WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological function environmental

  1. Environmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tschumi, P.A.

    1981-01-01

    Environmental biology illustrates the functioning of ecosystems and the dynamics of populations with many examples from limnology and terrestrial ecology. On this basis, present environmental problems are analyzed. The present environmental crisis is seen as a result of the failure to observe ecological laws. (orig.) [de

  2. 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

  3. Functional traits of selected mangrove species in Brazil as biological indicators of different environmental conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arrivabene, Hiulana Pereira [Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Centro de Ciências Humanas e Naturais, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, 29075-910 Vitória, Espírito Santo (Brazil); Souza, Iara [Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Departamento de Ciências Fisiológicas, 13565-905 São Carlos (Brazil); Có, Walter Luiz Oliveira [Associação Educational de Vitória, Departamento de Biologia, 29053-360 Vitória (Brazil); Rodella, Roberto Antônio [Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, Campus de Botucatu, Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Botânica, C. Postal 510, 18618-000 Botucatu, São Paulo (Brazil); Wunderlin, Daniel Alberto, E-mail: dwunder@fcq.unc.edu.ar [Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos Córdoba (ICYTAC), CONICET, Dpto. Qca. Orgánica, Fac. Cs. Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, 5000, Córdoba (Argentina); and others

    2014-04-01

    Ecological studies on phenotypic plasticity illustrate the relevance of this phenomenon in nature. Conditions of biota reflect environmental changes, highlighting the adaptability of resident species that can be used as bioindicators of such changes. We report the morpho-anatomical plasticity of leaves of Avicennia schaueriana Stapf and Leechm. ex Moldenke, Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F.Gaertn. and Rhizophora mangle L., evaluated in three estuaries (Vitória bay, Santa Cruz and Itaúnas River; state of Espírito Santo, Brazil), considering five areas of mangrove ecosystems with diverse environmental issues. Two sampling sites are part of the Ecological Station Lameirão Island in Vitória bay, close to a harbor. A third sampling site in Cariacica (Vitória bay) is inside the Vitória harbor and also is influenced by domestic sewage. The fourth studied area (Santa Cruz) is part of Piraquê Mangrove Ecological Reservation, while the fifth (Itaúnas River) is a small mangrove, with sandy sediment and greater photosynthetically active radiation, also not strongly influenced by anthropic activity. Results pointed out the morpho-anatomical plasticity in studied species, showing that A. schaueriana and L. racemosa might be considered the most appropriate bioindicators to indicate different settings and environmental conditions. Particularly, the dry mass per leaf area (LMA) of A. schaueriana was the main biomarker measured. In our study, LMA of A. schaueriana was positively correlated with salinity (Spearman 0.71), Mn content (0.81) and pH (0.82) but negatively correlated with phosphorus content (− 0.63). Thus, the evaluation of modification in LMA of A. schaueriana pointed out changes among five studied sites, suggesting its use to reflect changes in the environment, which could be also useful in the future to evaluate the climate change. - Highlights: • We investigated adaptive modifications in plants in response to differences among three estuaries. • We used

  4. Functional traits of selected mangrove species in Brazil as biological indicators of different environmental conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arrivabene, Hiulana Pereira; Souza, Iara; Có, Walter Luiz Oliveira; Rodella, Roberto Antônio; Wunderlin, Daniel Alberto

    2014-01-01

    Ecological studies on phenotypic plasticity illustrate the relevance of this phenomenon in nature. Conditions of biota reflect environmental changes, highlighting the adaptability of resident species that can be used as bioindicators of such changes. We report the morpho-anatomical plasticity of leaves of Avicennia schaueriana Stapf and Leechm. ex Moldenke, Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F.Gaertn. and Rhizophora mangle L., evaluated in three estuaries (Vitória bay, Santa Cruz and Itaúnas River; state of Espírito Santo, Brazil), considering five areas of mangrove ecosystems with diverse environmental issues. Two sampling sites are part of the Ecological Station Lameirão Island in Vitória bay, close to a harbor. A third sampling site in Cariacica (Vitória bay) is inside the Vitória harbor and also is influenced by domestic sewage. The fourth studied area (Santa Cruz) is part of Piraquê Mangrove Ecological Reservation, while the fifth (Itaúnas River) is a small mangrove, with sandy sediment and greater photosynthetically active radiation, also not strongly influenced by anthropic activity. Results pointed out the morpho-anatomical plasticity in studied species, showing that A. schaueriana and L. racemosa might be considered the most appropriate bioindicators to indicate different settings and environmental conditions. Particularly, the dry mass per leaf area (LMA) of A. schaueriana was the main biomarker measured. In our study, LMA of A. schaueriana was positively correlated with salinity (Spearman 0.71), Mn content (0.81) and pH (0.82) but negatively correlated with phosphorus content (− 0.63). Thus, the evaluation of modification in LMA of A. schaueriana pointed out changes among five studied sites, suggesting its use to reflect changes in the environment, which could be also useful in the future to evaluate the climate change. - Highlights: • We investigated adaptive modifications in plants in response to differences among three estuaries. • We used

  5. 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…

  6. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2014-05-01

    Typically, findings from cell biology have been beneficial for preventing human disease. However, translational applications from cell biology can also be applied to conservation efforts, such as protecting coral reefs. Recent efforts to understand the cell biological mechanisms maintaining coral health such as innate immunity and acclimatization have prompted new developments in conservation. Similar to biomedicine, we urge that future efforts should focus on better frameworks for biomarker development to protect coral reefs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Biological Environmental Sampling Technologies Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    modular set of aerosol detector, collector, and identifier components. Before the award, the JBTDS program office engaged its combat developers and...collection and identification processes are not integrated into one unit. Concern was also expressed regarding operation of the smartphone -based Biomeme one3...DESCRIPTION (JBTDS) The Joint Biological Tactical Detection System (JBTDS) will be employed as a modular set of capabilities (detector, collector, and

  9. 75 FR 6651 - Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-10

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee AGENCY: Department... meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). Federal Advisory.... Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, SC-23/Germantown...

  10. 77 FR 4028 - Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-26

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee AGENCY: Department... meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The Federal Advisory.... Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, SC-23/Germantown...

  11. 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...

  12. Quantification of biologically effective environmental UV irradiance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G.

    To determine the impact of environmental UV radiation on human health and ecosystems demands monitoring systems that weight the spectral irradiance according to the biological responses under consideration. In general, there are three different approaches to quantify a biologically effective solar irradiance: (i) weighted spectroradiometry where the biologically weighted radiometric quantities are derived from spectral data by multiplication with an action spectrum of a relevant photobiological reaction, e.g. erythema, DNA damage, skin cancer, reduced productivity of terrestrial plants and aquatic foodweb; (ii) wavelength integrating chemical-based or physical dosimetric systems with spectral sensitivities similar to a biological response curve; and (iii) biological dosimeters that directly weight the incident UV components of sunlight in relation to the effectiveness of the different wavelengths and to interactions between them. Most biological dosimeters, such as bacteria, bacteriophages, or biomolecules, are based on the UV sensitivity of DNA. If precisely characterized, biological dosimeters are applicable as field and personal dosimeters.

  13. Practical Statistics for Environmental and Biological Scientists

    CERN Document Server

    Townend, John

    2012-01-01

    All students and researchers in environmental and biological sciences require statistical methods at some stage of their work. Many have a preconception that statistics are difficult and unpleasant and find that the textbooks available are difficult to understand. Practical Statistics for Environmental and Biological Scientists provides a concise, user-friendly, non-technical introduction to statistics. The book covers planning and designing an experiment, how to analyse and present data, and the limitations and assumptions of each statistical method. The text does not refer to a specific comp

  14. Nuclear energy: biological effects and environmental impact

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boonefaes, M.

    1987-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with the large development of nuclear power plants and the recent nuclear catastrophe which has made clear how the hazards resulting from radioactivity affect public health and the environment. Environmental effects of nuclear power plants operating in normal conditions are small, but to obtain nuclear power plants of reduced radioactivity, optimization of their design, construction, operation and waste processing plays a decisive role. Biological effects of ionizing radiations and environmental impacts of Nuclear Power plants are developed [fr

  15. 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.

  16. 78 FR 6087 - Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-29

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee AGENCY: Office of... the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The Federal Advisory Committee... Federal Officer, BERAC, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and...

  17. Cell-free synthetic biology for environmental sensing and remediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karig, David K

    2017-06-01

    The fields of biosensing and bioremediation leverage the phenomenal array of sensing and metabolic capabilities offered by natural microbes. Synthetic biology provides tools for transforming these fields through complex integration of natural and novel biological components to achieve sophisticated sensing, regulation, and metabolic function. However, the majority of synthetic biology efforts are conducted in living cells, and concerns over releasing genetically modified organisms constitute a key barrier to environmental applications. Cell-free protein expression systems offer a path towards leveraging synthetic biology, while preventing the spread of engineered organisms in nature. Recent efforts in the areas of cell-free approaches for sensing, regulation, and metabolic pathway implementation, as well as for preserving and deploying cell-free expression components, embody key steps towards realizing the potential of cell-free systems for environmental sensing and remediation. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Cell functional enviromics: Unravelling the function of environmental factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alves Paula M

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While functional genomics, focused on gene functions and gene-gene interactions, has become a very active field of research in molecular biology, equivalent methodologies embracing the environment and gene-environment interactions are relatively less developed. Understanding the function of environmental factors is, however, of paramount importance given the complex, interactive nature of environmental and genetic factors across multiple time scales. Results Here, we propose a systems biology framework, where the function of environmental factors is set at its core. We set forth a "reverse" functional analysis approach, whereby cellular functions are reconstructed from the analysis of dynamic envirome data. Our results show these data sets can be mapped to less than 20 core cellular functions in a typical mammalian cell culture, while explaining over 90% of flux data variance. A functional enviromics map can be created, which provides a template for manipulating the environmental factors to induce a desired phenotypic trait. Conclusion Our results support the feasibility of cellular function reconstruction guided by the analysis and manipulation of dynamic envirome data.

  19. CADDIS Volume 4. Data Analysis: Biological and Environmental Data Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overview of PECBO Module, using scripts to infer environmental conditions from biological observations, statistically estimating species-environment relationships, methods for inferring environmental conditions, statistical scripts in module.

  20. Biological and environmental reference materials in CENAM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvizu-Torres, R; Perez-Castorena, A; Salas-Tellez, J A; Mitani-Nakanishi, Y

    2001-06-01

    Since 1994, when the NIST/NOAA Quality Assurance Program in Chemical Measurements was discussed in Queretaro, CENAM, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) of Mexico, has become involved in the development of reference materials. In the field of biological and environmental reference materials, in particular, the NORAMET collaboration program with NIST and NRC, and the North-American Environmental Cooperation signed among three free-trade treaty organizations, have greatly helped the development of the materials metrology program in the newly established CENAM. This paper describes some particularly significant efforts of CENAM in the development of biological and environmental reference materials, on the basis of inter-comparison studies organized with local and governmental environmental agencies of Mexico. In the field of water pollution CENAM has developed a practical proficiency testing (PT) scheme for field laboratories, as a part of registration by local government in the metropolitan area, according to the Mexican Ecological Regulation. The results from these eight PTs in the last 5 years have demonstrated that this scheme has helped ensure the reliability of analytical capability of more than 50 field laboratories in three states, Mexico, D.F., and the States of Mexico and Queretaro. Similar experience has been obtained for more than 70 service units of stack emission measurements in the three states in 1998 and 1999, as a result of the design of a PT scheme for reference gas mixtures. This PT scheme has been accomplished successfully by 30 analytical laboratories who provide monitoring services and perform research on toxic substances (Hg, methylmercury, PCB, etc.) in Mexico. To support these activities, reference samples have been produced through the NIST SRMs, and efforts have been made to increase CENAM's capability in the preparation of primary reference materials in spectrometric solutions and gas mixtures. Collaboration among NMIs has also

  1. Department of Radiation and Environmental Biology - Overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cebulska-Wasilewska, A.

    2000-01-01

    Full text:The year 1999 we devoted mainly to the activities concerning our basic research, and requirements and expectations of three research projects. The environmental project from the European Community was supporting our research in the issues of human monitoring of occupational exposure to pesticides. The two other radiobiology projects from the State Committee of Research were supporting our search on the biological efficiency and its enhancement of radio-therapeutic sources of various LET radiation. We succeeded fruitful co-operation with colleagues from Academy of Mining and Metallurgy that let us go faster with modernization of our laboratory by automation of our methods for screening cytogenetic damages. A lot of efforts were paid to modify our work by automatic reports of the coordinates of aberrant metaphases, and to make a smooth work of our new and own metaphase finder. We are sure that our new and unique research tool will not only enhance the accuracy and speed of measurements, but will also be useful for the purpose of the retrospective biological dosimetry of absorbed doses. We have applied fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for cytogenetic studies of biological effects induced by neutrons. Now, we are looking forward to apply this technique in a combination with the DNA damage measures done by SCGE assay, to our research on mechanisms of the induction and repair, or interaction of the lesions induced by genotoxic agents. Understanding of the regulation of these processes could be a good goal for the new century to come. (author)

  2. Biological and Environmental Research Network Requirements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balaji, V. [Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Earth Science Grid Federation (ESGF); Boden, Tom [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Cowley, Dave [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Dart, Eli [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Dattoria, Vince [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Desai, Narayan [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Egan, Rob [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Foster, Ian [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Goldstone, Robin [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Gregurick, Susan [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Biological Systems Science Division; Houghton, John [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program; Izaurralde, Cesar [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnston, Bill [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Joseph, Renu [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division; Kleese-van Dam, Kerstin [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Lipton, Mary [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Monga, Inder [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Pritchard, Matt [British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC), Oxon (United Kingdom); Rotman, Lauren [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Strand, Gary [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO (United States); Stuart, Cory [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Tatusova, Tatiana [National Inst. of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD (United States); Tierney, Brian [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ESNet; Thomas, Brian [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Williams, Dean N. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Zurawski, Jason [Internet2, Washington, DC (United States)

    2013-09-01

    The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) is the primary provider of network connectivity for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC), the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. In support of SC programs, ESnet regularly updates and refreshes its understanding of the networking requirements of the instruments, facilities, scientists, and science programs that it serves. This focus has helped ESnet be a highly successful enabler of scientific discovery for over 25 years. In November 2012, ESnet and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) of the DOE SC organized a review to characterize the networking requirements of the programs funded by the BER program office. Several key findings resulted from the review. Among them: 1) The scale of data sets available to science collaborations continues to increase exponentially. This has broad impact, both on the network and on the computational and storage systems connected to the network. 2) Many science collaborations require assistance to cope with the systems and network engineering challenges inherent in managing the rapid growth in data scale. 3) Several science domains operate distributed facilities that rely on high-performance networking for success. Key examples illustrated in this report include the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) and the Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase). This report expands on these points, and addresses others as well. The report contains a findings section as well as the text of the case studies discussed at the review.

  3. Department of Radiation and Environmental Biology - Overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cebulska-Wasilewska, A.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: In the year 2000 we completed our study of the genotoxic influence of occupational exposure to pesticides on human cells, and their susceptibility to radiation in particular. Examining blood samples from four countries: Greece, Hungary, Poland and Spain we found that exposure to pesticides usually resulted in an increased susceptibility to the UV-C radiation, although statistical significance could only be concluded for inhabitants of Poland. In Spain, exposure to pesticides was proved to impair the lymphocyte DNA repair capability, while for the Polish group this repair capability appeared enhanced in people exposed to pesticides (see the research reports below). The possible influence of lifestyle or particular diet on the observed national differences would probably be worth analyzing. We also investigate the biological effectiveness of therapeutic beams (neutrons and X-rays). Experimental part of such study, concerning neutrons of different mean energies, is over and the results are now being processed. Our work covers hot issues of environmental and radiation biology making us research partners to many domestic and foreign scientific institutions. Our proficiency in the field is also reflected by membership in various expert boards (e.g. evaluating research applications for the Fifth EU Framework Programme for RTD and Demonstration Activities in the field 'Environment and Health', lecturing in the 2000 NATO IOS Life Science Books). We have entered the 5 th EU Programme Scheme within the EXPAH project starting January 1, 2001. (author)

  4. 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

  5. Environmental chemicals and thyroid function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boas, Malene; Main, Katharina M; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla

    2009-01-01

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To overview the effects of endocrine disrupters on thyroid function. RECENT FINDINGS: Studies in recent years have revealed thyroid-disrupting properties of many environmentally abundant chemicals. Of special concern is the exposure of pregnant women and infants, as thyroid...

  6. Department of Radiation and Environmental Biology - Overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cebulska-Wasilewska, A.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: The year 2001 started for us with new demanding tasks connected with participation in a new research project performed in collaboration with a excellent teams from six countries under the 5 th EU the Quality of Life Programme. The aim of the project EXPAH is to propose methods of molecular epidemiology for the risk assessment of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the air. The exploration of cause-effect relationships for carcinogenic agents will be based on the study of exogenous and endogenous influence on DNA damage in exposed population, and will determine the relationship between biomarkers of exposure, effects and susceptibility in the exposed populations. Analysis of this damage is carried out using highly specialising multidisciplinary techniques brought together by seven laboratories specialised in chemical, biochemical and biological techniques for analysing DNA damage and repair, together with access to populations exposed to environmental pollution and experience in collecting samples. In the year 2001 all the members of the department put much effort in co-organizing 12. Meeting of the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Polish Radiation Research Society. The Meeting was held in the September in Cracow and rewarded hard work of everybody with many applauding comments for the high scientific and organization level. Our parallel activities were concentrated on arrangement and preparation of the forthcoming Course on Human Monitoring for Genetic Effects proposed to us by the Alexander Hollaender Committee of the International Environmental Mutagenesis Society. The Alexander Hollaender ''HUMOGEF'' Course will concentrate on the commonly measured biomarkers (chromosome aberrations; micronuclei; DNA damage), but others (p53 protein levels; metabolic genotypes) will also be addressed. Scientists of international standing from the fields of toxicology, molecular biology, cytogenetics, mutation, and epidemiology, will present and discuss the state

  7. Growth and development and their environmental and biological determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly da Rocha Neves

    2016-05-01

    Conclusion: The results showed a high prevalence of stunting and below‐average results for cognitive/language development among the participating children. Both environmental and biological factors were related to growth and development. However, biological variables showed a greater association with growth, whereas environmental variables were associated with development.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Environmental restoration and biological contamination: ecological and legal aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ademir Reis

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Environmental restoration is a pressing current need. However, protected areas have been exposed to biological contamination risks because the traditional techniques of restoration frequently use exotic species. This causes some concern, since biological contamination is the second major cause of species extinction in the world. It is important to use only native species in restoration projects in order to promote an effective environmental restoration without the risk of contamination. This paper discusses some issues concerning environmental restoration, biological contamination and the need for clearer laws.

  12. Instrumentation for environmental monitoring in biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amer, N.M.; Graven, R.M.; Budnitz, R.J.; Mack, D.A.

    1975-01-01

    A brief review of the status of instrumentation for monitoring environmental pollutants is given. Pollutants are divided into six broad categories: trace elements, pesticides and herbicides, ionizing radiation and radionuclides, asbestos and other microparticulates, and gaseous pollutants. (U.S.)

  13. Environmental and biological applications of microplasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, K; Koutsospyros, A; Yin, S-M; Christodoulatos, C; Abramzon, N; Joaquin, J C; Brelles-Marino, G

    2005-01-01

    Stable glow-type discharge plasmas at elevated pressures can be generated and maintained easily when the plasma is spatially confined to cavities with critical dimensions below 1 mm ('microplasmas'). We studied the properties of several atmospheric-pressure microplasmas and their use in the remediation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and biological decontamination. The VOCs studied include individual prototypcal aliphatic and aromatic compounds as well as mixtures such as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene). The biological systems under study included individual bacteria as well as bacterial biofilms, which are highly structured communities of bacteria that are very resistant to antibiotics, germicides, and other conventional forms of destruction

  14. The biological basis for environmental quality assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karpov, V.I.; Kudritsky, Y.K.; Georgievsky, A.B.

    1991-01-01

    A systematic approach is required to environmental quality assessments with regard to the Baltic regions in order to address the problem of pollution abatement. The proposed systematization of adaptive states stems from the general theory of adaptation. The various types of adaption are described. (AB)

  15. PIXE - Analysis for environmental and biological samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baptista, G.B.

    1980-04-01

    The usefulness and accuracy of PIXE as an analytical tool in the study of trace elements in environmental samples of the Brazilian Cerrado are discussed. The report lists actual and forthcoming publications resulting from the study. The mechanism of exchange of elements in solution in water to aerosols has been investigated. For details of the procedure the reader is referred to an earlier report

  16. 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...

  17. Use of biological indicators to evaluate environmental stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Letourneau, C.; Castonguay, J.

    1987-09-01

    This report examines the usefulness of biological analyses for evaluating environmental stress. All forms of stress are addressed; particular attention, however, is paid to the use of biological analyses to evaluate the impact on the environment from radioactive releases of the nuclear industry. First, we will review different biological analyses which are grouped into two approaches: the holistic approach (biotic and diversity indices) and the reductionist approach ('biological indicators' per se). Secondly, we will compare the usefulness of plants and animals as indicators based on the established criteria. This report ends with a compilation of letters received from different organizations which outline the present usage in Canada of biological indicators for evaluating environmental stress

  18. Use of biological indicators for evaluating environmental stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Letourneau, C.; Castonguay, J.

    1988-09-01

    This report examines the usefulness of biological analyses for evaluating environmental stress. All forms of stress are addressed; particular attention, however, is paid to the use of biological analyses to evaluate the impact on the environment from radioactive releases of the nuclear industry. First, we will review different biological analyses which are grouped into two approaches: the holistic approach (biotic and diversity indices) and the reductionist approach ('biological indicators' per se). Secondly, we will compare the usefulness of plants and animals as indicators based on the established criteria. This report ends with a compilation of letters received from different organizations which outline the present use in Canada of biological indicators for evaluating environmental stress

  19. 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

  20. Bacterial membrane vesicles, an overlooked environmental colloid: Biology, environmental perspectives and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyofuku, Masanori; Tashiro, Yosuke; Hasegawa, Yusuke; Kurosawa, Masaharu; Nomura, Nobuhiko

    2015-12-01

    Phospholipid vesicles play important roles in biological systems. Bacteria are one of the most abundant organisms on Earth, and bacterial membrane vesicles (MVs) were first observed 50 years ago. Many bacteria release MVs to the environment that mainly consist of the cell membrane and typically range from 20 to 400 nm in size. Bacterial MVs are involved in several biological functions, such as delivery of cargo, virulence and gene transfer. MVs can be isolated from laboratory culture and directly from the environment, indicating their high abundance in and impact on ecosystems. Many colloidal particles in the environment ranging in size from 1 nm to 1 μm have been reported but not characterized at the molecular level, and MVs remain to be explored. Hence, MVs can be considered terra incognita in environmental colloid research. Although MV biogenesis and biological roles are yet to be fully understood, the accumulation of knowledge has opened new avenues for their applications. Via genetic engineering, the MV yield can be greatly increased, and the components of MVs can be tailored. Recent studies have demonstrated that MVs have promising potential for applications such as drug delivery systems and nanobiocatalysts. For instance, MV vaccines have been extensively studied and have already been approved in Europe. Recent MV studies have evoked great interest in the fields of biology and biotechnology, but fundamental questions, such as their transport in the environment or physicochemical features of MVs, remain to be addressed. In this review, we present the current understanding of bacterial MVs and environmental perspectives and further introduce their applications. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Biological sciences teaching undergraduates’ environmental knowledge: a critical analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana do Nascimento Silva

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, environmental issues have been addressed in a way that goes beyond the natural impacts, embracing socio-economic, political and cultural aspects. This paper makes a description of the types of environmental conceptions, giving special emphasis to the interactions that permeate it, and develops an empirical work by analyzing the conceptions about the environmental knowledge of students majoring in a teacher preparation course on biological sciences of a university in the State of Bahia, Brazil. In a qualitative research, data were collected by application of a questionnaire with open questions with answers in text and drawings. The results revealed a predominance of naturalistic conceptions, while socio-environmental conceptions of systemic or socio-metabolic characteristics were not found. These findings lead to the need for the integration of these critical approaches about the environmental issue in Sciences and Biology teachers’ training, emphasizing the interactions between work, nature and society. Finally, some suggestions also emerge for future research, among which to analyze the biological sciences university teachers’ environmental conceptions and an action-research with these investigated undergraduates concerning environmental critical approaches.

  2. Biological assessment of environmental flows for Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, William L.; Seilheimer, Titus S.; Taylor, Jason M.

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale patterns in fish assemblage structure and functional groups are influenced by alterations in streamflow regime. In this study, we defined an objective threshold for alteration for Oklahoma streams using a combination of the expected range of 27 flow indices and a discriminant analysis to predict flow regime group. We found that fish functional groups in reference flow conditions had species that were more intolerant to flow alterations and preferences for stream habitat and faster flowing water. In contrast, altered sites had more tolerant species that preferred lentic habitat and slower water velocity. Ordination graphs of the presence and functional groups of species revealed an underlying geographical pattern roughly conforming to ecoregions, although there was separation between reference and altered sites within the larger geographical framework. Additionally, we found that reservoir construction and operation significantly altered fish assemblages in two different systems, Bird Creek in central Oklahoma and the Kiamichi River in southeastern Oklahoma. The Bird Creek flow regime shifted from a historically intermittent stream to one with stable perennial flows, and changes in fish assemblage structure covaried with changes in all five components of the flow regime. In contrast, the Kiamichi River flow regime did not change significantly for most flow components despite shifts in fish assemblage structure; however, most of the species associated with shifts in assemblage structure in the Kiamichi River system were characteristic of lentic environments and were likely related more to proximity of reservoirs in the drainage system than changes in flow. The spatial patterns in fish assemblage response to flow alteration, combined with different temporal responses of hydrology and fish assemblage structure at sites downstream of reservoirs, indicate that interactions between flow regime and aquatic biota vary depending on ecological setting. This

  3. Department of Radiation and Environmental Biology - Overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cebulska-Wasilewska, A.

    1999-01-01

    californium 252 neutrons from KAERI source. The third part of our effort concerns an application of different radiation sources for clinical cancer therapy. In cooperation with dr Jacek Capala we have done experiments on Medical Research Reactor in Brookhaven Laboratory. We have also introduced a COMET assay in their laboratory. This is an excellent feeling when both cooperating sides may benefit from co-operation. The year 1998 was also very attractive in the sense of many interesting visits to our Department. All of them we enjoyed a lot. We were honored to host Dr Diana Anderson from BIBRA International, Carshalton, UK. We are happy to see that her visits have become a tradition so much profitable for both our friendship and programs. The end of the year was equally touching as the beginning when X-ray machine had arrived, at the beginning of December, I won myself, a prize from the International Mutagenesis Society for the outstanding presentation; on the 3rd International Conference of Mutagenesis in Human Populations. I really respect both, working issue of the Conference ''Understanding Gene and Environmental Interactions for Disease Prevention'' and a prize itself (Five-year-subscription of International Journal of Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis). Whoop! I am proud of myself and of the people in my Department!!. (author)

  4. Determining environmental causes of biological effects: the need for a mechanistic physiological dimension in conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seebacher, Frank; Franklin, Craig E

    2012-06-19

    The emerging field of Conservation Physiology links environmental change and ecological success by the application of physiological theory, approaches and tools to elucidate and address conservation problems. Human activity has changed the natural environment to a point where the viability of many ecosystems is now under threat. There are already many descriptions of how changes in biological patterns are correlated with environmental changes. The next important step is to determine the causative relationship between environmental variability and biological systems. Physiology provides the mechanistic link between environmental change and ecological patterns. Physiological research, therefore, should be integrated into conservation to predict the biological consequences of human activity, and to identify those species or populations that are most vulnerable.

  5. 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.

  6. African Journal of Applied Zoology and Environmental Biology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The African Journal of Applied Zoology and Environmental Biology (formerly the African Journal of Applied Zoology) was inaugurated to meet the growing need for an indigenous authoritative organ for the dissemination of the results of scientific research into the fauna of Africa. Its scope has been widened and the title ...

  7. Application of radiochemical separation procedures to environmental and biological materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eakins, J D [UKAEA Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell. Environmental and Medical Sciences Div.

    1984-06-15

    The measurement of low levels of radionuclides in environmental and biological materials often depends on separation of the nuclide of interest from a bulky matrix containing interfering radioelements. In such case, however sophisticated and elegant the counting technique, the quality of the final data will

  8. Environmental chemicals and thyroid function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boas, Malene; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla; Skakkebaek, Niels E

    2006-01-01

    . There is substantial evidence that polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins and furans cause hypothyroidism in exposed animals and that environmentally occurring doses affect human thyroid homeostasis. Similarly, flame retardants reduce peripheral thyroid hormone (TH) levels in rodents, but human studies are scarce. Studies...... also indicate thyroid-disruptive properties of phthalates, but the effect of certain phthalates seems to be stimulative on TH production, contrary to most other groups of chemicals. Thyroid disruption may be caused by a variety of mechanisms, as different chemicals interfere with the hypothalamic...

  9. 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

  10. Biological monitoring and selected trends in environmental quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suffern, J.S.; West, D.C.; Kemp, H.T.; Burgess, R.L.

    1976-10-01

    Under a contract with the President's Council on Environmental Quality, the National Inventory of Selected Biological Monitoring Programs at ORNL was used to identify documented environmental trends. Fish population trends were described for the Great Lakes and the Colorado River system. Trends in amphibian populations in the northeast were examined and correlated with acid precipitation. Increases in breeding success among large birds of prey were correlated with reductions in ambient levels of DDT and its residues. Geographic variation in PCB contamination was examined along with differences between aquatic and terrestrial contamination levels. Changes in air quality were documented, and their effects on plant viability were outlined. Trends in the biological effects of environmental deposition of lead were documented. Long-term changes in forest structure in the southeast were presented, and a general reduction in wildlife habitat, associated with land use practices, was documented for several areas in the US

  11. Environmental exposure and altered menstrual function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keye, W.R. Jr.

    1984-01-01

    The impact of environmental agents and occupational factors on hypothalamic and pituitary function and menstruation are poorly understood. To date, most research related to environment, occupation, and reproduction has focused on pregnancy outcome, not menstrual function. It is imperative, however, that menstrual function be considered as an outcome variable in the study of reproduction and occupation.

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluating efficacy of an environmental policy to prevent biological invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Sarah A; Deneau, Matthew G; Jean, Laurent; Wiley, Chris J; Leung, Brian; MacIsaac, Hugh J

    2011-04-01

    Enactment of any environmental policy should be followed by an evaluation of its efficacy to ensure optimal utilization of limited resources, yet measuring the success of these policies can be a challenging task owing to a dearth of data and confounding factors. We examine the efficacy of ballast water policies enacted to prevent biological invasions in the Laurentian Great Lakes. We utilize four criteria to assess the efficacy of this environmental regulation: (1) Is the prescribed management action demonstrably effective? (2) Is the management action effective under operational conditions? (3) Can compliance be achieved on a broad scale? (4) Are desired changes observed in the environment? The four lines of evidence resulting from this analysis indicate that the Great Lakes ballast water management program provides robust, but not complete, protection against ship-mediated biological invasions. Our analysis also indicates that corresponding inspection and enforcement efforts should be undertaken to ensure that environmental policies translate into increased environmental protection. Similar programs could be implemented immediately around the world to protect the biodiversity of the many freshwater ecosystems which receive ballast water discharges by international vessels. This general framework can be extended to evaluate efficacy of other environmental policies.

  14. Growth and development and their environmental and biological determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Rocha Neves, Kelly; de Souza Morais, Rosane Luzia; Teixeira, Romero Alves; Pinto, Priscilla Avelino Ferreira

    2016-01-01

    To investigate child growth, cognitive/language development, and their environmental and biological determinants. This was a cross-sectional, predictive correlation study with all 92 children aged 24-36 months who attended the municipal early childhood education network in a town in the Vale do Jequitinhonha region, in 2011. The socioeconomic profile was determined using the questionnaire of the Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Pesquisa. The socio-demographicand maternal and child health profiles were created through a self-prepared questionnaire. The height-for-age indicator was selected to represent growth. Cognitive/language development was assessed through the Bayley Scale of Infant and Toddler Development. The quality of educational environments was assessed by Infant/Toddler Environment Scale; the home environment was assessed by the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment. The neighborhood quality was determined by a self-prepared questionnaire. A multivariate linear regression analysis was performed. Families were predominantly from socioeconomic class D, with low parental education. The prevalence of stunted growth was 14.1%; cognitive and language development were below average at 28.6% and 28.3%, respectively. Educational institutions were classified as inadequate, and 69.6% of homes were classified as presenting a risk for development. Factors such as access to parks and pharmacies and perceived security received the worst score regarding neighborhood environment. Biological variables showed a greater association with growth and environmental variables with development. The results showed a high prevalence of stunting and below-average results for cognitive/language development among the participating children. Both environmental and biological factors were related to growth and development. However, biological variables showed a greater association with growth, whereas environmental variables were associated with development

  15. Growth and development and their environmental and biological determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly da Rocha Neves

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective To investigate child growth, cognitive/language development, and their environmental and biological determinants. Methods This was a cross-sectional, predictive correlation study with all 92 children aged 24-36 months who attended the municipal early childhood education network in a town in the Vale do Jequitinhonha region, in 2011. The socioeconomic profile was determined using the questionnaire of the Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Pesquisa. The socio-demographicand maternal and child health profiles were created through a self-prepared questionnaire. The height-for-age indicator was selected to represent growth. Cognitive/language development was assessed through the Bayley Scale of Infant and Toddler Development. The quality of educational environments was assessed by Infant/Toddler Environment Scale; the home environment was assessed by the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment. The neighborhood quality was determined by a self-prepared questionnaire. A multivariate linear regression analysis was performed. Results Families were predominantly from socioeconomic class D, with low parental education. The prevalence of stunted growth was 14.1%; cognitive and language development were below average at 28.6% and 28.3%, respectively. Educational institutions were classified as inadequate, and 69.6% of homes were classified as presenting a risk for development. Factors such as access to parks and pharmacies and perceived security received the worst score regarding neighborhood environment. Biological variables showed a greater association with growth and environmental variables with development. Conclusion The results showed a high prevalence of stunting and below-average results for cognitive/language development among the participating children. Both environmental and biological factors were related to growth and development. However, biological variables showed a greater association with growth, whereas

  16. Environmental radiation: basic principles, biological facts, potential risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodemann, H.P.

    2000-01-01

    This book describes the complex processes that underlie the effects of different types of radiation at the cellular, organ and organismic level. Technical terms central to the subject matter are printed in italicize and explained in a glossary along with all physical quantities and dimensional units referred to. Through a systematic presentation of various aspects of the effects of environmental radiation on humans the author has endeavoured to make it clear that any discussion on potential health hazards must be conducted specific to the type of radiation in question. Furthermore, to study these issues meaningfully one must have a knowledge of the scientific basis of interactions between the various types of radiation and biological systems and be able to assess the relative impact of environmental radiation compared with other environmental health hazards

  17. 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…

  18. CADDIS Volume 4. Data Analysis: Predicting Environmental Conditions from Biological Observations (PECBO Appendix)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overview of PECBO Module, using scripts to infer environmental conditions from biological observations, statistically estimating species-environment relationships, methods for inferring environmental conditions, statistical scripts in module.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Molecular Sociology: Further Insights from Biological and Environmental Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahed Jumah Mahmoud Al-Khatib

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study expanded our previous study in which features of molecular sociology were mentioned. In this study, we added the microbial dimensions in which it is thought that religiosity may be impacted by microbes that manipulate brains to create better conditions for their existence. This hypothesis is called “biomeme hypothesis”. We talked about other environmental impacts on human behaviors through three studies in which exposure to lead caused violent behaviors ending with arresting in prisons. By conclusion, the present study has expanded our horizon about interferences on various levels including biological and environmental impacts with our behaviors. Although we are convinced that behavior is a very diverse and complex phenomenon and cannot be understood within certain frame as either biologically or environmentally, but further new insights are possible to participate in better understanding of human behaviors. Many behaviors have their roots in religion, and we showed how religious rituals may be affected by some microbes that make to form a microenvironment within the host for microbial benefits.

  2. 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

  3. Gm crops: between biological risk and environmental and economic benefits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaparro Giraldo, Alejandro

    2011-01-01

    The transgenic crops were the result of the application of recombinant DNA technology in agriculture. These crops were developed by transfer of foreign genes (transgenes) from any biological origin (animal, plant, microbial, viral) to the genome of cultivated species of plants. The crops genetically modified (GM) have been used in the world since 1996; up to December 2010 they counted to a billion hectares planted throughout the period. In just the past year 2010 148 million hectares were planted, grown by 15.4 million farmers in 29 countries. GM crops that are used in global agriculture are mainly soybean, cotton, corn and canola, which express transgenes derived from bacteria, and confer resistance to lepidopteron insects (ILR) or herbicide tolerance (HT; glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium). the first transgenic varieties containing only a single transgene, or simple event, while the current varieties express several transgenes, or stacked, conferring resistance to different species of Lepidoptera and coleopteran insects and tolerance to two different herbicides. In 2010 were planted in Colombia, 18.874 hectares of GM cotton, 16.793 hectares of GM corn, and 4 hectares of GM carnations and GM roses. GM corn and GM cotton were planted in Sucre, Cesar, Cordoba, Huila and Tolima. GM corn was planted in Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Meta, Cundinamarca and Santander. Carnations and roses were planted in Cundinamarca. GM maize and GM cotton expressing ILR and HT features, as simple events or stacked. In the case of GM carnation and GM roses, these genotypes that express the color blue. Academia has tried to organize the debate on the adoption of GM crops around the analysis of biological risks and environmental vs environmental and economic benefits. Biological hazards are defined by the possible negative effects on human consumers or negative effects on the environment. The environmental benefits are related to reduce use of agrochemicals (insecticides and herbicides

  4. Spectrophotometric determination of vanadium in environmental and biological samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rekha, D.; Krishnapriya, B.; Subrahmanyam, P.; Reddyprasad, P.; Dilip Kumar, J.; Chiranjeevi, P.

    2007-01-01

    The method is based on oxidation of p-nitro aniline by vanadium (V) followed by coupling reaction with N-(1-naphthalene-1-y1)ethane-1, 2-diaminedihydrochloride (NEDA) in basic medium of pH 8 to give purple colored derivative. The derivative having an λ max 525nm is stable for 10 days. Beer's law is obeyed for vanadium (V) in the concentration range of 0.03-4.5 μg ml -1 . The proposed method was successfully applied to the analysis of vanadium in environmental and biological samples. (author)

  5. Overview. Department of Radiation and Environmental Biology. Section 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cebulska-Wasilewska, A.

    1995-01-01

    The activities of the Department of Radiation and Environmental Biology in 1994 cover the following goals: application of fission neutrons to cancer therapy, studies on neutron efficiency to induce mutation and chromosomal damage, study on the formula for alteration of the repair process observed in case of gene mutation in TSH assay, investigation of new methods for more accurate measurements of molecular and cellular damage caused by radiation and environmental agents and studies on possible improvement in the application of different radiation sources to clinical cancer therapy. In this section of the Annual Report, the description of the mentioned activities as well as the information about personnel employed in the Department, papers and reports published in 1994, contribution to conferences and grants are also given

  6. 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…

  7. Macro to microfluidics system for biological environmental monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delattre, Cyril; Allier, Cédric P; Fouillet, Yves; Jary, Dorothée; Bottausci, Frederic; Bouvier, Denis; Delapierre, Guillaume; Quinaud, Manuelle; Rival, Arnaud; Davoust, Laurent; Peponnet, Christine

    2012-01-01

    Biological environmental monitoring (BEM) is a growing field of research which challenges both microfluidics and system automation. The aim is to develop a transportable system with analysis throughput which satisfies the requirements: (i) fully autonomous, (ii) complete protocol integration from sample collection to final analysis, (iii) detection of diluted molecules or biological species in a large real life environmental sample volume, (iv) robustness and (v) flexibility and versatility. This paper discusses all these specifications in order to define an original fluidic architecture based on three connected modules, a sampling module, a sample preparation module and a detection module. The sample preparation module highly concentrates on the pathogens present in a few mL samples of complex and unknown solutions and purifies the pathogens' nucleic acids into a few μL of a controlled buffer. To do so, a two-step concentration protocol based on magnetic beads is automated in a reusable macro-to-micro fluidic system. The detection module is a PCR based miniaturized platform using digital microfluidics, where reactions are performed in 64 nL droplets handled by electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) actuation. The design and manufacture of the two modules are reported as well as their respective performances. To demonstrate the integration of the complete protocol in the same system, first results of pathogen detection are shown. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Molecular building blocks and their architecture in biologically/environmentally compatible soft matter chemical machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyota, Taro; Banno, Taisuke; Nitta, Sachiko; Takinoue, Masahiro; Nomoto, Tomonori; Natsume, Yuno; Matsumura, Shuichi; Fujinami, Masanori

    2014-01-01

    This review briefly summarizes recent developments in the construction of biologically/environmentally compatible chemical machinery composed of soft matter. Since environmental and living systems are open systems, chemical machinery must continuously fulfill its functions not only through the influx and generation of molecules but also via the degradation and dissipation of molecules. If the degradation or dissipation of soft matter molecular building blocks and biomaterial molecules/polymers can be achieved, soft matter particles composed of them can be used to realize chemical machinery such as selfpropelled droplets, drug delivery carriers, tissue regeneration scaffolds, protocell models, cell-/tissuemarkers, and molecular computing systems.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Speciation needs in relation with environmental and biological purposes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moulin, V.; Ansoborlo, E.; Bion, L.; Doizi, D.; Moulin, C.; Cote, G.; Madic, C.; Van Der Lee, J.

    2004-01-01

    Radionuclides can occur in the environment either through chronic releases of nuclear facilities, or due to incidents or accidents. In order to study their behaviour in the environment (migration, retention, transfer, and in human organisms (metabolism, retention, excretion), it is of prime importance to know their solution chemistry, and more particularly thermodynamic constants, which will allow to determine their speciation. In fact, speciation governs the migration, the bioavailability and the toxicity of elements. Moreover, this knowledge is also of great interest for decorporation or decontamination purposes. In this framework, a CEA working group on speciation has been created in order to share data both on thermodynamic constants and on speciation analytical methods, interesting chemists, environmentalists and biologists. It has been focused, in a first time, on actinides, namely Th, U, Pu, Am, Np, taking into account their most important oxidation states occurring in environmental or biological environments: Th(IV), U(IV, VI), Pu(III, IV, VI), Am(III), Np(IV, V). A particular attention was devoted to the choice of ligands (inorganic and organic) for being the most representative of environmental and biological media. The thermodynamic database used is BASSIST for Base Applied to Speciation in Solution and at Interfaces and Solubility (developed by CEA), in interaction with the code JCHESS. Different examples will be then presented on the selection of data (thermodynamic constants, ligands of interest) through benchmark exercises (case of U(VI), Am(III), Pu(IV)) which will show the lacks or weakness of knowledge. Speciation diagrams will support these discussions. Moreover, analytical methods to determine thermodynamic constants or direct speciation will also be presented and discussed. (author)

  13. Selenium: environmental significance, pollution, and biological treatment technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Lea Chua; Nancharaiah, Yarlagadda V; van Hullebusch, Eric D; Lens, Piet N L

    2016-01-01

    Selenium is an essential trace element needed for all living organisms. Despite its essentiality, selenium is a potential toxic element to natural ecosystems due to its bioaccumulation potential. Though selenium is found naturally in the earth's crust, especially in carbonate rocks and volcanic and sedimentary soils, about 40% of the selenium emissions to atmospheric and aquatic environments are caused by various industrial activities such as mining-related operations. In recent years, advances in water quality and pollution monitoring have shown that selenium is a contaminant of potential environmental concern. This has practical implications on industry to achieve the stringent selenium regulatory discharge limit of 5μgSeL(-1) for selenium containing wastewaters set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Over the last few decades, various technologies have been developed for the treatment of selenium-containing wastewaters. Biological selenium reduction has emerged as the leading technology for removing selenium from wastewaters since it offers a cheaper alternative compared to physico-chemical treatments and is suitable for treating dilute and variable selenium-laden wastewaters. Moreover, biological treatment has the advantage of forming elemental selenium nanospheres which exhibit unique optical and spectral properties for various industrial applications, i.e. medical, electrical, and manufacturing processes. However, despite the advances in biotechnology employing selenium reduction, there are still several challenges, particularly in achieving stringent discharge limits, the long-term stability of biogenic selenium and predicting the fate of bioreduced selenium in the environment. This review highlights the significance of selenium in the environment, health, and industry and biotechnological advances made in the treatment of selenium contaminated wastewaters. The challenges and future perspectives are overviewed considering recent

  14. 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

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. The Impact of Environmental Mn Exposure on Insect Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yehuda Ben-Shahar

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Manganese (Mn is an essential trace element that acts as a metal co-factor in diverse biochemical and cellular functions. However, chronic environmental exposure to high levels of Mn is a well-established risk factor for the etiology of severe, atypical parkinsonian syndrome (manganism via its accumulation in the basal ganglia, pallidum, and striatum brain regions, which is often associated with abnormal dopamine, GABA, and glutamate neural signaling. Recent studies have indicated that chronic Mn exposure at levels that are below the risk for manganism can still cause behavioral, cognitive, and motor dysfunctions via poorly understood mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels. Furthermore, in spite of significant advances in understanding Mn-induced behavioral and neuronal pathologies, available data are primarily for human and rodents. In contrast, the possible impact of environmental Mn exposure on brain functions and behavior of other animal species, especially insects and other invertebrates, remains mostly unknown both in the laboratory and natural habitats. Yet, the effects of environmental exposure to metals such as Mn on insect development, physiology, and behavior could also have major indirect impacts on human health via the long-term disruptions of food webs, as well as direct impact on the economy because of the important role insects play in crop pollination. Indeed, laboratory and field studies indicate that chronic exposures to metals such as Mn, even at levels that are below what is currently considered toxic, affect the dopaminergic signaling pathway in the insect brain, and have a major impact on the behavior of insects, including foraging activity of important pollinators such as the honey bee. Together, these studies highlight the need for a better understanding of the neuronal, molecular, and genetic processes that underlie the toxicity of Mn and other metal pollutants in diverse animal species, including insects.

  1. Poly(1-vinylimidazole) functionalized magnetic ion imprinted polymer for fast and selective extraction of trace gold in geological, environmental and biological samples followed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Bingshan; He, Man; Chen, Beibei; Xu, Hongrun; Hu, Bin

    2018-05-01

    In this study, poly(1-vinylimidazole) functionalized gold ion imprinted polymer coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs@PVIM-Au-IIP) were prepared and characterized. The adsorption behaviors of the prepared MNPs@PVIM-Au-IIP toward gold ions (Au(III)) were studied, it was found that MNPs@PVIM-Au-IIP has good selectivity, high adsorption capacity (185.4 mg g-1) and fast adsorption kinetic for Au(III). Based on it, a new method of ion imprinted magnetic solid phase extraction (II-MSPE) coupled with graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) detection was proposed for the analysis of trace Au(III) in real samples with complicated matrix. Factors affecting MSPE including sample pH, desorption reagent, elution concentration and volume, elution time, sample volume and adsorption time were optimized. With high enrichment factor of 100-fold, the detection limit of the proposed method is 7.9 ng L-1 for Au(III) with the relative standard deviation of 7.4% (c = 50 ng L-1, n = 7). In order to validate the accuracy of the proposed method, the Certified Reference Material of GBW07293 geological sample (platinpalladium ore) was analyzed, and the determined value was in good agreement with the certified value. The proposed II-MSPE-GFAAS method is simple, fast, selective, sensitive and has been successfully applied in the determination of trace Au in ore, sediment, environmental water and human urine samples with satisfactory results.

  2. A Unifying Mathematical Framework for Genetic Robustness, Environmental Robustness, Network Robustness and their Trade-offs on Phenotype Robustness in Biological Networks. Part III: Synthetic Gene Networks in Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2013-01-01

    Robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are ubiquitous systematic properties that are observed in biological systems at many different levels. The underlying principles for robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are universal to both complex biological systems and sophisticated engineering systems. In many biological networks, network robustness should be large enough to confer: intrinsic robustness for tolerating intrinsic parameter fluctuations; genetic robustness for buffering genetic variations; and environmental robustness for resisting environmental disturbances. Network robustness is needed so phenotype stability of biological network can be maintained, guaranteeing phenotype robustness. Synthetic biology is foreseen to have important applications in biotechnology and medicine; it is expected to contribute significantly to a better understanding of functioning of complex biological systems. This paper presents a unifying mathematical framework for investigating the principles of both robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation for synthetic gene networks in synthetic biology. Further, from the unifying mathematical framework, we found that the phenotype robustness criterion for synthetic gene networks is the following: if intrinsic robustness + genetic robustness + environmental robustness ≦ network robustness, then the phenotype robustness can be maintained in spite of intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic variations, and environmental disturbances. Therefore, the trade-offs between intrinsic robustness, genetic robustness, environmental robustness, and network robustness in synthetic biology can also be investigated through corresponding phenotype robustness criteria from the systematic point of view. Finally, a robust synthetic design that involves network evolution algorithms with desired behavior under intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic variations, and environmental

  3. Consensus values for NIST biological and environmental Standard Reference Materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roelandts, I.; Gladney, E.S.

    1998-01-01

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, formerly the National Bureau of Standards or NBS) has produced numerous Standard Reference Materials (SRM) for use in biological and environmental analytical chemistry. The value listed on the ''NIST Certificate of Analysis'' is the present best estimate of the ''true'' concentration of that element and is not expected to deviate from that concentration by more than the stated uncertainty. However, NIST does not certify the elemental concentration of every constituent and the number of elements reported in the NIST programs tends to be limited.Numerous analysts have published concentration data on these reference materials. Major journals in analytical chemistry, books, proceedings and ''technical reports'' have been surveyed to collect these available literature values. A standard statistical approach has been employed to evaluate the compiled data. Our methodology has been developed in a series of previous papers. Some subjective criteria are first used to reject aberrant data. Following these eliminations, an initial arithmetic mean and standard deviation (S.D.) are computed from remaining data for each element. All data now outside two S.D. from the initial mean are dropped and a second mean and S.D. recalculated. These final means and associated S.D. are reported as ''consensus values'' in our tables. (orig.)

  4. Biological accessibility of Chernobyl radionuclides and aspects of environmental rehabilitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sokolik, G.A.; Leinova, S.L.; Ivanova, T.G.; Duksina, V.V.; Rubinchik, S.Ya.; Zaharenkov, V.V.

    1998-01-01

    The redistribution of 137 Cs, 90 Sr, 239,240 Pu and 241 Am within natural ecosystems and the determination of natural and artificial factors influencing on processes of radionuclide migration on biogeochemical chains were investigated. There are three main directions of investigation. The first of them is to estimate the intensity of self-purification of damaged region soil cover, taking into account landscape, soil, land-use differentiation and also peculiarities of physico-chemical occurrence forms of the radioactive fallout. In particular, the change dynamics of radionuclide physico-chemical state and vertical migration in soil of different genesis were estimated, the soil varieties with high and low rate of radionuclide migration were discovered, the peculiarities of 'hot' particles destruction, the change of their dispersity and structure composition under the influence of natural reagents were studied, the radionuclide bond strength with some components of different soil types was determined. The second problem is to estimate the biological accessibility of radionuclides. In particular, the radionuclide contamination of different components of forest and meadow phytocenoses was investigated, the change of radionuclide accumulation coefficients in system 'soil-plant' was estimated. The third problem is ecological and practice measures for environmental rehabilitation. In particular, the soil self-purification hypothesis in different natural conditions were created and the permissible criterion's of interference in natural processes were developed

  5. FUTURE BIOLOGY TEACHERS’ METHODOLOGICAL TRAINING FOR THE STUDENTS’ ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN UKRAINE AND ABROAD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataliia Hrytsai

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The environmental education is an important element of general education related to the mastery of the scientific principles of interaction between nature and society. The Biology teacher should be prepared to implement the environmental education in Biology lessons at school, to organize the methodologically studying activities for students. The author has been studied different aspects of environmental education in secondary schools of Ukraine and abroad by foreign scientists (N. Andreeva, L. Rybalko, M. Skiba, O. Tsurul, T. Chistiakova. However, until now the content of the biologist-students’ methodological training in schoolchildren’s environmental education has not been studied yet. The purpose of the article is to reveal the contents and features of methodological training of future Biology teachers for the schoolchildren’s environmental education at Ukrainian and foreign Universities. The research methods are the theoretical analysis of scientific literature on the issue, the study of future Biology teachers’ methodological training in Ukraine and abroad, comparisons, generalizations and making conclusions. The article reveals the nature of environmental education, defines its mission and place in future Biology teachers’ training. The author has analysed the curricula of future Biology teachers’ training at the Universities of Ukraine and abroad, the content of teaching courses that include issues of environmental education. The importance of implementing ecological approach into future Biology teachers’ methodological training is emphasized. The author suggests subjects of methodological direction that raise the future Biology teachers’ level for implementing environmental education into secondary schools. It is established that Biology teachers’ proper training to the students’ environmental education as a basic one in high school curricula is necessary for specialty 014 Secondary education (Biology at pedagogical

  6. 76 FR 3076 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Air Potato

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-19

    ...] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Air Potato AGENCY: Animal and... environmental assessment (EA) relative to the control of air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera). The EA considers the... States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of air potato infestations. We are...

  7. 77 FR 46373 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-03

    ...] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid AGENCY... States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of hemlock woolly adelgid... beetle from the western United States, into the eastern United States for use as a biological control...

  8. 75 FR 28232 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-20

    ...] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid AGENCY..., into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of... biological control agent to reduce the severity of hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) infestations. HWA, an...

  9. A biologic approach to environmental assessment and epidemiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Thomas J; Kriebel, David

    2010-01-01

    "Environmental chemical hazards are highly contentious topic in modern life. Nearly every nation on earth has its own environmental crises, and also shares perspectives on the possibility of global catastrophes...

  10. 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.

  11. Development of environmental impact monitoring protocol for offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS): A biological perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Hyewon; Kim, Yong Hoon; Kang, Seong-Gil; Park, Young-Gyu

    2016-01-01

    Offshore geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO_2), known as offshore carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), has been under active investigation as a safe, effective mitigation option for reducing CO_2 levels from anthropogenic fossil fuel burning and climate change. Along with increasing trends in implementation plans and related logistics on offshore CCS, thorough risk assessment (i.e. environmental impact monitoring) needs to be conducted to evaluate potential risks, such as CO_2 gas leakage at injection sites. Gas leaks from offshore CCS may affect the physiology of marine organisms and disrupt certain ecosystem functions, thereby posing an environmental risk. Here, we synthesize current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore CCS with an emphasis on biological aspects and provide suggestions for better practice. Based on our critical review of preexisting literatures, this paper: 1) discusses key variables sensitive to or indicative of gas leakage by summarizing physico-chemical and ecological variables measured from previous monitoring cruises on offshore CCS; 2) lists ecosystem and organism responses to a similar environmental condition to CO_2 leakage and associated impacts, such as ocean acidification and hypercapnia, to predict how they serve as responsive indicators of short- and long-term gas exposure, and 3) discusses the designs of the artificial gas release experiments in fields and the best model simulation to produce realistic leakage scenarios in marine ecosystems. Based on our analysis, we suggest that proper incorporation of biological aspects will provide successful and robust long-term monitoring strategies with earlier detection of gas leakage, thus reducing the risks associated with offshore CCS. - Highlights: • This paper synthesizes the current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). • Impacts of CO_2 leakage (ocean acidification, hypercapnia) on marine

  12. Development of environmental impact monitoring protocol for offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS): A biological perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Hyewon, E-mail: hyewon@ldeo.columbia.edu [Division of Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964 (United States); Kim, Yong Hoon, E-mail: Yong.Kim@rpsgroup.com [RPS ASA, 55 Village Square Drive, South Kingstown, RI 02879 (United States); Kang, Seong-Gil, E-mail: kangsg@kriso.re.kr [Offshore CCS Research Unit, Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering, 32 1312 Beon-gil, Yuseong-daero, Yuseong-gu, Deaejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Young-Gyu, E-mail: ypark@kiost.ac.kr [Ocean Circulation and Climate Change Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, 787 Haeanro, Ansan (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-02-15

    Offshore geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}), known as offshore carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), has been under active investigation as a safe, effective mitigation option for reducing CO{sub 2} levels from anthropogenic fossil fuel burning and climate change. Along with increasing trends in implementation plans and related logistics on offshore CCS, thorough risk assessment (i.e. environmental impact monitoring) needs to be conducted to evaluate potential risks, such as CO{sub 2} gas leakage at injection sites. Gas leaks from offshore CCS may affect the physiology of marine organisms and disrupt certain ecosystem functions, thereby posing an environmental risk. Here, we synthesize current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore CCS with an emphasis on biological aspects and provide suggestions for better practice. Based on our critical review of preexisting literatures, this paper: 1) discusses key variables sensitive to or indicative of gas leakage by summarizing physico-chemical and ecological variables measured from previous monitoring cruises on offshore CCS; 2) lists ecosystem and organism responses to a similar environmental condition to CO{sub 2} leakage and associated impacts, such as ocean acidification and hypercapnia, to predict how they serve as responsive indicators of short- and long-term gas exposure, and 3) discusses the designs of the artificial gas release experiments in fields and the best model simulation to produce realistic leakage scenarios in marine ecosystems. Based on our analysis, we suggest that proper incorporation of biological aspects will provide successful and robust long-term monitoring strategies with earlier detection of gas leakage, thus reducing the risks associated with offshore CCS. - Highlights: • This paper synthesizes the current knowledge on environmental impact monitoring of offshore Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). • Impacts of CO{sub 2} leakage (ocean acidification

  13. 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.

  14. 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) ...

  15. Bigheaded carps : a biological synopsis and environmental risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolar, Cindy S.; Chapman, Duane C.; Courtenay, Walter R.; Housel, Christine M.; Williams, James D.; Jennings, Dawn P.

    2007-01-01

    The book is a detailed risk assessment and biological synopsis of the bigheaded carps of the genus Hypophthalmichthys, which includes the bighead, silver, and largescale silver carps. It summarizes the scientific literature describing their biology, ecology, uses, ecological effects, and risks to the environment.

  16. 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).

  17. Biological and environmental risk factors of children exposed or not to environmental tobacco pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Stenzel de Pina Ferreira

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available We aimed to investigate the biological and environmental risk facotrs of children exposed or not to environmental tobacco pollution (ETP. A cross-sectional study with 670 children of both sexes, aged between eight and 12 years, from schools located in Anápolis (GO. We used an adapted questionnaire directed to parents/guardians. The parents of children of the non-exposed to ETP group (NETP were more educated. The group of children exposed to ETP (EETP had a higher history of respiratory disease. The EETP resides with a smoker, commonly fathers, who smoke up to 20 cigarretes a day. The EETP lived in houses with fewer windows, less air circulation and more registries of mold. The EETP presents more respiratory diseases and unfavourable socioeconomic conditions. Therefore, there is a need for more care for the exposure and the environment where they live. Health professionals and educators should promote protection, education and stimulate the abandonment of parent smoking.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A biologic approach to environmental assessment and epidemiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Thomas J; Kriebel, David

    2010-01-01

    .... The two key fields of study on this issue, environmental epidemiology and exposure assessment, are still given separate names because of their separate historical roots and scientific traditions...

  1. Environmental DNA for wildlife biology and biodiversity monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohmann, Kristine; Evans, Alice; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.

    2014-01-01

    Extraction and identification of DNA from an environmental sample has proven noteworthy recently in detecting and monitoring not only common species, but also those that are endangered, invasive, or elusive. Particular attributes of so-called environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis render it a potent t...

  2. Cognitive Function Related to Environmental Exposure to ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: The towns of Marietta and East Liverpool (EL), Ohio, have been identified as having elevated manganese (Mn) in air due to industrial pollution. Objectives: To evaluate relationships between environmental Mn (Mn-air) exposure and distance from the source and cognitive function in residents of two Ohio towns. Methods: Data were obtained from an EPA-sponsored study comparing two towns exposed to Mn-air (Marietta and EL). A cross-sectional design was used. The same inclusion/exclusion criteria and procedures were applied in the two towns. A neuropsychological screening test battery was administered to study participants (EL=86, Marietta=100) which included Stroop Color Word Test, Animal Naming, Auditory Consonant Trigrams (ACT) and Rey-O. To estimate Mn-air, U.S.EPA’s AERMOD dispersion model was used. Distance from source was calculated based on participants’ residential address and air miles from industrial facility emitting Mn-air. A binary logistic regression model controlling for annual household income was used to examine distance from source and neuropsychological outcomes Results: There were no age, sex, or employment status differences between the two towns. Years education was lower in EL (mean (M)=12.9) than Marietta (M=14.6) and years residency in town were higher in EL (M=47.0) than Marietta (M=36.1). EL participants resided closer to the Mn source than Marietta (M=1.12 vs M=4.75 air miles). Mn-air concentrations were higher in EL (M=0

  3. Genetics and evolution of function-valued traits: understanding environmentally responsive phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, John R; Kirkpatrick, Mark

    2012-11-01

    Many central questions in ecology and evolutionary biology require characterizing phenotypes that change with time and environmental conditions. Such traits are inherently functions, and new 'function-valued' methods use the order, spacing, and functional nature of the data typically ignored by traditional univariate and multivariate analyses. These rapidly developing methods account for the continuous change in traits of interest in response to other variables, and are superior to traditional summary-based analyses for growth trajectories, morphological shapes, and environmentally sensitive phenotypes. Here, we explain how function-valued methods make flexible use of data and lead to new biological insights. These approaches frequently offer enhanced statistical power, a natural basis of interpretation, and are applicable to many existing data sets. We also illustrate applications of function-valued methods to address ecological, evolutionary, and behavioral hypotheses, and highlight future directions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Biological collections and ecological/environmental research: a review, some observations and a look to the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, Graham H; Ehrlich, Paul R

    2010-05-01

    Housed worldwide, mostly in museums and herbaria, is a vast collection of biological specimens developed over centuries. These biological collections, and associated taxonomic and systematic research, have received considerable long-term public support. The work remaining in systematics has been expanding as the estimated total number of species of organisms on Earth has risen over recent decades, as have estimated numbers of undescribed species. Despite this increasing task, support for taxonomic and systematic research, and biological collections upon which such research is based, has declined over the last 30-40 years, while other areas of biological research have grown considerably, especially those that focus on environmental issues. Reflecting increases in research that deals with ecological questions (e.g. what determines species distribution and abundance) or environmental issues (e.g. toxic pollution), the level of research attempting to use biological collections in museums or herbaria in an ecological/environmental context has risen dramatically during about the last 20 years. The perceived relevance of biological collections, and hence the support they receive, should be enhanced if this trend continues and they are used prominently regarding such environmental issues as anthropogenic loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem function, global climate change, and decay of the epidemiological environment. It is unclear, however, how best to use biological collections in the context of such ecological/environmental issues or how best to manage collections to facilitate such use. We demonstrate considerable and increasingly realized potential for research based on biological collections to contribute to ecological/environmental understanding. However, because biological collections were not originally intended for use regarding such issues and have inherent biases and limitations, they are proving more useful in some contexts than in others. Biological

  5. Environmental setting for biological variability at PTEPBN project of West Kalimantan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suwadji, E.; Endrawanto

    1995-01-01

    Biological variability was needed in the arrangement of environmental evaluation study on term of environmental impact assessment. The activity was carried out at PTEPBN project to find out and to predict the environmental setting of outgoing and ongoing project as well as the project operational after post construction. Methods to find out the environmental setting on biological variability were proposed. Based on the observation data on its terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna, it can be concluded that terrestrial flora was found at fair to good value, terrestrial fauna at fair to good whereas aquatic flora and fauna at good. (author). 8 refs, 7 tabs, 1 fig

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Introducing Molecular Biology to Environmental Engineers through Development of a New Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oerther, Daniel B.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces a molecular biology course designed for environmental engineering majors using 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid-targeted technology that allows students to identify and study microorganisms in bioreactor environments. (Contains 17 references.) (YDS)

  11. Biological and environmental characteristics of mangrove habitats from Manori creek, West Coast, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Kulkarni, V.A.; Jagtap, T.G.; Mhalsekar, N.M.; Naik, A.N.

    better mangrove formations. A creek habitat had been evaluated for its biological and environmental characteristics, and is compared with similar but relatively lesser stressed Mandovi estuary (approx. 475 km south of Mumbai). Several evidences...

  12. Merging metagenomics and geochemistry reveals environmental controls on biological diversity and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsop, Eric B; Boyd, Eric S; Raymond, Jason

    2014-05-28

    The metabolic strategies employed by microbes inhabiting natural systems are, in large part, dictated by the physical and geochemical properties of the environment. This study sheds light onto the complex relationship between biology and environmental geochemistry using forty-three metagenomes collected from geochemically diverse and globally distributed natural systems. It is widely hypothesized that many uncommonly measured geochemical parameters affect community dynamics and this study leverages the development and application of multidimensional biogeochemical metrics to study correlations between geochemistry and microbial ecology. Analysis techniques such as a Markov cluster-based measure of the evolutionary distance between whole communities and a principal component analysis (PCA) of the geochemical gradients between environments allows for the determination of correlations between microbial community dynamics and environmental geochemistry and provides insight into which geochemical parameters most strongly influence microbial biodiversity. By progressively building from samples taken along well defined geochemical gradients to samples widely dispersed in geochemical space this study reveals strong links between the extent of taxonomic and functional diversification of resident communities and environmental geochemistry and reveals temperature and pH as the primary factors that have shaped the evolution of these communities. Moreover, the inclusion of extensive geochemical data into analyses reveals new links between geochemical parameters (e.g. oxygen and trace element availability) and the distribution and taxonomic diversification of communities at the functional level. Further, an overall geochemical gradient (from multivariate analyses) between natural systems provides one of the most complete predictions of microbial taxonomic and functional composition. Clustering based on the frequency in which orthologous proteins occur among metagenomes

  13. Identifying the role of conservation biology for solving the environmental crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, Fredrik

    2014-11-01

    Humans are altering their living environment to an extent that could cause environmental collapse. Promoting change into environmental sustainability is therefore urgent. Despite a rapid expansion in conservation biology, appreciation of underlying causes and identification of long-term solutions have largely been lacking. I summarized knowledge regarding the environmental crisis, and argue that the most important contributions toward solutions come from economy, political sciences, and psychology. Roles of conservation biology include providing environmental protection until sustainable solutions have been found, evaluating the effectiveness of implemented solutions, and providing societies with information necessary to align effectively with environmental values. Because of the potential disciplinary discrepancy between finding long-term solutions and short-term protection, we may face critical trade-offs between allocations of resources toward achieving sustainability. Since biological knowledge is required for such trade-offs, an additional role for conservation biologists may be to provide guidance toward finding optimal strategies in such trade-offs.

  14. Water Quality Monitoring: An Environmental Studies Unit for Biology 20/30. Teacher's Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberta Environment, Edmonton. Environmental Education Resources Branch.

    The objective of this environmental studies unit is to establish a water quality monitoring project for high school students in Alberta while simultaneously providing a unit which meets the objectives of the Biology 20 program (and which may also be used in Biology 10 and 30). Through this project, students assist in the collection,…

  15. Water Quality Monitoring: An Environmental Studies Unit for Biology 20/30. Student Manual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberta Environment, Edmonton. Environmental Education Resources Branch.

    The objective of this environmental studies unit is to establish a water quality monitoring project for high school students in Alberta while simultaneously providing a unit which meets the objectives of the Biology 20 program (and which may also be used in Biology 10 and 30). Through this project, students assist in the collection,…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Analytical Methodologies for the Determination of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Biological and Environmental Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoraida Sosa-Ferrera

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Endocrine-disruptor compounds (EDCs can mimic natural hormones and produce adverse effects in the endocrine functions by interacting with estrogen receptors. EDCs include both natural and synthetic chemicals, such as hormones, personal care products, surfactants, and flame retardants, among others. EDCs are characterised by their ubiquitous presence at trace-level concentrations and their wide diversity. Since the discovery of the adverse effects of these pollutants on wildlife and human health, analytical methods have been developed for their qualitative and quantitative determination. In particular, mass-based analytical methods show excellent sensitivity and precision for their quantification. This paper reviews recently published analytical methodologies for the sample preparation and for the determination of these compounds in different environmental and biological matrices by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The various sample preparation techniques are compared and discussed. In addition, recent developments and advances in this field are presented.

  19. Environmental and biological characteristics of high altitude lochs in Scotland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kernan, M.; Brancelj, A.; Clarke, G.; Lami, A.; Raddum, G.; Straškrábová, Viera; Stuchlík, E.; Velle, G.; Ventura, M.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 62, - (2009), s. 379-417 ISSN 1612-166X Grant - others:EU EURO-LIMPACS(CZ) GOCE-CT-2003-505540 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : mountain lakes * species composition * environmental gradients Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  20. the infusion of environmental education into the biology curriculum

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    of environmental education be developed within the foreseeable future. .... he has termed "antecedent conditions evaluation", ... collect information on aspects of pupil behaviour toward aspects of the environment may assist the teacher in the process of context evaluation to .... responses of this group and a control group,.

  1. Application of computational systems biology to explore environmental toxicity hazards

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Audouze, Karine Marie Laure; Grandjean, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Background: Computer-based modeling is part of a new approach to predictive toxicology.Objectives: We investigated the usefulness of an integrated computational systems biology approach in a case study involving the isomers and metabolites of the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT......) to ascertain their possible links to relevant adverse effects.Methods: We extracted chemical-protein association networks for each DDT isomer and its metabolites using ChemProt, a disease chemical biology database that includes both binding and gene expression data, and we explored protein-protein interactions...... using a human interactome network. To identify associated dysfunctions and diseases, we integrated protein-disease annotations into the protein complexes using the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man database and the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database.Results: We found 175 human proteins linked to p,p´-DDT...

  2. Biological, environmental, and social influences on childhood obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, M Karen

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased globally over the past three decades, with evidence of recent leveling off in developed countries. Reduction in the, currently high, prevalence of obesity will require a full understanding of the biological and social pathways to obesity in order to develop appropriately targeted prevention strategies in early life. Determinants of childhood obesity include individual level factors, including biological, social, and behavioral risks, acting within the influence of the child's family environment, which is, in turn, imbedded in the context of the community environment. These influences act across childhood, with suggestions of early critical periods of biological and behavioral plasticity. There is evidence of sex and gender differences in the responses of boys and girls to their environments. The evidence that determinants of childhood obesity act at many levels and at different stages of childhood is of policy relevance to those planning early health promotion and primary prevention programs as it suggests the need to address the individual, the family, the physical environment, the social environment, and social policy. The purpose of this narrative review is to summarize current, and emerging, literature in a multilevel, life course framework.

  3. 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.

  4. Transuranium analysis methodologies for biological and environmental samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wessman, R.A.; Lee, K.D.; Curry, B.; Leventhal, L.

    1978-01-01

    Analytical procedures for the most abundant transuranium nuclides in the environment (i.e., plutonium and, to a lesser extent, americium) are available. There is a lack of procedures for doing sequential analysis for Np, Pu, Am, and Cm in environmental samples, primarily because of current emphasis on Pu and Am. Reprocessing requirements and waste disposal connected with the fuel cycle indicate that neptunium and curium must be considered in environmental radioactive assessments. Therefore it was necessary to develop procedures that determine all four of these radionuclides in the environment. The state of the art of transuranium analysis methodology as applied to environmental samples is discussed relative to different sample sources, such as soil, vegetation, air, water, and animals. Isotope-dilution analysis with 243 Am ( 239 Np) and 236 Pu or 242 Pu radionuclide tracers is used. Americium and curium are analyzed as a group, with 243 Am as the tracer. Sequential extraction procedures employing bis(2-ethyl-hexyl)orthophosphoric acid (HDEHP) were found to result in lower yields and higher Am--Cm fractionation than ion-exchange methods

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Planetary Habitability and Rapid Environmental Change: The Biological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Fairen, A.; Irwin, L.

    2012-12-01

    Environmental conditions can change drastically and rapidly during the natural history of a planetary body. We have detailed evidence of these dramatic events from Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. Most of these occurrences seem to be triggered by astronomical events such as asteroid impacts or supernova explosions; others are triggered by the planet or moon itself (e.g., supervolcano eruptions). The associated question is always how these events affect the habitability of a planet, particularly the origin and presence of life. Under what conditions would such a drastic event be so catastrophic that it would prohibit the origin of life or be so devastating to existing organisms, that life would not be able to recover and be all but extinguished from a planet? Under what conditions would such an event be positive for the evolution of life, for example spurring life via mass extinctions and associated vacant habitats to the invention of new body plans and higher complexity? Here, we provide insights of what we can learn from the natural history of our own planet, which experienced many environmental disasters and abrupt climate changes, from the impact event that created the Moon to the extinction of the dinosaurs. We apply these insights to other planetary bodies and the question about the presence of life. One example is Mars, which underwent drastic environmental changes at the end of the Noachian period. Assuming that microbial life became established on Mars, could it have survived, perhaps by retreating to environmental niches? Life just starting out would have certainly been more vulnerable to extinction. But how far would it have to have evolved to be more resistant to potential extinction events? Would it have to be global in distribution to survive? Another example is Venus. Should Venus be seen as an example where life, which possibly arose in the first few hundred million years when the planet was still in the habitable zone, would have had no chance to

  8. Biological Monitoring Prospects in Occupational and Environmental Medicine

    CERN Document Server

    Angerer, Jürgen

    2003-01-01

    At the invitation of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), a round-table discussion was held on 9 and 10 March 2000, dealing with future possibilities for biomonitoring in occupational and environmental medicine. Biomonitoring has reached a high standard in Germany over the past 30 years, not least due to the fact that the results of the Senate commission on materials hazardous to health at the workplace have been directly implemented as part of the jurisdiction relating to occupational safety. This book combines the expertise gathered from various areas within toxicology, occupational me

  9. Understanding the biological and environmental implications of nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Sijie

    The last two decades have witnessed the discovery, development, and large-scale manufacturing of novel nanomaterials. While nanomaterials bring in exciting and extraordinary properties in all areas of materials, electronics, mechanics, and medicine, they also could generate potential adverse effects in biological systems and in the environment. The currently limited application of nanomaterials in biological and ecological systems results from the insufficient and often controversial data on describing the complex behaviors of nanomaterials in living systems. The purpose of this dissertation intends to fill such a knowledge void with methodologies from the disciplines of biophysics, biology, and materials science and engineering. Chapter 1 of this dissertation provides a comprehensive review on the structures and properties of carbon nanomaterials (CBNMs), metal oxides, and quantum dots (QDs). This chapter also details the state-of-the-art on the biological applications, ecological applications, and toxicity of nanomaterials. With Chapter 1 serving as a background, Chapters 2-5 present my PhD research, an inquiry on the fate of nanomaterials in biological and ecological systems, on the whole organism and cellular levels. Specifically, CBNMs are introduced to rice plant seedlings and the uptake, translocation and generational transfer of fullerene C70 in the plant compartments are imaged and characterized. The interactions between CBNMs and rice plants on the whole organism level are initiated by the binding between CBNMs and natural organic matter (NOM), driven by the transpiration of water from the roots to the leaves of the plants and mediated by both the physiochemical properties of the CBNMs and plant physiology. In Chapter 3, semiconducting nanocrystals quantum dots (QDs) are introduced to green algae Chlamydomonas to probe the interactions of nanomaterials with ecological systems on the cellular level. The adsorption of QDs onto the algal cell wall is

  10. Endocrine disruptors: from Wingspread to environmental developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markey, Caroline M; Rubin, Beverly S; Soto, Ana M; Sonnenschein, Carlos

    2002-12-01

    The production and release of synthetic chemicals into the environment has been a hallmark of the "Second Industrial Revolution" and the "Green Revolution." Soon after the inception of these chemicals, anecdotal evidence began to emerge linking environmental contamination of rivers and lakes with a variety of developmental and reproductive abnormalities in wildlife species. The accumulation of evidence suggesting that these synthetic chemicals were detrimental to wildlife, and potentially humans, as a result of their hormonal activity, led to the proposal of the endocrine disruptor hypothesis at the 1991 Wingspread Conference. Since that time, experimental and epidemiological data have shown that exposure of the developing fetus or neonate to environmentally-relevant concentrations of certain synthetic chemicals causes morphological, biochemical, physiological and behavioral anomalies in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. The ubiquitous use, and subsequent human exposure, of one particular chemical, the estrogen mimic bisphenol A (BPA), is the subject of this present review. We have highlighted this chemical since it provides an arresting model of how chemical exposure impacts developmental processes involved in the morphogenesis of tissues and organs, including those of the male and female reproductive systems, the mammary glands and the brain.

  11. Precision of neutron activation analysis for environmental biological materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamaguchi, Hiroshi; Iwata, Shiro; Koyama, Mutsuo; Sasajima, Kazuhisa; Numata, Yuichi.

    1977-01-01

    Between 1973 and 1974 a special committee ''Research on the application of neutron activation analysis to the environmental samples'' had been organized at the Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University. Eleven research groups composed mainly of the committee members cooperated in the intercomparison programme of the reactor neutron activation analysis of NBS standard reference material, 1571 Orchard Leaves and 1577 Bovine Liver. Five different type of reactors were used for the neutron irradiation; i.e. KUR reactor of the Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, TRIGA MARK II reactor of the Institute for Atomic Energy, Rikkyo University, and JRR-2, JRR-3, JRR-4 reactor of Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. Analyses were performed mainly by instrumental method. Precision of the analysis of 23 elements in Orchard Leaves and 13 elements in Bovine Liver presented by the different research groups was shown in table 4 and 5, respectively. The coefficient of variation for these elements was from several to -- 30 percent. Averages given to these elements agreed well with the NBS certified or reference values. Thus, from the practical point of view for the routine multielement analysis of environmental samples, the validity of the instrumental neutron activation technique for this purpose has been proved. (auth.)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. OXPHOS-Dependent Cells Identify Environmental Disruptors of Mitochondrial Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with numerous chronic diseases including metabolic syndrome. Environmental chemicals can impair mitochondrial function through numerous mechanisms such as membrane disruption, complex inhibition and electron transport chain uncoupling. Curr...

  1. 76 FR 8708 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

    ...] Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a Biological Control Agent... have been prepared by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service relative to a proposed biological... review and analysis of environmental impacts associated with the proposed biological control program...

  2. Environmental-Economic Accounts and Financial Resource Mobilisation for Implementation the Convention on Biological Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Cesare Costantino; Emanuela Recchini

    2015-01-01

    At the Rio “Earth Summit” the Convention on Biological Diversity introduced a global commitment to conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components. An implementation process is going on, based on a strategic plan, biodiversity targets and a strategy for mobilizing financial resources. According to target “2”, by 2020 national accounts should include monetary aggregates related to biodiversity. Environmental accounts can play an important role – together with other i...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. High sensitivity neutron activation analysis of environmental and biological standard reference materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenberg, R.R.; Fleming, R.F.; Zeisler, R.

    1984-01-01

    Neutron activation analysis is a sensitive method with unique capabilities for the analysis of environmental and biological samples. Since it is based upon the nuclear properties of the elements, it does not suffer from many of the chemical effects that plague other methods of analysis. Analyses can be performed either with no chemical treatment of the sample (instrumentally), or with separations of the elements of interest after neutron irradiation (radiochemically). Typical examples of both types of analysis are discussed, and data obtained for a number of environmental and biological SRMs are presented. (author)

  10. o-TOF ICPMS analysis of environmental, food and biological samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krejcova, A.; Cernohorsky, T.; Ludvikova, I.; Pouzar, M.; Capova, L.

    2009-01-01

    Full text: o-TOF ICPMS was used for inorganic analysis of environmental, food and biological samples. The method validity was proved by analysis of spiked samples, reference materials, by determination without/with internal standards and the standard addition technique. The technique was shown to be powerful, and reliable for analysis of the samples mentioned, and high sample throughput enables environmental or biological screening studies. Independent of the number of elements analyzed, complete analysis and whole mass spectra are gained from a small sample amount in a very short time. (author)

  11. Excitation functions and production of arsenic radioisotopes for environmental toxicology and biomedical purposes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basile, D.; Birattari, C.; Bonard, M.; Salomone, A.; Goetz, L.; Sabbioni, E.

    1981-01-01

    Many arsenic radionuclides have come to be used as tracers in biology and in the study of environmental pollution of both water and soil. In nuclear medicine, radioactive 74 As has been employed as a positron emitter for the localization of brain tumors, cerebral occlusive vascular lesions, arterious-venous malformations, etc. The aim of the work described was to study the excitation functions for the production of the arsenic radioisotopes from targets of natural germanium via nuclear reactions (p, xn). (author)

  12. The potential of synthetic biology for improving environmental quality and human health in developing countries

    OpenAIRE

    Fernández-Niño, Miguel; Islam, Zia-ul

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Environmental quality is a major factor in global health that mainly affects the poorest populations. Vector- borne diseases, climate change, pollution and unintentional poisonings are recognized as the primary causes of environmental diseases burden in developing countries. The development and implementation of new technologies to reduce the impact of these risk factors on health in developing countries is a priority in the current research. In this regard, synthetic biology, a near...

  13. A vital legacy: Biological and environmental research in the atomic age

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaughan, D. [ed.

    1997-09-01

    This booklet presents a summary of the five decades of biological and environmental research in the atomic age. It commemorates the contributions to science and society during these decades and concludes with a view to the years ahead. The Contents includes `Safety First: in the Shadow of a New Technology; A Healthy Citizenry: Gifts of the New Era; and Environmental Concerns: From Meteorology to Ecology`. The conclusion is titled `An Enduring Mandate: Looking to the Future`.

  14. A Vital Legacy: Biological and Environmental Research in the Atomic Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-09-01

    This booklet presents a summary of the five decades of biological and environmental research in the atomic age. It commemorates the contributions to science and society during these decades and concludes with a view to the years ahead. The Contents includes Safety First: in the Shadow of a New Technology; A Healthy Citizenry: Gifts of the New Era; and Environmental Concerns: From Meteorology to Ecology. The conclusion is titled An Enduring Mandate: Looking to the Future.

  15. An appraisal of biological responses and network of environmental interactions in non-mining and mining impacted coastal waters

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Fernandes, C.E.G.; Malik, A; Jineesh, V.K.; Fernandes, S.O.; Das, A; Pandey, S.S.; Kanolkar, G.; Sujith, P.P.; Velip, D.; Shaikh, S.; Helekar, S.; Gonsalves, M.J.B.D.; Nair, S.; LokaBharathi, P.A

    iron brought from the hinterlands. We hypothesize that there could be a shift in biological response along with changes in network of interactions between environmental and biological variables in these mining and non-mining impacted regions, lying 160...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 76 FR 4859 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-27

    ... (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). The environmental assessment considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the...) for the Biological Control of Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) in the Continental...

  19. Environmental and biological applications and implications of soft and condensed nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Pengyu

    Recent innovations and growth of nanotechnology have spurred exciting technological and commercial developments of nanomaterails. Their appealing physical and physicochemical properties offer great opportunities in biological and environmental applications, while in the meantime may compromise human health and environmental sustainability through either unintentional exposure or intentional discharge. Accordingly, this dissertation exploits the physicochemical behavior of soft dendritic polymers for environmental remediation and condensed nano ZnO tetrapods for biological sensing (Chapter two-four), and further delineate the environmental implications of such nanomaterials using algae- the major constituent of the aquatic food chain-as a model system (Chapter five). This dissertation is presented as follows. Chapter one presents a general review of the characteristic properties, applications, forces dictating nanomaterials, and their biological and environmental implications of the most produced and studied soft and condensed nanomaterials. In addition, dendritic polymers and ZnO nanomaterials are thoroughly reviewed separately. Chapter two investigates the physicochemical properties of poly(amidoamine)-tris(hydroxymethyl)amidomethane- dendrimer for its potential applications in water purification. The binding mechanisms and capacities of this dendrimer in hosting major environmental pollutants including cationic copper, anionic nitrate, and polyaromatic phenanthrene are discussed. Chapter three exploits a promising use of dendrimers for removal of potentially harmful discharged nanoparticles (NPs). Specifically, fullerenols are used as a model nanomaterial, and their interactions with two different generations of dendrimers are studied using spectrophotometry and thermodynamics methods. Chapter four elucidates two novel optical schemes for sensing environmental pollutants and biological compounds using dendrimer-gold nanowire complex and gold-coated ZnO tetrapods

  20. Smartphones for distributed multimode sensing: biological and environmental sensing and analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feitshans, Tyler; Williams, Robert

    2013-05-01

    Active and Agile Environmental and Biological sensing are becoming obligatory to generate prompt warnings for the troops and law enforcements conducting missions in hostile environments. The traditional static sensing mesh networks which provide a coarse-grained (far-field) measurement of the environmental conditions like air quality, radiation , CO2, etc … would not serve the dynamic and localized changes in the environment, which requires a fine-grained (near-field) sensing solutions. Further, sensing the biological conditions of (healthy and injured) personnel in a contaminated environment and providing a personalized analysis of the life-threatening conditions in real-time would greatly aid the success of the mission. In this vein, under SATE and YATE programs, the research team at AFRL Tec^Edge Discovery labs had demonstrated the feasibility of developing Smartphone applications , that employ a suite of external environmental and biological sensors, which provide fine-grained and customized sensing in real-time fashion. In its current state, these smartphone applications leverage a custom designed modular standalone embedded platform (with external sensors) that can be integrated seamlessly with Smartphones for sensing and further provides connectivity to a back-end data architecture for archiving, analysis and dissemination of real-time alerts. Additionally, the developed smartphone applications have been successfully tested in the field with varied environmental sensors to sense humidity, CO2/CO, wind, etc…, ; and with varied biological sensors to sense body temperature and pulse with apt real-time analysis

  1. Global environmental change and the biology of arbuscular mycorrhizas: gaps and challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitter, A.H.; Heinemeyer, A.; Husband, R.

    2004-01-01

    Our ability to make predictions about the impact of global environmental change on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and on their role in regulating biotic response to such change is seriously hampered by our lack of knowledge of the basic biology of these ubiquitous organisms. Current information...

  2. Using biological effects tools to define Good Environmental Status under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lyons, B.P.; Thain, J.E.; Hylland, K.; Davis, I.; Vethaak, A.D.

    2010-01-01

    The use of biological effects tools offer enormous potential to meet the challenges outlined by the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) whereby Member States are required to develop a robust set of tools for defining 11 qualitative descriptors of Good Environmental Status

  3. Controlled dehydration of a biological sample using an alternative form of environmental SEM

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Neděla, Vilém

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 237, č. 1 (2010), s. 7-11 ISSN 0022-2720 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z20650511 Keywords : biological sample * dehydration * environmental SEM * AQUASEM II * hydration system Subject RIV: JA - Electronics ; Optoelectronics, Electrical Engineering Impact factor: 1.872, year: 2010

  4. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence with synchrotron radiation applied to biological and environmental samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simabuco, S.M.; Matsumoto, E.; Jesus, E.F.O.; Lopes, R.T.; Perez, C.; Nascimento Filho, V.F.; Costa, R.S.S.; Tavares do Carmo, M.G.; Saunders, C.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence has been applied for trace elements in water and aqueous solutions, environmental samples and biological materials after sample preparation and to surface analysis of silicon wafers. The present paper shows some results of applications for rainwater, atmospheric particulate material, colostrum and nuclear samples. (author)

  5. Environmental philosophy 2.0: ethics and conservation biology for the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odenbaugh, Jay

    2014-03-01

    In this essay, I critically engage Sahotra Sarkar's Environmental Philosophy. The several topics include the conceptual foundations of conservation biology and traditional philosophy of science, naturalism and its implications, and ethical theory and specifically the status of human welfare. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The Impact of Different Environmental Conditions on Cognitive Function: A Focused Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Lee; Watkins, Samuel L.; Marshall, Hannah; Dascombe, Ben J.; Foster, Josh

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive function defines performance in objective tasks that require conscious mental effort. Extreme environments, namely heat, hypoxia, and cold can all alter human cognitive function due to a variety of psychological and/or biological processes. The aims of this Focused Review were to discuss; (1) the current state of knowledge on the effects of heat, hypoxic and cold stress on cognitive function, (2) the potential mechanisms underpinning these alterations, and (3) plausible interventions that may maintain cognitive function upon exposure to each of these environmental stressors. The available evidence suggests that the effects of heat, hypoxia, and cold stress on cognitive function are both task and severity dependent. Complex tasks are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat stress, whereas both simple and complex task performance appear to be vulnerable at even at moderate altitudes. Cold stress also appears to negatively impact both simple and complex task performance, however, the research in this area is sparse in comparison to heat and hypoxia. In summary, this focused review provides updated knowledge regarding the effects of extreme environmental stressors on cognitive function and their biological underpinnings. Tyrosine supplementation may help individuals maintain cognitive function in very hot, hypoxic, and/or cold conditions. However, more research is needed to clarify these and other postulated interventions. PMID:26779029

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Modelling of environmental impacts from biological treatment of organic municipal waste in EASEWASTE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boldrin, Alessio; Neidel, Trine Lund; Damgaard, Anders

    2011-01-01

    The waste-LCA model EASEWASTE quantifies potential environmental effects from biological treatment of organic waste, based on mass and energy flows, emissions to air, water, soil and groundwater as well as effects from upstream and downstream processes. Default technologies for composting......, anaerobic digestion and combinations hereof are available in the model, but the user can change all key parameters in the biological treatment module so that specific local plants and processes can be modelled. EASEWASTE is one of the newest waste LCA models and the biological treatment module was built...... partly on features of earlier waste-LCA models, but offers additional facilities, more flexibility, transparency and user-friendliness. The paper presents the main features of the module and provides some examples illustrating the capability of the model in environmentally assessing and discriminating...

  10. Environmental and biological factors influencing Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) vector competence for West Nile Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Stephanie L; Lord, Cynthia C; Pesko, Kendra N; Tabachnick, Walter J

    2010-07-01

    Interactions between environmental and biological factors affect the vector competence of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus for West Nile virus. Three age cohorts from two Cx. p. quinquefasciatus colonies were fed blood containing a low- or high-virus dose, and each group was held at two different extrinsic incubation temperatures (EIT) for 13 days. The colonies differed in the way that they responded to the effects of the environment on vector competence. The effects of mosquito age on aspects of vector competence were dependent on the EIT and dose, and they changed depending on the colony. Complex interactions must be considered in laboratory studies of vector competence, because the extent of the genetic and environmental variation controlling vector competence in nature is largely unknown. Differences in the environmental (EIT and dose) and biological (mosquito age and colony) effects from previous studies of Cx. p. quinquefasciatus vector competence for St. Louis encephalitis virus are discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Environmental and biological controls of urban tree transpiration in the Upper Midwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, E. B.; McFadden, J.; Montgomery, R.

    2009-12-01

    Urban trees provide a variety of ecosystem services to urban and suburban areas, including carbon uptake, climate amelioration, energy reduction, and stormwater management. Tree transpiration, in particular, modifies urban water budgets by providing an alternative pathway for water after rain events. The relative importance of environmental and biological controls on transpiration are poorly understood in urban areas, yet these controls are important for quantifying and scaling up the ecosystem services that urban trees provide at landscape and regional scales and predicting how urban ecosystems will respond to climate changes. The objectives of our study were to quantify the annual cycle of tree transpiration in an urban ecosystem and to determine how different urban tree species and plant functional types respond to environmental drivers. We continuously measured whole-tree transpiration using thermal dissipation sap flow at four urban forest stands that were broadly representative of the species composition and tree sizes found in a suburban residential neighborhood of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota. A total of 40 trees, representing different species, plant functional types, successional stages, and xylem anatomy, were sampled throughout the 2007 and 2008 growing seasons (April-November). At each site we monitored soil moisture, air temperature, and relative humidity continuously, and we measured leaf area index weekly. Urban tree transpiration was strongly correlated with diurnal changes in vapor pressure deficit and photosynthetically active radiation and with seasonal changes in leaf area index. We found that plant functional type better explained species differences in transpiration per canopy area than either successional stage or xylem anatomy, largely due to differences in canopy structure between conifer and broad-leaf deciduous trees. We also observed inter-annual differences in transpiration rates due to a mid-season drought and longer growing

  14. View of environmental radiation effects from the study of radiation biology in C. elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya

    2011-01-01

    Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans is a non-parasitic soil nematode and is well-known as a unique model organism, because of its complete cell-lineage, nervous network and genome sequences. Also, C. elegans can be easily manipulated in the laboratory. These advantages make C. elegans as a good in vivo model system in the field of radiation biology. Radiation effects in C. elegans have been studied for three decades. Here, I briefly review the current knowledge of the biological effects of ionizing irradiation in C. elegans with a scope of environmental radiation effects. Firstly, basic information of C. elegans as a model organism is described. Secondly, historical view is reported on the study of radiation biology in C. elegans. Thirdly, our research on learning behavior is presented. Finally, an opinion of the use of C. elegans for environmental radiation protection is referred. I believe that C. elegans may be a good promising in vivo model system in the field of environmental radiation biology. (author)

  15. 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

  16. Environmental Exposure to Manganese in Air: Associations with Cognitive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manganese (Mn), an essential element, can be neurotoxic in high doses. This cross-sectional study explored the oognitive function of adults residing in two towns (Marietta and East Liverpool, Ohio, USA) identified as having high levels of environmental airborne Mn from indu...

  17. Environmental Hexachlorobenzene exposure and human male reproductive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Specht, Ina Olmer; Bonde, Jens Peter Ellekilde; Toft, Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is a persistent environmental fungicide that may disrupt androgen regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between HCB levels and biomarkers of male reproductive function. 589 Spouses of pregnant women from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine were enroll...

  18. Functional Analytic Multisensory Environmental Therapy for People with Dementia

    OpenAIRE

    Staal, Jason A.

    2012-01-01

    This paper introduces Functional Analytic Multisensory Environmental Therapy (FAMSET) for use with elders with dementia while using a multisensory environment/snoezelen room. The model introduces behavioral theory and practice to the multisensory environment treatment, addressing assessment, and, within session techniques, integrating behavioral interventions with emotion-oriented care. A modular approach is emphasized to delineate different treatment phases for multisensory environment thera...

  19. Biomolecule-Functionalized Smart Polydiacetylene for Biomedical and Environmental Sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Eunae; Jung, Seunho

    2018-01-04

    Polydiacetylene (PDA) has attracted interest for use as a sensing platform in biomedical, environmental, and chemical engineering applications owing to its capacity for colorimetric and fluorescent transition in response to external stimuli. Many researchers have attempted to develop a tailor-made PDA sensor via conjugation of chemical or biological substances to PDA. Here, we review smart bio-conjugates of PDA with various biomolecules such as carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins. In addition, materialization and signal amplification strategies to improve handling and sensitivity are described.

  20. 75 FR 28233 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Asian Citrus Psyllid

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-20

    ...] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Asian Citrus Psyllid AGENCY... radiata, into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity... of an alternative biological control agent, an encyrtid wasp, (Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis). However...

  1. Biological markers in animals can provide information on exposure and bioavailability of environmental contaminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shugart, L.R.; Adams, S.M.; Jimenez, B.D.; Talmage, S.S.; McCarthy, J.F.

    1987-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies of agents present in the environment seek to identify the extent to which they contribute to the causation of a specific toxic, clinical, or pathological endpoint. The multifactorial nature of disease etiology, long latency periods and the complexity of exposure, all contribute to the difficulty of establishing associations and casual relationships between a specific exposure and an adverse outcome. These barriers to studies of exposures and subsequent risk assessment cannot generally be changed. However, the appropriate use of biological markers in animal species living in a contaminated habitat can provide a measure of potential damage from that exposure and, in some instances, act as a surrogate for human environmental exposures. Quantitative predictivity of the effect of exposure to environmental pollutants is being approached by employing an appropriate array of biological end points. 34 refs., 1 fig., 6 tabs

  2. Analytical methodologies for aluminium speciation in environmental and biological samples--a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, S P; Yang, X D; Zhang, F P; Wang, X L; Zou, G W

    2001-08-01

    It is recognized that aluminium (Al) is a potential environmental hazard. Acidic deposition has been linked to increased Al concentrations in natural waters. Elevated levels of Al might have serious consequences for biological communities. Of particular interest is the speciation of Al in aquatic environments, because Al toxicity depends on its forms and concentrations. In this paper, advances in analytical methodologies for Al speciation in environmental and biological samples during the past five years are reviewed. Concerns about the specific problems of Al speciation and highlights of some important methods are elucidated in sections devoted to hybrid techniques (HPLC or FPLC coupled with ET-AAS, ICP-AES, or ICP-MS), flow-injection analysis (FIA), nuclear magnetic resonance (27Al NMR), electrochemical analysis, and computer simulation. More than 130 references are cited.

  3. Genes and pathways underlying susceptibility to impaired lung function in the context of environmental tobacco smoke exposure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    K. de Jong (Kim); J.M. Vonk (Judith); M. Imboden (Medea); L. Lahousse (Lies); A. Hofman (Albert); G.G. Brusselle (Guy); N.M. Probst-Hensch (Nicole M.); D.S. Postma (Dirkje); H.M. Boezen (Marike)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Studies aiming to assess genetic susceptibility for impaired lung function levels upon exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) have thus far focused on candidate-genes selected based on a-priori knowledge of potentially relevant biological pathways, such as glutathione

  4. 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

  5. Method for the concentration and separation of actinides from biological and environmental samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horwitz, E.P.; Dietz, M.L.

    1989-01-01

    A method and apparatus for the quantitative recover of actinide values from biological and environmental sample by passing appropriately prepared samples in a mineral acid solution through a separation column of a dialkyl(phenyl)-N,N-dialylcarbamoylmethylphosphine oxide dissolved in tri-n-butyl phosphate on an inert substrate which selectively extracts the actinide values. The actinide values can be eluted either as a group or individually and their presence quantitatively detected by alpha counting. 3 figs

  6. Some environmental and biological factors influencing the activity of entomopathogenic Bacillus on mosquito larvae in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. G. B Consoli

    1995-02-01

    Full Text Available The influence of environmental and biological factors on the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis and B. sphaericus as mosquito larvicides are reviewed. The importance of strain dependence, cultivating media/methods, mosquito species/specificity, formulations and their relation to mosquito feeding habits, as well as temperature, solar exposure, larval density and concomitant presence of other aquatic organisms are addressed with reference to the present status of knowledge in Brazil.

  7. Molecular Biology for the Environment: an EC-US hands-on Course in Environmental Biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Victor de Lorenzo; Juan Luis Ramos; Jerome Kukor; Gerben J. Zylstra

    2004-02-15

    One of the central goals of this activity is to bring together young scientists (at the late Ph.D. or early postdoctoral stages of their careers) in a forum that should result in future collaborations. The course is designed to give scientists hands-on experience in modern, up-to-date biotechnological methods at the interface between molecular biology and environmental biotechnology for the analysis of microorganisms and their activities with regard to the remediation of pollutants in the environment.

  8. Integrated Omics in Systems Biology: The New Frontier for Environmental Biotechnology

    OpenAIRE

    Hazen, Terry C.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental biotechnology encompasses a wide range of characterization, monitoring and control for bioenergy and bioremediation technologies that are based on biological processes. Recent breakthroughs in our understanding of biogeochemical processes and genomics are leading to exciting new and cost effective ways to monitor and manipulate the environment and potentially produce bioenergy fuels as we also cleanup the environment. Indeed, our ability to sequence an entire microbial genome in...

  9. Integrated omics in systems biology: The new frontier for environmental biotechnology, ecology, and evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hazen, Terry C.

    2006-01-01

    Environmental biotechnology encompasses a wide range of characterization, monitoring and control or remediation technologies that are based on biological processes. Recent breakthroughs in our understanding of biogeochemical processes and genomics are leading to exciting new and cost effective ways to monitor and manipulate the environment. Indeed, our ability to sequence an entire microbial genome in just a few hours is leading to similar breakthroughs in characterizing proteomes, metabolome...

  10. Proposal for a biological environmental monitoring approach to be used in libraries and archives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasquarella, Cesira; Saccani, Elisa; Sansebastiano, Giuliano Ezio; Ugolotti, Manuela; Pasquariello, Giovanna; Albertini, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    In cultural-heritage-related indoor environments, biological particles represent a hazard not only for cultural property, but also for operators and visitors. Reliable environmental monitoring methods are essential for examining each situation and assessing the effectiveness of preventive measures. We propose an integrated approach to the study of biological pollution in indoor environments such as libraries and archives. This approach includes microbial air and surface sampling, as well as an investigation of allergens and pollens. Part of this monitoring plan has been applied at the Palatina Library in Parma, Italy. However, wider collections of data are needed to fully understand the phenomena related with biological contamination, define reliable contamination threshold values, and implement appropriate preventive measures.

  11. Environmental and biological monitoring in the estimation of absorbed doses of pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aprea, Maria Cristina

    2012-04-25

    Exposure to pesticides affects most of the population, not only persons occupationally exposed. In a context of high variability of exposure, biological monitoring is important because of the various routes by which exposure can occur and because it assesses both occupational and non-occupational exposure. The main aim of this paper was to critically compare estimates of absorbed dose measured by environmental and biological monitoring in situations in which they could both be applied. The combination of exposure measurements and biological monitoring was found to provide extremely important information on the behaviour of employees, and on the proper use and effectiveness of personal protection equipment. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The effects of environmental chemicals on renal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kataria, Anglina; Trasande, Leonardo; Trachtman, Howard

    2015-10-01

    The global incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing among individuals of all ages. Despite advances in proteomics, genomics and metabolomics, there remains a lack of safe and effective drugs to reverse or stabilize renal function in patients with glomerular or tubulointerstitial causes of CKD. Consequently, modifiable risk factors that are associated with a progressive decline in kidney function need to be identified. Numerous reports have documented the adverse effects that occur in response to graded exposure to a wide range of environmental chemicals. This Review summarizes the effects of such chemicals on four aspects of cardiorenal function: albuminuria, glomerular filtration rate, blood pressure and serum uric acid concentration. We focus on compounds that individuals are likely to be exposed to as a consequence of normal consumer activities or medical treatment, namely phthalates, bisphenol A, polyfluorinated alkyl acids, dioxins and furans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls. Environmental exposure to these chemicals during everyday life could have adverse consequences on renal function and might contribute to progressive cumulative renal injury over a lifetime. Regulatory efforts should be made to limit individual exposure to environmental chemicals in an attempt to reduce the incidence of cardiorenal disease.

  13. Grand Challenges for Biological and Environmental Research: A Long-Term Vision

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arkin, A.; Baliga, N.; Braam, J.; Church, G.; Collins, J; ; Cottingham, R.; Ecker, J.; Gerstein, M.; Gilna, P.; Greenberg, J.; Handelsman, J.; Hubbard, S.; Joachimiak, A.; Liao, J.; Looger, L.; Meyerowitz, E.; Mjolness, E.; Petsko, G.; Sayler, G.; Simpson, M.; Stacey, G.; Sussman, M.; Tiedje, J.; Bader, D.; Cessi, P.; Collins, W.; Denning, S.; Dickinson, R.; Easterling, D.; Edmonds, J.; Feddema, J.; Field, C.; Fridlind, A.; Fung, I.; Held, I.; Jackson, R.; Janetos, A.; Large, W.; Leinen, M.; Leung, R.; Long, S.; Mace, G.; Masiello, C.; Meehl, G.; Ort, D.; Otto-Bliesner, B.; Penner, J.; Prather, M.; Randall, D.; Rasch, P.; Schneider, E.; Shugart, H.; Thornton, P.; Washington, W.; Wildung, R.; Wiscombe, W.; Zak, D.; Zhang, M.; Bielicki, J.; Buford, M.; Cleland, E.; Dale, V.; Duke, C.; Ehleringer, J.; Hecht, A.; Kammen, D.; Marland, G.; Pataki, D.; Riley, M. Robertson, P.; Hubbard, S.

    2010-12-01

    The interactions and feedbacks among plants, animals, microbes, humans, and the environment ultimately form the world in which we live. This world is now facing challenges from a growing and increasingly affluent human population whose numbers and lifestyles are driving ever greater energy demand and impacting climate. These and other contributing factors will make energy and climate sustainability extremely difficult to achieve over the 20-year time horizon that is the focus of this report. Despite these severe challenges, there is optimism that deeper understanding of our environment will enable us to mitigate detrimental effects, while also harnessing biological and climate systems to ensure a sustainable energy future. This effort is advanced by scientific inquiries in the fields of atmospheric chemistry and physics, biology, ecology, and subsurface science - all made possible by computing. The Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) within the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science has a long history of bringing together researchers from different disciplines to address critical national needs in determining the biological and environmental impacts of energy production and use, characterizing the interplay of climate and energy, and collaborating with other agencies and DOE programs to improve the world's most powerful climate models. BER science focuses on three distinct areas: (1) What are the roles of Earth system components (atmosphere, land, oceans, sea ice, and the biosphere) in determining climate? (2) How is the information stored in a genome translated into microbial, plant, and ecosystem processes that influence biofuel production, climate feedbacks, and the natural cycling of carbon? (3) What are the biological, geochemical, and physical forces that govern the behavior of Earth's subsurface environment? Ultimately, the goal of BER science is to support experimentation and modeling that can reliably predict the

  14. 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.

  15. The role of environmental variables on Aedes albopictus biology and chikungunya epidemiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldock, Joanna; Chandra, Nastassya L; Lelieveld, Jos; Proestos, Yiannis; Michael, Edwin; Christophides, George; Parham, Paul E

    2013-01-01

    Aedes albopictus is a vector of dengue and chikungunya viruses in the field, along with around 24 additional arboviruses under laboratory conditions. As an invasive mosquito species, Ae. albopictus has been expanding in geographical range over the past 20 years, although the poleward extent of mosquito populations is limited by winter temperatures. Nonetheless, population densities depend on environmental conditions and since global climate change projections indicate increasing temperatures and altered patterns of rainfall, geographic distributions of previously tropical mosquito species may change. Although mathematical models can provide explanatory insight into observed patterns of disease prevalence in terms of epidemiological and entomological processes, understanding how environmental variables affect transmission is possible only with reliable model parameterisation, which, in turn, is obtained only through a thorough understanding of the relationship between mosquito biology and environmental variables. Thus, in order to assess the impact of climate change on mosquito population distribution and regions threatened by vector-borne disease, a detailed understanding (through a synthesis of current knowledge) of the relationship between climate, mosquito biology, and disease transmission is required, but this process has not yet been undertaken for Ae. albopictus. In this review, the impact of temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity on Ae. albopictus development and survival are considered. Existing Ae. albopictus populations across Europe are mapped with current climatic conditions, considering whether estimates of climatic cutoffs for Ae. albopictus are accurate, and suggesting that environmental thresholds must be calibrated according to the scale and resolution of climate model outputs and mosquito presence data. PMID:23916332

  16. Low environmental radiation background impairs biological defence of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to chemical radiomimetic agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Satta, L.; Augusti-Tocco, G.; Ceccarelli, R.; Paggi, P.; Scarsella, G.; Esposito, A.; Fiore, M.; Poggesi, I.; Ricordy, R.; Cundari, E.

    1995-01-01

    Background radiation is likely to constitute one of the factors involved in biological evolution since radiations are able to affect biological processes. Therefore, it is possible to hypothesize that organisms are adapted to environmental background radiation and that this adaptation could increase their ability to respond to the harmful effects of ionizing radiations. In fact, adaptive responses to alkylating agents and to low doses of ionizing radiation have been found in many organisms. In order to test for effects of adaptation, cell susceptibility to treatments with high doses of radiomimetic chemical agents has been studied by growing them in a reduced environmental radiation background. The experiment has been performed by culturing yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae D7) in parallel in a standard background environment and in the underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory, with reduced environmental background radiation. After a conditioning period, yeast cells were exposed to recombinogenic doses of methyl methanesulfonate. The yeast cells grown in the Gran Sasso Laboratory showed a higher frequency of radiomimetic induced recombination as compared to those grown in the standard environment. This suggests that environmental radiation may act as a conditioning agent

  17. Environmental Stress Responses and Biological Interactions Investigated in the Drosophila Model System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørsted, Michael

    on their ability to respond on a behavioral, physiological, morphological and/or evolutionary level according to the environmental cues. At the same time, if populations are small and fragmented, and have limited gene flow, environmental change and environmental stress might interact with intrinsic genetic stress...... such as inbreeding and genetic drift, which can exacerbate the effects of one or more environmental stresses. Furthermore, inbred populations often have low genetic variation that might constrain evolutionary responses to rapidly changing environments. This thesis investigates how, and to what extent, insect model......When organisms are faced with changes in their environment, they are forced to respond, if they are to maintain optimal function. Especially ectotherms must deal with environmental changes in e.g. temperature on a regular basis, and thus their survival and reproductive success depend...

  18. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering detection of silver nanoparticles in environmental and biological samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Huiyuan [Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States); Xing, Baoshan, E-mail: bx@umass.edu [Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States); Hamlet, Leigh C.; Chica, Andrea [Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States); He, Lili, E-mail: lilihe@foodsci.umass.edu [Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States)

    2016-06-01

    Growing concerns over the potential release and threat of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to environmental and biological systems urge researchers to investigate their fate and behavior. However, current analytical techniques cannot meet the requirements for rapidly, sensitively and reliably probing AgNPs in complex matrices. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has shown great capability for rapid detection of AgNPs based on an indicator molecule that can bind on the AgNP surface. The objective of this study was to exploit SERS to detect AgNPs in environmental and biological samples through optimizing the Raman indicator for SERS. Seven indicator molecules were selected and determined to obtain their SERS signals at optimal concentrations. Among them, 1,2-di(4-pyridyl)ethylene (BPE), crystal violet and ferric dimethyl-dithiocarbamate (ferbam) produced the highest SERS intensities. Further experiments on binding competition between each two of the three candidates showed that ferbam had the highest AgNPs-binding ability. The underlying mechanism lies in the strong binding affinity of ferbam with AgNPs via multiple sulfur atoms. We further validated ferbam to be an effective indicator for SERS detection of as low as 0.1 mg/L AgNPs in genuine surface water and 0.57 mg/L in spinach juice. Moreover, limited interference on SERS detection of AgNPs was found from environmentally relevant inorganic ions, organic matter, inorganic particles, as well as biologically relevant components, demonstrating the ferbam-assisted SERS is an effective and sensitive method to detect AgNPs in complex environmental and biological samples. - Graphical abstract: SERS signal intensity of ferbam indicates the concentration of AgNPs. - Highlights: • Ferbam was found to be the best indicator for SERS detection of AgNPs. • SERS was able to detect AgNPs in both environmental and biological samples. • Major components in the two matrices had limited effect on AgNP detection.

  19. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering detection of silver nanoparticles in environmental and biological samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Huiyuan; Xing, Baoshan; Hamlet, Leigh C.; Chica, Andrea; He, Lili

    2016-01-01

    Growing concerns over the potential release and threat of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to environmental and biological systems urge researchers to investigate their fate and behavior. However, current analytical techniques cannot meet the requirements for rapidly, sensitively and reliably probing AgNPs in complex matrices. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has shown great capability for rapid detection of AgNPs based on an indicator molecule that can bind on the AgNP surface. The objective of this study was to exploit SERS to detect AgNPs in environmental and biological samples through optimizing the Raman indicator for SERS. Seven indicator molecules were selected and determined to obtain their SERS signals at optimal concentrations. Among them, 1,2-di(4-pyridyl)ethylene (BPE), crystal violet and ferric dimethyl-dithiocarbamate (ferbam) produced the highest SERS intensities. Further experiments on binding competition between each two of the three candidates showed that ferbam had the highest AgNPs-binding ability. The underlying mechanism lies in the strong binding affinity of ferbam with AgNPs via multiple sulfur atoms. We further validated ferbam to be an effective indicator for SERS detection of as low as 0.1 mg/L AgNPs in genuine surface water and 0.57 mg/L in spinach juice. Moreover, limited interference on SERS detection of AgNPs was found from environmentally relevant inorganic ions, organic matter, inorganic particles, as well as biologically relevant components, demonstrating the ferbam-assisted SERS is an effective and sensitive method to detect AgNPs in complex environmental and biological samples. - Graphical abstract: SERS signal intensity of ferbam indicates the concentration of AgNPs. - Highlights: • Ferbam was found to be the best indicator for SERS detection of AgNPs. • SERS was able to detect AgNPs in both environmental and biological samples. • Major components in the two matrices had limited effect on AgNP detection.

  20. A "weight of evidence" approach for the integration of environmental "triad" data to assess ecological risk and biological vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino, Alessandro; Sforzini, Susanna; Dondero, Francesco; Fenoglio, Stefano; Bona, Elisa; Jensen, John; Viarengo, Aldo

    2008-07-01

    A new Expert Decision Support System (EDSS) that can integrate Triad data for assessing environmental risk and biological vulnerability at contaminated sites has been developed. Starting with ecosystem relevance, the EDSS assigns different weights to the results obtained from Triad disciplines. The following parameters have been employed: 1) chemical soil analyses (revealing the presence of potentially dangerous substances), 2) ecotoxicological bioassays (utilizing classical endpoints such as survival and reproduction rates), 3) biomarkers (showing sublethal pollutant effects), and 4) ecological parameters (assessing changes in community structure and functions). For each Triad discipline, the EDSS compares the data obtained at the studied field sites with reference values and calculates different 0-1 indexes (e.g., Chemical Risk Index, Ecotoxicological Risk Index, and Ecological Risk Index). The EDSS output consists of 3 indexes: 1) Environmental Risk index (EnvRI), quantifying the levels of biological damage at population-community level, 2) Biological Vulnerability Index (BVI), assessing the potential threats to biological equilibriums, and 3) Genotoxicity Index (GTI), screening genotoxicity effects. The EDSS has been applied in the integration of a battery of Triad data obtained during the European Union-funded Life Intervention in the Fraschetta Area (LINFA) project, which has been carried out in order to estimate the potential risk from soils of a highly anthropized area (Alessandria, Italy) mainly impacted by deposition of atmospheric pollutants. Results obtained during 4 seasonal sampling campaigns (2004-2005) show maximum values of EnvRI in sites A and B (characterized by industrial releases) and lower levels in site D (affected by vehicular traffic emissions). All 3 potentially polluted sites have shown high levels of BVI and GTI, suggesting a general change from reference conditions (site C).

  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. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. Global transcriptomic analysis suggests carbon dioxide as an environmental stressor in spaceflight: A systems biology GeneLab case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Afshin; Cekanaviciute, Egle; Smith, David J; Costes, Sylvain V

    2018-03-08

    Spaceflight introduces a combination of environmental stressors, including microgravity, ionizing radiation, changes in diet and altered atmospheric gas composition. In order to understand the impact of each environmental component on astronauts it is important to investigate potential influences in isolation. Rodent spaceflight experiments involve both standard vivarium cages and animal enclosure modules (AEMs), which are cages used to house rodents in spaceflight. Ground control AEMs are engineered to match the spaceflight environment. There are limited studies examining the biological response invariably due to the configuration of AEM and vivarium housing. To investigate the innate global transcriptomic patterns of rodents housed in spaceflight-matched AEM compared to standard vivarium cages we utilized publicly available data from the NASA GeneLab repository. Using a systems biology approach, we observed that AEM housing was associated with significant transcriptomic differences, including reduced metabolism, altered immune responses, and activation of possible tumorigenic pathways. Although we did not perform any functional studies, our findings revealed a mild hypoxic phenotype in AEM, possibly due to atmospheric carbon dioxide that was increased to match conditions in spaceflight. Our investigation illustrates the process of generating new hypotheses and informing future experimental research by repurposing multiple space-flown datasets.

  7. Biological and environmental reference materials for trace elements, nuclides and organic microcontaminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes Toro, E.; Parr, R.M.; Clements, S.A.

    1990-01-01

    This report has been produced from a database on analytical reference materials of biological and environmental origin, which is maintained at the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is an updated version of an earlier report, published in 1985, which focussed mainly on reference materials for trace elements. In the present version of the report, reference materials for trace elements still constitute the major part of the data; however, information is also now included on a number of other selected analytes of relevance to IAEA programmes, i.e. radionuclides, stable isotopes and organic microcontaminants. The database presently contains 2,694 analyte values for 117 analytes in 116 biological and 77 environmental (non-biological) reference materials produced by 20 different suppliers. Additional information on the cost of the material, the unit size supplied, (weight or volume), and the minimum weight of material recommended for analysis is also provided (if available to the authors). It is expected that this report will help analysts to select the reference material that matches as closely as possible, with respect to matrix type and concentrations of the analytes of interest, the ''real'' samples that are to be analysed. Refs, 12 tabs

  8. 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.

  9. 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 .

  10. MECHANISTIC INDICATORS OF CHILDHOOD ASTHMA (MICA): A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH FOR THE INTEGRATION OF MULTIFACTORIAL EXPOSURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DATA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modem methods in molecular biology and advanced computational tools show promise in elucidating complex interactions that occur between genes and environmental factors in diseases such as asthma. However, appropriately designed studies are critical for these methods to reach the...

  11. 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)

  12. Impact of environmental factors and biological soil crust types on soil respiration in a desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Wei; Zhang, Yuqing; Jia, Xin; Wu, Bin; Zha, Tianshan; Qin, Shugao; Wang, Ben; Shao, Chenxi; Liu, Jiabin; Fa, Keyu

    2014-01-01

    The responses of soil respiration to environmental conditions have been studied extensively in various ecosystems. However, little is known about the impacts of temperature and moisture on soils respiration under biological soil crusts. In this study, CO2 efflux from biologically-crusted soils was measured continuously with an automated chamber system in Ningxia, northwest China, from June to October 2012. The highest soil respiration was observed in lichen-crusted soil (0.93 ± 0.43 µmol m-2 s-1) and the lowest values in algae-crusted soil (0.73 ± 0.31 µmol m-2 s-1). Over the diurnal scale, soil respiration was highest in the morning whereas soil temperature was highest in the midday, which resulted in diurnal hysteresis between the two variables. In addition, the lag time between soil respiration and soil temperature was negatively correlated with the soil volumetric water content and was reduced as soil water content increased. Over the seasonal scale, daily mean nighttime soil respiration was positively correlated with soil temperature when moisture exceeded 0.075 and 0.085 m3 m-3 in lichen- and moss-crusted soil, respectively. However, moisture did not affect on soil respiration in algae-crusted soil during the study period. Daily mean nighttime soil respiration normalized by soil temperature increased with water content in lichen- and moss-crusted soil. Our results indicated that different types of biological soil crusts could affect response of soil respiration to environmental factors. There is a need to consider the spatial distribution of different types of biological soil crusts and their relative contributions to the total C budgets at the ecosystem or landscape level.

  13. Impact of Environmental Factors and Biological Soil Crust Types on Soil Respiration in a Desert Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Wei; Zhang, Yuqing; Jia, Xin; Wu, Bin; Zha, Tianshan; Qin, Shugao; Wang, Ben; Shao, Chenxi; Liu, Jiabin; Fa, Keyu

    2014-01-01

    The responses of soil respiration to environmental conditions have been studied extensively in various ecosystems. However, little is known about the impacts of temperature and moisture on soils respiration under biological soil crusts. In this study, CO2 efflux from biologically-crusted soils was measured continuously with an automated chamber system in Ningxia, northwest China, from June to October 2012. The highest soil respiration was observed in lichen-crusted soil (0.93±0.43 µmol m−2 s−1) and the lowest values in algae-crusted soil (0.73±0.31 µmol m−2 s−1). Over the diurnal scale, soil respiration was highest in the morning whereas soil temperature was highest in the midday, which resulted in diurnal hysteresis between the two variables. In addition, the lag time between soil respiration and soil temperature was negatively correlated with the soil volumetric water content and was reduced as soil water content increased. Over the seasonal scale, daily mean nighttime soil respiration was positively correlated with soil temperature when moisture exceeded 0.075 and 0.085 m3 m−3 in lichen- and moss-crusted soil, respectively. However, moisture did not affect on soil respiration in algae-crusted soil during the study period. Daily mean nighttime soil respiration normalized by soil temperature increased with water content in lichen- and moss-crusted soil. Our results indicated that different types of biological soil crusts could affect response of soil respiration to environmental factors. There is a need to consider the spatial distribution of different types of biological soil crusts and their relative contributions to the total C budgets at the ecosystem or landscape level. PMID:25050837

  14. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: facts, environmental contamination, possible biological effects, and countermeasures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzai, Kazunori; Ban, Nobuhiko; Ozawa, Toshihiko; Tokonami, Shinji

    2012-01-01

    On March 11, 2011, an earthquake led to major problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A 14-m high tsunami triggered by the earthquake disabled all AC power to Units 1, 2, and 3 of the Power Plant, and carried off fuel tanks for emergency diesel generators. Despite many efforts, cooling systems did not work and hydrogen explosions damaged the facilities, releasing a large amount of radioactive material into the environment. In this review, we describe the environmental impact of the nuclear accident, and the fundamental biological effects, acute and late, of the radiation. Possible medical countermeasures to radiation exposure are also discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Neptunium-the neglected actinide: a review of the biological and environmental literature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, R.C.

    1982-01-01

    Data from 89 references relating to the biological and environmental behavior of neptunium are reviewed with particular attention to the potential risks from possible releases of neptunium isotopes by the nuclear industry. The behavior of neptunium differs in many significant respects from that of other transuranic elements. It is more mobile environmentally and more readily absorbed by man, although some of the higher reported values for gastrointestinal absorption appear to have been influenced by the very high mass levels of 237 Np required for experimental study. In studies with experimental animals its ratio of deposition in bone/liver is greater than that of other transuranic elements. Its long-term toxicity in experimental animals is similar to that of other transuranics

  18. 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/.

  19. Functional analytic multisensory environmental therapy for people with dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staal, Jason A

    2012-01-01

    This paper introduces Functional Analytic Multisensory Environmental Therapy (FAMSET) for use with elders with dementia while using a multisensory environment/snoezelen room. The model introduces behavioral theory and practice to the multisensory environment treatment, addressing assessment, and, within session techniques, integrating behavioral interventions with emotion-oriented care. A modular approach is emphasized to delineate different treatment phases for multisensory environment therapy. The aim of the treatment is to provide a safe and effective framework for reducing the behavioral disturbance of the disease process, increasing elder well-being, and to promote transfer of positive effects to other environments outside of the multisensory treatment room.

  20. Functional Analytic Multisensory Environmental Therapy for People with Dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason A. Staal

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces Functional Analytic Multisensory Environmental Therapy (FAMSET for use with elders with dementia while using a multisensory environment/snoezelen room. The model introduces behavioral theory and practice to the multisensory environment treatment, addressing assessment, and, within session techniques, integrating behavioral interventions with emotion-oriented care. A modular approach is emphasized to delineate different treatment phases for multisensory environment therapy. The aim of the treatment is to provide a safe and effective framework for reducing the behavioral disturbance of the disease process, increasing elder well-being, and to promote transfer of positive effects to other environments outside of the multisensory treatment room.

  1. 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, ...

  2. 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

  3. Objective function for the environmental assessment of waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toy, A.J.; Boegel, J.; Cohen, J.J.

    1976-01-01

    Various waste management systems were examined in order to determine what the environmental impacts might be and to rank the relative importance of those impacts. This examination determined that radiation dose to man was the most significant, and probably overriding, impact. This report describes methods of providing an objective function for dose to man. The search for an objective function began with a reading of Federal Regulations and the output of various standard setting councils and committees. Ample guidance was found on maximum allowable doses to individuals but no guidance on dose to large populations or criteria by which systems could be compared or optimized. Several other ways were postulated by which waste management systems could be evaluated besides maximum allowable dose to individuals. 0.1 man-rem per MW(e)-year was selected as the measure of system performance. This unit compares a rational estimate of population dose commitment with the concurrent benefit

  4. Environmental Education meanings mobilized in discourses of school teachers who are involved in biology teacher training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Bozoti Pasin

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Despite current Brazilian educational legislation highlights Environmental Education (EE, schools usually address this issue in a fragmented manner, poorly consolidated. The initial and continuing training of teachers have much to do with this situation. Our aim was to reveal the meanings about Environmental Education, about teacher training for EE and about the actions in EE in schools in the discourses of teachers who acted on basic education institutions where Science and Biology pre-service teachers made internship. We applied semi-structured questionnaires and we adopted the theoretical and methodological framework of the French Discourse Analysis. As a result, we found little diversity of meanings in relation to EE, with a pronounced hegemony of those related to change habits to conserve resources, EE for conservation and EE restricted to biological aspects. Some participants also showed a hybridization between EE and teaching Ecology. In their discourses, actions and discussions related to the subject in schools are punctual and unsystematic, lacking interdisciplinary approaches, as occurred in the initial and continuing education of the majority. We propose the establishment of an organic relationship between schools and universities with more interactions, including collective reflections and research to foster the comprehension of elaboration and mobilization of meanings about EE and its influences on teacher actions.

  5. The influence of biological and environmental factors on metallothionein concentration in the blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalska, Katarzyna; Bizoń, Anna; Zalewska, Marta; Milnerowicz, Halina

    2015-01-01

    The concentration of metallothionein (MT), a low-molecular-weight protein, is regulated by many factors, primarily metals (zinc, cadmium, copper), cytokines, glucocorticoides and free radicals. These factors are determined by such aspects of human biology as gender, pregnancy and age, as well as by environmental factors including the use of oral contraceptives and cigarette smoking, all which may affect MT levels in the body. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of these biological and environmental factors on MT concentrations in erythrocyte lysate and in plasma. MT concentrations were determined by a two-step direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Evaluation of exposure to cigarette smoking was performed by checking cotinine levels in the plasma of subjects. The studies showed higher MT concentrations in both the erythrocyte lysate and plasma of women when compared to men. Furthermore, pregnancy causes an increase of MT concentration in plasma, while oral contraceptives cause an elevated concentration of MT in erythrocyte lysate. Age impacts plasma MT concentrations in men, whereas it does not affect concentrations of MT in erythrocyte lysate. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Environmental routes for platinum group elements to biological materials. A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ek, Kristine H.; Morrison, Gregory M. [Water Environment Transport, Chalmers University of Technology, SE 412 96 Goteborg (Sweden); Rauch, Sebastien [R.M. Parsons Laboratory 48-108, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2004-12-01

    The increased use of platinum group elements (PGE) in automobile catalysts has led to concern over potential environmental and biological accumulation. Platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd) and rhodium (Rh) concentrations have increased in the environment since the introduction of automobile catalysts. This review summarises current knowledge concerning the environmental mobility, speciation and bioavailability of Pt, Pd and Rh. The greater proportion of PGE emissions is from automobile catalysts, in the form of nanometer-sized catalyst particles, which deposit on roadside surfaces, as evidenced in samples of road dust, grass and soil. In soil, PGE can be transformed into more mobile species through complexation with organic matter and can be solubilised in low pH rainwater. There are indications that environmentally formed Pd species are more soluble and hence more mobile in the environment than Rh and Pt. PGE can reach waterbodies through stormwater transport and deposition in sediments. Besides external contamination of grass close to roads, internal PGE uptake has been observed for plants growing on soil contaminated with automobile catalyst PGE. Fine particles of PGE were also detected on the surface of feathers sampled from passerines and raptors in their natural habitat, and internal organs of these birds also contained PGE. Uptake has been observed in sediment-dwelling invertebrates, and laboratory studies have shown an uptake of PGE in eel and fish exposed to water containing road dust.The available evidence indicates that the PGE, especially Pd, are transported to biological materials through deposition in roots by binding to sulphur-rich low molecular weight species in plants. PGE uptake to exposed animals have uptake rates in the following order: Pd>Pt>Rh. The liver and kidney accumulate the highest levels of PGE, especially Pd. Urinary Pd and Rh, but not Pt, levels are correlated with traffic intensity. Dental alloys may lead to elevated urinary Pt levels

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. ISSEBETS 2009. 7. International Symposium on Speciation of Elements in Biological, Environmental and Toxicological Sciences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-01-01

    The 7th ISSEBETS was held in August 2009 in city of Eger, Hungary. The main topics were: speciation of essential and toxic elements in food, in traditional drugs, designing functional foods through applied speciation, metallomics and metalloproteomics, metal species in health and disease, cycling of elemental species in the environment, speciation related regulations and legislation, metal environmental, bioremediation, quality assurance of speciation analysis. (S.I.)

  2. Integrating Flow, Form, and Function for Improved Environmental Water Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin Lane, Belize Arela

    Rivers are complex, dynamic natural systems. The performance of river ecosystem functions, such as habitat availability and sediment transport, depends on the interplay of hydrologic dynamics (flow) and geomorphic settings (form). However, most river restoration studies evaluate the role of either flow or form without regard for their dynamic interactions. Despite substantial recent interest in quantifying environmental water requirements to support integrated water management efforts, the absence of quantitative, transferable relationships between river flow, form, and ecosystem functions remains a major limitation. This research proposes a novel, process-driven methodology for evaluating river flow-form-function linkages in support of basin-scale environmental water management. This methodology utilizes publically available geospatial and time-series data and targeted field data collection to improve basic understanding of river systems with limited data and resource requirements. First, a hydrologic classification system is developed to characterize natural hydrologic variability across a highly altered, physio-climatically diverse landscape. Next, a statistical analysis is used to characterize reach-scale geomorphic variability and to investigate the utility of topographic variability attributes (TVAs, subreach-scale undulations in channel width and depth), alongside traditional reach-averaged attributes, for distinguishing dominant geomorphic forms and processes across a hydroscape. Finally, the interacting roles of flow (hydrologic regime, water year type, and hydrologic impairment) and form (channel morphology) are quantitatively evaluated with respect to ecosystem functions related to hydrogeomorphic processes, aquatic habitat, and riparian habitat. Synthetic river corridor generation is used to evaluate and isolate the role of distinct geomorphic attributes without the need for intensive topographic surveying. This three-part methodology was successfully

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Biology of Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broom, D. M.

    1981-01-01

    Discusses topics to aid in understanding animal behavior, including the value of the biological approach to psychology, functional systems, optimality and fitness, universality of environmental effects on behavior, and evolution of social behavior. (DS)

  11. Department of Energy's Biological and Environmental Research Strategic Data Roadmap for Earth System Science

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, Dean N. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Palanisamy, Giri [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Shipman, Galen [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Boden, Thomas A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Voyles, Jimmy W. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-04-25

    Rapid advances in experimental, sensor, and computational technologies and techniques are driving exponential growth in the volume, acquisition rate, variety, and complexity of scientific data. This wealth of scientifically meaningful data has tremendous potential to lead to scientific discovery. However, to achieve scientific breakthroughs, these data must be exploitable—they must be analyzed effectively and efficiently and the results shared and communicated easily within the wider Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD) community. The explosion in data complexity and scale makes these tasks exceedingly difficult to achieve, particularly given that an increasing number of disciplines are working across techniques, integrating simulation and experimental or observational results (see Table 5 in Appendix 2). Consequently, we need new approaches to data management, analysis, and visualization that provide research teams with easy-to-use and scalable end-to-end solutions. These solutions must facilitate (and where feasible, automate and capture) every stage in the data lifecycle (shown in Figure 1), from collection to management, annotation, sharing, discovery, analysis, and visualization. In addition, the core functionalities are the same across climate science communities, but they require customization to adapt to specific needs and fit into research and analysis workflows. To this end, the mission of CESD’s Data and Informatics Program is to integrate all existing and future distributed CESD data holdings into a seamless and unified environment for the acceleration of Earth system science.

  12. 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

  13. Gaussian copula as a likelihood function for environmental models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wani, O.; Espadas, G.; Cecinati, F.; Rieckermann, J.

    2017-12-01

    Parameter estimation of environmental models always comes with uncertainty. To formally quantify this parametric uncertainty, a likelihood function needs to be formulated, which is defined as the probability of observations given fixed values of the parameter set. A likelihood function allows us to infer parameter values from observations using Bayes' theorem. The challenge is to formulate a likelihood function that reliably describes the error generating processes which lead to the observed monitoring data, such as rainfall and runoff. If the likelihood function is not representative of the error statistics, the parameter inference will give biased parameter values. Several uncertainty estimation methods that are currently being used employ Gaussian processes as a likelihood function, because of their favourable analytical properties. Box-Cox transformation is suggested to deal with non-symmetric and heteroscedastic errors e.g. for flow data which are typically more uncertain in high flows than in periods with low flows. Problem with transformations is that the results are conditional on hyper-parameters, for which it is difficult to formulate the analyst's belief a priori. In an attempt to address this problem, in this research work we suggest learning the nature of the error distribution from the errors made by the model in the "past" forecasts. We use a Gaussian copula to generate semiparametric error distributions . 1) We show that this copula can be then used as a likelihood function to infer parameters, breaking away from the practice of using multivariate normal distributions. Based on the results from a didactical example of predicting rainfall runoff, 2) we demonstrate that the copula captures the predictive uncertainty of the model. 3) Finally, we find that the properties of autocorrelation and heteroscedasticity of errors are captured well by the copula, eliminating the need to use transforms. In summary, our findings suggest that copulas are an

  14. The application of extraction chromatography to the determination of radionuclides in biological and environmental samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Testa, C.; Delle Site, A.

    1976-01-01

    The paper describe the application of extraction chromatography to the determination of several alpha and beta emitters in biological and environmental samples. Both column extraction chromatography and batch extraction process have been used to isolate the radionuclides from the samples. The effect of several parameters (extractant concentration, support granulometry, stirring time, temperature, presence of a complexing agent) on the extraction and elution has been examined. The application of redox extraction chromatography is also described. A very simple and rapid determination of the activity retained on the column can be obtained by transferring the slurry to a counting vial and by adding the scintillation liquid for a direct detection of the α or β emission. The counting efficiencies obtained with this technique are compared with those obtained with ion exchange resins. The organic polymers used for the extraction chromatography give about 100% counting efficiency. The conventional ion exchange resin cannot be used to this purpose because of their strong light absorption. (T.G.)

  15. Determination of rhenium in biological and environmental samples by radiochemical neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kucera, J.; Mizera, J.; Randa, Z.; Byrne, A.R.; Lucanikova, M.

    2006-01-01

    Radiochemical neutron activation procedures using liquid-liquid extraction with tetraphenylarsonium chloride in chloroform from 1 M HCl and solid extraction with ALIQUAT 336 incorporated in a polyacrylonitrile binding matrix from 0.1 M HCl were developed for accurate determination of rhenium in biological and environmental samples at the sub-ng.g -1 level. Concentrations of Re in the range of 0.1 to 2.4 ng.g -1 were determined in several botanical reference materials (RM), while in a RM of road dust a value of approx. 10 ng.g -1 was found. Significantly elevated values of Re, up to 90 ng.g -1 , were found in seaweed (brown algae). Results for Re in the brown algae Fucus vesiculosus in which elevated 99 Tc values had previously been determined suggest possible competition between Re and Tc in the accumulation process. (author)

  16. Method for determination of radioactive iodine isotopes in environmental objects and biologic materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dubynin, O.D.; Pogodin, R.I.

    1981-01-01

    The method proposed for determination of radioactive iodine isotopes content in environmental objects and biologic materials is based on the extraction of iodine with carbon tetrachloride and subsequent precipitation of bismuthyl iodine (BiOI) in perchloric medium. Sample preparation for analysis is carried out using conventional alkaline ashing methods. Quantitative iodine separation is hampered if macroquantities of Cl - , Br - , SO 4 2 - , SO 8 2 - , Cr 2 O 7 2 - and other ions are present in the solution. Iodine extraction is carried out before its precipitation. Separated iodine preparation activity is measured using scintillation (NaI) Tl gamma spectrometer. The method's sensitivity when measuring iodine-131 preparations makes up 0.07 Bq per 1 sample with the error +-25 %

  17. Effects of species biological traits and environmental heterogeneity on simulated tree species distribution shifts under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wen J; He, Hong S; Thompson, Frank R; Spetich, Martin A; Fraser, Jacob S

    2018-09-01

    Demographic processes (fecundity, dispersal, colonization, growth, and mortality) and their interactions with environmental changes are not well represented in current climate-distribution models (e.g., niche and biophysical process models) and constitute a large uncertainty in projections of future tree species distribution shifts. We investigate how species biological traits and environmental heterogeneity affect species distribution shifts. We used a species-specific, spatially explicit forest dynamic model LANDIS PRO, which incorporates site-scale tree species demography and competition, landscape-scale dispersal and disturbances, and regional-scale abiotic controls, to simulate the distribution shifts of four representative tree species with distinct biological traits in the central hardwood forest region of United States. Our results suggested that biological traits (e.g., dispersal capacity, maturation age) were important for determining tree species distribution shifts. Environmental heterogeneity, on average, reduced shift rates by 8% compared to perfect environmental conditions. The average distribution shift rates ranged from 24 to 200myear -1 under climate change scenarios, implying that many tree species may not able to keep up with climate change because of limited dispersal capacity, long generation time, and environmental heterogeneity. We suggest that climate-distribution models should include species demographic processes (e.g., fecundity, dispersal, colonization), biological traits (e.g., dispersal capacity, maturation age), and environmental heterogeneity (e.g., habitat fragmentation) to improve future predictions of species distribution shifts in response to changing climates. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Horns Rev offshore wind farm. Environmental impact assessment of sea bottom and marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leonhard, S.B.

    2000-03-15

    An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a planned 150 MW offshore wind farm at Horns Rev has been carried out for the marine biology and sea bottom in the area, and includes vegetation and benthic fauna. The study forms part of a total EIA of the planned offshore wind farm. This EIA study has been drawn up in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in the publication, 'Guidelines for preparation of EIAstudies for offshore wind farms. Horns Rev is situated off Blaevands Huk, which is Denmark's most westerly point. It is a shallow reef with water depths between 2 and 9 metres and is primarily composed of sand, gravel and pebbles. The area designated for the wind farm lies directly south of Horns Rev and is dominated by sand with a median particle size of 0.3 mm. Along the edges, towards areas of greater depth, the particle size increases. There are areas of fine sand in the deepest area, and in isolated pockets within the proposed wind farm site. The sediment is characterised by a very low (<1%) organic matter content. On the basis of the expected impact from the establishment of the wind farm, it is not deemed necessary to carry out special programmes during the construction phase for monitoring of the environmental-biological conditions. A monitoring and control programme is recommended during the production phase in order to follow the copper concentration in bivalves, or alternatively to initiate recovery or elimination of the copper-laden waste. A control programme is recommended during the production phase in order to follow the establishment and succession of the fouling community on the wind turbine foundations and scour-protecting revetments. (BA)

  19. Environmental risk assessment for Neodryinus typhlocybae, biological control agent against Metcalfa pruinosa, for Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gudrun Strauss

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The potential environmental risks of Neodryinus typhlocybae, a parasitic wasp from North America, were evaluated with regard to its safe use as an exotic biocontrol agent for the planthopper Metcalfa pruinosa in Austria. Following an earlier host range study of N. typhlocybae conducted in the laboratory, the present study assessed the potential for establishment and spread as well as negative indirect effects on non-target organisms. The potential release sites in Austria were analysed for matching of the climatic requirements for establishment of N. typhlocybae. The two proposed release locations, Vienna and Graz, have a predominantly similar climate to the parasitoid’s region of origin, though the comparably cooler mean summer temperatures might result in a low emergence rate of the partial second generation. The natural spread potential of N. typhlocybae was reviewed and is considered to be sufficiently good for released individuals to reach nearby sites infested with M. pruinosa. However, a perceptible spreading of N. typhlocybae females only occurs a few years after release and seems to be strongly dependent on the host density. Gelis areator, a hyperparasitoid of N. typhlocybae known to occur in Austria, might have negative effects on the population of the beneficial organism. Advantages and disadvantages of chemical and biological control methods against M. pruinosa were evaluated. It is concluded that N. typhlocybae is very well suited as a biological control agent for M. pruinosa in Austria, as no adverse effects on non-target species are expected but its release offers advantages with regard to sustainable and environmentally friendly pest management.

  20. Horns Rev offshore wind farm. Environmental impact assessment of sea bottom and marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leonhard, S B

    2000-03-15

    An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a planned 150 MW offshore wind farm at Horns Rev has been carried out for the marine biology and sea bottom in the area, and includes vegetation and benthic fauna. The study forms part of a total EIA of the planned offshore wind farm. This EIA study has been drawn up in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in the publication, 'Guidelines for preparation of EIAstudies for offshore wind farms. Horns Rev is situated off Blaevands Huk, which is Denmark's most westerly point. It is a shallow reef with water depths between 2 and 9 metres and is primarily composed of sand, gravel and pebbles. The area designated for the wind farm lies directly south of Horns Rev and is dominated by sand with a median particle size of 0.3 mm. Along the edges, towards areas of greater depth, the particle size increases. There are areas of fine sand in the deepest area, and in isolated pockets within the proposed wind farm site. The sediment is characterised by a very low (<1%) organic matter content. On the basis of the expected impact from the establishment of the wind farm, it is not deemed necessary to carry out special programmes during the construction phase for monitoring of the environmental-biological conditions. A monitoring and control programme is recommended during the production phase in order to follow the copper concentration in bivalves, or alternatively to initiate recovery or elimination of the copper-laden waste. A control programme is recommended during the production phase in order to follow the establishment and succession of the fouling community on the wind turbine foundations and scour-protecting revetments. (BA)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Biological and chemical tests of contaminated soils to determine bioavailability and environmentally acceptable endpoints (EAE)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montgomery, C.R.; Menzie, C.A.; Pauwells, S.J.

    1995-01-01

    The understanding of the concept of bioavailability of soil contaminants to receptors and its use in supporting the development of EAE is growing but still incomplete. Nonetheless, there is increased awareness of the importance of such data to determine acceptable cleanup levels and achieve timely site closures. This presentation discusses a framework for biological and chemical testing of contaminated soils developed as part of a Gas Research Institute (GRI) project entitled ''Environmentally Acceptable Endpoints in Soil Using a Risk Based Approach to Contaminated Site Management Based on Bioavailability of Chemicals in Soil.'' The presentation reviews the GRI program, and summarizes the findings of the biological and chemical testing section published in the GRI report. The three primary components of the presentation are: (1) defining the concept of bioavailability within the existing risk assessment paradigm, (2) assessing the usefulness of the existing tests to measure bioavailability and test frameworks used to interpret these measurements, and (3) suggesting how a small selection of relevant tests could be incorporated into a flexible testing scheme for soils to address this issue

  7. Environmental-Economic Accounts and Financial Resource Mobilisation for Implementation the Convention on Biological Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cesare Costantino

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available At the Rio “Earth Summit” the Convention on Biological Diversity introduced a global commitment to conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components. An implementation process is going on, based on a strategic plan, biodiversity targets and a strategy for mobilizing financial resources. According to target “2”, by 2020 national accounts should include monetary aggregates related to biodiversity. Environmental accounts can play an important role – together with other information – in monitoring processes connected with target “20”: contribute to identifying activities needed to preserve biodiversity, calculating the associated costs and eventually assessing funding needs. In particular, EPEA and ReMEA are valuable accounting tools for providing data on biodiversity expenditure. The high quality of the information provided by these accounts makes them good candidates for being adopted world-wide within the Convention’s monitoring processes. Enhanced interaction between statisticians and officials from ministries of environment would be crucial to reach significant advancement towards standardization of the information used in support of the Convention.

  8. Functional and environmental design of detached, low crest level breakwaters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bricio Garberi, L.; Negro Valdecantos, V.; Diez Gonzalez, J. J.; Lopez Gutierrez, J. S.

    2010-01-01

    The research work as presented in this article covers the design of detached breakwaters since they constitute a type of coastal defense work with which to combat many of the erosion problems found on beaches in a stable, sustainable fashion. The main aim of this work is to formulate a functional and environmental (non structural) method of design enabling the fundamental characteristics of a detached breakwater to be defined as a function of the effect it is wished to induce on the coast whilst meeting social demands and preserving or improving the quality of the littoral environment. The general applicability of the method is also sought by means of considering relations between variables od different natures (climatic, geomorphologic and geometric) influencing the changes experienced on the coast after the detached breakwater has been built. The study of the relations between the different variables is carried out on the data from a abase of nineteen actual, existing detached breakwaters on the Spanish Mediterranean coastline and follows a methodology based on the implementation of non-dimensional monomials and on a search for relations of dependency between them. Finally, a discussion on the results obtained lead to a proposal for a design method that uses some of the graphic relations found between the variables studied with which the aforesaid main objective is achieved. (Author) 9 refs.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessment of DDT levels in selected environmental media and biological samples from Mexico and Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N; Trejo, Antonio; Ruepert, Clemens; Jovel, Reyna del Carmen; Méndez, Mónica Patricia; Ferrari, Mirtha; Saballos-Sobalvarro, Emilio; Alexander, Carlos; Yáñez-Estrada, Leticia; Lopez, Dania; Henao, Samuel; Pinto, Emilio R; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando

    2010-03-01

    Taking into account the environmental persistence and the toxicity of DDT, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) organized a surveillance program in Mesoamerica which included the detection of residual DDT in environmental (soil) and biological samples (fish tissue and children's blood). This program was carried out in communities from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. This paper presents the first report of that program. As expected, the results show that the levels for [summation operator] DDT in soil (outdoor or indoor) and fish samples in the majority of the locations studied are below guidelines. However, in some locations, we found children with high concentrations of DDT as in Mexico (mean level 50.2 ng/mL). Furthermore, in some communities and for some matrices, the DDT/DDE quotient is higher than one and this may reflect a recent DDT exposure. Therefore, more efforts are needed to avoid exposure and to prevent the reintroduction of DDT into the region. In this regard it is important to know that under the surveillance of PAHO and with the support of UNEP, a regional program in Mesoamerica for the collection and disposal of DDT and other POPs stockpiles is in progress. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Impacts of Environmental Nanoparticles on Chemical, Biological and Hydrological Processes in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qafoku, Nikolla

    2012-01-01

    This chapter provides insights on nanoparticle (NP) influence or control on the extent and timescales of single or coupled physical, chemical, biological and hydrological reactions and processes that occur in terrestrial ecosystems. Examples taken from the literature that show how terrestrial NPs may determine the fate of the aqueous and sorbed (adsorbed or precipitated) chemical species of nutrients and contaminants, are also included in this chapter. Specifically, in the first section, chapter objectives, term definitions and discussions on size-dependent properties, the origin and occurrence of NP in terrestrial ecosystems and NP toxicity, are included. In the second section, the topic of the binary interactions of NPs of different sizes, shapes, concentrations and ages with the soil solution chemical species is covered, focusing on NP formation, stability, aggregation, ability to serve as sorbents, or surface-mediated precipitation catalysts, or electron donors and acceptors. In the third section, aspects of the interactions in the ternary systems composed of environmental NP, nutrient/contaminant chemical species, and the soil/sediment matrix are discussed, focusing on the inhibitory and catalytic effects of environmental NP on nutrient/contaminant advective mobility and mass transfer, adsorption and desorption, dissolution and precipitation and redox reactions that occur in terrestrial ecosystems. These three review sections are followed by a short summary of future research needs and directions, the acknowledgements, the list of the references, and the figures.

  12. Ti(IV) and the Siderophore Desferrioxamine B: A Tight Complex Has Biological and Environmental Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kayleigh E; Batchler, Kathleen L; Zalouk, Célia; Valentine, Ann M

    2017-02-06

    The siderophore desferrioxamine B (DFOB) binds Ti(IV) tightly and precludes its hydrolytic precipitation under biologically and environmentally relevant conditions. This interaction of DFOB with Ti(IV) is investigated by using spectro-potentiometric and spectro-photometric titrations, mass spectrometry, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and computational modeling. The data from pH 2-10 suggest two one-proton equilibria among three species, with one species predominating below pH 3.5, a second from pH 3.5 to 8, and a third above pH 8. The latter species is prone to slow hydrolytic precipitation. Electrospray mass spectrometry allowed the detection of [Ti(IV) (HDFOB)] 2+ and [Ti(DFOB)] + ; these species were assigned as the pH UV/vis-monitored competition with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Taking into consideration the available binding constant of Ti(IV) and EDTA, the data reveal values of log β 111 = 41.7, log β 110 = 38.1, and log β 11-1 = 30.1. The former value was supported by ITC, with the transfer of Ti(IV) from EDTA to DFOB determined to be both enthalpically and entropically favorable. Computational methods yielded a model of Ti-DFOB. The physiological and environmental implications of this tight interaction and the potential role of DFOB in solubilizing Ti(IV) are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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....

  17. Effect of environmental exposure to mercury on the functioning of the human body

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Cyran

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is classified as a heavy metal and thus is commonly referred to as a death metal due to its high toxicity. In the environment it occurs in metallic form or in combination with other compounds. Amidst the sources of exposure to mercury, the most important environmental sources are dental amalgam and mercury vapor from the production of chlorine which is the most important source of occupational exposure. Mercury is easily soluble in fats, so it penetrates through biological membranes. Both - acute and chronic mercury poisoning causes characteristic clinical symptoms. There are several connections between exposure to this metal and toxic effects on the nervous system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system and kidneys. Thus mercury damages the structure of many organs and impairs their function

  18. Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography of Respiratory Quinones for Microbial Community Analysis in Environmental and Biological Samples

    OpenAIRE

    Hanif, Muhammad; Atsuta, Yoichi; Fujie, Koichi; Daimon, Hiroyuki

    2012-01-01

    Microbial community structure plays a significant role in environmental assessment and animal health management. The development of a superior analytical strategy for the characterization of microbial community structure is an ongoing challenge. In this study, we developed an effective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) method for the analysis of bacterial respiratory quinones (RQ) in environmental and biological samples. RQ profile analysi...

  19. 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

  20. Modelling stream-fish functional traits in reference conditions: regional and local environmental correlates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João M Oliveira

    Full Text Available Identifying the environmental gradients that control the functional structure of biological assemblages in reference conditions is fundamental to help river management and predict the consequences of anthropogenic stressors. Fish metrics (density of ecological guilds, and species richness from 117 least disturbed stream reaches in several western Iberia river basins were modelled with generalized linear models in order to investigate the importance of regional- and local-scale abiotic gradients to variation in functional structure of fish assemblages. Functional patterns were primarily associated with regional features, such as catchment elevation and slope, rainfall, and drainage area. Spatial variations of fish guilds were thus associated with broad geographic gradients, showing (1 pronounced latitudinal patterns, affected mainly by climatic factors and topography, or (2 at the basin level, strong upstream-downstream patterns related to stream position in the longitudinal gradient. Maximum native species richness was observed in midsize streams in accordance with the river continuum concept. The findings of our study emphasized the need to use a multi-scale approach in order to fully assess the factors that govern the functional organization of biotic assemblages in 'natural' streams, as well as to improve biomonitoring and restoration of fluvial ecosystems.

  1. Development of PVDF Membrane Nanocomposites via Various Functionalization Approaches for Environmental Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas M. Davenport

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Membranes are finding wide applications in various fields spanning biological, water, and energy areas. Synthesis of membranes to provide tunable flux, metal sorption, and catalysis has been done through pore functionalization of microfiltration (MF type membranes with responsive behavior. This methodology provides an opportunity to improve synthetic membrane performance via polymer fabrication and surface modification. By optimizing the polymer coagulation conditions in phase inversion fabrication, spongy polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF membranes with high porosity and large internal pore volume were created in lab and full scale. This robust membrane shows a promising mechanical strength as well as high capacity for loading of adsorptive and catalytic materials. By applying surface modification techniques, synthetic membranes with different functionality (carboxyl, amine, and nanoparticle-based were obtained. These functionalities provide an opportunity to fine-tune the membrane surface properties such as charge and reactivity. The incorporation of stimuli-responsive acrylic polymers (polyacrylic acid or sodium polyacrylate in membrane pores also results in tunable pore size and ion-exchange capacity. This provides the added benefits of adjustable membrane permeability and metal capture efficiency. The equilibrium and dynamic binding capacity of these functionalized spongy membranes were studied via calcium ion-exchange. Iron/palladium catalytic nanoparticles were immobilized in the polymer matrix in order to perform the challenging degradation of the environmental pollutant trichloroethylene (TCE.

  2. Simple Sensitive Spectrophotometric Determination of Vanadium in Biological and Environmental Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Krishna Priya

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Novel, rapid, highly sensitive and selective spectrophotometric method for the determination of traces of vanadium (V in environmental and biological samples, pharmaceutical and steel samples was studied. The method is based on oxidation of 2,4- dinitro phenyl hydrazine(2,4-DNPH by vanadium (V followed by coupling reaction with N-(1-naphthalene-1-ylethane-1,2-diamine-dihydrochloride (NEDA in acidic medium to give red colored derivative or on oxidation of 4-Amino Pyridine by vanadium (V followed by coupling reaction with NEDA in basic medium to give pink colored derivative. The red colored derivative having an λmax 495 nm which is stable for 8 days and the pink colored derivative with 525 nm is stable for more than 7 days at 350C. Beer's law is obeyed for vanadium (V in the concentration range of 0.02 - 3.5 μg mL–1 (red derivative and 0.03 – 4.5 μg mL–1 (pink derivative at the wave length of maximum absorption. The optimum reaction conditions and other analytical parameters were investigated to enhance the sensitivity of the present method. The detailed study of various interferences made the method more selective. The proposed method was successfully applied to the analysis of vanadium in natural water samples, plant material, soil samples, synthetic mixtures, pharmaceutical samples and biological samples. The results obtained were agreed with the reported methods at the 95 % confidence level. The performance of proposed method was evaluated in terms of Student's t-test and Variance ratio f-test which indicates the significance of proposed method over reported method.

  3. 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.

  4. Environmental factors influencing biological rhythms in newborns: From neonatal intensive care units to home.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, Clarissa; Menna-Barreto, Luiz

    2016-01-01

    Photic and non-photic environmental factors are suggested to modulate the development of circadian rhythms in infants. Our aim is to evaluate the development of biological rhythms (circadian or ultradian) in newborns in transition from Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) to home and along the first 6 months of life, to identify masking and entraining environment factors along development. Ten newborns were evaluated in their last week inside the NICU and in the first week after being delivered home; 6 babies were also followed until 6 months of corrected age. Activity, recorded with actimeters, wrist temperature and observed sleep and feeding behavior were recorded continuously along their last week inside the NICU and in the first week at home and also until 6 months of corrected age for the subjects who remained in the study. Sleep/wake and activity/rest cycle showed ultradian patterns and the sleep/wake was strongly influenced by the 3 h feeding schedule inside the NICU, while wrist temperature showed a circadian pattern that seemed no to be affected by environmental cycles. A circadian rhythm emerges for sleep/wake behavior in the first week at home, whereas the 3 h period vanishes. Both activity/rest and wrist temperature presented a sudden increase in the contribution of the circadian component immediately after babies were delivered home, also suggesting a masking effect of the NICU environment. We found a positive correlation of postconceptional age and the increase in the daily component of activity and temperature along the following 6 months, while feeding behavior became arrhythmic.

  5. The Halogenated Metabolism of Brown Algae (Phaeophyta, Its Biological Importance and Its Environmental Significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane La Barre

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Brown algae represent a major component of littoral and sublittoral zones in temperate and subtropical ecosystems. An essential adaptive feature of this independent eukaryotic lineage is the ability to couple oxidative reactions resulting from exposure to sunlight and air with the halogenations of various substrates, thereby addressing various biotic and abiotic stresses i.e., defense against predators, tissue repair, holdfast adhesion, and protection against reactive species generated by oxidative processes. Whereas marine organisms mainly make use of bromine to increase the biological activity of secondary metabolites, some orders of brown algae such as Laminariales have also developed a striking capability to accumulate and to use iodine in physiological adaptations to stress. We review selected aspects of the halogenated metabolism of macrophytic brown algae in the light of the most recent results, which point toward novel functions for iodide accumulation in kelps and the importance of bromination in cell wall modifications and adhesion properties of brown algal propagules. The importance of halogen speciation processes ranges from microbiology to biogeochemistry, through enzymology, cellular biology and ecotoxicology.

  6. The function of remote sensing in support of environmental policy

    OpenAIRE

    de Leeuw, Jan; Georgiadou, P.Y.; Georgiadou, Yola; Kerle, Norman; de Gier, Alfred; Inoue, Yoshio; Ferwerda, Jelle; Smies, Maarten; Narantuya, Davaa

    2010-01-01

    Limited awareness of environmental remote sensing’s potential ability to support environmental policy development constrains the technology’s utilization. This paper reviews the potential of earth observation from the perspective of environmental policy. A literature review of “remote sensing and policy” revealed that while the number of publications in this field increased almost twice as rapidly as that of remote sensing literature as a whole (15.3 versus 8.8% yr−1), there is apparently lit...

  7. Development of a radiochemical neutron activation analysis procedure for determination of rhenium in biological and environmental samples at ultratrace level

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kučera, Jan; Byrne, A. R.; Mizera, Jiří; Lučaníková, M.; Řanda, Zdeněk

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 269, č. 2 (2006), s. 251-257 ISSN 0236-5731 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA203/04/0943 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10480505 Keywords : radiochemical neutron activation analysis * rhenium * biological and environmental samples Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 0.509, year: 2006

  8. Effects of species biological traits and environmental heterogeneity on simulated tree species distribution shifts under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen J. Wang; Hong S. He; Frank R. Thompson; Martin A. Spetich; Jacob S. Fraser

    2018-01-01

    Demographic processes (fecundity, dispersal, colonization, growth, and mortality) and their interactions with environmental changes are notwell represented in current climate-distribution models (e.g., niche and biophysical process models) and constitute a large uncertainty in projections of future tree species distribution shifts.We investigate how species biological...

  9. Critical comparison of radiometric and mass spectrometric methods for the determination of radionuclides in environmental, biological and nuclear waste samples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hou, Xiaolin; Roos, Per

    2008-01-01

    application in the environmental and biological researches, these radionuclides include H-3, C-14, Cl-36, Ca-41 Ni-59,Ni-63, Sr-89,Sr-90, Tc-99, I-129, Cs-135,Cs-137, Pb-210, Ra-226,Ra-228, Np-237, Am-241, and isotopes of thorium, uranium and plutonium. The application of on-line methods (flow injection...

  10. Progress in Computational Physics (PiCP) Vol 2 Coupled Fluid Flow in Energy, Biology and Environmental Research

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrhardt, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    This second volume contains both, the mathematical analysis of the coupling between fluid flow and porous media flow and state-of-the art numerical techniques, like tailor-made finite element and finite volume methods. Readers will come across articles devoted to concrete applications of these models in the field of energy, biology and environmental research.

  11. Environmental and Biological Factors Influencing Infant’s Low Birth Weight in Teenage Mothers: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyedeh Samira Mokhlesi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Pregnancy in low age has been proposed as one of the important factors causing risks and adverse outcomes. One of these complications is low birth weight (LBW, which is an important health indicator in any countries. In this study, texts related to Environmental and Biological Factors Influencing Infant’s Low Birth Weight in teenage mothers was reviewed. Methods: In the present study, articles indexed in the databases Pubmed, Science Direct, Scopus, Google Scholar, SID, Magiran, were used. Results: In the present study, a total of 22 articles related to teenage pregnancy and low birth weight were studied. Also, all factors influencing infants’ low birth weight in teenegers were evaluated in the areas of biological and environmental factors. Conclusion: The results of the present study showed that environmental and biological parameters are factors influencing low birth weight in teenage pregnancy. Thus, to reduce social problem of low birth weight and to improve this indicator in both environmental and biological issues, health intervention is necessary.

  12. Micro- and nanofluidic systems in devices for biological, medical and environmental research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evstrapov, A. A.

    2017-11-01

    The use of micro- and nanofluidic systems in modern analytical instruments allow you to implement a number of unique opportunities and achieve ultra-high measurement sensitivity. The possibility of manipulation of the individual biological objects (cells, bacteria, viruses, proteins, nucleic acids) in a liquid medium caused the development of devices on microchip platform for methods: chromatographic and electrophoretic analyzes; polymerase chain reaction; sequencing of nucleic acids; immunoassay; cytometric studies. Development of micro and nano fabrication technologies, materials science, surface chemistry, analytical chemistry, cell engineering have led to the creation of a unique systems such as “lab-on-a-chip”, “human-on-a-chip” and other. This article discusses common in microfluidics materials and methods of making functional structures. Examples of integration of nanoscale structures in microfluidic devices for the implementation of new features and improve the technical characteristics of devices and systems are shown.

  13. 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.

  14. Determination of traces of lithium in biological, environmental and metal samples by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, J.Y.; Tseng, C.L.; Lo, J.M.; Yang, M.H.

    1985-01-01

    Lithium in environmental, biological and metal samples was determined by neutron activation analysis via the 6 Li(n,α)T and 16 O(T,n) 18 F reactions. The samples were converted to aqueous solutions either by dissolution or by digestion and their aliquots were irradiated in a nuclear reactor for 2 h. The irradiated sample solution, was placed in a ZrO 2 column on which the 18 F nuclide was adsorbed. Most of the coexisting nuclides 24 Na, 82 Br, 38 Cl, 64 Cu, etc. were separated by elution with pH 1proportional3 solution. The column was subjected to a Ge(Li) detector for γ-ray spectrometry. The lithium content in the sample was estimated from the 18 F activity obtained. The matrix effect can be eliminated by either strong dilution of the samples in aqueous medium or by the method of standard addition. Lithium can be determined with high precision and accuracy in sub-ppm samples. (orig.) [de

  15. A persistent lack of international representation on editorial boards in environmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espin, Johanna; Palmas, Sebastian; Carrasco-Rueda, Farah; Riemer, Kristina; Allen, Pablo E; Berkebile, Nathan; Hecht, Kirsten A; Kastner-Wilcox, Kay; Núñez-Regueiro, Mauricio M; Prince, Candice; Rios, Constanza; Ross, Erica; Sangha, Bhagatveer; Tyler, Tia; Ungvari-Martin, Judit; Villegas, Mariana; Cataldo, Tara T; Bruna, Emilio M

    2017-12-01

    The scholars comprising journal editorial boards play a critical role in defining the trajectory of knowledge in their field. Nevertheless, studies of editorial board composition remain rare, especially those focusing on journals publishing research in the increasingly globalized fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Using metrics for quantifying the diversity of ecological communities, we quantified international representation on the 1985-2014 editorial boards of 24 environmental biology journals. Over the course of 3 decades, there were 3,827 unique scientists based in 70 countries who served as editors. The size of the editorial community increased over time-the number of editors serving in 2014 was 4-fold greater than in 1985-as did the number of countries in which editors were based. Nevertheless, editors based outside the "Global North" (the group of economically developed countries with high per capita gross domestic product [GDP] that collectively concentrate most global wealth) were extremely rare. Furthermore, 67.18% of all editors were based in either the United States or the United Kingdom. Consequently, geographic diversity-already low in 1985-remained unchanged through 2014. We argue that this limited geographic diversity can detrimentally affect the creativity of scholarship published in journals, the progress and direction of research, the composition of the STEM workforce, and the development of science in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia (i.e., the "Global South").

  16. Women are underrepresented on the editorial boards of journals in environmental biology and natural resource management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyssa H. Cho

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Despite women earning similar numbers of graduate degrees as men in STEM disciplines, they are underrepresented in upper level positions in both academia and industry. Editorial board memberships are an important example of such positions; membership is both a professional honor in recognition of achievement and an opportunity for professional advancement. We surveyed 10 highly regarded journals in environmental biology, natural resource management, and plant sciences to quantify the number of women on their editorial boards and in positions of editorial leadership (i.e., Associate Editors and Editors-in-Chief from 1985 to 2013. We found that during this time period only 16% of subject editors were women, with more pronounced disparities in positions of editorial leadership. Although the trend was towards improvement over time, there was surprising variation between journals, including those with similar disciplinary foci. While demographic changes in academia may reduce these disparities over time, we argue journals should proactively strive for gender parity on their editorial boards. This will both increase the number of women afforded the opportunities and benefits that accompany board membership and increase the number of role models and potential mentors for early-career scientists and students.

  17. Liquid membrane extraction techniques for trace metal analysis and speciation in environmental and biological matrices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ndungu, Kuria

    1999-04-01

    In this thesis, liquid-membrane-based methods for the analysis of trace metal species in samples of environmental and biological origin were developed. By incorporating extracting reagents in the membrane liquid, trace metal ions were selectively separated from humic-rich natural waters and urine samples, prior to their determination using various instrumental techniques. The extractions were performed in closed flow systems thus allowing easy automation of both the sample clean-up and enrichment. An acidic organophosphorus reagent (DEHPA) and a basic tetraalkylammonium reagent (Aliquat-336) were used as extractants in the membrane liquid to selectively extract and enrich cationic and anionic metal species respectively. A speciation method for chromium species was developed that allowed the determination of cationic Cr(III) species and anionic CR(VI) species in natural water samples without the need of a chromatographic separation step prior to their detection. SLM was also coupled on-line to potentiometric stripping analysis providing a fast and sensitive method for analysis of Pb in urine samples. A microporous membrane liquid-liquid extraction (MMLLE) method was developed for the determination of organotin compounds in natural waters that reduced the number of manual steps involved in the LLE of organotin compounds prior to their CC separation. Clean extracts obtained after running unfiltered humic-rich river water samples through the MMLLE flow system allowed selective determination of all the organotin compounds in a single run using GC-MS in the selected ion monitoring mode (SIM) 171 refs, 9 figs, 4 tabs

  18. Malignant transformation in vitro: criteria, biological markers, and application in environmental screening of carcinogens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borek, C.

    1979-01-01

    Biological markers which distinguish malignantly transformed fibroblasts from their normal counterpart include pleomorphic morphology, lowered requirement for nutritional factors, loss of density inhibition of growth, complex topography as discernible by scanning electron microscopy, loss in surface proteins, incomplete glycosylation of membrane glycolylipids and glycoproteins, increased production of specific proteases, decreased organization of the cytoskeleton, and acquisition of neoantigens. Several of these markers are not consistently found in transformed epithelial cells and therefore cannot serve to distinguish unequivocally neoplastic epithelial cells from the normal counterparts. The only criteria associated with the transformed nature of both fibroblasts and epithelial cells are the ability of the cells to proliferate in semisolid medium and to induce tumors in appropriate hosts. In vitro systems represent a powerful tool for screening the mutagenic/oncogenic potential of physical, chemical, and environmental agents. Fibroblasts rather than epithelial cells are preferred for this purpose at the present time because of the clear-cut phenotypic differences between the normal and the transformed cells. These systems have been useful in establishing that malignant transformation can be induced by doses as low as 1 rad of X rays or 0.1 rad of neutrons, and that fractionation at low dose levelsleads to enhanced transformation. They have been useful in identifying a large number of hazardous chemicals and in evaluating the relationship between the mutagenic and carcinogenic potential of radiation and chemicals

  19. A persistent lack of international representation on editorial boards in environmental biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Espin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The scholars comprising journal editorial boards play a critical role in defining the trajectory of knowledge in their field. Nevertheless, studies of editorial board composition remain rare, especially those focusing on journals publishing research in the increasingly globalized fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM. Using metrics for quantifying the diversity of ecological communities, we quantified international representation on the 1985-2014 editorial boards of 24 environmental biology journals. Over the course of 3 decades, there were 3,827 unique scientists based in 70 countries who served as editors. The size of the editorial community increased over time-the number of editors serving in 2014 was 4-fold greater than in 1985-as did the number of countries in which editors were based. Nevertheless, editors based outside the "Global North" (the group of economically developed countries with high per capita gross domestic product [GDP] that collectively concentrate most global wealth were extremely rare. Furthermore, 67.18% of all editors were based in either the United States or the United Kingdom. Consequently, geographic diversity-already low in 1985-remained unchanged through 2014. We argue that this limited geographic diversity can detrimentally affect the creativity of scholarship published in journals, the progress and direction of research, the composition of the STEM workforce, and the development of science in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia (i.e., the "Global South".

  20. Disentangling the role of environmental and human pressures on biological invasions across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pysek, Petr; Jarosík, Vojtech; Hulme, Philip E; Kühn, Ingolf; Wild, Jan; Arianoutsou, Margarita; Bacher, Sven; Chiron, Francois; Didziulis, Viktoras; Essl, Franz; Genovesi, Piero; Gherardi, Francesca; Hejda, Martin; Kark, Salit; Lambdon, Philip W; Desprez-Loustau, Marie-Laure; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Pergl, Jan; Poboljsaj, Katja; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Roques, Alain; Roy, David B; Shirley, Susan; Solarz, Wojciech; Vilà, Montserrat; Winter, Marten

    2010-07-06

    The accelerating rates of international trade, travel, and transport in the latter half of the twentieth century have led to the progressive mixing of biota from across the world and the number of species introduced to new regions continues to increase. The importance of biogeographic, climatic, economic, and demographic factors as drivers of this trend is increasingly being realized but as yet there is no consensus regarding their relative importance. Whereas little may be done to mitigate the effects of geography and climate on invasions, a wider range of options may exist to moderate the impacts of economic and demographic drivers. Here we use the most recent data available from Europe to partition between macroecological, economic, and demographic variables the variation in alien species richness of bryophytes, fungi, vascular plants, terrestrial insects, aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Only national wealth and human population density were statistically significant predictors in the majority of models when analyzed jointly with climate, geography, and land cover. The economic and demographic variables reflect the intensity of human activities and integrate the effect of factors that directly determine the outcome of invasion such as propagule pressure, pathways of introduction, eutrophication, and the intensity of anthropogenic disturbance. The strong influence of economic and demographic variables on the levels of invasion by alien species demonstrates that future solutions to the problem of biological invasions at a national scale lie in mitigating the negative environmental consequences of human activities that generate wealth and by promoting more sustainable population growth.

  1. Biological and Environmental Research Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, FY 1992--1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    This report is the 1992--1994 Program Director's Overview Report for Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL's) Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program, and as such it addresses KP-funded work at ORNL conducted during FY 1991 and in progress during FY 1992; it also serves as a planning document for the remainder of FY 1992 through FY 1994. Non-BER funded work at ORNL relevant to the mission of OHER is also discussed. The second section of the report describes ORNL facilities and resources used by the BER program. The third section addresses research management practices at ORNL. The fourth, fifth, and sixth sections address BER-funded research in progress, program accomplishments and research highlights, and program orientation for the remainder of FY 1992 through FY 1994, respectively. Work for non-BER sponsors is described in the seventh section, followed by a discussion of significant near and long-term issues facing BER work at ORNL in the eighth section. The last section provides a statistical summary of BER research at ORNL. Appendices supplement the above topics with additional detail

  2. Large Scale Computing and Storage Requirements for Biological and Environmental Research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DOE Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research Program Office (BER),

    2009-09-30

    In May 2009, NERSC, DOE's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), and DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) held a workshop to characterize HPC requirements for BER-funded research over the subsequent three to five years. The workshop revealed several key points, in addition to achieving its goal of collecting and characterizing computing requirements. Chief among them: scientific progress in BER-funded research is limited by current allocations of computational resources. Additionally, growth in mission-critical computing -- combined with new requirements for collaborative data manipulation and analysis -- will demand ever increasing computing, storage, network, visualization, reliability and service richness from NERSC. This report expands upon these key points and adds others. It also presents a number of"case studies" as significant representative samples of the needs of science teams within BER. Workshop participants were asked to codify their requirements in this"case study" format, summarizing their science goals, methods of solution, current and 3-5 year computing requirements, and special software and support needs. Participants were also asked to describe their strategy for computing in the highly parallel,"multi-core" environment that is expected to dominate HPC architectures over the next few years.

  3. Biological and Environmental Research Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, FY 1992--1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-01-01

    This report is the 1992--1994 Program Director's Overview Report for Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL's) Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program, and as such it addresses KP-funded work at ORNL conducted during FY 1991 and in progress during FY 1992; it also serves as a planning document for the remainder of FY 1992 through FY 1994. Non-BER funded work at ORNL relevant to the mission of OHER is also discussed. The second section of the report describes ORNL facilities and resources used by the BER program. The third section addresses research management practices at ORNL. The fourth, fifth, and sixth sections address BER-funded research in progress, program accomplishments and research highlights, and program orientation for the remainder of FY 1992 through FY 1994, respectively. Work for non-BER sponsors is described in the seventh section, followed by a discussion of significant near and long-term issues facing BER work at ORNL in the eighth section. The last section provides a statistical summary of BER research at ORNL. Appendices supplement the above topics with additional detail.

  4. Infusion of Climate Change and Geospatial Science Concepts into Environmental and Biological Science Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaji Bhaskar, M. S.; Rosenzweig, J.; Shishodia, S.

    2017-12-01

    The objective of our activity is to improve the students understanding and interpretation of geospatial science and climate change concepts and its applications in the field of Environmental and Biological Sciences in the College of Science Engineering and Technology (COEST) at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, TX. The courses of GIS for Environment, Ecology and Microbiology were selected for the curriculum infusion. A total of ten GIS hands-on lab modules, along with two NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) lab modules on climate change were implemented in the "GIS for Environment" course. GIS and Google Earth Labs along with climate change lectures were infused into Microbiology and Ecology courses. Critical thinking and empirical skills of the students were assessed in all the courses. The student learning outcomes of these courses includes the ability of students to interpret the geospatial maps and the student demonstration of knowledge of the basic principles and concepts of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and climate change. At the end of the courses, students developed a comprehensive understanding of the geospatial data, its applications in understanding climate change and its interpretation at the local and regional scales during multiple years.

  5. Biological and environmental hazards associated with exposure to chemical warfare agents: arsenicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Changzhao; Srivastava, Ritesh K; Athar, Mohammad

    2016-08-01

    Arsenicals are highly reactive inorganic and organic derivatives of arsenic. These chemicals are very toxic and produce both acute and chronic tissue damage. On the basis of these observations, and considering the low cost and simple methods of their bulk syntheses, these agents were thought to be appropriate for chemical warfare. Among these, the best-known agent that was synthesized and weaponized during World War I (WWI) is Lewisite. Exposure to Lewisite causes painful inflammatory and blistering responses in the skin, lung, and eye. These chemicals also manifest systemic tissue injury following their cutaneous exposure. Although largely discontinued after WWI, stockpiles are still known to exist in the former Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Asia. Thus, access by terrorists or accidental exposure could be highly dangerous for humans and the environment. This review summarizes studies that describe the biological, pathophysiological, toxicological, and environmental effects of exposure to arsenicals, with a major focus on cutaneous injury. Studies related to the development of novel molecular pathobiology-based antidotes against these agents are also described. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  6. Biological and environmental hazards associated with exposure to chemical warfare agents: arsenicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Changzhao; Srivastava, Ritesh K.; Athar, Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Arsenicals are highly reactive inorganic and organic derivatives of arsenic. These chemicals are very toxic and produce both acute and chronic tissue damage. Based on these observations, and considering the low cost and simple methods of their bulk syntheses, these agents were thought to be appropriate for chemical warfare. Among these, the most known agent synthesized and weaponized during World War I (WWI) is Lewisite. Exposure to Lewisite causes painful inflammatory and blistering responses in the skin, lung, and eye. These chemicals also manifest systemic tissue injury following their cutaneous exposure. Although largely discontinued after WWI, their stockpiles are still known to exist in the former Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Asia. Thus, their access by terrorists or accidental exposure could be highly dangerous for humans and the environment. This review summarizes studies which describe the biological, pathophysiological, toxicological, and environmental effects of exposure to arsenicals, with a major focus on cutaneous injury. Studies related to the development of novel molecular pathobiology–based antidotes against these agents are also described. PMID:27636894

  7. [Environmental and biological determinants of neuropsychomotor development in a sample of children in Canoas/RS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilz, Elsa Maria Luz; Schermann, Lígia Braun

    2007-01-01

    The object of this study is to determine the prevalence of potential delays in neuropsychomotor development and their possible association with, on one hand, environmental and biological factors, and maternal competence on the other, in a sample of children up to six years old living in Canoas, in Rio Grande do Sul state. A questionnaire was submitted to mothers including questions on social, economic and reproduction factors; child's conditions at birth; child's pathologies; family structure; child care and elements on maternal competence. The potential for neuropsychomotor development delay was assessed by the Denver II Test. Forty clusters were visited in Canoas, a city in Rio Grande do Sul state, in accordance with the cluster probabilistic sampling process. From 197 children assessed by this analytical cross-section study, there was a 27% (n=53) prevalence of potential delay in neuropsychomotor development. The multivariate analysis showed that factors associated with potential development delays were: low income (or = 9,3); mothers with less than 18-month intervals between pregnancies (or=3,9) ; and lack of support from child's father (or=7,0). These results support the importance of implementing income generating programs, health education, and family planning in order to prevent child development delays.

  8. [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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Environmental niche models for riverine desert fishes and their similarity according to phylogeny and functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, James E.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2017-01-01

    Environmental filtering and competitive exclusion are hypotheses frequently invoked in explaining species' environmental niches (i.e., geographic distributions). A key assumption in both hypotheses is that the functional niche (i.e., species traits) governs the environmental niche, but few studies have rigorously evaluated this assumption. Furthermore, phylogeny could be associated with these hypotheses if it is predictive of functional niche similarity via phylogenetic signal or convergent evolution, or of environmental niche similarity through phylogenetic attraction or repulsion. The objectives of this study were to investigate relationships between environmental niches, functional niches, and phylogenies of fishes of the Upper (UCRB) and Lower (LCRB) Colorado River Basins of southwestern North America. We predicted that functionally similar species would have similar environmental niches (i.e., environmental filtering) and that closely related species would be functionally similar (i.e., phylogenetic signal) and possess similar environmental niches (i.e., phylogenetic attraction). Environmental niches were quantified using environmental niche modeling, and functional similarity was determined using functional trait data. Nonnatives in the UCRB provided the only support for environmental filtering, which resulted from several warmwater nonnatives having dam number as a common predictor of their distributions, whereas several cool- and coldwater nonnatives shared mean annual air temperature as an important distributional predictor. Phylogenetic signal was supported for both natives and nonnatives in both basins. Lastly, phylogenetic attraction was only supported for native fishes in the LCRB and for nonnative fishes in the UCRB. Our results indicated that functional similarity was heavily influenced by evolutionary history, but that phylogenetic relationships and functional traits may not always predict the environmental distribution of species. However, the

  12. 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...

  13. Environmental quality evaluation. Indexing tools to evaluate environmental quality from biological data, floristic and vegetational data in Ponte Galeria (Rome, Italy)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazzocchi, F.; Castorina, M.; De Mei, M.

    1998-01-01

    In the present work the study of indexing tools to evaluate environmental quality from biological data has been performed using a certain number of floristic and vegetational indices near Macchia Grande of Ponte Galeria (Rome, Italy). The indices have been applied on the basis of the data coming from a phyto sociological study of the area. Multivariate statistics methodologies have been utilized to obtain a synthetic evaluation of the indices [it

  14. 75 FR 69396 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Arundo donax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-12

    ... Biological Control Agent for Arundo donax AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION... alternatives to, the release of Arundo scale into the continental United States for use as a biological control... a biological control agent to reduce the severity of Arundo donax infestations. A. donax is a highly...

  15. 75 FR 64984 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hawkweeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-21

    ... hawkweed gall wasp, Aulacidea subterminalis, into the continental United States as a biological control... United States for the biological control of hawkweeds (Hieracium pilosella, H. aurantiacum, H... control, and the use of biological control organisms. The use of herbicides, while effective, is limited...

  16. Environmental, biological and anthropogenic effects on grizzly bear body size: temporal and spatial considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Scott E; Cattet, Marc R L; Boulanger, John; Cranston, Jerome; McDermid, Greg J; Shafer, Aaron B A; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2013-09-08

    Individual body growth is controlled in large part by the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of, and competition for, resources. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos L.) are an excellent species for studying the effects of resource heterogeneity and maternal effects (i.e. silver spoon) on life history traits such as body size because their habitats are highly variable in space and time. Here, we evaluated influences on body size of grizzly bears in Alberta, Canada by testing six factors that accounted for spatial and temporal heterogeneity in environments during maternal, natal and 'capture' (recent) environments. After accounting for intrinsic biological factors (age, sex), we examined how body size, measured in mass, length and body condition, was influenced by: (a) population density; (b) regional habitat productivity; (c) inter-annual variability in productivity (including silver spoon effects); (d) local habitat quality; (e) human footprint (disturbances); and (f) landscape change. We found sex and age explained the most variance in body mass, condition and length (R(2) from 0.48-0.64). Inter-annual variability in climate the year before and of birth (silver spoon effects) had detectable effects on the three-body size metrics (R(2) from 0.04-0.07); both maternal (year before birth) and natal (year of birth) effects of precipitation and temperature were related with body size. Local heterogeneity in habitat quality also explained variance in body mass and condition (R(2) from 0.01-0.08), while annual rate of landscape change explained additional variance in body length (R(2) of 0.03). Human footprint and population density had no observed effect on body size. These results illustrated that body size patterns of grizzly bears, while largely affected by basic biological characteristics (age and sex), were also influenced by regional environmental gradients the year before, and of, the individual's birth thus illustrating silver spoon effects. The magnitude of the silver

  17. Interconnection of reactive oxygen species chemistry across the interfaces of atmospheric, environmental, and biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglada, Josep M; Martins-Costa, Marilia; Francisco, Joseph S; Ruiz-López, Manuel F

    2015-03-17

    Oxidation reactions are ubiquitous and play key roles in the chemistry of the atmosphere, in water treatment processes, and in aerobic organisms. Ozone (O3), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydrogen polyoxides (H2Ox, x > 2), associated hydroxyl and hydroperoxyl radicals (HOx = OH and HO2), and superoxide and ozonide anions (O2(-) and O3(-), respectively) are the primary oxidants in these systems. They are commonly classified as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Atmospheric chemistry is driven by a complex system of chain reactions of species, including nitrogen oxides, hydroxyl and hydroperoxide radicals, alkoxy and peroxy radicals, and ozone. HOx radicals contribute to keeping air clean, but in polluted areas, the ozone concentration increases and creates a negative impact on plants and animals. Indeed, ozone concentration is used to assess air quality worldwide. Clouds have a direct effect on the chemical composition of the atmosphere. On one hand, cloud droplets absorb many trace atmospheric gases, which can be scavenged by rain and fog. On the other hand, ionic species can form in this medium, which makes the chemistry of the atmosphere richer and more complex. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that air-cloud interfaces might have a significant impact on the overall chemistry of the troposphere. Despite the large differences in molecular composition, concentration, and thermodynamic conditions among atmospheric, environmental, and biological systems, the underlying chemistry involving ROS has many similarities. In this Account, we examine ROS and discuss the chemical characteristics common to all of these systems. In water treatment, ROS are key components of an important subset of advanced oxidation processes. Ozonation, peroxone chemistry, and Fenton reactions play important roles in generating sufficient amounts of hydroxyl radicals to purify wastewater. Biochemical processes within living organisms also involve ROS. These species can come from pollutants in

  18. Biological effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of the pharmaceutical Triclosan in the marine mussel Perna perna (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanzi Cortez, Fernando, E-mail: lecotox@unisanta.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares IPEN-CNEN/SP, 05508-000 Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Laboratorio de Ecotoxicologia, Universidade Santa Cecilia, 11045-907 Santos, SP (Brazil); Dias Seabra Pereira, Camilo [Laboratorio de Ecotoxicologia, Universidade Santa Cecilia, 11045-907 Santos, SP (Brazil); Instituto do Mar, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, 11030-400 Santos, SP (Brazil); Ramos Santos, Aldo Ramos [Laboratorio de Ecotoxicologia, Universidade Santa Cecilia, 11045-907 Santos, SP (Brazil); Cesar, Augusto; Choueri, Rodrigo Brasil [Laboratorio de Ecotoxicologia, Universidade Santa Cecilia, 11045-907 Santos, SP (Brazil); Instituto do Mar, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, 11030-400 Santos, SP (Brazil); Martini, Gisela de Assis [Laboratorio de Ecotoxicologia, Universidade Santa Cecilia, 11045-907 Santos, SP (Brazil); Bohrer-Morel, Maria Beatriz [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares IPEN-CNEN/SP, 05508-000 Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2012-09-15

    Triclosan (5-Chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol) is an antibacterial compound widely employed in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Although this emerging compound has been detected in aquatic environments, scarce information is found on the effects of Triclosan to marine organisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of a concentration range of Triclosan through fertilization assay (reproductive success), embryo-larval development assay (early life stage) and physiological stress (Neutral Red Retention Time assay - NRRT) (adult stage) in the marine sentinel organism Perna perna. The mean inhibition concentrations for fertilization (IC{sub 50} = 0.490 mg L{sup -1}) and embryo-larval development (IC{sub 50} = 0.135 mg L{sup -1}) tests were above environmental relevant concentrations (ng L{sup -1}) given by previous studies. Differently, significant reduction on NRRT results was found at 12 ng L{sup -1}, demonstrating the current risk of the continuous introduction of Triclosan into aquatic environments, and the need of ecotoxicological studies oriented by the mechanism of action of the compound. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Triclosan causes biological adverse effects at environmental relevant concentrations. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Mechanisms of action oriented assays were more sensitive to detect biological damages. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently there is environmental risks concerned Triclosan in aquatic ecosystems. - Triclosan causes biological adverse effects at environmentally relevant concentrations.

  19. Biological effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of the pharmaceutical Triclosan in the marine mussel Perna perna (Linnaeus, 1758)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanzi Cortez, Fernando; Dias Seabra Pereira, Camilo; Ramos Santos, Aldo Ramos; Cesar, Augusto; Choueri, Rodrigo Brasil; Martini, Gisela de Assis; Bohrer-Morel, Maria Beatriz

    2012-01-01

    Triclosan (5-Chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol) is an antibacterial compound widely employed in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Although this emerging compound has been detected in aquatic environments, scarce information is found on the effects of Triclosan to marine organisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of a concentration range of Triclosan through fertilization assay (reproductive success), embryo-larval development assay (early life stage) and physiological stress (Neutral Red Retention Time assay - NRRT) (adult stage) in the marine sentinel organism Perna perna. The mean inhibition concentrations for fertilization (IC 50 = 0.490 mg L −1 ) and embryo-larval development (IC 50 = 0.135 mg L −1 ) tests were above environmental relevant concentrations (ng L −1 ) given by previous studies. Differently, significant reduction on NRRT results was found at 12 ng L −1 , demonstrating the current risk of the continuous introduction of Triclosan into aquatic environments, and the need of ecotoxicological studies oriented by the mechanism of action of the compound. - Highlights: ► Triclosan causes biological adverse effects at environmental relevant concentrations. ► Mechanisms of action oriented assays were more sensitive to detect biological damages. ► Currently there is environmental risks concerned Triclosan in aquatic ecosystems. - Triclosan causes biological adverse effects at environmentally relevant concentrations.

  20. 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

  1. Graphical methods and Cold War scientific practice: the Stommel Diagram's intriguing journey from the physical to the biological environmental sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, Tiffany C; Doel, Ronald E

    2010-01-01

    In the last quarter of the twentieth century, an innovative three-dimensional graphical technique was introduced into biological oceanography and ecology, where it spread rapidly. Used to improve scientists' understanding of the importance of scale within oceanic ecosystems, this influential diagram addressed biological scales from phytoplankton to fish, physical scales from diurnal tides to ocean currents, and temporal scales from hours to ice ages. Yet the Stommel Diagram (named for physical oceanographer Henry Stommel, who created it in 1963) had not been devised to aid ecological investigations. Rather, Stommel intended it to help plan large-scale research programs in physical oceanography, particularly as Cold War research funding enabled a dramatic expansion of physical oceanography in the 1960s. Marine ecologists utilized the Stommel Diagram to enhance research on biological production in ocean environments, a key concern by the 1970s amid growing alarm about overfishing and ocean pollution. Before the end of the twentieth century, the diagram had become a significant tool within the discipline of ecology. Tracing the path that Stommel's graphical techniques traveled from the physical to the biological environmental sciences reveals a great deal about practices in these distinct research communities and their relative professional and institutional standings in the Cold War era. Crucial to appreciating the course of that path is an understanding of the divergent intellectual and social contexts of the physical versus the biological environmental sciences.

  2. Environmental and biological cues for spawning in the crown-of-thorns starfish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciemon Frank Caballes

    Full Text Available Sporadic outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish are likely to be due, at least in part, to spatial and temporal variation in reproductive and settlement success. For gonochoric and broadcast spawning species such as crown-of-thorns starfish, spawning synchrony is fundamental for achieving high rates of fertilization. Highly synchronized gamete release within and among distinct populations is typically the result of the entrainment of neurohormonal endogenous rhythms by cues from the environment. In this study, we conducted multiple spawning assays to test the effects of temperature change, reduced salinity and nutrient enrichment of seawater, phytoplankton, gametes (sperm and eggs, and the combined effect of sperm and phytoplankton on the likelihood of spawning in male and female crown-of-thorns starfish. We also investigated sex-specific responses to each of these potential spawning cues. We found that (1 abrupt temperature change (an increase of 4°C induced spawning in males, but less so in females; (2 males often spawned in response to the presence of phytoplankton, but none of the females spawned in response to these cues; (3 the presence of sperm in the water column induced males and females to spawn, although additive and synergistic effects of sperm and phytoplankton were not significant; and (4 males are more sensitive to the spawning cues tested and most likely spawn prior to females. We propose that environmental cues act as spawning 'inducers' by causing the release of hormones (gonad stimulating substance in sensitive males, while biological cues (pheromones from released sperm, in turn, act as spawning 'synchronizers' by triggering a hormonal cascade resulting in gamete shedding by conspecifics. Given the immediate temporal linkage between the timing of spawning and fertilization events, variability in the extent and synchronicity of gamete release will significantly influence reproductive success and may account

  3. Phytoplankton biomass dynamics and environmental variables around the Rocas Atoll Biological Reserve, South Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Cavalcanti Jales

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The Rocas Atoll Biological Reserve is located in the Atlantic Ocean, at 3º 51' S and 33º 49' W. It lies 143 nautical miles from the City of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil. The purpose of this study was to analyze the hydrology, water masses, currents and chlorophyll a content to determine the dynamics of phytoplankton biomass around the Rocas Atoll. Samples were collected in July 2010 in the area around the Atoll, using the Research Vessel Cruzeiro do Sul of the Brazilian Navy. Two transects were established according to the surface currents, one of which at the southeast of the Atoll (SE and the other at norwest (NW. Three collection points were determined on each of these transects. Samples were collected at different depths (surface and DCM - Deep Chlorophyll Maximum and different times (day and night. According to PCA (Principal Component Analysis, the nutrients analyzed, DIN (dissolved inorganic nitrogen, DIP (dissolved inorganic phosphorus and silicate, were inversely correlated with temperature and dissolved oxygen. Most environmental variables showed a significant increase due to the turbulence on the Northwest transect. There was an increase in the concentration of chlorophyll a and nutrients when the temperature and oxygen in the mixed layer was reduced due to the influence of the SACW (South Atlantic Central Water. Despite the increase observed in some variables such as nutrient salts and chlorophyll a, the temperature in the mixed layer attained a mean value of 23.23 ºC due to the predominance of Tropical Water. The increase of the phytoplankton biomass on the NW transect was, therefore, caused by the "island effect" and not by upwelling.

  4. Variation of Phenolic Content in Globe Artichoke in Relation to Biological, Technical and Environmental Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Lombardo

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available In Italy, globe artichoke production is prevailingly concentrated in the South and islands, where it provides an important contribution to the agricultural economy. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in this crop as a promising source of polyphenols, a heterogeneous class of secondary metabolites characterized by various healthy properties well-documented in literature. The phenolic fraction, present in the different artichoke plant parts, varies widely in relation to biotic and abiotic factors. Therefore, the present study aimed at evaluating the variation of phenolic content in globe artichoke in relation to biological, technical and environmental factors. Two field-experiments were carried out in Sicily (South Italy in two representative cultivation areas, in order to examine the effects of genotype, head fraction, season conditions, planting density and arrangement on the globe artichoke phenolic concentration. Both the total polyphenols and the individual phenolic compounds detected were notably genotype- dependent. Particularly, the high level of caffeoylquinic acids (chlorogenic acid, among others and apigenin 7- O-glucuronide, reported respectively by “Violetto di Sicilia” and “Romanesco clone C3”, could be used to encourage globe artichoke fresh consumption. Total polyphenols content also resulted more abundant in specific accumulation sites within the inflorescence, such as the floral stem and receptacle, and for most of genotypes it decreased during the second year in response to the different meteorological conditions. Additionally, total polyphenols content significantly and linearly increased as plant density increased from 1.0 to 1.8 plant m-2 and it significantly increased by 13% passing from single to twin rows plant arrangement.

  5. Variation of Phenolic Content in Globe Artichoke in Relation to Biological, Technical and Environmental Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Mauromicale

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In Italy, globe artichoke production is prevailingly concentrated in the South and islands, where it provides an important contribution to the agricultural economy. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in this crop as a promising source of polyphenols, a heterogeneous class of secondary metabolites characterized by various healthy properties well-documented in literature. The phenolic fraction, present in the different artichoke plant parts, varies widely in relation to biotic and abiotic factors. Therefore, the present study aimed at evaluating the variation of phenolic content in globe artichoke in relation to biological, technical and environmental factors. Two field-experiments were carried out in Sicily (South Italy in two representative cultivation areas, in order to examine the effects of genotype, head fraction, season conditions, planting density and arrangement on the globe artichoke phenolic concentration. Both the total polyphenols and the individual phenolic compounds detected were notably genotype- dependent. Particularly, the high level of caffeoylquinic acids (chlorogenic acid, among others and apigenin 7- O-glucuronide, reported respectively by “Violetto di Sicilia” and “Romanesco clone C3”, could be used to encourage globe artichoke fresh consumption. Total polyphenols content also resulted more abundant in specific accumulation sites within the inflorescence, such as the floral stem and receptacle, and for most of genotypes it decreased during the second year in response to the different meteorological conditions. Additionally, total polyphenols content significantly and linearly increased as plant density increased from 1.0 to 1.8 plant m-2 and it significantly increased by 13% passing from single to twin rows plant arrangement.

  6. Biological invasions: economic and environmental costs of alien plant, animal, and microbe species

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pimentel, David

    2011-01-01

    ...: Economic and Environmental Costs of Alien Plant, Animal, and Microbe Species, this reference discusses how non-native species invade new ecosystems and the subsequent economic and environmental effects of these species...

  7. 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.

  8. Computational biology approaches to plant metabolism and photosynthesis: applications for corals in times of climate change and environmental stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabbe, M James C

    2010-08-01

    Knowledge of factors that are important in reef resilience helps us to understand how reef ecosystems react following major anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. The symbiotic relationship between the photosynthetic zooxanthellae algal cells and corals is that the zooxanthellae provide the coral with carbon, while the coral provides protection and access to enough light for the zooxanthellae to photosynthesise. This article reviews some recent advances in computational biology relevant to photosynthetic organisms, including Beyesian approaches to kinetics, computational methods for flux balances in metabolic processes, and determination of clades of zooxanthallae. Application of these systems will be important in the conservation of coral reefs in times of climate change and environmental stress.

  9. Understanding the Structure-Function Relationships of Dendrimers in Environmental and Biomedical Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo

    We are living an era wherein nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied in our lives. Dendrimers are special polymeric NPs with unique physiochemical properties, which have been intensely explored for a variety of applications. Current studies on dendrimers are bottlenecked by insufficient understandings of their structure and dynamic behaviors from a molecular level. With primarily computational approaches supplemented by many other experimental technics, this dissertation aims to establish structure-function relationships of dendrimers in environmental and biomedical applications. More specifically, it thoroughly investigates the interactions between dendrimers and different biomolecules including carbon-based NPs, metal-based NPs, and proteins/peptides. Those results not only provide profound knowledge for evaluating the impacts of dendrimers on environmental and biological systems but also facilitate designing next-generation functional polymeric nanomaterials. The dissertation is organized as following. Chapter 1 provides an overview of current progresses on dendrimer studies, where methodology of Discrete Molecular Dynamics (DMD), my major research tool, is also introduced. Two directions of utilizing dendrimers will be discussed in following chapters. Chapter 2 will focus on environmental applications of dendrimers, where two back-to-back studies are presented. I will start from describing some interesting observations from experiments i.e. dendrimers dispersed model oil molecules. Then, I will reveal why surface chemistries of dendrimers lead to different remediation efficiencies by computational modelings. Finally, I will demonstrate different scenarios of dendrimer-small molecules association. Chapter 3 is centered on dendrimers in the biomedical applications including two subtopics. In the first topic, we will discuss dendrimers as surfactants that modulating the interactions between proteins and NPs. Some fundamental concepts regarding to NPs

  10. Handheld hyperspectral imager system for chemical/biological and environmental applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinnrichs, Michele; Piatek, Bob

    2004-08-01

    A small, hand held, battery operated imaging infrared spectrometer, Sherlock, has been developed by Pacific Advanced Technology and was field tested in early 2003. The Sherlock spectral imaging camera has been designed for remote gas leak detection, however, the architecture of the camera is versatile enough that it can be applied to numerous other applications such as homeland security, chemical/biological agent detection, medical and pharmaceutical applications as well as standard research and development. This paper describes the Sherlock camera, theory of operations, shows current applications and touches on potential future applications for the camera. The Sherlock has an embedded Power PC and performs real-time-image processing function in an embedded FPGA. The camera has a built in LCD display as well as output to a standard monitor, or NTSC display. It has several I/O ports, ethernet, firewire, RS232 and thus can be easily controlled from a remote location. In addition, software upgrades can be performed over the ethernet eliminating the need to send the camera back to the factory for a retrofit. Using the USB port a mouse and key board can be connected and the camera can be used in a laboratory environment as a stand alone imaging spectrometer.

  11. Hand-held hyperspectral imager for chemical/biological and environmental applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinnrichs, Michele; Piatek, Bob

    2004-03-01

    A small, hand held, battery operated imaging infrared spectrometer, Sherlock, has been developed by Pacific Advanced Technology and was field tested in early 2003. The Sherlock spectral imaging camera has been designed for remote gas leak detection, however, the architecture of the camera is versatile enough that it can be applied to numerous other applications such as homeland security, chemical/biological agent detection, medical and pharmaceutical applications as well as standard research and development. This paper describes the Sherlock camera, theory of operations, shows current applications and touches on potential future applications for the camera. The Sherlock has an embedded Power PC and performs real-time-image processing function in an embedded FPGA. The camera has a built in LCD display as well as output to a standard monitor, or NTSC display. It has several I/O ports, ethernet, firewire, RS232 and thus can be easily controlled from a remote location. In addition, software upgrades can be performed over the ethernet eliminating the need to send the camera back to the factory for a retrofit. Using the USB port a mouse and key board can be connected and the camera can be used in a laboratory environment as a stand alone imaging spectrometer.

  12. 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

  13. Environmental and biological factors influencing Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) vector competence for Saint Louis encephalitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Stephanie L; Lord, Cynthia C; Pesko, Kendra; Tabachnick, Walter J

    2009-08-01

    Complex interactions between environmental and biological factors influence the susceptibility of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus to St. Louis encephalitis virus and could affect the epidemiology of virus transmission. Similar interactions could have epidemiologic implications for other vector-virus systems. We conducted an experiment to examine four such factors in combination: mosquito age, extrinsic incubation temperature (EIT), virus dose, and colony. The proportion of mosquitoes with body infections or disseminated infections varied between colonies, and was dependant on age, EIT, and dose. We also show that the probability of a body or leg infection interacted in complex ways between colonies, ages, EITs, and doses. The complex interactive effects of environmental and biological factors must be taken into account for studies of vector competence and epidemiology, especially when laboratory studies are used to generalize to natural transmission dynamics where the extent of variation is largely unknown.

  14. Characterization of carbon nanotubes and analytical methods for their determination in environmental and biological samples: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herrero-Latorre, C., E-mail: carlos.herrero@usc.es; Álvarez-Méndez, J.; Barciela-García, J.; García-Martín, S.; Peña-Crecente, R.M.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Analytical techniques for characterization of CNTs: classification, description and examples. • Determination methods for CNTs in biological and environmental samples. • Future trends and perspectives for characterization and determination of CNTs. - Abstract: In the present paper, a critical overview of the most commonly used techniques for the characterization and the determination of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is given on the basis of 170 references (2000–2014). The analytical techniques used for CNT characterization (including microscopic and diffraction, spectroscopic, thermal and separation techniques) are classified, described, and illustrated with applied examples. Furthermore, the performance of sampling procedures as well as the available methods for the determination of CNTs in real biological and environmental samples are reviewed and discussed according to their analytical characteristics. In addition, future trends and perspectives in this field of work are critically presented.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Cognitive Function Related to Environmental Exposure to Manganese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: The towns of Marietta and East Liverpool (EL), Ohio, have been identified as having elevated manganese (Mn) in air due to industrial pollution. Objectives: To evaluate relationships between environmental Mn (Mn-air) exposure and distance from the source and cognitive...

  19. 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.

  20. Biological and environmental factors associated with risk of schistosomiasis mansoni transmission in Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco State, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Leal Neto, Onicio Batista; Gomes, Elainne Christine de Souza; Oliveira Junior, Fernando José Moreira de; Andrade, Rafael; Reis, Diego Leandro; Souza-Santos, Reinaldo; Bocanegra, Silvana; Barbosa, Constança Simões

    2013-01-01

    Schistosomiasis has expanded to the coast of Pernambuco State, Brazil, where there are frequent reports of Biomphalaria glabrata snails and human cases of the disease. This study analyzes factors related to schistosomiasis transmission risk in Porto de Galinhas. A one-year malacological survey was conducted to identify biological, abiotic, and environmental factors related to the host snail breeding sites. Data analysis used Excel 2010, GTM Pro, and ArcGis 10. A total of 11,012 B. glabrata sn...

  1. Social, biological, and environmental drivers of the hunting and trade of the endangered yellow-footed tortoise in the Amazon

    OpenAIRE

    Thaís Q. Morcatty; João Valsecchi

    2015-01-01

    Chelonians constitute an important source of food and income for the inhabitants of tropical forests. We assessed the social, biological, and environmental factors affecting the hunting and trade of the endangered yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulata) in rural and urban areas in the Amazon and estimated the sustainability of tortoise use. We also discuss possible conservation alternatives that are compatible with the needs of local inhabitants. We monitored tortoise hunting and tra...

  2. The Legitimacy of Private Sector’s Involvement in Global Environmental Regimes: The Case of the Convention on Biological Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Orsini, Amandine

    2008-01-01

    This paper analyses a research topic poorly considered by authors interested in the legitimacy of environmental governance, that is to say the dynamics created by its interpretation by private sector actors. In order to fill this gap, a recent decision of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) –decision VIII/17 adopted in Marsh 2006- to further involve the private sector in the activities of the Convention is considered. The legitimacy of decision VIII/17 is twofold. Its first dimension...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Fetal Programming of Body Composition, Obesity, and Metabolic Function: The Role of Intrauterine Stress and Stress Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja Entringer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological, clinical, physiological, cellular, and molecular evidence suggests that the origins of obesity and metabolic dysfunction can be traced back to intrauterine life and supports an important role for maternal nutrition prior to and during gestation in fetal programming. The elucidation of underlying mechanisms is an area of interest and intense investigation. In this perspectives paper we propose that in addition to maternal nutrition-related processes it may be important to concurrently consider the potential role of intrauterine stress and stress biology. We frame our arguments in the larger context of an evolutionary-developmental perspective that supports roles for both nutrition and stress as key environmental conditions driving natural selection and developmental plasticity. We suggest that intrauterine stress exposure may interact with the nutritional milieu, and that stress biology may represent an underlying mechanism mediating the effects of diverse intrauterine perturbations, including but not limited to maternal nutritional insults (undernutrition and overnutrition, on brain and peripheral targets of programming of body composition, energy balance homeostasis, and metabolic function. We discuss putative maternal-placental-fetal endocrine and immune/inflammatory candidate mechanisms that may underlie the long-term effects of intrauterine stress. We conclude with a commentary of the implications for future research and clinical practice.

  16. 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

  17. Genetic and Environmental Basis in Phenotype Correlation Between Physical Function and Cognition in Aging Chinese Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Chunsheng; Zhang, Dongfeng; Tian, Xiaocao

    2017-01-01

    for cognition with handgrip strength, FTSST, near visual acuity, and number of teeth lost. Cognitive function was genetically related to pulmonary function. The FTSST and cognition shared almost the same common environmental factors but only part of the unique environmental factors, both with negative......Although the correlation between cognition and physical function has been well studied in the general population, the genetic and environmental nature of the correlation has been rarely investigated. We conducted a classical twin analysis on cognitive and physical function, including forced...... and cognitive function. Bivariate analysis showed mildly positively genetic correlations between cognition and FEV1, r G = 0.23 [95% CI: 0.03, 0.62], as well as FVC, r G = 0.35 [95% CI: 0.06, 1.00]. We found that FTSST and cognition presented very high common environmental correlation, r C = -1.00 [95% CI: -1...

  18. 2012 best practices for repositories collection, storage, retrieval, and distribution of biological materials for research international society for biological and environmental repositories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-01

    Third Edition [Formula: see text] [Box: see text] Printed with permission from the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) © 2011 ISBER All Rights Reserved Editor-in-Chief Lori D. Campbell, PhD Associate Editors Fay Betsou, PhD Debra Leiolani Garcia, MPA Judith G. Giri, PhD Karen E. Pitt, PhD Rebecca S. Pugh, MS Katherine C. Sexton, MBA Amy P.N. Skubitz, PhD Stella B. Somiari, PhD Individual Contributors to the Third Edition Jonas Astrin, Susan Baker, Thomas J. Barr, Erica Benson, Mark Cada, Lori Campbell, Antonio Hugo Jose Froes Marques Campos, David Carpentieri, Omoshile Clement, Domenico Coppola, Yvonne De Souza, Paul Fearn, Kelly Feil, Debra Garcia, Judith Giri, William E. Grizzle, Kathleen Groover, Keith Harding, Edward Kaercher, Joseph Kessler, Sarah Loud, Hannah Maynor, Kevin McCluskey, Kevin Meagher, Cheryl Michels, Lisa Miranda, Judy Muller-Cohn, Rolf Muller, James O'Sullivan, Karen Pitt, Rebecca Pugh, Rivka Ravid, Katherine Sexton, Ricardo Luis A. Silva, Frank Simione, Amy Skubitz, Stella Somiari, Frans van der Horst, Gavin Welch, Andy Zaayenga 2012 Best Practices for Repositories: Collection, Storage, Retrieval and Distribution of Biological Materials for Research INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL REPOSITORIES (ISBER) INTRODUCTION T he availability of high quality biological and environmental specimens for research purposes requires the development of standardized methods for collection, long-term storage, retrieval and distribution of specimens that will enable their future use. Sharing successful strategies for accomplishing this goal is one of the driving forces for the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER). For more information about ISBER see www.isber.org . ISBER's Best Practices for Repositories (Best Practices) reflect the collective experience of its members and has received broad input from other repository professionals. Throughout this document

  19. Environmental Health and Aging: Activity, Exposure and Biological Models to Improve Risk Assessment and Health Promotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other public health agencies are concerned that the environmental health of America’s growing population of older adults has not been taken into consideration in current approaches to risk assessment. The reduced capacity to respo...

  20. Subjective Theories of Indonesian Agronomy and Biology Teacher Students on Environmental Commons Dilemmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Sebastian; Barkmann, Jan; Sundawati, Leti; Bogeholz, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Fostering the cognitive skills to analyse environmental "commons dilemmas" is an urgent task of environmental education globally. Commons dilemmas are characterised by structural incentives to overexploit a natural resource; their solution is particularly pressing in threatened biodiversity "hotspot" areas. Solutions to these…

  1. 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.

  2. Distribution of functional traits in subtropical trees across environmental and forest use gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blundo, Cecilia; Malizia, Lucio R.; González-Espinosa, Mario

    2015-11-01

    The relationship between functional traits and environmental factors contribute to understanding community structure and predicting which species will be able to elude environmental filters in different habitats. We selected 10 functional traits related to morphology, demography and regeneration niche in 54 subtropical premontane tree species to describe their main axes of functional differentiation. We derived species traits, environmental variables and species abundance data from 20 1-ha permanent plots established in a seasonal subtropical premontane forest in northwestern Argentina. We analyzed the relationship between species functional traits and environmental factors through RLQ and fourth-corner analyzes. We found an axis of structural differentiation that segregates understory from canopy species, and an axis of functional differentiation that segregates species that maximize resource acquisition from those that promote resource conservation. Environmental and forest use gradients operate hierarchically over subtropical premontane tree species influencing the distribution of demographic and morphological traits. The interaction between climatic and topographic factors influences the distribution of species functional traits at the regional scale. In addition, the history of forest use seems to operate at the landscape scale and explains the distribution of species traits reflecting a trade-off between resource acquisition and resource conservation strategies in secondary forests across different successional stages. Our results support the idea that functional traits may be used to analyze community structure and dynamics through niche differentiation and environmental filtering processes.

  3. Environmental filtering structures tree functional traits combination and lineages across space in tropical tree assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asefa, Mengesha; Cao, Min; Zhang, Guocheng; Ci, Xiuqin; Li, Jie; Yang, Jie

    2017-03-09

    Environmental filtering consistently shapes the functional and phylogenetic structure of species across space within diverse forests. However, poor descriptions of community functional and lineage distributions across space hamper the accurate understanding of coexistence mechanisms. We combined environmental variables and geographic space to explore how traits and lineages are filtered by environmental factors using extended RLQ and fourth-corner analyses across different spatial scales. The dispersion patterns of traits and lineages were also examined in a 20-ha tropical rainforest dynamics plot in southwest China. We found that environmental filtering was detected across all spatial scales except the largest scale (100 × 100 m). Generally, the associations between functional traits and environmental variables were more or less consistent across spatial scales. Species with high resource acquisition-related traits were associated with the resource-rich part of the plot across the different spatial scales, whereas resource-conserving functional traits were distributed in limited-resource environments. Furthermore, we found phylogenetic and functional clustering at all spatial scales. Similar functional strategies were also detected among distantly related species, suggesting that phylogenetic distance is not necessarily a proxy for functional distance. In summary, environmental filtering considerably structured the trait and lineage assemblages in this species-rich tropical rainforest.

  4. Air Pollution and Other Environmental Modulators of Cardiac Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorr, Matthew W; Falvo, Michael J; Wold, Loren E

    2017-09-12

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in developed regions and a worldwide health concern. Multiple external causes of CVD are well known, including obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, age, and sedentary behavior. Air pollution has been linked with the development of CVD for decades, though the mechanistic characterization remains unknown. In this comprehensive review, we detail the background and epidemiology of the effects of air pollution and other environmental modulators on the heart, including both short- and long-term consequences. Then, we provide the experimental data and current hypotheses of how pollution is able to cause the CVD, and how exposure to pollutants is exacerbated in sensitive states. Published 2017. Compr Physiol 7:1479-1495, 2017. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  5. 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

  6. Gender and environmental influence on laterality functions among ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: A semi‑structured questionnaire was designed to ascertain laterality functions in randomly sampled population of 400 preclinical students of the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. Methodology: Frequency in use of limbs in physical activities categorized as: Always if (>80%), usually if ...

  7. Determination of short half-life elements in biological, foodstuff, and environmental samples qualitatively by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Syukria Kurniawati; Muhayatun Santoso; Diah Dwiana Lestiani

    2010-01-01

    NAA applications at routine operation power of 15 MW at Multipurpose Reactor GA Siwabessy (MPR-GAS) for sample matrices analysis have been widely applied. However, the results are not optimum for some matrices especially for short half-live elements. Preliminary study of short half-life elements determination in biological, foodstuff, and environmental samples using 1 MW power have been conducted to solve this problem. The samples were irradiated in rabbit system of MPR-GAS for 5 minutes, counted for 200 seconds by HPGe detector, and the spectrum were analyzed further using software Genie 2000 and Bandung NAA Utility. Analysis under 1 MW power on biological and foodstuff samples were capable to detect eight elements: Al, Br, CI, Ca, I, K, Mg, Ti, and Na for biological samples; Al, Br, CI, Ca, I, K, Mg, Mn, and Na for foodstuff samples, while at 15 MW power only three elements (CI, K, Na) were detected. At 1 MW power the counting process is more optimum due to smaller radiation exposure and dead time. For the environmental samples, the number of elements detected by 1 MW and 15 MW powers did not differ significantly. Generally, the results on the three types of samples showed that the elements of short half-life are better detected at 1 MW than that of 15 MW power. Further research needs to be done to obtain the optimum analytical conditions for irradiation and counting time determination. (author)

  8. 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...

  9. Supercritical fluid extraction and ultra performance liquid chromatography of respiratory quinones for microbial community analysis in environmental and biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanif, Muhammad; Atsuta, Yoichi; Fujie, Koichi; Daimon, Hiroyuki

    2012-03-05

    Microbial community structure plays a significant role in environmental assessment and animal health management. The development of a superior analytical strategy for the characterization of microbial community structure is an ongoing challenge. In this study, we developed an effective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) method for the analysis of bacterial respiratory quinones (RQ) in environmental and biological samples. RQ profile analysis is one of the most widely used culture-independent tools for characterizing microbial community structure. A UPLC equipped with a photo diode array (PDA) detector was successfully applied to the simultaneous determination of ubiquinones (UQ) and menaquinones (MK) without tedious pretreatment. Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO(2)) extraction with the solid-phase cartridge trap proved to be a more effective and rapid method for extracting respiratory quinones, compared to a conventional organic solvent extraction method. This methodology leads to a successful analytical procedure that involves a significant reduction in the complexity and sample preparation time. Application of the optimized methodology to characterize microbial communities based on the RQ profile was demonstrated for a variety of environmental samples (activated sludge, digested sludge, and compost) and biological samples (swine and Japanese quail feces).

  10. Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography of Respiratory Quinones for Microbial Community Analysis in Environmental and Biological Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koichi Fujie

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Microbial community structure plays a significant role in environmental assessment and animal health management. The development of a superior analytical strategy for the characterization of microbial community structure is an ongoing challenge. In this study, we developed an effective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE and ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC method for the analysis of bacterial respiratory quinones (RQ in environmental and biological samples. RQ profile analysis is one of the most widely used culture-independent tools for characterizing microbial community structure. A UPLC equipped with a photo diode array (PDA detector was successfully applied to the simultaneous determination of ubiquinones (UQ and menaquinones (MK without tedious pretreatment. Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2 extraction with the solid-phase cartridge trap proved to be a more effective and rapid method for extracting respiratory quinones, compared to a conventional organic solvent extraction method. This methodology leads to a successful analytical procedure that involves a significant reduction in the complexity and sample preparation time. Application of the optimized methodology to characterize microbial communities based on the RQ profile was demonstrated for a variety of environmental samples (activated sludge, digested sludge, and compost and biological samples (swine and Japanese quail feces.

  11. Functionalized membranes for environmental remediation and selective separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Li

    Membrane process including microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) have provided numerous successful applications ranging from drinking water purification, wastewater treatment, to material recovery. The addition of functional moiety in the membranes pores allows such membranes to be used in challenging areas including tunable separations, toxic metal capture, and catalysis. In this work, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) MF membrane was functionalized with temperature responsive (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), PNIPAAm) and pH responsive (polyacrylic acid, PAA) polymers. It's revealed that the permeation of various molecules (water, salt and dextran) through the membrane can be thermally or pH controlled. The introduction of PAA as a polyelectrolyte offers an excellent platform for the immobilization of metal nanoparticles (NPs) applied for degradation of toxic chlorinated organics with significantly increased longevity and stability. The advantage of using temperature and pH responsive polymers/hydrogels also includes the high reactivity and effectiveness in dechlorination. Further advancement on the PVDF functionalization involved the alkaline treatment to create partially defluorinated membrane (Def-PVDF) with conjugated double bounds allowing for the covalent attachment of different polymers. The PAA-Def-PVDF membrane shows pH responsive behavior on both the hydraulic permeability and solute retention. The sponge-like PVDF (SPVDF) membranes by phase inversion were developed through casting PVDF solution on polyester backing. The SPVDF membrane was demonstrated to have 4 times more surface area than commercial PVDF MF membrane, allowing for enhanced nanoparticles loading for chloro-organics degradation. The advanced functionalization method and process were also validated to be able to be scaled-up through the evaluation of full-scale functionalized membrane provided by Ultura Inc. California, USA. Nanofiltration (NF

  12. Environmental biodosimetry: a biologically relevant tool for ecological risk assessment and biomonitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ulsh, B. E-mail: ulshb@mcmaster.ca; Hinton, T.G.; Congdon, J.D.; Dugan, L.C.; Whicker, F.W.; Bedford, J.S

    2003-07-01

    Biodosimetry, the estimation of received doses by determining the frequency of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations, is widely applied in humans acutely exposed as a result of accidents or for clinical purposes, but biodosimetric techniques have not been utilized in organisms chronically exposed to radionuclides in contaminated environments. The application of biodosimetry to environmental exposure scenarios could greatly improve the accuracy, and reduce the uncertainties, of ecological risk assessments and biomonitoring studies, because no assumptions are required regarding external exposure rates and the movement of organisms into and out of contaminated areas. Furthermore, unlike residue analyses of environmental media environmental biodosimetry provides a genetically relevant biomarker of cumulative lifetime exposure. Symmetrical chromosome translocations can impact reproductive success, and could therefore prove to be ecologically relevant as well. We describe our experience in studying aberrations in the yellow-bellied slider turtle as an example of environmental biodosimetry.

  13. 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.

  14. Biological methylation of inorganic mercury by Saccharomyces cerevisiae - a possible environmental process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reisinger, K.; Stoeppler, M.; Nuernberg, H.W.

    1983-01-01

    The biological methylation of inorganic mercury by S-adenosylmethione (SAM) was investigated by incubation experiments with Saccharomyces cerevisae (''bakers' yeast''). The methyl donor (methionine) and the acceptor (Hg 2+ as HgCl 2 ) were also applied in their labelled form (double labelling). Methylmercury as a result of a possibly biological methyl group transfer could not be detected. As reaction product only small amounts (0.01per mille yield) of elemental mercury (Hg 0 ) were found, while the overwhelming amount of HgCl 2 had not reacted. (orig.) [de

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of wastewater effluent discharge and treatment facility upgrades on environmental and biological conditions of Indian Creek, Johnson County, Kansas, June 2004 through June 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jennifer L.; Stone, Mandy L.; Rasmussen, Teresa J.; Foster, Guy M.; Poulton, Barry C.; Paxson, Chelsea R.; Harris, Theodore D.

    2014-01-01

    Indian Creek is one of the most urban drainage basins in Johnson County, Kansas, and environmental and biological conditions of the creek are affected by contaminants from point and other urban sources. The Johnson County Douglas L. Smith Middle Basin (hereafter referred to as the “Middle Basin”) and Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTFs) discharge to Indian Creek. In summer 2010, upgrades were completed to increase capacity and include biological nutrient removal at the Middle Basin facility. There have been no recent infrastructure changes at the Tomahawk Creek facility; however, during 2009, chemically enhanced primary treatment was added to the treatment process for better process settling before disinfection and discharge with the added effect of enhanced phosphorus removal. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Johnson County Wastewater, assessed the effects of wastewater effluent on environmental and biological conditions of Indian Creek by comparing two upstream sites to four sites located downstream from the WWTFs using data collected during June 2004 through June 2013. Environmental conditions were evaluated using previously and newly collected discrete and continuous data and were compared with an assessment of biological community composition and ecosystem function along the upstream-downstream gradient. This study improves the understanding of the effects of wastewater effluent on stream-water and streambed sediment quality, biological community composition, and ecosystem function in urban areas. After the addition of biological nutrient removal to the Middle Basin WWTF in 2010, annual mean total nitrogen concentrations in effluent decreased by 46 percent, but still exceeded the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater effluent permit concentration goal of 8.0 milligrams per liter (mg/L); however, the NPDES wastewater effluent permit total phosphorus concentration goal of 1.5 mg/L or less was

  18. 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.

  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. Environmental change and hedonic cost functions for automobiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, S; Kortum, S; Pakes, A

    1996-11-12

    This paper focuses on how changes in the economic and regulatory environment have affected production costs and product characteristics in the automobile industry. We estimate "hedonic cost functions" that relate product-level costs to their characteristics. Then we examine how this cost surface has changed over time and how these changes relate to changes in gas prices and in emission standard regulations. We also briefly consider the related questions of how changes in automobile characteristics, and in the rate of patenting, are related to regulations and gas prices.

  1. Re-introducing environmental change drivers in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laender, Frederik; Rohr, Jason R.; Ashauer, Roman; Baird, Donald J.; Berger, Uta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Grimm, Volker; Hommen, Udo; Maltby, Lorraine; Meliàn, Carlos J.; Pomati, Francesco; Roessink, Ivo; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Van den Brink, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    For the past 20 years, research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (B-EF) has only implicitly considered the underlying role of environmental change. We illustrate that explicitly re-introducing environmental change drivers in B-EF research is needed to predict the functioning of ecosystems facing changes in biodiversity. Next, we show how this reintroduction improves experimental control over community composition and structure, which helps to obtain mechanistic insight about how multiple aspects of biodiversity relate to function, and how biodiversity and function relate in food-webs. We also highlight challenges for the proposed re-introduction, and suggest analyses and experiments to better understand how random biodiversity changes, as studied by classic approaches in B-EF research, contribute to the shifts in function that follow environmental change. PMID:27742415

  2. Biological/environmental relationships in desert ecosystems of the Nevada Test Site. Progress report, February 1, 1976--April 30, 1977

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beatley, J.C.

    1977-01-01

    Activities covered by the report are: the correction and putting on tape of all plant and rodent data collected on the Nevada Test Site, and the present status of all of the environmental and biological data; accomplishments during the first part of the summer at the Nevada Test Site, and especially matters relating to its Endangered Plant Species, and the status of one of these species in particular; herbarium curating activities; gift of Test Site rodent skins and skulls to the U.S. National Museum; manuscript and report in preparation; and publications

  3. The superconducting high-resolution soft X-ray spectrometer at the advanced biological and environmental X-ray facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedrich, S. [Advanced Detector Group, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, L-188, Livermore, CA 94550 (United States); Advanced Biological and Environmental X-ray Facility, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, MS 6-2100, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)], E-mail: Friedrich1@llnl.gov; Drury, O.B. [Advanced Detector Group, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, L-188, Livermore, CA 94550 (United States); Advanced Biological and Environmental X-ray Facility, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, MS 6-2100, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Biophysics Group, University of California, 1 Shields Avenue, EU-III, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); George, S.J. [Advanced Biological and Environmental X-ray Facility, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, MS 6-2100, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Cramer, S.P. [Advanced Biological and Environmental X-ray Facility, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, MS 6-2100, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Biophysics Group, University of California, 1 Shields Avenue, EU-III, Davis, CA 95616 (United States)

    2007-11-11

    We have built a 36-pixel superconducting tunnel junction X-ray spectrometer for chemical analysis of dilute samples in the soft X-ray band. It offers an energy resolution of {approx}10-20 eV FWHM below 1 keV, a solid angle coverage of {approx}10{sup -3}, and can be operated at total rates of up to {approx}10{sup 6} counts/s. Here, we describe the spectrometer performance in speciation measurements by fluorescence-detected X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Advanced Biological and Environmental X-ray facility at the ALS synchrotron.

  4. Environmental Learning Workshop: Lichen as Biological Indicator of Air Quality and Impact on Secondary Students' Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samsudin, Mohd Wahid; Daik, Rusli; Abas, Azlan; Meerah, T. Subahan Mohd; Halim, Lilia

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the learning of science outside the classroom is believe to be an added value to science learning as well as it offers students to interact with the environment. This study presents data obtained from two days' workshop on Lichen as Biological Indicator for Air Quality. The aim of the workshop is for the students to gain an…

  5. Environmental and biological behaviour of plutonium and some other transuranium elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richmond, C.R.

    1983-01-01

    The objectives are to summarize our knowledge of the way in which plutonium and some other transuranium elements migrate through ecosystems; to consider how the physiochemical state of these elements and the biological systems through which they pass may influence this movement; and to put into perspective the risks of serious illness in man resulting from his exposure to these elements in the environment

  6. Biotic and environmental stress induces nitration and changes in structure and function of the sea urchin major yolk protein toposome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Immacolata; Migliaccio, Oriana; Ferraro, Giarita; Maffioli, Elisa; Marasco, Daniela; Merlino, Antonello; Zingone, Adriana; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Palumbo, Anna

    2018-03-15

    The major yolk protein toposome plays crucial roles during gametogenesis and development of sea urchins. We previously found that nitration of toposome increases in the gonads of a Paracentrotus lividus population living in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata, compared to control populations. This modification is associated with ovatoxin accumulation, high levels of nitric oxide in the gonads, and a remarkable impairment of progeny development. However, nothing is known about the environmental-mediated-regulation of the structure and biological function of toposome. Here, we characterize through wide-ranging biochemical and structural analyses the nitrated toposome of sea urchins exposed to the bloom, and subsequently detoxified. The increased number of nitrated tyrosines in toposome of sea urchins collected during algal bloom induced structural changes and improvement of the Ca 2+ -binding affinity of the protein. After 3 months' detoxification, ovatoxin was undetectable, and the number of nitric oxide-modified tyrosines was reduced. However, the nitration of specific residues was irreversible and occurred also in embryos treated with metals, used as a proxy of environmental pollutants. The structural and functional changes of toposome caused by nitration under adverse environmental conditions may be related to the defective development of sea urchins' progeny.

  7. Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Solan, Martin

    2010-07-12

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH(4)-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO(4)-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty.

  8. Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T.; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M.; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C. L.; Solan, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH4-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO4-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty. PMID:20513718

  9. The use of remote sensors to relate biological and physical indicators to environmental and public health problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    Relationships between biological, ecological and botanical structures, and disease organisms and their vectors which might be detected and measured by remote sensing are determined. In addition to the use of trees as indicators of disease or potential disease, an attempt is made to identify environmental factors such as soil moisture and soil and water temperatures as they relate to disease or health problems and may be detected by remote sensing. The following three diseases and one major health problem are examined: Malaria, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Encephalitis and Red Tide. It is shown that no single species of vascular plant nor any one environmental factor can be used as the indicator of disease or health problems. Entire vegetation types, successional stages and combinations of factors must be used.

  10. Coupling Front-End Separations, Ion Mobility Spectrometry, and Mass Spectrometry For Enhanced Multidimensional Biological and Environmental Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xueyun; Wojcik, Roza; Zhang, Xing; Ibrahim, Yehia M.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.; Orton, Daniel J.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Moore, Ronald J.; Smith, Richard D.; Baker, Erin S.

    2017-01-01

    Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) is a widely used analytical technique for rapid molecular separations in the gas phase. Though IMS alone is useful, its coupling with mass spectrometry (MS) and front-end separations is extremely beneficial for increasing measurement sensitivity, peak capacity of complex mixtures, and the scope of molecular information available from biological and environmental sample analyses. In fact, multiple disease screening and environmental evaluations have illustrated that the IMS-based multidimensional separations extract information that cannot be acquired with each technique individually. This review highlights three-dimensional separations using IMS-MS in conjunction with a range of front-end techniques, such as gas chromatography, supercritical fluid chromatography, liquid chromatography, solid-phase extractions, capillary electrophoresis, field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry, and microfluidic devices. The origination, current state, various applications, and future capabilities of these multidimensional approaches are described in detail to provide insight into their uses and benefits. PMID:28301728

  11. Coupling Front-End Separations, Ion Mobility Spectrometry, and Mass Spectrometry For Enhanced Multidimensional Biological and Environmental Analyses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zheng, Xueyun; Wojcik, Roza; Zhang, Xing; Ibrahim, Yehia M.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.; Orton, Daniel J.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Moore, Ronald J.; Smith, Richard D.; Baker, Erin M.

    2017-06-12

    Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) is a widely used analytical technique for rapid molecular separations in the gas phase. IMS alone is useful, but its coupling with mass spectrometry (MS) and front-end separations has been extremely beneficial for increasing measurement sensitivity, peak capacity of complex mixtures, and the scope of molecular information in biological and environmental sample analyses. Multiple studies in disease screening and environmental evaluations have even shown these IMS-based multidimensional separations extract information not possible with each technique individually. This review highlights 3-dimensional separations using IMS-MS in conjunction with a range of front-end techniques, such as gas chromatography (GC), supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), liquid chromatography (LC), solid phase extractions (SPE), capillary electrophoresis (CE), field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS), and microfluidic devices. The origination, current state, various applications, and future capabilities for these multidimensional approaches are described to provide insight into the utility and potential of each technique.

  12. Biological and Environmental Research Exascale Requirements Review. An Office of Science review sponsored jointly by Advanced Scientific Computing Research and Biological and Environmental Research, March 28-31, 2016, Rockville, Maryland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arkin, Adam [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Bader, David C. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Coffey, Richard [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Antypas, Katie [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Bard, Deborah [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC); Dart, Eli [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Esnet; Dosanjh, Sudip [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Gerber, Richard [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Hack, James [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Monga, Inder [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Esnet; Papka, Michael E. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Riley, Katherine [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Rotman, Lauren [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Esnet; Straatsma, Tjerk [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wells, Jack [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Aluru, Srinivas [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Andersen, Amity [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Aprá, Edoardo [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). EMSL; Azad, Ariful [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Bates, Susan [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Blaby, Ian [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Blaby-Haas, Crysten [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Bonneau, Rich [New York Univ. (NYU), NY (United States); Bowen, Ben [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Bradford, Mark A. [Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States); Brodie, Eoin [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Brown, James (Ben) [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Buluc, Aydin [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Bernholdt, David [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Bylaska, Eric [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Calvin, Kate [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Cannon, Bill [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Chen, Xingyuan [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Cheng, Xiaolin [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Cheung, Margaret [Univ. of Houston, Houston, TX (United States); Chowdhary, Kenny [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Colella, Phillip [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Collins, Bill [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Compo, Gil [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States); Crowley, Mike [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Debusschere, Bert [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); D’Imperio, Nicholas [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Dror, Ron [Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States); Egan, Rob [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Evans, Katherine [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Friedberg, Iddo [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States); Fyke, Jeremy [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Gao, Zheng [Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States); Georganas, Evangelos [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Giraldo, Frank [Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (United States); Gnanakaran, Gnana [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Govind, Niri [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). EMSL; Grandy, Stuart [Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States); Gustafson, Bill [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hammond, Glenn [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Hargrove, William [USDA Forest Service, Washington, D.C. (United States); Heroux, Michael [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Hoffman, Forrest [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hofmeyr, Steven [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Hunke, Elizabeth [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Jackson, Charles [Univ. of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX (United States); Jacob, Rob [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Jacobson, Dan [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Jacobson, Matt [Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA (United States); Jain, Chirag [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Johansen, Hans [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Johnson, Jeff [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Jones, Andy [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Jones, Phil [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Kalyanaraman, Ananth [Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States); Kang, Senghwa [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); King, Eric [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Koanantakool, Penporn [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Kollias, Pavlos [Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States); Kopera, Michal [Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States); Kotamarthi, Rao [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Kowalski, Karol [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). EMSL; Kumar, Jitendra [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Kyrpides, Nikos [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Leung, Ruby [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Li, Xiaolin [Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States); Lin, Wuyin [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Link, Robert [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Liu, Yangang [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Loew, Leslie [Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (United States); Luke, Edward [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Ma, Hsi -Yen [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan [Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); Maranas, Costas [Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States); Martin, Daniel [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Maslowski, Wieslaw [Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (United States); McCue, Lee Ann [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); McInnes, Lois Curfman [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Mills, Richard [Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA (United States); Molins Rafa, Sergi [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Morozov, Dmitriy [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Mostafavi, Sara [Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Moulton, David J. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Mourao, Zenaida [Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom); Najm, Habib [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Ng, Bernard [Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Ng, Esmond [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Norman, Matt [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Oh, Sang -Yun [Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States); Oliker, Leonid [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Pan, Chongle [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Pass, Rebecca [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Pau, George S. H. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Petridis, Loukas [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Prakash, Giri [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Price, Stephen [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Randall, David [Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States); Renslow, Ryan [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Riihimaki, Laura [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Ringler, Todd [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Roberts, Andrew [Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (United States); Rokhsar, Dan [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Ruebel, Oliver [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Salinger, Andrew [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Scheibe, Tim [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Schulz, Roland [Intel, Mountain View, CA (United States); Sivaraman, Chitra [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Smith, Jeremy [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Sreepathi, Sarat [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Steefel, Carl [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Talbot, Jenifer [Boston Univ., Boston, MA (United States); Tantillo, D. J. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Tartakovsky, Alex [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Taylor, Mark [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Taylor, Ronald [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Trebotich, David [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Urban, Nathan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Valiev, Marat [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). EMSL; Wagner, Allon [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Wainwright, Haruko [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Wieder, Will [NCAR/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Wiley, Steven [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Williams, Dean [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Worley, Pat [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Xie, Shaocheng [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Yelick, Kathy [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Yoo, Shinjae [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Yosef, Niri [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Zhang, Minghua [Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States)

    2016-03-31

    Understanding the fundamentals of genomic systems or the processes governing impactful weather patterns are examples of the types of simulation and modeling performed on the most advanced computing resources in America. High-performance computing and computational science together provide a necessary platform for the mission science conducted by the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) office at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This report reviews BER’s computing needs and their importance for solving some of the toughest problems in BER’s portfolio. BER’s impact on science has been transformative. Mapping the human genome, including the U.S.-supported international Human Genome Project that DOE began in 1987, initiated the era of modern biotechnology and genomics-based systems biology. And since the 1950s, BER has been a core contributor to atmospheric, environmental, and climate science research, beginning with atmospheric circulation studies that were the forerunners of modern Earth system models (ESMs) and by pioneering the implementation of climate codes onto high-performance computers. See http://exascaleage.org/ber/ for more information.

  13. Desenvolvimento motor e funcional em crianças nascidas pré-termo e a termo: influência de fatores de risco biológico e ambiental Desarrollo motor y funcional en niños nacidos pretérmino y a término: influencia de factores de riesgo biológico y ambiental Motor and functional development in infants born preterm and full term: influence of biological and environmental risk factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edifrance Sá de Souza

    2012-12-01

    adquisición de la marcha en el grupo pretérmino (p=0,005, aunque no se haya encontrado diferencia significativa entre los grupos en la AIMS a los 12 (p=0,187 y a los 15 meses (p=0,80. A los 18 meses se encontraron diferencias significativas en el desarrollo motor grueso (pOBJECTIVE: To compare motor development in preterm and full term infants from 12 to 18 months and to investigate the relationship between functional performance and quantity and quality of environmental stimulation. METHODS: Quantitative, exploratory and longitudinal study, which included 30 preterm (gestational age: 30.0±2.3 weeks and birth weight: 1178±193g and 30 full term infants (39±1.3 weeks and 3270±400g. Motor development was evaluated by the Alberta Infant Motor Scale and the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales. Home environment was assessed by the Home Observation Measurement of the Environment. The Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory was used to examine functional abilities. RESULTS: The preterm group presented slower gait acquisition (p=0.005, although no significant differences between groups were found in the Alberta Infant Motor Scale at 12 (p=0.187 and 15 months (p=0.80. At 18 months, significant differences were found in gross (p<0.001 and fine (p=0.001 motor development and in functional abilities, with a better performance of the full term group. There were differences between groups in the Home Observation Measurement of the Environment inventory (p=0.008. CONCLUSIONS: Performance differences between groups increased from 12 to 18 months, and environmental factors might have enhanced the effects of biological risks. Developmental follow-up programs should focus on aspects of the environment where the child lives.

  14. 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

  15. Assessing environmental quality status by integrating chemical and biological effect data: The Cartagena coastal zone as a case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Gómez, Concepción; Fernández, Beatriz; Robinson, Craig D; Campillo, J Antonio; León, Víctor M; Benedicto, José; Hylland, Ketil; Vethaak, A Dick

    2017-03-01

    Cartagena coastal zone (W Mediterranean) was chosen for a practical case study to investigate the suitability of an integrated indicator framework for marine monitoring and assessment of chemicals and their effects, which was developed by ICES and OSPAR. Red mullet (Mullus barbatus) and the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were selected as target species. Concentrations of contaminants in sediment and biota, and contaminant-related biomarkers were analysed. To assess environmental quality in the Cartagena coastal zone with respect to chemical pollution, data were assessed using available assessment criteria, and then integrated for different environmental matrices. A qualitative scoring method was used to rank the overall assessments into selected categories and to evaluate the confidence level of the final integrated assessment. The ICES/OSPAR integrated assessment framework, originally designed for the North Atlantic, was found to be applicable for Mediterranean species and environmental matrices. Further development of assessment criteria of chemical and biological parameters in sediments and target species from the Mediterranean will, however, be required before this framework can be fully applied for determining Good Environmental Status (GES) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in these regions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Errors in statistical decision making Chapter 2 in Applied Statistics in Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agronomic and Environmental research experiments result in data that are analyzed using statistical methods. These data are unavoidably accompanied by uncertainty. Decisions about hypotheses, based on statistical analyses of these data are therefore subject to error. This error is of three types,...

  7. 76 FR 77234 - Availability of Draft Vieques Report: An Evaluation of Environmental, Biological, and Health Data...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-12

    ..., and locally grown foods. In addition, this report evaluates human biomonitoring and health outcome... ATSDR Public Health Assessment reviews available information about hazardous substances at a site and.... This analysis generally involves an evaluation of relevant environmental data, the potential for...

  8. Preparation and Characterization Challenges to Understanding Environmental and Biological Impacts of Ceria Nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karakoti, Ajay S.; Munusamy, Prabhakaran; Hostetler, Kasey E.; Kodali, Vamsi K.; Kuchibhatla, Satyanarayana V N T; Orr, Galya; Pounds, Joel G.; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Thrall, Brian D.; Baer, Donald R.

    2012-08-01

    It has been increasingly recognized that understanding and predicting the behaviors of nanoparticles is often limited by the degree to which the particles can be reliably produced and are adequately characterized. Examining data from the literature for ceria nanoparticles suggests that thermal history is one factor that has a strong influence on biological impact. Thermal processing may alter many physicochemical properties of the particles including density, crystal structure and the presence of surface contamination, but these may not be sufficiently recorded or reported to determine the ultimate source of an observed impact. A second example shows the types of difficulties that can be encountered in efforts to apply a well-studied synthesis route to producing well defined particles for biological studies. These examples and others highlight the importance of characterizing particles thoroughly and recording details of particle processing and history that are often not recorded and/or reported.

  9. Biological processes for environmental control of effluent streams in the nuclear fuel cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shumate, S.E. II; Hancher, C.W.; Strandberg, G.W.; Scott, C.D.

    1978-01-01

    Nitrates and radioactive heavy metals need to be removed from aqueous effluent streams in the fuel cycle. Biological methods are being developed for reducing nitrate or nitrite to N 2 gas and for decreasing dissolved metal concentration to less than 1 g/m 3 . Fluidized-bed denitrification bioreactors are being tested. Removal of uranium from solution by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was studied

  10. Disentangling the role of environmental and human pressures on biological invasions across Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Wild, Jan; Hejda, Martin; Pergl, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 107, č. 27 (2010), s. 12157-12162 ISSN 0027-8424 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 7E09053 Grant - others:ALARM(XE) GOCE-CT-2003-506675; European Comission(XE) SSPI-CT-2003-511202 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : biological invasions * Europe * economy Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 9.771, year: 2010

  11. The Conditions for Functional Mechanisms of Compensation and Reward for Environmental Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent M. Swallow

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of compensation and reward for environmental services (CRES are becoming increasingly contemplated as means for managing human-environment interactions. Most of the functional mechanisms in the tropics have been developed within the last 15 years; many developing countries still have had little experience with functional mechanisms. We consider the conditions that foster the origin and implementation of functional mechanisms. Deductive and inductive approaches are combined. Eight hypotheses are derived from theories of institution and policy change. Five case studies, from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, are then reviewed according to a common framework. The results suggest the following to be important conditions for functional CRES mechanisms: (1 localized scarcity for particular environmental services, (2 influence from international environmental agreements and international organizations, (3 government policies and public attitudes favoring a mixture of regulatory and market-based instruments, and (4 security of individual and group property rights.

  12. Experiences performed at the C:R: Saluggia of ENEA in low-level determination of plutonium in biological and environmental samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spezzano, Pasquale

    1997-10-01

    This report describes some experiences performed at the Research Center Saluggia of ENEA concerning low-level determination of plutonium in biological and environmental samples, with discussions of practical analytical problems. The main characteristics and properties of plutonium with emphasis to aqueous solutions chemistry and environmental behaviour are also reported

  13. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using mussels as sentinel organisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zorita, Izaskun [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Apraiz, Itxaso [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Orbea, Amaia [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cancio, Ibon [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Soto, Manu [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Marigomez, Ionan [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cajaraville, Miren P. [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)]. E-mail: mirenp.cajaraville@ehu.es

    2007-07-15

    With the aim of assessing the biological effects of pollution along three gradients of pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea, a biomonitoring survey was implemented using a battery of biomarkers (lysosomal membrane stability, lysosomal structural changes, metallothionein (MT) induction and peroxisome proliferation) in mussels over a period of two years as part of the EU-funded BEEP project. Mussels from the most impacted zones (Fos, Genova and Barcelona harbours) showed enlarged lysosomes accompanied by reduced labilisation period of lysosomal membranes, indicating disturbed health. MT levels did not reveal significant differences between stations and were significantly correlated with gonad index, suggesting that they were influenced by gamete development. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was significantly inhibited in polluted stations possibly due to interactions among mixtures of pollutants. In conclusion, the application of a battery of effect and exposure biomarkers provided relevant data for the assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea. - The biomarker approach is suitable for assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea.

  14. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using mussels as sentinel organisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zorita, Izaskun; Apraiz, Itxaso; Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren; Orbea, Amaia; Cancio, Ibon; Soto, Manu; Marigomez, Ionan; Cajaraville, Miren P.

    2007-01-01

    With the aim of assessing the biological effects of pollution along three gradients of pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea, a biomonitoring survey was implemented using a battery of biomarkers (lysosomal membrane stability, lysosomal structural changes, metallothionein (MT) induction and peroxisome proliferation) in mussels over a period of two years as part of the EU-funded BEEP project. Mussels from the most impacted zones (Fos, Genova and Barcelona harbours) showed enlarged lysosomes accompanied by reduced labilisation period of lysosomal membranes, indicating disturbed health. MT levels did not reveal significant differences between stations and were significantly correlated with gonad index, suggesting that they were influenced by gamete development. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was significantly inhibited in polluted stations possibly due to interactions among mixtures of pollutants. In conclusion, the application of a battery of effect and exposure biomarkers provided relevant data for the assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea. - The biomarker approach is suitable for assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea

  15. Social representations and directing to the environmental education in the Perobas Biological Reserve, State of Paraná, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Magalhães Júnior

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The Perobas Biological Reserve is situated in the Brazilian municipalities of Tuneiras do Oeste and Cianorte, State of Paraná. Prior to the foundation, the local and state communities’ representatives manifested different standpoints, favorable and unfavorable, concerning the establishment of this environmental protection area. Considering the importance of comprehending social representations that students from the City of Tuneiras do Oeste have concerning the Perobas Biological Reserve, the present study aimed at investigating Basic Education students, as well as indicating ways for an environmental education development. We used the Free Evocation of Words technique and the analysis of composition contents. We identified that representations of the analyzed group are based on the Nature components present in the Reserve and on the role of the local inhabitants for their conservation, however such knowledge is not well-founded. We understand that educative actions must be initiated in order to proportionate the construction of knowledge concerning the Reserve´s Nature components and the mutual interactions involved. This knowledge can, subsequently, lead students to comprehend that a role is ascribed to them in the protection and the co-responsibility for the preservation of the protected area.

  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. 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.

  18. Genetic and familial environmental effects on suicide attempts: a study of Danish adoptees and their biological and adoptive siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Liselotte; Sørensen, Thorkild I A; Kragh Andersen, Per; Mortensen, Preben Bo; Hawton, Keith

    2014-02-01

    Genetic factors have been found to influence the risk of suicide. It is less clear if this also applies to attempted suicide. We have investigated genetic and familial environmental factors by studying the occurrence of suicide attempts in biological and adoptive siblings of adoptees who attempted suicide compared to siblings of adoptees with no suicide attempts. We used a random sample of 1933 adoptees from the Danish Adoption Register, a register of non-familial adoptions of Danish children, i.e. the adoptive parents are biologically unrelated to the adoptee. Analyses were conducted on incidence rates of attempted suicide in biological and adoptive siblings given occurrence of attempted suicide in the adoptees while also taking into account psychiatric disorders. Information about suicidal attempt and history of psychiatric disorder was based on hospital admissions. The rate of attempted suicide in full siblings of adoptees who attempted suicide before age 60 years was higher than in full siblings of adoptees who had not attempted suicide (incidence rate ratios (IRR)=3.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.94-12.7). After adjustment for history of psychiatric admission of siblings the increased rate was statistically significant (IRR=3.88; 95% CI-1.42-10.6). Information on attempted suicide and psychiatric history was limited to that which involved hospitalisation. Genetic factors influence risk of suicide attempts. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. 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.

  20. Biogeosystem technique as a method to overcome the Biological and Environmental Hazards of modern Agricultural, Irrigational and Technological Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinitchenko, Valery; Batukaev, Abdulmalik; Zinchenko, Vladimir; Zarmaev, Ali; Magomadov, Ali; Chernenko, Vladimir; Startsev, Viktor; Bakoev, Serojdin; Dikaev, Zaurbek

    2014-05-01

    Modern challenge for humanity is to replace the paradigm of nature use and overcome environmental hazards of agronomy, irrigation, industry, and other human activities in biosphere. It is utterly reasonable to stop dividing biosphere on shares - the human habitat and the environment. In the 21st century it is an outdated anthropocentrism. Contradicting himself to biosphere Humankind has the problems. The new paradigm of biosphere control by methods of Biogeosystem technique is on agenda of Humankind. Key directions of Biogeosystem technique. Tillage. Single rotary milling 20…30-50…60 sm soil layer optimizes the evolution and environment of soil, creates a favorable conditions for the rhizosphere, increases the biological productivity of biosphere by 30-50% compared to the standard agricultural practices for the period up to 40 years. Recycle material. Recycling of mineral and organic substances in soil layer of 20…30-50…60 sm in rotary milling soil processing provides wastes clean return to biosphere. Direct intrasoil substances synthesis. Environmentally friendly robot wasteless nanotechnology provides direct substances synthesis, including fertilizers, inside the soil. It eliminates the prerequisites of the wastes formation under standard industrial technologies. Selective substance's extraction from soil. Electrochemical robotic nanotechnology provides selective substances extraction from soil. The technology provides recovery, collection and subsequent safe industrial use of extracted substances out of landscape. Saving fresh water. An important task is to save fresh water in biosphere. Irrigation spends water 4-5 times more of biological requirements of plants, leads to degradation of soil and landscape. The intrasoil pulse continuous-discrete paradigm of irrigation is proposed. It provides the soil and landscape conservation, increases the biological productivity, save the fresh water up to 10-20 times. The subsurface soil rotary processing and

  1. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: facts, environmental contamination, possible biological effects, and countermeasures

    OpenAIRE

    Anzai, Kazunori; Ban, Nobuhiko; Ozawa, Toshihiko; Tokonami, Shinji

    2011-01-01

    On March 11, 2011, an earthquake led to major problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A 14-m high tsunami triggered by the earthquake disabled all AC power to Units 1, 2, and 3 of the Power Plant, and carried off fuel tanks for emergency diesel generators. Despite many efforts, cooling systems did not work and hydrogen explosions damaged the facilities, releasing a large amount of radioactive material into the environment. In this review, we describe the environmental impact of...

  2. Aerospace use of nuclear energy and current biological problems of environmental contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    La Verde, R; Conte, L

    1982-08-25

    An examination of the danger to man which could result from accidents caused by the use of nuclear energy for space purposes leads to the presentation of parameters establishing levels of environmental contamination by radionucleids from the stratotroposphere. The factors affecting the transport of radioactive pollutants in the atmosphere are indicated and the importance of their deposition and absorption by man through the alimentary canal is emphasised.

  3. Exploiting the Physicochemical Properties of Dendritic Polymers for Environmental and Biological Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharya, Priyanka; Geitner, Nicholas K.; Sarupria, Sapna; Ke, Pu Chun

    2013-04-07

    In this Perspective we first examine the rich physicochemical properties of dendritic polymers for hosting cations, anions, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. We then extrapolate these conceptual discussions to the use of dendritic polymers for humic acid antifouling, oil dispersion, copper sensing, and fullerenol remediation. In addition, we review the state-of-the-art of dendrimer research and elaborate on their 10 implications for water purification, environmental remediation, nanomedicine, and energy harvesting.

  4. Resistance to Aspergillus flavus in maize and peanut: Molecular biology, breeding, environmental stress, and future perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jake C. Fountain

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The colonization of maize (Zea mays L. and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. by the fungal pathogen Aspergillus flavus results in the contamination of kernels with carcinogenic mycotoxins known as aflatoxins leading to economic losses and potential health threats to humans. The regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis in various Aspergillus spp. has been extensively studied, and has been shown to be related to oxidative stress responses. Given that environmental stresses such as drought and heat stress result in the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS within host plant tissues, host-derived ROS may play an important role in cross-kingdom communication between host plants and A. flavus. Recent technological advances in plant breeding have provided the tools necessary to study and apply knowledge derived from metabolomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic studies in the context of productive breeding populations. Here, we review the current understanding of the potential roles of environmental stress, ROS, and aflatoxin in the interaction between A. flavus and its host plants, and the current status in molecular breeding and marker discovery for resistance to A. flavus colonization and aflatoxin contamination in maize and peanut. We will also propose future directions and a working model for continuing research efforts linking environmental stress tolerance and aflatoxin contamination resistance in maize and peanut.

  5. State of the art of environmentally friendly sample preparation approaches for determination of PBDEs and metabolites in environmental and biological samples: A critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berton, Paula; Lana, Nerina B; Ríos, Juan M; García-Reyes, Juan F; Altamirano, Jorgelina C

    2016-01-28

    Green chemistry principles for developing methodologies have gained attention in analytical chemistry in recent decades. A growing number of analytical techniques have been proposed for determination of organic persistent pollutants in environmental and biological samples. In this light, the current review aims to present state-of-the-art sample preparation approaches based on green analytical principles proposed for the determination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and metabolites (OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs) in environmental and biological samples. Approaches to lower the solvent consumption and accelerate the extraction, such as pressurized liquid extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, and ultrasound-assisted extraction, are discussed in this review. Special attention is paid to miniaturized sample preparation methodologies and strategies proposed to reduce organic solvent consumption. Additionally, extraction techniques based on alternative solvents (surfactants, supercritical fluids, or ionic liquids) are also commented in this work, even though these are scarcely used for determination of PBDEs. In addition to liquid-based extraction techniques, solid-based analytical techniques are also addressed. The development of greener, faster and simpler sample preparation approaches has increased in recent years (2003-2013). Among green extraction techniques, those based on the liquid phase predominate over those based on the solid phase (71% vs. 29%, respectively). For solid samples, solvent assisted extraction techniques are preferred for leaching of PBDEs, and liquid phase microextraction techniques are mostly used for liquid samples. Likewise, green characteristics of the instrumental analysis used after the extraction and clean-up steps are briefly discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Development of technology for biological dosimetry -A study on the radiation and environmental safety-

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Kang Suk; Cheon, Ki Jeong; Kim, Kook Chan; Kim, Jin Kyu; Kim, Sang Bok; Kim, In Kyu; Park, Hyo Kook

    1994-07-01

    α-amylase showed a significant increase in its activity when exposed to radiation of 0.1 Gy. However it had no relationship with radiation dose. Enzyme activities in liver tissue showed similar changes to those in serum. Among others, changes in acid phosphatase activity were highly related to radiation dose. Of acute phase proteins in serum, CRP, ceruloplasmin and haptoglobin positively responded to radiation while albumin did negatively. ELISA proved to be an efficient method to detect changes in serum protein level. Finally the measurements of changes in APRs using ELISA could provide an useful tools for biological dosimetry. (Author)

  7. [Pseudomonas infection: biological risk by occupational exposure and results of an environmental monitoring].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massoni, Francesco; Giorgi, Doriana Antonella; Palmieri, Sabina; Arcangeli, Luca; Ricci, Serafino

    2014-01-01

    The biological risk of Pseudomonas aeruginosa for activities involving exposure to contaminated water, such as, for example, routine maintenance of swimming pools, is related to the availability of effective prophylactic and therapeutic measures. The authors present the data of the microbiological analyzes made on 2349 samples taken from pools in Rome and province. The contamination by Pseudomonas was found in 191 samples with 13 samples that had a level > 100 cfu/100 ml and 5 samples with level > 200 cfu/100 ml. Useful considerations derived from the analysis of the literature about the profile and prophylactic treatment of infection by Pseudomonas, necessarily to be taken into consideration for an adequate risk assessment.

  8. Tracking Biological and Ecosystem Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in the Pacific Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Changing seasonal sea ice conditions and seawater temperatures strongly influence biological processes and marine ecosystems at high latitudes. In the Pacific Arctic, persistent regions termed "hotspots", are localized areas with high benthic macroinfaunal biomass that have been documented over four decades (see Figure). These regions are now being more formally tracked to relate physical forcing and ecosystem response as an Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) supported by the US National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and international partners. These hotspots are important foraging areas for upper trophic level benthic feeders, such as marine mammals and seabirds. South of St. Lawrence Island (SLI) in the northern Bering Sea, benthic feeding spectacled eiders, bearded seals and walruses are important winter consumers of infauna, such as bivalves and polychaetes. Gray whales have historically been a major summer consumer of benthic amphipods in the Chirikov Basin to the north of SLI, although summertime sightings of gray whales declined in the Chirikov from the 1980s up until at least 2002. The SE Chukchi Sea hotspot, as are the other hotspots, is maintained by export of high chlorophyll a that is produced locally as well as advected by water masses transiting northward through the system. Both walrus and gray whales are known to forage in this hotspot seasonally on high biomass levels of benthic prey. Notably the center of the highest benthic biomass regions has shifted northward in three of the DBO hotspots in recent years. This has coincided with changing sediment grain size, an indicator of current speed, and is also likely a response to changes in primary production in the region. Studies of these broad biological responses to changing physical drivers have been facilitated through development of the DBO cooperative effort by both US and international scientists. The DBO includes a series of coordinated, multi-trophic level observations that

  9. Genetic and environmental influences on cardiovascular risk factors and cognitive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Chunsheng; Tian, Xiaocao; Sun, Jianping

    2018-01-01

    AIM: To explore the genetic and environmental influences on cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) and cognitive function in the world's largest and rapidly aging Chinese population. METHODS: Cognitive function and CVRF, including body mass index, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure......, pulse pressure, glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were measured in 379 complete twin pairs. Univariate and bivariate twin models were fitted to estimate the genetic and environmental components in the variance...... and covariance of CVRF and cognition. RESULTS: Mild-to-high heritability was estimated for CVRF and cognition (0.27-0.74). Unique environmental factors showed low-to-moderate contributions (0.23-0.56). Only HDLC presented significant common environmental contribution (0.50). Bivariate analysis showed...

  10. 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...

  11. Bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations are modified by environmental complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langenheder, Silke; Bulling, Mark T; Solan, Martin; Prosser, James I

    2010-05-26

    With the recognition that environmental change resulting from anthropogenic activities is causing a global decline in biodiversity, much attention has been devoted to understanding how changes in biodiversity may alter levels of ecosystem functioning. Although environmental complexity has long been recognised as a major driving force in evolutionary processes, it has only recently been incorporated into biodiversity-ecosystem functioning investigations. Environmental complexity is expected to strengthen the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning, mainly because it leads to stronger complementarity effects, such as resource partitioning and facilitative interactions among species when the number of available resource increases. Here we implemented an experiment to test the combined effect of species richness and environmental complexity, more specifically, resource richness on ecosystem functioning over time. We show, using all possible combinations of species within a bacterial community consisting of six species, and all possible combinations of three substrates, that diversity-functioning (metabolic activity) relationships change over time from linear to saturated. This was probably caused by a combination of limited complementarity effects and negative interactions among competing species as the experiment progressed. Even though species richness and resource richness both enhanced ecosystem functioning, they did so independently from each other. Instead there were complex interactions between particular species and substrate combinations. Our study shows clearly that both species richness and environmental complexity increase ecosystem functioning. The finding that there was no direct interaction between these two factors, but that instead rather complex interactions between combinations of certain species and resources underlie positive biodiversity ecosystem functioning relationships, suggests that detailed knowledge of how individual

  12. Bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations are modified by environmental complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Langenheder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With the recognition that environmental change resulting from anthropogenic activities is causing a global decline in biodiversity, much attention has been devoted to understanding how changes in biodiversity may alter levels of ecosystem functioning. Although environmental complexity has long been recognised as a major driving force in evolutionary processes, it has only recently been incorporated into biodiversity-ecosystem functioning investigations. Environmental complexity is expected to strengthen the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning, mainly because it leads to stronger complementarity effects, such as resource partitioning and facilitative interactions among species when the number of available resource increases. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we implemented an experiment to test the combined effect of species richness and environmental complexity, more specifically, resource richness on ecosystem functioning over time. We show, using all possible combinations of species within a bacterial community consisting of six species, and all possible combinations of three substrates, that diversity-functioning (metabolic activity relationships change over time from linear to saturated. This was probably caused by a combination of limited complementarity effects and negative interactions among competing species as the experiment progressed. Even though species richness and resource richness both enhanced ecosystem functioning, they did so independently from each other. Instead there were complex interactions between particular species and substrate combinations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study shows clearly that both species richness and environmental complexity increase ecosystem functioning. The finding that there was no direct interaction between these two factors, but that instead rather complex interactions between combinations of certain species and resources underlie positive biodiversity

  13. Danish consumers' attitudes to the functional and environmental characteristics of food packaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bech-Larsen, Tino

    1996-01-01

    Executive summary The purpose of the studies presented in the paper is to research different aspects of Danish consumers' views about the functional and environmental consequences of packaging, as well as to study cognitive barriers that can prevent consumer attitudes to environmental consequences...... with a recycling label. the 'recycling' variable the conjoint study was based on four other variables (fat-content, price, reseal and packaging material)....

  14. Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasano, Alessio

    2011-01-01

    The primary functions of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally been perceived to be limited to the digestion and absorption of nutrients and to electrolytes and water homeostasis. A more attentive analysis of the anatomic and functional arrangement of the gastrointestinal tract, however, suggests that another extremely important function of this organ is its ability to regulate the trafficking of macromolecules between the environment and the host through a barrier mechanism. Together with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the neuroendocrine network, the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self antigens. Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur. This new paradigm subverts traditional theories underlying the development of these diseases and suggests that these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by reestablishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function. This review is timely given the increased interest in the role of a "leaky gut" in the pathogenesis of several pathological conditions targeting both the intestine and extraintestinal organs.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Environmental effects on recruitment and implications for biological reference points of Eastern Baltic cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Köster, Fritz; Vinther, Morten; MacKenzie, Brian

    2009-01-01

    The decline of the Eastern Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) stock from highest to lowest stock levels on record throughout the 1980s and early 1990s was caused by a combination of recruitment failure and increasing fishing pressure at declining stock sizes. The processes driving the reproductive success...... mortality or the limit biomass reference point is indicated. However, an accepted methodology to determine these reference points in situations of changing stock productivity or system carrying capacity does not exist. Environmental conditions affecting recruitment matter not only for the determination...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Fish functional traits correlated with environmental variables in a temperate biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin P Keck

    Full Text Available The global biodiversity crisis has invigorated the search for generalized patterns in most disciplines within the natural sciences. Studies based on organismal functional traits attempt to broaden implications of results by identifying the response of functional traits, instead of taxonomic units, to environmental variables. Determining the functional trait responses enables more direct comparisons with, or predictions for, communities of different taxonomic composition. The North American freshwater fish fauna is both diverse and increasingly imperiled through human mediated disturbances, including climate change. The Tennessee River, USA, contains one of the most diverse assemblages of freshwater fish in North America and has more imperiled species than other rivers, but there has been no trait-based study of community structure in the system. We identified 211 localities in the upper Tennessee River that were sampled by the Tennessee Valley Authority between 2009 and 2011 and compiled fish functional traits for the observed species and environmental variables for each locality. Using fourth corner analysis, we identified significant correlations between many fish functional traits and environmental variables. Functional traits associated with an opportunistic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to greater land use disturbance and less flow regulation, while functional traits associated with a periodic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to regular disturbance and regulated flow. These are patterns observed at the continental scale, highlighting the generalizability of trait-based methods. Contrary to studies that found no community structure differences when considering riparian buffer zones, we found that fish functional traits were correlated with different environmental variables between analyses with buffer zones vs. entire catchment area land cover proportions. Using existing databases

  6. Fish functional traits correlated with environmental variables in a temperate biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keck, Benjamin P; Marion, Zachary H; Martin, Derek J; Kaufman, Jason C; Harden, Carol P; Schwartz, John S; Strange, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    The global biodiversity crisis has invigorated the search for generalized patterns in most disciplines within the natural sciences. Studies based on organismal functional traits attempt to broaden implications of results by identifying the response of functional traits, instead of taxonomic units, to environmental variables. Determining the functional trait responses enables more direct comparisons with, or predictions for, communities of different taxonomic composition. The North American freshwater fish fauna is both diverse and increasingly imperiled through human mediated disturbances, including climate change. The Tennessee River, USA, contains one of the most diverse assemblages of freshwater fish in North America and has more imperiled species than other rivers, but there has been no trait-based study of community structure in the system. We identified 211 localities in the upper Tennessee River that were sampled by the Tennessee Valley Authority between 2009 and 2011 and compiled fish functional traits for the observed species and environmental variables for each locality. Using fourth corner analysis, we identified significant correlations between many fish functional traits and environmental variables. Functional traits associated with an opportunistic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to greater land use disturbance and less flow regulation, while functional traits associated with a periodic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to regular disturbance and regulated flow. These are patterns observed at the continental scale, highlighting the generalizability of trait-based methods. Contrary to studies that found no community structure differences when considering riparian buffer zones, we found that fish functional traits were correlated with different environmental variables between analyses with buffer zones vs. entire catchment area land cover proportions. Using existing databases and fourth corner

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. Ichthyoplankton assemblage structure of springs in the Yangtze Estuary revealed by biological and environmental visions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Xian, Weiwei; Liu, Shude

    2015-01-01

    The ichthyoplankton assemblage structure in the Yangtze Estuary was analyzed based on four springs in 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2007 in order to provide detailed characterizations of the ichthyoplankton assemblage in springs, examine the long-term dynamics of spring ichthyoplankton assemblages, and evaluate the influence of environmental factors on the spatial distribution and inter-annual variations of ichthyoplankton assemblages associated with the Yangtze Estuary. Forty-two ichthyoplankton species belonging to 23 families were collected. Engraulidae was the most abundant family, including six species and comprising 67.91% of the total catch. Only four species (Coilia mystus, Engraulis japonicus, Trachidermis fasciatus and Allanetta bleekeri) could be considered dominant, accounting for 88.70% of total abundance. The structure of the ichthyoplankton spring assemblage persisted on an annual basis, with the dominant species reappearing consistently even though their abundance fluctuated from year to year. This inter-annual variation probably reflects variable environmental conditions influenced by jellyfish blooms, declining river flow, and overfishing. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated aspatial structure of the ichthyoplankton assemblage in three areas: (1) an inner assemblage dominated by C. mystus; (2) a central assemblage dominated by A. bleekeri and T. fasciatus; and (3) a shelf assemblage featuring E. japonicus. The observed ichthyoplankton assemblage structure appears to be strongly influenced by depth, salinity and suspended particulate matter gradients.

  10. The monostandard method in thermal neutron activation analysis of geological, biological and environmental materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alian, A.; Djingova, R.G.; Kroener, B.; Sansoni, B.

    1984-01-01

    A simple method is described for instrumental multielement thermal neutron activation analysis using a monostandard. For geological and air dust samples, iron is used as a comparator, while sodium has advantages for biological materials. To test the capabilities of this method, the values of the effective cross sections of the 23 elements determined were evaluated in a reactor site with an almost pure thermal neutron flux of about 9x10 12 nxcm -2 xs -1 and an epithermal neutron contribution of less than 0.03%. The values obtained were found to agree mostly well with the best literature values of thermal neutron cross sections. The results of an analysis by activation in the same site agree well with the relative method using multielement standards and for several standard reference materials with certified element contents. A comparison of the element contents obtained by the monostandard and relative methods together with corresponding precisions and accuracies is given. (orig.) [de

  11. Analytical quality assurance in laboratories using tracers for biological and environmental studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melaj, Mariana; Martin, Olga; Lopez, Silvia; Rojas de Tramontini, Susana

    1999-01-01

    This work describe the way we are organizing a quality assurance system to apply in the analytical measurements of the relation 14 N/ 15 N in biological and soil material. The relation 14 / 15 is measured with a optic emission spectrometer (NOI6PC), which distinguish the differences in wave length of electromagnetic radiation emitted by N-28, N-29 and N-30. The major problem is the 'cross contamination' of samples with different enrichments. The elements that are been considered to reach satisfactory analytical results are: 1) A proper working area; 2) The samples must be homogeneous and the samples must represent the whole sampled system; 3) The use of reference materials. In each digestion, a known reference sample must be added; 4) Adequate equipment operation; 5) Standard operating procedures; 6) Control charts, laboratory and equipment books. All operations using the equipment is registered in a book; 7) Training of the operators. (author)

  12. Environmental application of XRF, ICP-AES and INAA on biological matrix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zararsiz, A.; Dogangun, A.; Tuncel, S.

    2004-01-01

    Full text: It is very important to determine trace quantities of metals in different matrices with high accuracy since the metals are used as markers for different sources in air pollution studies. In this study, the analytical capabilities of XRF, ICP-AES and INM techniques on a biological matrix namely lichens, which are widely used as bio monitoring organisms for the pollutants mapping in the atmosphere, were tested. Lichen samples were collected in Aegean Region of Turkey where pollution is an important issue. 9 elements were determined by XRF, 14 elements by ICP-AES and 13 elements by INM. Quality assurance was achieved using lichen SRM (IAEA-336) and Orchard leaves SRM (NIST- 1571). Produced data are subjected to statistical tests, like t-test, Q-test in order to determine the accuracy and precision of each technique. A recommendation list of the proper analytical technique is obtained for determination of each specific element considering analytical capabilities of ICP-AES, XRF and INM. As a result we can recommend that the first choice for Cd, Cu, Mg is ICP-AES, for In, K, Rb is INAA, for Br is XRF, if the concentrations are not close to the detection limit of XRF. For V, Cr, AI, Na, Fe ICP-AES and INM are both well, for Pb ICP-AES and XRF are both well, if the concentrations are not close to the detection limit of XRF, for Mn and Ca INM, XRF and ICP-AES are all give similar results for this type of biological matrix

  13. Toward a new data standard for combined marine biological and environmental datasets - expanding OBIS beyond species occurrences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphnis De Pooter

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS is the world’s most comprehensive online, open-access database of marine species distributions. OBIS grows with millions of new species observations every year. Contributions come from a network of hundreds of institutions, projects and individuals with common goals: to build a scientific knowledge base that is open to the public for scientific discovery and exploration and to detect trends and changes that inform society as essential elements in conservation management and sustainable development. Until now, OBIS has focused solely on the collection of biogeographic data (the presence of marine species in space and time and operated with optimized data flows, quality control procedures and data standards specifically targeted to these data. Based on requirements from the growing OBIS community to manage datasets that combine biological, physical and chemical measurements, the OBIS-ENV-DATA pilot project was launched to develop a proposed standard and guidelines to make sure these combined datasets can stay together and are not, as is often the case, split and sent to different repositories. The proposal in this paper allows for the management of sampling methodology, animal tracking and telemetry data, biological measurements (e.g., body length, percent live cover, ... as well as environmental measurements such as nutrient concentrations, sediment characteristics or other abiotic parameters measured during sampling to characterize the environment from which biogeographic data was collected. The recommended practice builds on the Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A standard and on practices adopted by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF. It consists of a DwC Event Core in combination with a DwC Occurrence Extension and a proposed enhancement to the DwC MeasurementOrFact Extension. This new structure enables the linkage of measurements or facts - quantitative and qualitative properties - to

  14. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Pulmonary Function and Muscle Strength: The Chinese Twin Study of Aging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tian, Xiaocao; Xu, Chunsheng; Wu, Yili

    2017-01-01

    Genetic and environmental influences on predictors of decline in daily functioning, including forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), handgrip, and five-times-sit-to-stand test (FTSST), have not been addressed in the aging Chinese population. We performed classical twin...... was moderate for FEV1, handgrip, and FTSST (55-60%) but insignificant for FVC. Only FVC showed moderate control, with shared environmental factors accounting for about 50% of the total variance. In contrast, all measures of pulmonary function and muscle strength showed modest influences from the unique...

  15. Biological consequences of environmental changes related to coastal upwelling: a simulation study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howe, S.O.

    1979-05-01

    Two simulation models of marine ecosystem dynamics are formulated and applied to field data. The first is a time-dependent model of phytoplankton growth in nutrient-enriched batch cultures where spatial gradients of dependent variables and the effects of higher tropic level processes are not included. Rates of photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, chlorophyll synthesis and cell division for a single phytoplankton functional group are simulated as functions of photosynthetically active solar radiation, dissolved nutrient concentrations and cell quotas of carbon, nitrogen and silica. The second model combines the phytoplankton growth model with a time dependent, two-dimensional model of coastal upwelling off northwest Africa.

  16. [Effect of hereditary and environmental factors on the executive function of twin children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiaomei; Ma, Xingshun; Zhu, Wenfen; Fu, Yixiao; Zhou, Yingqing; Meng, Huaqing; Hou, Xiao; Jia, Lu; Qin, Qing; Wang, Yingcheng; Deng, Wei; Li, Tao

    2014-08-01

    To explore the influence of genetic and environmental factors on the executive function of twin children. The executive function of 122 twin pairs from Chongqing (aged from 6 to 18 years) were investigated with the perseverative errors of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Structural equation modeling was performed to evaluate the effects of the additive genetic factors (A), dominance genetic latent factors (D) and individual specific environmental factors (E) on the executive functions. The effects of D and E on perseverative errors were 0. 77 (95%CI: 0.65-0.84) and 0.23 (95%CI: 0.16-0.35), respectively. The probability of perseverative errors showed a significant negative correlation with family functioning and with the total GHQ-12 scores of the fathers and mothers (r:-0.335, -0.335, and -0.219, respectively, Pparenting styles and stress life events. Perseverative errors are influenced by a common dominance genetic latent factor and individual specific environmental factors, but the role of environmental factors such as family functioning and parental health can not be ignored.

  17. The biological mechanisms and behavioral functions of opsin-based light detection by the skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Kelley

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Light detection not only forms the basis of vision (via visual retinal photoreceptors, but can also occur in other parts of the body, including many non-rod/non-cone ocular cells, the pineal complex, the deep brain, and the skin. Indeed, many of the photopigments (an opsin linked to a light-sensitive 11-cis retinal chromophore that mediate color vision in the eyes of vertebrates are also present in the skin of animals such as reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and fishes (with related photoreceptive molecules present in cephalopods, providing a localized mechanism for light detection across the surface of the body. This form of non-visual photosensitivity may be particularly important for animals that can change their coloration by altering the dispersion of pigments within the chromatophores (pigment containing cells of the skin. Thus, skin coloration may be directly color matched or tuned to both the luminance and spectral properties of the local background environment, thereby facilitating behavioral functions such as camouflage, thermoregulation, and social signaling. This review examines the diversity and sensitivity of opsin-based photopigments present in the skin and considers their putative functional roles in mediating animal behavior. Furthermore, it discusses the potential underlying biochemical and molecular pathways that link shifts in environmental light to both photopigment expression and chromatophore photoresponses. Although photoreception that occurs independently of image formation remains poorly understood, this review highlights the important role of non-visual light detection in facilitating the multiple functions of animal coloration.

  18. NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Environmental and Biological Risks of Hybrid Organic-Silicon Nanodevices

    CERN Document Server

    Kozyrev, Sergey; Vaseashta, Ashok

    2009-01-01

    Even though there is no generally accepted definition of nanotechnologies to be defined as distinct discipline there is an emerging consensus that their advent and development is a growing in importance factor of the contemporary and future technological civilization. One of these most fundamental issues we are confronted with is the compatibility with life itself. From single cell organisms to humans, carbon is a key building block of all molecular structures of life. In contrast the man created electronic industry to build on other elements, of which silicon is the most common. Both carbon and silicon create molecular chains, although different in their internal structure. All life is built from carbon-based chains. As long as the man built technological products do not directly interfere with the physiology of life the associated risks from them are relatively easy to identify. They are primarily in the environmental pollution and the possibility of upsetting the natural balance of biocoenosis, on a planet...

  19. Prototypes of Newly Conceived Inorganic and Biological Sensors for Health and Environmental Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosanna Spera

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the optimal implementation of three newly conceived sensors for both health and environmental applications, utilizing a wide range of detection methods and complex nanocomposites. The first one is inorganic and based on matrices of calcium oxide, the second is based on protein arrays and a third one is based on Langmuir-Blodgett laccase multi-layers. Special attention was paid to detecting substances significant to the environment (such as carbon dioxide and medicine (drug administration, cancer diagnosis and prognosis by means of amperometric, quartz crystal microbalance with frequency (QCM_F and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM_D technologies. The resulting three implemented nanosensors are described here along with proofs of principle and their corresponding applications.

  20. Sheep lymph-nodes as a biological indicator of environmental exposure to fluoro-edenite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ledda, Caterina; Loreto, Carla; Pomara, Cristoforo; Rapisarda, Giuseppe; Fiore, Maria; Ferrante, Margherita; Bracci, Massimo; Santarelli, Lory; Fenga, Concettina; Rapisarda, Venerando

    2016-01-01

    A significantly increased incidence of pleural mesothelioma in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy) has been attributed to exposure to fluoro-edenite (FE), a fibrous amphibole extracted from a local stone quarry. The lymph-nodes draining the pulmonary lobes of sheep grazing around the town were examined, to gain insights into fibre diffusion. The pasture areas of six sheep flocks lying about 3 km from Biancavilla were located using the global positioning system. The cranial tracheobronchial and one middle mediastinal lymph-node as well as four lung tissue samples were collected from 10 animals from each flock and from 10 control sheep for light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination. The lymph-nodes from exposed sheep were enlarged and exhibited signs of anthracosis. Histologically, especially at the paracortical level, they showed lymph-follicle hyperplasia with large reactive cores and several macrophages (coniophages) containing grey-brownish particulate interspersed with elements with a fibril structure, forming aggregates of varying dimensions (coniophage nodules). Similar findings were detected in some peribronchiolar areas of the lung parenchyma. SEM examination showed that FE fibres measured 8–41 µm in length and 0.4–1.39 µm in diameter in both lymph-nodes and lung tissue. Monitoring of FE fibres in sheep lymph-nodes using appropriate techniques can help set up environmental pollution surveillance. - Highlights: • Lymph-nodes draining sheep lung were used to assess environmental fluoro-edenite exposure. • Monitoring fluoro-edenite fibres in sheep lung nodes can provide pollution surveillance. • Our findings document a risk of fluoro-edenite fibre inhalation a few kilometres from the source. • Sheep appear to be a valuable bioindicator species.

  1. Sheep lymph-nodes as a biological indicator of environmental exposure to fluoro-edenite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ledda, Caterina, E-mail: cledda@unict.it [Occupational Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania (Italy); Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Advanced Technologies “GF Ingrassia”, University of Catania, Catania (Italy); Loreto, Carla [Human Anatomy and Histology, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences, University of Catania, Catania (Italy); Pomara, Cristoforo [Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Malta, Msida (Malta); Rapisarda, Giuseppe [Department of Veterinary Medicine, ASP Catania, Catania (Italy); Fiore, Maria; Ferrante, Margherita [Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Advanced Technologies “GF Ingrassia”, University of Catania, Catania (Italy); Bracci, Massimo; Santarelli, Lory [Occupational Medicine, Department of Clinical and Molecular Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona (Italy); Fenga, Concettina [Occupational Medicine, Department of the Environment, Safety, Territory, Food and Health Sciences, University of Messina, Messina (Italy); Rapisarda, Venerando [Occupational Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania (Italy)

    2016-05-15

    A significantly increased incidence of pleural mesothelioma in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy) has been attributed to exposure to fluoro-edenite (FE), a fibrous amphibole extracted from a local stone quarry. The lymph-nodes draining the pulmonary lobes of sheep grazing around the town were examined, to gain insights into fibre diffusion. The pasture areas of six sheep flocks lying about 3 km from Biancavilla were located using the global positioning system. The cranial tracheobronchial and one middle mediastinal lymph-node as well as four lung tissue samples were collected from 10 animals from each flock and from 10 control sheep for light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination. The lymph-nodes from exposed sheep were enlarged and exhibited signs of anthracosis. Histologically, especially at the paracortical level, they showed lymph-follicle hyperplasia with large reactive cores and several macrophages (coniophages) containing grey-brownish particulate interspersed with elements with a fibril structure, forming aggregates of varying dimensions (coniophage nodules). Similar findings were detected in some peribronchiolar areas of the lung parenchyma. SEM examination showed that FE fibres measured 8–41 µm in length and 0.4–1.39 µm in diameter in both lymph-nodes and lung tissue. Monitoring of FE fibres in sheep lymph-nodes using appropriate techniques can help set up environmental pollution surveillance. - Highlights: • Lymph-nodes draining sheep lung were used to assess environmental fluoro-edenite exposure. • Monitoring fluoro-edenite fibres in sheep lung nodes can provide pollution surveillance. • Our findings document a risk of fluoro-edenite fibre inhalation a few kilometres from the source. • Sheep appear to be a valuable bioindicator species.

  2. To Build an Ecosystem: An Introductory Lab for Environmental Science & Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudon, Daniel; Finnerty, John R.

    2013-01-01

    A hypothesis-driven laboratory is described that introduces students to the complexities of ecosystem function. Students work with live algae, brine shrimp, and sea anemones to test hypotheses regarding the trophic interactions among species, the exchange of nutrients and gases, and the optimal ratio of producers to consumers and predators in…

  3. Production of sorption functional media (SFM) from clinoptilolite tailings and its performance investigation in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng, Yan; Qi, Jingyao; Chi, Liying; Wang, Dong; Wang, Zhaoyang; Li, Ke; Li, Xin

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Sorption functional media (SFM) were prepared using zeolite tailings. ► Two upflow BAFs were applied to treat municipal wastewater. ► SFM BAF brought a relative superiority to haydite reactor. ► SFM BAF has a stronger adaptability to low temperature (6–11°C) for NH 3 -N removal. ► The application provided a promising way in zeolite tailings utilization. -- Abstract: The few reuse and large stockpile of zeolite tailings led to a series of social and environmental problems. This study investigated the possibility of using the zeolite tailings as one of principal raw materials to prepare sorption functional media (SFM) by a high temperature sintering process. The SFM was used to serve as a biomedium in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor for domestic wastewater treatment, and its purification performance was examined. The physical, chemical and sorption properties of SFM were also determined. The microstructure of the SFM was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results revealed that: (1) zeolite tailings could be used to produce the SFM under the optimal sintering parameters; (2) the sorption and desorption isotherm of ammonia nitrogen on SFM could be well described by the Langmuir formula; (3) in terms of removing organic matter, ammonia nitrogen, turbidity and colourity, the performance of the biofilter with SFM was superior to that with haydite; and (4) SFM BAF has a stronger adaptability to low temperature (6–11 °C) for NH 3 -N removal compared to haydite BAF. Therefore, the SFM produced from the zeolite tailings was suitable to serve as the biomedium in the domestic wastewater treatment

  4. [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

  5. Co-design in synthetic biology: a system-level analysis of the development of an environmental sensing device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, David A; Lux, Matthew W; Graef, Russell R; Peterson, Matthew W; Valenti, Jane D; Dileo, John; Peccoud, Jean

    2010-01-01

    The concept of co-design is common in engineering, where it is necessary, for example, to determine the optimal partitioning between hardware and software of the implementation of a system features. Here we propose to adapt co-design methodologies for synthetic biology. As a test case, we have designed an environmental sensing device that detects the presence of three chemicals, and returns an output only if at least two of the three chemicals are present. We show that the logical operations can be implemented in three different design domains: (1) the transcriptional domain using synthetically designed hybrid promoters, (2) the protein domain using bi-molecular fluorescence complementation, and (3) the fluorescence domain using spectral unmixing and relying on electronic processing. We discuss how these heterogeneous design strategies could be formalized to develop co-design algorithms capable of identifying optimal designs meeting user specifications.

  6. Development of a radiochemical neutron activation analysis procedure for determination of rhenium in biological and environmental samples at ultratrace level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kucera, J.; Lucanikova, M.; Czech Technical Univ., Prague

    2006-01-01

    Radiochemical neutron activation procedures using liquid-liquid extraction with tetraphenylarsonium chloride in chloroform from 1M HCl and solid extraction with ALIQUAT 336 incorporated in a polyacrylonitrile binding matrix from 0.1M HCl were developed for accurate determination of rhenium in biological and environmental samples at the sub-ng x g -1 level. Concentrations of Re in the range of 0.1 to 2.4 ng x g -1 were determined in several botanical reference materials (RM), while in a RM of road dust a value of ∼ 10 ng x g -1 was found. Significantly elevated values of Re, up to 90 ng x g -1 were found in seaweed (brown algae). Results for Re in the brown algae Fucus vesiculosus in which elevated 99 Tc values had previously been determined suggested possible competition between Re and Tc in the accumulation process. (author)

  7. Methods used to characterize the chemical composition and biological activity of environmental waters throughout the United States, 2012-14

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanok, Kristin M.; Reilly, Timothy J.; Barber, Larry B.; Boone, J. Scott; Buxton, Herbert T.; Foreman, William T.; Furlong, Edward T.; Hladik, Michelle; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Journey, Celeste A.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Kuivila, Kathryn; Loftin, Keith A.; Mills, Marc A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Orlando, James L.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Villeneuve, Daniel L.; Bradley, Paul M.

    2017-03-22

    A vast array of chemical compounds are in wide commercial use in the United States, and the potential ecological and human-health effect of exposure to chemical mixtures has been identified as a high priority in environment health science. Awareness of the potential effects of low-level chemical exposures is rising. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, conducted a study in which samples were collected from 38 streams in 25 States to provide an overview of contaminants found in stream water across the Nation. Additionally, biological screening assays were used to help determine any potential ecological and human-health effects of these chemical mixtures and to prioritize target chemicals for future toxicological studies. This report describes the site locations and the sampling and analytical methods and quality-assurance procedures used in the study.

  8. Pooled biological specimens for human biomonitoring of environmental chemicals: opportunities and limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heffernan, Amy L; Aylward, Lesa L; Toms, Leisa-Maree L; Sly, Peter D; Macleod, Matthew; Mueller, Jochen F

    2014-01-01

    Biomonitoring has become the "gold standard" in assessing chemical exposures, and has an important role in risk assessment. The pooling of biological specimens-combining multiple individual specimens into a single sample-can be used in biomonitoring studies to monitor levels of exposure and identify exposure trends or to identify susceptible populations in a cost-effective manner. Pooled samples provide an estimate of central tendency and may also reveal information about variation within the population. The development of a pooling strategy requires careful consideration of the type and number of samples collected, the number of pools required and the number of specimens to combine per pool in order to maximise the type and robustness of the data. Creative pooling strategies can be used to explore exposure-outcome associations, and extrapolation from other larger studies can be useful in identifying elevated exposures in specific individuals. The use of pooled specimens is advantageous as it saves significantly on analytical costs, may reduce the time and resources required for recruitment and, in certain circumstances, allows quantification of samples approaching the limit of detection. In addition, the use of pooled samples can provide population estimates while avoiding ethical difficulties that may be associated with reporting individual results.

  9. Enrichment and immobilization of sulfide removal microbiota applied for environmental biological remediation of aquaculture area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Yang-Guo; Zheng, Yu; Tian, Weijun; Bai, Jie; Feng, Gong; Guo, Liang; Gao, Mengchun

    2016-01-01

    To remove sulfide in the deteriorating aquaculture sediment and water, sulfide-oxidizing microbiota was enriched from Jiaozhou Bay, China, by using sulfide-rich medium. Composition and structure of microbial communities in the enrichments were investigated by 16S rDNA molecular biotechniques. Results showed that microbial community structure continuously shifted and the abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria, i.e., Desulfobacterium, Desulfococcus and Desulfobacca apparently declined. Several halophile genera, Vibrio, Marinobacter, Pseudomonas, Prochlorococcus, Pediococcus and Thiobacillus predominated finally in the microbiota. The enriched microbiota was capable of removing a maximum of 1000 mg/L sulfide within 12 h with 10% inoculum at pH 7.0, 20–30 °C. After immobilized, the microbiota presented excellent resistance to impact and could completely remove 600 mg/L sulfide in 12 h. Moreover, the immobilized microbiota recovered well even recycled for five times. In conclusion, the immobilized sulfide-removing microbiota showed a quite promising application for biological restoring of sulfide-rich aquaculture environment. - Highlights: • A sulfide-oxidizing microbiota successfully enriched from aquaculture sediment. • Microbiota dominated by Vibrio, Marinobacter, Pseudomonas and Thiobacillus spp. • Sulfide-oxidizing microbiota removed sulfide at an average rate of 100 mg/(L·h). • Immobilized microbiota removed over 85% of sulfide even recycled for five times.

  10. bioremediation of some environmental pollutants by the biological activity of fungi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, G.A.M.

    2006-01-01

    Sharkia governorate is an important area of egypt because it include an important places, economically and scientifically as 10th of Ramadan City which is the biggest industrial City and the nuclear reactor of the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA). so that this study was conducted for isolation of some fungal bioremediators of the famous pollutants as some of heavy metals Mn +2 and Co +2 and some of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)as textile direct dyes (orange,pink,red and black) regarding the aim of this study, which was conducted for isolation of some fungal bioremediators and study the bioremediation efficiency in the most suitable conditions for a success to attain bioremediation process of some dangerous heavy metals and / or toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic textile dyes, in addition to the biological pathways for the uptake of heavy metals and dyes accumulation and/or degradation and after finishing this study, it can be concluded that; the fungal microfolora of each polluted sites is best bioremediators for these sites

  11. Environmental conditions influence the plant functional diversity effect on potential denitrification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariana E Sutton-Grier

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plant diversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plant diversity on microbial activity. In a field experiment in a restored wetland, we examined the role of plant trait diversity (or functional diversity, (FD and its interactions with natural levels of variability of soil properties, on a microbial process, denitrification potential (DNP. We demonstrated that FD significantly affected microbial DNP through its interactions with soil conditions; increasing FD led to increased DNP but mainly at higher levels of soil resources. Our results suggest that the effect of species diversity on ecosystem functioning may depend on environmental factors such as resource availability. Future biodiversity experiments should examine how natural levels of environmental variability impact the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Are functional fillers improving environmental behavior of plastics? A review on LCA studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civancik-Uslu, Didem; Ferrer, Laura; Puig, Rita; Fullana-I-Palmer, Pere

    2018-06-01

    The use of functional fillers can be advantageous in terms of cost reduction and improved properties in plastics. There are many types of fillers used in industry, organic and inorganic, with a wide application area. As a response to the growing concerns about environmental damage that plastics cause, recently fillers have started to be considered as a way to reduce it by decreasing the need for petrochemical resources. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is identified as a proper tool to evaluate potential environmental impacts of products or systems. Therefore, in this study, the literature regarding LCA of plastics with functional fillers was reviewed in order to see if the use of fillers in plastics could be environmentally helpful. It was interesting to find out that environmental impacts of functional fillers in plastics had not been studied too often, especially in the case of inorganic fillers. Therefore, a gap in the literature was identified for the future works. Results of the study showed that, although there were not many and some differences exist among the LCA studies, the use of fillers in plastics industry may help to reduce environmental emissions. In addition, how LCA methodology was applied to these materials was also investigated. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

  1. Image diagnosis of plant function under environmental pollution. Shokubutsu de kankyo osen wo shindansuru

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Omasa, K. (National Inst. for Environmental studies, Tsukuba (Japan))

    1993-12-20

    Various physiological reaction of plants would be obstructed and troubles of their growth would be met under environmental pollution. There are also cases that the polluted materials as nutritious components are absorbed by plants. Consequently, if plant's reaction on this environmental pollution would be used, indexes of environmental pollution and environment can be improved. For examples, Ipomoea Nil and Petunia having high reaction on photochemical oxidate are widely used as index plant of air pollution. Zelkova trees and poplars planted as street trees can also greatly absorbed the polluted gas and have a function to clear air. In this paper, a diagnosis method by visualizing plant's reaction on environmental pollution by using technique of image measurement was explained. As devices of usable image measurement, a thermal camera, a solid measuring cameras, an ultrasonic camera, a multi-spectral camera and an X-ray TV camera were given. 6 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  2. Adaptability and variability of the cell functions to the environmental factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kikuchi, Tadatoshi [Kyoto Univ., Kumatori, Osaka (Japan). Research Reactor Inst.

    1995-02-01

    Adaptive phenomenon of the cells to the environmental factors is one of the most important functions of cells. In the initial research program, yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as model species of eukaryote was selected to use for the experiments and copper sulfate was adopted as one of the ideal environmental factors, and then adaptation mechanisms of yeast cells in the environment surrounded by copper ions were analyzed metabolically and morphologically. Furthermore, in the relationships between environmental factors and the cells, the researches performed were as follows: (1) Induced mutation in the extranuclear-inheritable system: Mutagenic effect of ethidium bromide on mitochondria and plastids. (2) Induction of gene expression by light exposure in the early development of chloroplast in Chlamydomonas reinhardi. (3) Some features of RNA and protein syntheses in thermophilic alga Cyanidium caldarium. (4) Satellite DNA of Ochromonas danica. (5) Analyses of cell functions using various kinds of radiations. (6) Novel methionine requirement of radiation resistant bacterium, Deinococcus radiodurans. (author).

  3. Microarrays – new possibilities for detecting biological factors hazardous for humans and animals, and for use in environmental protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Mirski

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Both the known biological agents that cause infectious diseases, as well as modified (ABF-Advanced Biological Factors or new, emerging agents pose a significant diagnostic problem using previously applied methods, both classical, as well as based on molecular biology methods. The latter, such as PCR and real-time PCR, have significant limitations, both quantitative (low capacity, and qualitative (limited number of targets. The article discusses the results of studies on using the microarray method for the identification of viruses (e.g. Orthopoxvirus group, noroviruses, influenza A and B viruses, rhino- and enteroviruses responsible for the FRI (Febrile Respiratory Illness, European bunyaviruses, and SARS-causing viruses, and bacteria ([i]Mycobacterium spp., Yersinia spp., Campylobacter spp., Streptococcus pneumoniae, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria meningitidis, Clostridium difficile , Helicobacter pylori[/i], including multiple antibiotic-resistant strains. The method allows for the serotyping and genotyping of bacteria, and is useful in the diagnosis of genetically modified agents. It allows the testing of thousands of genes in one experiment. In addition to diagnosis, it is applicable for gene expression studies, analysis of the function of genes, microorganisms virulence, and allows the detection of even single mutations. The possibility of its operational application in epidemiological surveillance, and in the detection of disease outbreak agents is demonstrated.

  4. Environmental and endogenous control of sexuality in a rotifer life cycle: developmental and population biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, John J

    2003-01-01

    Induction of mictic females, and hence initiation of sexuality, in the life cycle of some Brachionus requires an environmental stimulus associated with crowding. The inducing stimulus appears to be a taxonomically specific chemical released into the environment by the rotifers. Oocytes are induced to develop into mictic females before they are oviposited by their amictic mothers and begin cleavage divisions. Thus, the inducer affects the oocyte in the maternal body cavity either directly or indirectly by altering the physiology of its mother. The level of sexual reproduction expressed in populations of a Florida strain of B. calyciflorus is controlled by two types of endogenous factors and by the degree of crowding. First, some fraction of genetically identical oocytes in a clonal population fails to respond to even extreme crowding conditions, thus ensuring some potential for continued population growth by female parthenogenesis. Second, the propensity of amictic females to produce mictic daughters is extremely low when they hatch from fertilized resting eggs and then gradually increases to an asymptote after about 12 parthenogenetic generations. This multigenerational parental effect likely is due to a cytoplasmic factor in fertilized eggs that inhibits expression of the mictic-female phenotype and that is gradually diluted in successive parthenogenetic generations. The effect may increase a clone's genetic contribution to the resting-egg bank by increasing its population size through parthenogenetic generations before mictic females are induced.

  5. A review on speciation of iodine-129 in the environmental and biological samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hou Xiaolin [Riso National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, NUK-202, Technical University of Denmark, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark)], E-mail: xiaolin.hou@risoe.dk; Hansen, Violeta [Riso National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, NUK-202, Technical University of Denmark, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Aldahan, Ala [Department of Earth Science, Uppsala University, SE-758 36 Uppsala (Sweden); Possnert, Goeran [Tandem Laboratory, Uppsala University, SE-751 21 Uppsala (Sweden); Lind, Ole Christian [Norwegian University of Life Science, N-1432, As (Norway); Lujaniene, Galina [Institute of Physics, Savanoriu 231, LT-0230 Vilnius (Lithuania)

    2009-01-26

    As a long-lived beta-emitting radioisotope of iodine, {sup 129}I is produced both naturally and as a result of human nuclear activities. At present time, the main part of {sup 129}I in the environment originates from the human nuclear activity, especially the releases from the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, the {sup 129}I/{sup 127}I ratios have being reached to values of 10{sup -10} to 10{sup -4} in the environment from 10{sup -12} in the pre-nuclear era. In this article, we review the occurrence, sources, inventory, and concentration level of {sup 129}I in environment and the method for speciation analysis of {sup 129}I in the environment. Measurement techniques for the determination of {sup 129}I are presented and compared. An overview of applications of {sup 129}I speciation in various scientific disciplines such as radiation protection, waste depository, and environmental sciences is given. In addition, the bioavailability and radiation toxicity (dose to thyroid) of {sup 129}I are discussed.

  6. The Pyramid Trough Wetland: environmental and biological diversity in a newly created Antarctic protected area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungblut, Anne D; Wood, Susanna A; Hawes, Ian; Webster-Brown, Jenny; Harris, Colin

    2012-11-01

    The Pyramid Trough (Lat 78°S) has recently gained protection under the Antarctic Treaty system, owing to its wetland values. Here, we describe the microbial diversity of this system, with emphasis on cyanobacteria, and evaluate environment-biota relationships. Geochemistry separates ponds along hydrological gradients receiving recent inflows of dilute meltwater, from a second group that is rarely inundated and where chemistry is dominated by evaporation. Cyanobacteria-based microbial mats dominated the biota throughout. Mats were characterized by light-microscopy, pigment analysis, automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. A total of 17 morphotypes and 21 ribotypes were identified, mostly Oscillatoriales and several taxa that are usually rare in continental Antarctica, including Chroococcales and scytomin-rich Calothrix/Dichothrix, were abundant. There was a general decline in cyanobacterial diversity with increasing conductivity, but weak support for either differences in community composition between the two groups of ponds or sorting of taxa along the hydrological gradients with the pond groups. This implies a broad environmental tolerance and a prevalence of neutral assembly mechanisms in cyanobacterial communities of Antarctic wetland ecosystems. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Microbial interactions with chromium: basic biological processes and applications in environmental biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Corona, J F; Romo-Rodríguez, P; Santos-Escobar, F; Espino-Saldaña, A E; Hernández-Escoto, H

    2016-12-01

    Chromium (Cr) is a highly toxic metal for microorganisms as well as plants and animal cells. Due to its widespread industrial use, Cr has become a serious pollutant in diverse environmental settings. The hexavalent form of the metal, Cr(VI), is considered a more toxic species than the relatively innocuous and less mobile Cr(III) form. The study of the interactions between microorganisms and Cr has been helpful to unravel the mechanisms allowing organisms to survive in the presence of high concentrations of Cr(VI) and to detoxify and remove the oxyanion. Various mechanisms of interactions with Cr have been identified in diverse species of bacteria and fungi, including biosorption, bioaccumulation, reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), and chromate efflux. Some of these systems have been proposed as potential biotechnological tools for the bioremediation of Cr pollution using bioreactors or by in situ treatments. In this review, the interactions of microorganisms with Cr are summarised, emphasising the importance of new research avenues using advanced methodologies, including proteomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic analyses, as well as the use of techniques based on X-ray absorption spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.

  8. Environmental DNA in subterranean biology: range extension and taxonomic implications for Proteus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorički, Špela; Stanković, David; Snoj, Aleš; Kuntner, Matjaž; Jeffery, William R.; Trontelj, Peter; Pavićević, Miloš; Grizelj, Zlatko; Năpăruş-Aljančič, Magdalena; Aljančič, Gregor

    2017-03-01

    Europe’s obligate cave-dwelling amphibian Proteus anguinus inhabits subterranean waters of the north-western Balkan Peninsula. Because only fragments of its habitat are accessible to humans, this endangered salamander’s exact distribution has been difficult to establish. Here we introduce a quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction-based environmental DNA (eDNA) approach to detect the presence of Proteus using water samples collected from karst springs, wells or caves. In a survey conducted along the southern limit of its known range, we established a likely presence of Proteus at seven new sites, extending its range to Montenegro. Next, using specific molecular probes to discriminate the rare black morph of Proteus from the closely related white morph, we detected its eDNA at five new sites, thus more than doubling the known number of sites. In one of these we found both black and white Proteus eDNA together. This finding suggests that the two morphs may live in contact with each other in the same body of groundwater and that they may be reproductively isolated species. Our results show that the eDNA approach is suitable and efficient in addressing questions in biogeography, evolution, taxonomy and conservation of the cryptic subterranean fauna.

  9. Molecular biology of environmental aromatic hydrocarbons. Progress report, September 1, 1984-June 31, 1985

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weiss, S.B.

    1985-07-01

    The biological activities of the (+)- and (-)-enantiomers of anti-BPDE (benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide) and BePe (benzo[e]pyrene epoxide) were examined for their capacity to inhibit infectious single- and double-stranded 0X174 phage DNAs. For both activated PAH derivatives, the (+)-isomer was more inhibitory using either single- or double-stranded 0X DNAs. Both PAH derivatives showed a higher inhibition potency with single-stranded 0X DNA than with duplex DNA; this difference between the two phage DNA forms was much greater for BePE than with anti-BPDE. Digestion of phage DNAs reacted with the two isomers of anti-BPDE, followed by chromatography on LH20 Sephadex, showed a single major dG adduct peak for the (+)-isomer suggesting that alkylation of both 0X DNA forms is highly stereoselective. Reaction of the (-)-isomer of anti-BPDE with either form of 0X DNA showed several dG adduct peaks indicating that adduct formation was not stereoselective. A model viral DNA system was used, containing short oligonucleotide inserts as targets for PAH alkylation, to detect sequence modifications induced by anti-BPDE. A 10-base-pair oligomer (Bam HI linker) was treated with anti-BPDE and inserted into phage M13 replicative form DNA. E. coli was transfected with the recombinant DNA containing the alkylated oligomer, progeny viral plaques were selected, and their DNAs subjected to DNA sequence analysis at the region of oligomer insertion. For the alkylated inserts used in our study, the DNA sequence analysis of progeny viral DNA showed that nucleotide deletions were present in all the clones examined. These deletions occurred primarily, but not exclusively, at G dot C cluster regions, varied from 1 to 24 base pairs in length, and included both target and nontarget nucleotides. 19 refs., 4 figs

  10. The Effects of Environmental Factors on Biological Remediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad reza Moslemi

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Among the consequences of discharging industrial wastes to land and water bodies, is the widespread accumulation and migration of toxic chemical mixtures in soil and groundwater resources. It is believed that the accumulation of contaminants in the environment constitutes a serious threat to ecological and human health. Bioremediation is an effective measure in dealing with such contaminations particularly those from petroleum hydrocarbon sources; moreover bioremediation is emerging as a promising technology for the treatment of soil and groundwater contamination. Therefore the goal of this study is discussing the theory and practice of biological remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils and assessing the effects of operational conditions and parameters such as: temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration and  pH on the removal rate of the target contaminant which is handled in the designed reactor. Due to large production and consumption rate of diesel fuel inIran and many other countries, diesel fuel has been selected as target contaminant. In this study TOC and COD testing methods have been used to measure and assess the removal rate of the contaminant in the reactor. The experimental results indicate that, considering the operational conditions the indigenous microorganisms which have been separated from the soil are able to remove 50 to 83 percent of the contaminant after 30 days. Thereafter on the base of the results and considering the laboratorial specifications and conditions applied in this project, the optimum values of temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration andpH were respectively determined as 35°C, 4mg/L and 7.

  11. 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.

  12. Functional ecology of saltglands in shorebirds: flexible responses to variable environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutiérrez, J.S.; Dietz, M.W.; Masero, J.A.; Gill, R.E.; Dekinga, A.; Battley, P.F.; Sánchez-Guzmán, J.M.; Piersma, T.

    2012-01-01

    1. Birds of marine environments have specialized glands to excrete salt, the saltglands. Located on the skull between the eyes, the size of these organs is expected to reflect their demand, which will vary with water turnover rates as a function of environmental (heat load, salinity of prey and

  13. Identifying environmental risk to male reproductive function by occupational sperm studies: logistics and design options.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonde, J.P.; Giwercman, A.; Ernst, E.; Joffe, M.; Bisanti, L.; Hoorne M, van M.; Thonneau, P.; Zielhuis, G.; Kiss, P.; Abell, A.; Larsen, S.B.; Danscher, G.; Kolstad, H.

    1996-01-01

    Malfunction of the male reproductive system might be a sensitive marker of environmental hazards, the effects of which may extend beyond reproductive function. The testis is more vulnerable to heat and ionising radiation than any other organ of the body and several xenobiotics are known to disrupt

  14. Shyness and Vocabulary: The Roles of Executive Functioning and Home Environmental Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankson, A. Nayena; O'Brien, Marion; Leerkes, Esther M.; Marcovitch, Stuart; Calkins, Susan D.

    2011-01-01

    Although shyness has often been found to be negatively related to vocabulary, few studies have examined the processes that produce or modify this relation. The present study examined executive functioning skills and home environmental stimulation as potential mediating and moderating mechanisms. A sample of 3 1/2-year-old children (N = 254) was…

  15. Functional ecology of saltglands in shorebirds : flexible responses to variable environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutierrez, Jorge S.; Dietz, Maurine W.; Masero, Jose A.; Gill, Robert E.; Dekinga, Anne; Battley, Phil F.; Sanchez-Guzman, Juan M.; Piersma, Theunis; Dawson, Alistair

    1. Birds of marine environments have specialized glands to excrete salt, the saltglands. Located on the skull between the eyes, the size of these organs is expected to reflect their demand, which will vary with water turnover rates as a function of environmental (heat load, salinity of prey and

  16. Quality of Graphite Target for Biological/Biomedical/Environmental Applications of 14C-Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Catalytic graphitization for 14C-accelerator mass spectrometry (14C-AMS) produced various forms of elemental carbon. Our high-throughput Zn reduction method (C/Fe = 1:5, 500 °C, 3 h) produced the AMS target of graphite-coated iron powder (GCIP), a mix of nongraphitic carbon and Fe3C. Crystallinity of the AMS targets of GCIP (nongraphitic carbon) was increased to turbostratic carbon by raising the C/Fe ratio from 1:5 to 1:1 and the graphitization temperature from 500 to 585 °C. The AMS target of GCIP containing turbostratic carbon had a large isotopic fractionation and a low AMS ion current. The AMS target of GCIP containing turbostratic carbon also yielded less accurate/precise 14C-AMS measurements because of the lower graphitization yield and lower thermal conductivity that were caused by the higher C/Fe ratio of 1:1. On the other hand, the AMS target of GCIP containing nongraphitic carbon had higher graphitization yield and better thermal conductivity over the AMS target of GCIP containing turbostratic carbon due to optimal surface area provided by the iron powder. Finally, graphitization yield and thermal conductivity were stronger determinants (over graphite crystallinity) for accurate/precise/high-throughput biological, biomedical, and environmental14C-AMS applications such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination (ADME), and physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) of nutrients, drugs, phytochemicals, and environmental chemicals. PMID:20163100

  17. Pollen tube growth test (PTGT) in environmental biomonitoring and predictive radiation biology studies: problem and prospect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pandey, Devi D.

    2012-01-01

    In Environmental and Human Bio monitoring studies of Hazardous xenobiotics over living system particularly at cell level, it is desirable to have easy and sensitive test system like Cell Viability assay, MNT, Cell Culture photo toxicity Test, PTGT etc. Out of these the PTGT quite better than other because the in vitro culture of pollen grain can provides a sensitive indication of toxicity at cellular level, since germination and growth of pollen tube will inhibited in presence of toxic substance like DDT, Heavy metal, even Radionuclide's. This test system is easy, economical and widely accepted through out world. In PTGT pollen tube never containing Chloroplast or other plastids so pollen tube resembles animals more than a plant organ and is therefore also a suitable as model for Genotoxicity Assessment of compounds harmful to animal and humans. Lack of plastids in PT, PTGT will not identify the toxic effect of compounds that targets Non cyclic and cyclic photoposphorylation of photosynthesis. This test system valid in International Toxicity Testing Protocol. But this method is time consuming and problem in measurement of pollen tube growing in a culture medium became usually bent and make measurement difficult. Other disadvantage of this method is requirement of DMSO to dissolve test substance of low water suitability in culture medium. DMSO shown to have no effect on PTG at Concentration not more than 1% but some extent interfere with results. Values of PTG are quantified in ED50/IC50 that is the concentration of test compounds that reduces pollen tube growth to 50% of control. So PTGT could be very sensitive and easy to assess in common lab in International way. (author)

  18. Biological transfer of radionuclides in marine environments - Identifying and filling knowledge gaps for environmental impact assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, J.E.; Borretzen, P.; Hosseini, A.; Iosjpe, M.

    2004-01-01

    A review on concentration factors (CF) for the marine environment was conducted in order to consider the relevance of existing data from the perspective of environmental protection and to identify areas of data paucity. Data have been organised in a format compatible with a reference organism approach, for selected radionuclides, and efforts have been taken to identify the factors that may be of importance in the context of dosimetric and dose-effects analyses. These reference organism categories had been previously selected by identifying organism groups that were likely to experience the highest levels of radiation exposure, owing to high uptake levels or residence in a particular habitat, for defined scenarios. Significant data gaps in the CF database have been identified, notably for marine mammals and birds. Most empirical information pertains to a limit suite of radionuclides, particularly 137 Cs, 210 Po and 99 Tc. A methodology has been developed to help bridge this information deficit. This has been based on simple dynamic, biokinetic models that mainly use parameters derived from laboratory-based study and field observation. In some cases, allometric relationships have been employed to allow further model parameterization. Initial testing of the model by comparing model output with empirical data sets suggest that the models provide sensible equilibrium CFs. Furthermore, analyses of modelling results suggest that for some radionuclides, in particularly those with long effective half-lives, the time to equilibrium can be far greater than the life-time of an organism. This clearly emphasises the limitations of applying a universal equilibrium approach. The methodology, therefore, has an added advantage that non-equilibrium scenarios can be considered in a more rigorous manner. Further refinements to the modelling approach might be attained by exploring the importance of various model parameters, through sensitivity analyses, and by identifying those

  19. Selective uptake and biological consequences of environmentally relevant antidepressant pharmaceutical exposures on male fathead minnows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Melissa M.; Painter, Meghan M.; Bartell, Stephen E.; Logue, Amanda; Furlong, Edward T.; Werner, Stephen L.; Schoenfuss, Heiko L.

    2011-01-01

    Antidepressant pharmaceuticals have been reported in wastewater effluent at the nanogram to low microgram-per-liter range, and include bupropion (BUP), fluoxetine (FLX), sertraline (SER), and venlafaxine (VEN). To assess the effects of antidepressants on reproductive anatomy, physiology, and behavior, adult male fathead minnows (Pimeplwles promelas) were exposed for 21 days either to a single concentration of the antidepressants FLX, SER, VEN, or BUP, or to an antidepressant mixture. The data demonstrated that exposure to VEN (305 ng/L and 1104 ng/L) and SER (5.2 ng/L) resulted in mortality. Anatomical alterations were noted within the testes of fish exposed to SER and FLX, both modulators of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Additionally, FLX at 28 ng/L induced vitellogenin in male fish—a common endpoint for estrogenic endocrine disruption. Significant alterations in male secondary sex characteristics were noted with single exposures. Effects of single compound exposures neither carried over, nor became additive in the antidepressant mixtures, and reproductive behavior was not affected. Analysis of brain tissues from the exposed fish suggested increased uptake of FLX, SER and BUP and minimal uptake of VEN when compared to exposure water concentrations. Furthermore, the only metabolite detected consistently in the brain tissues was norfluoxetine. Similar trends of uptake by brain tissue were observed when fish were exposed to antidepressant mixtures. The present study demonstrates that anatomy and physiology, but not reproductive behavior, can be disrupted by exposure to environmental concentrations of some antidepressants. The observation that antidepressant uptake into fish tissues is selective may have consequences on assessing the mode-of-action and effects of these compounds in future studies.

  20. Default mode network connectivity as a function of familial and environmental risk for psychotic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Sanne C T; van de Ven, Vincent; Gronenschild, Ed H B M; Patel, Ameera X; Habets, Petra; Goebel, Rainer; van Os, Jim; Marcelis, Machteld

    2015-01-01

    Research suggests that altered interregional connectivity in specific networks, such as the default mode network (DMN), is associated with cognitive and psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia. In addition, frontal and limbic connectivity alterations have been associated with trauma, drug use and urban upbringing, though these environmental exposures have never been examined in relation to DMN functional connectivity in psychotic disorder. Resting-state functional MRI scans were obtained from 73 patients with psychotic disorder, 83 non-psychotic siblings of patients with psychotic disorder and 72 healthy controls. Posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed-based correlation analysis was used to estimate functional connectivity within the DMN. DMN functional connectivity was examined in relation to group (familial risk), group × environmental exposure (to cannabis, developmental trauma and urbanicity) and symptomatology. There was a significant association between group and PCC connectivity with the inferior parietal lobule (IPL), the precuneus (PCu) and the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Compared to controls, patients and siblings had increased PCC connectivity with the IPL, PCu and MPFC. In the IPL and PCu, the functional connectivity of siblings was intermediate to that of controls and patients. No significant associations were found between DMN connectivity and (subclinical) psychotic/cognitive symptoms. In addition, there were no significant interactions between group and environmental exposures in the model of PCC functional connectivity. Increased functional connectivity in individuals with (increased risk for) psychotic disorder may reflect trait-related network alterations. The within-network "connectivity at rest" intermediate phenotype was not associated with (subclinical) psychotic or cognitive symptoms. The association between familial risk and DMN connectivity was not conditional on environmental exposure.