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Sample records for biological function mode

  1. 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…

  2. Single-mode biological distributed feedback laser

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vannahme, Christoph; Maier-Flaig, Florian; Lemmer, Uli

    2013-01-01

    Single-mode second order distributed feedback (DFB) lasers of riboflavin (vitamin B2) doped gelatine films on nanostructured low refractive index material are demonstrated. Manufacturing is based on a simple UV nanoimprint and spin-coating. Emission wavelengths of 543 nm and 562 nm for two...

  3. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. The Default Mode Network Differentiates Biological From Non-Biological Motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayan, Eran; Sella, Irit; Mukovskiy, Albert; Douek, Yehonatan; Giese, Martin A; Malach, Rafael; Flash, Tamar

    2016-01-01

    The default mode network (DMN) has been implicated in an array of social-cognitive functions, including self-referential processing, theory of mind, and mentalizing. Yet, the properties of the external stimuli that elicit DMN activity in relation to these domains remain unknown. Previous studies suggested that motion kinematics is utilized by the brain for social-cognitive processing. Here, we used functional MRI to examine whether the DMN is sensitive to parametric manipulations of observed motion kinematics. Preferential responses within core DMN structures differentiating non-biological from biological kinematics were observed for the motion of a realistically looking, human-like avatar, but not for an abstract object devoid of human form. Differences in connectivity patterns during the observation of biological versus non-biological kinematics were additionally observed. Finally, the results additionally suggest that the DMN is coupled more strongly with key nodes in the action observation network, namely the STS and the SMA, when the observed motion depicts human rather than abstract form. These findings are the first to implicate the DMN in the perception of biological motion. They may reflect the type of information used by the DMN in social-cognitive processing. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Default Mode Dynamics for Global Functional Integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatansever, Deniz; Menon, David K; Manktelow, Anne E; Sahakian, Barbara J; Stamatakis, Emmanuel A

    2015-11-18

    The default mode network (DMN) has been traditionally assumed to hinder behavioral performance in externally focused, goal-directed paradigms and to provide no active contribution to human cognition. However, recent evidence suggests greater DMN activity in an array of tasks, especially those that involve self-referential and memory-based processing. Although data that robustly demonstrate a comprehensive functional role for DMN remains relatively scarce, the global workspace framework, which implicates the DMN in global information integration for conscious processing, can potentially provide an explanation for the broad range of higher-order paradigms that report DMN involvement. We used graph theoretical measures to assess the contribution of the DMN to global functional connectivity dynamics in 22 healthy volunteers during an fMRI-based n-back working-memory paradigm with parametric increases in difficulty. Our predominant finding is that brain modularity decreases with greater task demands, thus adapting a more global workspace configuration, in direct relation to increases in reaction times to correct responses. Flexible default mode regions dynamically switch community memberships and display significant changes in their nodal participation coefficient and strength, which may reflect the observed whole-brain changes in functional connectivity architecture. These findings have important implications for our understanding of healthy brain function, as they suggest a central role for the DMN in higher cognitive processing. The default mode network (DMN) has been shown to increase its activity during the absence of external stimulation, and hence was historically assumed to disengage during goal-directed tasks. Recent evidence, however, implicates the DMN in self-referential and memory-based processing. We provide robust evidence for this network's active contribution to working memory by revealing dynamic reconfiguration in its interactions with other networks

  6. Default mode of brain function in monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantini, Dante; Gerits, Annelis; Nelissen, Koen; Durand, Jean-Baptiste; Joly, Olivier; Simone, Luciano; Sawamura, Hiromasa; Wardak, Claire; Orban, Guy A; Buckner, Randy L; Vanduffel, Wim

    2011-09-07

    Human neuroimaging has revealed a specific network of brain regions-the default-mode network (DMN)-that reduces its activity during goal-directed behavior. So far, evidence for a similar network in monkeys is mainly indirect, since, except for one positron emission tomography study, it is all based on functional connectivity analysis rather than activity increases during passive task states. Here, we tested whether a consistent DMN exists in monkeys using its defining property. We performed a meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data collected in 10 awake monkeys to reveal areas in which activity consistently decreases when task demands shift from passive tasks to externally oriented processing. We observed task-related spatially specific deactivations across 15 experiments, implying in the monkey a functional equivalent of the human DMN. We revealed by resting-state connectivity that prefrontal and medial parietal regions, including areas 9/46d and 31, respectively, constitute the DMN core, being functionally connected to all other DMN areas. We also detected two distinct subsystems composed of DMN areas with stronger functional connections between each other. These clusters included areas 24/32, 8b, and TPOC and areas 23, v23, and PGm, respectively. Such a pattern of functional connectivity largely fits, but is not completely consistent with anatomical tract tracing data in monkeys. Also, analysis of afferent and efferent connections between DMN areas suggests a multisynaptic network structure. Like humans, monkeys increase activity during passive epochs in heteromodal and limbic association regions, suggesting that they also default to internal modes of processing when not actively interacting with the environment.

  7. The biological function of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

    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.) are 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. PMID:25140159

  8. ``Green's function'' approach & low-mode asymmetries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masse, Laurent; Clark, Dan; Salmonson, Jay; MacLaren, Steve; Ma, Tammy; Khan, Shahab; Pino, Jesse; Ralph, Jo; Czajka, C.; Tipton, Robert; Landen, Otto; Kyrala, Georges; 2 Team; 1 Team

    2017-10-01

    Long wavelength, low mode asymmetries are believed to play a leading role in limiting the performance of current ICF implosions on NIF. These long wavelength modes are initiated and driven by asymmetries in the x-ray flux from the hohlraum; however, the underlying hydrodynamics of the implosion also act to amplify these asymmetries. The work presented here aim to deepen our understanding of the interplay of the drive asymmetries and the underlying implosion hydrodynamics in determining the final imploded configuration. This is accomplished through a synthesis of numerical modeling, analytic theory, and experimental data. In detail, we use a Green's function approach to connect the drive asymmetry seen by the capsule to the measured inflight and hot spot symmetries. The approach has been validated against a suite of numerical simulations. Ultimately, we hope this work will identify additional measurements to further constrain the asymmetries and increase hohlraum illumination design flexibility on the NIF. The technique and derivation of associated error bars will be presented. LLC, (LLNS) Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  9. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

    A complete understanding of life involves how organisms are able to function in their environment and how they arise. Understanding how organisms arise involves both their evolution and development. Thus to completely comprehend living things, biology must study their function, development and evolution. Previous proposals for standardized…

  10. Six coordination compounds: mode of cytotoxic action and biological evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ali aydin

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the biological and anticancer properties of followed coordination compounds. IR spectra, magnetic properties, thermal analyses and crystal structures of six cyanido-complexes derivatives with [MII(CN4]2- (MII= Ni and Pd and [Co(CN6]3- anions and N-bishydeten (N,N-bis(2-hydroxyethylethylenediamine as a capping ligand have been previously reported. Here, we investigated these complexes denoted as[Ni(N-bishydetenNi(CN4] (C1, [Zn2(N-bishydeten2Ni(CN4] (C2, [Ni(N-bishydetenPd(CN4] (C3, [Cd(N-bishydeten2][Pd(CN4] (C4, [Ni2(N-bishydeten2Co(CN6].3H2O (C5 and K[Cd(N-bishydetenCo(CN6].1.5H2O (C6, which were tested for their anti-proliferative activity against human cervical cancer (HeLa, human colon cancer (HT29, rat glioma (C6 and African green monkey kidney (Vero cell lines. The DNA/BSA binding affinities of these compounds were also elucidated by spectroscopic titrations, displacement experiments and electrophoresis measurements. Studies on cancerous cells revealed that C1, C2, C4 and C6 exhibited significant antitumor activity and inhibited tumor progression in testing cell lines and showed high solubility in the solvent. Absorbance and emission spectra data results revealed that the complexes interact with the DNA via groove binding mode of interaction. Overall, these compounds have been found to demonstrate effective anti-proliferative activity against the cancer cell lines, indicating that they are a potent candidate for preclinical or clinical study.

  11. 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

  12. Photosynthetic system as a biological functional element

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zakhidov, E.A.; Zakhidova, M.A.; Kasymdzhanov, M.A.; Kurbanov, S.S.; Nematov, Sh.K.; Khabibullaev, P.K.

    2005-01-01

    Photosynthetic apparatus of high plants and photosynthetic bacteria is essentially autonomic system in terms of genetics and structural -functional properties located in specific medium, a bio-membrane. Processes of light absorption and exciton migration in light harvesting antenna, separation and further transfer of charges in reaction centers have specific features, which may be used for application of these objects as key elements in construction of future biological functional elements. Progress in study and genetic modification of photosynthetic membranes achieved during the last decade opens great prospects in development biological functional elements and systems. The main characteristics of photosynthetic system for these purposes are: (i) energy conversion processes in the first light phase of the photosynthesis have very short periods, up to picoseconds, which indicates possibility of creation of ultrafast functional elements on their basis; (ii) characteristics sizes of photosynthetic units, 10-100 nm, and possibility to arrange regularly disposed elements in relevant membranes could be prospective point for creation of nano structures and on their basis relevant biologic functional elements; (iii) elements based on modified photosynthetic apparatus and bio-membranes might be efficiently created by methods of gene engineering and manipulation, that open huge opportunities for development of read biological functional systems. In the paper structural-functional properties and characteristics of high plants and purple photosynthetic bacteria, which may be useful for creation of future biological functional elements are considered. (author)

  13. Interdisciplinary problem-solving: emerging modes in integrative systems biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MacLeod, Miles Alexander James; Nersessian, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Integrative systems biology is an emerging field that attempts to integrate computation, applied mathematics, engineering concepts and methods, and biological experimentation in order to model large-scale complex biochemical networks. The field is thus an important contemporary instance of an

  14. Metacognition: computation, biology and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Stephen M.; Dolan, Raymond J.; Frith, Christopher D.

    2012-01-01

    Many complex systems maintain a self-referential check and balance. In animals, such reflective monitoring and control processes have been grouped under the rubric of metacognition. In this introductory article to a Theme Issue on metacognition, we review recent and rapidly progressing developments from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computer science and philosophy of mind. While each of these areas is represented in detail by individual contributions to the volume, we take this opportunity to draw links between disciplines, and highlight areas where further integration is needed. Specifically, we cover the definition, measurement, neurobiology and possible functions of metacognition, and assess the relationship between metacognition and consciousness. We propose a framework in which level of representation, order of behaviour and access consciousness are orthogonal dimensions of the conceptual landscape. PMID:22492746

  15. 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...

  16. Oviduct structure and function and reproductive modes in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, M H; Dickie, R

    The structure and function of the oviducts of members of the three Orders of the Class Amphibia (Anura, frogs and toads; Urodela, salamanders and newts; Gymnophiona, caecilians) are well described for only a few species. Further, the majority of such descriptions relate only to temperate species that breed in water, lay their eggs there, and have free-living larvae, the presumed ancestral condition of oviparity. Many species of amphibians have derived reproductive modes. Such modes include breeding terrestrially and arboreally, making foam nests, parental transport of eggs and/or tadpoles, direct development (copulating on land, laying the eggs in terrestrial sites, fully metamorphosed juveniles hatching, obviating the free-living larval stage). Other derived modes are ovoviviparity (developing embryos retained in the oviducts, born at a diversity stages of development, no maternal nutrition in addition to yolk) and viviparity (oviductal retention of developing young, maternal nutrition after yolk is resorbed, young born as fully metamorphosed juveniles). The amphibian oviduct is regionally differentiated to secrete varying numbers of layers of material around each egg, which function in fertilization, etc.; it is responsive to endocrine output and environmental mediation during the reproductive cycle; and it maintains developing embryos in some members of all three orders, some with oviductal epithelial secretion of nutrients. However, little is known of the structure-function relationships of the oviduct in species with derived reproductive modes. A comparison of oviduct morphology, function, endocrinology, ecology and phylogeny in amphibians with diverse reproductive modes suggests a number of highly productive avenues of investigation.

  17. Imaging modes of atomic force microscopy for application in molecular and cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufrêne, Yves F; Ando, Toshio; Garcia, Ricardo; Alsteens, David; Martinez-Martin, David; Engel, Andreas; Gerber, Christoph; Müller, Daniel J

    2017-04-06

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful, multifunctional imaging platform that allows biological samples, from single molecules to living cells, to be visualized and manipulated. Soon after the instrument was invented, it was recognized that in order to maximize the opportunities of AFM imaging in biology, various technological developments would be required to address certain limitations of the method. This has led to the creation of a range of new imaging modes, which continue to push the capabilities of the technique today. Here, we review the basic principles, advantages and limitations of the most common AFM bioimaging modes, including the popular contact and dynamic modes, as well as recently developed modes such as multiparametric, molecular recognition, multifrequency and high-speed imaging. For each of these modes, we discuss recent experiments that highlight their unique capabilities.

  18. Biology a la mode: Charles Darwin's aesthetics of "ornament".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menninghaus, Winfried

    2009-01-01

    Historians have long noted the importance of Victorian culture for the emergence of Darwin's ideas. This paper takes this understanding one step further by illustrating a deep cultural analysis for the underlying aesthetics framework which, on the one hand, is part of Darwin's notion of sexual selection while, at the same time, serving to give rise to a new "aesthetics semantics." While evolutionary biology avoids this language, it nevertheless had far-reaching influences in the decades following the publication of Darwin's work. Additionally, evolutionary aesthetics from Darwin provides unique insights on the philosophical foundations it draws upon.

  19. Functional annotation of chemical libraries across diverse biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piotrowski, Jeff S; Li, Sheena C; Deshpande, Raamesh; Simpkins, Scott W; Nelson, Justin; Yashiroda, Yoko; Barber, Jacqueline M; Safizadeh, Hamid; Wilson, Erin; Okada, Hiroki; Gebre, Abraham A; Kubo, Karen; Torres, Nikko P; LeBlanc, Marissa A; Andrusiak, Kerry; Okamoto, Reika; Yoshimura, Mami; DeRango-Adem, Eva; van Leeuwen, Jolanda; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Baryshnikova, Anastasia; Brown, Grant W; Hirano, Hiroyuki; Costanzo, Michael; Andrews, Brenda; Ohya, Yoshikazu; Osada, Hiroyuki; Yoshida, Minoru; Myers, Chad L; Boone, Charles

    2017-09-01

    Chemical-genetic approaches offer the potential for unbiased functional annotation of chemical libraries. Mutations can alter the response of cells in the presence of a compound, revealing chemical-genetic interactions that can elucidate a compound's mode of action. We developed a highly parallel, unbiased yeast chemical-genetic screening system involving three key components. First, in a drug-sensitive genetic background, we constructed an optimized diagnostic mutant collection that is predictive for all major yeast biological processes. Second, we implemented a multiplexed (768-plex) barcode-sequencing protocol, enabling the assembly of thousands of chemical-genetic profiles. Finally, based on comparison of the chemical-genetic profiles with a compendium of genome-wide genetic interaction profiles, we predicted compound functionality. Applying this high-throughput approach, we screened seven different compound libraries and annotated their functional diversity. We further validated biological process predictions, prioritized a diverse set of compounds, and identified compounds that appear to have dual modes of action.

  20. Mode Shape Analysis of Multiple Cracked Functionally Graded Timoshenko Beams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tran Van Lien

    Full Text Available Abstract The present paper addresses free vibration of multiple cracked Timoshenko beams made of Functionally Graded Material (FGM. Cracks are modeled by rotational spring of stiffness calculated from the crack depth and material properties vary according to the power law throughout the beam thickness. Governing equations for free vibration of the beam are formulated with taking into account actual position of the neutral plane. The obtained frequency equation and mode shapes are used for analysis of the beam mode shapes in dependence on the material and crack parameters. Numerical results validate usefulness of the proposed herein theory and show that mode shapes are good indication for detecting multiple cracks in Timoshenko FGM beams.

  1. Imaging cellular and molecular biological functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shorte, S.L. [Institut Pasteur, 75 - Paris (France). Plateforme d' Imagerie Dynamique PFID-Imagopole; Frischknecht, F. (eds.) [Heidelberg Univ. Medical School (Germany). Dept. of Parasitology

    2007-07-01

    'Imaging cellular and molecular biological function' provides a unique selection of essays by leading experts, aiming at scientist and student alike who are interested in all aspects of modern imaging, from its application and up-scaling to its development. Indeed the philosophy of this volume is to provide student, researcher, PI, professional or provost the means to enter this applications field with confidence, and to construct the means to answer their own specific questions. (orig.)

  2. Commuting mode and pulmonary function in Shanghai, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffney, Adam W; Hang, Jing-Qing; Lee, Mi-Sun; Su, Li; Zhang, Feng-Ying; Christiani, David C

    2016-03-01

    Exposure to air pollution can be particularly high during commuting and may depend on the mode of transportation. We investigated the impact of commuting mode on pulmonary function in Shanghai, China.The Shanghai Putuo Study is a cross-sectional, population-based study. Our primary outcomes were forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) % predicted, and the secondary outcome was spirometric airflow obstruction. We tested the association between mode of transportation and these outcomes after adjusting for confounders.The study population consisted of 20 102 subjects. After adjusting for confounders, the change (95% CI) in FEV1 was -2.15% pred (-2.88- -1.42% pred) among pedestrians, -1.32% pred (-2.05- -0.59% pred) among those taking buses without air conditioning, -1.33% pred (-2.05- -0.61% pred) among those taking buses with air conditioning and -2.83% pred (-5.56- -0.10% pred) among those using underground railways, as compared to cyclists (the reference group). The effects of mode on FVC % predicted were in the same direction. Private car use had a significant protective effect on FVC % predicted and the risk of airflow obstruction (defined by Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease but not by lower limit of normal criteria).Mode of transportation is associated with differences in lung function, which may reflect pollution levels in different transportation microenvironments. Copyright ©ERS 2016.

  3. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Vega

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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

  5. Effect of the Mode of Admission on the Performance of NCE Biology ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effect of the mode of admission on the level of performance of students in NCE Biology was investigated in this study. The study made use of seven years records between 1997 and 2004 when students could be admitted through preliminary studies or by direct entry through JAMB if qualified. The results of the students ...

  6. Linking density functional and mode coupling models for supercooled liquids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premkumar, Leishangthem; Bidhoodi, Neeta; Das, Shankar P

    2016-03-28

    We compare predictions from two familiar models of the metastable supercooled liquid, respectively, constructed with thermodynamic and dynamic approaches. In the so called density functional theory the free energy F[ρ] of the liquid is a functional of the inhomogeneous density ρ(r). The metastable state is identified as a local minimum of F[ρ]. The sharp density profile characterizing ρ(r) is identified as a single particle oscillator, whose frequency is obtained from the parameters of the optimum density function. On the other hand, a dynamic approach to supercooled liquids is taken in the mode coupling theory (MCT) which predict a sharp ergodicity-non-ergodicity transition at a critical density. The single particle dynamics in the non-ergodic state, treated approximately, represents a propagating mode whose characteristic frequency is computed from the corresponding memory function of the MCT. The mass localization parameters in the above two models (treated in their simplest forms) are obtained, respectively, in terms of the corresponding natural frequencies depicted and are shown to have comparable magnitudes.

  7. Linking density functional and mode coupling models for supercooled liquids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Premkumar, Leishangthem; Bidhoodi, Neeta; Das, Shankar P. [School of Physical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067 (India)

    2016-03-28

    We compare predictions from two familiar models of the metastable supercooled liquid, respectively, constructed with thermodynamic and dynamic approaches. In the so called density functional theory the free energy F[ρ] of the liquid is a functional of the inhomogeneous density ρ(r). The metastable state is identified as a local minimum of F[ρ]. The sharp density profile characterizing ρ(r) is identified as a single particle oscillator, whose frequency is obtained from the parameters of the optimum density function. On the other hand, a dynamic approach to supercooled liquids is taken in the mode coupling theory (MCT) which predict a sharp ergodicity-non-ergodicity transition at a critical density. The single particle dynamics in the non-ergodic state, treated approximately, represents a propagating mode whose characteristic frequency is computed from the corresponding memory function of the MCT. The mass localization parameters in the above two models (treated in their simplest forms) are obtained, respectively, in terms of the corresponding natural frequencies depicted and are shown to have comparable magnitudes.

  8. Biological pathways and genetic mechanisms involved in social functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ordonana, J.R.; Bartels, M.; Boomsma, D.I.; Cella, D.; Mosing, M.; Oliveira, J.R.; Patrick, D.L.; Veenhoven, R.; Wagner, G.G.; Sprangers, M.A.G.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: 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

  9. Shear mode ER transfer function for robotic applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, K P; Stanway, R; Bullough, W A [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield (United Kingdom)

    2005-06-07

    Electro-rheological (ER) fluids are becoming popular in modern industrial applications. The advantage of employing ER devices is due to the ease of energizing the ER fluids at fast speeds of response. One innovation in ER applications could be in the positioning control of the robotic arm using an ER clutch. In order to actuate the manipulator, the ER output torque response is required. However, the behaviour of this ER torque response at different input conditions is not clearly understood. Therefore, in this paper, a sample study of the ER output torque is conducted. The ER output torque responses at different input parameters are studied carefully for the establishment of an appropriate ER transfer function in shear mode. This transfer function will serve as an important feature in future ER-actuated robot arm's control process.

  10. Amphipathic small molecules mimic the binding mode and function of endogenous transcription factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhrlage, Sara J; Bates, Caleb A; Rowe, Steven P; Minter, Aaron R; Brennan, Brian B; Majmudar, Chinmay Y; Wemmer, David E; Al-Hashimi, Hashim; Mapp, Anna K

    2009-05-15

    Small molecules that reconstitute the binding mode(s) of a protein and in doing so elicit a programmed functional response offer considerable advantages in the control of complex biological processes. The development challenges of such molecules are significant, however. Many protein-protein interactions require multiple points of contact over relatively large surface areas. More significantly, several binding modes can be superimposed upon a single sequence within a protein, and a true small molecule replacement must be preprogrammed for such multimodal binding. This is the case for the transcriptional activation domain or TAD of transcriptional activators as these motifs utilize a poorly characterized multipartner binding profile in order to stimulate gene expression. Here we describe a unique class of small molecules that exhibit both function and a binding profile analogous to natural transcriptional activation domains. Of particular note, the small molecules are the first reported to bind to the KIX domain within the CREB binding protein (CBP) at a site that is utilized by natural activators. Further, a comparison of functional and nonfunctional small molecules indicates that an interaction with CBP is a key contributor to transcriptional activity. Taken together, the evidence suggests that the small molecule TADs mimic both the function and mechanism of their natural counterparts and thus present a framework for the broader development of small molecule transcriptional switches.

  11. Structure and biological functions of fungal cerebrosides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barreto-Bergter Eliana

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Ceramide monohexosides (CMHs, cerebrosides are glycosphingolipids composed of a hydrophobic ceramide linked to one sugar unit. In fungal cells, CMHs are very conserved molecules consisting of a ceramide moiety containing 9-methyl-4,8-sphingadienine in amidic linkage to 2-hydroxyoctadecanoic or 2-hydroxyhexadecanoic acids, and a carbohydrate portion consisting of one residue of glucose or galactose. 9-Methyl 4,8-sphingadienine-containing ceramides are usually glycosylated to form fungal cerebrosides, but the recent description of a ceramide dihexoside (CDH presenting phytosphingosine in Magnaporthe grisea suggests the existence of alternative pathways of ceramide glycosylation in fungal cells. Along with their unique structural characteristics, fungal CMHs have a peculiar subcellular distribution and striking biological properties. In Pseudallescheria boydii, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus nidulans, A. fumigatus, and Schizophyllum commune, CMHs are apparently involved in morphological transitions and fungal growth. The elucidation of structural and functional aspects of fungal cerebrosides may therefore contribute to the design of new antifungal agents inhibiting growth and differentiation of pathogenic species.

  12. A hybrid biology course: Implications of merging Internet-enhanced and campus-based instructional modes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Sharron Ann

    This is possibly the first study of a hybrid online biology course where WebCT internet-enhanced modes of instruction replaced conventional face-to-face (F2F) lecture materials, merging with collaborative inquiry-based on-campus laboratory instructional modes. Although not a true experiment, the design of this study included three independent cohorts, a pretest and three posttests, as described by Gay and Airasian (2000). This study reported differences in age, gender, number of prior online courses and pretest scores. Over time, persistence, achievement and computer self-efficacy differed in one hybrid online section (N = 31) and two F2F cohorts (N = 29 and 30). One F2F cohort used written test materials and the other used intranet-delivered materials to examine possible differences in groups using electronic assessment modes. In this study, community college students self-selecting into online hybrid and traditional versions of the same biology course did not have the same number of prior online courses, achievement or persistence rates as those self-selecting into F2F sections of the same course with the same laboratories and instructor. This study includes twenty pretest items selected from Instructor's Manual and Test Item File to Accompany: Inquiry into Life, 9th Edition (Schrock, 2000). This study produced 63 tables, 13 figures and 173 references.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Enhanced functionality of cantilever based mass sensors using higher modes and functionalized particles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dohn, Søren; Sandberg, Rasmus Kousholt; Svendsen, Winnie Edith

    2005-01-01

    By positioning a single gold-particle at different locations along the length axis on a cantilever based mass sensor, we have investigated the effect of mass position on the mass responsivity and compared the results to simulations. A significant improvement in quality factor and responsivity was...... was achieved by operating the cantilever in the 4th bending mode, thereby increasing the intrinsic sensitivity. It is shown that the use of higher bending modes grants a spatial resolution and thereby enhances the functionality of the cantilever based mass sensor....

  16. Formation of Autapse Connected to Neuron and Its Biological Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunni Wang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Autapse is a specific synapse connected to the neuron via close loop, and its functional adjusting is described by applying time-delayed feedback on the membrane potential of the neuron. This paper discussed the possible formation mechanism and biological function of autapse connection on neurons. We believe that the formation and growth of autapse connected to neuron can be associated with injury on axon and blocking in signal transmission; thus auxiliary loop is developed to form an autapse. When autapse is set up, it can propagate the signals and change the modes of electrical activities under self-adaption. Based on the cable neuron model, the injury on axon is generated by poisoning and blocking in ion channels (of sodium; thus the conductance of ion channels are changed to form injury-associated defects. Furthermore, auxiliary loop with time delay is designed to restore and enhance signal propagation by setting different time delays and feedback gains. The numerical studies confirmed that appropriate time delay and feedback gain in electric or chemical autapse can help signal (or wave generated by external forcing propagation across the blocked area. As a result, formation of autapse could be dependent on the injury of neuron and further enhances the self-adaption to external stimuli.

  17. 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…

  18. 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...... limitation to the development of effective CBC is due to a failure to adequately direct biological control services to achieve suppression of the target pests. By considering the performance of these and other components of CBC within the context of an integrated system, we believe that the limiting factors...... with intensive crop production will conserve natural enemies, thus contributing to pest suppression. The abundance and diversity of natural enemies increases in response to a variety of conservation measures, including plant and habitat diversification, a reduction in cropping intensity, and increased landscape...

  19. Functionalized apertures for the detection of chemical and biological materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letant, Sonia E.; van Buuren, Anthony W.; Terminello, Louis J.; Thelen, Michael P.; Hope-Weeks, Louisa J.; Hart, Bradley R.

    2010-12-14

    Disclosed are nanometer to micron scale functionalized apertures constructed on a substrate made of glass, carbon, semiconductors or polymeric materials that allow for the real time detection of biological materials or chemical moieties. Many apertures can exist on one substrate allowing for the simultaneous detection of numerous chemical and biological molecules. One embodiment features a macrocyclic ring attached to cross-linkers, wherein the macrocyclic ring has a biological or chemical probe extending through the aperture. Another embodiment achieves functionalization by attaching chemical or biological anchors directly to the walls of the apertures via cross-linkers.

  20. 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.

  1. Evolutionary cell biology of division mode in the bacterial Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Rivas-Marín

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria from the Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia and Chlamydiae (PVC superphylum are exceptions to the otherwise dominant mode of division by binary fission, which is based on the interaction between the FtsZ protein and the peptidoglycan (PG biosynthesis machinery. Some PVC bacteria are deprived of the FtsZ protein and were also thought to lack PG. How these bacteria divide is still one of the major mysteries of microbiology. The presence of PG has recently been revealed in Planctomycetes and Chlamydiae, and proteins related to PG synthesis have been shown to be implicated in the division process in Chlamydiae, providing important insights into PVC mechanisms of division. Here, we review the historical lack of observation of PG in PVC bacteria, its recent detection in two phyla and its involvement in chlamydial cell division. Based on the detection of PG-related proteins in PVC proteomes, we consider the possible evolution of the diverse division mechanisms in these bacteria. We conclude by summarizing what is known and what remains to be understood about the evolutionary cell biology of PVC division modes.

  2. Policy learning in the Eurozone crisis: modes, power and functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Claire A; Radaelli, Claudio M

    In response to the attacks on the sovereign debt of some Eurozone countries, European Union (EU) leaders have created a set of preventive and corrective policy instruments to coordinate macro-economic policies and reforms. In this article, we deal with the European Semester, a cycle of information exchange, monitoring and surveillance. Countries that deviate from the targets are subjected to increasing monitoring and more severe 'corrective' interventions, in a pyramid of responsive exchanges between governments and EU institutions. This is supposed to generate coordination and convergence towards balanced economies via mechanisms of learning. But who is learning what? Can the EU learn in the 'wrong' mode? We contribute to the literature on theories of the policy process by showing how modes of learning can be operationalized and used in empirical analysis. We use policy learning as theoretical framework to establish empirically the prevalent mode of learning and its implications for both the power of the Commission and the normative question of whether the EU is learning in the 'correct' mode.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Printable Bioelectronics To Investigate Functional Biological Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoli, Kyriaki; Magliulo, Maria; Mulla, Mohammad Yusuf; Singh, Mandeep; Sabbatini, Luigia; Palazzo, Gerardo; Torsi, Luisa

    2015-10-19

    Thin-film transistors can be used as high-performance bioelectronic devices to accomplish tasks such as sensing or controlling the release of biological species as well as transducing the electrical activity of cells or even organs, such as the brain. Organic, graphene, or zinc oxide are used as convenient printable semiconducting layers and can lead to high-performance low-cost bioelectronic sensing devices that are potentially very useful for point-of-care applications. Among others, electrolyte-gated transistors are of interest as they can be operated as capacitance-modulated devices, because of the high capacitance of their charge double layers. Specifically, it is the capacitance of the biolayer, being lowest in a series of capacitors, which controls the output current of the device. Such an occurrence allows for extremely high sensitivity towards very weak interactions. All the aspects governing these processes are reviewed here. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. 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.

  7. Normal Mode Flexible Fitting of High-Resolution Structures of Biological Molecules Toward SAXS Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Gorba

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available We present a method to reconstruct a three-dimensional protein structure from an atomic pair distribution function derived from the scattering intensity profile from SAXS data by flexibly fitting known x-ray structures. This method uses a linear combination of low-frequency normal modes from an elastic network description of the molecule in an iterative manner to deform the structure to conform optimally to the target pair distribution function derived from SAXS data. For computational efficiency, the protein and water molecules included in the protein first hydration shell are coarse-grained. In this paper, we demonstrate the validity of our coarse- graining approach to study SAXS data. Illustrative results of our flexible fitting studies on simulated SAXS data from five different proteins are presented.

  8. A new optimal sliding mode controller design using scalar sign function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singla, Mithun; Shieh, Leang-San; Song, Gangbing; Xie, Linbo; Zhang, Yongpeng

    2014-03-01

    This paper presents a new optimal sliding mode controller using the scalar sign function method. A smooth, continuous-time scalar sign function is used to replace the discontinuous switching function in the design of a sliding mode controller. The proposed sliding mode controller is designed using an optimal Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) approach. The sliding surface of the system is designed using stable eigenvectors and the scalar sign function. Controller simulations are compared with another existing optimal sliding mode controller. To test the effectiveness of the proposed controller, the controller is implemented on an aluminum beam with piezoceramic sensor and actuator for vibration control. This paper includes the control design and stability analysis of the new optimal sliding mode controller, followed by simulation and experimental results. The simulation and experimental results show that the proposed approach is very effective. © 2013 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. A dynamic model for functional mapping of biological rhythms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Guifang; Luo, Jiangtao; Berg, Arthur; Wang, Zhong; Li, Jiahan; Das, Kiranmoy; Li, Runze; Wu, Rongling

    2011-01-01

    Functional mapping is a statistical method for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that regulate the dynamic pattern of a biological trait. This method integrates mathematical aspects of biological complexity into a mixture model for genetic mapping and tests the genetic effects of QTLs by comparing genotype-specific curve parameters. As a way of quantitatively specifying the dynamic behavior of a system, differential equations have proven to be powerful for modeling and unraveling the biochemical, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of a biological process, such as biological rhythms. The equipment of functional mapping with biologically meaningful differential equations provides new insights into the genetic control of any dynamic processes. We formulate a new functional mapping framework for a dynamic biological rhythm by incorporating a group of ordinary differential equations (ODE). The Runge-Kutta fourth order algorithm was implemented to estimate the parameters that define the system of ODE. The new model will find its implications for understanding the interplay between gene interactions and developmental pathways in complex biological rhythms.

  10. Evidence for a Role of Executive Functions in Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Sinéad M.; Booth, Josephine N.; Campbell, Lorna Elise; Blythe, Richard A.; Wheate, Nial J.; Delibegovic, Mirela

    2014-01-01

    Research examining cognition and science learning has focused on working memory, but evidence implicates a broader set of executive functions. The current study examined executive functions and learning of biology in young adolescents. Fifty-six participants, aged 12-13?years, completed tasks of working memory (Spatial Working Memory), inhibition…

  11. Modes of action for biological control of Botrytis cinerea by antagonistic bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rana HAIDAR

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of beneficial bacteria in biocontrol of plant diseases, particularly those caused by the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea, has been investigated by testing many bacteria under laboratory and field conditions. Bacteria may protect plants against B. cinerea by direct antagonistic interactions between biocontrol agents and this pathogen, as well as indirect effects through the induction of host resistance. This review focuses on various bacteria that act as biological control agents (BCAs of B. cinerea and their associated mechanisms. The modes of action (MoAs include: i synthesis of anti-fungal metabolites, such as antibiotics, cell wall-degrading enzymes and volatile organic compounds (VOCs; ii competition for nutrients and/or a niche; and iii induction of host resistance. The challenge for development of BCAs is to reduce the variability of efficiency and to prove persistence under a large range of conditions. We discuss the advantages and drawbacks of MoA for future applications of bacteria in the field and in post-harvest storage, as well as combination of different MoAs as a strategy to achieve a more regular efficacy.

  12. Linking density functional and mode coupling models for supercooled liquids

    OpenAIRE

    Premkumar, Leishangthem; Bidhoodi, Neeta; Das, Shankar P.

    2015-01-01

    We compare predictions from two familiar models of the metastable supercooled liquid respectively constructed with thermodynamic and dynamic approach. In the so called density functional theory (DFT) the free energy $F[\\rho]$ of the liquid is a functional of the inhomogeneous density $\\rho({\\bf r})$. The metastable state is identified as a local minimum of $F[\\rho]$. The sharp density profile characterizing $\\rho({\\bf r})$ is identified as a single particle oscillator, whose frequency is obta...

  13. Wave mode identification via wave distribution function analysis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Oscarsson, T.; Sternberg, G.; Santolík, Ondřej

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 26, 6, Part C (2001), s. 229-235 ISSN 1464-1917 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/1712 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3042911 Keywords : auroral magnetosphere * wave propagation * wave distribution function Subject RIV: BL - Plasma and Gas Discharge Physics Impact factor: 0.399, year: 2001

  14. Constant-Distance Mode Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Biological Samples with Complex Topography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nguyen, Son N.; Liyu, Andrey V.; Chu, Rosalie K.; Anderton, Christopher R.; Laskin, Julia

    2017-01-17

    A new approach for constant distance mode mass spectrometry imaging of biological samples using nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI MSI) was developed by integrating a shear-force probe with nano-DESI probe. The technical concept and basic instrumental setup as well as general operation of the system are described. Mechanical dampening of resonant oscillations due to the presence of shear forces between the probe and the sample surface enables constant-distance imaging mode via a computer controlled closed feedback loop. The capability of simultaneous chemical and topographic imaging of complex biological samples is demonstrated using living Bacillus Subtilis ATCC 49760 colonies on agar plates. The constant-distance mode nano-DESI MSI enabled imaging of many metabolites including non-ribosomal peptides (surfactin, plipastatin and iturin) and iron-bound heme on the surface of living bacterial colonies ranging in diameter from 10 mm to 13 mm with height variations of up to 0.8 mm above the agar plate. Co-registration of ion images to topographic images provided higher-contrast images. Constant-mode nano-DESI MSI is ideally suited for imaging biological samples of complex topography in their native state.

  15. 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.

  16. Windows Vista Kernel-Mode: Functions, Security Enhancements and Flaws

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed D. ABDULMALIK

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Microsoft has made substantial enhancements to the kernel of the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. Kernel improvements are significant because the kernel provides low-level operating system functions, including thread scheduling, interrupt and exception dispatching, multiprocessor synchronization, and a set of routines and basic objects.This paper describes some of the kernel security enhancements for 64-bit edition of Windows Vista. We also point out some weakness areas (flaws that can be attacked by malicious leading to compromising the kernel.

  17. 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) ...

  18. Function-first’ Lead Discovery: Mode of Action Profiling of Natural Product Libraries Using Image-Based Screening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Christopher J.; Bray, Walter M.; Woerhmann, Marcos H.; Stuart, Joshua; Lokey, R. Scott; Linington, Roger G.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Cytological profiling is a high-content image-based screening technology that provides insight into the mode of action (MOA) for test compounds by directly measuring hundreds of phenotypic cellular features. We have extended this recently reported technology to the mechanistic characterization of unknown natural products libraries for the direct prediction of compound MOAs at the primary screening stage. By analyzing a training set of commercial compounds of known mechanism and comparing these profiles to those obtained from natural product library members, we have successfully annotated extracts based on mode of action, dereplicated known compounds based on biological similarity to the training set, and identified and predicted the MOA of a family of new iron siderophores. Coupled with traditional analytical techniques, cytological profiling provides a new avenue for the creation of ‘function-first’ platforms for natural products discovery. PMID:23438757

  19. 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).

  20. Altered Functional Connectivity of the Default Mode Network in Low-Empathy Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seung Jun; Kim, Sung Eun; Kim, Hyo Eun; Han, Kiwan; Jeong, Bumseok; Kim, Jae Jin; Namkoong, Kee; Kim, Ji Woong

    2017-09-01

    Empathy is the ability to identify with or make a vicariously experience of another person's feelings or thoughts based on memory and/or self-referential mental simulation. The default mode network in particular is related to self-referential empathy. In order to elucidate the possible neural mechanisms underlying empathy, we investigated the functional connectivity of the default mode network in subjects from a general population. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 19 low-empathy subjects and 18 medium-empathy subjects. An independent component analysis was used to identify the default mode network, and differences in functional connectivity strength were compared between the two groups. The low-empathy group showed lower functional connectivity of the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann areas 9 and 32) within the default mode network, compared to the medium-empathy group. The results of the present study suggest that empathy is related to functional connectivity of the medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex within the default mode network. Functional decreases in connectivity among low-empathy subjects may reflect an impairment of self-referential mental simulation. © Copyright: Yonsei University College of Medicine 2017.

  1. [The biological reaction of inflammation, methylglyoxal of blood plasma, functional and structural alterations in elastic type arteries at the early stage of hypertension disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Dmitriev, V A; Oshchepkov, E V; Balakhonova, T V; Tripoten', M I; Shiriaeva, Iu K

    2012-08-01

    The article deals with studying of the relationship between biologic reaction of inflammation with glycosylation reaction and content of methylglyoxal in blood serum. The positive correlation between pulse wave velocity and content of methylglyoxal, C-reactive protein in intercellular medium and malleolar brachial index value was established. This data matches the experimental results concerning involvement of biological reaction of inflammation into structural changes of elastic type arteries under hypertension disease, formation of arteries' rigidity and increase of pulse wave velocity. The arterial blood pressure is a biological reaction of hydrodynamic pressure which is used in vivo by several biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, function of endoecology, biological function of adaptation and function of locomotion. The biological reaction of hydrodynamic (hydraulic) pressure is a mode of compensation of derangement of several biological functions which results in the very high rate of hypertension disease in population. As a matter of fact, hypertension disease is a syndrome of lingering pathological compensation by higher arterial blood pressure of the biological functions derangements occurring in the distal section at the level of paracrine cenoses of cells. The arterial blood pressure is a kind of in vivo integral indicator of deranged metabolism. The essential hypertension disease pathogenically is a result of the derangement of three biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, biological function of trophology - nutrition (biological reaction of external feeding - exotrophia) and biological function of endoecology. In case of "littering" of intercellular medium in vivo with nonspecific endogenic flogogens a phylogenetically earlier activation of biological reactions of excretion, inflammation and hydrodynamic arterial blood pressure occur. In case of derangement of biological function of homeostasis, decreasing of

  2. Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Sébastien J. M.; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps are valuable biological control agents that suppress their host populations. Factors introduced by the female wasp at parasitization play significant roles in facilitating successful development of the parasitoid larva either inside (endoparasitoid) or outside (ectoparasitoid) the host. Wasp venoms consist of a complex cocktail of proteinacious and non-proteinacious components that may offer agrichemicals as well as pharmaceutical components to improve pest management or health related disorders. Undesirably, the constituents of only a small number of wasp venoms are known. In this article, we review the latest research on venom from parasitoid wasps with an emphasis on their biological function, applications and new approaches used in venom studies. PMID:26131769

  3. Evidence-based modeling of mode-of-action for functional ingredients influencing Alzheimer’s disease through neurotrophin pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erfan Younesi

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF is the most widely expressed member of the neurotrophin family in the human brain and is crucially involved in the development of neural circuits, modulation of synaptic plasticity, and regulation of cognitive functions, including learning and memory. Many studies have shown the association of altered BDNF levels with neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, BDNF is not able to cross the blood-brain barrier and, thus, its delivery to the nervous system is a challenge. Therefore, functional diets with the ability to induce production of BDNF in the brain may offer an alternative route. The objective of this study was three-fold: first, to find out diets that are causally linked to the agonistic activity of BDNF in the neurotrophin signaling pathway; second and mainly, to investigate mode-of-action of these functional diets through systems-based mechanistic modeling in the context of Alzheimer’s disease; and third, to demonstrate the proof-of-concept application of systems biology methods, that are well established in the pharmaceutical sector, to the emerging field of functional food. Methods: In the first step, two cause-and-effect models of BDNF signaling in two states, i.e. normal state and Alzheimer’s disease state, were constructed using published knowledge in scientific literature and pathway databases. A “differential model analysis” between the two states was performed by which mechanistic mode-of-action of BDNF in neurotrophin signaling pathway could be explained with a high molecular resolution in both normal and disease states. The BDNF mode-of-action model was further validated using the “biomarkerguided validation” approach. In the second step, scientific evidence on the effect of various functional diets on BDNF levels and BDNF-related biological processes or outcomes was harvested from biomedical literature using a disease-specific semantic search

  4. Neuroscience in the era of functional genomics and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-10-15

    Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as well as disease. One of the most exciting and challenging frontiers in neuroscience involves harnessing the power of large-scale genetic, genomic and phenotypic data sets, and the development of tools for data integration and mining. Methods for network analysis and systems biology offer the promise of integrating these multiple levels of data, connecting molecular pathways to nervous system function.

  5. Sliding mode controller with modified sliding function for DC-DC Buck Converter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naik, B B; Mehta, A J

    2017-09-01

    This article presents design of Sliding Mode Controller with proportional integral type sliding function for DC-DC Buck Converter for the controlled power supply. The converter with conventional sliding mode controller results in a steady state error in load voltage. The proposed modified sliding function improves the steady state and dynamic performance of the Convertor and facilitates better choices of controller tuning parameters. The conditions for existence of sliding modes for proposed control scheme are derived. The stability of the closed loop system with proposed sliding mode control is proved and improvement in steady state performance is exemplified. The idea of adaptive tuning for the proposed controller to compensate load variations is outlined. The comparative study of conventional and proposed control strategy is presented. The efficacy of the proposed strategy is endowed by the simulation and experimental results. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Default mode network in the effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC on human executive function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthijs G Bossong

    Full Text Available Evidence is increasing for involvement of the endocannabinoid system in cognitive functions including attention and executive function, as well as in psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive deficits, such as schizophrenia. Executive function appears to be associated with both modulation of active networks and inhibition of activity in the default mode network. In the present study, we examined the role of the endocannabinoid system in executive function, focusing on both the associated brain network and the default mode network. A pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study was conducted with a placebo-controlled, cross-over design, investigating effects of the endocannabinoid agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC on executive function in 20 healthy volunteers, using a continuous performance task with identical pairs. Task performance was impaired after THC administration, reflected in both an increase in false alarms and a reduction in detected targets. This was associated with reduced deactivation in a set of brain regions linked to the default mode network, including posterior cingulate cortex and angular gyrus. Less deactivation was significantly correlated with lower performance after THC. Regions that were activated by the continuous performance task, notably bilateral prefrontal and parietal cortex, did not show effects of THC. These findings suggest an important role for the endocannabinoid system in both default mode modulation and executive function. This may be relevant for psychiatric disorders associated with executive function deficits, such as schizophrenia and ADHD.

  7. Default-Mode Network Functional Connectivity in Aphasia: Therapy-Induced Neuroplasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcotte, Karine; Perlbarg, Vincent; Marrelec, Guillaume; Benali, Habib; Ansaldo, Ana Ines

    2013-01-01

    Previous research on participants with aphasia has mainly been based on standard functional neuroimaging analysis. Recent studies have shown that functional connectivity analysis can detect compensatory activity, not revealed by standard analysis. Little is known, however, about the default-mode network in aphasia. In the current study, we studied…

  8. Carbon-Oxygen Hydrogen Bonding in Biological Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz, Scott; Trievel, Raymond C.

    2012-01-01

    Carbon-oxygen (CH···O) hydrogen bonding represents an unusual category of molecular interactions first documented in biological structures over 4 decades ago. Although CH···O hydrogen bonding has remained generally underappreciated in the biochemical literature, studies over the last 15 years have begun to yield direct evidence of these interactions in biological systems. In this minireview, we provide a historical context of biological CH···O hydrogen bonding and summarize some major advancements from experimental studies over the past several years that have elucidated the importance, prevalence, and functions of these interactions. In particular, we examine the impact of CH···O bonds on protein and nucleic acid structure, molecular recognition, and enzyme catalysis and conclude by exploring overarching themes and unresolved questions regarding unconventional interactions in biomolecular structure. PMID:23048026

  9. Interactions between default mode and control networks as a function of increasing cognitive reasoning complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hearne, Luke; Cocchi, Luca; Zalesky, Andrew; Mattingley, Jason B

    2015-07-01

    Successful performance of challenging cognitive tasks depends on a consistent functional segregation of activity within the default-mode network, on the one hand, and control networks encompassing frontoparietal and cingulo-opercular areas on the other. Recent work, however, has suggested that in some cognitive control contexts nodes within the default-mode and control networks may actually cooperate to achieve optimal task performance. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine whether the ability to relate variables while solving a cognitive reasoning problem involves transient increases in connectivity between default-mode and control regions. Participants performed a modified version of the classic Wason selection task, in which the number of variables to be related is systematically varied across trials. As expected, areas within the default-mode network showed a parametric deactivation with increases in relational complexity, compared with neural activity in null trials. Critically, some of these areas also showed enhanced connectivity with task-positive control regions. Specifically, task-based connectivity between the striatum and the angular gyri, and between the thalamus and right temporal pole, increased as a function of relational complexity. These findings challenge the notion that functional segregation between regions within default-mode and control networks invariably support cognitive task performance, and reveal previously unknown roles for the striatum and thalamus in managing network dynamics during cognitive reasoning. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. 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

  11. Using functional genetics to understand breast cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Alan; Bernards, Rene

    2010-07-01

    Genetic screens were for long the prerogative of those that studied model organisms. The discovery in 2001 that gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) can also be brought about in mammalian cells paved the way for large scale loss-of-function genetic screens in higher organisms. In this article, we describe how functional genetic studies can help us understand the biology of breast cancer, how it can be used to identify novel targets for breast cancer therapy, and how it can help in the identification of those patients that are most likely to respond to a given therapy.

  12. A strategy for minimizing common mode human error in executing critical functions and tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beltracchi, L.; Lindsay, R.W.

    1992-01-01

    Human error in execution of critical functions and tasks can be costly. The Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl Accidents are examples of results from human error in the nuclear industry. There are similar errors that could no doubt be cited from other industries. This paper discusses a strategy to minimize common mode human error in the execution of critical functions and tasks. The strategy consists of the use of human redundancy, and also diversity in human cognitive behavior: skill-, rule-, and knowledge-based behavior. The authors contend that the use of diversity in human cognitive behavior is possible, and it minimizes common mode error

  13. The Effect of Mode of Delivery on Postpartum Sexual Functioning in Primiparous Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Dabiri

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To evaluate the effect of mode of delivery on postpartum sexual functioning in primiparous women. Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 150 primiparous women in postpartum period, who attended the family planning or vaccination clinics, were enrolled for the study. Eighty-one had vaginal delivery with episiotomy and 69 had experienced cesarean section. Sexual function was evaluated by the Female Sexual Function Index within 3 and 6 months postpartum. Results: About 29% in vaginal delivery group and 37% in cesarean delivery group had resumed their sexual intercourses four weeks after delivery (p=0.280.There were no significant differences between mode of delivery and sexual functioning, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain. Conclusion: The present study showed that postpartum sexual functioning was not associated with the type of delivery.

  14. Time evolution of coupled-bunch modes from beta function variation in storage rings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Meng Hock

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available We present an analytical and numerical study of the equations of motion for bunches coupled by transverse wakefields. We base our study on a recent lattice design for the damping rings in the baseline configuration of the International Linear Collider. Using the macroparticle model, and assuming resistive wall wakefield coupling, we present numerical results on the time evolution of the multibunch modes. Decay modes display growth after initial decay, and mode amplitudes exhibit high-frequency oscillations. These phenomena are not expected if the beta function is assumed to have a constant, averaged value. We show analytically that they can come from coupling between modes caused by variation of the beta function in a real lattice. The effect is shown to be comparable to the effect of a nonuniform fill pattern and significantly larger than that of the higher-order mode wakefield localized in the rf cavities. Turning to the case of constant beta function, we develop a more complete treatment of the equations of motion. We derive general formulas for the bunch trajectories, and show that such formulas can only be valid in the limit of small wakefield coupling.

  15. Harnessing systems biology approaches to engineer functional microvascular networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefcik, Lauren S; Wilson, Jennifer L; Papin, Jason A; Botchwey, Edward A

    2010-06-01

    Microvascular remodeling is a complex process that includes many cell types and molecular signals. Despite a continued growth in the understanding of signaling pathways involved in the formation and maturation of new blood vessels, approximately half of all compounds entering clinical trials will fail, resulting in the loss of much time, money, and resources. Most pro-angiogenic clinical trials to date have focused on increasing neovascularization via the delivery of a single growth factor or gene. Alternatively, a focus on the concerted regulation of whole networks of genes may lead to greater insight into the underlying physiology since the coordinated response is greater than the sum of its parts. Systems biology offers a comprehensive network view of the processes of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis that might enable the prediction of drug targets and whether or not activation of the targets elicits the desired outcome. Systems biology integrates complex biological data from a variety of experimental sources (-omics) and analyzes how the interactions of the system components can give rise to the function and behavior of that system. This review focuses on how systems biology approaches have been applied to microvascular growth and remodeling, and how network analysis tools can be utilized to aid novel pro-angiogenic drug discovery.

  16. Probing the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome for biological function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Powers TuShun R

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The senses of hearing and balance depend upon mechanoreception, a process that originates in the inner ear and shares features across species. Amphibians have been widely used for physiological studies of mechanotransduction by sensory hair cells. In contrast, much less is known of the genetic basis of auditory and vestibular function in this class of animals. Among amphibians, the genus Xenopus is a well-characterized genetic and developmental model that offers unique opportunities for inner ear research because of the amphibian capacity for tissue and organ regeneration. For these reasons, we implemented a functional genomics approach as a means to undertake a large-scale analysis of the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome through microarray analysis. Results Microarray analysis uncovered genes within the X. laevis inner ear transcriptome associated with inner ear function and impairment in other organisms, thereby supporting the inclusion of Xenopus in cross-species genetic studies of the inner ear. The use of gene categories (inner ear tissue; deafness; ion channels; ion transporters; transcription factors facilitated the assignment of functional significance to probe set identifiers. We enhanced the biological relevance of our microarray data by using a variety of curation approaches to increase the annotation of the Affymetrix GeneChip® Xenopus laevis Genome array. In addition, annotation analysis revealed the prevalence of inner ear transcripts represented by probe set identifiers that lack functional characterization. Conclusions We identified an abundance of targets for genetic analysis of auditory and vestibular function. The orthologues to human genes with known inner ear function and the highly expressed transcripts that lack annotation are particularly interesting candidates for future analyses. We used informatics approaches to impart biologically relevant information to the Xenopus inner ear transcriptome

  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. 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

  19. [A preliminary exploration into the inquiring teaching mode of developmental biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing

    2009-12-01

    Modern developmental biology is changing everyday at a fast pace, and it also possesses the most application potential. As an important selected course for undergraduates, its most up-to-date knowledge challenges the traditional teaching method. We discussed the current situation in developmental biology teaching, introduced in detail our method of using original papers in each research area, especially the classical papers that won the Nobel Prizes, and summarized the advantages of combining students' presentation in the classroom and their discussion on the web. We proposed some practical strategies to improve developmental biology teaching.

  20. Systemic Modeling of Biological Functions in Consideration of Physiome Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minamitani, Haruyuki

    Emerging of the physiome project provides various influences on the medical, biological and pharmaceutical development. In this paper, as an example of physiome research, neural network model analysis providing the conduction mechanisms of pain and tactile sensations was presented, and the functional relations between neural activities of the network cells and stimulus intensity applied on the peripheral receptive fields were described. The modeling presented here is based on the various assumptions made by the results of physiological and anatomical studies reported in the literature. The functional activities of spinothalamic and thalamocortical cells show a good agreement with the physiological and psychophysical functions of somatosensory system that are very instructive for covering the gap between physiologically and psychophysically aspects of pain and tactile sensation.

  1. 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.

  2. Fault tree and failure mode and effects analysis of a digital safety function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maskuniitty, M.; Pulkkinen, U.

    1995-01-01

    The principles of fault tree and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) for the analysis of digital safety functions of nuclear power plants are discussed. Based on experiences from a case study, a proposal for a full scale analysis is presented. The feasibility and applicability the above mentioned reliability engineering methods are discussed. (author). 13 refs, 1 fig., 2 tabs

  3. Functional MRI for Assessment of the Default Mode Network in Acute Brain Injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kondziella, Daniel; Fisher, Patrick M.; Larsen, Vibeke Andrée

    2017-01-01

    Background: Assessment of the default mode network (DMN) using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may improve assessment of the level of consciousness in chronic brain injury, and therefore, fMRI may also have prognostic value in acute brain injury. However, fMRI is much...

  4. Offshoring and access to location-specific advantages - the impact of governance mode and function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mykhaylenko, Alona; Motika, Agnes; Wæhrens, Brian Vejrum

    how access to particular offshoring advantages may provide this link. The results of a quantitative survey of more than 1000 Scandinavian firms show that certain offshoring factors (governance mode and type of offshored function) indeed impact the access a company acquires to certain offshoring...... advantages, which may explain the unpredictability of previous performance outcomes....

  5. Functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetic nanoparticles with biological entities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mǎgeruşan, Lidia; Mrówczyński, Radosław; Turcu, Rodica

    2015-12-01

    New hybrid materials, obtained through introduction of cysteine, lysine and folic acid as biological entities into polydopamine-coated magnetite nanoparticles, are reported. The syntheses are straight forward and various methods were applied for structural and morphological characterization of the resulting nanoparticles. XPS proved a very powerful tool for surface chemical analysis and it evidences the functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetite nanoparticles. The superparamagnetic behavior and the high values of saturation magnetization recommend all products for further application where magnetism is important for targeting, separation, or heating by alternative magnetic fields.

  6. A phylogenetic analysis of normal modes evolution in enzymes and its relationship to enzyme function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Jason; Jin, Jing; Kubelka, Jan; Liberles, David A

    2012-09-21

    Since the dynamic nature of protein structures is essential for enzymatic function, it is expected that functional evolution can be inferred from the changes in protein dynamics. However, dynamics can also diverge neutrally with sequence substitution between enzymes without changes of function. In this study, a phylogenetic approach is implemented to explore the relationship between enzyme dynamics and function through evolutionary history. Protein dynamics are described by normal mode analysis based on a simplified harmonic potential force field applied to the reduced C(α) representation of the protein structure while enzymatic function is described by Enzyme Commission numbers. Similarity of the binding pocket dynamics at each branch of the protein family's phylogeny was analyzed in two ways: (1) explicitly by quantifying the normal mode overlap calculated for the reconstructed ancestral proteins at each end and (2) implicitly using a diffusion model to obtain the reconstructed lineage-specific changes in the normal modes. Both explicit and implicit ancestral reconstruction identified generally faster rates of change in dynamics compared with the expected change from neutral evolution at the branches of potential functional divergences for the α-amylase, D-isomer-specific 2-hydroxyacid dehydrogenase, and copper-containing amine oxidase protein families. Normal mode analysis added additional information over just comparing the RMSD of static structures. However, the branch-specific changes were not statistically significant compared to background function-independent neutral rates of change of dynamic properties and blind application of the analysis would not enable prediction of changes in enzyme specificity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Functional connectivity in the mouse brain imaged by B-mode photoacoustic microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiriavanaki, Mohammadreza; Xing, Wenxin; Xia, Jun; Wang, Lihong V.

    2014-03-01

    The increasing use of mouse models for human brain disease studies, coupled with the fact that existing functional imaging modalities cannot be easily applied to mice, presents an emerging need for a new functional imaging modality. Utilizing acoustic-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (AR-PAM), we imaged spontaneous cerebral hemodynamic fluctuations and their associated functional connections in the mouse brain. The images were acquired noninvasively in B-scan mode with a fast frame rate, a large field of view, and a high spatial resolution. At a location relative to the bregma 0, correlations were investigated inter-hemispherically between bilaterally homologous regions, as well as intra-hemispherically within the same functional regions. The functional connectivity in different functional regions was studied. The locations of these regions agreed well with the Paxinos mouse brain atlas. The functional connectivity map obtained in this study can then be used in the investigation of brain disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, autism, and epilepsy. Our experiments show that photoacoustic microscopy is capable to detect connectivities between different functional regions in B-scan mode, promising a powerful functional imaging modality for future brain research.

  9. 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.

  10. Measurement of abdominal muscle thickness using M-mode ultrasound imaging during functional activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunce, Steve M; Hough, Alan D; Moore, Ann P

    2004-02-01

    Ultrasound imaging has been previously utilized in the measurement of muscle thickness and cross-sectional area in research studies, and advocated as a clinical biofeedback tool in the rehabilitation of transversus abdominis function following episodes of low back pain. This paper describes how the thickness of the abdominal muscles can be quantified with a new measurement technique using M-mode ultrasound. The technique uses a custom-made transducer holder that facilitates measurement of muscle thickness changes during functional activity. Limitations of the technique and potential future applications are discussed. The M-mode ultrasound technique may provide an effective method for the non-invasive measurement of abdominal muscle thickness during functional activities.

  11. Diffusion of innovations dynamics, biological growth and catenary function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guseo, Renato

    2016-12-01

    The catenary function has a well-known role in determining the shape of chains and cables supported at their ends under the force of gravity. This enables design using a specific static equilibrium over space. Its reflected version, the catenary arch, allows the construction of bridges and arches exploiting the dual equilibrium property under uniform compression. In this paper, we emphasize a further connection with well-known aggregate biological growth models over time and the related diffusion of innovation key paradigms (e.g., logistic and Bass distributions over time) that determine self-sustaining evolutionary growth dynamics in naturalistic and socio-economic contexts. Moreover, we prove that the 'local entropy function', related to a logistic distribution, is a catenary and vice versa. This special invariance may be explained, at a deeper level, through the Verlinde's conjecture on the origin of gravity as an effect of the entropic force.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Energy trapping of thickness-shear vibration modes of elastic plates with functionally graded materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ji; Yang, Jiashi; Li, Jiangyu

    2007-03-01

    Energy trapping has important applications in the design of thickness-shear resonators. Considerable efforts have been made for the effective utilization and improvement of energy trapping with variations of plate configurations, such as adding electrodes and contouring. As a new approach in seeking improved energy trapping feature, we analyze thickness-shear vibrations in an elastic plate with functionally graded material (FGM) of in-plane variation of mechanical properties, such as elastic constants and density. A simple and general equation governing the thickness-shear modes is derived from a variational analysis. A plate with piecewise constant material properties is analyzed as an example. It is shown that such a plate can support thickness-shear vibration modes with obvious energy trapping. Bechmann's number for the existence of only one trapped mode also can be determined accordingly.

  15. Density functional theory investigations on the binding modes of amidoximes with uranyl ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chuting; Pei, Shuqi; Chen, Baihua; Ye, Lina; Yu, Haizhu; Hu, Sheng

    2016-02-21

    Density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been carried out to examine the relative facilities of different coordination modes of aromatic amidoximes (AOs) with UO2(NO3)2. Various η(1)-, η(2)- and chelated κ(2)-coordination modes of the possible neutral AO, tautomerized neutral (TAO, with the hydroxylic hydrogen transferring to the oximic nitrogen atom) and anionic amidoxime (AAO, formed by the deprotonation of AO) were examined. The results indicate that η(1)-O of the TAO and η(1)-O/η(2)-NO of AAO are the most plausible coordination modes. Three types of uranyl complexes, i.e. UO2(NO3)2(TAO)(AAO), UO2(NO3)2(AAO)2 and UO2(EtOH)2(AAO)2 are the predominant binding structures. The good consistency between the calculation results and the experimental observations verifies the proposed conclusions.

  16. Aberrant functional connectivity of default-mode network in type 2 diabetes patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Ying; Jiao, Yun; Chen, Hua-Jun; Ding, Jie; Luo, Bing; Peng, Cheng-Yu; Ju, Sheng-Hong; Teng, Gao-Jun

    2015-11-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with increased risk for dementia. Patients with impaired cognition often show default-mode network disruption. We aimed to investigate the integrity of a default-mode network in diabetic patients by using independent component analysis, and to explore the relationship between network abnormalities, neurocognitive performance and diabetic variables. Forty-two patients with type 2 diabetes and 42 well-matched healthy controls were included and underwent resting-state functional MRI in a 3 Tesla unit. Independent component analysis was adopted to extract the default-mode network, including its anterior and posterior components. Z-maps of both sub-networks were compared between the two groups and correlated with each clinical variable. Patients showed increased connectivity around the medial prefrontal cortex in the anterior sub-network, but decreased connectivity around the posterior cingulate cortex in the posterior sub-network. The decreased connectivity in the posterior part was significantly correlated with the score on Complex Figure Test-delay recall test (r = 0.359, p = 0.020), the time spent on Trail-Making Test-part B (r = -0.346, p = 0.025) and the insulin resistance level (r = -0.404, p = 0.024). Dissociation pattern in the default-mode network was found in diabetic patients, which might provide powerful new insights into the neural mechanisms that underlie the diabetes-related cognitive decline. • Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with impaired cognition • Default- mode network plays a central role in maintaining normal cognition • Network connectivity within the default mode was disrupted in type 2 diabetes patients • Decreased network connectivity was correlated with cognitive performance and insulin resistance level • Disrupted default-mode network might explain the impaired cognition in diabetic population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ananiadou, Sophia; Thompson, Paul; Nawaz, Raheel; McNaught, John; Kell, Douglas B

    2015-05-01

    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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Single-mode biological distributed feedback lasers based on vitamin B2 doped gelatin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vannahme, Christoph; Maier-Flaig, F.; Lemmer, U.

    Biological second-order distributed feedback (DFB) lasers are presented. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) doped gelatin as active material is spin-coated onto nanoimprinted polymer with low refractive index. DFB grating periods of 368 nm and 384 nm yield laser emission at 543 nm and 562 nm, respectively....

  1. Disrupted functional connectivity of the default mode network due to acute vestibular deficit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten M. Klingner

    2014-01-01

    Here, we employ functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in the resting state to investigate changes in the functional connectivity between the DMN and task-positive networks, in a longitudinal design combined with measurements of caloric function. We demonstrate an initially disturbed connectedness of the DMN after vestibular neuritis. We hypothesize that the disturbed connectivity between the default mode network and particular parts of the task-positive network might be related to a sustained utilization of processing capacity by diverging sensory information. The current results provide some insights into mechanisms of central compensation following an acute vestibular deficit and the importance of the DMN in this disease.

  2. Competitive exclusion as a mode of action of a novel Bacillus cereus aquaculture biological agent

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lalloo, R

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available -109. 17 18 Brunt, J. and Austin, B. (2005) Use of a probiotic to control Latococcosis and streptococcosis in 19 rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). J Fish Dis 28, 693-701. 20 21 Chart, H. and Trust, T.J. (1983) Acquisition of iron... controls Aeromonas infection in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, 22 Walbaum). J Appl Microbiol 103, 1699-706. 23 Mode of action B. cereus 18 1 Park, R.Y., Choi, M.H., Sun, H.Y. and Shin, S.H. (2005) Production of catechol-siderophore and 2...

  3. Preparative scale production of functional mouse aquaporin 4 using different cell-free expression modes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Kai

    Full Text Available The continuous progress in the structural and functional characterization of aquaporins increasingly attracts attention to study their roles in certain mammalian diseases. Although several structures of aquaporins have already been solved by crystallization, the challenge of producing sufficient amounts of functional proteins still remains. CF (cell free expression has emerged in recent times as a promising alternative option in order to synthesize large quantities of membrane proteins, and the focus of this report was to evaluate the potential of this technique for the production of eukaryotic aquaporins. We have selected the mouse aquaporin 4 as a representative of mammalian aquaporins. The protein was synthesized in an E. coli extract based cell-free system with two different expression modes, and the efficiencies of two modes were compared. In both, the P-CF (cell-free membrane protein expression as precipitate mode generating initial aquaporin precipitates as well as in the D-CF (cell-free membrane protein expression in presence of detergent mode, generating directly detergent solubilized samples, we were able to obtain mg amounts of protein per ml of cell-free reaction. Purified aquaporin samples solubilized in different detergents were reconstituted into liposomes, and analyzed for the water channel activity. The calculated P(f value of proteoliposome samples isolated from the D-CF mode was 133 µm/s at 10°C, which was 5 times higher as that of the control. A reversible inhibitory effect of mercury chloride was observed, which is consistent with previous observations of in vitro reconstituted aquaporin 4. In this study, a fast and convenient protocol was established for functional expression of aquaporins, which could serve as basis for further applications such as water filtration.

  4. Partition functions in even dimensional AdS via quasinormal mode methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keeler, Cynthia; Ng, Gim Seng

    2014-01-01

    In this note, we calculate the one-loop determinant for a massive scalar (with conformal dimension Δ) in even-dimensional AdS d+1 space, using the quasinormal mode method developed in http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0264-9381/27/12/125001 by Denef, Hartnoll, and Sachdev. Working first in two dimensions on the related Euclidean hyperbolic plane H 2 , we find a series of zero modes for negative real values of Δ whose presence indicates a series of poles in the one-loop partition function Z(Δ) in the Δ complex plane; these poles contribute temperature-independent terms to the thermal AdS partition function computed in http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0264-9381/27/12/125001. Our results match those in a series of papers by Camporesi and Higuchi, as well as Gopakumar et al. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/JHEP11(2011)010 and Banerjee et al. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/JHEP03(2011)147. We additionally examine the meaning of these zero modes, finding that they Wick-rotate to quasinormal modes of the AdS 2 black hole. They are also interpretable as matrix elements of the discrete series representations of SO(2,1) in the space of smooth functions on S 1 . We generalize our results to general even dimensional AdS 2n , again finding a series of zero modes which are related to discrete series representations of SO(2n,1), the motion group of H 2n .

  5. DMPD: Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 17502368 Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. de Wee...(.html) (.csml) Show Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. PubmedID 17502368 T...itle Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. Authors

  6. Investigating the In-Vehicle Crowding Cost Functions for Public Transit Modes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feifei Qin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In the densely populated metropolitan area, empirical studies have found that overcrowding inside transit vehicles has become substantially worse and worse over recent years. Chronic in-vehicle crowding is not only caused by a lack of physical infrastructure, but also triggered by inadequate service provisions. Given the prevalence of overcrowded transit vehicles, this paper conducts both quantitative and qualitative studies, especially focusing on remodeling the in-vehicle crowding cost functions for different transit modes. Three numerical case studies show that applying distinct in-vehicle crowding cost functions to different transit modes has implications not only for the cost structure of transit systems and the magnitude of optimal service provisions but also for the presence of economies of scale in consumption.

  7. Impaired functional default mode network in patients with mild neurological Wilson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yongsheng; Cheng, Hewei; Toledo, Jon B; Wang, Xun; Li, Bo; Han, Yongzhu; Wang, Kai; Fan, Yong

    2016-09-01

    Wilson's disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder characterized by cognitive, psychiatric and motor signs and symptoms that are associated with structural and pathological brain abnormalities, in addition to liver changes. However, functional brain connectivity pattern of WD patients remains largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated functional brain connectivity pattern of WD patients using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Particularly, we studied default mode network (DMN) using posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) based seed functional connectivity analysis and graph theoretic functional brain network analysis tools, and investigated the relationship between the DMN's functional connectivity pattern of WD patients and their attention functions examined using the attention network test (ANT). Our results demonstrated that WD patients had altered DMN's functional connectivity and lower local and global network efficiency compared with normal controls (NCs). In addition, the functional connectivity between left inferior temporal cortex and right lateral parietal cortex was correlated with altering function, one of the attention functions, across WD and NC subjects. These findings indicated that the DMN's functional connectivity was altered in WD patients, which might be correlated with their attention dysfunction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Biological activity of lactoferrin-functionalized biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nocerino N

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-11

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

  10. Genome-wide survey for biologically functional pseudogenes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orjan Svensson

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available According to current estimates there exist about 20,000 pseudogenes in a mammalian genome. The vast majority of these are disabled and nonfunctional copies of protein-coding genes which, therefore, evolve neutrally. Recent findings that a Makorin1 pseudogene, residing on mouse Chromosome 5, is, indeed, in vivo vital and also evolutionarily preserved, encouraged us to conduct a genome-wide survey for other functional pseudogenes in human, mouse, and chimpanzee. We identify to our knowledge the first examples of conserved pseudogenes common to human and mouse, originating from one duplication predating the human-mouse species split and having evolved as pseudogenes since the species split. Functionality is one possible way to explain the apparently contradictory properties of such pseudogene pairs, i.e., high conservation and ancient origin. The hypothesis of functionality is tested by comparing expression evidence and synteny of the candidates with proper test sets. The tests suggest potential biological function. Our candidate set includes a small set of long-lived pseudogenes whose unknown potential function is retained since before the human-mouse species split, and also a larger group of primate-specific ones found from human-chimpanzee searches. Two processed sequences are notable, their conservation since the human-mouse split being as high as most protein-coding genes; one is derived from the protein Ataxin 7-like 3 (ATX7NL3, and one from the Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 protein (ATX1. Our approach is comparative and can be applied to any pair of species. It is implemented by a semi-automated pipeline based on cross-species BLAST comparisons and maximum-likelihood phylogeny estimations. To separate pseudogenes from protein-coding genes, we use standard methods, utilizing in-frame disablements, as well as a probabilistic filter based on Ka/Ks ratios.

  11. Biological activity of lactoferrin-functionalized biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocerino, Nunzia; Fulgione, Andrea; Iannaccone, Marco; Tomasetta, Laura; Ianniello, Flora; Martora, Francesca; Lelli, Marco; Roveri, Norberto; Capuano, Federico; Capparelli, Rosanna

    2014-01-01

    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.

  12. Structure, Function, and Biology of the Enterococcus faecalis Cytolysin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Van Tyne

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive commensal member of the gut microbiota of a wide range of organisms. With the advent of antibiotic therapy, it has emerged as a multidrug resistant, hospital-acquired pathogen. Highly virulent strains of E. faecalis express a pore-forming exotoxin, called cytolysin, which lyses both bacterial and eukaryotic cells in response to quorum signals. Originally described in the 1930s, the cytolysin is a member of a large class of lanthionine-containing bacteriocins produced by Gram-positive bacteria. While the cytolysin shares some core features with other lantibiotics, it possesses unique characteristics as well. The current understanding of cytolysin biosynthesis, structure/function relationships, and contribution to the biology of E. faecalis are reviewed, and opportunities for using emerging technologies to advance this understanding are discussed.

  13. Sirtuins in mammals: insights into their biological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    MICHAN, Shaday; SINCLAIR, David

    2009-01-01

    Sirtuins are a conserved family of proteins found in all domains of life. The first known sirtuin, Sir2 (silent information regulator 2) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, from which the family derives its name, regulates ribosomal DNA recombination, gene silencing, DNA repair, chromosomal stability and longevity. Sir2 homologues also modulate lifespan in worms and flies, and may underlie the beneficial effects of caloric restriction, the only regimen that slows aging and extends lifespan of most classes of organism, including mammals. Sirtuins have gained considerable attention for their impact on mammalian physiology, since they may provide novel targets for treating diseases associated with aging and perhaps extend human lifespan. In this review we describe our current understanding of the biological function of the seven mammalian sirtuins, SIRT1–7, and we will also discuss their potential as mediators of caloric restriction and as pharmacological targets to delay and treat human age-related diseases. PMID:17447894

  14. Aberrant functional connectivity of default-mode network in type 2 diabetes patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cui, Ying; Jiao, Yun; Chen, Hua-Jun; Ding, Jie; Luo, Bing; Peng, Cheng-Yu; Ju, Sheng-Hong; Teng, Gao-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with increased risk for dementia. Patients with impaired cognition often show default-mode network disruption. We aimed to investigate the integrity of a default-mode network in diabetic patients by using independent component analysis, and to explore the relationship between network abnormalities, neurocognitive performance and diabetic variables. Forty-two patients with type 2 diabetes and 42 well-matched healthy controls were included and underwent resting-state functional MRI in a 3 Tesla unit. Independent component analysis was adopted to extract the default-mode network, including its anterior and posterior components. Z-maps of both sub-networks were compared between the two groups and correlated with each clinical variable. Patients showed increased connectivity around the medial prefrontal cortex in the anterior sub-network, but decreased connectivity around the posterior cingulate cortex in the posterior sub-network. The decreased connectivity in the posterior part was significantly correlated with the score on Complex Figure Test-delay recall test (r = 0.359, p = 0.020), the time spent on Trail-Making Test-part B (r = -0.346, p = 0.025) and the insulin resistance level (r = -0.404, p = 0.024). Dissociation pattern in the default-mode network was found in diabetic patients, which might provide powerful new insights into the neural mechanisms that underlie the diabetes-related cognitive decline. (orig.)

  15. Aberrant functional connectivity of default-mode network in type 2 diabetes patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cui, Ying; Jiao, Yun; Chen, Hua-Jun; Ding, Jie; Luo, Bing; Peng, Cheng-Yu; Ju, Sheng-Hong; Teng, Gao-Jun [Medical School of Southeast University, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular and Functional Imaging, Department of Radiology, Zhongda Hospital, Nanjing, Jiangsu (China)

    2015-11-15

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with increased risk for dementia. Patients with impaired cognition often show default-mode network disruption. We aimed to investigate the integrity of a default-mode network in diabetic patients by using independent component analysis, and to explore the relationship between network abnormalities, neurocognitive performance and diabetic variables. Forty-two patients with type 2 diabetes and 42 well-matched healthy controls were included and underwent resting-state functional MRI in a 3 Tesla unit. Independent component analysis was adopted to extract the default-mode network, including its anterior and posterior components. Z-maps of both sub-networks were compared between the two groups and correlated with each clinical variable. Patients showed increased connectivity around the medial prefrontal cortex in the anterior sub-network, but decreased connectivity around the posterior cingulate cortex in the posterior sub-network. The decreased connectivity in the posterior part was significantly correlated with the score on Complex Figure Test-delay recall test (r = 0.359, p = 0.020), the time spent on Trail-Making Test-part B (r = -0.346, p = 0.025) and the insulin resistance level (r = -0.404, p = 0.024). Dissociation pattern in the default-mode network was found in diabetic patients, which might provide powerful new insights into the neural mechanisms that underlie the diabetes-related cognitive decline. (orig.)

  16. Direct calculation of elementary flux modes satisfying several biological constraints in genome-scale metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pey, Jon; Planes, Francisco J

    2014-08-01

    The concept of Elementary Flux Mode (EFM) has been widely used for the past 20 years. However, its application to genome-scale metabolic networks (GSMNs) is still under development because of methodological limitations. Therefore, novel approaches are demanded to extend the application of EFMs. A novel family of methods based on optimization is emerging that provides us with a subset of EFMs. Because the calculation of the whole set of EFMs goes beyond our capacity, performing a selective search is a proper strategy. Here, we present a novel mathematical approach calculating EFMs fulfilling additional linear constraints. We validated our approach based on two metabolic networks in which all the EFMs can be obtained. Finally, we analyzed the performance of our methodology in the GSMN of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by calculating EFMs producing ethanol with a given minimum carbon yield. Overall, this new approach opens new avenues for the calculation of EFMs in GSMNs. Matlab code is provided in the supplementary online materials fplanes@ceit.es. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Abnormal Default-Mode Network Activation in Cirrhotic Patients: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Long Jiang Zhang; Guifen Yang; Jianzhong Yin; Yawu Liu; Ji Qi [Dept. of Radiology, Tianjin First Central Hospital, Tianjin Medical Univ., Tianjin (China)

    2007-09-15

    Background: Recently, increasing numbers of studies have demonstrated that, in humans, a default-mode functional network exists in the resting state. Abnormal default-mode network in various diseases has been reported; however, no report concerning hepatic cirrhosis has been published to date. Purpose: To prospectively explore whether the resting-state network in patients with hepatic cirrhosis is abnormal or not, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Material and Methods: 14 patients with hepatic cirrhosis (12 male, two female; 45{+-}9 years) and 14 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers (12 male, two female; 42{+-}10 years) participated in a blocked-design fMRI study. A modified Stroop task with Chinese characters was used as the target stimulus. Statistical Parametric Mapping 99 software was employed to process the functional data. Individual maps and group data were generated for patients with hepatic cirrhosis and for healthy controls, respectively. Intergroup analysis between patients and healthy controls was also generated using the two-sample t-test model. Cluster analyses were done based on the group data, and an identical P value 0.01 with continuously connected voxels of no less than 10 was defined as significant deactivation. After fMRI scanning was complete, behavioral Stroop interference tests were performed on all subjects; reaction time and error number were recorded. Results: Functionally, deactivation of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and precuneus was absent when subjects performed the incongruous word-reading task; deactivation of the PCC, precuneus, and ventral medial prefrontal cortex was increased when they performed the incongruous color-naming task. Conclusion: The functional as well as behavioral data suggest that cirrhotic patients may have an abnormal deactivation mode. The absence of deactivation in the PCC and precuneus may be a sensitive rather than specific marker in patients with hepatic cirrhosis.

  18. Biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholl, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    Terpenoids (isoprenoids) represent the largest and most diverse class of chemicals among the myriad compounds produced by plants. Plants employ terpenoid metabolites for a variety of basic functions in growth and development but use the majority of terpenoids for more specialized chemical interactions and protection in the abiotic and biotic environment. Traditionally, plant-based terpenoids have been used by humans in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, and more recently have been exploited in the development of biofuel products. Genomic resources and emerging tools in synthetic biology facilitate the metabolic engineering of high-value terpenoid products in plants and microbes. Moreover, the ecological importance of terpenoids has gained increased attention to develop strategies for sustainable pest control and abiotic stress protection. Together, these efforts require a continuous growth in knowledge of the complex metabolic and molecular regulatory networks in terpenoid biosynthesis. This chapter gives an overview and highlights recent advances in our understanding of the organization, regulation, and diversification of core and specialized terpenoid metabolic pathways, and addresses the most important functions of volatile and nonvolatile terpenoid specialized metabolites in plants.

  19. A Review of the Functional and Anatomical Default Mode Network in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Mao-Lin; Zong, Xiao-Fen; Mann, J John; Zheng, Jun-Jie; Liao, Yan-Hui; Li, Zong-Chang; He, Ying; Chen, Xiao-Gang; Tang, Jin-Song

    2017-02-01

    Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by impaired perception, delusions, thought disorder, abnormal emotion regulation, altered motor function, and impaired drive. The default mode network (DMN), since it was first proposed in 2001, has become a central research theme in neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. In this review, first we define the DMN and describe its functional activity, functional and anatomical connectivity, heritability, and inverse correlation with the task positive network. Second, we review empirical studies of the anatomical and functional DMN, and anti-correlation between DMN and the task positive network in schizophrenia. Finally, we review preliminary evidence about the relationship between antipsychotic medications and regulation of the DMN, review the role of DMN as a treatment biomarker for this disease, and consider the DMN effects of individualized therapies for schizophrenia.

  20. Role of the Pair Correlation Function in the Dynamical Transition Predicted by Mode Coupling Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Manoj Kumar; Banerjee, Atreyee; Dasgupta, Chandan; Bhattacharyya, Sarika Maitra

    2017-12-29

    In a recent study, we have found that for a large number of systems the configurational entropy at the pair level S_{c2}, which is primarily determined by the pair correlation function, vanishes at the dynamical transition temperature T_{c}. Thus, it appears that the information of the transition temperature is embedded in the structure of the liquid. In order to investigate this, we describe the dynamics of the system at the mean field level and, using the concepts of the dynamical density functional theory, show that the dynamical transition temperature depends only on the pair correlation function. Thus, this theory is similar in spirit to the microscopic mode coupling theory (MCT). However, unlike microscopic MCT, which predicts a very high transition temperature, the present theory predicts a transition temperature that is similar to T_{c}. This implies that the information of the dynamical transition temperature is embedded in the pair correlation function.

  1. Role of the Pair Correlation Function in the Dynamical Transition Predicted by Mode Coupling Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Manoj Kumar; Banerjee, Atreyee; Dasgupta, Chandan; Bhattacharyya, Sarika Maitra

    2017-12-01

    In a recent study, we have found that for a large number of systems the configurational entropy at the pair level Sc 2, which is primarily determined by the pair correlation function, vanishes at the dynamical transition temperature Tc. Thus, it appears that the information of the transition temperature is embedded in the structure of the liquid. In order to investigate this, we describe the dynamics of the system at the mean field level and, using the concepts of the dynamical density functional theory, show that the dynamical transition temperature depends only on the pair correlation function. Thus, this theory is similar in spirit to the microscopic mode coupling theory (MCT). However, unlike microscopic MCT, which predicts a very high transition temperature, the present theory predicts a transition temperature that is similar to Tc. This implies that the information of the dynamical transition temperature is embedded in the pair correlation function.

  2. A Research on Maximum Symbolic Entropy from Intrinsic Mode Function and Its Application in Fault Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuofei Xu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Empirical mode decomposition (EMD is a self-adaptive analysis method for nonlinear and nonstationary signals. It has been widely applied to machinery fault diagnosis and structural damage detection. A novel feature, maximum symbolic entropy of intrinsic mode function based on EMD, is proposed to enhance the ability of recognition of EMD in this paper. First, a signal is decomposed into a collection of intrinsic mode functions (IMFs based on the local characteristic time scale of the signal, and then IMFs are transformed into a serious of symbolic sequence with different parameters. Second, it can be found that the entropies of symbolic IMFs are quite different. However, there is always a maximum value for a certain symbolic IMF. Third, take the maximum symbolic entropy as features to describe IMFs from a signal. Finally, the proposed features are applied to evaluate the effect of maximum symbolic entropy in fault diagnosis of rolling bearing, and then the maximum symbolic entropy is compared with other standard time analysis features in a contrast experiment. Although maximum symbolic entropy is only a time domain feature, it can reveal the signal characteristic information accurately. It can also be used in other fields related to EMD method.

  3. Dual-Mode Optical Sensing of Histamine at Nanomolar Concentrations in Complex Biological Fluids and Living Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Nilanjan; Ali, Asfa; Podder, Santosh; Majumdar, Shamik; Nandi, Dipankar; Bhattacharya, Santanu

    2017-09-04

    An easily synthesized fluorescein-based luminescent dye has been utilized for the dual-mode detection of histamine at nanomolar concentrations at pH 7.0 in water. The specific response to histamine was achieved by imidazole-catalyzed 'imine formation' reaction. The protocol was subsequently applied for the estimation of histamine in complex biological milieu such as human blood serum and urine samples. Furthermore, the dose-dependent cellular uptake of histamine and de novo synthesis (by thapsigargin treatment) was visualized in RAW 264.7, a mouse macrophage cell line. We have also developed portable paper strips for rapid, on-site detection of histamine without involving costly instruments. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Tablet-Based Functional MRI of the Trail Making Test: Effect of Tablet Interaction Mode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahta Karimpoor

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Trail Making Test (TMT is widely used for assessing executive function, frontal lobe abilities, and visual motor skills. Part A of this pen-and-paper test (TMT-A involves linking numbers randomly distributed in space, in ascending order. Part B (TMT-B alternates between linking numbers and letters. TMT-B is more demanding than TMT-A, but the mental processing that supports the performance of this test remains incompletely understood. Functional MRI (fMRI may help to clarify the relationship between TMT performance and brain activity, but providing an environment that supports real-world pen-and-paper interactions during fMRI is challenging. Previously, an fMRI-compatible tablet system was developed for writing and drawing with two modes of interaction: the original cursor-based, proprioceptive approach, and a new mode involving augmented reality to provide visual feedback of hand position (VFHP for enhanced user interaction. This study characterizes the use of the tablet during fMRI of young healthy adults (n = 22, with half of the subjects performing TMT with VFHP and the other half performing TMT without VFHP. Activation maps for both TMT-A and TMT-B performance showed considerable overlap between the two tablet modes, and no statistically differences in brain activity were detected when contrasting TMT-B vs. TMT-A for the two tablet modes. Behavioral results also showed no statistically different interaction effects for TMT-B vs. TMT-A for the two tablet modes. Tablet-based TMT scores showed reasonable convergent validity with those obtained by administering the standard pen-and-paper TMT to the same subjects. Overall, the results suggest that despite the slightly different mechanisms involved for the two modes of tablet interaction, both are suitable for use in fMRI studies involving TMT performance. This study provides information for using tablet-based TMT methods appropriately in future fMRI studies involving patients and healthy

  5. Resting-state functional connectivity of the default mode network associated with happiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yangmei; Kong, Feng; Qi, Senqing; You, Xuqun; Huang, Xiting

    2016-03-01

    Happiness refers to people's cognitive and affective evaluation of their life. Why are some people happier than others? One reason might be that unhappy people are prone to ruminate more than happy people. The default mode network (DMN) is normally active during rest and is implicated in rumination. We hypothesized that unhappiness may be associated with increased default-mode functional connectivity during rest, including the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). The hyperconnectivity of these areas may be associated with higher levels of rumination. One hundred forty-eight healthy participants underwent a resting-state fMRI scan. A group-independent component analysis identified the DMNs. Results indicated increased functional connectivity in the DMN was associated with lower levels of happiness. Specifically, relative to happy people, unhappy people exhibited greater functional connectivity in the anterior medial cortex (bilateral MPFC), posterior medial cortex regions (bilateral PCC) and posterior parietal cortex (left IPL). Moreover, the increased functional connectivity of the MPFC, PCC and IPL, correlated positively with the inclination to ruminate. These results highlight the important role of the DMN in the neural correlates of happiness, and suggest that rumination may play an important role in people's perceived happiness. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. A Feasibility Study of the IMRT Optimization with Pseudo-Biologic Objective Function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi, Byong Yong; Cho, Sam Ju; Ahn, Seung Do; Kim, Jong Hoon; Choi, Eun Kyung; Chang, Hye Sook; Kwon, Soo Il

    2001-01-01

    The pseudo-biologic objective function has been designed for the IMRT optimization. The RTP Tool Box (RTB) was used for this study. The pseudo-biologic function is similar to the biological objective function in mathematical shape, but uses physical parameters. The concepts of the TCI (Target Coverage Index) and the OSI (Organ Score Index) have been introduced for the target and the normal organs, respectively. The pseudo-biologic objective function s has been defined using these TCI and OSI's. The OSI's from the pseudo-biological function showed better results than from the physical functions, while TCI's showed similar tendency. These results revealed the feasibility of the pseudo-biologic function as an IMRT objective function

  7. A mixed-mode traffic assignment model with new time-flow impedance function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Gui-Hua; Hu, Yu; Zou, Yuan-Yang

    2018-01-01

    Recently, with the wide adoption of electric vehicles, transportation network has shown different characteristics and been further developed. In this paper, we present a new time-flow impedance function, which may be more realistic than the existing time-flow impedance functions. Based on this new impedance function, we present an optimization model for a mixed-mode traffic network in which battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and gasoline vehicles (GVs) are chosen. We suggest two approaches to handle the model: One is to use the interior point (IP) algorithm and the other is to employ the sequential quadratic programming (SQP) algorithm. Three numerical examples are presented to illustrate the efficiency of these approaches. In particular, our numerical results show that more travelers prefer to choosing BEVs when the distance limit of BEVs is long enough and the unit operating cost of GVs is higher than that of BEVs, and the SQP algorithm is faster than the IP algorithm.

  8. hCG: Biological Functions and Clinical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nwabuobi, Chinedu; Arlier, Sefa; Schatz, Frederick; Guzeloglu-Kayisli, Ozlem; Lockwood, Charles Joseph; Kayisli, Umit Ali

    2017-09-22

    Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is produced primarily by differentiated syncytiotrophoblasts, and represents a key embryonic signal that is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy. hCG can activate various signaling cascades including mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 2 (Smad2), protein kinase C (PKC), and/or protein kinase A (PKA) in several cells types by binding to luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) or potentially by direct/indirect interaction with transforming growth factor beta receptor (TGFβR). The molecule displays specialized roles in promoting angiogenesis in the uterine endothelium, maintaining myometrial quiescence, as well as fostering immunomodulation at the maternal-fetal interface. It is a member of the glycoprotein hormone family that includes luteinizing hormone (LH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The α-subunit of hCG displays homologies with TSH, LH, and FSH, whereas the β subunit is 80-85% homologous to LH. The hCG molecule is produced by a variety of organs, exists in various forms, exerts vital biological functions, and has various clinical roles ranging from diagnosis and monitoring of pregnancy and pregnancy-related disorders to cancer surveillance. This review presents a detailed examination of hCG and its various clinical applications.

  9. Functional synchronization of biological rhythms in a tritrophic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Sufang; Wei, Jianing; Guo, Xiaojiao; Liu, Tong-Xian; Kang, Le

    2010-06-10

    In a tritrophic system formed by a plant, an herbivore and a natural enemy, each component has its own biological rhythm. However, the rhythm correlations among the three levels and the underlying mechanisms in any tritrophic system are largely unknown. Here, we report that the rhythms exhibited bidirectional correlations in a model tritrophic system involving a lima bean, a pea leafminer and a parasitoid. From the bottom-up perspective, the rhythm was initiated from herbivore feeding, which triggered the rhythms of volatile emissions; then the rhythmic pattern of parasitoid activities was affected, and these rhythms were synchronized by a light switch signal. Increased volatile concentration can enhance the intensity of parasitoid locomotion and oviposition only under light. From the top-down perspective, naive and oviposition-experienced parasitoids were able to utilize the different volatile rhythm information from the damaged plant to locate host leafminers respectively. Our results indicated that the three interacting organisms in this system can achieve rhythmic functional synchronization under a natural light-dark photoperiod, but not under constant light or darkness. These findings provide new insight into the rhythm synchronization of three key players that contribute to the utilization of light and chemical signals, and our results may be used as potential approaches for manipulating natural enemies.

  10. Functional synchronization of biological rhythms in a tritrophic system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sufang Zhang

    Full Text Available In a tritrophic system formed by a plant, an herbivore and a natural enemy, each component has its own biological rhythm. However, the rhythm correlations among the three levels and the underlying mechanisms in any tritrophic system are largely unknown. Here, we report that the rhythms exhibited bidirectional correlations in a model tritrophic system involving a lima bean, a pea leafminer and a parasitoid. From the bottom-up perspective, the rhythm was initiated from herbivore feeding, which triggered the rhythms of volatile emissions; then the rhythmic pattern of parasitoid activities was affected, and these rhythms were synchronized by a light switch signal. Increased volatile concentration can enhance the intensity of parasitoid locomotion and oviposition only under light. From the top-down perspective, naive and oviposition-experienced parasitoids were able to utilize the different volatile rhythm information from the damaged plant to locate host leafminers respectively. Our results indicated that the three interacting organisms in this system can achieve rhythmic functional synchronization under a natural light-dark photoperiod, but not under constant light or darkness. These findings provide new insight into the rhythm synchronization of three key players that contribute to the utilization of light and chemical signals, and our results may be used as potential approaches for manipulating natural enemies.

  11. 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.

  12. Dopaminergic modulation of default mode network brain functional connectivity in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberstein, Richard B; Pipingas, Andrew; Farrow, Maree; Levy, Florence; Stough, Con K

    2016-12-01

    Recent evidence suggests that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a range of brain functional connectivity abnormalities, with one of the most prominent being reduced inhibition of the default mode network (DMN) while performing a cognitive task. In this study, we examine the effects of a methylphenidate dose on brain functional connectivity in boys diagnosed with ADHD while they performed a cognitive task. Brain functional connectivity was estimated using steady-state visual evoked potential partial coherence before and 90 min after the administration of a methylphenidate dose to 42 stimulant drug-naïve boys newly diagnosed with ADHD while they performed the A-X version of the continuous performance task (CPT A-X). Methylphenidate robustly reversed the transient functional connectivity increase in the A-X interval seen premedication to a postmedication decrease during this interval. In addition, methylphenidate-induced reductions in individual reaction time were correlated with corresponding reductions in functional connectivity. These findings suggest that methylphenidate suppresses the increased functional connectivity observed in ADHD and that such suppression is associated with improved performance. Our findings support the suggestion that the increased functional connectivity we have observed in ADHD is associated with abnormal DMN activity. In addition, we comment on the significance of specific frequency channels mediating top-down communication within the cortex and the extent to which our findings are selectively sensitive to top-down intracortical communication.

  13. Zero modes, beta functions and IR/UV interplay in higher-loop QED

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunne, Gerald V.; Gies, Holger; Schubert, Christian

    2002-01-01

    We analyze the relation between the short-distance behavior of quantum field theory and the strong-field limit of the background field formalism, for QED effective lagrangians in self-dual backgrounds, at both one and two loop. The self-duality of the background leads to zero modes in the case of spinor QED, and these zero modes must be taken into account before comparing the perturbative β function coefficients and the coefficients of the strong-field limit of the effective lagrangian. At one-loop this is familiar from instanton physics, but we find that at two-loop the role of the zero modes, and the interplay between IR and UV effects in the renormalization, is quite different. Our analysis is motivated in part by the remarkable simplicity of the two-loop QED effective lagrangians for a self-dual constant background, and we also present here a new independent derivation of these two-loop results. (author)

  14. Characterization of functionally graded elastic materials using a thickness-shear mode quartz resonator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yangyang; Wang, Ji; Du, Jianke; Yang, Jiashi

    2013-06-01

    We propose the use of a quartz crystal plate thickness-shear (TSh) mode resonator to measure material property variations in a functionally graded material (FGM). A theoretical analysis is performed on TSh vibrations of an AT-cut quartz plate carrying a layer of an FGM whose density and stiffness vary along its thickness. The effect of the material property gradient on the resonant frequencies of the two-layer plate as a compound resonator is examined. It is shown that this effect may be used to measure the material property gradient of the FGM.

  15. Biological conservation law as an emerging functionality in dynamical neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podobnik, Boris; Jusup, Marko; Tiganj, Zoran; Wang, Wen-Xu; Buldú, Javier M; Stanley, H Eugene

    2017-11-07

    Scientists strive to understand how functionalities, such as conservation laws, emerge in complex systems. Living complex systems in particular create high-ordered functionalities by pairing up low-ordered complementary processes, e.g., one process to build and the other to correct. We propose a network mechanism that demonstrates how collective statistical laws can emerge at a macro (i.e., whole-network) level even when they do not exist at a unit (i.e., network-node) level. Drawing inspiration from neuroscience, we model a highly stylized dynamical neuronal network in which neurons fire either randomly or in response to the firing of neighboring neurons. A synapse connecting two neighboring neurons strengthens when both of these neurons are excited and weakens otherwise. We demonstrate that during this interplay between the synaptic and neuronal dynamics, when the network is near a critical point, both recurrent spontaneous and stimulated phase transitions enable the phase-dependent processes to replace each other and spontaneously generate a statistical conservation law-the conservation of synaptic strength. This conservation law is an emerging functionality selected by evolution and is thus a form of biological self-organized criticality in which the key dynamical modes are collective.

  16. Restoration of voice function by using biological feedback in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinoma patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choinzonov, E. L.; Balatskaya, L. N.; Chizhevskaya, S. Yu.; Meshcheryakov, R. V.; Kostyuchenko, E. Yu.; Ivanova, T. A.

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the research is to develop and introduce a new technique of post-laryngectomy voice rehabilitation of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinoma patients. The study involves comparing and analyzing 82 cases of voice function restoration by using biological feedback based on mathematical modeling of voice production. The advantage of the modern technology-based method in comparison with the conventional one is proved. Restoration of voice function using biofeedback allows taking into account patient's abilities, adjusting parameters of voice trainings, and controlling their efficiency in real-time mode. The data obtained indicate that the new method contributes to the rapid inclusion of self-regulation mechanisms of the body and results in the overall success rate of voice rehabilitation in totally laryngectomized patients reaching 92%, which reduces the rehabilitation period to 18 days, compared to 86% and 38 days in the control group, respectively. Restoration of disturbed functions after successful treatment is an important task of rehabilitation and is crucial in terms of the quality of cancer patients' lives. To assess life quality of laryngeal cancer patients, the EORTC Quality of Life Core Questionnaire (QLQ-C30), and head and neck module (QLQ-H&N35) were used. The analyzed results proved that the technique of biofeedback voice restoration significantly improves the quality of life of laryngectomized patients. It allows reducing the number of disabled people, restoring patients' ability to work-related activities, and significantly improving social adaptation of these patients.

  17. Three approaches to investigating functional compromise to the default mode network after traumatic axonal injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenivas, Ana; Diaz-Arrastia, Ramon; Spence, Jeffrey; Cullum, C Munro; Krishnan, Kamini; Bosworth, Christopher; Culver, Carlee; Kennard, Beth; Marquez de la Plata, Carlos

    2014-09-01

    The default mode network (DMN) is a reliably elicited functional neural network with potential clinical implications. Its discriminant and prognostic utility following traumatic axonal injury (TAI) have not been previously investigated. The present study used three approaches to analyze DMN functional connectedness, including a whole-brain analysis [A1], network-specific analysis [A2], and between-node (edge) analysis [A3]. The purpose was to identify the utility of each method in distinguishing between healthy and brain-injured individuals, and determine whether observed differences have clinical significance. Resting-state fMRI was acquired from 25 patients with TAI and 17 healthy controls. Patients were scanned 6-11 months post-injury, and functional and neurocognitive outcomes were assessed the same day. Using all three approaches, TAI subjects revealed significantly weaker functional connectivity (FC) than controls, and binary logistic regressions demonstrated all three approaches have discriminant value. Clinical outcomes were not correlated with FC using any approach. Results suggest that compromise to the functional connectedness of the DMN after TAI can be identified using resting-state FC; however, the degree of functional compromise to this network, as measured in this study, may not have clinical implications in chronic TAI.

  18. 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

  19. JUSTIFICATION OF MODES THERMAL PROCESSING OF THE SEMIFINISHED THORNY SKATE TO PRODUCTION OF FISH CULINARY PRODUCTS OF FUNCTIONAL PURPOSE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Shchetinskii

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Summary. Raja radiatd, the non-conventional object of commercial fishing in North-East Atlantic region which is not under fishing quota should be declared as a cost-effective full bio raw material for the broad line food production enriched with chondroitin sulfate (a valuable biological component with proved anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor acting. The main obstacle for the industrial food processing of the Raja radiatd is a high level of urea in the muscle tissue. The patented technical solution to this problem is being proposed. Justified modes of preliminary and final heat treatment for a wide range of fish culinary products of functional purpose of the Raja radiatd. Assessed by calculation of indicators of the biological value of the protein ready culinary products of the pitch with regard to experimentally established weight loss, protein and fat at all stages of the thermal treatment of the material. The high level of chondroitin sulfate in the culinary finished product is experimentally confirmed. The outcome of the research was the development of formulations and manufacturing fish culinary products functionality of a wide range based on the use of Raja radiatd meat. Complex physico-chemical analysis of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products allowed to develop standards of waste, loss, and output of finished products, to optimize the formulation of products and technological conditions of its production. Experimentally determine some parameters of the nutritional value of new products, comprehensive assessment of its quality, which confirmed its improved handling compared to the same fishery products provided to the consumer market in Murmansk.

  20. Theoretical study on functionally graded cylindrical magnetoelectric composites using d15 shear-mode response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yang; Gao, Yuanwen

    2017-08-01

    In this study, a novel functionally graded cylindrical magnetoelectric (ME) composite based on d15 shear-mode response is analyzed theoretical by using the elastic mechanics model and equivalent circuit model. The composite is mounted around AC current-carrying power lines to scavenge AC magnetic field energy. For different sensing configurations, the generated magnetic fields are calculated, respectively. Then, based on the theoretical models, the dependences of the ME performances, i.e., the ME voltage and power, upon the type of the material gradation, the material constants, and geometrical parameters of the cylindrical ME composite are numerically evaluated. The results show that the ME coupling effect in the functionally graded cylindrical ME composite with special gradation is stronger than that in the homogeneous structure. The ME performance can be improved by geometrical parameters as well. The presented two models can be synthesized under the open-circuit condition, which provide a theoretical basis to understand and improve the ME property of the d15 shear-mode cylindrical ME composites operating at resonant frequency and off-resonance frequency.

  1. Functional reorganization of the default mode network across chronic pain conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marwan N Baliki

    Full Text Available Chronic pain is associated with neuronal plasticity. Here we use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate functional changes in patients suffering from chronic back pain (CBP, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS and knee osteoarthritis (OA. We isolated five meaningful resting-state networks across the groups, of which only the default mode network (DMN exhibited deviations from healthy controls. All patient groups showed decreased connectivity of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC to the posterior constituents of the DMN, and increased connectivity to the insular cortex in proportion to the intensity of pain. Multiple DMN regions, especially the MPFC, exhibited increased high frequency oscillations, conjoined with decreased phase locking with parietal regions involved in processing attention. Both phase and frequency changes correlated to pain duration in OA and CBP patients. Thus chronic pain seems to reorganize the dynamics of the DMN and as such reflect the maladaptive physiology of different types of chronic pain.

  2. Partition functions with spin in AdS2 via quasinormal mode methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keeler, Cynthia; Lisbão, Pedro; Ng, Gim Seng

    2016-01-01

    We extend the results of http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/JHEP06(2014)099, computing one loop partition functions for massive fields with spin half in AdS 2 using the quasinormal mode method proposed by Denef, Hartnoll, and Sachdev http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0264-9381/27/12/125001. We find the finite representations of SO(2,1) for spin zero and spin half, consisting of a highest weight state |h〉 and descendants with non-unitary values of h. These finite representations capture the poles and zeroes of the one loop determinants. Together with the asymptotic behavior of the partition functions (which can be easily computed using a large mass heat kernel expansion), these are sufficient to determine the full answer for the one loop determinants. We also discuss extensions to higher dimensional AdS 2n and higher spins.

  3. Dynamic simulation and modeling of the motion modes produced during the 3D controlled manipulation of biological micro/nanoparticles based on the AFM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraee, Mahdieh B; Korayem, Moharam H

    2015-08-07

    Determining the motion modes and the exact position of a particle displaced during the manipulation process is of special importance. This issue becomes even more important when the studied particles are biological micro/nanoparticles and the goals of manipulation are the transfer of these particles within body cells, repair of cancerous cells and the delivery of medication to damaged cells. However, due to the delicate nature of biological nanoparticles and their higher vulnerability, by obtaining the necessary force of manipulation for the considered motion mode, we can prevent the sample from interlocking with or sticking to the substrate because of applying a weak force or avoid damaging the sample due to the exertion of excessive force. In this paper, the dynamic behaviors and the motion modes of biological micro/nanoparticles such as DNA, yeast, platelet and bacteria due to the 3D manipulation effect have been investigated. Since the above nanoparticles generally have a cylindrical shape, the cylindrical contact models have been employed in an attempt to more precisely model the forces exerted on the nanoparticle during the manipulation process. Also, this investigation has performed a comprehensive modeling and simulation of all the possible motion modes in 3D manipulation by taking into account the eccentricity of the applied load on the biological nanoparticle. The obtained results indicate that unlike the macroscopic scale, the sliding of nanoparticle on substrate in nano-scale takes place sooner than the other motion modes and that the spinning about the vertical and transverse axes and the rolling of nanoparticle occur later than the other motion modes. The simulation results also indicate that the applied force necessary for the onset of nanoparticle movement and the resulting motion mode depend on the size and aspect ratio of the nanoparticle. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Empirical mode decomposition apparatus, method and article of manufacture for analyzing biological signals and performing curve fitting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Norden E. (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A computer implemented physical signal analysis method includes four basic steps and the associated presentation techniques of the results. The first step is a computer implemented Empirical Mode Decomposition that extracts a collection of Intrinsic Mode Functions (IMF) from nonlinear, nonstationary physical signals. The decomposition is based on the direct extraction of the energy associated with various intrinsic time scales in the physical signal. Expressed in the IMF's, they have well-behaved Hilbert Transforms from which instantaneous frequencies can be calculated. The second step is the Hilbert Transform which produces a Hilbert Spectrum. Thus, the invention can localize any event on the time as well as the frequency axis. The decomposition can also be viewed as an expansion of the data in terms of the IMF's. Then, these IMF's, based on and derived from the data, can serve as the basis of that expansion. The local energy and the instantaneous frequency derived from the IMF's through the Hilbert transform give a full energy-frequency-time distribution of the data which is designated as the Hilbert Spectrum. The third step filters the physical signal by combining a subset of the IMFs. In the fourth step, a curve may be fitted to the filtered signal which may not have been possible with the original, unfiltered signal.

  5. 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

  6. Impact of Donation Mode on the Proportion and Function of T Lymphocytes in the Liver.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Xystrakis

    Full Text Available Liver T-cells respond to the inflammatory insult generated during organ procurement and contribute to the injury following reperfusion. The mode of liver donation alters various metabolic and inflammatory pathways but the way it affects intrahepatic T-cells is still unclear.We investigated the modifications occurring in the proportion and function of T-cells during liver procurement for transplantation. We isolated hepatic mononuclear cells (HMC from liver perfusate of living donors (LD and donors after brain death (DBD or cardiac death (DCD and assessed the frequency of T-cell subsets, their cytokine secretion profile and CD8 T-cell cytotoxicity function, responsiveness to a danger associated molecular pattern (High Mobility Group Box1, HMGB1 and association with donor and recipient clinical parameters and immediate graft outcome.We found that T-cells in healthy human livers were enriched in memory CD8 T-cells exhibiting a phenotype of non-circulating tissue-associated lymphocytes, functionally dominated by more cytotoxicity and IFN-γ-production in DBD donors, including upon activation by HMGB1 and correlating with peak of post-transplant AST. This liver-specific pattern of CD8 T-cell was prominent in DBD livers compared to DCD and LD livers suggesting that it was influenced by events surrounding brain death, prior to retrieval.Mode of liver donation can affect liver T-cells with increased liver damage in DBD donors. These findings may be relevant in designing therapeutic strategies aimed at organ optimization prior to transplantation.

  7. Biologically inspired flexible quasi-single-mode random laser: An integration of Pieris canidia butterfly wing and semiconductors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cih-Su; Chang, Tsung-Yuan; Lin, Tai-Yuan; Chen, Yang-Fang

    2014-10-01

    Quasi-periodic structures of natural biomaterial membranes have great potentials to serve as resonance cavities to generate ecological friendly optoelectronic devices with low cost. To achieve the first attempt for the illustration of the underlying principle, the Pieris canidia butterfly wing was embedded with ZnO nanoparticles. Quite interestingly, it is found that the bio-inspired quasi-single-mode random laser can be achieved by the assistance of the skeleton of the membrane, in which ZnO nanoparticles act as emitting gain media. Such unique characteristics can be interpreted well by the Fabry-Perot resonance existing in the window-like quasi-periodic structure of butterfly wing. Due to the inherently promising flexibility of butterfly wing membrane, the laser action can still be maintained during the bending process. Our demonstrated approach not only indicates that the natural biological structures can provide effective scattering feedbacks but also pave a new avenue towards designing bio-controlled photonic devices.

  8. Socio-sexuality and episodic memory function in women: further evidence of an adaptive "mating mode".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David S; Jones, Benedict C; Allan, Kevin

    2013-08-01

    The functionalist memory perspective predicts that information of adaptive value may trigger specific processing modes. It was recently demonstrated that women's memory is sensitive to cues of male sexual dimorphism (i.e., masculinity) that convey information of adaptive value for mate choice because they signal health and genetic quality, as well as personality traits important in relationship contexts. Here, we show that individual differences in women's mating strategies predict the effect of facial masculinity cues upon memory, strengthening the case for functional design within memory. Using the revised socio-sexual orientation inventory, Experiment 1 demonstrates that women pursuing a short-term, uncommitted mating strategy have enhanced source memory for men with exaggerated versus reduced masculine facial features, an effect that reverses in women who favor long-term committed relationships. The reversal in the direction of the effect indicates that it does not reflect the sex typicality of male faces per se. The same pattern occurred within women's source memory for women's faces, implying that the memory bias does not reflect the perceived attractiveness of faces per se. In Experiment 2, we reran the experiment using men's faces to establish the reliability of the core finding and replicated Experiment 1's results. Masculinity cues may therefore trigger a specific mode within women's episodic memory. We discuss why this mode may be triggered by female faces and its possible role in mate choice. In so doing, we draw upon the encoding specificity principle and the idea that episodic memory limits the scope of stereotypical inferences about male behavior.

  9. Altered functional connectivity of the default mode network in Williams syndrome: a multimodal approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampaio, Adriana; Moreira, Pedro Silva; Osório, Ana; Magalhães, Ricardo; Vasconcelos, Cristiana; Férnandez, Montse; Carracedo, Angel; Alegria, Joana; Gonçalves, Óscar F; Soares, José Miguel

    2016-07-01

    Resting state brain networks are implicated in a variety of relevant brain functions. Importantly, abnormal patterns of functional connectivity (FC) have been reported in several neurodevelopmental disorders. In particular, the Default Mode Network (DMN) has been found to be associated with social cognition. We hypothesize that the DMN may be altered in Williams syndrome (WS), a neurodevelopmental genetic disorder characterized by an unique cognitive and behavioral phenotype. In this study, we assessed the architecture of the DMN using fMRI in WS patients and typically developing matched controls (sex and age) in terms of FC and volumetry of the DMN. Moreover, we complemented the analysis with a functional connectome approach. After excluding participants due to movement artifacts (n = 3), seven participants with WS and their respective matched controls were included in the analyses. A decreased FC between the DMN regions was observed in the WS group when compared with the typically developing group. Specifically, we found a decreased FC in a posterior hub of the DMN including the precuneus, calcarine and the posterior cingulate of the left hemisphere. The functional connectome approach showed a focalized and global increased FC connectome in the WS group. The reduced FC of the posterior hub of the DMN in the WS group is consistent with immaturity of the brain FC patterns and may be associated with the singularity of their visual spatial phenotype. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Tripping up Trp: Modification of protein tryptophan residues by reactive oxygen species, modes of detection, and biological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenshaft, Marilyn; Deterding, Leesa J; Mason, Ronald P

    2015-12-01

    Proteins comprise a majority of the dry weight of a cell, rendering them a major target for oxidative modification. Oxidation of proteins can result in significant alterations in protein molecular mass such as breakage of the polypeptide backbone and/or polymerization of monomers into dimers, multimers, and sometimes insoluble aggregates. Protein oxidation can also result in structural changes to amino acid residue side chains, conversions that have only a modest effect on protein size but can have widespread consequences for protein function. There are a wide range of rate constants for amino acid reactivity, with cysteine, methionine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan having the highest rate constants with commonly encountered biological oxidants. Free tryptophan and tryptophan protein residues react at a diffusion-limited rate with hydroxyl radical and also have high rate constants for reactions with singlet oxygen and ozone. Although oxidation of proteins in general and tryptophan residues specifically can have effects detrimental to the health of cells and organisms, some modifications are neutral, whereas others contribute to the function of the protein in question or may act as a signal that damaged proteins need to be replaced. This review provides a brief overview of the chemical mechanisms by which tryptophan residues become oxidized, presents both the strengths and the weaknesses of some of the techniques used to detect these oxidative interactions, and discusses selected examples of the biological consequences of tryptophan oxidation in proteins from animals, plants, and microbes. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Mental Task Classification Scheme Utilizing Correlation Coefficient Extracted from Interchannel Intrinsic Mode Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Mostafizur Rahman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In view of recent increase of brain computer interface (BCI based applications, the importance of efficient classification of various mental tasks has increased prodigiously nowadays. In order to obtain effective classification, efficient feature extraction scheme is necessary, for which, in the proposed method, the interchannel relationship among electroencephalogram (EEG data is utilized. It is expected that the correlation obtained from different combination of channels will be different for different mental tasks, which can be exploited to extract distinctive feature. The empirical mode decomposition (EMD technique is employed on a test EEG signal obtained from a channel, which provides a number of intrinsic mode functions (IMFs, and correlation coefficient is extracted from interchannel IMF data. Simultaneously, different statistical features are also obtained from each IMF. Finally, the feature matrix is formed utilizing interchannel correlation features and intrachannel statistical features of the selected IMFs of EEG signal. Different kernels of the support vector machine (SVM classifier are used to carry out the classification task. An EEG dataset containing ten different combinations of five different mental tasks is utilized to demonstrate the classification performance and a very high level of accuracy is achieved by the proposed scheme compared to existing methods.

  12. Towards automated human gait disease classification using phase space representation of intrinsic mode functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratiher, Sawon; Patra, Sayantani; Pratiher, Souvik

    2017-06-01

    A novel analytical methodology for segregating healthy and neurological disorders from gait patterns is proposed by employing a set of oscillating components called intrinsic mode functions (IMF's). These IMF's are generated by the Empirical Mode Decomposition of the gait time series and the Hilbert transformed analytic signal representation forms the complex plane trace of the elliptical shaped analytic IMFs. The area measure and the relative change in the centroid position of the polygon formed by the Convex Hull of these analytic IMF's are taken as the discriminative features. Classification accuracy of 79.31% with Ensemble learning based Adaboost classifier validates the adequacy of the proposed methodology for a computer aided diagnostic (CAD) system for gait pattern identification. Also, the efficacy of several potential biomarkers like Bandwidth of Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation IMF's and it's Mean Frequency from the Fourier-Bessel expansion from each of these analytic IMF's has been discussed for its potency in diagnosis of gait pattern identification and classification.

  13. FIVA : Functional Information Viewer and Analyzer extracting biological knowledge from transcriptome data of prokaryotes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blom, E.J.; Bosman, D.W.; van Hijum, S.A F T; Breitling, R.; Tijsma, L.; Silvis, R.; Roerdink, J.B.T.M.; Kuipers, O.P.

    2007-01-01

    FIVA (Function Information Viewer and Analyzer) aids researchers in the prokaryotic community to quickly identify relevant biological processes following transcriptome analysis. Our software assists in functional profiling of large sets of genes and generates a comprehensive overview of affected

  14. Aberrant default-mode functional and structural connectivity in heroin-dependent individuals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofen Ma

    Full Text Available Little is known about connectivity within the default mode network (DMN in heroin-dependent individuals (HDIs. In the current study, diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI were combined to investigate both structural and functional connectivity within the DMN in HDIs.Fourteen HDIs and 14 controls participated in the study. Structural (path length, tracts count, (fractional anisotropy FA and (mean diffusivity MD derived from DTI tractographyand functional (temporal correlation coefficient derived from rs-fMRI DMN connectivity changes were examined in HDIs. Pearson correlation analysis was performed to compare the structural/functional indices and duration of heroin use/Iowa gambling task(IGT performance in HDIs.HDIs had lower FA and higher MD in the tract connecting the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCUN to right parahippocampal gyrus (PHG, compared to the controls. HDIs also had decreased FA and track count in the tract connecting the PCC/PCUN and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC, as well as decreased functional connectivity between the PCC/PCUN and bilateral PHG and MPFC, compared to controls. FA values for the tract connecting PCC/PCUN to the right PHG and connecting PCC/PCUN to the MPFC were negatively correlated to the duration of heroin use. The temporal correlation coefficients between the PCC/PCUN and the MPFC, and the FA values for the tract connecting the PCC/PCUN to the MPFC were positively correlated to IGT performance in HDIs.Structural and functional connectivity within the DMN are both disturbed in HDIs. This disturbance progresses as duration of heroin use increases and is related to deficits in decision making in HDIs.

  15. Childhood poverty and stress reactivity are associated with aberrant functional connectivity in default mode network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sripada, Rebecca K; Swain, James E; Evans, Gary W; Welsh, Robert C; Liberzon, Israel

    2014-08-01

    Convergent research suggests that childhood poverty is associated with perturbation in the stress response system. This might extend to aberrations in the connectivity of large-scale brain networks, which subserve key cognitive and emotional functions. Resting-state brain activity was measured in adults with a documented history of childhood poverty (n=26) and matched controls from middle-income families (n=26). Participants also underwent a standard laboratory social stress test and provided saliva samples for cortisol assay. Childhood poverty was associated with reduced default mode network (DMN) connectivity. This, in turn, was associated with higher cortisol levels in anticipation of social stress. These results suggest a possible brain basis for exaggerated stress sensitivity in low-income individuals. Alterations in DMN may be associated with less efficient cognitive processing or greater risk for development of stress-related psychopathology among individuals who experienced the adversity of chronic childhood poverty.

  16. Effect of step function-like perturbation on intermittent contact mode sensors: a response analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kokavecz, Janos; Heszler, Peter; Toth, Zsolt; Mechler, Adam

    2003-01-01

    The dynamics of the intermittent contact mode (ICM) probe was investigated. In the experimental study we applied a step function signal to the Z piezo drive and recorded the amplitude signal of the probe while the probe was engaged with the surface. Transient overshoots appear at the edges of the steps. These transients are absent from the control contact force measurements, that is, they are proper to the ICM operation. The phenomenon was investigated by numerical calculations, focused on the effect of change of the drive frequency and the quality factor. We concluded, that the low value of the quality factor results in small transients and short settling time, which are necessary for fast atomic force microscopic operation. Simultaneously, the interaction force increases. Our calculations indicate that the tip-sample force can be lowered by setting the drive frequency slightly below the resonance

  17. A simple operator check of the effective fermion mode function during inflation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miao, S P [Institute for Theoretical Physics and Spinoza Institute, Utrecht University Leuvenlaan 4, Postbus 80.195, 3508 TD Utrecht (Netherlands); Woodard, R P [Department of Physics, University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)], E-mail: S.P.Miao@phys.uu.nl, E-mail: woodard@phys.ufl.edu

    2008-07-21

    We present a relatively simple operator formalism which reproduces the leading infrared logarithm of the one-loop quantum gravitational correction to the fermion mode function on a locally de Sitter background. This rule may serve as the basis for an eventual stochastic formulation of quantum gravity during inflation. Such a formalism would not only effect a vast simplification in obtaining the leading powers of ln(a) at fixed loop orders, but also permit us to sum the series of leading logarithms. A potentially important point is that our rule does not seem to be consistent with any simple infrared truncation of the fields. Our analysis also highlights the importance of spin as a gravitational interaction that persists even when kinetic energy has redshifted to zero.

  18. Functional properties and differential mode of regulation of the nitrate transporter from a plant symbiotic ascomycete

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montanini, Barbara; Viscomi, Arturo R.; Bolchi, Angelo; Martin, Yusé; Siverio, José M.; Balestrini, Raffaella; Bonfante, Paola; Ottonello, Simone

    2005-01-01

    Nitrogen assimilation by plant symbiotic fungi plays a central role in the mutualistic interaction established by these organisms, as well as in nitrogen flux in a variety of soils. In the present study, we report on the functional properties, structural organization and distinctive mode of regulation of TbNrt2 (Tuber borchii NRT2 family transporter), the nitrate transporter of the mycorrhizal ascomycete T. borchii. As revealed by experiments conducted in a nitrate-uptake-defective mutant of the yeast Hansenula polymorpha, TbNrt2 is a high-affinity transporter (Km=4.7 μM nitrate) that is bispecific for nitrate and nitrite. It is expressed in free-living mycelia and in mycorrhizae, where it preferentially accumulates in the plasma membrane of root-contacting hyphae. The TbNrt2 mRNA, which is transcribed from a single-copy gene clustered with the nitrate reductase gene in the T. borchii genome, was specifically up-regulated following transfer of mycelia to nitrate- (or nitrite)-containing medium. However, at variance with the strict nitrate-dependent induction commonly observed in other organisms, TbNrt2 was also up-regulated (at both the mRNA and the protein level) following transfer to a nitrogen-free medium. This unusual mode of regulation differs from that of the adjacent nitrate reductase gene, which was expressed at basal levels under nitrogen deprivation conditions and required nitrate for induction. The functional and expression properties, described in the present study, delineate TbNrt2 as a versatile transporter that may be especially suited to cope with the fluctuating (and often low) mineral nitrogen concentrations found in most natural, especially forest, soils. PMID:16201972

  19. Different functional modes of BAR domain proteins in formation and plasticity of mammalian postsynapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessels, Michael M; Qualmann, Britta

    2015-09-01

    A plethora of cell biological processes involve modulations of cellular membranes. By using extended lipid-binding interfaces, some proteins have the power to shape membranes by attaching to them. Among such membrane shapers, the superfamily of Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs (BAR) domain proteins has recently taken center stage. Extensive structural work on BAR domains has revealed a common curved fold that can serve as an extended membrane-binding interface to modulate membrane topologies and has allowed the grouping of the BAR domain superfamily into subfamilies with structurally slightly distinct BAR domain subtypes (N-BAR, BAR, F-BAR and I-BAR). Most BAR superfamily members are expressed in the mammalian nervous system. Neurons are elaborately shaped and highly compartmentalized cells. Therefore, analyses of synapse formation and of postsynaptic reorganization processes (synaptic plasticity) - a basis for learning and memory formation - has unveiled important physiological functions of BAR domain superfamily members. These recent advances, furthermore, have revealed that the functions of BAR domain proteins include different aspects. These functions are influenced by the often complex domain organization of BAR domain proteins. In this Commentary, we review these recent insights and propose to classify BAR domain protein functions into (1) membrane shaping, (2) physical integration, (3) action through signaling components, and (4) suppression of other BAR domain functions. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. 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.

  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. Mindfulness is associated with intrinsic functional connectivity between default mode and salience networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K.; Boucard, Christine C.; Wohlschläger, Afra M.; Sorg, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness is attention to present moment experience without judgment. Mindfulness practice is associated with brain activity in areas overlapping with the default mode, salience, and central executive networks (DMN, SN, CEN). We hypothesized that intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC; i.e., synchronized ongoing activity) across these networks is associated with mindfulness scores. After 2 weeks of daily 20 min attention to breath training, healthy participants were assessed by mindfulness questionnaires and resting-state functional MRI. Independent component analysis (ICA) of imaging data revealed networks of interest, whose activity time series defined inter-network intrinsic functional connectivity (inter-iFC) by temporal correlation. Inter-iFC between subnetworks of the DMN and SN—and inter-iFC between subnetworks of the SN and left CEN at trend—was correlated with mindfulness scores. Additional control analyses about visual networks’ inter-iFC support the specificity of our findings. Results provide evidence that mindfulness is associated with iFC between DMN and SN. Data suggest that ongoing interactions among central intrinsic brain networks link with the ability to attend to current experience without judgment. PMID:26379526

  3. Functional dependence of resonant harmonics on nanomechanical parameters in dynamic mode atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramazio, Federico; Lorenzoni, Matteo; Pérez-Murano, Francesc; Rull Trinidad, Enrique; Staufer, Urs; Fraxedas, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    We present a combined theoretical and experimental study of the dependence of resonant higher harmonics of rectangular cantilevers of an atomic force microscope (AFM) as a function of relevant parameters such as the cantilever force constant, tip radius and free oscillation amplitude as well as the stiffness of the sample's surface. The simulations reveal a universal functional dependence of the amplitude of the 6th harmonic (in resonance with the 2nd flexural mode) on these parameters, which can be expressed in terms of a gun-shaped function. This analytical expression can be regarded as a practical tool for extracting qualitative information from AFM measurements and it can be extended to any resonant harmonics. The experiments confirm the predicted dependence in the explored 3-45 N/m force constant range and 2-345 GPa sample's stiffness range. For force constants around 25 N/m, the amplitude of the 6th harmonic exhibits the largest sensitivity for ultrasharp tips (tip radius below 10 nm) and polymers (Young's modulus below 20 GPa).

  4. The Relationship between Mode of Delivery and Sexual Function in Nulliparous Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aytay Alesheikh

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background & aim: Sexual activity is one of the most important aspects of a marital life. Childbirth is also a major event in the life of women, and the period of postpartum is a time of emotional upheaval. Since women believe that vaginal delivery could negatively affect their sexual function after childbirth, they tend to give birth through caesarean section. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the relationship between mode of delivery and sexual function in nulliparous women referred to healthcare centers in Mashhad, Iran. Methods: This correlational study was conducted on 450 nulliparous women, divided into two groups of vaginal delivery and cesarean section in 2014. Suubjects were selected via multistage sampling. Data collection tools included Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI, Depression, Anxiety and Stress scale (DASS-21, and Cassidy social support scale. Data was analyzed in SPSS version 16 using Spearman correlation coefficient and Mann-Whitney test, T-test, ANOVA, and Kruskal-Wallis. Moreover, general linear model was used to control confounding variables, and P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Independent t-test results indicated that mean scores of sexual function in two groups of the study were 26.11±4.36 and 26.38±4.41, respectively, which revealed no statistically significant difference between the groups (P=0.509. Conclusion: No significant difference was observed between the vaginal delivery and caesarean section groups regarding sexual function. Therefore, it seems that cesarean section does not necessarily lead to pleasing sexual relationships in postpartum period compared to vaginal delivery.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Taming Membranes : Functional Immobilization of Biological Membranes in Hydrogels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kusters, Ilja; Mukherjee, Nobina; de Jong, Menno R.; Tans, Sander; Kocer, Armagan; Driessen, Arnold J. M.

    2011-01-01

    Single molecule studies on membrane proteins embedded in their native environment are hampered by the intrinsic difficulty of immobilizing elastic and sensitive biological membranes without interfering with protein activity. Here, we present hydrogels composed of nano-scaled fibers as a generally

  7. Cell biology and functional dynamics of the mammalian sperm surface

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gadella, B.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/115389873; Luna, C.

    2014-01-01

    Theriogenology has now a 40-year rich history on covering sperm biological aspects with a special emphasis on farm and husbandry animals. The major and most influential of these contributions will be placed into an evolutionary perspective of ongoing and intriguing progresses made in this field.

  8. Functional connectivity of paired default mode network subregions in primary insomnia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nie X

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Xiao Nie,1,* Yi Shao,2,* Si-yu Liu,3 Hai-jun Li,1 Ai-lan Wan,4 Si Nie,1 De-chang Peng,1 Xi-jian Dai1,5 1Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nangchang, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Ophthalmology,The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nangchang, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 3Medical College of Nanchang University, Nangchang, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nangchang, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 5Brain Cognition and Brain Disease Institute, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Objective: The aim of this study is to explore the resting-state functional connectivity (FC differences between the paired default mode network (DMN subregions in patients with primary insomnia (PIs.Methods: Forty-two PIs and forty-two age- and sex-matched good sleepers (GSs were recruited. All subjects underwent the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans. The seed-based region-to-region FC method was used to evaluate the abnormal connectivity within the DMN subregions between the PIs and the GSs. Pearson correlation analysis was used to investigate the relationships between the abnormal FC strength within the paired DMN subregions and the clinical features in PIs.Results: Compared with the GSs, the PIs showed higher Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale score, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score, Self-Rating Depression Scale score, Self Rating Anxiety Scale score, Self-Rating Scale of Sleep score, and Profile of Mood States score (P<0.001. Compared with the GSs, the PIs showed significant decreased region-to-region FC between the medial prefrontal cortex and the right medial temporal lobe (t=-2.275, P

  9. Different shades of default mode disturbance in schizophrenia: Subnodal covariance estimation in structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefort-Besnard, Jérémy; Bassett, Danielle S; Smallwood, Jonathan; Margulies, Daniel S; Derntl, Birgit; Gruber, Oliver; Aleman, Andre; Jardri, Renaud; Varoquaux, Gaël; Thirion, Bertrand; Eickhoff, Simon B; Bzdok, Danilo

    2018-02-01

    Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disease with an apparent disruption in the highly associative default mode network (DMN). Interplay between this canonical network and others probably contributes to goal-directed behavior so its disturbance is a candidate neural fingerprint underlying schizophrenia psychopathology. Previous research has reported both hyperconnectivity and hypoconnectivity within the DMN, and both increased and decreased DMN coupling with the multimodal saliency network (SN) and dorsal attention network (DAN). This study systematically revisited network disruption in patients with schizophrenia using data-derived network atlases and multivariate pattern-learning algorithms in a multisite dataset (n = 325). Resting-state fluctuations in unconstrained brain states were used to estimate functional connectivity, and local volume differences between individuals were used to estimate structural co-occurrence within and between the DMN, SN, and DAN. In brain structure and function, sparse inverse covariance estimates of network coupling were used to characterize healthy participants and patients with schizophrenia, and to identify statistically significant group differences. Evidence did not confirm that the backbone of the DMN was the primary driver of brain dysfunction in schizophrenia. Instead, functional and structural aberrations were frequently located outside of the DMN core, such as in the anterior temporoparietal junction and precuneus. Additionally, functional covariation analyses highlighted dysfunctional DMN-DAN coupling, while structural covariation results highlighted aberrant DMN-SN coupling. Our findings reframe the role of the DMN core and its relation to canonical networks in schizophrenia. We thus underline the importance of large-scale neural interactions as effective biomarkers and indicators of how to tailor psychiatric care to single patients. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-28

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

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    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 report...

  13. Delivery Mode and the Transition of Pioneering Gut-Microbiota Structure, Composition and Predicted Metabolic Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Noel T; Shin, Hakdong; Pizoni, Aline; Werlang, Isabel C; Matte, Ursula; Goldani, Marcelo Z; Goldani, Helena A S; Dominguez-Bello, Maria G

    2017-12-04

    Cesarean (C-section) delivery, recently shown to cause excess weight gain in mice, perturbs human neonatal gut microbiota development due to the lack of natural mother-to-newborn transfer of microbes. Neonates excrete first the in-utero intestinal content (referred to as meconium) hours after birth, followed by intestinal contents reflective of extra-uterine exposure (referred to as transition stool) 2 to 3 days after birth. It is not clear when the effect of C-section on the neonatal gut microbiota emerges. We examined bacterial DNA in carefully-collected meconium, and the subsequent transitional stool, from 59 neonates [13 born by scheduled C-section and 46 born by vaginal delivery] in a private hospital in Brazil. Bacterial DNA was extracted, and the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq (San Diego, CA, USA) platform. We found evidence of bacterial DNA in the majority of meconium samples in our study. The bacterial DNA structure (i.e., beta diversity) of meconium differed significantly from that of the transitional stool microbiota. There was a significant reduction in bacterial alpha diversity (e.g., number of observed bacterial species) and change in bacterial composition (e.g., reduced Proteobacteria) in the transition from meconium to stool. However, changes in predicted microbiota metabolic function from meconium to transitional stool were only observed in vaginally-delivered neonates. Within sample comparisons showed that delivery mode was significantly associated with bacterial structure, composition and predicted microbiota metabolic function in transitional-stool samples, but not in meconium samples. Specifically, compared to vaginally delivered neonates, the transitional stool of C-section delivered neonates had lower proportions of the genera Bacteroides , Parabacteroides and Clostridium . These differences led to C-section neonates having lower predicted abundance of microbial genes related to metabolism of amino and

  14. Delivery Mode and the Transition of Pioneering Gut-Microbiota Structure, Composition and Predicted Metabolic Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noel T. Mueller

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Cesarean (C-section delivery, recently shown to cause excess weight gain in mice, perturbs human neonatal gut microbiota development due to the lack of natural mother-to-newborn transfer of microbes. Neonates excrete first the in-utero intestinal content (referred to as meconium hours after birth, followed by intestinal contents reflective of extra-uterine exposure (referred to as transition stool 2 to 3 days after birth. It is not clear when the effect of C-section on the neonatal gut microbiota emerges. We examined bacterial DNA in carefully-collected meconium, and the subsequent transitional stool, from 59 neonates [13 born by scheduled C-section and 46 born by vaginal delivery] in a private hospital in Brazil. Bacterial DNA was extracted, and the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq (San Diego, CA, USA platform. We found evidence of bacterial DNA in the majority of meconium samples in our study. The bacterial DNA structure (i.e., beta diversity of meconium differed significantly from that of the transitional stool microbiota. There was a significant reduction in bacterial alpha diversity (e.g., number of observed bacterial species and change in bacterial composition (e.g., reduced Proteobacteria in the transition from meconium to stool. However, changes in predicted microbiota metabolic function from meconium to transitional stool were only observed in vaginally-delivered neonates. Within sample comparisons showed that delivery mode was significantly associated with bacterial structure, composition and predicted microbiota metabolic function in transitional-stool samples, but not in meconium samples. Specifically, compared to vaginally delivered neonates, the transitional stool of C-section delivered neonates had lower proportions of the genera Bacteroides, Parabacteroides and Clostridium. These differences led to C-section neonates having lower predicted abundance of microbial genes related to metabolism of

  15. Bone laminarity in the avian forelimb skeleton and its relationship to flight mode: testing functional interpretations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Erin L R; O'connor, Patrick M

    2012-03-01

    Wing bone histology in three species of birds was characterized in order to test hypotheses related to the relationship between skeletal microstructure and inferred wing loading during flight. Data on the degree of laminarity (the proportion of circular vascular canals) and the occurrence of secondary osteons were obtained from three species that utilize different primary flight modes: the Double-crested cormorant, a continuous flapper; the Brown pelican, a static soarer; and the Laysan albatross, a dynamic soarer. Laminarity indices were calculated for four quadrants for each of the three main wing elements. Ulnae and carpometacarpi were predicted to exhibit quadrant specific patterns of laminarity due to hypothesized differences in locally applied loads related to the attachment of flight feathers. However, few differences among the quadrants were identified. No significant differences were identified among the three elements, which is notable as different bones are likely experiencing different loading conditions. These results do not support the concept of bone functional adaptation in the primary structure of the wing elements. Significant differences in laminarity were found among the three primary flight modes. The dynamic soaring birds exhibited significantly lower laminarity than the flapping and static soaring birds. These results support the proposed hypothesis that laminarity is an adaptation for resisting torsional loading. This may be explained by overall wing shape: whereas dynamic soaring birds have long slender wings, flappers and static soaring birds have broader wings with a larger wing chord that would necessarily impart a higher torsional moment on the feather-bearing bones. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. An overview of the applicability of functional diversity in Biological Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, J. R.; Mantovani, W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Functional diversity is increasingly pointed as a useful approach to reach Biological Conservation goals. Here, we provide an overview of the functional diversity approach status in the Biological Conservation field. We sought for peer-reviewed papers published over a period of twenty years (from 1994 to 2014). First we used the general topic “functional diversity” and then refined our search using the key-word “conservation”. We have identified the conservation strategies addressed,...

  17. 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.

  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. 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, ...

  20. 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; Goldstein, Irwin Joseph

    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, ...

  1. MO-DE-207B-03: Improved Cancer Classification Using Patient-Specific Biological Pathway Information Via Gene Expression Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, M; Craft, D [Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: To develop an efficient, pathway-based classification system using network biology statistics to assist in patient-specific response predictions to radiation and drug therapies across multiple cancer types. Methods: We developed PICS (Pathway Informed Classification System), a novel two-step cancer classification algorithm. In PICS, a matrix m of mRNA expression values for a patient cohort is collapsed into a matrix p of biological pathways. The entries of p, which we term pathway scores, are obtained from either principal component analysis (PCA), normal tissue centroid (NTC), or gene expression deviation (GED). The pathway score matrix is clustered using both k-means and hierarchical clustering, and a clustering is judged by how well it groups patients into distinct survival classes. The most effective pathway scoring/clustering combination, per clustering p-value, thus generates various ‘signatures’ for conventional and functional cancer classification. Results: PICS successfully regularized large dimension gene data, separated normal and cancerous tissues, and clustered a large patient cohort spanning six cancer types. Furthermore, PICS clustered patient cohorts into distinct, statistically-significant survival groups. For a suboptimally-debulked ovarian cancer set, the pathway-classified Kaplan-Meier survival curve (p = .00127) showed significant improvement over that of a prior gene expression-classified study (p = .0179). For a pancreatic cancer set, the pathway-classified Kaplan-Meier survival curve (p = .00141) showed significant improvement over that of a prior gene expression-classified study (p = .04). Pathway-based classification confirmed biomarkers for the pyrimidine, WNT-signaling, glycerophosphoglycerol, beta-alanine, and panthothenic acid pathways for ovarian cancer. Despite its robust nature, PICS requires significantly less run time than current pathway scoring methods. Conclusion: This work validates the PICS method to improve

  2. Large-scale density functional theory investigation of failure modes in ZnO nanowires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Ravi; Paci, Jeffrey T; Espinosa, Horacio D

    2010-09-08

    Electromechanical and photonic properties of semiconducting nanowires depend on their strain states and are limited by their extent of deformation. A fundamental understanding of the mechanical response of individual nanowires is therefore essential to assess system reliability and to define the design space of future nanowire-based devices. Here we perform a large-scale density functional theory (DFT) investigation of failure modes in zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires. Nanowires as large as 3.6 nm in diameter with 864 atoms were investigated. The study reveals that pristine nanowires can be elastically deformed to strains as high as 20%, prior to a phase transition leading to fracture. The current study suggests that the phase transition predicted at approximately 10% strain in pristine nanowires by the Buckingham pairwise potential (BP) is an artifact of approximations inherent in the BP. Instead, DFT-based energy barrier calculations suggest that defects may trigger heterogeneous phase transition leading to failure. Thus, the difference previously reported between in situ electron microscopy tensile experiments (brittle fracture) and atomistic simulations (phase transition and secondary loading) (Agrawal, R.; Peng, B.; Espinosa, H. D. Nano Lett. 2009, 9 (12), 4177-2183) is elucidated.

  3. Point Spread Function (PSF) noise filter strategy for geiger mode LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, O'Neil; Stark, Robert; Smith, Philip; St. Romain, Randall; Blask, Steven

    2013-05-01

    LiDAR is an efficient optical remote sensing technology that has application in geography, forestry, and defense. The effectiveness is often limited by signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Geiger mode avalanche photodiode (APD) detectors are able to operate above critical voltage, and a single photoelectron can initiate the current surge, making the device very sensitive. These advantages come at the expense of requiring computationally intensive noise filtering techniques. Noise is a problem which affects the imaging system and reduces the capability. Common noise-reduction algorithms have drawbacks such as over aggressive filtering, or decimating in order to improve quality and performance. In recent years, there has been growing interest on GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) for their ability to perform powerful massive parallel processing. In this paper, we leverage this capability to reduce the processing latency. The Point Spread Function (PSF) filter algorithm is a local spatial measure that has been GPGPU accelerated. The idea is to use a kernel density estimation technique for point clustering. We associate a local likelihood measure with every point of the input data capturing the probability that a 3D point is true target-return photons or noise (background photons, dark-current). This process suppresses noise and allows for detection of outliers. We apply this approach to the LiDAR noise filtering problem for which we have recognized a speed-up factor of 30-50 times compared to traditional sequential CPU implementation.

  4. Image denoising in bidimensional empirical mode decomposition domain: the role of Student's probability distribution function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahmiri, Salim

    2016-03-01

    Hybridisation of the bi-dimensional empirical mode decomposition (BEMD) with denoising techniques has been proposed in the literature as an effective approach for image denoising. In this Letter, the Student's probability density function is introduced in the computation of the mean envelope of the data during the BEMD sifting process to make it robust to values that are far from the mean. The resulting BEMD is denoted tBEMD. In order to show the effectiveness of the tBEMD, several image denoising techniques in tBEMD domain are employed; namely, fourth order partial differential equation (PDE), linear complex diffusion process (LCDP), non-linear complex diffusion process (NLCDP), and the discrete wavelet transform (DWT). Two biomedical images and a standard digital image were considered for experiments. The original images were corrupted with additive Gaussian noise with three different levels. Based on peak-signal-to-noise ratio, the experimental results show that PDE, LCDP, NLCDP, and DWT all perform better in the tBEMD than in the classical BEMD domain. It is also found that tBEMD is faster than classical BEMD when the noise level is low. When it is high, the computational cost in terms of processing time is similar. The effectiveness of the presented approach makes it promising for clinical applications.

  5. Finding an acceleration function for calculating the reliability of redundant systems - Application to common mode failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonnot, R.

    1975-01-01

    While it may be reasonable to assume that the reliability of a system - the design of which is perfectly known - can be evaluated, it seems less easy to be sure that overall reliability is correctly estimated in the case of multiple redundancies arranged in sequence. Framatome is trying to develop a method of evaluating overall reliability correctly for its installations. For example, the protection systems in its power stations considered as a whole are such that several scram signals may be relayed in sequence when an incident occurs. These signals all involve the same components for a given type of action, but the components themselves are in fact subject to different stresses and constraints, which tend to reduce their reliability. Whatever the sequence in which these signals are transmitted (in a fast-developing accident, for example), it is possible to evaluate the actual reliability of a given system (or component) for different constraints, as the latter are generally obtained via the transient codes. By applying the so-called ''equal probability'' hypothesis one can estimate a reliability acceleration function taking into account the constraints imposed. This function is linear for the principal failure probability distribution laws. By generalizing such a method one can: (1) Perform failure calculations for redundant systems (or components) in a more general way than is possible with event trees, since one of the main parameters is the constraint exercised on that system (or component); (2) Determine failure rates of components on the basis of accelerated tests (up to complete failure of the component) which are quicker than the normal long-term tests (statistical results of operation); (3) Evaluate the multiplication factor for the reliability of a system or component in the case of common mode failures. The author presents the mathematical tools required for such a method and described their application in the cases mentioned above

  6. Altered functional connectivity in default mode network in Internet gaming disorder: Influence of childhood ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Deokjong; Lee, Junghan; Lee, Jung Eun; Jung, Young-Chul

    2017-04-03

    Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is a type of behavioral addiction characterized by abnormal executive control, leading to loss of control over excessive gaming. Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common comorbid disorders in IGD, involving delayed development of the executive control system, which could predispose individuals to gaming addiction. We investigated the influence of childhood ADHD on neural network features of IGD. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging analysis was performed on 44 young, male IGD subjects with and without childhood ADHD and 19 age-matched, healthy male controls. Posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)-seeded connectivity was evaluated to assess abnormalities in default mode network (DMN) connectivity, which is associated with deficits in executive control. IGD subjects without childhood ADHD showed expanded functional connectivity (FC) between DMN-related regions (PCC, medial prefrontal cortex, thalamus) compared with controls. These subjects also exhibited expanded FC between the PCC and brain regions implicated in salience processing (anterior insula, orbitofrontal cortex) compared with IGD subjects with childhood ADHD. IGD subjects with childhood ADHD showed expanded FC between the PCC and cerebellum (crus II), a region involved in executive control. The strength of connectivity between the PCC and cerebellum (crus II) was positively correlated with self-reporting scales reflecting impulsiveness. Individuals with IGD showed altered PCC-based FC, the characteristics of which might be dependent upon history of childhood ADHD. Our findings suggest that altered neural networks for executive control in ADHD would be a predisposition for developing IGD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. Functional response of Xylocoris falvipes , a biological control agent ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The warehouse pirate bug Xylocoris falvipes is an opportunist predator of many stored product insect pests. Its functional response in relationship with variable densities of prey appears as the Holling\\'s type II model. The predator X. falvipes, collected within small holder granaries in Mayo Danay division in the far North ...

  10. Measuring the functional redundancy of biological communities: a quantitative guide

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ricotta, C.; de Bello, Francesco; Moretti, M.; Caccianiga, M.; Cerabolini, B. E. L.; Pavoine, S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 11 (2016), s. 1386-1395 ISSN 2041-210X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : absolute vs. relative measures * community structure * functional uniqueness Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 5.708, year: 2016

  11. 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.

  12. Biological Rhythms Workshop IB: neurophysiology of SCN pacemaker function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, S J

    2007-01-01

    Pacemakers are functional units capable of generating oscillations that synchronize downstream rhythms. In mammals, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is a circadian pacemaker composed of individual neurons that intrinsically express a near 24-hour rhythm in gene expression. Rhythmic gene expression is tightly coupled to a rhythm in spontaneous firing rate via intrinsic daily regulation of potassium current. Recent progress in the field indicates that SCN pacemaking is a specialized property that emerges from intrinsic features of single cells, structural connectivity among cells, and activity dynamics within the SCN. The focus of this chapter is on how Nature built a functional pacemaker from many individual oscillators that is capable of coordinating the daily timing of essential brain and physiological processes.

  13. Validation of alternate modes of administration of the lung function questionnaire (LFQ) in subjects with smoking history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalal, Anand A; Demuro-Mercon, Carla; Lewis, Sandy; Nelson, Lauren; Gilligan, Theresa; McLeod, Lori

    2010-12-07

    The lung Function Questionnaire (LFQ) was developed and validated as a case-finding tool to identify patients at risk of airflow obstruction (AO) that should be evaluated further using spirometry. Our objective was to assess the usability and validity of additional questionnaire-administration modes, including Web-based, interactive voice response system (IVRS)-based, and interviewer-based modes. This multicenter, prospective, noninterventional data-collection study enrolled 149 individuals aged ≥40 years with current or former smoking history. A two-visit crossover design was employed; patients completed the paper-based LFQ and were randomly assigned to complete one of three alternate modes. Statistical evaluation included item-level, scale-level, and AO risk-classification comparisons; a satisfaction survey assessed patient preference. this study showed a great degree of concordance between alternate forms of the LFQ and the paper version. Results indicated an absence of floor and ceiling effects and the average LFQ item-level means were consistent across modes. LFQ scores were stable between assessments, (administered approximately one week apart) showed exceptionally good agreement, and AO risk classification using the LFQ cut point was consistent across modes. The LFQ is an important case-finding tool to aid primary care physicians in further evaluating symptomatic patients at risk of AO. The alternate modes will further facilitate the implementation and widespread uptake of this tool.

  14. Functional nanostructured platforms for chemical and biological sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Létant, S. E.

    2006-05-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Shared atypical default mode and salience network functional connectivity between autism and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Heng; Uddin, Lucina Q; Duan, Xujun; Zheng, Junjie; Long, Zhiliang; Zhang, Youxue; Guo, Xiaonan; Zhang, Yan; Zhao, Jingping; Chen, Huafu

    2017-11-01

    Schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are two prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders sharing some similar genetic basis and clinical features. The extent to which they share common neural substrates remains unclear. Resting-state fMRI data were collected from 35 drug-naïve adolescent participants with first-episode schizophrenia (15.6 ± 1.8 years old) and 31 healthy controls (15.4 ± 1.6 years old). Data from 22 participants with ASD (13.1 ± 3.1 years old) and 21 healthy controls (12.9 ± 2.9 years old) were downloaded from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. Resting-state functional networks were constructed using predefined regions of interest. Multivariate pattern analysis combined with multi-task regression feature selection methods were conducted in two datasets separately. Classification between individuals with disorders and controls was achieved with high accuracy (schizophrenia dataset: accuracy = 83%; ASD dataset: accuracy = 80%). Shared atypical brain connections contributing to classification were mostly present in the default mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN). These functional connections were further related to severity of social deficits in ASD (p = 0.002). Distinct atypical connections were also more related to the DMN and SN, but showed different atypical connectivity patterns between the two disorders. These results suggest some common neural mechanisms contributing to schizophrenia and ASD, and may aid in understanding the pathology of these two neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1776-1786. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia are two common neurodevelopmental disorders which share several genetic and behavioral features. The present study identified common neural mechanisms contributing to ASD and schizophrenia using resting-state functional MRI data. The results may help to understand

  17. Pipe leak diagnostic using high frequency piezoelectric pressure sensor and automatic selection of intrinsic mode function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusop, Hanafi M.; Ghazali, M. F.; Yusof, M. F. M.; Remli, M. A. Pi; Kamarulzaman, M. H.

    2017-10-01

    In a recent study, the analysis of pressure transient signals could be seen as an accurate and low-cost method for leak and feature detection in water distribution systems. Transient phenomena occurs due to sudden changes in the fluid’s propagation in pipelines system caused by rapid pressure and flow fluctuation due to events such as closing and opening valves rapidly or through pump failure. In this paper, the feasibility of the Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) method/technique in analysing the pressure transient signals in presented and discussed. HHT is a way to decompose a signal into intrinsic mode functions (IMF). However, the advantage of HHT is its difficulty in selecting the suitable IMF for the next data postprocessing method which is Hilbert Transform (HT). This paper reveals that utilizing the application of an integrated kurtosis-based algorithm for a z-filter technique (I-Kaz) to kurtosis ratio (I-Kaz-Kurtosis) allows/contributes to/leads to automatic selection of the IMF that should be used. This technique is demonstrated on a 57.90-meter medium high-density polyethylene (MDPE) pipe installed with a single artificial leak. The analysis results using the I-Kaz-kurtosis ratio revealed/confirmed that the method can be used as an automatic selection of the IMF although the noise level ratio of the signal is low. Therefore, the I-Kaz-kurtosis ratio method is recommended as a means to implement an automatic selection technique of the IMF for HHT analysis.

  18. Default Mode Network Connectivity as a Function of Familial and Environmental Risk for Psychotic Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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; Kahn, Rene; Linszen, Don; Wiersma, Durk; Bruggeman, Richard; Cahn, Wiepke; de Haan, Lieuwe; Krabbendam, Lydia; Myin-Germeys, Inez

    2015-01-01

    Background 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

  19. Robust Adaptive Sliding Mode Control for Generalized Function Projective Synchronization of Different Chaotic Systems with Unknown Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuchun Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available When the parameters of both drive and response systems are all unknown, an adaptive sliding mode controller, strongly robust to exotic perturbations, is designed for realizing generalized function projective synchronization. Sliding mode surface is given and the controlled system is asymptotically stable on this surface with the passage of time. Based on the adaptation laws and Lyapunov stability theory, an adaptive sliding controller is designed to ensure the occurrence of the sliding motion. Finally, numerical simulations are presented to verify the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method even when both drive and response systems are perturbed with external disturbances.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Multi-functional Chassis-based Antennas Using Characteristic Mode Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor, Krishna Kumar

    Designing antennas for handheld devices is quite challenging primarily due to the limited real-estate available, and the fact that internal antennas occupy a large volume. With the need to support a variety of radio systems such as GSM, LTE and WiFi that operate in a wide range of frequency bands, multi-band, wideband and frequency reconfigurable antenna designs have been explored in the literature. Moreover, to support higher data rates, the Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) standard has been introduced, which requires supporting multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna technology and carrier aggregation (CA) on a handheld device. Both of these benefit from the use of multiple antennas or multi-port antennas, but with the limited space available, adding more internal antennas may not be easily possible. Additionally, to realize the benefits of these technologies the multiple antenna ports have to be well isolated from each other. This thesis explores the utilization of the ground plane (or chassis) of a handheld device as an antenna to meet some of these challenges. To achieve this, the theory of characteristic modes (TCM) for conducting bodies is relied upon, to determine the eigen-currents supported on the chassis. The orthogonality properties of these eigencurrents, and their corresponding far-field eigenfields (electric and magnetic) makes TCM a good tool to design multiple antennas with high isolation. This is demonstrated in this thesis via the design of four chassis-based antennas that have different functionalities. The first design is a two port MIMO antenna utilizing a combination of eigenmodes to achieve port isolation. The second design is a pattern reconfigurable MIMO antenna that can operate in two states at 2.28 GHz. The third design is a four port antenna that operates in three frequency bands, with two bands below 1 GHz for CA and the remaining two ports for MIMO communication. The final design is a five port antenna that supports MIMO

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Thalamocortical functional connectivity in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is abnormally enhanced in executive-control and default-mode networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Aaron E L; Abbott, David F; Jackson, Graeme D; Archer, John S

    2017-12-01

    To identify abnormal thalamocortical circuits in the severe epilepsy of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) that may explain the shared electroclinical phenotype and provide potential treatment targets. Twenty patients with a diagnosis of LGS (mean age = 28.5 years) and 26 healthy controls (mean age = 27.6 years) were compared using task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The thalamus was parcellated according to functional connectivity with 10 cortical networks derived using group-level independent component analysis. For each cortical network, we assessed between-group differences in thalamic functional connectivity strength using nonparametric permutation-based tests. Anatomical locations were identified by quantifying spatial overlap with a histologically informed thalamic MRI atlas. In both groups, posterior thalamic regions showed functional connectivity with visual, auditory, and sensorimotor networks, whereas anterior, medial, and dorsal thalamic regions were connected with networks of distributed association cortex (including the default-mode, anterior-salience, and executive-control networks). Four cortical networks (left and right executive-control network; ventral and dorsal default-mode network) showed significantly enhanced thalamic functional connectivity strength in patients relative to controls. Abnormal connectivity was maximal in mediodorsal and ventrolateral thalamic nuclei. Specific thalamocortical circuits are affected in LGS. Functional connectivity is abnormally enhanced between the mediodorsal and ventrolateral thalamus and the default-mode and executive-control networks, thalamocortical circuits that normally support diverse cognitive processes. In contrast, thalamic regions connecting with primary and sensory cortical networks appear to be less affected. Our previous neuroimaging studies show that epileptic activity in LGS is expressed via the default-mode and executive-control networks. Results of the present study suggest that

  9. 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...

  10. [Comparison of biological functional assessment in intensity-modulated radiotherapy: two-dimensional study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, C; Lemosquet, A; Lefkopoulos, D; Touboul, E

    2001-12-01

    Modulated intensity dose distributions are obtained by inverse planning. It requires an inversion algorithm and an objective function that can be physical or biological. The biological objective functions aim at quantifying the probability of the favourable end of the treatment. The inversion algorithm used is analytical and is based on the mathematical analysis of the singular values decomposition. It proposes as many solutions as there are elementary beams. From the Tumour Control Probability, Normal Tissue Complication Probabilities and complication free tumour control, three biological assessment functions of the proposed solutions are compared with the least square difference between the prescribed and obtained dose distributions. We used a simplified irradiation configuration: Brahme's dose prescription (2D modelling of a prostate) and 9 beams (1D). The choice by mean of biological criterion of the optimal solution makes it possible to increase the average dose in the tumour, so as its homogeneity compared to physical optimisation. Conversely, the organs at risk are then less protected. The laying down of relevant constraints makes it possible to obtain satisfactory dose distributions. Concerning the validity of the models and data used, some limitations appear. At present time, it seems to exclude the use in clinical routine of an only biological optimisation. The future availability of new biological data will allow the development and in particular the clinical use of biological optimisation.

  11. A new method for ranking mode-specific sensitivity of freswater arthoropods to insecticides and its relationship to biological traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rubach, M.N.; Baird, D.J.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2010-01-01

    The problem of how to deal with species sensitivity differences to toxic substances has been addressed successfully with the species sensitivity distribution (SSD), yet this has not increased understanding about the underlying mechanisms of sensitivity. Other researchers have identified the mode of

  12. Identifying the default mode network structure using dynamic causal modeling on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B

    2014-02-01

    The default mode network is part of the brain structure that shows higher neural activity and energy consumption when one is at rest. The key regions in the default mode network are highly interconnected as conveyed by both the white matter fiber tracing and the synchrony of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging signals. However, the causal information flow within the default mode network is still poorly understood. The current study used the dynamic causal modeling on a resting-state fMRI data set to identify the network structure underlying the default mode network. The endogenous brain fluctuations were explicitly modeled by Fourier series at the low frequency band of 0.01-0.08Hz, and those Fourier series were set as driving inputs of the DCM models. Model comparison procedures favored a model wherein the MPFC sends information to the PCC and the bilateral inferior parietal lobule sends information to both the PCC and MPFC. Further analyses provide evidence that the endogenous connectivity might be higher in the right hemisphere than in the left hemisphere. These data provided insight into the functions of each node in the DMN, and also validate the usage of DCM on resting-state fMRI data. © 2013.

  13. Maturation of the Infant Microbiome Community Structure and Function Across Multiple Body Sites and in Relation to Mode of Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Derrick M.; Ma, Jun; Prince, Amanda L.; Antony, Kathleen M.; Seferovic, Maxim D.; Aagaard, Kjersti M.

    2017-01-01

    Human microbial communities are characterized by their taxonomic, metagenomic, and metabolic diversity, which varies by distinct body sites and influences human physiology. However, when and how microbial communities within each body niche acquire unique taxonomical and functional signatures in early life remains underexplored. We thus sought to assess the taxonomic composition and potential metabolic function of the neonatal and early infant microbiota across multiple body sites, and assess the impact of mode of delivery and its potential confounders or modifiers. A cohort of pregnant women in their early 3rd trimester (n=81) were prospectively enrolled for longitudinal sampling through 6 weeks post-delivery, and a second matched cross-sectional cohort (n=81) was additionally recruited for sampling once at delivery. Samples were collected for each maternal-infant dyad across multiple body sites, including stool, oral gingiva, nares, skin and vagina. 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis and whole genome shotgun sequencing was performed to interrogate the composition and function of the neonatal and maternal microbiota. We found that the neonatal microbiota and its associated functional pathways were relatively homogenous across all body sites at delivery, with the notable exception of neonatal meconium. However, by 6 weeks, the infant microbiota structure and function had significantly expanded and diversified, with body site serving as the primary determinant of the bacterial community composition and its functional capacity. Although minor variations in the neonatal (immediately at birth) microbiota community structure were associated with Cesarean delivery in some body sites (oral, nares, and skin; R2 = 0.038), this was not true in neonatal stool (meconium, Mann-Whitney p>0.05) and there was no observable difference in community function regardless of delivery mode. By 6 weeks of age, the infant microbiota structure and function had expanded and diversified with

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26668171

  16. 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.

  17. Bioactive components and functional properties of biologically activated cereal grains: A bibliographic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arashdeep; Sharma, Savita

    2017-09-22

    Whole grains provide energy, nutrients, fibers, and bioactive compounds that may synergistically contribute to their protective effects. A wide range of these compounds is affected by germination. While some compounds, such as β-glucans are degraded, others, like antioxidants and total phenolics are increased by means of biological activation of grains. The water and oil absorption capacity as well as emulsion and foaming capacity of biologically activated grains are also improved. Application of biological activation of grains is of emerging interest, which may significantly enhance the nutritional, functional, and bioactive content of grains, as well as improve palatability of grain foods in a natural way. Therefore, biological activation of cereals can be a way to produce food grains enriched with health-promoting compounds and enhanced functional attributes.

  18. 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.

  19. Negative mood-induction modulates default mode network resting-state functional connectivity in chronic depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Renner, F.; Siep, N.; Arntz, A.; van de Ven, V.; Peeters, F.P.M.L.; Quaedflieg, C.W.E.M.; Huibers, M.J.H.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of sad mood on default mode network (DMN) resting-state connectivity in persons with chronic major depressive disorder (cMDD). METHODS: Participants with a diagnosis of cMDD (n=18) and age, gender and education level matched

  20. An investigation into the functional and structural connectivity of the Default Mode Network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oort, E.S.B.; van Cappellen van Walsum, Anne-Marie; Norris, David Gordon

    2014-01-01

    Connectivity analyses based on both resting-state (rs-)fMRI and diffusion weighted imaging studies suggest that the human brain contains regions that act as hubs for the entire brain, and that elements of the Default Mode Network (DMN) play a pivotal role in this network. In the present study, the

  1. An overview of the applicability of functional diversity in Biological Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, J R; Mantovani, W

    2017-10-23

    Functional diversity is increasingly pointed as a useful approach to reach Biological Conservation goals. Here, we provide an overview of the functional diversity approach status in the Biological Conservation field. We sought for peer-reviewed papers published over a period of twenty years (from 1994 to 2014). First we used the general topic "functional diversity" and then refined our search using the key-word "conservation". We have identified the conservation strategies addressed, the organism studied, and the continent of study site in each paper. Thirteen classes of conservation strategies were identified. Plants were the most commonly studied organism group and most study-sites were located in Europe. The functional diversity approach was introduced in the Biological Conservation field in the early 2000's and its inclusion in conservation strategies is broadly advised. However, the number of papers that operationalise such inclusion by developing models and systems is still low. Functional diversity responds differently and eventually better than other measures to changes in land use and management, which suggests that this approach can potentially better predict the impacts. More studies are needed to corroborate this hypothesis. We pointed out knowledge gaps regarding identification of the responses for functional diversity about urban impacts and in research on the level of management intensity of land needed to maintain functional diversity. We recommend the use of functional diversity measures to find ecological indicators. Future studies should focus on the development of functional diversity measures of other taxa beyond plants as well as test hypothesis in tropical ecosystems.

  2. On the functional significance of retrieval mode: Task switching disrupts the recollection of conceptual stimulus information from episodic memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küper, Kristina

    2018-01-01

    Episodic memory retrieval is assumed to be associated with the tonic cognitive state of retrieval mode. Despite extensive research into the neurophysiological correlates of retrieval mode, as of yet, relatively little is known about its functional significance. The present event-related potential (ERP) study was aimed at examining the impact of retrieval mode on the specificity of memory content retrieved in the course of familiarity and recollection processes. In two experiments, participants performed a recognition memory inclusion task in which they had to distinguish identically repeated and re-colored versions of study items from new items. In Experiment 1, participants had to alternate between the episodic memory task and a semantic task requiring a natural/artificial decision. In Experiment 2, the two tasks were instead performed in separate blocks. ERPs locked to the preparatory cues in the test phases indicated that participants did not establish retrieval mode on switch trials in Experiment 1. In the absence of retrieval mode, neither type of studied item elicited ERP correlates of familiarity-based retrieval (FN400). Recollection-related late positive complex (LPC) old/new effects emerged only for identically repeated but not for conceptually identical but perceptually changed versions of study items. With blocked retrieval in Experiment 2, both types of old items instead elicited equivalent FN400 and LPC old/new effects. The LPC data indicate that retrieval mode may play an important role in the successful recollection of conceptual stimulus information. The FN400 results additionally suggest that task switching may have a detrimental effect on familiarity-based memory retrieval. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Preserved functional connectivity in the default mode and salience networks is associated with youthful memory in superaging

    OpenAIRE

    Barrett, Lisa; Zhang, Jiahe; Andreano, Joseph; Dickerson, Bradford; Touroutoglou, Alexandra

    2018-01-01

    'Superagers' are older adults who, despite their advanced age, maintain youthful memory. Previous morphometry studies revealed multiple default mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN) regions whose cortical thickness is preserved in superagers and correlates with memory performance. In this study, we examined the intrinsic functional connectivity within DMN and SN in 41 young (24.5 ± 3.6 years old) and 40 elderly adults (66.9 ± 5.5 years old). As in prior studies, superaging was defined ...

  4. Slow EEG Pattern Predicts Reduced Intrinsic Functional Connectivity in the Default Mode Network: An Inter-Subject Analysis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hlinka, Jaroslav; Alexakis, C.; Diukova, A.; Liddle, P.F.; Auer, D.P.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 1 (2010), s. 239-246 ISSN 1053-8119 Grant - others:European Commision Fp6(XE) MEST-CT-2005-021170 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10300504 Keywords : fMRI * electroencephalography (EEG) * BOLD * resting state * low-frequency fluctuations * functional connectivity * default mode Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 5.932, year: 2010

  5. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    I am particularly happy that the Academy is bringing out this document by Professor M S. Valiathan on Ayurvedic Biology. It is an effort to place before the scientific community, especially that of India, the unique scientific opportunities that arise out of viewing Ayurveda from the perspective of contemporary science, its tools ...

  6. Default Mode Network in the Effects of ¿9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on Human Executive Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bossong, M.G.; Jansma, J.M.; Hell, van H.H.; Jager, G.; Kahn, R.S.; Ramsey, N.F.

    2013-01-01

    Evidence is increasing for involvement of the endocannabinoid system in cognitive functions including attention and executive function, as well as in psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive deficits, such as schizophrenia. Executive function appears to be associated with both modulation of

  7. 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

  8. Relative biological effectiveness in a proton spread-out Bragg peak formed by pencil beam scanning mode

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Michaelidesová, Anna; Vachelová, Jana; Puchalská, M.; Pachnerová Brabcová, Kateřina; Vondráček, V.; Sihver, L.; Davídková, Marie

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 40, č. 2 (2017), s. 359-368 ISSN 0158-9938 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP108/12/G108 Institutional support: RVO:61389005 Keywords : Relative biological effectiveness * Proton therapy * Clonogennic assay * Micronuclei assay * Monte Carlo simulations * Scanning beam Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders OBOR OECD: Nuclear physics Impact factor: 1.171, year: 2016

  9. Near-roadway monitoring of vehicle emissions as a function of mode of operation for light-duty vehicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Dongqi; Zhai, Wenjuan; Xiang, Sheng; Hu, Zhice; Wei, Tongchuan; Noll, Kenneth E

    2017-11-01

    Determination of the effect of vehicle emissions on air quality near roadways is important because vehicles are a major source of air pollution. A near-roadway monitoring program was undertaken in Chicago between August 4 and October 30, 2014, to measure ultrafine particles, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, traffic volume and speed, and wind direction and speed. The objective of this study was to develop a method to relate short-term changes in traffic mode of operation to air quality near roadways using data averaged over 5-min intervals to provide a better understanding of the processes controlling air pollution concentrations near roadways. Three different types of data analysis are provided to demonstrate the type of results that can be obtained from a near-roadway sampling program based on 5-min measurements: (1) development of vehicle emission factors (EFs) for ultrafine particles as a function of vehicle mode of operation, (2) comparison of measured and modeled CO 2 concentrations, and (3) application of dispersion models to determine concentrations near roadways. EFs for ultrafine particles are developed that are a function of traffic volume and mode of operation (free flow and congestion) for light-duty vehicles (LDVs) under real-world conditions. Two air quality models-CALINE4 (California Line Source Dispersion Model, version 4) and AERMOD (American Meteorological Society/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model)-are used to predict the ultrafine particulate concentrations near roadways for comparison with measured concentrations. When using CALINE4 to predict air quality levels in the mixing cell, changes in surface roughness and stability class have no effect on the predicted concentrations. However, when using AERMOD to predict air quality in the mixing cell, changes in surface roughness have a significant impact on the predicted concentrations. The paper provides emission factors (EFs) that are a function of traffic volume and mode of

  10. Myocardial function and effects of biologic therapy in patients with severe psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlehoff, O.; Hansen, P. R.; Gislason, G. H.

    2016-01-01

    function in patients with severe psoriasis who initiated biologic therapy. Methods Between November 1 2013 and May 31 2014 the study subjects underwent physical, laboratory and comprehensive echocardiographic examination at baseline and after 3 months of treatment. Pearson correlation coefficients...... and Student's t-test were applied to assess changes in diastolic function (defined as the E/e' ratio) and global longitudinal strain (GLS). Results Eighteen patients with severe psoriasis treated with biologic therapy with a mean follow-up of 85.6 ± 18.2 days were included. The patients had a baseline.......74). Likewise, no changes were seen in total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, estimated glomerular filtration rate and glycosylated haemoglobin. Conclusion In patients with severe psoriasis treatment with biologic therapy was associated with improved PASI...

  11. Classification of the micro and nanoparticles and biological agents by neural network analysis of the parameters of optical resonance of whispering gallery mode in dielectric microspheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saetchnikov, Vladimir A.; Tcherniavskaia, Elina A.; Schweiger, Gustav; Ostendorf, Andreas

    2011-07-01

    A novel technique for the label-free analysis of micro and nanoparticles including biomolecules using optical micro cavity resonance of whispering-gallery-type modes is being developed. Various schemes of the method using both standard and specially produced microspheres have been investigated to make further development for microbial application. It was demonstrated that optical resonance under optimal geometry could be detected under the laser power of less 1 microwatt. The sensitivity of developed schemes has been tested by monitoring the spectral shift of the whispering gallery modes. Water solutions of ethanol, ascorbic acid, blood phantoms including albumin and HCl, glucose, biotin, biomarker like C reactive protein so as bacteria and virus phantoms (gels of silica micro and nanoparticles) have been used. Structure of resonance spectra of the solutions was a specific subject of investigation. Probabilistic neural network classifier for biological agents and micro/nano particles classification has been developed. Several parameters of resonance spectra as spectral shift, broadening, diffuseness and others have been used as input parameters to develop a network classifier for micro and nanoparticles and biological agents in solution. Classification probability of approximately 98% for probes under investigation have been achieved. Developed approach have been demonstrated to be a promising technology platform for sensitive, lab-on-chip type sensor which can be used for development of diagnostic tools for different biological molecules, e.g. proteins, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides, lipids, small molecules, viral particles, cells as well as in different experimental contexts e.g. proteomics, genomics, drug discovery, and membrane studies.

  12. Finite element analysis (FEA): applying an engineering method to functional morphology in anthropology and human biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, O

    2009-01-01

    A fundamental research question for morphologists is how morphological variation in the skeleton relates to function. Traditional approaches have advanced our understanding of form-function relationships considerably but have limitations. Strain gauges can only record strains on a surface, and the geometry of the structure can limit where they can be bonded. Theoretical approaches, such as geometric abstractions, work well on problems with simple geometries and material properties but biological structures typically have neither of these. Finite element analysis (FEA) is a method that overcomes these problems by reducing a complex geometry into a finite number of elements with simple geometries. In addition, FEA allows strain to be modelled across the entire surface of the structure and throughout the internal structure. With advances in the processing power of computers, FEA has become more accessible and as such is becoming an increasingly popular tool to address questions about form-function relationships in development and evolution, as well as human biology generally. This paper provides an introduction to FEA including a review of the sequence of steps needed for the generation of biologically accurate finite element models that can be used for the testing of biological and functional morphology hypotheses.

  13. Biological interpretation of genome-wide association studies using predicted gene functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pers, Tune H.; Karjalainen, Juha M.; Chan, Yingleong; Westra, Harm-Jan; Wood, Andrew R.; Yang, Jian; Lui, Julian C.; Vedantam, Sailaja; Gustafsson, Stefan; Esko, Tonu; Frayling, Tim; Speliotes, Elizabeth K.; Boehnke, Michael; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Fehrmann, Rudolf S. N.; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Franke, Lude; Chu, Audrey Y.; Estrada, Karol; Luan, Jian'an; Kutalik, Zoltán; Amin, Najaf; Buchkovich, Martin L.; Croteau-Chonka, Damien C.; Day, Felix R.; Duan, Yanan; Fall, Tove; Fehrmann, Rudolf; Ferreira, Teresa; Jackson, Anne U.; Karjalainen, Juha; Lo, Ken Sin; Locke, Adam E.; Mägi, Reedik; Mihailov, Evelin; Porcu, Eleonora; Randall, Joshua C.; Scherag, André; Vinkhuyzen, Anna A. E.; Winkler, Thomas W.; Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie; Zhao, Jing Hua; Absher, Devin; Albrecht, Eva; Anderson, Denise; Baron, Jeffrey; Beekman, Marian; Demirkan, Ayse; Ehret, Georg B.; Feenstra, Bjarke; Feitosa, Mary F.; Fischer, Krista; Fraser, Ross M.; Goel, Anuj; Gong, Jian; Justice, E.; Kanoni, Stavroula; Kleber, Marcus E.; Kristiansson, Kati; Lim, Unhee; Lotay, Vaneet; Mangino, Massimo; Mateo Leach, Irene; Medina-Gomez, Carolina; Nalls, Michael A.; Nyholt, Dale R.; Palmer, Cameron D.; Pasko, Dorota; Pechlivanis, Sonali; Prokopenko, Inga; Ried, Janina S.; Ripke, Stephan; Shungin, Dmitry; Stancáková, Alena; Strawbridge, Rona J.; Sung, Yun Ju; Tanaka, Toshiko; Teumer, Alexander; Trompet, Stella; van der Laan, Sander W.; van Setten, Jessica; van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V.; Wang, Zhaoming; Yengo, Loïc; Zhang, Weihua; Afzal, Uzma; Ärnlöv, Johan; Arscott, Gillian M.; Bandinelli, Stefania; Barrett, Amy; Bellis, Claire; Bennett, Amanda J.; Berne, Christian; Blüher, Matthias; Bolton, Jennifer L.; Böttcher, Yvonne; Boyd, Heather A.; Bruinenberg, Marcel; Buckley, Brendan M.; Buyske, Steven; Caspersen, Ida H.; Chines, Peter S.; Clarke, Robert; Claudi-Boehm, Simone; Cooper, Matthew; Daw, E. Warwick; de Jong, A.; Deelen, Joris; Delgado, Graciela; Denny, Josh C.; Dhonukshe-Rutten, Rosalie; Dimitriou, Maria; Doney, Alex S. F.; Dörr, Marcus; Eklund, Niina; Eury, Elodie; Folkersen, Lasse; Garcia, Melissa E.; Geller, Frank; Giedraitis, Vilmantas; Go, Alan S.; Grallert, Harald; Grammer, Tanja B.; Gräßler, Jürgen; Grönberg, Henrik; de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M.; Groves, Christopher J.; Haessler, Jeffrey; Haller, Toomas; Hallmans, Goran; Hannemann, Anke; Hartman, Catharina A.; Hassinen, Maija; Hayward, Caroline; Heard-Costa, Nancy L.; Helmer, Quinta; Hemani, Gibran; Henders, Anjali K.; Hillege, Hans L.; Hlatky, Mark A.; Hoffmann, Wolfgang; Hoffmann, Per; Holmen, Oddgeir; Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine J.; Illig, Thomas; Isaacs, Aaron; James, Alan L.; Jeff, Janina; Johansen, Berit; Johansson, Åsa; Jolley, Jennifer; Juliusdottir, Thorhildur; Junttila, Juhani; Kho, Abel N.; Kinnunen, Leena; Klopp, Norman; Kocher, Thomas; Kratzer, Wolfgang; Lichtner, Peter; Lind, Lars; Lindström, Jaana; Lobbens, Stéphane; Lorentzon, Mattias; Lu, Yingchang; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Magnusson, Patrik K. E.; Mahajan, Anubha; Maillard, Marc; McArdle, Wendy L.; McKenzie, Colin A.; McLachlan, Stela; McLaren, Paul J.; Menni, Cristina; Merger, Sigrun; Milani, Lili; Moayyeri, Alireza; Monda, Keri L.; Morken, Mario A.; Müller, Gabriele; Müller-Nurasyid, Martina; Musk, Arthur W.; Narisu, Narisu; Nauck, Matthias; Nolte, Ilja M.; Nöthen, Markus M.; Oozageer, Laticia; Pilz, Stefan; Rayner, Nigel W.; Renstrom, Frida; Robertson, Neil R.; Rose, Lynda M.; Roussel, Ronan; Sanna, Serena; Scharnagl, Hubert; Scholtens, Salome; Schumacher, Fredrick R.; Schunkert, Heribert; Scott, Robert A.; Sehmi, Joban; Seufferlein, Thomas; Shi, Jianxin; Silventoinen, Karri; Smit, Johannes H.; Smith, Albert Vernon; Smolonska, Joanna; Stanton, Alice V.; Stirrups, Kathleen; Stott, David J.; Stringham, Heather M.; Sundström, Johan; Swertz, Morris A.; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Tayo, Bamidele O.; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Tyrer, Jonathan P.; van Dijk, Suzanne; van Schoor, Natasja M.; van der Velde, Nathalie; van Heemst, Diana; van Oort, Floor V. A.; Vermeulen, Sita H.; Verweij, Niek; Vonk, Judith M.; Waite, Lindsay L.; Waldenberger, Melanie; Wennauer, Roman; Wilkens, Lynne R.; Willenborg, Christina; Wilsgaard, Tom; Wojczynski, Mary K.; Wong, Andrew; Wright, Alan F.; Zhang, Qunyuan; Arveiler, Dominique; Bakker, Stephan J. L.; Beilby, John; Bergman, Richard N.; Bergmann, Sven; Biffar, Reiner; Blangero, John; Boomsma, I.; Bornstein, Stefan R.; Bovet, Pascal; Brambilla, Paolo; Brown, Morris J.; Campbell, Harry; Caulfield, Mark J.; Chakravarti, Aravinda; Collins, Rory; Collins, Francis S.; Crawford, Dana C.; Cupples, L. Adrienne; Danesh, John; de Faire, Ulf; den Ruijter, Hester M.; Erbel, Raimund; Erdmann, Jeanette; Eriksson, Johan G.; Farrall, Martin; Ferrannini, Ele; Ferrières, Jean; Ford, Ian; Forouhi, Nita G.; Forrester, Terrence; Gansevoort, Ron T.; Gejman, Pablo V.; Gieger, Christian; Golay, Alain; Gottesman, Omri; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Gyllensten, Ulf; Haas, David W.; Hall, Alistair S.; Harris, Tamara B.; Hattersley, Andrew T.; Heath, Andrew C.; Hengstenberg, Christian; Hicks, Andrew A.; Hindorff, Lucia A.; Hingorani, Aroon D.; Hofman, Albert; Hovingh, G. Kees; Humphries, Steve E.; Hunt, Steven C.; Hypponen, Elina; Jacobs, Kevin B.; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Jousilahti, Pekka; Jula, Antti M.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Kastelein, John J. P.; Kayser, Manfred; Kee, Frank; Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M.; Kiemeney, Lambertus A.; Kooner, Jaspal S.; Kooperberg, Charles; Koskinen, Seppo; Kovacs, Peter; Kraja, Aldi T.; Kumari, Meena; Kuusisto, Johanna; Lakka, Timo A.; Langenberg, Claudia; Le Marchand, Loic; Lehtimäki, Terho; Lupoli, Sara; Madden, Pamela A. F.; Männistö, Satu; Manunta, Paolo; Marette, André; Matise, Tara C.; McKnight, Barbara; Meitinger, Thomas; Moll, Frans L.; Montgomery, Grant W.; Morris, Andrew D.; Morris, Andrew P.; Murray, Jeffrey C.; Nelis, Mari; Ohlsson, Claes; Oldehinkel, Albertine J.; Ong, Ken K.; Ouwehand, Willem H.; Pasterkamp, Gerard; Peters, Annette; Pramstaller, Peter P.; Price, Jackie F.; Qi, Lu; Raitakari, Olli T.; Rankinen, Tuomo; Rao, D. C.; Rice, Treva K.; Ritchie, Marylyn; Rudan, Igor; Salomaa, Veikko; Samani, Nilesh J.; Saramies, Jouko; Sarzynski, Mark A.; Schwarz, Peter E. H.; Sebert, Sylvain; Sever, Peter; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Sinisalo, Juha; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Stolk, Ronald P.; Tardif, Jean-Claude; Tönjes, Anke; Tremblay, Angelo; Tremoli, Elena; Virtamo, Jarmo; Vohl, Marie-Claude; Amouyel, Philippe; Asselbergs, Folkert W.; Assimes, Themistocles L.; Bochud, Murielle; Boehm, Bernhard O.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Bottinger, Erwin P.; Bouchard, Claude; Cauchi, Stéphane; Chambers, John C.; Chanock, Stephen J.; Cooper, Richard S.; de Bakker, Paul I. W.; Dedoussis, George; Ferrucci, Luigi; Franks, Paul W.; Froguel, Philippe; Groop, Leif C.; Haiman, Christopher A.; Hamsten, Anders; Hayes, M. Geoffrey; Hui, Jennie; Hunter, David J.; Hveem, Kristian; Jukema, J. Wouter; Kaplan, Robert C.; Kivimaki, Mika; Kuh, Diana; Laakso, Markku; Liu, Yongmei; Martin, Nicholas G.; März, Winfried; Melbye, Mads; Moebus, Susanne; Munroe, Patricia B.; Njølstad, Inger; Oostra, Ben A.; Palmer, Colin N. A.; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Perola, Markus; Pérusse, Louis; Peters, Ulrike; Powell, Joseph E.; Power, Chris; Quertermous, Thomas; Rauramaa, Rainer; Reinmaa, Eva; Ridker, Paul M.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Rotter, Jerome I.; Saaristo, Timo E.; Saleheen, Danish; Schlessinger, David; Slagboom, P. Eline; Snieder, Harold; Spector, Tim D.; Strauch, Konstantin; Stumvoll, Michael; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Uusitupa, Matti; van der Harst, Pim; Völzke, Henry; Walker, Mark; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Watkins, Hugh; Wichmann, H.-Erich; Wilson, James F.; Zanen, Pieter; Deloukas, Panos; Heid, Iris M.; Lindgren, Cecilia M.; Mohlke, Karen L.; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Barroso, Inês; Fox, Caroline S.; North, Kari E.; Strachan, David P.; Beckmann, Jacques S.; Berndt, Sonja I.; Borecki, Ingrid B.; McCarthy, Mark I.; Metspalu, Andres; Stefansson, Kari; Uitterlinden, André G.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Willer, Cristen J.; Price, Alkes L.; Lettre, Guillaume; Loos, Ruth J. F.; Weedon, Michael N.; Ingelsson, Erik; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; Abecasis, Goncalo R.; Chasman, Daniel I.; Goddard, Michael E.; Visscher, Peter M.; Frayling, Timothy M.

    2015-01-01

    The main challenge for gaining biological insights from genetic associations is identifying which genes and pathways explain the associations. Here we present DEPICT, an integrative tool that employs predicted gene functions to systematically prioritize the most likely causal genes at associated

  14. Application and Optimization of Biolog EcoPlates in Functional Diversity Studies of Soil Microbial Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Wenhuan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The biological diversity contributes to many aspects of human well-being and ecosystem function, however, we have known very little about microbial diversity due to the limitations of appropriate methodology underneath it. The development of biotech have brought revolutionary progress in the study of microbial diversity in which Biolog required to pay a lot of attention due to its ability of reflecting the metabolic situation of living microbial communities and have used widely in the study of soil microbial communities. However, there are some controversies during its operation procedure and incubation process, handling large data during the analysis might have also caused trouble in the overall process. The approach based on uses of “absolute used”, “INDIRECT” function in Excel could greatly optimize the data analysis, and the increase of principle components in Principle Component Analysis (PCA were able to extract more information from original data. Besides, the method that through “Taylor” and “logic” transformation for original data before PCA analysis could achieve data analysis optimization. This paper have presented the applications and optimization of Biolog EcoPlates in studies of functional diversity of microbial communities, presented its inherent biases and prospects, provided some reference for the applications and popularization of Biolog EcoPlates for microbial study and finally, the results imply improving the knowledge of biotech in study of soil microbial functional diversity.

  15. Fungal secretomics to probe the biological functions of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berrin, Jean-Guy; Rosso, Marie-Noëlle; Abou Hachem, Maher

    2017-01-01

    to starch, the main carbon storage reservoir. In this review, we focus on the identification of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) and their redox partners in fungal secretomes to highlight the biological functions of these remarkable enzyme systems and we discuss future trends related to LPMO...

  16. 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

    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...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    malignancy. [Wang J and Sen S 2011 MicroRNA functional network in pancreatic cancer: From biology to biomarkers of disease. J. Biosci. 36 481–491] ... aid in improving clinical management and therapeutic outcome for the patients. ..... 133a is a characteristic of pancreatic tissue and that a total of. 26 miRs are aberrantly ...

  18. Two-stage coal liquefaction process materials from the Wilsonville Facility operated in the nonintegrated and integrated modes: chemical analyses and biological testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Later, D.W.

    1985-01-01

    This document reports the results from chemical analyses and biological testing of process materials sampled during operation of the Wilsonville Advanced Coal Liquefaction Research and Development Facility (Wilsonville, Alabama) in both the noncoupled or nonintegrated (NTSL Run 241) and coupled or integrated (ITSL Run 242) two-stage liquefaction operating modes. Mutagenicity and carcinogenicity assays were conducted in conjunction with chromatographic and mass spectrometric analyses to provide detailed, comparative chemical and biological assessments of several NTSL and ITSL process materials. In general, the NTSL process materials were biologically more active and chemically more refractory than analogous ITSL process materials. To provide perspective, the NTSL and ITSL results are compared with those from similar testing and analyses of other direct coal liquefaction materials from the solvent refined coal (SRC) I, SRC II and EDS processes. Comparisons are also made between two-stage coal liquefaction materials from the Wilsonville pilot plant and the C.E. Lummus PDU-ITSL Facility in an effort to assess scale-up effects in these two similar processes. 36 references, 26 figures, 37 tables.

  19. Anisotropy and phonon modes from analysis of the dielectric function tensor and the inverse dielectric function tensor of monoclinic yttrium orthosilicate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mock, A.; Korlacki, R.; Knight, S.; Schubert, M.

    2018-04-01

    We determine the frequency dependence of the four independent Cartesian tensor elements of the dielectric function for monoclinic symmetry Y2SiO5 using generalized spectroscopic ellipsometry from 40-1200 cm-1. Three different crystal cuts, each perpendicular to a principle axis, are investigated. We apply our recently described augmentation of lattice anharmonicity onto the eigendielectric displacement vector summation approach [A. Mock et al., Phys. Rev. B 95, 165202 (2017), 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.165202], and we present and demonstrate the application of an eigendielectric displacement loss vector summation approach with anharmonic broadening. We obtain an excellent match between all measured and model-calculated dielectric function tensor elements and all dielectric loss function tensor elements. We obtain 23 Au and 22 Bu symmetry long-wavelength active transverse and longitudinal optical mode parameters including their eigenvector orientation within the monoclinic lattice. We perform density functional theory calculations and obtain 23 Au symmetry and 22 Bu transverse and longitudinal optical mode parameters and their orientation within the monoclinic lattice. We compare our results from ellipsometry and density functional theory and find excellent agreement. We also determine the static and above reststrahlen spectral range dielectric tensor values and find a recently derived generalization of the Lyddane-Sachs-Teller relation for polar phonons in monoclinic symmetry materials satisfied [M. Schubert, Phys Rev. Lett. 117, 215502 (2016), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.215502].

  20. On the relationship between the transfer functions and the characteristic modes of a set ordinary first order differential equations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gupply, C.B.

    1964-08-01

    The report describes how the Transfer Functions of a system of ordinary differential equations can be derived in terms of the latent roots and vectors of the matrix of coefficient for the dependent variables of the system. It is shown that when the latent roots and vectors are known the formulation of the modes of the system and of its transfer functions is straight forward. The treatment itself is simple and starts almost from first principles. The report describes how to get a general set of differential equations into the correct form, the meaning of latent roots and vectors, how the transfer functions arise, the significance of complex latent roots and vectors and, finally, the modal significance of a system at its stability limit. Two simple fully worked examples are included. (author)

  1. Develop Infrared Structural Biology for Probing Structural Dynamics of Protein Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Aihua; Kang, Zhouyang; Causey, Oliver; Liu, Charle

    2015-03-01

    Protein functions are carried out through a series of structural transitions. Lack of knowledge on functionally important structural motions of proteins impedes our understanding of protein functions. Infrared structural biology is an emerging technology with powerful applications for protein structural dynamics. One key element of infrared structural biology is the development of vibrational structural marker (VSM) database library that translates infrared spectroscopic signals into specific structural information. We report the development of VSM for probing the type, geometry and strength of hydrogen bonding interactions of buried COO- side chains of Asp and Glu in proteins. Quantum theory based first principle computational studies combined with bioinformatic hydrogen bond analysis are employed in this study. We will discuss the applications of VSM in mechanistic studies of protein functions. Infrared structural biology is expected to emerge as a powerful technique for elucidating the functional mechanism of a broad range of proteins, including water soluble and membrane proteins. This work is supported by OCAST HR10-078 and NSF DBI1338097.

  2. Application of Advanced Functional Maps to the Radiation Treatment Plan for Biological Clinical Target Volumes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Ji Yeon; Jung, Won Gyun; Suh, Tae Suk; Lee, Jeong Woo; Ahn, Kook Jin

    2010-01-01

    Anatomical images including computerized tomography (CT) and T1-weighted magnetic resonance (T1-MR) images have been generally used to determine target volumes in radiation treatment plan (RTP). As only conventional images were referenced, tumors have tendency not to be enhanced by administrating agents depending on the tumor grade and patients. Recent advanced MR images, however, could guide physiologically and pathologically significant tumor characteristics. Furthermore, if the multi-functional images are employed, errors from using only one type of image will be complemented and distinct biological parameters can be applied as histological activity index. In this study, biological clinical target volumes (bCTVs) considered vascularity and cellularity can be determined based on multifunctional parametric maps using the in-house software for image registration and analysis. Using the developed software, rCBV and ADC maps were analyzed and bCTVs can be resolved considering vascularity and cellularity. In result, the bCTVs are exported on conventional images for biological RTP using image registration. Based on the multi-functional parametric maps of overlapped tumor regions, malignant sub-volumes can be determined. Multi-functional parametric maps would contribute to the detection of physiological and pathological tumor characteristics which are not be found in conventional images. They would reflect individual tumor biological characteristics to RTP for local tumor control.

  3. On functional determinants of matrix differential operators with multiple zero modes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Falco, G.M.; Fedorenko, Andrey A; Gruzberg, Ilya A

    2017-01-01

    We generalize the method of computing functional determinants with a single excluded zero eigenvalue developed by McKane and Tarlie to differential operators with multiple zero eigenvalues. We derive general formulas for such functional determinants of $r\\times r$ matrix second order differential

  4. Radioactive probe studies of coordination modes of heavy metal ions from natural waters to functionalized magnetic nanoparticles

    CERN Multimedia

    Carvalho Soares, J; Lopes, C; Araujo, J

    We propose to use PAC, Perturbed Angular Correlations, to study the local environment of ionic species (Hg$^{2+}$, Cd$^{2+}$) coordinated on functionalized magnetic nanoparticles. Studies include the analysis of different nanoparticle sizes (30-100nm), and the monitoring of time/steps dependence of the coordination of those cations at the nanoparticle surfaces. Combined with theoretical calculations, the obtained data will support the understanding of local coordination modes, which is essential to help to improve methods of magnetically assisted separation of such hazardous contaminants from water.

  5. Evaluation of the efficacy and mode of action of biological control for suppression of ganoderma boninense in oil palm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, A.; Abdullah, S.; Rossall, S.; Chong, K.P.

    2017-01-01

    The ability of potential antagonists, a commercial product containing combinations of microorganisms (TR1) to control Ganoderma boninense growth was investigated in this research. TR1 contained multiple strains of Bacillus spp. and Trichoderma spp. The results from field experiments showed that TR1 was all able to reduce the colonization of G. boninense, based on re-isolation of the pathogen onto a selective medium and the reduction of ergosterol content compared to untreated controls. Effectiveness of TR1 was therefore further investigated for mode of action studies. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observations of Ganoderma mycelium, recovered from bioassay plates on which TR1 had inhibited fungal growth, showed that the mycelium was highly disrupted and lysed after exposure to the treatment. The production of potentially antifungal components produced by TR1 microbes in broth cultures was further investigated using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LCMS). Several antimicrobial compounds, which could inhibit G. boninense were detected, including pyrene-1,6-dione, 12-deoxyaklanonic acid, N-methyl-a-aminoisobutyric acid, 4-O-8',5 - 5'-dehydrotriferulic acid, halstoctacosanolide A, N-acetyl-leu-leu-tyr-amide, 12-oxo-10Z-dodecenoic acid, Gly-Met-OH and lovastatin. These metabolites probably contribute to the antagonistic effect against G. boninense. The use of TR1 could offer an alternative to the use of fungicides and is worthy of further investigation for the control of Ganoderma infection of oil palm. (author)

  6. Biological approaches to characterize the mode of action of two 5-nitroindazolinone prototypes on Trypanosoma cruzi bloodstream trypomastigotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca-Berzal, Cristina; DA Silva, Cristiane França; Menna-Barreto, Rubem F S; Batista, Marcos Meuser; Escario, José A; Arán, Vicente J; Gómez-Barrio, Alicia; Soeiro, Maria DE Nazaré C

    2016-09-01

    The phenotypic activity of two 5-nitroindazolinones, i.e. 2-benzyl-1-propyl (22) and 2-benzyl-1-butyl (24) derivatives, previously proposed as anti-Trypanosoma cruzi prototypes, was presently assayed on bloodstream trypomastigotes (BT) of the moderately drug-resistant Y strain. Further exploration of putative targets and cellular mechanisms involved in their activity was also carried out. Therefore, transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution respirometry and flow cytometry procedures were performed on BT treated for up to 24 h with the respective EC50 value of each derivative. Results demonstrated that although 22 and 24 were not as active as benznidazole in this in vitro assay on BT, both compounds triggered important damages in T. cruzi that lead to the parasite death. Ultrastructural alterations included shedding events, detachment of plasma membrane and nuclear envelope, loss of mitochondrial integrity, besides the occurrence of a large number of intracellular vesicles and profiles of endoplasmic reticulum surrounding cytoplasmic organelles such as mitochondrion. Moreover, both derivatives affected mitochondrion leading to this organelle dysfunction, as reflected by the inhibition in oxygen consumption and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Altogether, the findings exposed in the present study propose autophagic processes and mitochondrial machinery as part of the mode of action of both 5-nitroindazolinones 22 and 24 on T. cruzi trypomastigotes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    in modelling human performance in whole and partial report tasks in which multiple simultaneously presented letters are to be reported (Shibuya & Bundesen, 1988). Therefore, we investigated visual letter identification as a function of exposure duration. On each trial, a single randomly chosen letter (A...... rising from zero, then peaking, and finally decaying to a somewhat sustained plateau, mimicking closely observed instantaneous firing rates of monkey visual cortex neurons. The new psychometric function fits well to experimental data in both the present study and in a previous study of single...... into Bundesen’s Theory of Visual Attention (Bundesen, 1990), the new psychometric function enables closer fits to data from a previous whole and partial report experiment....

  8. Immune function parameters as markers of biological age and predictors of longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Toda, Irene Martínez; Maté, Ianire; Vida, Carmen; Cruces, Julia; De la Fuente, Mónica

    2016-01-01

    Chronological age is not a good indicator of how each individual ages and thus how to maintain good health. Due to the long lifespan in humans and the consequent difficulty of carrying out longitudinal studies, finding valid biomarkers of the biological age has been a challenge both for research and clinical studies. The aim was to identify and validate several immune cell function parameters as markers of biological age. Adult, mature, elderly and long-lived human volunteers were used. The chemotaxis, phagocytosis, natural killer activity and lymphoproliferation in neutrophils and lymphocytes of peripheral blood were analyzed. The same functions were measured in peritoneal immune cells from mice, at the corresponding ages (adult, mature, old and long lived) in a longitudinal study. The results showed that the evolution of these functions was similar in humans and mice, with a decrease in old subjects. However, the long-lived individuals maintained values similar to those in adults. In addition, the values of these functions in adult prematurely aging mice were similar to those in chronologically old animals, and they died before their non-prematurely aging mice counterparts. Thus, the parameters studied are good markers of the rate of aging, allowing the determination of biological age. PMID:27899767

  9. Biological control of the cucurbit powdery mildew pathogen Podosphaera xanthii by means of the epiphytic fungus Pseudozyma aphidis and parasitism as a mode of action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aviva eGafni

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Epiphytic yeasts, which colonize plant surfaces, may possess activity that can be harnessed to help plants defend themselves against various pathogens. Due to their unique characteristics, epiphytic yeasts belonging to the genus Pseudozyma hold great potential for use as biocontrol agents. We identified a unique, biologically active isolate of the epiphytic yeast Pseudozyma aphidis that is capable of inhibiting Botrytis cinerea via a dual mode of action, namely induced resistance and antibiosis. Here, we show that strain L12 of P. aphidis can reduce the severity of powdery mildew caused by Podosphaera xanthii on cucumber plants with an efficacy of 75%. Confocal and scanning electron microscopy analyses demonstrated P. aphidis proliferation on infected tissue and its production of long hyphae that parasitize the powdery mildew hyphae and spores as an ectoparasite. We also show that crude extract of P. aphidis metabolites can inhibit P. xanthii spore germination in planta. Our results suggest that in addition to its antibiosis mode of action, P. aphidis may also act as an ectoparasite on P. xanthii. These results indicate that P. aphidis strain L12 has the potential to control powdery mildew.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Zero modes, gauge fixing, monodromies, ζ-functions and all that

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barvinsky, A. O.; Nesterov, D. V.

    2012-09-01

    We discuss various issues associated with the calculation of the reduced functional determinant of a special second-order differential operator \\boldsymbol{F}=-d^2/d\\tau ^2+\\ddot{g}/g, \\ddot{g}\\equiv d^2g/d\\tau ^2 with a generic function g(τ), subject to periodic and Dirichlet boundary conditions. These issues include the gauge-fixed path integral representation of this determinant, the monodromy method of its calculation and the combination of the heat kernel and zeta-function technique for the derivation of its period dependence. Motivations for this particular problem, coming from applications in quantum cosmology, are also briefly discussed. They include the problem of microcanonical initial conditions in cosmology driven by a conformal field theory, cosmological constant and cosmic microwave background problems. This article is part of a special issue of Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical in honour of Stuart Dowker's 75th birthday devoted to ‘Applications of zeta functions and other spectral functions in mathematics and physics’.

  13. Importance of ventricular function in the election of electro heart mode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolás-Franco, S; Rodríguez-González, F J; Nicolás-Boluda, A; Sánchez-Martos, A

    2015-04-01

    The integration of the ventricular function is essential when making decisions over a patient subjected to cardiac electrostimulation in order to understand the structure followed in the new cardiac stimulation and resynchronising therapy guides. To support the importance of ventricular function in cardiac electrostimulation it is important to know: (i)the deleterious effect of stimulation on the right ventricle apex; (ii)the effect over the left ventricular function produced by complete blockage of the left branch, and (iii)left ventricular disfunction as arrythmogenic substrate. When it comes to decide what type of cardiac electrostimualtion to apply we will know: the percentage of ventricular stimulation needed and its ventricular function. A normal ventricular function will enable electrostimulation from the right ventricle apex or alternative site. On the contrary, if this value is lower than 50% the most recommended electrostimulation is cardiac resynchronisation (CRT-P), which will be accompanied by defibrillation (CRT-D) if FEVI is lower than 35%. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and SEMICYUC. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Structural and functional abnormalities of default mode network in minimal hepatic encephalopathy: a study combining DTI and fMRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rongfeng Qi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Live failure can cause brain edema and aberrant brain function in cirrhotic patients. In particular, decreased functional connectivity within the brain default-mode network (DMN has been recently reported in overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE patients. However, so far, little is known about the connectivity among the DMN in the minimal HE (MHE, the mildest form of HE. Here, we combined diffusion tensor imaging (DTI and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI to test our hypothesis that both structural and functional connectivity within the DMN were disturbed in MHE. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty MHE patients and 20 healthy controls participated in the study. We explored the changes of structural (path length, tracts count, fractional anisotropy [FA] and mean diffusivity [MD] derived from DTI tractography and functional (temporal correlation coefficient derived from rs-fMRI connectivity of the DMN in MHE patients. Pearson correlation analysis was performed between the structural/functional indices and venous blood ammonia levels/neuropsychological tests scores of patients. All thresholds were set at P<0.05, Bonferroni corrected. RESULTS: Compared to the healthy controls, MHE patients showed both decreased FA and increased MD in the tract connecting the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCUN to left parahippocampal gyrus (PHG, and decreased functional connectivity between the PCC/PCUN and left PHG, and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC. MD values of the tract connecting PCC/PCUN to the left PHG positively correlated to the ammonia levels, the temporal correlation coefficients between the PCC/PCUN and the MPFC showed positive correlation to the digital symbol tests scores of patients. CONCLUSION: MHE patients have both disturbed structural and functional connectivity within the DMN. The decreased functional connectivity was also detected between some regions without abnormal structural connectivity, suggesting that the

  17. Functional failure modes cause-consequence logic suited for mobile robots used at scientific facilities

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Douzi Imran; Bonnal, Pierre; Verma, A K

    2014-01-01

    The scientific facilities emitting ionizing radiation may have some significant failures and hazard issues, in and around their infrastructure. Significantly, this will also cause risks to workers and environment, which has led engineers to explore the use and implementation of mobile robots (MR), in order to reduce or eliminate such risks concerned with safety issues. Safe functioning of MR and the systems working at hazardous facilities is essential and therefore all the systems, structures and components (SSC) of a hazardous facility have to correspond to high reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (=RAMS) demands. RAMS characteristics have a causal relationship with the risks related to the facility systems availability, safety and life cycle costs. They also form the basis for the operating systems and MR performance, to carry out the desired functions. In this paper we have developed and presented a method for how to consider and model a SSC with respect to its desired functions and also ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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; Sellers, Rani S.; Modrich, Paul; Scharff, Matthew D.; Edelmann, Winfried

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20624957

  1. Molecular Characteristics and Biological Functions of Surface-Active and Surfactant Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunde, Margaret; Pham, Chi L L; Kwan, Ann H

    2017-06-20

    Many critical biological processes take place at hydrophobic:hydrophilic interfaces, and a wide range of organisms produce surface-active proteins and peptides that reduce surface and interfacial tension and mediate growth and development at these boundaries. Microorganisms produce both small lipid-associated peptides and amphipathic proteins that allow growth across water:air boundaries, attachment to surfaces, predation, and improved bioavailability of hydrophobic substrates. Higher-order organisms produce surface-active proteins with a wide variety of functions, including the provision of protective foam environments for vulnerable reproductive stages, evaporative cooling, and gas exchange across airway membranes. In general, the biological functions supported by these diverse polypeptides require them to have an amphipathic nature, and this is achieved by a diverse range of molecular structures, with some proteins undergoing significant conformational change or intermolecular association to generate the structures that are surface active.

  2. 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.

  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. Aberrations of the point spread function of a multimode fiber due to partial mode excitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Descloux, Adrien; Amitonova, Lyubov; Pinkse, Pepijn Willemszoon Harry

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the point spread function of a multimode fiber. The distortion of the focal spot created on the fiber output facet is studied for a variety of the parameters. We develop a theoretical model of wavefront shaping through a multimode fiber and use it to confirm our experimental results

  5. The relationship between default mode network connectivity and social functioning in individuals at familial high-risk for schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodell-Feder, David; Delisi, Lynn E; Hooker, Christine I

    2014-06-01

    Unaffected first-degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia (i.e., those at familial high-risk [FHR]), demonstrate social dysfunction qualitatively similar though less severe than that of their affected relatives. These social difficulties may be the consequence of genetically conferred disruption to aspects of the default mode network (DMN), such as the dMPFC subsystem, which overlaps with the network of brain regions recruited during social cognitive processes. In the present study, we investigate this possibility, testing DMN connectivity and its relationship to social functioning in FHR using resting-state fMRI. Twenty FHR individuals and 17 controls underwent fMRI during a resting-state scan. Hypothesis-driven functional connectivity analyses examined ROI-to-ROI correlations between the DMN's hubs, and regions of the dMPFC subsystem and MTL subsystem. Connectivity values were examined in relationship to a measure of social functioning and empathy/perspective-taking. Results demonstrate that FHR exhibit reduced connectivity specifically within the dMPFC subsystem of the DMN. Certain ROI-to-ROI correlations predicted aspects of social functioning and empathy/perspective-taking across all participants. Together, the data indicate that disruption to the dMPFC subsystem of the DMN may be associated with familial risk for schizophrenia, and that these intrinsic connections may carry measurable consequences for social functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Microbialites and microbial communities: Biological diversity, biogeochemical functioning, diagenetic processes, tracers of environmental changes

    OpenAIRE

    Camoin, Gilbert; Gautret, Pascale

    2006-01-01

    Editorial; This special issue is dedicated to microbialites and microbial communities and addresses their biological diversity, their biogeochemical functioning, their roles in diagenetic processes and their environmental significance. It is the logical successor of the special issue that one of us edited after the workshop on “Microbial mediation in carbonate diagenesis” which was held in Chichilianne (France) in 1997 (Camoin, G., Ed., 1999. Microbial mediation in carbonate diagenesis. Sedim...

  7. Functionalized Nanoporous Silica for Removal of Heavy Metals from Biological Systems; Adsorption and Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yantasee, Wassana; Rutledge, Ryan D.; Chouyyok, Wilaiwan; Sukwarotwat, Vichaya; Orr, Galya; Warner, Cynthia L.; Warner, Marvin G.; Fryxell, Glen E.; Wiacek, Robert J.; Timchalk, Charles; Addleman, Raymond S.

    2010-10-01

    Functionalized nanoporous silica, often referred to as self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS) have previously demonstrated the ability to serve as very effective heavy metal sorbents in a range of aquatic and environmental systems suggesting they may be advantageously utilized for biomedical applications such as chelation therapy. Herein we evaluate surface chemistries for heavy metal capture from biological fluids, various facets of the materials biocompatibility and the suitability of these materials as potential therapeutics. Of the materials tested, thiol-functionalized SAMMS proved most capable of removing selected heavy metals from biological solutions (i.e. blood, urine, etc.) As a result, thiol SAMMS was further analyzed to assess the material’s performance under a number of different biologically relevant conditions (i.e. variable pH and ionic strength) as well to gauge any potentially negative cellular effects resulting from interaction with the sorbent, such as cellular toxicity or possible chelation of essential minerals. Additionally, cellular uptake studies demonstrated no cell membrane permeation by the silica-based materials generally highlighting their ability to remain cellularly inert and thus non-toxic. As a result, it has been determined that organic ligand-functionalized nanoporous silica materials could be a valuable material for detoxification therapeutics and potentially other biomedical applications as needed.

  8. Biological rhythms, higher brain function, and behavior: Gaps, opportunities, and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benca, Ruth; Duncan, Marilyn J; Frank, Ellen; McClung, Colleen; Nelson, Randy J; Vicentic, Aleksandra

    2009-12-11

    Increasing evidence suggests that disrupted temporal organization impairs behavior, cognition, and affect; further, disruption of circadian clock genes impairs sleep-wake cycle and social rhythms which may be implicated in mental disorders. Despite this strong evidence, a gap in understanding the neural mechanisms of this interaction obscures whether biological rhythms disturbances are the underlying causes or merely symptoms of mental disorder. Here, we review current understanding, emerging concepts, gaps, and opportunities pertinent to (1) the neurobiology of the interactions between circadian oscillators and the neural circuits subserving higher brain function and behaviors of relevance to mental health, (2) the most promising approaches to determine how biological rhythms regulate brain function and behavior under normal and pathological conditions, (3) the gaps and challenges to advancing knowledge on the link between disrupted circadian rhythms/sleep and psychiatric disorders, and (4) the novel strategies for translation of basic science discoveries in circadian biology to clinical settings to define risk, prevent or delay onset of mental illnesses, design diagnostic tools, and propose new therapeutic strategies. The review is organized around five themes pertinent to (1) the impact of molecular clocks on physiology and behavior, (2) the interactions between circadian signals and cognitive functions, (3) the interface of circadian rhythms with sleep, (4) a clinical perspective on the relationship between circadian rhythm abnormalities and affective disorders, and (5) the pre-clinical models of circadian rhythm abnormalities and mood disorders.

  9. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    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...... 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......; and whether it is only bacteria or also fungi and /or extracellular enzymes. Also they vary in the functions tested and the number of functions. All three techniques were able to separate the soils according to land-use and biogeographical zone, however with different strengths. The MicroResp technique...

  11. An expanded role for microbial physiology in metabolic engineering and functional genomics: moving towards systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens; Olsson, Lisbeth

    2002-01-01

    . With the progress in molecular biology it has become possible to optimize industrial fermentations through introduction of directed genetic modification - an approach referred to as metabolic engineering. Furthermore, as a consequence of large sequencing programs the complete genomic sequence has become available...... for an increasing number of microorganisms. This has resulted in substantial research efforts in assigning function to all identified open reading frames - referred to as functional genomics. In both metabolic engineering and functional genomics there is a trend towards application of a macroscopic view on cell......Microbial physiology has traditionally played a very important role in both fundamental research and in industrial applications of microorganisms. The classical approach in microbial physiology has been to analyze the role of individual components (genes or proteins) in the overall cell function...

  12. 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

  13. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromage, Timothy G.; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Crenshaw, Thomas D.; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  14. Altered resting-state functional connectivity of default-mode network and sensorimotor network in heavy metal music lovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan; Zhang, Congcong; Duan, Shuxia; Du, Xiaoxia; Calhoun, Vince D

    2017-09-18

    The aim of this study was to investigate the spontaneous neural activity and functional connectivity (FC) in heavy metal music lovers (HMML) compared with classical music lovers (CML) during resting state. Forty HMML and 31 CML underwent resting-state functional MRI scans. Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and seed-based resting-state FC were computed to explore regional activity and functional integration. A voxel-based two-sample t-test was used to test the differences between the two groups. Compared with CML, HMML showed functional alterations: higher fALFF in the right precentral gyrus, the bilateral paracentral lobule, and the left middle occipital gyrus, lower fALFF in the left medial superior frontal gyrus, an altered FC in the default-mode network, lower connectivity between the right precentral gyrus and the left cerebellum-6 and the right cerebellum-3, and an altered FC between the left paracentral lobule and the sensorimotor network, lower in the right paracentral lobule and the right inferior temporal gyrus FC. The results may partly explain the disorders of behavioral and emotional cognition in HMML compared with CML and are consistent with our predictions. These findings may help provide a basic understanding of the potential neural mechanism of HMML.

  15. Transdiagnostic commonalities and differences in resting state functional connectivity of the default mode network in schizophrenia and major depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Schilbach

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia and depression are prevalent psychiatric disorders, but their underlying neural bases remains poorly understood. Neuroimaging evidence has pointed towards the relevance of functional connectivity aberrations in default mode network (DMN hubs, dorso-medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus, in both disorders, but commonalities and differences in resting state functional connectivity of those two regions across disorders has not been formally assessed. Here, we took a transdiagnostic approach to investigate resting state functional connectivity of those two regions in 75 patients with schizophrenia and 82 controls from 4 scanning sites and 102 patients with depression and 106 controls from 3 sites. Our results demonstrate common dysconnectivity patterns as indexed by a significant reduction of functional connectivity between precuneus and bilateral superior parietal lobe in schizophrenia and depression. Furthermore, our findings highlight diagnosis-specific connectivity reductions of the parietal operculum in schizophrenia relative to depression. In light of evidence that points towards the importance of the DMN for social cognitive abilities and well documented impairments of social interaction in both patient groups, it is conceivable that the observed transdiagnostic connectivity alterations may contribute to interpersonal difficulties, but this could not be assessed directly in our study as measures of social behavior were not available. Given the operculum's role in somatosensory integration, diagnosis-specific connectivity reductions may indicate a pathophysiological mechanism for basic self-disturbances that is characteristic of schizophrenia, but not depression.

  16. Transdiagnostic commonalities and differences in resting state functional connectivity of the default mode network in schizophrenia and major depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilbach, L; Hoffstaedter, F; Müller, V; Cieslik, E C; Goya-Maldonado, R; Trost, S; Sorg, C; Riedl, V; Jardri, R; Sommer, I; Kogler, L; Derntl, B; Gruber, O; Eickhoff, S B

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia and depression are prevalent psychiatric disorders, but their underlying neural bases remains poorly understood. Neuroimaging evidence has pointed towards the relevance of functional connectivity aberrations in default mode network (DMN) hubs, dorso-medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus, in both disorders, but commonalities and differences in resting state functional connectivity of those two regions across disorders has not been formally assessed. Here, we took a transdiagnostic approach to investigate resting state functional connectivity of those two regions in 75 patients with schizophrenia and 82 controls from 4 scanning sites and 102 patients with depression and 106 controls from 3 sites. Our results demonstrate common dysconnectivity patterns as indexed by a significant reduction of functional connectivity between precuneus and bilateral superior parietal lobe in schizophrenia and depression. Furthermore, our findings highlight diagnosis-specific connectivity reductions of the parietal operculum in schizophrenia relative to depression. In light of evidence that points towards the importance of the DMN for social cognitive abilities and well documented impairments of social interaction in both patient groups, it is conceivable that the observed transdiagnostic connectivity alterations may contribute to interpersonal difficulties, but this could not be assessed directly in our study as measures of social behavior were not available. Given the operculum's role in somatosensory integration, diagnosis-specific connectivity reductions may indicate a pathophysiological mechanism for basic self-disturbances that is characteristic of schizophrenia, but not depression.

  17. Aberrations of the point spread function of a multimode fiber due to partial mode excitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Descloux, Adrien; Amitonova, Lyubov V.; Pinkse, Pepijn W. H.

    2016-08-01

    We investigate the point spread function of a multimode fiber. The distortion of the focal spot created on the fiber output facet is studied for a variety of the parameters. We develop a theoretical model of wavefront shaping through a multimode fiber and use it to confirm our experimental results and analyze the nature of the focal distortions. We show that aberration-free imaging with a large field of view can be achieved by using an appropriate number of segments on the spatial light modulator during the wavefront-shaping procedure. The results describe aberration limits for imaging with multimode fibers as in, e.g., microendoscopy.

  18. Hubs of knowledge: using the functional link structure in Biozon to mine for biologically significant entities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isganitis Timothy

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Existing biological databases support a variety of queries such as keyword or definition search. However, they do not provide any measure of relevance for the instances reported, and result sets are usually sorted arbitrarily. Results We describe a system that builds upon the complex infrastructure of the Biozon database and applies methods similar to those of Google to rank documents that match queries. We explore different prominence models and study the spectral properties of the corresponding data graphs. We evaluate the information content of principal and non-principal eigenspaces, and test various scoring functions which combine contributions from multiple eigenspaces. We also test the effect of similarity data and other variations which are unique to the biological knowledge domain on the quality of the results. Query result sets are assessed using a probabilistic approach that measures the significance of coherence between directly connected nodes in the data graph. This model allows us, for the first time, to compare different prominence models quantitatively and effectively and to observe unique trends. Conclusion Our tests show that the ranked query results outperform unsorted results with respect to our significance measure and the top ranked entities are typically linked to many other biological entities. Our study resulted in a working ranking system of biological entities that was integrated into Biozon at http://biozon.org.

  19. Pair distribution functions of amorphous organic thin films from synchrotron X-ray scattering in transmission mode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, Chenyang; Teerakapibal, Rattavut; Yu, Lian; Zhang, Geoff G. Z.

    2017-07-10

    Using high-brilliance high-energy synchrotron X-ray radiation, for the first time the total scattering of a thin organic glass film deposited on a strongly scattering inorganic substrate has been measured in transmission mode. The organic thin film was composed of the weakly scattering pharmaceutical substance indomethacin in the amorphous state. The film was 130 µm thick atop a borosilicate glass substrate of equal thickness. The atomic pair distribution function derived from the thin-film measurement is in excellent agreement with that from bulk measurements. This ability to measure the total scattering of amorphous organic thin films in transmission will enable accuratein situstructural studies for a wide range of materials.

  20. Pair distribution functions of amorphous organic thin films from synchrotron X-ray scattering in transmission mode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chenyang Shi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Using high-brilliance high-energy synchrotron X-ray radiation, for the first time the total scattering of a thin organic glass film deposited on a strongly scattering inorganic substrate has been measured in transmission mode. The organic thin film was composed of the weakly scattering pharmaceutical substance indomethacin in the amorphous state. The film was 130 µm thick atop a borosilicate glass substrate of equal thickness. The atomic pair distribution function derived from the thin-film measurement is in excellent agreement with that from bulk measurements. This ability to measure the total scattering of amorphous organic thin films in transmission will enable accurate in situ structural studies for a wide range of materials.

  1. 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

  2. Preparation of polymer monolithic column functionalized by arsonic acid groups for mixed-mode capillary liquid chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhang-Na; Yu, Qiong-Wei; Wang, Ren-Qi; Feng, Yu-Qi

    2018-04-27

    A mixed-mode polymer monolithic column functionalized by arsonic acid groups was prepared by single-step in situ copolymerization of monomers p-methacryloylaminophenylarsonic acid (p-MAPHA) and pentaerythritol triacrylate (PETA). The prepared poly(p-MAPHA-co-PETA) monolithic column has a homogeneous monolithic structure with good permeability and mechanical stability. Zeta potential measurements reveal that the monolithic stationary phase holds a negative surface charge when the mobile phase resides in the pH range of 3.0-8.0. The retention mechanisms of prepared monolithic column are explored by the separation of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nucleosides, and three basic compounds. The results indicate that the column functions in three different separation modes associated with reversed-phase chromatography based on hydrophobic interaction, hydrophilic interaction chromatography, and cation-exchange chromatography. The column efficiency of prepared monolithic column is estimated to be 70,000 and 76,000 theoretical plates/m for thiourea and naphthalene, respectively, at a linear flow velocity of 0.85 mm/s using acetonitrile/H 2 O (85/15, v/v) as the mobile phase. Furthermore, an analysis of the retention factors obtained for the PAHs indicates that the prepared monolithic column exhibits good reproducibility with relative standard deviations of 2.9%, 4.0%, and 4.7% based on run-to-run injections, column-to-column preparation, and batch-to-batch preparation, respectively. Finally, we investigate the separation performance of the proposed monolithic column for select phenols, sulfonamides, nucleobases and nucleosides. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Simulating photoacoustic waves produced by individual biological particles with spheroidal wave functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong; Fang, Hui; Min, Changjun; Yuan, Xiaocong

    2015-10-01

    Under the usual approximation of treating a biological particle as a spheroidal droplet, we consider the analysis of its size and shape with the high frequency photoacoustics and develop a numerical method which can simulate its characteristic photoacoustic waves. This numerical method is based on the calculation of spheroidal wave functions, and when comparing to the finite element model (FEM) calculation, can reveal more physical information and can provide results independently at each spatial points. As the demonstration, red blood cells (RBCs) and MCF7 cell nuclei are studied, and their photoacoustic responses including field distribution, spectral amplitude, and pulse forming are calculated. We expect that integrating this numerical method with the high frequency photoacoustic measurement will form a new modality being extra to the light scattering method, for fast assessing the morphology of a biological particle.

  4. A Critical Role for Cysteine 57 in the Biological Functions of Selenium Binding Protein-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ying, Qi; Ansong, Emmanuel; Diamond, Alan M; Yang, Wancai

    2015-11-18

    The concentration of selenium-binding protein1 (SBP1) is often lower in tumors than in the corresponding tissue and lower levels have been associated with poor clinical outcomes. SBP1 binds tightly selenium although what role selenium plays in its biological functions remains unknown. Previous studies indicated that cysteine 57 is the most likely candidate amino acid for selenium binding. In order to investigate the role of cysteine 57 in SBP1, this amino acid was altered to a glycine and the mutated protein was expressed in human cancer cells. The SBP1 half-life, as well as the cellular response to selenite cytotoxicity, was altered by this change. The ectopic expression of SBP1(GLY) also caused mitochondrial damage in HCT116 cells. Taken together, these results indicated that cysteine 57 is a critical determinant of SBP1 function and may play a significant role in mitochondrial function.

  5. Adaptive terminal sliding mode control for hypersonic flight vehicles with strictly lower convex function based nonlinear disturbance observer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yun-Jie; Zuo, Jing-Xing; Sun, Liang-Hua

    2017-11-01

    In this paper, the altitude and velocity tracking control of a generic hypersonic flight vehicle (HFV) is considered. A novel adaptive terminal sliding mode controller (ATSMC) with strictly lower convex function based nonlinear disturbance observer (SDOB) is proposed for the longitudinal dynamics of HFV in presence of both parametric uncertainties and external disturbances. First, for the sake of enhancing the anti-interference capability, SDOB is presented to estimate and compensate the equivalent disturbances by introducing a strictly lower convex function. Next, the SDOB based ATSMC (SDOB-ATSMC) is proposed to guarantee the system outputs track the reference trajectory. Then, stability of the proposed control scheme is analyzed by the Lyapunov function method. Compared with other HFV control approaches, key novelties of SDOB-ATSMC are that a novel SDOB is proposed and drawn into the (virtual) control laws to compensate the disturbances and that several adaptive laws are used to deal with the differential explosion problem. Finally, it is illustrated by the simulation results that the new method exhibits an excellent robustness and a better disturbance rejection performance than the convention approach. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Effects of Cognitive Training on Resting-State Functional Connectivity of Default Mode, Salience, and Central Executive Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Weifang; Cao, Xinyi; Hou, Changyue; Li, Ting; Cheng, Yan; Jiang, Lijuan; Luo, Cheng; Li, Chunbo; Yao, Dezhong

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have documented that aging can disrupt certain higher cognitive systems such as the default mode network (DMN), the salience network and the central executive network (CEN). The effect of cognitive training on higher cognitive systems remains unclear. This study used a 1-year longitudinal design to explore the cognitive training effect on three higher cognitive networks in healthy older adults. The community-living healthy older adults were divided into two groups: the multi-domain cognitive training group (24 sessions of cognitive training over a 3-months period) and the wait-list control group. All subjects underwent cognitive measurements and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning at baseline and at 1 year after the training ended. We examined training-related changes in functional connectivity (FC) within and between three networks. Compared with the baseline, we observed maintained or increased FC within all three networks after training. The scans after training also showed maintained anti-correlation of FC between the DMN and CEN compared to the baseline. These findings demonstrated that cognitive training maintained or improved the functional integration within networks and the coupling between the DMN and CEN in older adults. Our findings suggested that multi-domain cognitive training can mitigate the aging-related dysfunction of higher cognitive networks.

  7. The association between biological rhythms, depression, and functioning in bipolar disorder: a large multi-center study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, M; Sehmbi, M; Cudney, L E; Kauer-Sant'anna, M; Magalhães, P V; Reinares, M; Bonnín, C M; Sassi, R B; Kapczinski, F; Colom, F; Vieta, E; Frey, B N; Rosa, A R

    2015-05-22

    We examined the relationship between biological rhythms and severity of depressive symptoms in subjects with bipolar disorder and the effects of biological rhythms alterations on functional impairment. Bipolar patients (n = 260) and healthy controls (n = 191) were recruited from mood disorders programs in three sites (Spain, Brazil, and Canada). Parameters of biological rhythms were measured using the Biological Rhythms Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (BRIAN), an interviewer administered questionnaire that assesses disruptions in sleep, eating patterns, social rhythms, and general activity. Multivariate analyses of covariance showed significant intergroup differences after controlling for potential confounders (Pillai's F = 49.367; df = 2, P biological rhythms disturbance, followed by patients with subsyndromal symptoms, euthymic patients, and healthy controls. Biological rhythms and HAMD scores were independent predictors of poor functioning (F = 12.841, df = 6, P biological rhythms disturbance. Biological rhythms disturbance was also an independent predictor of functional impairment. Although the directionality of this relationship remains unknown, our results suggest that stability of biological rhythms should be an important target of acute and long-term management of bipolar disorder and may aid in the improvement of functioning. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Functional conservation analysis and expression modes of grape anthocyanin synthesis genes responsive to low temperature stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cheng; Jia, Haifeng; Wu, Weimin; Wang, Xicheng; Fang, Jinggui; Wang, Chen

    2015-12-10

    In grape cultivation, low temperature generally increases the expression of genes involved in synthesis of anthocyanin. In this study, multi-type structural analysis of the proteins encoded by five anthocyanin biosynthesis genes VvF3H, VvPAL, VvCHS3, VvCHS2 and VvLDOX, in addition to nine of their homologous genes revealed that proteins in grapevine shared a high similarity with that in kiwi, red orange and some other species in which the biosynthesis of anthocyanin significantly influenced by low temperature as proved by previous studies. Low temperature regulatory elements were also found in the promoter region of the grapevine genes VvCHS2, VvPAL and VvF3H. These findings indicate that the functions of anthocyanin biosynthesis genes in grapevine are conservative and might be sensitive to low temperature. In order to identify the specific expression patterns of the five anthocyanin biosynthesis genes and the changes of polyphenols, anthocyanins and flavonoids under low temperature stress. The transcription analysis of the five genes and the content of polyphenols, anthocyanins and flavonoids in grape skins were examined, by using Vitis vinifera L. cv. 'Yongyou 1' and 'Juxing' berries as experimental material and treated at 4°C and 25°C for 24h, 48 h, 72 h and 96 h. The results showed that low temperature greatly enhanced the expression of the five anthocyanin biosynthesis genes. Low temperature greatly slowed down the decomposition of polyphenol, anthocyanin, and flavonoid in grape skins. Our study also found that cv. 'Juxing' responded more sensitively to low temperature than cv. 'Yongyou 1'. All the findings would provide a basis for further study on the mechanism of anthocyanin biosynthesis under environmental stress. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Mode coupling theory analysis of electrolyte solutions: Time dependent diffusion, intermediate scattering function, and ion solvation dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Susmita; Yashonath, Subramanian; Bagchi, Biman

    2015-03-28

    A self-consistent mode coupling theory (MCT) with microscopic inputs of equilibrium pair correlation functions is developed to analyze electrolyte dynamics. We apply the theory to calculate concentration dependence of (i) time dependent ion diffusion, (ii) intermediate scattering function of the constituent ions, and (iii) ion solvation dynamics in electrolyte solution. Brownian dynamics with implicit water molecules and molecular dynamics method with explicit water are used to check the theoretical predictions. The time dependence of ionic self-diffusion coefficient and the corresponding intermediate scattering function evaluated from our MCT approach show quantitative agreement with early experimental and present Brownian dynamic simulation results. With increasing concentration, the dispersion of electrolyte friction is found to occur at increasingly higher frequency, due to the faster relaxation of the ion atmosphere. The wave number dependence of intermediate scattering function, F(k, t), exhibits markedly different relaxation dynamics at different length scales. At small wave numbers, we find the emergence of a step-like relaxation, indicating the presence of both fast and slow time scales in the system. Such behavior allows an intriguing analogy with temperature dependent relaxation dynamics of supercooled liquids. We find that solvation dynamics of a tagged ion exhibits a power law decay at long times-the decay can also be fitted to a stretched exponential form. The emergence of the power law in solvation dynamics has been tested by carrying out long Brownian dynamics simulations with varying ionic concentrations. The solvation time correlation and ion-ion intermediate scattering function indeed exhibit highly interesting, non-trivial dynamical behavior at intermediate to longer times that require further experimental and theoretical studies.

  10. Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity within the default mode network subregions in male patients with obstructive sleep apnea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li HJ

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hai-Jun Li,1 Xiao Nie,1 Hong-Han Gong,1 Wei Zhang,2 Si Nie,1 De-Chang Peng11Department of Radiology, 2Department of Pneumology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, People’s Republic of ChinaBackground and objective: Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC between the central executive network and the default mode network (DMN in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA has been reported. However, the effect of OSA on rs-FC within the DMN subregions remains uncertain. This study was designed to investigate whether the rs-FC within the DMN subregions was disrupted and determine its relationship with clinical symptoms in patients with OSA. Methods: Forty male patients newly diagnosed with severe OSA and 40 male education- and age-matched good sleepers (GSs underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI examinations and clinical and neuropsychologic assessments. Seed-based region of interest rs-FC method was used to analyze the connectivity between each pair of subregions within the DMN, including the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC, hippocampus formation (HF, inferior parietal cortices (IPC, and medial temporal lobe (MTL. The abnormal rs-FC strength within the DMN subregions was correlated with clinical and neuropsychologic assessments using Pearson correlation analysis in patients with OSA. Results: Compared with GSs, patients with OSA had significantly decreased rs-FC between the right HF and the PCC, MPFC, and left MTL. However, patients with OSA had significantly increased rs-FC between the MPFC and left and right IPC, and between the left IPC and right IPC. The rs-FC between the right HF and left MTL was positively correlated with rapid eye movement (r=0.335, P=0.035. The rs-FC between the PCC and right HF was negatively correlated with delayed memory (r=-0.338, P=0.033.Conclusion: OSA selectively impairs the rs-FC between right HF and PCC

  11. Correlating novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with significant biological functions

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    Werner Mark

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Variations in the influenza Hemagglutinin protein contributes to antigenic drift resulting in decreased efficiency of seasonal influenza vaccines and escape from host immune response. We performed an in silico study to determine characteristics of novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein from previously reported H3N2 strains isolated from Hong Kong from 1968–1999 to predict viral motifs involved in significant biological functions. Results 14 MEME blocks were generated and comparative analysis of the MEME blocks identified blocks 1, 2, 3 and 7 to correlate with several biological functions. Analysis of the different Hemagglutinin sequences elucidated that the single block 7 has the highest frequency of amino acid substitution and the highest number of co-mutating pairs. MEME 2 showed intermediate variability and MEME 1 was the most conserved. Interestingly, MEME blocks 2 and 7 had the highest incidence of potential post-translational modifications sites including phosphorylation sites, ASN glycosylation motifs and N-myristylation sites. Similarly, these 2 blocks overlap with previously identified antigenic sites and receptor binding sites. Conclusion Our study identifies motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with different amino acid substitution frequencies over a 31 years period, and derives relevant functional characteristics by correlation of these motifs with potential post-translational modifications sites, antigenic and receptor binding sites.

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

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    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.

  13. A Survey of Biology Teachers Use of Activity-Oriented, Laboratory Practical Exercises to Promote Functional Biology Education

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    Abigail Mgboyibo Osuafor

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A major goal of science education is fostering students’ intellectual competencies such as independent learning, problem-solving, decision-making and critical thinking. This goal can only be achieved when students are actively involved in the teaching-learning process through activity-based, practical-oriented instructional methods involving the use of laboratories. This study therefore, investigated the extent to which the biology teachers employ activity-oriented, laboratory/practical instructional methods in order to improve the learning outcome of their students. The descriptive survey involved 73 Biology teachers randomly selected from all the six education zones of Anambra state, Nigeria. Four research questions were posed and four hypotheses were formulated to guide the conduct of the study. A 32-item structured questionnaire which has reliability co-efficient of 0.82 was used to collect data. Data were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and t-tests. Results show that Biology teachers adopt practical-oriented strategies in teaching biology, conduct practical activities to a high extent, and perceive practical exercises as essential to effective teaching and learning of the subject. Provision of adequate number of laboratory materials, employment of adequate number of biology teachers, making provision for well designed laboratory activities in the curriculum and training of teachers on how to effectively combine theory with practical are some of the strategies that will encourage biology teachers to conduct practical lessons. There was no significant difference between male and female biology teachers in their responses to the different aspects investigated. Based on these findings, some recommendations were made that include that curriculum designers should incorporate guides for practical activities that go with each topic in the curriculum so as to encourage the teachers to teach theory with practical as a unified whole to

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

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    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

  15. Reconstruction of biological functions: novel implant concepts for cardiovascular, ophthal-mologic and otolaryngologic applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grabow Niels

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Biomedical engineering innovations towards the reconstruction of biological functions seek to improve the quality of patients’ lives. The coordinated research project “RESPONSE – Partnership for Innovation in Implant Technology” (BMBF program Twenty20 – Partnership for Innovation, 2014 - 2021 is focusing on the development of novel concepts for (i cardiovascular scaffolds, glaucoma and ENT stents, (ii transcatheter heart valves and venous valves, (iii polymeric implants and polymer/drug formulations. Current clinical paradigm shifts, fostered by the progress in implant technology and a growing global demand, frame the background for the joint research efforts of academia and industry in the RESPONSE consortium.

  16. Altered default mode network configuration in posttraumatic stress disorder after earthquake: A resting-stage functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Yin, Yan; Hu, Xiao-Lei; Duan, Lian; Qi, Rongfeng; Xu, Qiang; Lu, Guang-Ming; Li, Ling-Jiang

    2017-09-01

    The neural substrates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are still not fully elucidated. Hence, this study is to explore topological alterations of the default mode network (DMN) in victims with PTSD after a magnitude of 8.0 earthquake using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI).This study was approved by the local ethical review board, and all participants signed written informed consent. Sixty-two PTSD victims from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and 62 matched exposed controls underwent rs-fMRI. PTSD was diagnosed by Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, and underwent PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version for symptom scoring. The DMN was analyzed by using graph theoretical approaches. Further, Pearson correlation analysis was performed to correlate neuroimaging metrics to neuropsychological scores in victims with PTSD.Victims with PTSD showed decreased DMN functional connectivity strength between the right superior frontal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and showed increased functional connectivity between the right IPL and precuneus or left posterior cingulate cortex. It was also found that victims with PTSD exhibited decreased nodal efficiency in right superior frontal gyrus and precuneus, and increased nodal efficiency in right hippocampus/parahippocampus. Apart from that, PTSD showed higher nodal degree in bilateral hippocampus/parahippocampus. In addition, the functional connectivity strength between the right IPL and precuneus correlated negatively to the avoid scores (r = -0.26, P = .04).This study implicates alteration of topological features on the DMN in PTSD victims after major earthquake, and provides new insights into DMN malfunction in PTSD based on graph theory.

  17. Study on the relationships between intrinsic functional connectivity of the default mode network and transient epileptic activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud eLopes

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Rationale. Simultaneous recording of electroencephalogram and functional MRI (EEG-fMRI is a powerful tool for localizing epileptic networks via the detection of hemodynamic changes correlated with interictal epileptic discharges (IEDs. FMRI can be used to study the long-lasting effect of epileptic activity by assessing stationary functional connectivity during the resting-state period (especially the connectivity of the default mode network (DMN. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE and idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE are associated with low responsiveness and disruption of DMN activity. A dynamic functional connectivity approach might enable us to determine the effect of IEDs on DMN connectivity and to better understand the correlation between DMN connectivity changes and altered consciousness. Method. We studied dynamic changes in DMN intrinsic connectivity and their relation to IEDs. Six IGE patients (with generalized spike and slow waves and 6 TLE patients (with unilateral left temporal spikes were included. Functional connectivity before, during and after IEDs was estimated using a sliding window approach and compared with the baseline period.Results. No dependence on window size was observed. The baseline DMN connectivity was decreased in the left hemisphere (ipsilateral to the epileptic focus in TLEs and was less strong but remained bilateral in IGEs. We observed an overall increase in DMN intrinsic connectivity prior to the onset of IEDs in both IGEs and TLEs. After IEDs in TLEs, we found that DMN connectivity increased before it returned to baseline values. Most of the DMN regions with increased connectivity before and after IEDs were lateralized to the left hemisphere in TLE (i.e., ipsilateral to the epileptic focus.Conclusion. Results suggest that DMN connectivity may facilitate IED generation and may be affected at the time of the IED. However, these results need to be confirmed in a larger independent cohort.

  18. The origin of neutron biological effectiveness as a function of energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baiocco, G.; Barbieri, S.; Babini, G.; Morini, J.; Alloni, D.; Friedland, W.; Kundrát, P.; Schmitt, E.; Puchalska, M.; Sihver, L.; Ottolenghi, A.

    2016-01-01

    The understanding of the impact of radiation quality in early and late responses of biological targets to ionizing radiation exposure necessarily grounds on the results of mechanistic studies starting from physical interactions. This is particularly true when, already at the physical stage, the radiation field is mixed, as it is the case for neutron exposure. Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) is energy dependent, maximal for energies ~1 MeV, varying significantly among different experiments. The aim of this work is to shed light on neutron biological effectiveness as a function of field characteristics, with a comprehensive modeling approach: this brings together transport calculations of neutrons through matter (with the code PHITS) and the predictive power of the biophysical track structure code PARTRAC in terms of DNA damage evaluation. Two different energy dependent neutron RBE models are proposed: the first is phenomenological and based only on the characterization of linear energy transfer on a microscopic scale; the second is purely ab-initio and based on the induction of complex DNA damage. Results for the two models are compared and found in good qualitative agreement with current standards for radiation protection factors, which are agreed upon on the basis of RBE data. PMID:27654349

  19. The origin of neutron biological effectiveness as a function of energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baiocco, G.; Barbieri, S.; Babini, G.; Morini, J.; Alloni, D.; Friedland, W.; Kundrát, P.; Schmitt, E.; Puchalska, M.; Sihver, L.; Ottolenghi, A.

    2016-09-01

    The understanding of the impact of radiation quality in early and late responses of biological targets to ionizing radiation exposure necessarily grounds on the results of mechanistic studies starting from physical interactions. This is particularly true when, already at the physical stage, the radiation field is mixed, as it is the case for neutron exposure. Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) is energy dependent, maximal for energies ~1 MeV, varying significantly among different experiments. The aim of this work is to shed light on neutron biological effectiveness as a function of field characteristics, with a comprehensive modeling approach: this brings together transport calculations of neutrons through matter (with the code PHITS) and the predictive power of the biophysical track structure code PARTRAC in terms of DNA damage evaluation. Two different energy dependent neutron RBE models are proposed: the first is phenomenological and based only on the characterization of linear energy transfer on a microscopic scale; the second is purely ab-initio and based on the induction of complex DNA damage. Results for the two models are compared and found in good qualitative agreement with current standards for radiation protection factors, which are agreed upon on the basis of RBE data.

  20. Higher interference susceptibility in reaction time task is accompanied by weakened functional dissociation between salience and default mode network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götting, Florian N; Borchardt, Viola; Demenescu, Liliana R; Teckentrup, Vanessa; Dinica, Katharina; Lord, Anton R; Rohe, Tim; Hausdörfer, Dorothea I; Li, Meng; Metzger, Coraline D; Walter, Martin

    2017-05-10

    The relationship between task-positive and task-negative components of brain networks has repeatedly been shown to be characterized by dissociated fluctuations of spontaneous brain activity. We tested whether the interaction between task-positive and task-negative brain areas during resting-state predicts higher interference susceptibility, i.e. increased reaction times (RTs), during an Attention Modulation by Salience Task (AMST). 29 males underwent 3T resting-state Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanning. Subsequently, they performed the AMST, which measures RTs to early- and late-onset auditory stimuli while perceiving high- or low-salient visual distractors. We conducted seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) analyses using global signal correction. We assessed general responsiveness and salience related interference in the AMST and set this into context of the resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between a key salience network region (dACC; task-positive region) and a key default mode network region (precuneus; task-negative region). With increasing RTs to high- but not low-salient pictures dACC shows significantly weakened functional dissociation to a cluster in precuneus. This cluster overlaps with a cluster that correlates in its dACC rsFC with subjects' interference, as measured of high-salient RTs relative to low-salient RTs. Our findings suggest that the interaction between salience network (SN) and default mode network (DMN) at rest predicts susceptibility to distraction. Subjects, that are more susceptible to high-salient stimuli - task-irrelevant external information - showed increased dACC rsFC toward precuneus. This is consistent with prior work in individuals with impaired attentional focus. Future studies might help to conclude whether an increased rsFC between a SN region and DMN region may serve as a predictor for clinical syndromes characterized by attentional impairments, e.g. ADHD. This could lead to an alternative

  1. Beta-adrenergic antagonism modulates functional connectivity in the default mode network of individuals with and without autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegarty, John P; Ferguson, Bradley J; Zamzow, Rachel M; Rohowetz, Landon J; Johnson, Jeffrey D; Christ, Shawn E; Beversdorf, David Q

    2017-10-01

    The beta-adrenergic antagonist propranolol benefits some social and communication domains affected in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and these benefits appear to be associated with increased functional connectivity (FC) in the brain during task performance. FC is implicated in ASD, with the majority of studies suggesting long distance hypo-connectivity combined with regionally specific local hyper-connectivity. The objective in the current investigation was to examine the effect of propranolol on FC at rest and determine whether ASD-specific effects exist. Participants with and without ASD attended three sessions in which propranolol, nadolol (a beta-adrenergic antagonist that does not cross the blood-brain barrier), or placebo were administered. Resting-state fMRI data were acquired, and graph theory techniques were utilized to assess additional aspects of FC. Compared to placebo, propranolol administration was associated with decreased FC in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex subnetwork of the default mode network and increased FC in the medial temporal lobe subnetwork, regardless of diagnosis. These effects were not seen with nadolol suggesting that the alterations in FC following propranolol administration were not exclusively due to peripheral cardiovascular effects. Thus, beta-adrenergic antagonism can up- or down- regulate FC, depending on the network, and alter coordinated functional activation in the brain. These changes in information processing, as demonstrated by FC, may mediate some of the clinical and behavioral effects of beta-adrenergic antagonism previously reported in patients with ASD.

  2. The Association among Default Mode Network Functional Connectivity, Mentalization, and Psychopathology in a Nonclinical Sample: An eLORETA Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farina, Benedetto; Della Marca, Giacomo; Maestoso, Giulia; Amoroso, Noemi; Valenti, Enrico Maria; Carbone, Giuseppe Alessio; Massullo, Chiara; Contardi, Anna; Imperatori, Claudio

    2018-01-01

    We investigated default mode network (DMN) electroencephalography (EEG) functional connectivity differences between individuals with self-reported high mentalization capability and low psychopathological symptoms, versus participants with mentalization impairments and high psychopathological symptoms. Forty-nine students (35 women) with a mean age of 22.92 ± 2.53 years were administered the Mentalization Questionnaire (MZQ) and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. Five minutes of EEG during resting state were also recorded for each participant. DMN functional connectivity analyses were conducted by means of the exact Low Resolution Electric Tomography software (eLORETA). Compared to the individuals with high mentalization capability and lower self-reported psychopathological symptoms, participants with mentalization impairments and high psychopathological symptoms showed a decrease of EEG beta connectivity between: (i) the right and left medial frontal lobe, and (ii) the left medial frontal lobe and the right anterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, while MZQ total score was positively associated with DMN network connections (i.e., right and left medial frontal lobes), several psychopathological symptoms (i.e., interpersonal sensitivity, depression, and psychoticism) were negatively associated with DMN connectivity. Our results may reflect a top-down emotion regulation deficit which is associated with both internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. Functional connectivity comparison of the default mode network in non-depressed Parkinson disease and depressed Parkinson disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yuan; Li, Rui; Liu, Jiangtao; Yao, Li; Wu, Xia

    2011-03-01

    Examining the spontaneous activity to understand the neural mechanism of brain disorders and establish neuroimaging-based disease-related biomarkers is a focus in recent resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) studies. The present study hypothesized that resting activity in the default mode network (DMN), which was used for characterizing the resting-state human brain might be different in patients with depressed Parkinson disease (dPD) compared with non-depressed Parkinson disease (ndPD) patients. To test the hypothesis, we firstly employed the Group independent component analysis (ICA) approach to isolate the DMN for the two groups by analyzing the resting-state fMRI data from a group of 12 patients with dPD and a group of 12 age-matched ndPD subjects. Between-group comparison of the functional connectivity in the DMN was then performed to examine the impact of depression on the intrinsic activity in PD. We found 1) the core region from the network the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) show significant decreased activity in dPD group compared with ndPD group; 2) the activity in MPFC has significant negative correlation with behavioral measure; 3) the resting activity intensity of MPFC is suggested to be a promising biomarker for distinguishing dPD from ndPD.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    trait composition and environmental variables (depth, sediment granulometry); ii) determine the relationship between traits and habitat type (EUNIS level 4); and iii) assess the relationships between trawling pressure (using data derived under BENTHIS; see Eigaard et al., this volume) and traits...... 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...

  6. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea; Svendsen, Winnie Edith; Dimaki, Maria

    2016-01-01

    This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project....... The presented research is based on this sensor structure and investigates its potential as a versatile biomarker detection platform by evaluating different functionalization approaches. The functionalization of the silicon sensor surface with organic molecules was investigated in detail to determine...... the suitability of different methods for the preparation of organic interfaces for protein attachment. Oxide-free silicon surfaces offer unique possibilities to create highly sensitive sensor surfaces for charge detection due to the lack of an insulating oxide layer, but the highly reactive surface presents...

  7. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea

    This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project....... The presented research is based on this sensor structure and investigates its potential as a versatile biomarker detection platform by evaluating different functionalization approaches. The functionalization of the silicon sensor surface with organic molecules was investigated in detail to determine...... the suitability of different methods for the preparation of organic interfaces for protein attachment. Oxide-free silicon surfaces offer unique possibilities to create highly sensitive sensor surfaces for charge detection due to the lack of an insulating oxide layer, but the highly reactive surface presents...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Polar Functionalities Containing Nitrodihydroimidazooxazoles as Anti-TB Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yempalla, Kushalava Reddy; Munagala, Gurunadham; Singh, Samsher; Kour, Gurleen; Sharma, Shweta; Chib, Reena; Kumar, Sunil; Wazir, Priya; Singh, G D; Raina, Sushil; Bharate, Sonali S; Khan, Inshad Ali; Vishwakarma, Ram A; Singh, Parvinder Pal

    2015-10-08

    Novel polar functionalities containing 6-nitro-2,3-dihydroimidazooxazole (NHIO) analogues were synthesized to produce a compound with enhanced solubility. Polar functionalities including sulfonyl, uridyl, and thiouridyl-bearing NHIO analogues were synthesized and evaluated against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) H37Rv. The aqueous solubility of compounds with MIC values ≤0.5 μg/mL were tested, and six compounds showed enhanced aqueous solubility. The best six compounds were further tested against resistant (Rif(R) and MDR) and dormant strains of MTB and tested for cytotoxicity in HepG2 cell line. Based on its overall in vitro characteristics and solubility profile, compound 6d was further shown to possess high microsomal stability, solubility under all tested biological conditions (PBS, SGF and SIF), and favorable oral in vivo pharmacokinetics and in vivo efficacy.

  12. Differential Function of Lip Residues in the Mechanism and Biology of an Anthrax Hemophore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ekworomadu, MarCia T.; Poor, Catherine B.; Owens, Cedric P.; Balderas, Miriam A.; Fabian, Marian; Olson, John S.; Murphy, Frank; Balkabasi, Erol; Honsa, Erin S.; He, Chuan; Goulding, Celia W.; Maresso, Anthony W. (Baylor); (UCI); (Cornell); (Rice); (UC)

    2014-10-02

    To replicate in mammalian hosts, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron. The majority of iron is coordinated to the protoporphyrin ring of heme, which is further bound to hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria utilize secreted hemophores to acquire heme from heme sources such as hemoglobin. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, secretes two hemophores, IsdX1 and IsdX2, to acquire heme from host hemoglobin and enhance bacterial replication in iron-starved environments. Both proteins contain NEAr-iron Transporter (NEAT) domains, a conserved protein module that functions in heme acquisition in Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we report the structure of IsdX1, the first of a Gram-positive hemophore, with and without bound heme. Overall, IsdX1 forms an immunoglobin-like fold that contains, similar to other NEAT proteins, a 3{sub 10}-helix near the heme-binding site. Because the mechanistic function of this helix in NEAT proteins is not yet defined, we focused on the contribution of this region to hemophore and NEAT protein activity, both biochemically and biologically in cultured cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and adjacent to the helix identified residues important for heme and hemoglobin association, with some mutations affecting both properties and other mutations affecting only heme stabilization. IsdX1 with mutations that reduced the ability to associate with hemoglobin and bind heme failed to restore the growth of a hemophore-deficient strain of B. anthracis on hemoglobin as the sole iron source. These data indicate that not only is the 3{sub 10}-helix important for NEAT protein biology, but also that the processes of hemoglobin and heme binding can be both separate as well as coupled, the latter function being necessary for maximal heme-scavenging activity. These studies enhance our understanding of NEAT domain and hemophore function and set the stage for structure-based inhibitor design to block NEAT domain interaction with

  13. Characterization and biological function of milk-derived miRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golan-Gerstl, Regina; Elbaum Shiff, Yaffa; Moshayoff, Vardit; Schecter, Daniel; Leshkowitz, Dena; Reif, Shimon

    2017-10-01

    Breastfeeding is associated with reduced risk of infection, immune-mediated disorders, obesity, and even cancer. Recently it was found that breast milk contains a variety of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the skim and fat layer that can be transferred to infants, and appear to play important roles in those biological functions. This study applied next generation sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR analysis to determine the miRNA expression profile of the skim and fat fraction of human, goat, and bovine milk as well as infant formulas. Human and mammalian milk were found to contain known advantageous miRNAs in exosomes and also in the fat layer. These miRNAs are highly conserved in human, bovine and goat milk. However, they were not detected in several infant formulas. Further, miRNAs present in milk were able to enter normal and tumor cells and affect their biological functions. Following incubation of milk derived human miRNA with normal and cancer cells, the expression of miRNA-148a was upregulated and the expression of the DNA methyltransferase1 target gene of miRNA-148a was down regulated. These results reinforce previous findings on the importance of miRNA in breast milk. Future studies should concentrate on the addition of miRNA to infant formulas. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. What will result from the interaction between functional and evolutionary biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2011-03-01

    The modern synthesis has been considered to be wrongly called a "synthesis", since it had completely excluded embryology, and many other disciplines. The recent developments of Evo-Devo have been seen as a step in the right direction, as complementing the modern synthesis, and probably leading to a "new synthesis". My argument is that the absence of embryology from the modern synthesis was the visible sign of a more profound lack: the absence of functional biology in the evolutionary synthesis. I will consider the reasons for this absence, as well as the recent transformations which favoured a closer interaction between these two branches of biology. Then I will describe two examples of recent work in which functional and evolutionary questioning were tightly linked. The most significant part of the paper will be devoted to the transformation of evolutionary theory that can be expected from this encounter: a deep transformation, or simply an experimental confirmation of this theory? I will not choose between these two different possibilities, but will discuss some of the difficulties which make the choice problematic. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Functional and molecular characterization of the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Sri Kripa; Witcher, Michael; Berggren, Travis W; Emerson, Beverly M

    2012-01-01

    The CCCTC-binding factor CTCF is the only known vertebrate insulator protein and has been shown to regulate important developmental processes such as imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation and genomic architecture. In this study, we examined the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) biology. We demonstrate that CTCF associates with several important pluripotency genes, including NANOG, SOX2, cMYC and LIN28 and is critical for hESC proliferation. CTCF depletion impacts expression of pluripotency genes and accelerates loss of pluripotency upon BMP4 induced differentiation, but does not result in spontaneous differentiation. We find that CTCF associates with the distal ends and internal sites of the co-regulated 160 kb NANOG-DPPA3-GDF3 locus. Each of these sites can function as a CTCF-dependent enhancer-blocking insulator in heterologous assays. In hESCs, CTCF exists in multisubunit protein complexes and can be poly(ADP)ribosylated. Known CTCF cofactors, such as Cohesin, differentially co-localize in the vicinity of specific CTCF binding sites within the NANOG locus. Importantly, the association of some cofactors and protein PARlation selectively changes upon differentiation although CTCF binding remains constant. Understanding how unique cofactors may impart specialized functions to CTCF at specific genomic locations will further illuminate its role in stem cell biology.

  16. Functional and molecular characterization of the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Kripa Balakrishnan

    Full Text Available The CCCTC-binding factor CTCF is the only known vertebrate insulator protein and has been shown to regulate important developmental processes such as imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation and genomic architecture. In this study, we examined the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell (hESC biology. We demonstrate that CTCF associates with several important pluripotency genes, including NANOG, SOX2, cMYC and LIN28 and is critical for hESC proliferation. CTCF depletion impacts expression of pluripotency genes and accelerates loss of pluripotency upon BMP4 induced differentiation, but does not result in spontaneous differentiation. We find that CTCF associates with the distal ends and internal sites of the co-regulated 160 kb NANOG-DPPA3-GDF3 locus. Each of these sites can function as a CTCF-dependent enhancer-blocking insulator in heterologous assays. In hESCs, CTCF exists in multisubunit protein complexes and can be poly(ADPribosylated. Known CTCF cofactors, such as Cohesin, differentially co-localize in the vicinity of specific CTCF binding sites within the NANOG locus. Importantly, the association of some cofactors and protein PARlation selectively changes upon differentiation although CTCF binding remains constant. Understanding how unique cofactors may impart specialized functions to CTCF at specific genomic locations will further illuminate its role in stem cell biology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The properties of thickness-twist (TT) wave modes in a rotated Y-cut quartz plate with a functionally graded material top layer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Qian, Zhenghua; Li, Nian; Sarraf, Hamid

    2016-01-01

    We propose the use of thickness-twist (TT) wave modes of an AT-cut quartz crystal plate resonator for measurement of material parameters, such as stiffness, density and material gradient, of a functionally graded material (FGM) layer on its surface, whose material property varies exponentially in thickness direction. A theoretical analysis of dispersion relations for TT waves is presented using Mindlin's plate theory, with displacement mode shapes plotted, and the existence of face-shear (FS) wave modes discussed. Through numerical examples, the effects of material parameters (stiffness, density and material gradient) on dispersion curves, cutoff frequencies and mode shapes are thoroughly examined, which can act as a theoretical reference for measurements of unknown properties of FGM layer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Improved Diagnostic Accuracy of Alzheimer's Disease by Combining Regional Cortical Thickness and Default Mode Network Functional Connectivity: Validated in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Ji Eun; Park, Bumwoo; Kim, Sang Joon; Kim, Ho Sung; Choi, Choong Gon; Jung, Seung Chai; Oh, Joo Young; Lee, Jae-Hong; Roh, Jee Hoon; Shim, Woo Hyun

    2017-01-01

    To identify potential imaging biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease by combining brain cortical thickness (CThk) and functional connectivity and to validate this model's diagnostic accuracy in a validation set. Data from 98 subjects was retrospectively reviewed, including a study set (n = 63) and a validation set from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (n = 35). From each subject, data for CThk and functional connectivity of the default mode network was extracted from structural T1-weighted and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Cortical regions with significant differences between patients and healthy controls in the correlation of CThk and functional connectivity were identified in the study set. The diagnostic accuracy of functional connectivity measures combined with CThk in the identified regions was evaluated against that in the medial temporal lobes using the validation set and application of a support vector machine. Group-wise differences in the correlation of CThk and default mode network functional connectivity were identified in the superior temporal ( p Default mode network functional connectivity combined with the CThk of those two regions were more accurate than that combined with the CThk of both medial temporal lobes (91.7% vs. 75%). Combining functional information with CThk of the superior temporal and supramarginal gyri in the left cerebral hemisphere improves diagnostic accuracy, making it a potential imaging biomarker for Alzheimer's disease.

  3. Altered dynamic functional connectivity in the default mode network in patients with cirrhosis and minimal hepatic encephalopathy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Hua-Jun; Lin, Hai-Long [Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Department of Radiology, Fuzhou (China); Chen, Qiu-Feng; Liu, Peng-Fei [Central South University, School of Information Science and Engineering, Changsha (China)

    2017-09-15

    Abnormal brain intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) has been documented in minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) by static connectivity analysis. However, changes in dynamic FC (dFC) remain unknown. We aimed to identify altered dFC within the default mode network (DMN) associated with MHE. Resting-state functional MRI data were acquired from 20 cirrhotic patients with MHE and 24 healthy controls. DMN seed regions were defined using seed-based FC analysis (centered on the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)). Dynamic FC architecture was calculated using a sliding time-window method. K-means clustering (number of clusters = 2-4) was applied to estimate FC states. When the number of clusters was 2, MHE patients presented weaker connectivity strengths compared with controls in states 1 and 2. In state 1, decreased FC strength was found between the PCC/precuneus (PCUN) and right medial temporal lobe (MTL)/bilateral lateral temporal cortex (LTC); left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and right MTL/left LTC; right IPL and right MTL/bilateral LTC; right MTL and right LTC; and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and right MTL/bilateral LTC. In state 2, reduced FC strength was observed between the PCC/PCUN and bilateral MTL/bilateral LTC; left IPL and left MTL/bilateral LTC/MPFC; and left LTC and right LTC. Altered connectivities from state 1 were correlated with patient cognitive performance. Similar findings were observed when the number of clusters was set to 3 or 4. Aberrant dynamic DMN connectivity is an additional characteristic of MHE. Dynamic connectivity analysis offers a novel paradigm for understanding MHE-related mechanisms. (orig.)

  4. Altered dynamic functional connectivity in the default mode network in patients with cirrhosis and minimal hepatic encephalopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Hua-Jun; Lin, Hai-Long; Chen, Qiu-Feng; Liu, Peng-Fei

    2017-01-01

    Abnormal brain intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) has been documented in minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) by static connectivity analysis. However, changes in dynamic FC (dFC) remain unknown. We aimed to identify altered dFC within the default mode network (DMN) associated with MHE. Resting-state functional MRI data were acquired from 20 cirrhotic patients with MHE and 24 healthy controls. DMN seed regions were defined using seed-based FC analysis (centered on the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)). Dynamic FC architecture was calculated using a sliding time-window method. K-means clustering (number of clusters = 2-4) was applied to estimate FC states. When the number of clusters was 2, MHE patients presented weaker connectivity strengths compared with controls in states 1 and 2. In state 1, decreased FC strength was found between the PCC/precuneus (PCUN) and right medial temporal lobe (MTL)/bilateral lateral temporal cortex (LTC); left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and right MTL/left LTC; right IPL and right MTL/bilateral LTC; right MTL and right LTC; and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and right MTL/bilateral LTC. In state 2, reduced FC strength was observed between the PCC/PCUN and bilateral MTL/bilateral LTC; left IPL and left MTL/bilateral LTC/MPFC; and left LTC and right LTC. Altered connectivities from state 1 were correlated with patient cognitive performance. Similar findings were observed when the number of clusters was set to 3 or 4. Aberrant dynamic DMN connectivity is an additional characteristic of MHE. Dynamic connectivity analysis offers a novel paradigm for understanding MHE-related mechanisms. (orig.)

  5. 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

  6. Biological Function and Medicinal Research Significance of G-Quadruplex Interactive Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Jun; Wang, Mingxue; Zhang, Yan; Zeng, Ping; Ou, Tian-Miao; Tan, Jia-Heng; Huang, Shi-Liang; An, Lin-Kun; Wang, Honggen; Gu, Lian-Quan; Huang, Zhi-Shu; Li, Ding

    2015-01-01

    G-quadruplexes are four-stranded DNA structures formed from G-rich sequences that are built around tetrads of hydrogen-bonded guanine bases. Accumulating studies have revealed that G-quadruplex structures are formed in vivo and play important roles in biological processes such as DNA replication, transcription, recombination, epigenetic regulation, meiosis, antigenic variation, and maintenance of telomeres stability. Mounting evidence indicates that a variety of proteins are capable of binding selectively and tightly to G-quadruplex and play essential roles in G-quadruplex-mediated regulation processes. Some of these proteins promote the formation or/and stabilization of G-quadruplex, while some other proteins act to unwind G-quadruplex preferentially. From a drug discovery perspective, many of these G-quadruplex binding proteins and/or their complexes with G-quadruplexes are potential drug targets. Here, we present a general summary of reported G-quadruplex binding proteins and their biological functions, with focus on those of medicinal research significance. We elaborated the possibility for some of these G-quadruplex binding proteins and their complexes with G-quadruplexes as potential drug targets.

  7. Green leaf volatiles: biosynthesis, biological functions and their applications in biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ul Hassan, Muhammad Naeem; Zainal, Zamri; Ismail, Ismanizan

    2015-08-01

    Plants have evolved numerous constitutive and inducible defence mechanisms to cope with biotic and abiotic stresses. These stresses induce the expression of various genes to activate defence-related pathways that result in the release of defence chemicals. One of these defence mechanisms is the oxylipin pathway, which produces jasmonates, divinylethers and green leaf volatiles (GLVs) through the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). GLVs have recently emerged as key players in plant defence, plant-plant interactions and plant-insect interactions. Some GLVs inhibit the growth and propagation of plant pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. In certain cases, GLVs released from plants under herbivore attack can serve as aerial messengers to neighbouring plants and to attract parasitic or parasitoid enemies of the herbivores. The plants that perceive these volatile signals are primed and can then adapt in preparation for the upcoming challenges. Due to their 'green note' odour, GLVs impart aromas and flavours to many natural foods, such as vegetables and fruits, and therefore, they can be exploited in industrial biotechnology. The aim of this study was to review the progress and recent developments in research on the oxylipin pathway, with a specific focus on the biosynthesis and biological functions of GLVs and their applications in industrial biotechnology. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Investigating molecular recognition and biological function at interfaces using piscidins, antimicrobial peptides from fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chekmenev, Eduard Y; Vollmar, Breanna S; Forseth, Kristen T; Manion, McKenna N; Jones, Shiela M; Wagner, Tim J; Endicott, RaeLynn M; Kyriss, Brandon P; Homem, Lorraine M; Pate, Michelle; He, Jing; Raines, Joshua; Gor'kov, Peter L; Brey, William W; Mitchell, Dan J; Auman, Ann J; Ellard-Ivey, Mary J; Blazyk, Jack; Cotten, Myriam

    2006-09-01

    We studied amidated and non-amidated piscidins 1 and 3, amphipathic cationic antimicrobial peptides from fish, to characterize functional and structural similarities and differences between these peptides and better understand the structural motifs involved in biological activity and functional diversity among amidated and non-amidated isoforms. Antimicrobial and hemolytic assays were carried out to assess their potency and toxicity, respectively. Site-specific high-resolution solid-state NMR orientational restraints were obtained from (15)N-labeled amidated and non-amidated piscidins 1 and 3 in the presence of hydrated oriented lipid bilayers. Solid-state NMR and circular dichroism results indicate that the peptides are alpha-helical and oriented parallel to the membrane surface. This orientation was expected since peptide-lipid interactions are enhanced at the water-bilayer interface for amphipathic cationic antimicrobial peptides. (15)N solid-state NMR performed on oriented samples demonstrate that piscidin experiences fast, large amplitude backbone motions around an axis parallel to the bilayer normal. Under the conditions tested here, piscidin 1 was confirmed to be more antimicrobially potent than piscidin 3 and antimicrobial activity was not affected by amidation. In light of functional and structural similarities between piscidins 1 and 3, we propose that their topology and fast dynamics are related to their mechanism of action.

  12. Comparative network analysis reveals that tissue specificity and gene function are important factors influencing the mode of expression evolution in Arabidopsis and rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Movahedi, Sara; Van de Peer, Yves; Vandepoele, Klaas

    2011-07-01

    Microarray experiments have yielded massive amounts of expression information measured under various conditions for the model species Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and rice (Oryza sativa). Expression compendia grouping multiple experiments make it possible to define correlated gene expression patterns within one species and to study how expression has evolved between species. We developed a robust framework to measure expression context conservation (ECC) and found, by analyzing 4,630 pairs of orthologous Arabidopsis and rice genes, that 77% showed conserved coexpression. Examples of nonconserved ECC categories suggested a link between regulatory evolution and environmental adaptations and included genes involved in signal transduction, response to different abiotic stresses, and hormone stimuli. To identify genomic features that influence expression evolution, we analyzed the relationship between ECC, tissue specificity, and protein evolution. Tissue-specific genes showed higher expression conservation compared with broadly expressed genes but were fast evolving at the protein level. No significant correlation was found between protein and expression evolution, implying that both modes of gene evolution are not strongly coupled in plants. By integration of cis-regulatory elements, many ECC conserved genes were significantly enriched for shared DNA motifs, hinting at the conservation of ancestral regulatory interactions in both model species. Surprisingly, for several tissue-specific genes, patterns of concerted network evolution were observed, unveiling conserved coexpression in the absence of conservation of tissue specificity. These findings demonstrate that orthologs inferred through sequence similarity in many cases do not share similar biological functions and highlight the importance of incorporating expression information when comparing genes across species.

  13. Functional SNPs of INCENP Affect Semen Quality by Alternative Splicing Mode and Binding Affinity with the Target Bta-miR-378 in Chinese Holstein Bulls.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Liu

    Full Text Available Inner centromere protein (INCENP plays an important role in mitosis and meiosis as the main member of chromosomal passenger protein complex (CPC. To investigate the functional markers of the INCENP gene associated with semen quality, the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs g.19970 A>G and g.34078 T>G were identified and analyzed. The new splice variant INCENP-TV is characterized by the deletion of exon 12. The g.19970 A>G in the exonic splicing enhancer (ESE motif region results in an aberrant splice variant by constructing two minigene expression vectors using the pSPL3 exon capturing vector and transfecting vectors into MLTC-1 cells. INCENP-TV was more highly expressed than INCENP-reference in adult bull testes. The g.34078 T>G located in the binding region of bta-miR-378 could affect the expression of INCENP, which was verified by luciferase assay. To analyze comprehensively the correlation of SNPs with sperm quality, haplotype combinations constructed by g.19970 A>G and g.34078 T>G, as well as g.-692 C>T and g.-556 G>T reported in our previous studies, were analyzed. The bulls with H1H12 and H2H2 exhibited a higher ejaculate volume than those with H2H10 and H9H12, respectively (P G and g.34078 T>G in INCENP both of which appear to change the molecular and biological characteristics of the mRNA transcribed from the locus may serve as a biomarkers of male bovine fertility by affecting alternative splicing mode and binding affinity with the target bta-miR-378.

  14. 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.

  15. Late-stage functionalization of biologically active heterocycles through photoredox catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirocco, Daniel A; Dykstra, Kevin; Krska, Shane; Vachal, Petr; Conway, Donald V; Tudge, Matthew

    2014-05-05

    The direct CH functionalization of heterocycles has become an increasingly valuable tool in modern drug discovery. However, the introduction of small alkyl groups, such as methyl, by this method has not been realized in the context of complex molecule synthesis since existing methods rely on the use of strong oxidants and elevated temperatures to generate the requisite radical species. Herein, we report the use of stable organic peroxides activated by visible-light photoredox catalysis to achieve the direct methyl-, ethyl-, and cyclopropylation of a variety of biologically active heterocycles. The simple protocol, mild reaction conditions, and unique tolerability of this method make it an important tool for drug discovery. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Translating inter-individual genetic variation to biological function in complex phenotypes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yadav, Rachita

    and phosphor-proteome in chemotherapy resistant breast cancer cell lines with high TIMP-1 gene expression. In summary, this thesis work demonstrates applications of various omic variations at different levels of complexity and their integration using systems biology based methodologies to associate them...... artificial neural network (ANN) based methodology of selecting genetic and clinical features with predictive power for childhood asthma. The goal of these studies is to understand the complex genetics of childhood asthma. The third part of this thesis (chapters 5 and 6) focuses on various mechanisms involved...... populations. Next, the second portion of this chapter describes a personalised genome study of an ancient genome which was conducted by calculating the genetic risk scores to unravel phenotypes. Appendix section (Chapter 8) comprises of an integrative functional analysis study of the changing proteome...

  17. [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

  18. Mimicking Biological Synaptic Functionality with an Indium Phosphide Synaptic Device on Silicon for Scalable Neuromorphic Computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Debarghya; Tao, Jun; Wang, Wei; Lin, Qingfeng; Yeung, Matthew; Ren, Chenhao; Kapadia, Rehan

    2018-02-27

    Neuromorphic or "brain-like" computation is a leading candidate for efficient, fault-tolerant processing of large-scale data as well as real-time sensing and transduction of complex multivariate systems and networks such as self-driving vehicles or Internet of Things applications. In biology, the synapse serves as an active memory unit in the neural system and is the component responsible for learning and memory. Electronically emulating this element via a compact, scalable technology which can be integrated in a three-dimensional (3-D) architecture is critical for future implementations of neuromorphic processors. However, present day 3-D transistor implementations of synapses are typically based on low-mobility semiconductor channels or technologies that are not scalable. Here, we demonstrate a crystalline indium phosphide (InP)-based artificial synapse for spiking neural networks that exhibits elasticity, short-term plasticity, long-term plasticity, metaplasticity, and spike timing-dependent plasticity, emulating the critical behaviors exhibited by biological synapses. Critically, we show that this crystalline InP device can be directly integrated via back-end processing on a Si wafer using a SiO 2 buffer without the need for a crystalline seed, enabling neuromorphic devices that can be implemented in a scalable and 3-D architecture. Specifically, the device is a crystalline InP channel field-effect transistor that interacts with neuron spikes by modification of the population of filled traps in the MOS structure itself. Unlike other transistor-based implementations, we show that it is possible to mimic these biological functions without the use of external factors (e.g., surface adsorption of gas molecules) and without the need for the high electric fields necessary for traditional flash-based implementations. Finally, when exposed to neuronal spikes with a waveform similar to that observed in the brain, these devices exhibit the ability to learn without the

  19. The use of transmission line modelling to test the effectiveness of I-kaz as autonomous selection of intrinsic mode function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusop, Hanafi M.; Ghazali, M. F.; Yusof, M. F. M.; PiRemli, M. A.; Karollah, B.; Rusman

    2017-10-01

    Pressure transient signal occurred due to sudden changes in fluid propagation filled in pipelines system, which is caused by rapid pressure and flow fluctuation in a system, such as closing and opening valve rapidly. The application of Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT) as the method to analyse the pressure transient signal utilised in this research. However, this method has the difficulty in selecting the suitable IMF for the further post-processing, which is Hilbert Transform (HT). This paper proposed the implementation of Integrated Kurtosis-based Algorithm for z-filter Technique (I-kaz) to kurtosis ratio (I-kaz-Kurtosis) for that allows automatic selection of intrinsic mode function (IMF) that’s should be used. This work demonstrated the synthetic pressure transient signal generates using transmission line modelling (TLM) in order to test the effectiveness of I-kaz as the autonomous selection of intrinsic mode function (IMF). A straight fluid network was designed using TLM fixing with higher resistance at some point act as a leak and connecting to the pipe feature (junction, pipefitting or blockage). The analysis results using I-kaz-kurtosis ratio revealed that the method can be utilised as an automatic selection of intrinsic mode function (IMF) although the noise level ratio of the signal is lower. I-kaz-kurtosis ratio is recommended and advised to be implemented as automatic selection of intrinsic mode function (IMF) through HHT analysis.

  20. Large scale fusion of gray matter and resting-state functional MRI reveals common and shared biological markers across the psychosis spectrum in the B-SNIP cohort

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng eWang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available To investigate whether aberrant interactions between brain structure and function present similarly or differently across probands with psychotic illnesses (schizophrenia (SZ, schizoaffective disorder (SAD, and bipolar I disorder with psychosis (BP and whether these deficits are shared with their first-degree non-psychotic relatives. A total of 1199 subjects were assessed, including 220 SZ, 147 SAD, 180 psychotic BP, 150 first-degree relatives of SZ, 126 SAD relatives, 134 BP relatives and 242 healthy controls. All subjects underwent structural MRI (sMRI and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI scanning. Joint independent analysis (jICA was used to fuse sMRI gray matter (GM and rs-fMRI amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF data to identify the relationship between the two modalities. Joint ICA revealed two significantly fused components. The association between functional brain alteration in a prefrontal-striatal-thalamic-cerebellar network and structural abnormalities in the default mode network (DMN was found to be common across psychotic diagnoses and correlated with cognitive function, social function and Schizo-Bipolar Scale (SBS scores. The fused alteration in the temporal lobe was unique to SZ and SAD. The above effects were not seen in any relative group (including those with cluster-A personality. Using a multivariate fused approach involving two widely used imaging markers we demonstrate both shared and distinct biological traits across the psychosis spectrum. Further, our results suggest that the above traits are psychosis biomarkers rather than endophenotypes.

  1. Clinical, Functional, and Biological Correlates of Cognitive Dimensions in Major Depressive Disorder - Rationale, Design, and Characteristics of the Cognitive Function and Mood Study (CoFaM-Study).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baune, Bernhard T; Air, Tracy

    2016-01-01

    Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies exploring clinical, functional, and biological correlates of major depressive disorder are frequent. In this type of research, depression is most commonly defined as a categorical diagnosis based on studies using diagnostic instruments. Given the phenotypic and biological heterogeneity of depression, we chose to focus the phenotypic assessments on three cognitive dimensions of depression including (a) cognitive performance, (b) emotion processing, and (c) social cognitive functioning. Hence, the overall aim of the study is to investigate the long-term clinical course of these cognitive dimensions in depression and its functional (psychosocial) correlates. We also aim to identify biological "genomic" correlates of these three cognitive dimensions of depression. To address the above overall aim, we created the Cognition and Mood Study (CoFaMS) with the key objective to investigate the clinical, functional, and biological correlates of cognitive dimensions of depression by employing a prospective study design and including a healthy control group. The study commenced in April 2015, including patients with a primary diagnosis of a major depressive episode of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder according to DSM-IV-TR criteria. The assessments cover the three cognitive dimensions of depression (cognitive performance, emotion processing, and social cognition), cognitive function screening instrument, plus functional scales to assess general, work place, and psychosocial function, depression symptom scales, and clinical course of illness. Blood is collected for comprehensive genomic discovery analyses of biological correlates of cognitive dimensions of depression. The CoFaM-Study represents an innovative approach focusing on cognitive dimensions of depression and its functional and biological "genomic" correlates. The CoFaMS team welcomes collaborations with both national and international researchers.

  2. Multiple biological functions of sporamin related to stress tolerance in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senthilkumar, Rajendran; Yeh, Kai-Wun

    2012-01-01

    The initial investigation of the nature of the proteins in the tuber of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) revealed a globulin-designated "ipomoein," which was reported by Jones and Gersdorff, (1931). Later, "ipomoein" was renamed "sporamin" and was found to be a major storage protein that accounted for over 80% of the total protein in the tuberous root. To date, sporamin has been studied by a series of biochemical and molecular approaches. The first purification of sporamin into two major fractions, A and B, was successfully completed in 1985. Several characteristics of the protein, such as the diversification of the nucleotide sequences in the gene family, the protein structure, the biological functions of storage, defense, inhibitory activity and ROS scavenging, were identified. In the past decade, sporamin was classified as a Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor, and its insect-resistance capability has been examined in transgenic tobacco and cauliflower plants, indicating the multiple functions of this protein has evolved to facilitate the growth and development of sweet potato. Sporamin is constitutively expressed in the tuberous root and is not normally expressed in the stem or leaves. However, this protein is expressed systemically in response to wounding and other abiotic stresses. These dual expression patterns at the transcriptional level revealed that the complex regulatory mechanism of sporamin was modulated by environmental stresses. The versatile functions of sporamin make this storage protein a good research model to study molecular evolution, regulatory mechanisms and physiological functions in plants. This review summarizes and discusses recent approaches and future perspectives in agricultural biotechnology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Structure and Biological Function of the RNA Pyrophosphohydrolase BdRppH from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Messing, S.; Gabelli, S; Liu, Q; Celesnik, H; Belasco, J; Pineiro, S; Amzel, L

    2009-01-01

    Until recently, the mechanism of mRNA decay in bacteria was thought to be different from that of eukaryotes. This paradigm changed with the discovery that RppH (ORF176/NudH/YgdP), an Escherichia coli enzyme that belongs to the Nudix superfamily, is an RNA pyrophosphohydrolase that initiates mRNA decay by cleaving pyrophosphate from the 5?-triphosphate. Here we report the 1.9 A resolution structure of the Nudix hydrolase BdRppH from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, a bacterium that feeds on other Gram-negative bacteria. Based on the structure of the enzyme alone and in complex with GTP-Mg2+, we propose a mode of RNA binding similar to that of the nuclear decapping enzyme from Xenopus laevis, X29. In additional experiments, we show that BdRppH can indeed function in vitro and in vivo as an RNA pyrophosphohydrolase. These findings set the basis for the identification of possible decapping enzymes in other bacteria.

  4. Modifications in resting state functional anticorrelation between default mode network and dorsal attention network: comparison among young adults, healthy elders and mild cognitive impairment patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Roberto; Cieri, Filippo; Chiacchiaretta, Piero; Cera, Nicoletta; Lauriola, Mariella; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Tartaro, Armando; Ferretti, Antonio

    2018-02-01

    Resting state brain activity incorporates different components, including the Default Mode Network and the Dorsal Attention Network, also known as task-negative network and task-positive network respectively. These two networks typically show an anticorrelated activity during both spontaneous oscillations and task execution. However modifications of this anticorrelated activity pattern with age and pathology are still unclear. The present study aimed to investigate differences in resting state Default Mode Network-Dorsal Attention Network functional anticorrelation among young adults, healthy elders and Mild Cognitive Impairment patients. We retrospectively enrolled in this study 27 healthy young adults (age range: 25-35 y.o.; mean age: 28,5), 26 healthy elders (age range: 61-72 y.o.; mean age: 65,1) and 17 MCI patients (age range 64-87 y.o.; mean age: 73,6). Mild Cognitive Impairment patients were selected following Petersen criteria. All participants underwent neuropsychological evaluation and resting state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Spontaneous anticorrelated activity between Default Mode Network and Dorsal Attention Network was observed in each group. This anticorrelation was significantly decreased with age in most Default Mode Network-Dorsal Attention Network connections (p Default Mode Network and the right inferior parietal sulcus node of the Dorsal Attention Network was significantly decreased when comparing Mild Cognitive Impairment with normal elders (p Default Mode Network and Dorsal Attention Network is part of the normal aging process and that Mild Cognitive Impairment status is associated with more evident inter-networks functional connectivity changes.

  5. [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

  6. Simulated glass-forming polymer melts: dynamic scattering functions, chain length effects, and mode-coupling theory analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, S; Weysser, F; Meyer, H; Farago, J; Fuchs, M; Baschnagel, J

    2015-02-01

    We present molecular-dynamics simulations for a fully flexible model of polymer melts with different chain length N ranging from short oligomers (N = 4) to values near the entanglement length (N = 64). For these systems we explore the structural relaxation of the supercooled melt near the critical temperature T c of mode-coupling theory (MCT). Coherent and incoherent scattering functions are analyzed in terms of the idealized MCT. For temperatures T > T c we provide evidence for the space-time factorization property of the β relaxation and for the time-temperature superposition principle (TTSP) of the α relaxation, and we also discuss deviations from these predictions for T ≈ T c. For T larger than the smallest temperature where the TTSP holds we perform a quantitative analysis of the dynamics with the asymptotic MCT predictions for the late β regime. Within MCT a key quantity, in addition to T c, is the exponent parameter λ. For the fully flexible polymer models studied we find that λ is independent of N and has a value (λ = 0.735 ) typical of simple glass-forming liquids. On the other hand, the critical temperature increases with chain length toward an asymptotic value T c (∞) . This increase can be described by T c (∞) - T c(N) ∼ 1/N and may be interpreted in terms of the N dependence of the monomer density ρ, if we assume that the MCT glass transition is ruled by a soft-sphere-like constant coupling parameter Γ c = ρ c T c (-1/4), where ρ c is the monomer density at T c. In addition, we also estimate T c from a Hansen-Verlet-like criterion and MCT calculations based on structural input from the simulation. For our polymer model both the Hansen-Verlet criterion and the MCT calculations suggest T c to decrease with increasing chain length, in contrast to the direct analysis of the simulation data.

  7. Clinical, Functional, and Biological Correlates of Cognitive Dimensions in Major Depressive Disorder ? Rationale, Design, and Characteristics of the Cognitive Function and Mood Study (CoFaM-Study)

    OpenAIRE

    Baune, Bernhard T.; Air, Tracy

    2016-01-01

    Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies exploring clinical, functional, and biological correlates of major depressive disorder are frequent. In this type of research, depression is most commonly defined as a categorical diagnosis based on studies using diagnostic instruments. Given the phenotypic and biological heterogeneity of depression, we chose to focus the phenotypic assessments on three cognitive dimensions of depression including (a) cognitive performance, (b) emotion processing, and ...

  8. 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.

  9. [Progress in sodium channelopathies and biological functions of voltage-gated sodium channel blockers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongyan; Gou, Meng; Xiao, Rong; Li, Qingwei

    2014-06-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs), which are widely distributed in the excitable cells, are the primary mediators of electrical signal amplification and propagation. They play important roles in the excitative conduction of the neurons and cardiac muscle cells. The abnormalities of the structures and functions of VGSCs can change the excitability of the cells, resulting in a variety of diseases such as neuropathic pain, epilepsy and arrhythmia. At present, some voltage-gated sodium channel blockers are used for treating those diseases. In the recent years, several neurotoxins have been purified from the venom of the animals, which could inhibit the current of the voltage-gated sodium channels. Usually, these neurotoxins are compounds or small peptides that have been further designed and modified for targeted drugs of sodium channelopathies in the clinical treatment. In addition, a novel cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRBGP) has been isolated and purified from the buccal gland of the lampreys (Lampetra japonica), and it could inhibit the Na+ current of the hippocampus and dorsal root neurons for the first time. In the present study, the progress of the sodium channelopathies and the biological functions of voltage-gated sodium channel blockers are analyzed and summarized.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Dietary Polyphenols as Modulators of Brain Functions: Biological Actions and Molecular Mechanisms Underpinning Their Beneficial Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Vauzour

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence suggests that diet and lifestyle can play an important role in delaying the onset or halting the progression of age-related health disorders and to improve cognitive function. In particular, polyphenols have been reported to exert their neuroprotective actions through the potential to protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, an ability to suppress neuroinflammation, and the potential to promote memory, learning, and cognitive function. Despite significant advances in our understanding of the biology of polyphenols, they are still mistakenly regarded as simply acting as antioxidants. However, recent evidence suggests that their beneficial effects involve decreases in oxidative/inflammatory stress signaling, increases in protective signaling and neurohormetic effects leading to the expression of genes that encode antioxidant enzymes, phase-2 enzymes, neurotrophic factors, and cytoprotective proteins. Specific examples of such pathways include the sirtuin-FoxO pathway, the NF-κB pathway, and the Nrf-2/ARE pathway. Together, these processes act to maintain brain homeostasis and play important roles in neuronal stress adaptation and thus polyphenols have the potential to prevent the progression of neurodegenerative pathologies.

  14. 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.

  15. All Digital Switch-Mode DC/DC Converters with BIST Functionality for Harsh Space Environments, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Space Micro Arizona State University (ASU) team will develop an all-digitally controlled, wide temperature range point-of-load switch-mode DC-DC regulator core...

  16. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    D?az-P?rez, Leopoldo; Rodr?guez-Zaragoza, Fabi?n Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Maga?a, Am?lcar Lev?; Carriquiry, Jose D.; R?os-Jara, Eduardo; Rodr?guez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; Garc?a-Rivas, Mar?a del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity...

  17. 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

  18. Isolation of biologically functional RNA during programmed death of a colonial ascidian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, W T; Lauzon, R J

    1995-01-01

    The blastogenic (asexual) cycle of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri (Tunicata, Ascidiaceae) concludes in a cyclical phase of programmed cell and zooid death called takeover, in which all asexually derived adults die synchronously by apoptosis. The characterization of developmentally regulated genes whose expression patterns are selectively modulated during this process could pave the way to understand how this model organism dies. However, isolation of biologically functional RNA in this and other colonial ascidians with conventional phenol/chloroform-based procedures is hampered by extensive contamination of RNA preparations by pigments. Upon cell lysis, pigments that normally reside within specialized cells in the mantle wall of the adult are released and tightly associate with nucleic acids. Here, we report on the usefulness of a single-step RNA isolation method in which acid guanidinium isothiocyanate is used as an extraction medium, followed by preparative cesium chloride ultracentrifugation. This procedure successfully isolated biologically active, high-purity total RNA (OD260/OD280 = 1.9-2.1) from Botryllus colonies during takeover, as well as other species of colonial ascidians (Diplosoma macdonaldii, Botrylloides diegense) irrespective of pigmentation. Northern blot analysis performed with a 32P-labeled tunicate actin probe detected two polyadenylated transcripts of 1.5 and 1.7 kilobases in length from both growth phase and takeover colonies. Two-dimensional protein gel assays from in vitro translated mRNA preparations further revealed that specific transcripts were up-regulated during takeover, while others were repressed or down-regulated. Growth phase and takeover-specific cDNA libraries were constructed from pooled poly(A)+ RNA with a complexity of 1.0 x 10(7) and 1.2 x 10(7) recombinants respectively per 100 ng of cDNA before amplification.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  19. Acceleration of cardiovascular-biological age by amphetamine exposure is a power function of chronological age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reece, Albert Stuart; Norman, Amanda; Hulse, Gary Kenneth

    2017-01-01

    Amphetamine abuse is becoming more widespread internationally. The possibility that its many cardiovascular complications are associated with a prematurely aged cardiovascular system, and indeed biological organism systemically, has not been addressed. Radial arterial pulse tonometry was performed using the SphygmoCor system (Sydney). 55 amphetamine exposed patients were compared with 107 tobacco smokers, 483 non-smokers and 68 methadone patients (total=713 patients) from 2006 to 2011. A cardiovascular-biological age (VA) was determined. The age of the patient groups was 30.03±0.51-40.45±1.15 years. This was controlled for with linear regression. The sex ratio was the same in all groups. 94% of amphetamine exposed patients had used amphetamine in the previous week. When the (log) VA was regressed against the chronological age (CA) and a substance-type group in both cross-sectional and longitudinal models, models quadratic in CA were superior to linear models (both p<0.02). When log VA/CA was regressed in a mixed effects model against time, body mass index, CA and drug type, the cubic model was superior to the linear model (p=0.001). Interactions between CA, (CA) 2 and (CA) 3 on the one hand and exposure type were significant from p=0.0120. The effects of amphetamine exposure persisted after adjustment for all known cardiovascular risk factors (p<0.0001). These results show that subacute exposure to amphetamines is associated with an advancement of cardiovascular-organismal age both over age and over time, and is robust to adjustment. That this is associated with power functions of age implies a feed-forward positively reinforcing exacerbation of the underlying ageing process.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Understanding human thiol dioxygenase enzymes: structure to function, and biology to pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Bibekananda; Kulharia, Mahesh; Mantha, Anil K

    2017-04-01

    Amino acid metabolism is a significant metabolic activity in humans, especially of sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine (Cys). Cys is cytotoxic and neurotoxic in nature; hence, mammalian cells maintain a constant intracellular level of Cys. Metabolism of Cys is mainly regulated by two thiol dioxygenases: cysteine dioxygenase (CDO) and 2-aminoethanethiol dioxygenase (ADO). CDO and ADO are the only human thiol dioxygenases reported with a role in Cys metabolism and localized to mitochondria. This metabolic pathway is important in various human disorders, as it is responsible for the synthesis of antioxidant glutathione and is also for the synthesis of hypotaurine and taurine. CDO is the most extensively studied protein, whose high-resolution crystallographic structures have been solved. As compared to CDO, ADO is less studied, even though it has a key role in cysteamine metabolism. To further understand ADO's structure and function, the three-dimensional structures have been predicted from I-TASSER and SWISS-MODEL servers and validated with PROCHECK software. Structural superimposition approach using iPBA web server further confirmed near-identical structures (including active sites) for the predicted protein models of ADO as compared to CDO. In addition, protein-protein interaction and their association in patho-physiology are crucial in understanding protein functions. Both ADO and CDO interacting partner profiles have been presented using STRING database. In this study, we have predicted a 3D model structure for ADO and summarized the biological roles and the pathological consequences which are associated with the altered expression and functioning of ADO and CDO in case of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and other human diseases. © 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Experimental Pathology © 2017 International Journal of Experimental Pathology.

  3. Biological function evaluation and effects of laser micro-pore burn-denatured acellular dermal matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Youlai; Zeng, Yuanlin; Xin, Guohua; Zou, Lijin; Ding, Yuewei; Duyin, Jiang

    2018-03-01

    In the field of burns repairs, many problems exist in the shortage of donor skin, the expense of allograft or xenograft skin, temporary substitution and unsatisfactory extremity function after wound healing. Previous studies showed that burn-denatured skin could return to normal dermis formation and function. This study investigates the application of laser micro-pore burn-denatured acellular dermis matrix (DADM) from an escharotomy in the repair of burn wounds and evaluates the biological properties and wound repair effects of DADM in implantation experiments in Kunming mice. Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Kunming mice were used in this study. A deep II° burn wound was created on the dorsum of the mice by an electric heated water bath. The full-thickness wound tissue was harvested. The necrotic tissue and subcutaneous tissue were removed. The denatured dermis was preserved and treated with 0.25% trypsin, 0.5% Triton X-100. The DADM was drilled by laser micro-pore. The biological properties and grafting effects of laser micro-pore burn-DADM were evaluated by morphology, cytokine expression levels and subcutaneous implantation experiments in Kunming mice. We found statistical significance (Ppore burn-DADM (experimental group) compared to the control group (no laser micro-pore burn-DADM). Cytokine expression level was different in the dermal matrixes harvested at various time points after burn (24h, 48h, 72h and infected wound group). Comparing the dermal matrix from 24h burn tissue to infected wound tissue, the expression level of IL-6, MMP-24, VE-cadherin and VEGF were decreased. We found no inflammatory cells infiltration in the dermal matrix were observed in both experimental and control groups (24h burn group), while the obviously vascular infiltration and fiber fusion were observed in the experimental group after subcutaneous implantation experiments. There was better bio-performance, low immunogenicity and better dermal incorporation after treated by laser

  4. Preparation of a silica stationary phase co-functionalized with Wulff-type phenylboronate and C12 for mixed-mode liquid chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hengye; Zhang, Xuemeng; Zhang, Lin; Wang, Xiaojin; Kong, Fenying; Fan, Dahe; Li, Lei; Wang, Wei

    2017-04-15

    A silica stationary phase was designed and synthesized through the co-functionalization of silica with Wulff-type phenylboronate and C12 for mixed-mode liquid chromatography applications. The as-synthesized stationary phase was characterized by elemental analysis and Fourier Transform-InfraRed Spectroscopy (FT-IR). Retention mechanisms, including boronate affinity (BA), reversed-phase (RP) and anion-exchange (AE), were involved. Retention mechanism switching was easily realized by adjustment of the mobile phase constitution. Cis-diol compounds could be selectively captured under neutral conditions in BA mode and off-line separated in RP mode. Neutral, basic, acidic and amphiprotic compounds were chromatographed on the column in RP chromatography, while inorganic anions were chromatographed in AE chromatography to characterize the mixed-mode nature of the prepared stationary phase. In addition, the RP performance was compared with an octadecyl silica column in terms of column efficiency (N/m), asymmetry factor (A f ), retention factor (k) and resolution (Rs). The prepared stationary phase offered multiple interactions with analytes in addition to hydrophobic interactions under RP elution conditions. Based on the mixed-mode properties, off-line 2D-LC, for selective capture and separation of urinary nucleosides, was successfully realized on a single column, demonstrating its powerful application potential for complex samples. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Robust, low-noise, polarization-maintaining mode-locked Er-fiber laser with a planar lightwave circuit (PLC) device as a multi-functional element.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chur; Kwon, Dohyeon; Kim, Dohyun; Choi, Sun Young; Cha, Sang Jun; Choi, Ki Sun; Yeom, Dong-Il; Rotermund, Fabian; Kim, Jungwon

    2017-04-15

    We demonstrate a new planar lightwave circuit (PLC)-based device, integrated with a 980/1550 wavelength division multiplexer, an evanescent-field-interaction-based saturable absorber, and an output tap coupler, which can be employed as a multi-functional element in mode-locked fiber lasers. Using this multi-functional PLC device, we demonstrate a simple, robust, low-noise, and polarization-maintaining mode-locked Er-fiber laser. The measured full-width at half-maximum bandwidth is 6 nm centered at 1555 nm, corresponding to 217 fs transform-limited pulse duration. The measured RIN and timing jitter are 0.22% [10 Hz-10 MHz] and 6.6 fs [10 kHz-1 MHz], respectively. Our results show that the non-gain section of mode-locked fiber lasers can be easily implemented as a single PLC chip that can be manufactured by a wafer-scale fabrication process. The use of PLC processes in mode-locked lasers has the potential for higher manufacturability of low-cost and robust fiber and waveguide lasers.

  6. Somatostatin receptor expression and biological functions in endocrine pancreatic cells: review based on a doctoral thesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludvigsen, Eva

    2007-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes is resulting from the selective destruction of insulin-producing betacells within the pancreatic islets. Somatostatin acts as an inhibitor of hormone secretion through specific receptors (sst1-5). All ssts were expressed in normal rat and mouse pancreatic islets, although the expression intensity and the co-expression pattern varied between ssts as well as between species. This may reflect a difference in response to somatostatin in islet cells of the two species. The Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) mouse model is an experimental model of type 1 diabetes, with insulitis accompanied by spontaneous hyperglycaemia. Pancreatic specimens from NOD mice at different age and stage of disease were stained for ssts. The islet cells of diabetic NOD mice showed increased islet expression of sst2-5 compared to normoglycemic NOD mice. The increase in sst2-5 expression in the islets cells may suggest either a contributing factor in the process leading to diabetes, or a defense response against ongoing beta-cell destruction. Somatostatin analogues were tested on a human endocrine pancreatic tumour cell line and cultured pancreatic islets. Somatostatin analogues had an effect on cAMP accumulation, chromogranin A secretion and MAP kinase activity in the cell line. Treatment of rat pancreatic islets with somatostatin analogues with selective receptor affinity was not sufficient to induce an inhibition of insulin and glucagon secretion. However, a combination of selective analogues or non-selective analogues via costimulation of receptors can cause inhibition of hormone production. For insulin and glucagon, combinations of sst2 + sst5 and sst1 + sst2, respectively, showed a biological effect. In summary, knowledge of islet cell ssts expression and the effect of somatostatin analogues with high affinity to ssts may be valuable in the future attempts to influence beta-cell function in type 1 diabetes mellitus, since down-regulation of beta-cell function may promote survival of

  7. Carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity of legume lectins in respect to their proposed biological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio Viana Ramos

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The lectins, proteins which specifically recognize carbohydrate moieties, have been extensively studied in many biochemical and structural aspects in order to establish the molecular basis of this non-catalytic event. On the other hand, their clinical and agricultural potentials have been growing fast. Although lectins, mainly those from legume plants, had been investigated for biological properties, studies about the physiological functions of lectins are scarce in literature. Therefore, despite the accumulated data on lectins (as proteins, the role played by these signalizing molecules is poorly discussed. In the light of our accumulated results on legume lectins, specially those obtained from plants belonging to the Diocleinae sub-tribe and available data in literature, we discuss here the main hypothesis of their functions according to their carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity.As lectinas, proteinas que especificamente reconhecem estruturas que contém carboidratos, têm sido extensivamente estudadas em muitos aspectos bioquímicos e estruturais, objetivando estabelecer as bases moleculares deste evento não-catalítico. Por outro lado, os potenciais clínicos e agriculturais destas proteínas têm crescido rapidamente. Embora as lectinas, principalmente aquelas de legumes tenham sido bastante investigadas em suas propriedades biológicas, estudos sobre as funcões fisiológicas de lectinas são escassos na literatura. Além disto, a despeito da quantidade de dados acumulados sobre lectinas (como proteínas, o papel desempenhado por estas moléculas de sinalização é pobremente discutido. Valendo-se de nossos estudos sobre lectinas de leguminosas, principalmente da sub-tribo Diocleinae, e outros dados presentes na literatura, discutimos aqui, as principais hipóteses de suas funções com base na especificidade por carboidratos e glicanos complexos.

  8. Pre-illness cannabis use and the early course of nonaffective psychotic disorders: associations with premorbid functioning, the prodrome, and mode of onset of psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Compton, Michael T; Broussard, Beth; Ramsay, Claire E; Stewart, Tarianna

    2011-03-01

    Limited research indicates that pre-illness cannabis use may result in an earlier age at onset of psychosis, though little is known about the influence of prior cannabis use on the premorbid and prodromal phases. This study examined the effects of prior or concurrent cannabis (as well as nicotine and alcohol) use on: (1) early adolescent (12-15 years) premorbid functioning, (2) late adolescent (16-18 years) premorbid functioning, (3) two features of the prodrome, and (4) mode of onset of psychosis. Participants included 109 well-characterized first-episode patients hospitalized in public-sector settings. Assessments included ages at initiation of first, weekly, and daily use of substances, the Premorbid Adjustment Scale, the Symptom Onset in Schizophrenia inventory, and a consensus-based best estimate of mode of onset. Participants having used cannabis at ≤15 years had better early adolescence social functioning than those who had not used cannabis (p=0.02). Conversely, those who had used cannabis at ≤18 years had poorer late adolescence academic functioning (pcannabis before onset of psychotic symptoms did not differ from those who had not in terms of having had an identifiable prodrome or the number of prodromal symptoms experienced. Whereas 42% of those having used cannabis daily had an acute mode of onset of psychosis, only 20% of those without prior daily cannabis use had an acute onset (p=0.04). Findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with premorbid social and academic functioning and mode of onset. Further research is warranted to elucidate the complex associations between cannabis use and diverse early-course features. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Ants: Major Functional Elements in Fruit Agro-Ecosystems and Biological Control Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamine Diamé

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ants are a very diverse taxonomic group. They display remarkable social organization that has enabled them to be ubiquitous throughout the world. They make up approximately 10% of the world’s animal biomass. Ants provide ecosystem services in agrosystems by playing a major role in plant pollination, soil bioturbation, bioindication, and the regulation of crop-damaging insects. Over recent decades, there have been numerous studies in ant ecology and the focus on tree cropping systems has given added importance to ant ecology knowledge. The only missing point in this knowledge is the reasons underlying difference between the positive and negative effects of ants in tree cropping systems. This review article provides an overview of knowledge of the roles played by ants in orchards as functional elements, and on the potential of Oecophylla weaver ants as biological control agents. It also shows the potential and relevance of using ants as an agro-ecological diagnosis tool in orchards. Lastly, it demonstrates the potential elements which may determine the divergent negative and positive of their effects on cropping systems.

  10. Functional and biological diversity of foliar spectra in tree canopies throughout the Andes to Amazon region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Martin, Roberta E; Carranza-Jiménez, Loreli; Sinca, Felipe; Tupayachi, Raul; Anderson, Christopher B; Martinez, Paola

    2014-10-01

    Spectral properties of foliage express fundamental chemical interactions of canopies with solar radiation. However, the degree to which leaf spectra track chemical traits across environmental gradients in tropical forests is unknown. We analyzed leaf reflectance and transmittance spectra in 2567 tropical canopy trees comprising 1449 species in 17 forests along a 3400-m elevation and soil fertility gradient from the Amazonian lowlands to the Andean treeline. We developed quantitative links between 21 leaf traits and 400-2500-nm spectra, and developed classifications of tree taxa based on spectral traits. Our results reveal enormous inter-specific variation in spectral and chemical traits among canopy trees of the western Amazon. Chemical traits mediating primary production were tightly linked to elevational changes in foliar spectral signatures. By contrast, defense compounds and rock-derived nutrients tracked foliar spectral variation with changing soil fertility in the lowlands. Despite the effects of abiotic filtering on mean foliar spectral properties of tree communities, the spectra were dominated by phylogeny within any given community, and spectroscopy accurately classified 85-93% of Amazonian tree species. Our findings quantify how tropical tree canopies interact with sunlight, and indicate how to measure the functional and biological diversity of forests with spectroscopy. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  11. Physiology and Endocrinology Symposium: biological role of interferon tau in endometrial function and conceptus elongation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorniak, P; Bazer, F W; Spencer, T E

    2013-04-01

    This review integrates established and new information on the biological role of ovarian progesterone (P4) and interferon tau as well as conceptus- and endometrial-derived factors, PG and cortisol, in endometrial function and conceptus elongation during the periimplantation period of pregnancy in ruminants. Interferon tau is the maternal recognition of pregnancy signal that inhibits production of luteolytic pulses of PGF2α by the endometrium to maintain corpora lutea and their production of P4, the unequivocal hormone of pregnancy. Conceptus-endometrial interactions in ruminants are complex and involve carefully orchestrated temporal and spatial alterations in endometrial gene expression during pregnancy. Available results from studies in sheep support the idea that the individual, interactive, and coordinated actions of P4, interferon tau, PG, and cortisol regulate expression of elongation- and implantation-related genes in the endometrial epithelia and that P4 and PG are essential regulators of conceptus elongation. The outcome of these gene expression changes is alterations in endometrial secretions that govern conceptus elongation via effects on trophectoderm proliferation, migration, attachment, and adhesion. An increased knowledge of conceptus-endometrial interactions during early pregnancy in ruminants is necessary to understand and elucidate the causes of recurrent pregnancy loss and to provide a basis for new strategies to improve pregnancy outcome and reproductive efficiency.

  12. The biology and functional morphology of Macoma biota (Bivalvia: Tellinidae: Macominae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Ribeiro Piffer

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Macoma biota Arruda & Domaneschi, 2005, is a recently described species known only from the intertidal zone of Praia da Cidade, Caraguatatuba Bay, in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. The main purpose of the present paper is to describe the biology of M. biota, beginning with a detailed analysis of its anatomy and functional morphology and how these attributes are correlated with its habitat and life history. The morphology of the organs in the pallial cavity and their sorting devices indicate that this species has efficient mechanisms to process large amounts of particles that enter this cavity via the inhalant current. M. biota can rapidly select the material suitable for ingestion and direct the undesired excess to the rejection mantle tracts. These characteristics along with the siphon's behavior and the digestive tract configuration reveal that this species can be classified primarily as a deposit feeder, like other species of the genus; however, it can also behave as a suspension feeder, depending on the environmental conditions.

  13. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-01-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s −1 and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s) −1 . Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm. (paper)

  14. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-06-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s(-1) and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s)(-1). Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm.

  15. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Systems biology seeks to study biological systems as a whole, contrary to the reductionist approach that has dominated biology. Such a view of biological systems emanating from strong foundations of molecular level understanding of the individual components in terms of their form, function and interactions is promising to ...

  16. Mode selection laser

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2014-01-01

    The invention relates to a semiconductor mode selection laser, particularly to a VCSEL laser (200) having mode selection properties. The mode selection capability of the laser is achieved by configuring one of the reflectors (15,51) in the resonance cavity so that a reflectivity of the reflector...... (15) varies spatially in one dimension or two dimensions. Accordingly, the reflector (15) with spatially varying reflectivity is part both of the resonance cavity and the mode selection functionality of the laser. A plurality of the lasers configured with different mode selectors, i.e. different...... spatial reflector variations, may be combined to generate a laser beam containing a plurality of orthogonal modes. The laser beam may be injected into a few- mode optical fiber, e.g. for the purpose of optical communication. The VCSEL may have intra-cavity contacts (31,37) and a Tunnel junction (33...

  17. Short term recovery of soil biological functions in a new vineyard cultivated in organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Agnelli, Alessandro; Fabiani, Arturo; Gagnarli, Elena; Mocali, Stefano; Priori, Simone; Simoni, Sauro; Valboa, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    soil biological classes). Physical soil characteristics remained unchanged after the first year from the earthworks and did not change under grass cover. Chemical analysis only indicated a significant effect of earthworks. Over the 2010-2013 period, the new vineyard showed a slight increase of TOC and total N contents; as compared to the old vineyard, it averaged lower TOC and total N, and higher CaCO3 contents, suggesting still evolving equilibrium conditions. Microarthropod analysis showed significant different abundances and communities' structures both by management system and by year, increasing where the land use pressure was reduced by permanent grass cover and along with the aging of vineyard. Though the euedaphic forms, well adapted to soil life, were always rare. Microbiological analysis showed a different structure of eubacterial communities and a lower microbial activity in the new vineyard, especially during 2010-2012. In contrast, significant differences were not observed between the two vineyards in 2013, and grass cover effect was controversial. To sum up, the consequence of deep earthworks on chemical and biological properties were still evident after four years from planting and more time was needed to recover soil functions. Permanent grass cover did not always show a consistent positive effect.

  18. Impact of major and minor mode on EEG frequency range activities of music processing as a function of expertise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenni, Raoul; Oechslin, Mathias S; James, Clara E

    2017-04-24

    Processing western tonal music may yield distinct brain responses depending on the mode of the musical compositions. Although subjective feelings in response to major and minor mode are well described, the underlying brain mechanisms and their development with increasing expertise have not been thoroughly examined. Using high-density electroencephalography, the present study investigated neuronal activities in the frequency domain in response to polyphone musical compositions in major and minor mode in non-musicians, amateurs and experts. During active listening decrease of theta- and gamma-frequency range activities occurred with increasing expertise in right posterior regions, possibly reflecting enhanced processing efficiency. Moreover, minor and major compositions distinctively modulated synchronization of neuronal activities in high frequency ranges (beta and gamma) in frontal regions, with increased activity in response to minor compositions in musicians and in experts in particular. These results suggest that high-frequency electroencephalographic (EEG) activities carry information about musical mode, showing gradual increase of processing efficiency and sensitivity with musical expertise. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Normative values of functional competence, speed and lower body power for youth football players at different stages of biological maturity

    OpenAIRE

    Ryan, Desmond

    2016-01-01

    Professional football clubs place great emphasis on development of young players to attain first team squad membership, yet despite extensive research on senior teams there is limited knowledge the assessment of functional competence and the development of elite youth players (Brownlee, et al. 2015). This study aimed to assess normative values of functional competence, speed and lower body power for elite youth players at different stages of biological maturity as these factors have significa...

  20. The Default Mode Network as a Biomarker of Persistent Complaints after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Longitudinal Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Horn, Harm J; Scheenen, Myrthe E; de Koning, Myrthe E; Liemburg, Edith J; Spikman, Jacoba M; van der Naalt, Joukje

    2017-12-01

    The objective of this study was to examine longitudinal functional connectivity of resting-state networks in patients with and without complaints after uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Second, we aimed to determine the value of network connectivity in predicting persistent complaints, anxiety, depression and long-term outcome. Thirty mTBI patients with three or more post-traumatic complaints at 2 weeks post-injury, 19 without complaints, and 20 matched healthy controls were selected for this study. Resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) was performed in patients at 1 month and 3 months post-injury, and once in healthy controls. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used to investigate the default mode, executive and salience networks. Persistent post-traumatic complaints, anxiety, and depression were measured at 3 months post-injury, and outcome was determined at 1 year post-injury. Within the group with complaints, higher functional connectivity between the anterior and posterior components of the default mode network at 1 month post-injury was associated with a greater number of complaints at 3 months post-injury (ρ = 0.59, p = 0.001). Minor longitudinal changes in functional connectivity were found for patients with and without complaints after mTBI, which were limited to connectivity within the precuneus component of the default mode network. No significant results were found for the executive and salience networks. Current results suggest that the default mode network may serve as a biomarker of persistent complaints in patients with uncomplicated mTBI.

  1. 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...

  2. Integrated Biological Control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    JOHNSON, A.R.

    2002-01-01

    Biological control is any activity taken to prevent, limit, clean up, or remediate potential environmental, health and safety, or workplace quality impacts from plants, animals, or microorganisms. At Hanford the principal emphasis of biological control is to prevent the transport of radioactive contamination by biological vectors (plants, animals, or microorganisms), and where necessary, control and clean up resulting contamination. Other aspects of biological control at Hanford include industrial weed control (e.g.; tumbleweeds), noxious weed control (invasive, non-native plant species), and pest control (undesirable animals such as rodents and stinging insects; and microorganisms such as molds that adversely affect the quality of the workplace environment). Biological control activities may be either preventive (apriori) or in response to existing contamination spread (aposteriori). Surveillance activities, including ground, vegetation, flying insect, and other surveys, and apriori control actions, such as herbicide spraying and placing biological barriers, are important in preventing radioactive contamination spread. If surveillance discovers that biological vectors have spread radioactive contamination, aposteriori control measures, such as fixing contamination, followed by cleanup and removal of the contamination to an approved disposal location are typical response functions. In some cases remediation following the contamination cleanup and removal is necessary. Biological control activities for industrial weeds, noxious weeds and pests have similar modes of prevention and response

  3. Overexpression and biological function of MEF2D in human pancreatic cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhiwang; Feng, Chan; Lu, Yonglin; Gao, Yong; Lin, Yun; Dong, Chunyan

    2017-01-01

    To explore the expression, clinical significance, biological function, and potential mechanism of MEF2D in pancreatic cancer, the expression of MEF2D in human pancreatic cancer tissues and corresponding adjacent normal tissues was analyzed through immunohistochemical staining. The association between MEF2D expression, clinicopathological parameters, overall survival, and disease-free survival was evaluated. Human pancreatic cancer cell lines BxPC-1 and SW1990 were selected to investigate the effect of MEF2D knockdown on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Western blot analysis was used to assess the effect of MEF2D expression on the Akt/GSK pathway, as well as the protein expression of cyclin B1, cyclin D1, matrix metalloprotein (MMP)-2, and MMP-9. Our results revealed that the expression of MEF2D was increased in pancreatic cancer tissues compared to adjacent normal tissues and the increased expression of MEF2D was associated with tumor size, histological differentiation, and TNM stage of pancreatic cancer patients. Moreover, the expression of MEF2D was an independent prognostic indicator for pancreatic cancer patients. In addition, knockdown of MEF2D in pancreatic cancer cells inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and invasion by down-regulating the protein expression of cyclin B1, cyclin D1, MMP-2, and MMP-9. Knockdown of MEF2D reduced the levels of phosphorylated Akt and GSK-3β. Our data indicated that MEF2D expression was increased in pancreatic cancer and was an independent molecular prognostic factor for pancreatic cancer patients. Furthermore, we showed that MEF2D controlled cell proliferation, migration, and invasion abilities in pancreatic cancer via the Akt/GSK-3β signaling pathway.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Wei Hu

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

  5. Biological oscillations for learning walking coordination: dynamic recurrent neural network functionally models physiological central pattern generator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoellinger, Thomas; Petieau, Mathieu; Duvinage, Matthieu; Castermans, Thierry; Seetharaman, Karthik; Cebolla, Ana-Maria; Bengoetxea, Ana; Ivanenko, Yuri; Dan, Bernard; Cheron, Guy

    2013-01-01

    The existence of dedicated neuronal modules such as those organized in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, or spinal cord raises the question of how these functional modules are coordinated for appropriate motor behavior. Study of human locomotion offers an interesting field for addressing this central question. The coordination of the elevation of the 3 leg segments under a planar covariation rule (Borghese et al., 1996) was recently modeled (Barliya et al., 2009) by phase-adjusted simple oscillators shedding new light on the understanding of the central pattern generator (CPG) processing relevant oscillation signals. We describe the use of a dynamic recurrent neural network (DRNN) mimicking the natural oscillatory behavior of human locomotion for reproducing the planar covariation rule in both legs at different walking speeds. Neural network learning was based on sinusoid signals integrating frequency and amplitude features of the first three harmonics of the sagittal elevation angles of the thigh, shank, and foot of each lower limb. We verified the biological plausibility of the neural networks. Best results were obtained with oscillations extracted from the first three harmonics in comparison to oscillations outside the harmonic frequency peaks. Physiological replication steadily increased with the number of neuronal units from 1 to 80, where similarity index reached 0.99. Analysis of synaptic weighting showed that the proportion of inhibitory connections consistently increased with the number of neuronal units in the DRNN. This emerging property in the artificial neural networks resonates with recent advances in neurophysiology of inhibitory neurons that are involved in central nervous system oscillatory activities. The main message of this study is that this type of DRNN may offer a useful model of physiological central pattern generator for gaining insights in basic research and developing clinical applications.

  6. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  7. The development of peptide-based interfacial biomaterials for generating biological functionality on the surface of bioinert materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Steven R; Khoo, Xiaojuan; Huang, Xin; Walsh, Elisabeth B; Grinstaff, Mark W; Kenan, Daniel J

    2009-01-01

    Biomaterials used in implants have traditionally been selected based on their mechanical properties, chemical stability, and biocompatibility. However, the durability and clinical efficacy of implantable biomedical devices remain limited in part due to the absence of appropriate biological interactions at the implant interface and the lack of integration into adjacent tissues. Herein, we describe a robust peptide-based coating technology capable of modifying the surface of existing biomaterials and medical devices through the non-covalent binding of modular biofunctional peptides. These peptides contain at least one material binding sequence and at least one biologically active sequence and thus are termed, "Interfacial Biomaterials" (IFBMs). IFBMs can simultaneously bind the biomaterial surface while endowing it with desired biological functionalities at the interface between the material and biological realms. We demonstrate the capabilities of model IFBMs to convert native polystyrene, a bioinert surface, into a bioactive surface that can support a range of cell activities. We further distinguish between simple cell attachment with insufficient integrin interactions, which in some cases can adversely impact downstream biology, versus biologically appropriate adhesion, cell spreading, and cell survival mediated by IFBMs. Moreover, we show that we can use the coating technology to create spatially resolved patterns of fluorophores and cells on substrates and that these patterns retain their borders in culture.

  8. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibition as a potent diagnostic tool for gene function in plant biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Christer; Sun, Chuanxin; Ghebramedhin, Haile; Hoglund, Anna-Stina; Jansson, Christer

    2008-01-15

    Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) inhibition emerges as an effective means for probing gene function in plant cells. Employing this method we have established the importance of the SUSIBA2 transcription factor for regulation of starch synthesis in barley endosperm, and arrived at a model for the role of the SUSIBAs in sugar signaling and source-sink commutation during cereal endosperm development. In this addendum we provide additional data demonstrating the suitability of the antisense ODN technology in studies on starch branching enzyme activities in barley leaves. We also comment on the mechanism for ODN uptake in plant cells. Antisense ODNs are short (12-25 nt-long) stretches of single-stranded ODNs that hybridize to the cognate mRNA in a sequence-specific manner, thereby inhibiting gene expression. They are naturally occurring in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes where they partake in gene regulation and defense against viral infection. The mechanisms for antisense ODN inhibition are not fully understood but it is generally considered that the ODN either sterically interferes with translation or promotes transcript degradation by RNase H activation. The earliest indication of the usefulness of antisense ODN technology for the purposes of molecular biology and medical therapy was the demonstration in 1978 that synthetic ODNs complementary to Raos sarcoma virus could inhibit virus replication in tissue cultures of chick embryo fibroblasts. Since then the antisense ODN technology has been widely used in animal sciences and as an important emerging therapeutic approach in clinical medicine. However, antisense ODN inhibition has been an under-exploited strategy for plant tissues, although the prospects for plant cells in suspension cultures to take up single-stranded ODNs was reported over a decade ago. In 2001, two reports from Malho and coworker demonstrated the use of cationic-complexed antisense ODNs to suppress expression of genes encoding pollen

  9. Synthesis, characterization and functionalization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials for photovoltaic and biological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zejing

    Silicon nanoparticles are attractive candidates for biological, photovoltaic and energy storage applications due to their size dependent optoelectronic properties. These include tunable light emission, high brightness, and stability against photo-bleaching relative to organic dyes (see Chapter 1). The preparation and characterization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials and their relevance to photovoltaic and biological applications are described. The surface-passivated silicon nanoparticles were produced in one step from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with various organic ligands. The surface structure and optical properties of the passivated silicon nanoparticles were systematically characterized. Fast approaches for purifying and at the same time size separating the silicon nanoparticles using a gravity GPC column were developed. The hydrodynamic diameter and size distribution of these size-separated silicon nanoparticles were determined using GPC and Diffusion Ordered NMR Spectroscopy (DOSY) as fast, reliable alternative approaches to TEM. Water soluble silicon nanoparticles were synthesized by grafting PEG polymers onto functionalized silicon nanoparticles with distal alkyne or azide moieties. The surface-functionalized silicon nanoparticles were produced from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with a mixture of either 5-chloro-1-pentyne in 1-pentyne or 1,7 octadiyne in 1-hexyne to afford air and water stable chloroalkyl or alkynyl terminated nanoparticles, respectively. Nanoparticles with the ω-chloroalkyl substituents were easily converted to ω-azidoalkyl groups through the reaction of the silicon nanoparticles with sodium azide in DMF. The azido terminated nanoparticles were then grafted with monoalkynyl-PEG polymers using a copper catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction to afford core-shell silicon nanoparticles with a covalently attached PEG shell. Covalently

  10. Permeating disciplines: Overcoming barriers between molecular simulations and classical structure-function approaches in biological ion transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Delemotte, Lucie; Hellmich, Ute A; Rothberg, Brad S

    2018-04-01

    Ion translocation across biological barriers is a fundamental requirement for life. In many cases, controlling this process-for example with neuroactive drugs-demands an understanding of rapid and reversible structural changes in membrane-embedded proteins, including ion channels and transporters. Classical approaches to electrophysiology and structural biology have provided valuable insights into several such proteins over macroscopic, often discontinuous scales of space and time. Integrating these observations into meaningful mechanistic models now relies increasingly on computational methods, particularly molecular dynamics simulations, while surfacing important challenges in data management and conceptual alignment. Here, we seek to provide contemporary context, concrete examples, and a look to the future for bridging disciplinary gaps in biological ion transport. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Beyond the Structure-Function Horizon of Membrane Proteins edited by Ute Hellmich, Rupak Doshi and Benjamin McIlwain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Holistic systems biology approaches to molecular mechanisms of human helper T cell differentiation to functionally distinct subsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z; Lönnberg, T; Lahesmaa, R

    2013-08-01

    Current knowledge of helper T cell differentiation largely relies on data generated from mouse studies. To develop therapeutical strategies combating human diseases, understanding the molecular mechanisms how human naïve T cells differentiate to functionally distinct T helper (Th) subsets as well as studies on human differentiated Th cell subsets is particularly valuable. Systems biology approaches provide a holistic view of the processes of T helper differentiation, enable discovery of new factors and pathways involved and generation of new hypotheses to be tested to improve our understanding of human Th cell differentiation and immune-mediated diseases. Here, we summarize studies where high-throughput systems biology approaches have been exploited to human primary T cells. These studies reveal new factors and signalling pathways influencing T cell differentiation towards distinct subsets, important for immune regulation. Such information provides new insights into T cell biology and into targeting immune system for therapeutic interventions. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. [THE FUNCTIONAL CONSTITUENT OF A BIOLOGICAL COMPONENT IN PROGRAMS FOR TRAINING SPECIALISTS IN THE AREA OF PARASITOLOGY FOR ACCREDITATION].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovgalev, A S; Astanina, S Yu; Andreeva, N D

    2015-01-01

    The paper considers the functional aspects of a biological component in programs for training specialists in the area of Parasitology for accreditation within the current enactments, including those on modernization of public health and additional professional education. The working program of the module "Fundamental Disciplines" has been used as an example to outline approaches to molding a medical parasitologist's capacity and readiness to solve professional tasks on the basis of knowledge of fundamental disciplines: biology, immunology, and medical geography. Education fundamentalization is shown to suggest more unsupervised work of a learner in the teaching process. The fundamental constituent of a biological component of the 'programs for training learners in the specialty of Parasitology for accreditation is shown in the interaction of all sections of this area with special and allied subjects.

  13. Defining an Abrasion Index for Lunar Surface Systems as a Function of Dust Interaction Modes and Variable Concentration Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobrick, Ryan L.; Klaus, David M.; Street, Kenneth W., Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Unexpected issues were encountered during the Apollo era of lunar exploration due to detrimental abrasion of materials upon exposure to the fine-grained, irregular shaped dust on the surface of the Moon. For critical design features involving contact with the lunar surface and for astronaut safety concerns, operational concepts and dust tolerance must be considered in the early phases of mission planning. To systematically define material selection criteria, dust interaction can be characterized by two-body or three-body abrasion testing, and subcategorically by physical interactions of compression, rolling, sliding and bending representing specific applications within the system. Two-body abrasion occurs when a single particle or asperity slides across a given surface removing or displacing material. Three-body abrasion occurs when multiple particles interact with a solid surface, or in between two surfaces, allowing the abrasives to freely rotate and interact with the material(s), leading to removal or displacement of mass. Different modes of interaction are described in this paper along with corresponding types of tests that can be utilized to evaluate each configuration. In addition to differential modes of abrasion, variable concentrations of dust in different zones can also be considered for a given system design and operational protocol. These zones include: (1) outside the habitat where extensive dust exposure occurs, (2) in a transitional zone such as an airlock or suitport, and (3) inside the habitat or spacesuit with a low particle count. These zones can be used to help define dust interaction frequencies, and corresponding risks to the systems and/or crew can be addressed by appropriate mitigation strategies. An abrasion index is introduced that includes the level of risk, R, the hardness of the mineralogy, H, the severity of the abrasion mode, S, and the frequency of particle interactions, F.

  14. The cellular localization of autotaxin impacts on its biological functions in human thyroid carcinoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, Anja; Klonisch, Thomas; Wulfaenger, Jens; Haag, Friedrich; Dralle, Henning; Langner, Jürgen; Hoang-Vu, Cuong; Kehlen, Astrid

    2008-06-01

    Autotaxin (ATX/NPP2) shows a nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase and lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD) activity and is a member of a family of structurally-related mammalian ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphate/phosphodiesterases (E-NPP1-3). ATX is unique among E-NPP as it is secreted and not membrane-bound as are NPP1 and -3. The ATX gene activity is significantly higher in undifferentiated anaplastic (UTC) as compared to follicular (FTC) and papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) or goiter tissues. ATX also enhances the motility of thyroid tumor cells. We bio-engineered stable transfectants of the human thyroid carcinoma cell line FTC-238 expressing either bioactively-secreted (sATX) or membrane-anchored ATX (mATX) to identify the biological functions of ATX which critically depend on the E-NPP member being secreted and provide insight into the effects of high local ATX concentrations and cellular responses. An increased cell motility was exclusively observed with FTC-238 sATX transfectants, whereas membrane-anchored ATX appeared to impair motility. We identified IL-1beta as an upstream suppressor of ATX expression in FTC-238, ATX-mediated motility in FTC-238 and stable transfectants, with IL-1beta having the strongest motility-suppressive effect on FTC-238 sATX clones. sATX and mATX strongly increased the anchorage-independent colony formation of FTC-238 but the size and number of colonies formed in the soft agar were significantly smaller in FTC-238 mATX versus the FTC-238 sATX clones. The cancer-testis antigen BAGE was identified as a novel target gene of ATX in FTC-238. Transcript levels for BAGE were 6-fold higher in FTC-238 mATX versus sATX clones. Increased BAGE transcript levels were also detected in tissues of patients with UTC versus FTC, PTC or goiter tissues. In summary, enhanced tumor cell motility and tumorigenic capacity critically depended on sATX in thyroid carcinoma cells. Irrespective of its compartmentalization, the cancer-testis antigen BAGE was

  15. Assessment of intraoperative oxygenation function and trauma degree of PCV-VG and VCV mode for elderly patients with laparoscopic abdominal surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Pu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the intraoperative oxygenation function and trauma degree of pressurecontrolled ventilation-volume guaranteed (PCV-VG and volume-controlled ventilation (VCV mode for elderly patients with laparoscopic abdominal surgery. Methods: 60 elderly patients with laparoscopic abdominal surgery were selected for study and randomly divided into two groups (n=30, group A received ventilation in accordance with sequential VCV-PCV-VG mode, group B received ventilation in accordance with the sequential PCV-VG-VCV mode, and the respiratory function parameters and arterial blood gas parameters and serum damage indexes were determined before the start of pneumoperitoneum (T0, 1 h after the start of the first ventilation mode after the start of pneumoperitoneum (T1, 1 h after the switch of ventilation mode (T2 and after the end of pneumoperitoneum (T3. Results: At T1, Ppeak, mean airway pressure (Pmean and plateau airway pressure (Pplant of group A were significantly higher than those of group B (P<0.05, partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2 was significantly lower than that of group B (P<0.05, and pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2 and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2 were not significantly different from those of group B; at T2 and T3, Ppeak, Pmean and Pplant of group A were significantly lower than those of group B (P<0.05, PaO2 were significantly lower than those of group B (P<0.05, and SpO2 and PaCO2 were not significantly different from those of group B. At T1, serum soluble receptor for advanced glycation endproduct (sRAGE, KL-6 (krebs. von den Iungen-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and malondialdehyde (MDA content of group A were significantly higher than those of group B (P<0.05; at T3, serum sRAGE, KL-6, TNF-α and MDA content of group A were significantly lower than those of group B (P<0.05. Conclusions: PCV-VG mode for elderly patients with laparoscopic abdominal surgery can reduce airway pressure, improve lung compliance and

  16. Formation of discrete solitons as a function of waveguide array geometry under the well-confined mode condition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vergara-Betancourt, A; Martí-Panameño, E; Luis-Ramos, A; Parada-Alfonso, R

    2013-01-01

    Based on numerical techniques, in this paper, we study light propagation in two types of waveguide arrays. One array contains hexagonal cells, and the second contains honeycomb cells. The waveguides demonstrate the well-confined mode condition and possess Kerr nonlinearity. The mathematical model is based on the modified discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation, which allows us to evaluate the influence of the array geometry on nonlinear light propagation, primarily the process of discrete soliton formation. The main conclusion involves the role of the coupling length; the greater the coupling length, the lower the power threshold required for discrete soliton formation. (paper)

  17. Functional MRI Assessment of Task-Induced Deactivation of the Default Mode Network in Alzheimer’s Disease and At-Risk Older Individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maija Pihlajamäki

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the most common form of dementia in old age, and is characterized by prominent impairment of episodic memory. Recent functional imaging studies in AD have demonstrated alterations in a distributed network of brain regions supporting memory function, including regions of the default mode network. Previous positron emission tomography studies of older individuals at risk for AD have revealed hypometabolism of association cortical regions similar to the metabolic abnormalities seen in AD patients. In recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies of AD, corresponding brain default mode regions have also been found to demonstrate an abnormal fMRI task-induced deactivation response pattern. That is, the relative decreases in fMRI signal normally observed in the default mode regions in healthy subjects performing a cognitive task are not seen in AD patients, or may even be reversed to a paradoxical activation response. Our recent studies have revealed alterations in the pattern of deactivation also in elderly individuals at risk for AD by virtue of their APOE e4 genotype, or evidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI. In agreement with recent reports from other groups, these studies demonstrate that the pattern of fMRI task-induced deactivation is progressively disrupted along the continuum from normal aging to MCI and to clinical AD and more impaired in e4 carriers compared to non-carriers. These findings will be discussed in the context of current literature regarding functional imaging of the default network in AD and at-risk populations.

  18. Cardiac Time Intervals by Tissue Doppler Imaging M-Mode: Normal Values and Association with Established Echocardiographic and Invasive Measures of Systolic and Diastolic Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tor Biering-Sørensen

    Full Text Available To define normal values of the cardiac time intervals obtained by tissue Doppler imaging (TDI M-mode through the mitral valve (MV. Furthermore, to evaluate the association of the myocardial performance index (MPI obtained by TDI M-mode (MPITDI and the conventional method of obtaining MPI (MPIConv, with established echocardiographic and invasive measures of systolic and diastolic function.In a large community based population study (n = 974, where all are free of any cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors, cardiac time intervals, including isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT, isovolumic contraction time (IVCT, and ejection time (ET were obtained by TDI M-mode through the MV. IVCT/ET, IVRT/ET and the MPI ((IVRT+IVCT/ET were calculated. We also included a validation population (n = 44 of patients who underwent left heart catheterization and had the MPITDI and MPIConv measured.IVRT, IVRT/ET and MPI all increased significantly with increasing age in both genders (p<0.001 for all. IVCT, ET, IVRT/ET, and MPI differed significantly between males and females, displaying that women, in general exhibit better cardiac function. MPITDI was significantly associated with invasive (dP/dt max and echocardiographic measures of systolic (LVEF, global longitudinal strain and global strainrate s and diastolic function (e', global strainrate e(p<0.05 for all, whereas MPIConv was significantly associated with LVEF, e' and global strainrate e (p<0.05 for all.Normal values of cardiac time intervals differed between genders and deteriorated with increasing age. The MPITDI (but not MPIConv is associated with most invasive and established echocardiographic measures of systolic and diastolic function.

  19. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  20. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leopoldo Díaz-Pérez

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  1. Interactions Between Biological Cells and Layered Double Hydroxides: Towards Functional Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forano, Claude; Bruna, Felipe; Mousty, Christine; Prevot, Vanessa

    2018-03-08

    This review highlights the current research on the interactions between biological cells and Layered Double Hydroxides (LDH). The as-prepared biohybrid materials appear extremely attractive in diverse fields of application relating to health care, environment and energy production. We describe how thanks to the main features of biological cells and LDH layers, various strategies of assemblies can be carried out for constructing smart biofunctional materials. The interactions between the two components are described with a peculiar attention to the adsorption, biocompatibilization, LDH layer internalization, antifouling and antimicrobial properties. The most significant achievements including authors' results, involving biological cells and LDH assemblies in waste water treatment, bioremediation and bioenergy generation are specifically addressed. © 2018 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Quantum chemical calculations predict biological function: The case of T cell receptor interaction with a peptide/MHC class I

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antipas, Georgios S. E.; Germenis, Anastasios

    2015-02-01

    A combination of atomic correlation statistics and quantum chemical calculations are shown to predict biological function. In the present study, various antigenic peptide-Major Histocompatibility Complex (pMHC) ligands with near-identical stereochemistries, in complexation with the same T cell receptor (TCR), were found to consistently induce distinctly different quantum chemical behavior, directly dependent on the peptide’s electron spin density and intrinsically expressed by the protonation state of the peptide’s N-terminus. Furthermore, the cumulative coordination difference of any variant in respect to the native peptide was found to accurately reflect peptide biological function and immerges as the physical observable which is directly related to the immunological end-effect of pMHC-TCR interaction.

  3. CeFunMO: A centrality based method for discovering functional motifs with application in biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouhsar, Morteza; Razaghi-Moghadam, Zahra; Mousavian, Zaynab; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-09-01

    Detecting functional motifs in biological networks is one of the challenging problems in systems biology. Given a multiset of colors as query and a list-colored graph (an undirected graph with a set of colors assigned to each of its vertices), the problem is reduced to finding connected subgraphs, which best cover the multiset of query. To solve this NP-complete problem, we propose a new color-based centrality measure for list-colored graphs. Based on this newly-defined measure of centrality, a novel polynomial time algorithm is developed to discover functional motifs in list-colored graphs, using a greedy strategy. This algorithm, called CeFunMO, has superior running time and acceptable accuracy in comparison with other well-known algorithms, such as RANGI and GraMoFoNe. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Understanding the Biological Roles of Pectins in Plants through Physiological and Functional Characterizations of Plant and Fungal Mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

    polysaccharides and consist of backbones rich in galacturonic acids, which are decorated with a range of functional groups including acetyl esters and arabinan sidechains. Although much effort has been made to uncover biological functions of pectins in plants and remarkable progresses have taken place, many...... aspects remain elusive. Studies described in this thesis aimed at gaining new insights into the biological roles of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The thesis consists of four chapters: physiological characterization of cell wall mutants affected in cell......-degrading enzyme secreted by B. cinerea during infection of plants (Chapter 5). The results described resulted in valuable new knowledge regarding the role of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana documented in three published research papers, one manuscript and one...

  5. Thyroid Autoimmunity and Function after Treatment with Biological Antirheumatic Agents in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bliddal, Sofie; Dinsen, Stina; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla

    2017-01-01

    With the increased pro-inflammatory response in both rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid autoimmune diseases, treatment with biological antirheumatic agents (BAAs) of the former may affect the course of the latter. In hepatitis C and cancer patients, treatment with biological agents substantially...... increases the risk of developing thyroid autoimmunity. As the use of BAAs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is increasing, this review aimed to investigate if such use affected thyroid status in rheumatoid arthritis patients. We conducted a systematic literature search and included six studies...

  6. The CB1 Neutral Antagonist Tetrahydrocannabivarin Reduces Default Mode Network and Increases Executive Control Network Resting State Functional Connectivity in Healthy Volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rzepa, Ewelina; Tudge, Luke; McCabe, Ciara

    2015-09-10

    The cannabinoid cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) neutral antagonist tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) has been suggested as a possible treatment for obesity, but without the depressogenic side-effects of inverse antagonists such as Rimonabant. However, how THCv might affect the resting state functional connectivity of the human brain is as yet unknown. We examined the effects of a single 10mg oral dose of THCv and placebo in 20 healthy volunteers in a randomized, within-subject, double-blind design. Using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging and seed-based connectivity analyses, we selected the amygdala, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as regions of interest. Mood and subjective experience were also measured before and after drug administration using self-report scales. Our results revealed, as expected, no significant differences in the subjective experience with a single dose of THCv. However, we found reduced resting state functional connectivity between the amygdala seed region and the default mode network and increased resting state functional connectivity between the amygdala seed region and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and between the dmPFC seed region and the inferior frontal gyrus/medial frontal gyrus. We also found a positive correlation under placebo for the amygdala-precuneus connectivity with the body mass index, although this correlation was not apparent under THCv. Our findings are the first to show that treatment with the CB1 neutral antagonist THCv decreases resting state functional connectivity in the default mode network and increases connectivity in the cognitive control network and dorsal visual stream network. This effect profile suggests possible therapeutic activity of THCv for obesity, where functional connectivity has been found to be altered in these regions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  7. Instructive Biologic Scaffold for Functional Tissue Regeneration Following Trauma to the Extremities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    was to evaluate the effectiveness of a regenerative biologic scaffold, Biodesign ® 6-layer Plastic Surgery Matrix [Cook Biotech]; Premarket...planned to be enrolled and followed for a period of 1 year (12 months). This study had the intention to evaluate the effectiveness of Biodesign ®, a 6

  8. Discovering and validating biological hypotheses from coherent patterns in functional genomics data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joachimiak, Marcin Pawel

    2008-08-12

    The area of transcriptomics analysis is among the more established in computational biology, having evolved in both technology and experimental design. Transcriptomics has a strong impetus to develop sophisticated computational methods due to the large amounts of available whole-genome datasets for many species and because of powerful applications in regulatory network reconstruction as well as elucidation and modeling of cellular transcriptional responses. While gene expression microarray data can be noisy and comparisons across experiments challenging, there are a number of sophisticated methods that aid in arriving at statistically and biologically significant conclusions. As such, computational transcriptomics analysis can provide guidance for analysis of results from newer experimental technologies. More recently, search methods have been developed to identify modules of genes, which exhibit coherent expression patterns in only a subset of experimental conditions. The latest advances in these methods allow to integrate multiple data types anddatasets, both experimental and computational, within a single statistical framework accounting for data confidence and relevance to specific biological questions. Such frameworks provide a unified environment for the exploration of specific biological hypothesis and for the discovery of coherent data patterns along with the evidence supporting them.

  9. 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...

  10. In silico determination of intracellular glycosylation and phosphorylation sites in human selectins: Implications for biological function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahmad, I.; Hoessli, D.C.; Gupta, Ramneek

    2007-01-01

    both modifications are likely to occur can also be predicted (YinYang sites), to suggest further functional versatility. Structural modifications of hydroxyl groups of P-, E-, and L-selectins have been predicted and possible functions resulting from such modifications are proposed. Functional changes...

  11. Mechanical and biological properties of the micro-/nano-grain functionally graded hydroxyapatite bioceramics for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Changchun; Deng, Congying; Chen, Xuening; Zhao, Xiufen; Chen, Ying; Fan, Yujiang; Zhang, Xingdong

    2015-08-01

    Functionally graded materials (FGM) open the promising approach for bone tissue repair. In this study, a novel functionally graded hydroxyapatite (HA) bioceramic with micrograin and nanograin structure was fabricated. Its mechanical properties were tailored by composition of micrograin and nanograin. The dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) indicated that the graded HA ceramics had similar mechanical property compared to natural bones. Their cytocompatibility was evaluated via fluorescent microscopy and MTT colorimetric assay. The viability and proliferation of rabbit bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on ceramics indicated that this functionally graded HA ceramic had better cytocompatibility than conventional HA ceramic. This study demonstrated that functionally graded HA ceramics create suitable structures to satisfy both the mechanical and biological requirements of bone tissues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex systems biology models: emulation, global parameter searches and evaluation of gene functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, Ian; Liu, Junli; Goldstein, Michael; Rowe, James; Topping, Jen; Lindsey, Keith

    2018-01-02

    Many mathematical models have now been employed across every area of systems biology. These models increasingly involve large numbers of unknown parameters, have complex structure which can result in substantial evaluation time relative to the needs of the analysis, and need to be compared to observed data of various forms. The correct analysis of such models usually requires a global parameter search, over a high dimensional parameter space, that incorporates and respects the most important sources of uncertainty. This can be an extremely difficult task, but it is essential for any meaningful inference or prediction to be made about any biological system. It hence represents a fundamental challenge for the whole of systems biology. Bayesian statistical methodology for the uncertainty analysis of complex models is introduced, which is designed to address the high dimensional global parameter search problem. Bayesian emulators that mimic the systems biology model but which are extremely fast to evaluate are embeded within an iterative history match: an efficient method to search high dimensional spaces within a more formal statistical setting, while incorporating major sources of uncertainty. The approach is demonstrated via application to a model of hormonal crosstalk in Arabidopsis root development, which has 32 rate parameters, for which we identify the sets of rate parameter values that lead to acceptable matches between model output and observed trend data. The multiple insights into the model's structure that this analysis provides are discussed. The methodology is applied to a second related model, and the biological consequences of the resulting comparison, including the evaluation of gene functions, are described. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex models using both emulators and history matching is shown to be a powerful technique that can greatly aid the study of a large class of systems biology models. It both provides insight into model behaviour

  13. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Isomeric Methoxy Substitutions on Anti-Cancer Indolyl-Pyridinyl-Propenones: Effects on Potency and Mode of Activity

    OpenAIRE

    Trabbic, Christopher J.; George, Sage M.; Alexander, Evan M.; Du, Shengnan; Offenbacher, Jennifer M.; Crissman, Emily J.; Overmeyer, Jean H.; Maltese, William A.; Erhardt, Paul W.

    2016-01-01

    Certain indolyl-pyridinyl-propenone analogues kill glioblastoma cells that have become resistant to conventional therapeutic drugs. Some of these analogues induce a novel form of non-apoptotic cell death called methuosis, while others primarily cause microtubule disruption. Ready access to 5-indole substitution has allowed characterization of this position to be important for both types of mechanisms when a simple methoxy group is present. We now report the syntheses and biological effects of...

  14. Biological Soil Crusts Influence Hydrologic Function Differently in Various Deserts And Future Climate and Land Use will Affect These Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Wilcox, B.; Barger, N.; Herrick, J.; van Soyoc, M.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) can completely cover plant interspaces in dryland regions, and can constitute 70% or more of the living ground cover. In these areas, where precipitation is low and soils have low fertility, native plants often rely on intact biological soil crusts to provide water and nutrient flow to the broadly scattered vegetation. In cool desert systems, well-developed biocrusts (dominated by lichens and mosses) roughen the soil surface, increasing residence time of surface water flow. This results in increased and relatively homogenous infiltration of water into the soils. Filaments associated with cyanobacteria, fungi, mosses and lichens increase aggregate formation and stabilize soils, thus reducing sediment production, with well-developed biocrusts conferring much more stability on soils than less developed cyanobacterial dominated biocrusts. In hot and hyper-arid desert systems, biocrusts are generally less developed and dominated by cyanobacteria. These biocrusts generally increase runoff from plant interspaces to downslope vegetation. While reduced infiltration may seem to be negative, it can actually be advantageous to the downslope plants, as they may require small watersheds above them to provide the needed amount of water and nutrients required for their growth. Thus, infiltration and nutrient additions are more heterogenous than in cool desert systems. Soil surface disturbance and climate change have the potential to dramatically alter the species composition and thereby function of biological soil crusts in different deserts. Compressional disturbances results in reduced cover and a loss of lichen and moss species. Changes in climate regimes, such as an increase in temperature or a shift in the amount, timing, or intensity of rainfall, will influence the composition and physiological functioning of biological soil crusts, as various crust components have different photosynthetic and respiration responses to temperature and

  15. The Default Mode Network is functionally and structurally disrupted in amnestic mild cognitive impairment — A bimodal MEG–DTI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar Garcés

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the past years, several studies on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI and Alzheimer's disease (AD have reported Default Mode Network (DMN deficits. This network is attracting increasing interest in the AD community, as it seems to play an important role in cognitive functioning and in beta amyloid deposition. Attention has been particularly drawn to how different DMN regions are connected using functional or structural connectivity. To this end, most studies have used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI, Positron Emission Tomography (PET or Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI. In this study we evaluated (1 functional connectivity from resting state magnetoencephalography (MEG and (2 structural connectivity from DTI in 26 MCI patients and 31 age-matched controls. Compared to controls, the DMN in the MCI group was functionally disrupted in the alpha band, while no differences were found for delta, theta, beta and gamma frequency bands. In addition, structural disconnection could be assessed through a decreased fractional anisotropy along tracts connecting different DMN regions. This suggests that the DMN functional and anatomical disconnection could represent a core feature of MCI.

  16. Recent Progress in Synthesis and Functionalization of Multimodal Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanoparticles for Biological Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raquel Serrano García

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a great interest in the development of new nanomaterials for multimodal imaging applications in biology and medicine. Multimodal fluorescent-magnetic based nanomaterials deserve particular attention as they can be used as diagnostic and drug delivery tools, which could facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and many other diseases. This review focuses on the recent developments of magnetic-fluorescent nanocomposites and their biomedical applications. The recent advances in synthetic strategies and approaches for the preparation of fluorescent-magnetic nanocomposites are presented. The main biomedical uses of multimodal fluorescent-magnetic nanomaterials, including biological imaging, cancer therapy and drug delivery, are discussed, and prospects of this field are outlined.

  17. Deciphering death: a commentary on Gompertz (1825) 'On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkwood, Thomas B L

    2015-04-19

    In 1825, the actuary Benjamin Gompertz read a paper, 'On the nature of the function expressive of the law of human mortality, and on a new mode of determining the value of life contingencies', to the Royal Society in which he showed that over much of the adult human lifespan, age-specific mortality rates increased in an exponential manner. Gompertz's work played an important role in shaping the emerging statistical science that underpins the pricing of life insurance and annuities. Latterly, as the subject of ageing itself became the focus of scientific study, the Gompertz model provided a powerful stimulus to examine the patterns of death across the life course not only in humans but also in a wide range of other organisms. The idea that the Gompertz model might constitute a fundamental 'law of mortality' has given way to the recognition that other patterns exist, not only across the species range but also in advanced old age. Nevertheless, Gompertz's way of representing the function expressive of the pattern of much of adult mortality retains considerable relevance for studying the factors that influence the intrinsic biology of ageing. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

  18. The Biology of Bioavailability: The Role of Functional Ecology in Exposure Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-30

    were assessed using polyethylene devices (PEDs) and provided a reasonable indicator of organism exposure but did not account for organisms with...predicting bioavailability, but could not account for divergent animal behavior between species and substrate types. ERDC/EL TR-17-2 3 1.4 Benefits...sediment horizon containing most of the biological activity (application of this ambiguous concept has proven to be very difficult to accomplish, in

  19. Biological Assessment of Aquaculture Effects on Effluent-Receiving Streams in Ghana Using Structural and Functional Composition of Fish and Macroinvertebrate Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansah, Yaw Boamah; Frimpong, Emmanuel A.; Amisah, Stephen

    2012-07-01

    Biological assessment of aquatic ecosystems is widely employed as an alternative or complement to chemical and toxicity testing due to numerous advantages of using biota to determine ecosystem condition. These advantages, especially to developing countries, include the relatively low cost and technical requirements. This study was conducted to determine the biological impacts of aquaculture operations on effluent-receiving streams in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. We collected water, fish and benthic macroinvertebrate samples from 12 aquaculture effluent-receiving streams upstream and downstream of fish farms and 12 reference streams between May and August of 2009, and then calculated structural and functional metrics for biotic assemblages. Fish species with non-guarding mode of reproduction were more abundant in reference streams than downstream ( P = 0.0214) and upstream ( P = 0.0251), and sand-detritus spawning fish were less predominant in reference stream than upstream ( P = 0.0222) and marginally less in downstream locations ( P = 0.0539). A possible subsidy-stress response of macroinvertebrate family richness and abundance was also observed, with nutrient (nitrogen) augmentation from aquaculture and other farming activities likely. Generally, there were no, or only marginal differences among locations downstream and upstream of fish farms and in reference streams in terms of several other biotic metrics considered. Therefore, the scale of impact in the future will depend not only on the management of nutrient augmentation from pond effluents, but also on the consideration of nutrient discharges from other industries like fruit and vegetable farming within the study area.

  20. Estimation of relevant variables on high-dimensional biological patterns using iterated weighted kernel functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Rojas-Galeano

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of complex proteomic and genomic profiles involves the identification of significant markers within a set of hundreds or even thousands of variables that represent a high-dimensional problem space. The occurrence of noise, redundancy or combinatorial interactions in the profile makes the selection of relevant variables harder.Here we propose a method to select variables based on estimated relevance to hidden patterns. Our method combines a weighted-kernel discriminant with an iterative stochastic probability estimation algorithm to discover the relevance distribution over the set of variables. We verified the ability of our method to select predefined relevant variables in synthetic proteome-like data and then assessed its performance on biological high-dimensional problems. Experiments were run on serum proteomic datasets of infectious diseases. The resulting variable subsets achieved classification accuracies of 99% on Human African Trypanosomiasis, 91% on Tuberculosis, and 91% on Malaria serum proteomic profiles with fewer than 20% of variables selected. Our method scaled-up to dimensionalities of much higher orders of magnitude as shown with gene expression microarray datasets in which we obtained classification accuracies close to 90% with fewer than 1% of the total number of variables.Our method consistently found relevant variables attaining high classification accuracies across synthetic and biological datasets. Notably, it yielded very compact subsets compared to the original number of variables, which should simplify downstream biological experimentation.

  1. Biology, behaviour and functional response of Cydnocoris gilvus Brum. (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae a predator of Tea Mosquito Bug (Helopeltis antonii Sign. on cashew in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.K. Srikumar

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Helopeltis spp. (Hemiptera: Miridae are major sucking pests of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L. in India. Cydnocoris gilvus Brum. (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae is recorded as a potential predator of Helopeltis spp. Biology, mating behaviour and functional response of C. gilvus were studied by rearing in the laboratory (temperature 26-28 0C; relative humidity 89-94 % with wax moth, Galleria mellonella, larvae. Based on laboratory rearing, the fecundity was 56.33 eggs in 8.67 batches per female. The average stadial period was 37.3 days, with a maximum of 11 days for V instar and a minimum of 4.5 days for III instars. C. gilvus took 45.5 days to complete a generation. The innate capacity of natural increase was 0.07 with a gross reproduction of 67.8 females per female. The adult exhibited a pin and jab mode of predation in a sequence of actions. The sequential action of mating comprised arousal (1.32 min, approach (12.30 min, riding over (140.48 min and copulation (85.40 min. The predator responded to increasing prey density by killing more prey than at lower prey densities

  2. Human Dopamine Receptors Interaction Network (DRIN): a systems biology perspective on topology, stability and functionality of the network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podder, Avijit; Jatana, Nidhi; Latha, N

    2014-09-21

    Dopamine receptors (DR) are one of the major neurotransmitter receptors present in human brain. Malfunctioning of these receptors is well established to trigger many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Taking into consideration that proteins function collectively in a network for most of the biological processes, the present study is aimed to depict the interactions between all dopamine receptors following a systems biology approach. To capture comprehensive interactions of candidate proteins associated with human dopamine receptors, we performed a protein-protein interaction network (PPIN) analysis of all five receptors and their protein partners by mapping them into human interactome and constructed a human Dopamine Receptors Interaction Network (DRIN). We explored the topology of dopamine receptors as molecular network, revealing their characteristics and the role of central network elements. More to the point, a sub-network analysis was done to determine major functional clusters in human DRIN that govern key neurological pathways. Besides, interacting proteins in a pathway were characterized and prioritized based on their affinity for utmost drug molecules. The vulnerability of different networks to the dysfunction of diverse combination of components was estimated under random and direct attack scenarios. To the best of our knowledge, the current study is unique to put all five dopamine receptors together in a common interaction network and to understand the functionality of interacting proteins collectively. Our study pinpointed distinctive topological and functional properties of human dopamine receptors that have helped in identifying potential therapeutic drug targets in the dopamine interaction network. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Calibration of Biokinetic and Biological Parameters for a Groundwater Bioremediation Model using Heuristics and Function Approximation Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugunthan, P.; Shoemaker, C. A.; Regis, R. G.

    2003-12-01

    Heuristics and function approximation optimization methods were applied in calibrating biological and biokinetic parameters for a computationally expensive groundwater bioremediation model for engineered reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes. Multi-species groundwater bioremediation models that use monod type kinetics are often not amenable to traditional derivative based optimization due to stiff biokinetic equations. The performance of three heuristic methods, Stochastic Greedy Search (GS), Real Genetic Algorithm (RGA), Derandomized Evolution Strategy (DES), and, Function Approximation Optimization based on Radial Basis Function (FA-RBF) were compared on three-dimensional hypothetical and field problems. GS was implemented so as to perform a more global search. Optimization results on hypothetical problem indicated that FA-RBF performed statistically significantly better than heuristic based evolutionary algorithms at a 10% significance level. Further, this particular implementation of GS performed well and proved superior to RGA. These heuristic methods and FA-RBF, with the exception of RGA, were applied to calibrate biological and biokinetic parameters using treatability test data for enhanced bioremediation at a Naval Air Station in Alameda Point, CA. All three methods performed well and identified similar solutions. The approximate simulation times for the hypothetical and real problems were 7 min and 2.5 hours respectively. Calibration of such computationally expensive models by heuristic and function approximation methods appears promising.

  4. [Anatomical and functional changes in the heart caused by physical stress shown in M-mode echocardiography].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, G

    1982-05-06

    The paper focuses on the determination of echocardiographic standard values for male and female standard persons between the age of 10 and 30 (n = 180), the determination of the physiological extreme variants of competitive athletes (n = 148) and the analysis of the mode of operation of the heart at rest and during physical stress of the trained and untrained heart (n = 45). Body weight and body surface are both equally suited as reference values for the specification of echocardiographic standard values. Echocardiographic index values relative to the body surface (mm/m2) cannot be used as standard values for persons with different body measurements. Under long-term intensive stress of training an adaption of the heart in the sense of an eccentric hypertrophy occurs in the case of endurance athletes, while in the case of strength athletes a cardiac adaption towards a concentric hypertrophy may be noted. During dynamic physical activity (50 and 100 W) hearts of different sizes at the same levels of stress show clear differences with regard to the changes in size resulting from physical stress and with regard to contractility. Related to equal heart rate as an indication for an equal sympathetic impulse, however, the reaction of hearts of different sizes resulting from physical stress is almost identical.

  5. Bio-templated CdSe quantum dots green synthesis in the functional protein, lysozyme, and biological activity investigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Qisui; Li, Song; Liu, Peng; Min, Xinmin

    2012-01-01

    Bifunctional fluorescence (CdSe Quantum Dots) – protein (Lysozyme) nanocomposites were synthesized at room temperature by a protein-directed, solution-phase, green-synthetic method. Fluorescence (FL) and absorption spectra showed that CdSe QDs were prepared successfully with Lyz. The average particle size and crystalline structure of QDs were investigated by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. With attenuated total reflection-fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra and thermogravimetric (TG) analysis, it was confirmed that there is interaction between QDs and amide I, amide II groups in Lyz. FL polarization was measured and FL imaging was done to monitor whether QDs could be responsible for possible changes in the conformation and activity of Lyz. Interestingly, the results showed Lyz still retain the biological activity after formation of QDs, but the secondary structure of the Lyz was changed. And the advantage of this synthesis method is producing excellent fluorescent QDs with specifically biological function. -- Highlights: ► Lysozyme-directed green synthesis of CdSe quantum dots. ► Lysozyme still retain the biological activity after formation of CdSe. ► The method is the production of fluorescent QDs with highly specific and functions.

  6. S1-ZGV Modes of a Linear and Nonlinear Profile for Functionally Graded Material Using Power Series Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Zagrouba

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The present work deals with functionally graded materials (FGM isotropic plates in the neighborhood of the first-order symmetric zero group velocity (S1-ZGV point. The mechanical properties of functionally graded material (FGM are assumed to vary continuously through the thickness of the plate and obey a power law of the volume fraction of the constituents. Governing equations for the problem are derived, and the power series technique (PST is employed to solve the recursive equations. The impact of the FGM basic materials properties on S1-ZGV frequency of FGM plate is investigated. Numerical results show that S1-ZGV frequency is comparatively more sensitive to the shear modulus. The gradient coefficient p does not affect the linear dependence of ZGV frequency fo as function of cut-off frequency fc; only the slope is slightly varied.

  7. 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

  8. Assessment of the biological control capability of Hippodamia variegata (Col.: Coccinellidae) using functional response experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madadi, Hossein; Parizi, Emad Mohajeri; Allahyari, Hossein

    2011-01-01

    and a three-dimensional set-up with whole plants. In addition, the functional responses in two-dimensional set-ups towards cotton aphids and the pea aphids were compared. H. variegata exhibited a functional type II response to both cotton aphids and pea aphids irrespective of life stage and spatial scale...

  9. Self-assembly and stability of double rosette nanostructures with biological functionalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Cate, M.G.J.; Omerovic, Merdan; Oshovsky, G.; Crego Calama, Mercedes; Reinhoudt, David

    2005-01-01

    The syntheses of calix[4]arene dimelamines that are functionalized with alkyl, aminoalkyl, ureido, pyridyl, carbohydrate, amino acid and peptide functionalities, and their self-assembly with barbituric acid or cyanuric acid derivatives into well-defined hydrogen-bonded nanostructures are described.

  10. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-03-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms.

  11. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-01-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms

  12. Superclusters : a search for novel structures and functions of biological iron-sulfur clusters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arendsen, A.F.

    1996-01-01


    Iron sulfur (Fe-S) proteins are found in a variety of organisms. They usually function in electron transport, but they may also be involved in other functions like gene regulation and Lewis acid catalysis. The structure and spectroscopic properties of Fe-S clusters holding one, two,

  13. 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...... motions. Design/methodology/approach – Each joint is driven by a pair of virtual agonist-antagonist mechanism (VAAM, i.e., passive components). The muscle-like functions as well as the variable joint compliance are simply achieved by tuning the damping coefficient of the VAAM. Findings – With the VAAM...... or torque sensing systems; thereby capable of implementing the model on small legged robots driven by, e.g., standard servo motors. Thus, the VAAM minimizes hardware and reduces system complexity. From this point of view, the model opens up another way of simulating muscle behaviors on artificial machines...

  14. Proteomic analyses uncover a new function and mode of action for mouse homolog of diaphanous 2 (mDia2)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isogai, Tadamoto; Van Der Kammen, Rob; Goerdayal, Soenita S.; Heck, Albert J. R.; Altelaar, A. F. Maarten; Innocenti, Metello

    2015-01-01

    mDia2 is an auto-inhibited Formin influencing actin dynamics upon conversion to the active conformation. mDia2 regulates actin-based protrusions and cell invasion, cell differentiation, vesicle trafficking, and cytokinesis. However, whether mDia2 has additional functions and how its action is

  15. The Default Mode Network as a Biomarker of Persistent Complaints after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury : A Longitudinal Functional MRI Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Horn, Harm J.; Scheenen, Myrthe E.; de Koning, Myrthe E.; Liemburg, Edith J.; Spikman, Jacoba M.; van der Naalt, Joukje

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine longitudinal functional connectivity of resting-state networks in patients with and without complaints after uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Second, we aimed to determine the value of network connectivity in predicting persistent

  16. Synthesis and biological evaluation of isomeric methoxy substitutions on anti-cancer indolyl-pyridinyl-propenones: Effects on potency and mode of activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabbic, Christopher J; George, Sage M; Alexander, Evan M; Du, Shengnan; Offenbacher, Jennifer M; Crissman, Emily J; Overmeyer, Jean H; Maltese, William A; Erhardt, Paul W

    2016-10-21

    Certain indolyl-pyridinyl-propenone analogues kill glioblastoma cells that have become resistant to conventional therapeutic drugs. Some of these analogues induce a novel form of non-apoptotic cell death called methuosis, while others primarily cause microtubule disruption. Ready access to 5-indole substitution has allowed characterization of this position to be important for both types of mechanisms when a simple methoxy group is present. We now report the syntheses and biological effects of isomeric methoxy substitutions on the indole ring. Additionally, analogues containing a trimethoxyphenyl group in place of the pyridinyl moiety were evaluated for anticancer activity. The results demonstrate that the location of the methoxy group can alter both the potency and the mechanism of cell death. Remarkably, changing the methoxy from the 5-position to the 6-position switched the biological activity from induction of methuosis to disruption of microtubules. The latter may represent a prototype for a new class of mitotic inhibitors with potential therapeutic utility. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Covariance Association Test (CVAT) Identifies Genetic Markers Associated with Schizophrenia in Functionally Associated Biological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Demontis, Ditte; Castro Dias Cuyabano, Beatriz

    2016-01-01

    power to detect genetic markers with small effects. Instead, aggregating genetic markers based on biological information might increase the power to identify sets of genetic markers of etiological significance. Several set test methods have been proposed: Here we propose a new set test derived from......Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with large personal and social costs, and understanding the genetic etiology is important. Such knowledge can be obtained by testing the association between a disease phenotype and individual genetic markers; however, such single-marker methods have limited...

  18. Primary cell culture of Echinococcus granulosus developed from the cystic germinal layer: biological and functional characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albani, Clara M; Elissondo, María Celina; Cumino, Andrea C; Chisari, Andrea; Denegri, Guillermo M

    2010-09-01

    Cell cultures of parasitic helminths are an invaluable tool for investigations of basic biological processes, as well as for development of improved chemotherapeutic agents and molecular interactions between host and parasite. We carried out a simple and efficient methodology to isolate Echinococcus granulosus germinal cells which were maintained for at least 4 months while cultivated in the presence of reducing agents and hormones. Microscopic analysis of the primary cell culture revealed the presence of cells with similar Echinococcus germinal cell morphology and behaviour. Population doubling time was estimated at 48 h, showing a rapid division rate. To discard possible host contamination, the specificity of the primary culture was tested by nested PCR, analyzing mdh gene expression and obtaining only one product with the expected size. We also studied the expression of specific E. granulosus proteins in primary cell culture. The novel and systematized method described here constitutes a powerful tool for investigations in cystic echinococcosis on biochemical and biological aspects related to the life cycle of the parasite and mechanisms of host-parasite interactions. This method also constitutes a powerful tool for the design of more efficient therapeutic alternatives. Copyright (c) 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2011-06-07

    Jun 7, 2011 ... Cellular pathways; genetic network; microRNA; pancreatic cancer; tumorigenic transformation; 3' untranslated region ... components of the complex functional pathway networks controlling important cellular processes, such as proliferation, development, differentiation, stress response' and apoptosis.

  20. Complexity of cancer protease biology: Cathepsin K expression and function in cancer progression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verbovšek, Urška; van Noorden, Cornelis J. F.; Lah, Tamara T.

    2015-01-01

    Proteases, including lysosomal cathepsins, are functionally involved in many processes in cancer progression from its initiation to invasion and metastatic spread. Only recently, cathepsin K (CatK), the cysteine protease originally reported as a collagenolytic protease produced by osteoclasts,

  1. Biological functioning of PAH-polluted and thermal desorption-treated soils assessed by fauna and microbial bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cébron, Aurélie; Cortet, Jérôme; Criquet, Stéven; Biaz, Asmaa; Calvert, Virgile; Caupert, Cécile; Pernin, Céline; Leyval, Corinne

    2011-11-01

    A large number of soil bioindicators were used to assess biological diversity and activity in soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the same soil after thermal desorption (TD) treatment. Abundance and biodiversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as functional parameters such as enzymatic activities and soil respiration, were assessed during a two year period of in situ monitoring. We investigated the influence of vegetation (spontaneous vegetation and Medicago sativa) and TD treatment on biological functioning. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the whole data set. A principal response curve (PRC) technique was used to evaluate the different treatments (various vegetation and contaminated vs. TD soil) contrasted with control (bare) soil over time. Our results indicated the value of using a number of complementary bioindicators, describing both diversity and functions, to assess the influence of vegetation on soil and discriminate polluted from thermal desorption (TD)-treated soil. Plants had an influence on the abundance and activity of all organisms examined in our study, favoring the whole trophic chain development. However, although TD-treated soil had a high abundance and diversity of microorganisms and fauna, enzymatic activities were weak because of the strong physical and chemical modifications of this soil. Copyright © 2011 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. A promising future for integrative biodiversity research: an increased role of scale-dependency and functional biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, L.

    2016-01-01

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart. PMID:26977068

  3. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, part II: Grafting of polyphenols extracted from grape skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Polyphenols, as one of the most important family of phytochemicals protective substances from grape fruit, possess various biological activities and health-promoting benefits, for example: inhibition of some degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers, reduction of plasma oxidative stress and slowing aging. The combination of polyphenols and biomaterials may have good potential to reach good bioavailability and controlled release, as well as to give biological signaling properties to the biomaterial surfaces. In this research, conventional solvent extraction was developed for obtaining polyphenols from dry grape skins. The Folin&Ciocalteu method was used to determine the amount of total polyphenols in the extracts. Surface functionalization of two bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2) was performed by grafting the extracted polyphenols on their surfaces. The effectiveness of the functionalization was tested by UV spectroscopy, which analyzes the amount of polyphenols in the uptake solution (before and after functionalization) and on solid samples, and XPS, which analyzes the presence of phenols on the material surface.

  4. Minimal information: an urgent need to assess the functional reliability of recombinant proteins used in biological experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Marco Ario

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Structural characterization of proteins used in biological experiments is largely neglected. In most publications, the information available is totally insufficient to judge the functionality of the proteins used and, therefore, the significance of identified protein-protein interactions (was the interaction specific or due to unspecific binding of misfolded protein regions? or reliability of kinetic and thermodynamic data (how much protein was in its native form?. As a consequence, the results of single experiments might not only become questionable, but the whole reliability of systems biology, built on these fundaments, would be weakened. The introduction of Minimal Information concerning purified proteins to add as metadata to the main body of a manuscript would render straightforward the assessment of their functional and structural qualities and, consequently, of results obtained using these proteins. Furthermore, accepted standards for protein annotation would simplify data comparison and exchange. This article has been envisaged as a proposal for aggregating scientists who share the opinion that the scientific community needs a platform for Minimum Information for Protein Functionality Evaluation (MIPFE.

  5. A promising future for integrative biodiversity research: an increased role of scale-dependency and functional biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S A; Schmitz, L

    2016-04-05

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Functional outcomes of posterior vaginal wall repair and prespinous colpopexy with biological small intestinal submucosal (SIS) graft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhu, Chendrimada; Cooke, Joanna; Harber, Penelope; Holmes, David

    2014-10-01

    Surgical management of posterior vaginal wall prolapse has variable functional outcomes. Synthetic and biological grafts are used to improve outcomes and reduce failures. The objective of this study was to determine the functional outcomes and its implications on patient-reported quality of life of a technique of posterior vaginal wall repair and prespinous colpopexy with biological small intestinal submucosal (SIS) graft in the management of posterior vaginal wall prolapse. This prospective cohort study was conducted in a urogynaecology subspecialty center in the UK. Women with moderate degree rectocele or more, with or without other compartmental prolapse underwent posterior vaginal wall repair and prespinous colpopexy with SIS graft over a 3-year period. ICIQ vaginal symptoms questionnaires were used pre-operatively and at 6 months post-operatively to assess functional outcomes. The Wilcoxon signed R test was used to analyze the results. 50 women underwent posterior repair with SIS graft (27 with concomitant procedures). There was a statistically significant improvement (p SIS graft is an effective surgical option for managing women with posterior vaginal wall prolapse with or without other concomitant compartmental defects.

  7. White Dwarf Rotation as a Function of Mass and a Dichotomy of Mode Line Widths: Kepler Observations of 27 Pulsating DA White Dwarfs through K2 Campaign 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermes, J. J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Kawaler, Steven D.; Greiss, S.; Tremblay, P.-E.; Gentile Fusillo, N. P.; Raddi, R.; Fanale, S. M.; Bell, Keaton J.; Dennihy, E.; Fuchs, J. T.; Dunlap, B. H.; Clemens, J. C.; Montgomery, M. H.; Winget, D. E.; Chote, P.; Marsh, T. R.; Redfield, S.

    2017-10-01

    We present photometry and spectroscopy for 27 pulsating hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs (DAVs; a.k.a. ZZ Ceti stars) observed by the Kepler space telescope up to K2 Campaign 8, an extensive compilation of observations with unprecedented duration (>75 days) and duty cycle (>90%). The space-based photometry reveals pulsation properties previously inaccessible to ground-based observations. We observe a sharp dichotomy in oscillation mode line widths at roughly 800 s, such that white dwarf pulsations with periods exceeding 800 s have substantially broader mode line widths, more reminiscent of a damped harmonic oscillator than a heat-driven pulsator. Extended Kepler coverage also permits extensive mode identification: we identify the spherical degree of 87 out of 201 unique radial orders, providing direct constraints of the rotation period for 20 of these 27 DAVs, more than doubling the number of white dwarfs with rotation periods determined via asteroseismology. We also obtain spectroscopy from 4 m-class telescopes for all DAVs with Kepler photometry. Using these homogeneously analyzed spectra, we estimate the overall mass of all 27 DAVs, which allows us to measure white dwarf rotation as a function of mass, constraining the endpoints of angular momentum in low- and intermediate-mass stars. We find that 0.51-0.73 M ⊙ white dwarfs, which evolved from 1.7-3.0 M ⊙ ZAMS progenitors, have a mean rotation period of 35 hr with a standard deviation of 28 hr, with notable exceptions for higher-mass white dwarfs. Finally, we announce an online repository for our Kepler data and follow-up spectroscopy, which we collect at http://k2wd.org.

  8. Functional Nanomaterials with Aggregation-Induced Emission Characteristics: Synthesis, Properties and Biological Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Tsz Kin

    Fluorescent nanomaterials have great promise in bioanalysis and biotechnological applications because of their unique optical properties, high surface-to-volume ratio, and surface-modifiable quality. The development of fluorescent biosensors with high sensitivity, selectivity, and biocompatibility is of critical importance because it offers a direct visualization tool for the detection of biological macromolecules and the monitoring of biological events in living systems. Most of the conventional organic fluorophores, however, suffer from the self-quenching problem at high concentration or in the aggregated state. Such aggregation-cause quenching (ACQ) effect has greatly limited the scope of their bio-applications. Recently, our group discovered such a system, in which luminogen aggregation plays a constructive, instead of destructive, role in the light-emitting process. We have termed this abnormal phenomenon as "aggregation-induced emission" (AIE) and identified the restriction of intramolecular rotation as the main cause of the AIE effect. Attracted by the intriguing phenomenon and its fascinating perspectives, we have launched a new program directed towards the development of new AIE materials and exploration of their biological applications. In this work, a series of water-soluble AIE luminogens are designed and synthesized. Hydrophilic groups such as amino and sulfonate groups are incorporated into the AIE structures to impart them with good water solubility. Being practically non-emissive in water, these AIE luminogens are induced to emit intensely when bound to biomacromolecules, such as heparin, protamine and albumins, through hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. Such light-up property enables the quantitation and visualization of biomacromolecules in aqueous solution and in electrophoretic gels. Incorporation of cleavable hydrophilic bioconjugates into AIE luminogens can enhance the specificity of the bioprobes. The bioprobes are nonluminscent in

  9. A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the "Function Debate" in the Philosophy of Biology to the "Venom Debate" in the Science of Toxinology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Timothy N W; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-09-07

    The "function debate" in the philosophy of biology and the "venom debate" in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate. Venom systems, like many other functional traits, exist in nature as points on a continuum and the boundaries between "venomous" and "non-venomous" species may not always be clearly defined. This paper includes a brief overview of the concept of function, followed by in-depth discussion of its application to venom systems. A sound understanding of function may aid in moving the venom debate forward. Similarly, consideration of a complex functional trait such as venom may be of interest to philosophers of biology.

  10. Highly functionalized piperidines: Free radical scavenging, anticancer activity, DNA interaction and correlation with biological activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suvankar Das

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Twenty-five piperidines were studied as potential radical scavengers and antitumor agents. Quantitative interaction of compounds with ctDNA using spectroscopic techniques was also evaluated. Our results demonstrate that the evaluated piperidines possesses different abilities to scavenge the radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH and the anion radical superoxide (·O2−. The piperidine 19 was the most potent radical DPPH scavenger, while the most effective to ·O2− scavenger was piperidine 10. In general, U251, MCF7, NCI/ADR-RES, NCI-H460 and HT29 cells were least sensitive to the tested compounds and all compounds were considerably more toxic to the studied cancer cell lines than to the normal cell line HaCaT. The binding mode of the compounds and ctDNA was preferably via intercalation. In addition, these results were confirmed based on theoretical studies. Finally, a linear and exponential correlation between interaction constant (Kb and GI50 for several human cancer cell was observed.

  11. Functional biology and ecological role of krill in Northern marine ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

    ) and by production of fast sinking carbon-rich faecal pellets. Hence, the large schools of krill greatly influence the pelagic food web and the flux of organic matter in the sea. However, knowledge of the distribution and feeding biology in krill from northern areas is scarce, although of importance to get a better...... understanding of the marine ecosystems and food webs. This thesis aimed to gain more knowledge of krill in northern hemisphere and to study their trophic position and grazing impact in a sub-Arctic fjord. The project investigated i) species and population composition of krill in the area of Godthåbsfjord, SW...... assumed to be the main grazers in marine ecosystems. This suggests that krill could be and are - in the case of Godthåbsfjord - important grazers that deserve more attention in future monitoring and research programs...

  12. synthesis and characterization of some poly functionalized heterocyclic derivatives of expected biological activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-sayed, M.S.

    2001-01-01

    The present work was aimed and designed to fulfil The following objectives : 1- Continuation of the effort done by our research group in the field of chemistry of pyridinethione derivatives and their biological activities. 2- Synthesis of several new heterocyclic derivatives containing N and/or S using the laboratory available reagents. 3- Establishment of the structures of the newly synthesized heterocyclic compounds by the data of IR, 1 H-NMR, mass spectra in addition to the elemental analysis. 4- Synthesis of some of these heterocyclic derivatives via alternative routs and this used as a tool to confirm the structures of the newly synthesized heterocyclic derivatives. 5- study of the most probable mechanisms leading to the formation of the new heterocyclic derivatives. 6- The antimicrobial activity of some of the newly synthesized heterocyclic derivatives was tested against several types of organisms

  13. Changes in number and function of the lymphocyte populations as a biological indicator for ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehos, A.; Hinz, G.; Schwarz, E.R.

    1986-01-01

    Siegal and Siegal reported that the number of immunoglobulin producing cells, especially after higher doses of ionizing radiation on isolated mononuclear cells decreases considerably. However, if non-irradiated B cells are cultivated with irradiated (16 Gy) T cells, a significant increase of immunoglobulin production due to the non-irradiated B cells can be observed. Siegal and Siegal described a similar result when they combined and cultivated non-irradiated with irradiated mononuclear cells. The immunoglobulin producing cells decreased in a lower and increased in a higher dose range. The two results can be explained by the fact that Tg cells which act as suppressor cells are relatively sensitive to radiation while Tm cells which are helper cells in this test are relatively resistant. According to these results, B lymphocytes are the most sensitive of the lymphocyte subpopulations. The aim of the project is to clarify whether the mentioned effects are suitable for 'biological dosimetry'. (orig./MG)

  14. The biology and function of extracellular vesicles in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Bo; Shan, Ying; Bao, Lili; Chen, Jing; Yang, Liu; Zhang, Qicheng; Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Zhenxin; Zhang, Jie; Shi, Si; You, Yiwen

    2018-01-01

    Extracellular vesicles are a heterogeneous group of membrane-enclosed vesicles, which play an important role in intercellular communication. Increasing number of studies have shown that tumor-derived extracellular vesicles might be involved in the transfer of oncogenic cargo (proteins, lipids, messenger RNA, microRNA, non-coding RNAs and DNA) through which cancer cells could shape the tumor microenvironment and influence tumor progression. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma-derived extracellular vesicles have also reported to facilitate tumor proliferation, metastasis and immune escape. Moreover, nasopharyngeal carcinoma-derived extracellular vesicles might serve as biomarkers for early diagnosis and therapeutic targets. The present review provides information on the biological and clinical significance of extracellular vesicles in tumors, especially in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

  15. Biological aspects and life table of Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas, 1878 as a function of temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auad Alexander Machado

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The aphid Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas is considered a pest of hidroponically-grown lettuce, but basic and applied information on its control are scarce in Brazil. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different temperatures on biological aspects and life history of U. ambrosiae (Thomas developing on hydroponic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. crop. Newly emerged nymphs were placed on 4-cm discs of hydroponic lettuce, var. Verônica, which were maintained on 5-cm Petri dishes, at temperatures of 15, 20 and 25ºC and 14 h photophase, and inside a greenhouse, within micro-cages at room temperature. The duration of development in all nymphal stages varied inversely to temperature. Nymphs maintained at 20ºC and 25ºC, had similar development period. However, at fluctuating greenhouse temperatures (daily mean = 21ºC, different results were obtained, which was also true for the pre-reproductive, reproductive and post-reproductive periods. Daily and total fertilities at 20ºC were better in comparison to the other treatments. The highest mortality rate of aphids occurred under greenhouse conditions. The production of 1.28 nymphs per female per day, the time needed for the population to double in size (TD=2.77days, and the intrinsic rate of population increase (r m=0.25, were similar for in insects maintained at 20 and 25ºC. On the other hand, time interval between generations (T and the net reproductive rate (Ro were higher at 20ºC. In the greenhouse, even though T was similar to laboratory conditions at 20 and 25ºC, the R0, r m and l parameters were lower and TD was higher. Based on biological aspects, fertility and life expectancy tables, constant temperature of 20ºC is the most suitable for U. ambrosiae.

  16. Protein variety and functional diversity: Swiss-Prot annotation in its biological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boeckmann, Brigitte; Blatter, Marie-Claude; Famiglietti, Livia; Hinz, Ursula; Lane, Lydie; Roechert, Bernd; Bairoch, Amos

    2005-01-01

    We all know that the dogma 'one gene, one protein' is obsolete. A functional protein and, likewise, a protein's ultimate function depend not only on the underlying genetic information but also on the ongoing conditions of the cellular system. Frequently the transcript, like the polypeptide, is processed in multiple ways, but only one or a few out of a multitude of possible variants are produced at a time. An overview on processes that can lead to sequence variety and structural diversity in eukaryotes is given. The UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot protein knowledgebase provides a wealth of information regarding protein variety, function and associated disorders. Examples for such annotation are shown and further ones are available at http://www.expasy.org/sprot/tutorial/examples_CRB.

  17. Ruminant Metabolic Systems Biology: Reconstruction and Integration of Transcriptome Dynamics Underlying Functional Responses of Tissues to Nutrition and Physiological Statea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bionaz, Massimo; Loor, Juan J.

    2012-01-01

    High-throughput ‘omics’ data analysis via bioinformatics is one key component of the systems biology approach. The systems approach is particularly well-suited for the study of the interactions between nutrition and physiological state with tissue metabolism and functions during key life stages of organisms such as the transition from pregnancy to lactation in mammals, ie, the peripartal period. In modern dairy cows with an unprecedented genetic potential for milk synthesis, the nature of the physiologic and metabolic adaptations during the peripartal period is multifaceted and involves key tissues such as liver, adipose, and mammary. In order to understand such adaptation, we have reviewed several works performed in our and other labs. In addition, we have used a novel bioinformatics approach, Dynamic Impact Approach (DIA), in combination with partly previously published data to help interpret longitudinal biological adaptations of bovine liver, adipose, and mammary tissue to lactation using transcriptomics datasets. Use of DIA with transcriptomic data from those tissues during normal physiological adaptations and in animals fed different levels of energy prepartum allowed visualization and integration of most-impacted metabolic pathways around the time of parturition. The DIA is a suitable tool for applying the integrative systems biology approach. The ultimate goal is to visualize the complexity of the systems at study and uncover key molecular players involved in the tissue’s adaptations to physiological state or nutrition. PMID:22807626

  18. Discovery of a new method for potent drug development using power function of stoichiometry of homomeric biocomplexes or biological nanomotors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Fengmei; Vieweger, Mario; Zhao, Zhengyi; Wang, Shaoying; Guo, Peixuan

    2016-01-01

    Multidrug resistance and the appearance of incurable diseases inspire the quest for potent therapeutics. We review a new methodology in designing potent drugs by targeting multi-subunit homomeric biological motors, machines or complexes with Z > 1 and K = 1, where Z is the stoichiometry of the target, and K is the number of drugged subunits required to block the function of the complex. The condition is similar to a series electrical circuit of Christmas decorations: failure of one light bulb causes the entire lighting system to lose power. In most multi-subunit, homomeric biological systems, a sequential coordination or cooperative action mechanism is utilized, thus K equals 1. Drug inhibition depends on the ratio of drugged to non-drugged complexes. When K = 1, and Z > 1, the inhibition effect follows a power law with respect to Z, leading to enhanced drug potency. The hypothesis that the potency of drug inhibition depends on the stoichiometry of the targeted biological complexes was recently quantified by Yang-Hui's Triangle (or binomial distribution), and proved using a highly sensitive in vitro phi29 viral DNA packaging system. Examples of targeting homomeric bio-complexes with high stoichiometry for potent drug discovery are discussed. Biomotors with multiple subunits are widespread in viruses, bacteria and cells, making this approach generally applicable in the development of inhibition drugs with high efficiency.

  19. Processing of laser Doppler flowmetry signals from healthy subjects and patients with varicose veins: Information categorisation approach based on intrinsic mode functions and entropy computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humeau-Heurtier, Anne; Klonizakis, Markos

    2015-06-01

    The diagnosis of pathologies from signal processing approaches has shown to be of importance. This can provide noninvasive information at the earliest stage. In this work, the problem of categorising - in a quantifiable manner - information content of microvascular blood flow signals recorded in healthy participants and patients with varicose veins is addressed. For this purpose, laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) signals - that reflect microvascular blood flow - recorded both at rest and after acetylcholine (ACh) stimulation (an endothelial-dependent vasodilator) are analyzed. Each signal is processed with the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) to obtain its intrinsic mode functions (IMFs). An entropy measure of each IMFs is then computed. The results show that IMFs of LDF signals have different complexity for different physiologic/pathological states. This is true both at rest and after ACh stimulation. Thus, the proposed framework (EMD + entropy computation) may be used to gain a noninvasive understanding of LDF signals in patients with microvascular dysfunctions. Copyright © 2015 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Mode decomposition evolution equations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yang; Wei, Guo-Wei; Yang, Siyang

    2012-03-01

    Partial differential equation (PDE) based methods have become some of the most powerful tools for exploring the fundamental problems in signal processing, image processing, computer vision, machine vision and artificial intelligence in the past two decades. The advantages of PDE based approaches are that they can be made fully automatic, robust for the analysis of images, videos and high dimensional data. A fundamental question is whether one can use PDEs to perform all the basic tasks in the image processing. If one can devise PDEs to perform full-scale mode decomposition for signals and images, the modes thus generated would be very useful for secondary processing to meet the needs in various types of signal and image processing. Despite of great progress in PDE based image analysis in the past two decades, the basic roles of PDEs in image/signal analysis are only limited to PDE based low-pass filters, and their applications to noise removal, edge detection, segmentation, etc. At present, it is not clear how to construct PDE based methods for full-scale mode decomposition. The above-mentioned limitation of most current PDE based image/signal processing methods is addressed in the proposed work, in which we introduce a family of mode decomposition evolution equations (MoDEEs) for a vast variety of applications. The MoDEEs are constructed as an extension of a PDE based high-pass filter (Europhys. Lett., 59(6): 814, 2002) by using arbitrarily high order PDE based low-pass filters introduced by Wei (IEEE Signal Process. Lett., 6(7): 165, 1999). The use of arbitrarily high order PDEs is essential to the frequency localization in the mode decomposition. Similar to the wavelet transform, the present MoDEEs have a controllable time-frequency localization and allow a perfect reconstruction of the original function. Therefore, the MoDEE operation is also called a PDE transform. However, modes generated from the present approach are in the spatial or time domain and can be

  1. In vitro biocompatibility assessment of functionalized magnetite nanoparticles: biological and cytotoxicological effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbeh, D A; França, R; Merhi, Y; Zhang, X F; Veres, T; Sacher, E; Yahia, L

    2012-06-01

    In the biomedical field, nanomaterials have the potential for use in the targeted delivery of drugs in the human body and in the diagnosis and therapy of certain diseases. In the category of targeted delivery, magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) nanoparticles have received much attention. As with any similar new therapy, when such nanoparticles are functionalized with chemical groups designed to permit the specific attachment of drugs, cytotoxicological testing is necessary before moving to animal models. Here, we consider several variously functionalized magnetite nanoparticles, including those prepared with (1) a monolayer of oleic acid (Fe(3)O(4)@OA), which is subsequently converted to (2) a shell of amine-containing silane (Fe(3)O(4)@NH(2)), (3) a shell of silica (Fe(3)O(4)@SiO(2)), and (4) a shell of amine-containing silane over a shell of silica (Fe(3)O(4)@SiO(2)@NH(2)). These latter three functionalities were evaluated for biocompatibility, cellular morphology, mitochondrial function (MTT assay), lactate dehydrogenase membrane leakage (LDH assay), and proinflammatory potential through enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for interleukin 6 (IL-6). Controlled tests were performed over a period of 72 h, with results showing LDH leakage and abnormal Il-6 secretion at high concentrations (>50 μg/mL). The tests showed that, in addition to the surface characteristics of the nanoparticles, both the nutrient medium and the time of suspension before exposure to cells also contribute to nanoparticle cytotoxicity. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. The fine-grained metaphysics of artifactual and biological functional kinds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carrara, M.; Vermaas, P.E.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we consider the emerging position in metaphysics that artifact functions characterize real kinds of artifacts. We analyze how it can circumvent an objection by David Wiggins (Sameness and substance renewed, 2001, 87) and then argue that this position, in comparison to expert judgments,

  3. 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.

  4. Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa; Briones, Carlos; de la Escosura, Andrés

    2017-04-01

    In recent years, an extension of the Darwinian framework is being considered for the study of prebiotic chemical evolution, shifting the attention from homogeneous populations of naked molecular species to populations of heterogeneous, compartmentalized and functionally integrated assemblies of molecules. Several implications of this shift of perspective are analysed in this critical review, both in terms of the individual units, which require an adequate characterization as self-maintaining systems with an internal organization, and also in relation to their collective and long-term evolutionary dynamics, based on competition, collaboration and selection processes among those complex individuals. On these lines, a concrete proposal for the set of molecular control mechanisms that must be coupled to bring about autonomous functional systems, at the interface between chemistry and biology, is provided. © 2017 The Authors.

  5. Hierarchical super-structure identified by polarized light microscopy, electron microscopy and nanoindentation: Implications for the limits of biological control over the growth mode of abalone sea shells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schneider Andreas S

    2012-09-01

    American Chemical Society 2008, 130:17519–17527]. Polarized optical microscopy revealed unprecedented super-structures in the calcitic shell part. This bears, in principle, the potential for in vivo studies, which might be useful for investigating the growth modes of nacre and other shell types.

  6. The dimer interface of the membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase hemopexin domain: crystal structure and biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tochowicz, Anna; Goettig, Peter; Evans, Richard; Visse, Robert; Shitomi, Yasuyuki; Palmisano, Ralf; Ito, Noriko; Richter, Klaus; Maskos, Klaus; Franke, Daniel; Svergun, Dmitri; Nagase, Hideaki; Bode, Wolfram; Itoh, Yoshifumi

    2011-03-04

    Homodimerization is an essential step for membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) to activate proMMP-2 and to degrade collagen on the cell surface. To uncover the molecular basis of the hemopexin (Hpx) domain-driven dimerization of MT1-MMP, a crystal structure of the Hpx domain was solved at 1.7 Å resolution. Two interactions were identified as potential biological dimer interfaces in the crystal structure, and mutagenesis studies revealed that the biological dimer possesses a symmetrical interaction where blades II and III of molecule A interact with blades III and II of molecule B. The mutations of amino acids involved in the interaction weakened the dimer interaction of Hpx domains in solution, and incorporation of these mutations into the full-length enzyme significantly inhibited dimer-dependent functions on the cell surface, including proMMP-2 activation, collagen degradation, and invasion into the three-dimensional collagen matrix, whereas dimer-independent functions, including gelatin film degradation and two-dimensional cell migration, were not affected. These results shed light on the structural basis of MT1-MMP dimerization that is crucial to promote cellular invasion.

  7. Imaging assessment of a portable hemodialysis device: detection of possible failure modes and monitoring of functional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olorunsola, Olufoladare G; Kim, Steven H; Chang, Ryan; Kuo, Yuo-Chen; Hetts, Steven W; Heller, Alex; Kant, Rishi; Saeed, Maythem; Fissell, William H; Roy, Shuvo; Wilson, Mark W

    2014-03-27

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility and limitations of various imaging modalities in the noninvasive assessment of a novel compact hemodialyzer under development for renal replacement therapy, with specific aim towards monitoring its functional performance. The prototype is a 4×3×6 cm aluminum cartridge housing "blood" and "dialysate" flow paths arranged in parallel. A sheet of semipermeable silicon nanopore membranes forms the blood-dialysate interface, allowing passage of small molecules. Blood flow was simulated using a peristaltic pump to instill iodinated contrast through the blood compartment, while de-ionized water was instilled through the dialysate compartment at a matched rate in the countercurrent direction. Images were acquired under these flow conditions using multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT), fluoroscopy, high-resolution quantitative computed tomography (HR-QCT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MDCT was used to monitor contrast diffusion efficiency by plotting contrast density as a function of position along the path of flow through the cartridge during steady state infusion at 1 and 20 mL/min. Both linear and exponential regressions were used to model contrast decay along the flow path. Both linear and exponential models of contrast decay appeared to be reasonable approximations, yielding similar results for contrast diffusion during a single pass through the cartridge. There was no measurable difference in contrast diffusion when comparing 1 mL/min and 20 mL/min flow rates. Fluoroscopy allowed a gross qualitative assessment of flow within the device, and revealed flow inhomogeneity within the corner of the cartridge opposite the blood inlet port. MRI and HR-QCT were both severely limited due to the paramagnetic properties and high atomic number of the target material, respectively. During testing, we encountered several causes of device malfunction, including leak formation, trapped gas, and contrast

  8. Genetic associations at 53 loci highlight cell types and biological pathways relevant for kidney function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaro, Cristian; Teumer, Alexander; Gorski, Mathias; Chu, Audrey Y; Li, Man; Mijatovic, Vladan; Garnaas, Maija; Tin, Adrienne; Sorice, Rossella; Li, Yong; Taliun, Daniel; Olden, Matthias; Foster, Meredith; Yang, Qiong; Chen, Ming-Huei; Pers, Tune H; Johnson, Andrew D; Ko, Yi-An; Fuchsberger, Christian; Tayo, Bamidele; Nalls, Michael; Feitosa, Mary F; Isaacs, Aaron; Dehghan, Abbas; d'Adamo, Pio; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Zonderman, Alan B; Nolte, Ilja M; van der Most, Peter J; Wright, Alan F; Shuldiner, Alan R; Morrison, Alanna C; Hofman, Albert; Smith, Albert V; Dreisbach, Albert W; Franke, Andre; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Metspalu, Andres; Tonjes, Anke; Lupo, Antonio; Robino, Antonietta; Johansson, Åsa; Demirkan, Ayse; Kollerits, Barbara; Freedman, Barry I; Ponte, Belen; Oostra, Ben A; Paulweber, Bernhard; Krämer, Bernhard K; Mitchell, Braxton D; Buckley, Brendan M; Peralta, Carmen A; Hayward, Caroline; Helmer, Catherine; Rotimi, Charles N; Shaffer, Christian M; Müller, Christian; Sala, Cinzia; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Saint-Pierre, Aude; Ackermann, Daniel; Shriner, Daniel; Ruggiero, Daniela; Toniolo, Daniela; Lu, Yingchang; Cusi, Daniele; Czamara, Darina; Ellinghaus, David; Siscovick, David S; Ruderfer, Douglas; Gieger, Christian; Grallert, Harald; Rochtchina, Elena; Atkinson, Elizabeth J; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Boerwinkle, Eric; Salvi, Erika; Bottinger, Erwin P; Murgia, Federico; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Ernst, Florian; Kronenberg, Florian; Hu, Frank B; Navis, Gerjan J; Curhan, Gary C; Ehret, George B; Homuth, Georg; Coassin, Stefan; Thun, Gian-Andri; Pistis, Giorgio; Gambaro, Giovanni; Malerba, Giovanni; Montgomery, Grant W; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Jacobs, Gunnar; Li, Guo; Wichmann, H-Erich; Campbell, Harry; Schmidt, Helena; Wallaschofski, Henri; Völzke, Henry; Brenner, Hermann; Kroemer, Heyo K; Kramer, Holly; Lin, Honghuang; Leach, I Mateo; Ford, Ian; Guessous, Idris; Rudan, Igor; Prokopenko, Inga; Borecki, Ingrid; Heid, Iris M; Kolcic, Ivana; Persico, Ivana; Jukema, J Wouter; Wilson, James F; Felix, Janine F; Divers, Jasmin; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Stafford, Jeanette M; Gaspoz, Jean-Michel; Smith, Jennifer A; Faul, Jessica D; Wang, Jie Jin; Ding, Jingzhong; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Attia, John; Whitfield, John B; Chalmers, John; Viikari, Jorma; Coresh, Josef; Denny, Joshua C; Karjalainen, Juha; Fernandes, Jyotika K; Endlich, Karlhans; Butterbach, Katja; Keene, Keith L; Lohman, Kurt; Portas, Laura; Launer, Lenore J; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Yengo, Loic; Franke, Lude; Ferrucci, Luigi; Rose, Lynda M; Kedenko, Lyudmyla; Rao, Madhumathi; Struchalin, Maksim; Kleber, Marcus E; Cavalieri, Margherita; Haun, Margot; Cornelis, Marilyn C; Ciullo, Marina; Pirastu, Mario; de Andrade, Mariza; McEvoy, Mark A; Woodward, Mark; Adam, Martin; Cocca, Massimiliano; Nauck, Matthias; Imboden, Medea; Waldenberger, Melanie; Pruijm, Menno; Metzger, Marie; Stumvoll, Michael; Evans, Michele K; Sale, Michele M; Kähönen, Mika; Boban, Mladen; Bochud, Murielle; Rheinberger, Myriam; Verweij, Niek; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Martin, Nicholas G; Hastie, Nick; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Soranzo, Nicole; Devuyst, Olivier; Raitakari, Olli; Gottesman, Omri; Franco, Oscar H; Polasek, Ozren; Gasparini, Paolo; Munroe, Patricia B; Ridker, Paul M; Mitchell, Paul; Muntner, Paul; Meisinger, Christa; Smit, Johannes H; Kovacs, Peter; Wild, Philipp S; Froguel, Philippe; Rettig, Rainer; Mägi, Reedik; Biffar, Reiner; Schmidt, Reinhold; Middelberg, Rita P S; Carroll, Robert J; Penninx, Brenda W; Scott, Rodney J; Katz, Ronit; Sedaghat, Sanaz; Wild, Sarah H; Kardia, Sharon L R; Ulivi, Sheila; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Enroth, Stefan; Kloiber, Stefan; Trompet, Stella; Stengel, Benedicte; Hancock, Stephen J; Turner, Stephen T; Rosas, Sylvia E; Stracke, Sylvia; Harris, Tamara B; Zeller, Tanja; Zemunik, Tatijana; Lehtimäki, Terho; Illig, Thomas; Aspelund, Thor; Nikopensius, Tiit; Esko, Tonu; Tanaka, Toshiko; Gyllensten, Ulf; Völker, Uwe; Emilsson, Valur; Vitart, Veronique; Aalto, Ville; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Chouraki, Vincent; Chen, Wei-Min; Igl, Wilmar; März, Winfried; Koenig, Wolfgang; Lieb, Wolfgang; Loos, Ruth J F; Liu, Yongmei; Snieder, Harold; Pramstaller, Peter P; Parsa, Afshin; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Susztak, Katalin; Hamet, Pavel; Tremblay, Johanne; de Boer, Ian H; Böger, Carsten A; Goessling, Wolfram; Chasman, Daniel I; Köttgen, Anna; Kao, W H Linda; Fox, Caroline S

    2016-01-21

    Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, 19 associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biological pathways.

  9. The EBI Search engine: providing search and retrieval functionality for biological data from EMBL-EBI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squizzato, Silvano; Park, Young Mi; Buso, Nicola; Gur, Tamer; Cowley, Andrew; Li, Weizhong; Uludag, Mahmut; Pundir, Sangya; Cham, Jennifer A; McWilliam, Hamish; Lopez, Rodrigo

    2015-07-01

    The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI-https://www.ebi.ac.uk) provides free and unrestricted access to data across all major areas of biology and biomedicine. Searching and extracting knowledge across these domains requires a fast and scalable solution that addresses the requirements of domain experts as well as casual users. We present the EBI Search engine, referred to here as 'EBI Search', an easy-to-use fast text search and indexing system with powerful data navigation and retrieval capabilities. API integration provides access to analytical tools, allowing users to further investigate the results of their search. The interconnectivity that exists between data resources at EMBL-EBI provides easy, quick and precise navigation and a better understanding of the relationship between different data types including sequences, genes, gene products, proteins, protein domains, protein families, enzymes and macromolecular structures, together with relevant life science literature. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  10. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Wang

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  12. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  13. Bridging the molecular and biological functions of the oxysterol-binding protein family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrangelo, Antonietta; Ridgway, Neale D

    2018-03-13

    Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related proteins (ORPs) constitute a large eukaryotic gene family that transports and regulates the metabolism of sterols and phospholipids. The original classification of the family based on oxysterol-binding activity belies the complex dual lipid-binding specificity of the conserved OSBP homology domain (OHD). Additional protein- and membrane-interacting modules mediate the targeting of select OSBP/ORPs to membrane contact sites between organelles, thus positioning the OHD between opposing membranes for lipid transfer and metabolic regulation. This unique subcellular location, coupled with diverse ligand preferences and tissue distribution, has identified OSBP/ORPs as key arbiters of membrane composition and function. Here, we will review how molecular models of OSBP/ORP-mediated intracellular lipid transport and regulation at membrane contact sites relate to their emerging roles in cellular and organismal functions.

  14. Functionalization of Self-Organized Nanoparticles for Biological Targeting and Active Drug Release

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jølck, Rasmus Irming

    Functional nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the unique properties of these nanoconstructs. In recognition of the huge potential within this field, much research has been devoted to develop sophisticated nanoparticles for medical diagnostics, sensors, contrast agents, vaccines...... at the surface of the nanoconstructs, resulting in anionic nanoparticles with long circulation properties in xenograft HT1080 tumor‐bearing mice. Charge reversal by peptide hydrolysis was achieved in the presence of proteases, resulting in cationic particles which were readily internalized by cells in vitro...... of functionalized liposomes were slower than the solution phase counterpart and often far from quantitative. The effect of active targeting with 64Cu octreotate liposomes targeting the somatostatin receptor 2 was evaluated to improve tumor bioimaging for diagnostic applications, using positron emission tomography...

  15. Biological Chemistry and Functionality of Protein Sulfenic Acids and Related Thiol Modifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devarie-Baez, Nelmi O.; Silva Lopez, Elsa I.; Furdui, Cristina M.

    2016-01-01

    Selective modification of proteins at cysteine residues by reactive oxygen, nitrogen or sulfur species formed under physiological and pathological states is emerging as a critical regulator of protein activity impacting cellular function. This review focuses primarily on protein sulfenylation (-SOH), a metastable reversible modification connecting reduced cysteine thiols to many products of cysteine oxidation. An overview is first provided on the chemistry principles underlining synthesis, stability and reactivity of sulfenic acids in model compounds and proteins, followed by a brief description of analytical methods currently employed to characterize these oxidative species. The following chapters present a selection of redox-regulated proteins for which the -SOH formation was experimentally confirmed and linked to protein function. These chapters are organized based on the participation of these proteins in the regulation of signaling, metabolism and epigenetics. The last chapter discusses the therapeutic implications of altered redox microenvironment and protein oxidation in disease. PMID:26340608

  16. Multi-Mode 3D Kirchhoff Migration of Receiver Functions at Continental Scale With Applications to USArray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millet, F.; Bodin, T.; Rondenay, S.

    2017-12-01

    The teleseismic scattered seismic wavefield contains valuable information about heterogeneities and discontinuities inside the Earth. By using fast Receiver Function (RF) migration techniques such as classic Common Conversion Point (CCP) stacks, one can easily interpret structural features down to a few hundred kilometers in the mantle. However, strong simplifying 1D assumptions limit the scope of these methods to structures that are relatively planar and sub-horizontal at local-to-regional scales, such as the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary and the Mantle Transition Zone discontinuities. Other more robust 2D and 2.5D methods rely on fewer assumptions but require considerable, sometime prohibitive, computation time. Following the ideas of Cheng (2017), we have implemented a simple fully 3D Prestack Kirchhoff RF migration scheme which uses the FM3D fast Eikonal solver to compute travel times and scattering angles. The method accounts for 3D elastic point scattering and includes free surface multiples, resulting in enhanced images of laterally varying dipping structures, such as subducted slabs. The method is tested for subduction structures using 2.5D synthetics generated with Raysum and 3D synthetics generated with specfem3D. Results show that dip angles, depths and lateral variations can be recovered almost perfectly. The approach is ideally suited for applications to dense regional datasets, including those collected across the Cascadia and Alaska subduction zones by USArray.

  17. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Xin

    2014-01-01

    Natural or artificial materials used for replacement or supplement the functions of living tissues, termed as biomaterials, may be bioinert (i.e. alumina and zorconia,) resorbable (i.e. tricalcium phosphate), bioactive (i.e. hydroxyapatite, bioactive glasses, and glass-ceramics) or porous for tissue ingrowth (i.e. hydroxyapatite-coated metals). Among all the biomaterials, bioactive glass and glass-ceramics are widely used in orthopedic and dental applications and are being developed for tissu...

  18. Intersection of transfer cells with phloem biology – broad evolutionary trends, function and induction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicity eAndriunas

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Transfer cells (TCs are ubiquitous throughout the plant kingdom. Their unique ingrowth wall labyrinths, supporting a plasma membrane enriched in transporter proteins, provides these cells with an enhanced membrane transport capacity for resources. In certain plant species, TCs have been shown to function to facilitate phloem loading and/or unloading at cellular sites of intense resource exchange between symplasmic/apoplasmic compartments. Within the phloem, the key cellular locations of TCs are leaf minor veins of collection phloem and stem nodes of transport phloem. In these locations, companion and phloem parenchyma cells trans-differentiate to a TC morphology consistent with facilitating loading and re-distribution of resources respectively. At a species level, occurrence of TCs is significantly higher in transport than in collection phloem. TCs are absent from release phloem but occur within post-sieve element unloading pathways and particularly at interfaces between generations of developing Angiosperm seeds. Experimental accessibility of seed TCs has provided opportunities to investigate their inductive signaling, regulation of ingrowth wall formation and membrane transport function. This review uses this information base to explore current knowledge of phloem transport function and inductive signaling for phloem-associated TCs. The functional role of collection phloem and seed TCs is supported by definitive evidence, but no such information is available for stem node TCs that present an almost intractable experimental challenge. There is an emerging understanding of inductive signals and signaling pathways responsible for initiating trans-differentiation to a TC morphology in developing seeds. However, scant information is available to comment on a potential role for inductive signals that induce seed TCs, in regulating induction of phloem-associated TCs. Biotic phloem invaders have been used as a model to speculate on involvement of

  19. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka

    OpenAIRE

    KALYA SUBASINGHE; AMILA P. SUMANAPALA

    2014-01-01

    Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR) has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five ...

  20. Structure-Property-Function Relationship in Humic Substances to Explain the Biological Activity in Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Andrés Calderín; de Souza, Luiz Gilberto Ambrosio; Pereira, Marcos Gervasio; Castro, Rosane Nora; García-Mina, José María; Zonta, Everaldo; Lisboa, Francy Junior Gonçalves; Berbara, Ricardo Luis Louro

    2016-02-01

    Knowledge of the structure-property-function relationship of humic substances (HSs) is key for understanding their role in soil. Despite progress, studies on this topic are still under discussion. We analyzed 37 humic fractions with respect to their isotopic composition, structural characteristics, and properties responsible for stimulating plant root parameters. We showed that regardless of the source of origin of the carbon (C3 or C4), soil-extracted HSs and humic acids (HAs) are structurally similar to each other. The more labile and functionalized HS fraction is responsible for root emission, whereas the more recalcitrant and less functionalized HA fraction is related to root growth. Labile structures promote root stimulation at lower concentrations, while recalcitrant structures require higher concentrations to promote a similar stimulus. These findings show that lability and recalcitrance, which are derived properties of humic fractions, are related to the type and intensity of their bioactivity. In summary, the comparison of humic fractions allowed a better understanding of the relationship between the source of origin of plant carbon and the structure, properties, and type and intensity of the bioactivity of HSs in plants. In this study, scientific concepts are unified and the basis for the agronomic use of HSs is established.

  1. 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.

  2. Time-resolved diffuse optical tomographic imaging for the provision of both anatomical and functional information about biological tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Huijuan; Gao, Feng; Tanikawa, Yukari; Homma, Kazuhiro; Yamada, Yukio

    2005-04-01

    We present in vivo images of near-infrared (NIR) diffuse optical tomography (DOT) of human lower legs and forearm to validate the dual functions of a time-resolved (TR) NIR DOT in clinical diagnosis, i.e., to provide anatomical and functional information simultaneously. The NIR DOT system is composed of time-correlated single-photon-counting channels, and the image reconstruction algorithm is based on the modified generalized pulsed spectral technique, which effectively incorporates the TR data with reasonable computation time. The reconstructed scattering images of both the lower legs and the forearm revealed their anatomies, in which the bones were clearly distinguished from the muscles. In the absorption images, some of the blood vessels were observable. In the functional imaging, a subject was requested to do handgripping exercise to stimulate physiological changes in the forearm tissue. The images of oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, and total hemoglobin concentration changes in the forearm were obtained from the differential images of the absorption at three wavelengths between the exercise and the rest states, which were reconstructed with a differential imaging scheme. These images showed increases in both blood volume and oxyhemoglobin concentration in the arteries and simultaneously showed hypoxia in the corresponding muscles. All the results have demonstrated the capability of TR NIR DOT by reconstruction of the absolute images of the scattering and the absorption with a high spatial resolution that finally provided both the anatomical and functional information inside bulky biological tissues.

  3. Analyses in zebrafish embryos reveal that nanotoxicity profiles are dependent on surface-functionalization controlled penetrance of biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paatero, Ilkka; Casals, Eudald; Niemi, Rasmus; Özliseli, Ezgi; Rosenholm, Jessica M; Sahlgren, Cecilia

    2017-08-21

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are extensively explored as drug delivery systems, but in depth understanding of design-toxicity relationships is still scarce. We used zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to study toxicity profiles of differently surface functionalized MSNs. Embryos with the chorion membrane intact, or dechoroniated embryos, were incubated or microinjected with amino (NH 2 -MSNs), polyethyleneimine (PEI-MSNs), succinic acid (SUCC-MSNs) or polyethyleneglycol (PEG-MSNs) functionalized MSNs. Toxicity was assessed by viability and cardiovascular function. NH 2 -MSNs, SUCC-MSNs and PEG-MSNs were well tolerated, 50 µg/ml PEI-MSNs induced 100% lethality 48 hours post fertilization (hpf). Dechoroniated embryos were more sensitive and 10 µg/ml PEI-MSNs reduced viability to 5% at 96hpf. Sensitivity to PEG- and SUCC-, but not NH 2 -MSNs, was also enhanced. Typically cardiovascular toxicity was evident prior to lethality. Confocal microscopy revealed that PEI-MSNs penetrated into the embryos whereas PEG-, NH2- and SUCC-MSNs remained aggregated on the skin surface. Direct exposure of inner organs by microinjecting NH 2 -MSNs and PEI-MSNs demonstrated that the particles displayed similar toxicity indicating that functionalization affects the toxicity profile by influencing penetrance through biological barriers. The data emphasize the need for careful analyses of toxicity mechanisms in relevant models and constitute an important knowledge step towards the development of safer and sustainable nanotherapies.

  4. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Results and discussion hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle. PMID:20735820

  5. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole Laurence A

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Results and discussion hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle.

  6. 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

    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...... and