic variants and treatment outcomes (drug survival and Psoriasis Area Severity Index reduction) were assessed using logistic regression analyses (crude and adjusted for gender, age, psoriatic arthritis and previous treatment). After correction for multiple...

  16. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L

    2017-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific tre...... with ustekinumab.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.31....... with response to ustekinumab treatment (qhigh interferon-γ levels may be favorable when treating psoriasis...

  17. [Construction of lentiviral mediated CyPA siRNA and its functions in non-small cell lung cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    FENG, Yan-ming; WU, Yi-ming; TU, Xin-ming; XU, Zheng-shun; WU, Wei-dong

    2010-02-01

    To construct a lentiviral-vector-mediated CyPA small interference RNA (siRNA) and study its function in non-small cell lung cancer. First, four target sequences were selected according to CyPA mRNA sequence, the complementary DNA contained both sense and antisense oligonucleotides were designed, synthesized and cloned into the pGCL-GFP vector, which contained U6 promoter and green fluorescent protein (GFP). The resulting lentiviral vector containing CyPA shRNA was named Lv-shCyPA, and it was confirmed by PCR and sequencing. Next, it was cotransfected by Lipofectamine 2000 along with pHelper1.0 and pHelper 2.0 into 293T cells to package lentivirus particles. At the same time, the packed virus infected non-small cell lung cancer cell (A549), the level of CyPA protein at 5 d after infection was detected by Western Blot to screen the target of CyPA. A549 were infected with Lv-shCyPA and grown as xenografts in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Cell cycle and apoptosis were measured by FCM. It was confirmed by PCR and DNA sequencing that lentiviral-vector-mediated CyPA siRNA (Lv-shCyPA) producing CyPA shRNA was constructed successfully. The titer of concentrated virus were 1 x 10(7) TU/ml. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated G2-M phase (11.40% +/- 0.68%) was decre