WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological function mode

  1. Normal mode analysis and applications in biological physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykeman, Eric C; Sankey, Otto F

    2010-10-27

    Normal mode analysis has become a popular and often used theoretical tool in the study of functional motions in enzymes, viruses, and large protein assemblies. The use of normal modes in the study of these motions is often extremely fruitful since many of the functional motions of large proteins can be described using just a few normal modes which are intimately related to the overall structure of the protein. In this review, we present a broad overview of several popular methods used in the study of normal modes in biological physics including continuum elastic theory, the elastic network model, and a new all-atom method, recently developed, which is capable of computing a subset of the low frequency vibrational modes exactly. After a review of the various methods, we present several examples of applications of normal modes in the study of functional motions, with an emphasis on viral capsids.

  2. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. The biological function of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eEarl

    2014-08-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:21900574

  8. Monitoring Biological Modes in a Bioreactor Process by Computer Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samia Semcheddine

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the general framework of fermentation system modeling and monitoring, focusing on the fermentation of Escherichia coli. Our main objective is to develop an algorithm for the online detection of acetate production during the culture of recombinant proteins. The analysis the fermentation process shows that it behaves like a hybrid dynamic system with commutation (since it can be represented by 5 nonlinear models. We present a strategy of fault detection based on residual generation for detecting the different actual biological modes. The residual generation is based on nonlinear analytical redundancy relations. The simulation results show that the several modes that are occulted during the bacteria cultivation can be detected by residuals using a nonlinear dynamic model and a reduced instrumentation.

  9. ``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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Plasmon modes of bilayer molybdenum disulfide: a density functional study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torbatian, Z.; Asgari, R.

    2017-11-01

    We explore the collective electronic excitations of bilayer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) using density functional theory together with random phase approximation. The many-body dielectric function and electron energy-loss spectra are calculated using an ab initio based model involving material-realistic physical properties. The electron energy-loss function of the bilayer MoS2 system is found to be sensitive to either electron or hole doping and this is due to the fact that the Kohn-Sham band dispersions are not symmetric for energies above and below the zero Fermi level. Three plasmon modes are predicted, a damped high-energy mode, one optical mode (in-phase mode) for which the plasmon dispersion exhibits \\sqrt q in the long wavelength limit originating from low-energy electron scattering and finally a highly damped acoustic mode (out-of-phase mode).

  13. Sialoglycans in protozoal diseases: their detection, modes of acquisition and emerging biological roles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chava, Anil K; Bandyopadhyay, Sumi; Chatterjee, Mitali; Mandal, Chitra

    2004-01-01

    Protozoan parasites including Plasmodia, Leishmania, Trypanosoma, Entamoeba, Trichomonas and others cause diseases in humans and domestic livestock having far-reaching socio-economic implications. They show remarkable propensity to survive within hostile environments encountered during their life cycle, and the identification of molecules that enable them to survive in such milieu is a subject of intense research. Currently available knowledge of the parasite cell surface architecture and biochemistry indicates that sialic acid and its principle derivatives are major components of the glycocalyx and assist the parasite to interact with its external environment through functions ranging from parasite survival, infectivity and host-cell recognition. This review highlights the present state of knowledge with regard to parasite sialobiology with an emphasis on its mode(s) of acquisition and their emerging biological roles, notably as an anti-recognition molecule thereby aiding the pathogen to evade host defense mechanisms.

  14. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hateren, J H

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

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

  16. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. Functional biology of sympatric krill species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Formation of dominant mode by evolution in biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furusawa, Chikara; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2018-04-01

    A reduction in high-dimensional phenotypic states to a few degrees of freedom is essential to understand biological systems. Here, we show evolutionary robustness causes such reduction which restricts possible phenotypic changes in response to a variety of environmental conditions. First, global protein expression changes in Escherichia coli after various environmental perturbations were shown to be proportional across components, across different types of environmental conditions. To examine if such dimension reduction is a result of evolution, we analyzed a cell model—with a huge number of components, that reproduces itself via a catalytic reaction network—and confirmed that common proportionality in the concentrations of all components is shaped through evolutionary processes. We found that the changes in concentration across all components in response to environmental and evolutionary changes are constrained to the changes along a one-dimensional major axis, within a huge-dimensional state space. On the basis of these observations, we propose a theory in which such constraints in phenotypic changes are achieved both by evolutionary robustness and plasticity and formulate this proposition in terms of dynamical systems. Accordingly, broad experimental and numerical results on phenotypic changes caused by evolution and adaptation are coherently explained.

  20. Conditional mode regression: Application to functional time series prediction

    OpenAIRE

    Dabo-Niang, Sophie; Laksaci, Ali

    2008-01-01

    We consider $\\alpha$-mixing observations and deal with the estimation of the conditional mode of a scalar response variable $Y$ given a random variable $X$ taking values in a semi-metric space. We provide a convergence rate in $L^p$ norm of the estimator. A useful and typical application to functional times series prediction is given.

  1. 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

  2. Use of various ionization modes for the study of molecules of biological interest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forest, E.

    1987-01-01

    For the last ten years a revolutionary advance in mass spectrometry applied to molecules of biological interest occurred, chiefly concerning ionization with the emergence of many new modes allowing non volatile, polar or thermally labile sample analysis. Some examples of spectra obtained on high mass molecules such as vitamins, protein fragments, porphyrins (chlorophyll or hemoglobin active site), polysaccharides, are presented using some of the new modes [fr

  3. Elucidating antimalarial drug targets/mode-of-action by application of system biology technologies

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Becker, J

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available targets/mode-of-action by application of systems biology technologies J BECKER, L MTWISHA, B CRAMPTON AND D MANCAMA CSIR Biosciences, PO Box 395, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa Email: JBecker@csir.co.za – www.csir.co.za INTRODUCTION Malaria is one... The objective of this study was to use systems biology tools to unravel the drug target/mode-of-action (MoA) of an antimalarial drug (cyclohexylamine) with a known drug target/MoA, by analysing differential expression profiles of drug treated vs untreated...

  4. 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.

  5. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

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

  6. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charbel Niño El-Hani

    2009-10-01

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

  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. 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.

  9. Automated setpoint adjustment for biological contact mode atomic force microscopy imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casuso, Ignacio; Scheuring, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Contact mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) is the most frequently used AFM imaging mode in biology. It is about 5-10 times faster than oscillating mode imaging (in conventional AFM setups), and provides topographs of biological samples with sub-molecular resolution and at a high signal-to-noise ratio. Unfortunately, contact mode imaging is sensitive to the applied force and intrinsic force drift: inappropriate force applied by the AFM tip damages the soft biological samples. We present a methodology that automatically searches for and maintains high resolution imaging forces. We found that the vertical and lateral vibrations of the probe during scanning are valuable signals for the characterization of the actual applied force by the tip. This allows automated adjustment and correction of the setpoint force during an experiment. A system that permanently performs this methodology steered the AFM towards high resolution imaging forces and imaged purple membrane at molecular resolution and live cells at high signal-to-noise ratio for hours without an operator.

  10. The functional biology of human milk oligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Lars

    2015-11-01

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

  11. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. IMRT optimization with pseudo-biologic objective function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. Modified complementary ensemble empirical mode decomposition and intrinsic mode functions evaluation index for high-speed train gearbox fault diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Dongyue; Lin, Jianhui; Li, Yanping

    2018-06-01

    Complementary ensemble empirical mode decomposition (CEEMD) has been developed for the mode-mixing problem in Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) method. Compared to the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD), the CEEMD method reduces residue noise in the signal reconstruction. Both CEEMD and EEMD need enough ensemble number to reduce the residue noise, and hence it would be too much computation cost. Moreover, the selection of intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) for further analysis usually depends on experience. A modified CEEMD method and IMFs evaluation index are proposed with the aim of reducing the computational cost and select IMFs automatically. A simulated signal and in-service high-speed train gearbox vibration signals are employed to validate the proposed method in this paper. The results demonstrate that the modified CEEMD can decompose the signal efficiently with less computation cost, and the IMFs evaluation index can select the meaningful IMFs automatically.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Rang Yun

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-09

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

  20. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hateren, J. H.

    2017-01-01

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

  1. 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 ...

  2. Functional mapping in biology and medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McEachron, D.L.

    1986-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Single-wavelength functional photoacoustic microscopy in biological tissue

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Biological dosimetry intercomparison exercise: an evaluation of Triage and routine mode results by robust methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Giorgio, M.; Vallerga, M.B.; Radl, A.; Taja, M.R.; Barquinero, J.F.; Seoane, A.; De Luca, J.; Guerrero Carvajal, Y.C.; Stuck Oliveira, M.S.; Valdivia, P.; García Lima, O.; Lamadrid, A.; González Mesa, J.; Romero Aguilera, I.; Mandina Cardoso, T.; Arceo Maldonado, C.; Espinoza, M.E.; Martínez López, W.; Lloyd, D.C.; Méndez Acuña, L.; Di Tomaso, M.V.; Roy, L.; Lindholm, C.; Romm, H.; Güçlü, I.

    2011-01-01

    Well-defined protocols and quality management standards are indispensable for biological dosimetry laboratories. Participation in periodic proficiency testing by interlaboratory comparisons is also required. This harmonization is essential if a cooperative network is used to respond to a mass casualty event. Here we present an international intercomparison based on dicentric chromosome analysis for dose assessment performed in the framework of the IAEA Regional Latin American RLA/9/054 Project. The exercise involved 14 laboratories, 8 from Latin America and 6 from Europe. The performance of each laboratory and the reproducibility of the exercise were evaluated using robust methods described in ISO standards. The study was based on the analysis of slides from samples irradiated with 0.75 (DI) and 2.5 Gy (DII). Laboratories were required to score the frequency of dicentrics and convert them to estimated doses, using their own dose-effect curves, after the analysis of 50 or 100 cells (triage mode) and after conventional scoring of 500 cells or 100 dicentrics. In the conventional scoring, at both doses, all reported frequencies were considered as satisfactory, and two reported doses were considered as questionable. The analysis of the data dispersion among the dicentric frequencies and among doses indicated a better reproducibility for estimated doses (15.6% for DI and 8.8% for DII) than for frequencies (24.4% for DI and 11.4% for DII), expressed by the coefficient of variation. In the two triage modes, although robust analysis classified some reported frequencies or doses as unsatisfactory or questionable, all estimated doses were in agreement with the accepted error of ±0.5 Gy. However, at the DI dose and for 50 scored cells, 5 out of the 14 reported confidence intervals that included zero dose and could be interpreted as false negatives. This improved with 100 cells, where only one confidence interval included zero dose. At the DII dose, all estimations fell within

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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) ...

  13. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  16. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Noise Reduction for Nonlinear Nonstationary Time Series Data using Averaging Intrinsic Mode Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christofer Toumazou

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available A novel noise filtering algorithm based on averaging Intrinsic Mode Function (aIMF, which is a derivation of Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD, is proposed to remove white-Gaussian noise of foreign currency exchange rates that are nonlinear nonstationary times series signals. Noise patterns with different amplitudes and frequencies were randomly mixed into the five exchange rates. A number of filters, namely; Extended Kalman Filter (EKF, Wavelet Transform (WT, Particle Filter (PF and the averaging Intrinsic Mode Function (aIMF algorithm were used to compare filtering and smoothing performance. The aIMF algorithm demonstrated high noise reduction among the performance of these filters.

  19. 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.

  20. Relativistic Energy Density Functionals: Exotic modes of excitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vretenar, D.; Paar, N.; Marketin, T.

    2008-01-01

    The framework of relativistic energy density functionals has been applied to the description of a variety of nuclear structure phenomena, not only in spherical and deformed nuclei along the valley of β-stability, but also in exotic systems with extreme isospin values and close to the particle drip-lines. Dynamical aspects of exotic nuclear structure have been investigated with the relativistic quasiparticle random-phase approximation. We present results for the evolution of low-lying dipole (pygmy) strength in neutron-rich nuclei, and charged-current neutrino-nucleus cross sections.

  1. Influence of super-horizon modes on correlation functions during inflation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deutsch, Anne-Sylvie

    2018-05-01

    Coupling between sub- and super-Hubble modes can affect the locally observed statistics of our universe. In the context of Quasi-Single Field Inflation, we can compute correlation functions and derive the influence of those unobservable modes on observed correlation functions as well as on the inferred cosmological parameters. We study how different classes of diagrams affect the bispectrum in the squeezed limit; in particular, while contact-like diagrams leave the scaling between the long and short modes unchanged, exchange-like diagrams do modify the shape of the bispectrum. We show that the mass of the hidden sector field can hence be biased by an unavoidable cosmic variance that can reach a 1-σ uncertainty of Script O(10%) for a weakly non-Gaussian universe. Finally, we go beyond the bispectrum and show how couplings between unobservable and observable modes can affect generic correlation functions with arbitrary order non-derivative self-interactions.

  2. 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

  3. Progress in the biological function of alpha-enolase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Ji

    2016-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirag, N

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Heavy particle signatures in cosmological correlation functions with tensor modes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Ryo; Kubota, Takahiro

    2018-06-01

    We explore the possibility to make use of cosmological data to look for signatures of unknown heavy particles whose masses are on the order of the Hubble parameter during the time of inflation. To be more specific we take up the quasi-single field inflation model, in which the isocurvaton σ is supposed to be the heavy particle. We study correlation functions involving both scalar (ζ ) and tensor (γ ) perturbations and search for imprints of the σ-particle effects. We make use of the technique of the effective field theory for inflation to derive the ζ σ and γ ζ σ couplings. With these couplings we compute the effects due to σ to the power spectrum langle ζ ζ rangle and correlations langle γs ζ ζ rangle and langle γs1 γ s2 ζ ζ rangle , where s, s1 and s2 are the polarization indices of gravitons. Numerical analyses of the σ-mass effects to these correlations are presented. It is argued that future precise observations of these correlations could make it possible to measure the σ-mass and the strength of the ζ σ and γ ζ σ couplings. As an extension to the N-graviton case we also compute the correlations langle γ s1 ... γ sN ζ ζ rangle and langle γ s1 ... ... γ s2N ζ ζ rangle and their σ-mass effects. It is suggested that larger N correlation functions are useful to probe larger σ-mass.

  6. Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Coherent mode decomposition using mixed Wigner functions of Hermite-Gaussian beams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Takashi

    2017-04-15

    A new method of coherent mode decomposition (CMD) is proposed that is based on a Wigner-function representation of Hermite-Gaussian beams. In contrast to the well-known method using the cross spectral density (CSD), it directly determines the mode functions and their weights without solving the eigenvalue problem. This facilitates the CMD of partially coherent light whose Wigner functions (and thus CSDs) are not separable, in which case the conventional CMD requires solving an eigenvalue problem with a large matrix and thus is numerically formidable. An example is shown regarding the CMD of synchrotron radiation, one of the most important applications of the proposed method.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Complex mode indication function and its applications to spatial domain parameter estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, C. Y.; Tsuei, Y. G.; Allemang, R. J.; Brown, D. L.

    1988-10-01

    This paper introduces the concept of the Complex Mode Indication Function (CMIF) and its application in spatial domain parameter estimation. The concept of CMIF is developed by performing singular value decomposition (SVD) of the Frequency Response Function (FRF) matrix at each spectral line. The CMIF is defined as the eigenvalues, which are the square of the singular values, solved from the normal matrix formed from the FRF matrix, [ H( jω)] H[ H( jω)], at each spectral line. The CMIF appears to be a simple and efficient method for identifying the modes of the complex system. The CMIF identifies modes by showing the physical magnitude of each mode and the damped natural frequency for each root. Since multiple reference data is applied in CMIF, repeated roots can be detected. The CMIF also gives global modal parameters, such as damped natural frequencies, mode shapes and modal participation vectors. Since CMIF works in the spatial domain, uneven frequency spacing data such as data from spatial sine testing can be used. A second-stage procedure for accurate damped natural frequency and damping estimation as well as mode shape scaling is also discussed in this paper.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-31

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-07-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Moving mode shape function approach for spinning disk and asymmetric disc brake squeal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jaeyoung

    2018-06-01

    The solution approach of an asymmetric spinning disk under stationary friction loads requires the mode shape function fixed in the disk in the assumed mode method when the equations of motion is described in the space-fixed frame. This model description will be termed the 'moving mode shape function approach' and it allows us to formulate the stationary contact load problem in both the axisymmetric and asymmetric disk cases. Numerical results show that the eigenvalues of the time-periodic axisymmetric disk system are time-invariant. When the axisymmetry of the disk is broken, the positive real parts of the eigenvalues highly vary with the rotation of the disk in the slow speeds in such application as disc brake squeal. By using the Floquet stability analysis, it is also shown that breaking the axisymmetry of the disc alters the stability boundaries of the system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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....

  10. 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....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    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

  12. AFM imaging of functionalized carbon nanotubes on biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. A Synthetic Biology Framework for Programming Eukaryotic Transcription Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Estimating biological elementary flux modes that decompose a flux distribution by the minimal branching property

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chan, Siu Hung Joshua; Solem, Christian; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2014-01-01

    biologically feasible EFMs by considering their graphical properties. A previous study on the transcriptional regulation of metabolic genes found that distinct branches at a branch point metabolite usually belong to distinct metabolic pathways. This suggests an intuitive property of biologically feasible EFMs......, i.e. minimal branching. RESULTS: We developed the concept of minimal branching EFM and derived the minimal branching decomposition (MBD) to decompose flux distributions. Testing in the core Escherichia coli metabolic network indicated that MBD can distinguish branches at branch points and greatly...... knowledge, which facilitates interpretation. Comparison of the methods applied to a complex flux distribution in Lactococcus lactis similarly showed the advantages of MBD. The minimal branching EFM concept underlying MBD should be useful in other applications....

  20. 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 et al. 2001, Irianto and Austin, 2002, Hong et al. 2005). Many 12 of these mechanisms only apply to probiotics added to feed, but the latter three are relevant to 13 water borne additives such as B. cereus. 14 15 The bioremediation capability... its attractiveness as a probiotic 10 and biological agent for aquaculture. The siderophore producing capability of the B. cereus 11 isolate addresses the severe shortage of probiotics able to facilitate competitive exclusion based 12 on iron...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-09-01

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

  2. 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 .

  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. Tailoring vibration mode shapes using topology optimization and functionally graded material concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rubio, Wilfredo Montealegre; Paulino, Glaucio H; Silva, Emilio Carlos Nelli

    2011-01-01

    Tailoring specified vibration modes is a requirement for designing piezoelectric devices aimed at dynamic-type applications. A technique for designing the shape of specified vibration modes is the topology optimization method (TOM) which finds an optimum material distribution inside a design domain to obtain a structure that vibrates according to specified eigenfrequencies and eigenmodes. Nevertheless, when the TOM is applied to dynamic problems, the well-known grayscale or intermediate material problem arises which can invalidate the post-processing of the optimal result. Thus, a more natural way for solving dynamic problems using TOM is to allow intermediate material values. This idea leads to the functionally graded material (FGM) concept. In fact, FGMs are materials whose properties and microstructure continuously change along a specific direction. Therefore, in this paper, an approach is presented for tailoring user-defined vibration modes, by applying the TOM and FGM concepts to design functionally graded piezoelectric transducers (FGPT) and non-piezoelectric structures (functionally graded structures—FGS) in order to achieve maximum and/or minimum vibration amplitudes at certain points of the structure, by simultaneously finding the topology and material gradation function. The optimization problem is solved by using sequential linear programming. Two-dimensional results are presented to illustrate the method

  5. Examining the Delivery Modes of Metacognitive Awareness and Active Reading Lessons in a College Nonmajors Introductory Biology Course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra M. Hill

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Current research supports the role of metacognitive strategies to enhance reading comprehension. This study measured the effectiveness of online versus face-to-face metacognitive and active reading skills lessons introduced by Biology faculty to college students in a non-majors introductory biology course. These lessons were delivered in two lectures either online (Group 1: N = 154 or face-to-face (Group 2: N = 152. Previously validated pre- and post-surveys were used to collect and compare data by paired and independent t-test analysis (α = 0.05. Pre- and post-survey data showed a statistically significant improvement in both groups in metacognitive awareness (p = 0.001, p = 0.003, respectively and reading comprehension (p < 0.001 for both groups. When comparing the delivery mode of these lessons, no difference was detected between the online and face-to-face instruction for metacognitive awareness (pre- p = 0.619, post- p = 0.885. For reading comprehension, no difference in gains was demonstrated between online and face-to-face (p = 0.381, however, differences in pre- and post- test scores was measured (pre- p = 0.005, post- p = 0.038. This study suggests that biology instructors can easily introduce effective metacognitive awareness and active reading lessons into their course, either through online or face-to-face instruction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Giant larvaceans: biologically equivalent flapping flexible foils exhibit bending modes that enhance fluid transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katija, Kakani; Sherman, Alana; Robison, Bruce

    2016-11-01

    The midwater region of the ocean (below the euphotic zone and above the benthos) is one of the largest ecosystems on our planet, yet remains one of the least explored. Little-known marine organisms that inhabit midwater have developed life strategies that contribute to their evolutionary success, and may inspire engineering solutions for societally relevant challenges. A group of midwater organisms, known as giant larvaceans (genus Bathochordaeus), beat their tails to drive food and particle-laden water through complex, mucus filtering structures to feed. Giant larvaceans, whose motion and kinematics resemble flapping flexible foils, range in size from 1 to 10 cm in length, and can be found between the surface and 400 m. Using remotely-operated vehicles and DeepPIV, an instrument that enables in situ particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements, the filtration rates and kinematics of giant larvaceans were investigated. These measurements yielded filtration rates for giant larvaceans as high as 80 L/hr, which exceeds expected filtration rates by a factor of 2 when compared with other larvacean groups. Comparing tail kinematics between Bathochordeaus and smaller larvaceans reveals differences in tail bending modes, where a hinge is present throughout the tail beat in giant larvaceans. Using laboratory PIV measurements with swimming animals and soft-bodied mechanical mimics, we reveal how these differences in tail kinematics can lead to enhanced fluid transport. This work has been supported by the Packard Foundation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Rodrigo; Vargas, Marcelo R

    2018-04-23

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.)

  12. 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.)

  13. Analysis of functional failure mode of commercial deep sub-micron SRAM induced by total dose irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Qi-Wen; Cui Jiang-Wei; Zhou Hang; Yu De-Zhao; Yu Xue-Feng; Lu Wu; Guo Qi; Ren Di-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Functional failure mode of commercial deep sub-micron static random access memory (SRAM) induced by total dose irradiation is experimentally analyzed and verified by circuit simulation. We extensively characterize the functional failure mode of the device by testing its electrical parameters and function with test patterns covering different functional failure modes. Experimental results reveal that the functional failure mode of the device is a temporary function interruption caused by peripheral circuits being sensitive to the standby current rising. By including radiation-induced threshold shift and off-state leakage current in memory cell transistors, we simulate the influence of radiation on the functionality of the memory cell. Simulation results reveal that the memory cell is tolerant to irradiation due to its high stability, which agrees with our experimental result. (paper)

  14. Sliding mode control-based linear functional observers for discrete-time stochastic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Satnesh; Janardhanan, Sivaramakrishnan

    2017-11-01

    Sliding mode control (SMC) is one of the most popular techniques to stabilise linear discrete-time stochastic systems. However, application of SMC becomes difficult when the system states are not available for feedback. This paper presents a new approach to design a SMC-based functional observer for discrete-time stochastic systems. The functional observer is based on the Kronecker product approach. Existence conditions and stability analysis of the proposed observer are given. The control input is estimated by a novel linear functional observer. This approach leads to a non-switching type of control, thereby eliminating the fundamental cause of chatter. Furthermore, the functional observer is designed in such a way that the effect of process and measurement noise is minimised. Simulation example is given to illustrate and validate the proposed design method.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Evaluation of common mode failure of safety functions for limiting fault events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rezendes, J.P.; Hyde, A.W.

    2004-01-01

    The draft U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) policy on digital protection system software requires all Advanced Light Water Reactors (ALWRs) to be evaluated assuming a hypothetical common mode failure (CMF) which incapacitates the normal automatic initiation of safety functions. The System 80 + ALWR has been evaluated for such hypothetical conditions. The results show that the diverse automatic and manual protective systems in System 80 + provide ample safety performance margins relative to core coolability, offsite radiological releases. Reactor Coolant System (RCS) pressurization and containment integrity. This deterministic evaluation served to quantify the significant inherent safety margins in the System 80 + Standard Plant design even in the event of this extremely low probability scenario of a common mode failure. (author)

  18. Reconstructed phase spaces of intrinsic mode functions. Application to postural stability analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoussi, Hichem; Amoud, Hassan; Doussot, Michel; Hewson, David; Duchêne, Jacques

    2006-01-01

    In this contribution, we propose an efficient nonlinear analysis method characterizing postural steadiness. The analyzed signal is the displacement of the centre of pressure (COP) collected from a force plate used for measuring postural sway. The proposed method consists of analyzing the nonlinear dynamics of the intrinsic mode functions (IMF) of the COP signal. The nonlinear properties are assessed through the reconstructed phase spaces of the different IMFs. This study shows some specific geometries of the attractors of some intrinsic modes. Moreover, the volume spanned by the geometric attractors in the reconstructed phase space represents an efficient indicator of the postural stability of the subject. Experiments results corroborate the effectiveness of the method to blindly discriminate young subjects, elderly subjects and subjects presenting a risk of falling.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. A new integrative model of cerebral activation, deactivation and default mode function in Alzheimer's disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wermke, Marc; Sorg, Christian; Wohlschlaeger, Afra M.; Drzezga, Alexander

    2008-01-01

    Functional imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allow in vivo assessment of cerebral metabolism at rest and cerebral responses to cognitive stimuli. Activation studies with different cognitive tasks have deepened the understanding of underlying pathology leading to Alzheimer disease (AD) and how the brain reacts to and potentially compensates the imposed damage inflicted by this disease. The aim of this manuscript study was to summarize current findings of activation studies in healthy people at risk for AD, in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as a possible progenitor of AD and finally in patients with manifest AD, adding recent results about impaired deactivation abilities and default mode function in AD. A new comprehensive model will be introduced integrating these heterogeneous findings and explaining their impact on cognitive performance. (orig.)

  3. 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

  4. Distinct ubiquitin binding modes exhibited by SH3 domains: molecular determinants and functional implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose L Ortega Roldan

    Full Text Available SH3 domains constitute a new type of ubiquitin-binding domains. We previously showed that the third SH3 domain (SH3-C of CD2AP binds ubiquitin in an alternative orientation. We have determined the structure of the complex between first CD2AP SH3 domain and ubiquitin and performed a structural and mutational analysis to decipher the determinants of the SH3-C binding mode to ubiquitin. We found that the Phe-to-Tyr mutation in CD2AP and in the homologous CIN85 SH3-C domain does not abrogate ubiquitin binding, in contrast to previous hypothesis and our findings for the first two CD2AP SH3 domains. The similar alternative binding mode of the SH3-C domains of these related adaptor proteins is characterised by a higher affinity to C-terminal extended ubiquitin molecules. We conclude that CD2AP/CIN85 SH3-C domain interaction with ubiquitin constitutes a new ubiquitin-binding mode involved in a different cellular function and thus changes the previously established mechanism of EGF-dependent CD2AP/CIN85 mono-ubiquitination.

  5. The Nuclear Scissors Mode by Two Approaches (Wigner Function Moments Versus RPA)

    CERN Document Server

    Balbutsev, E B

    2004-01-01

    Two complementary methods to describe the collective motion, RPA and Wigner Function Moments (WFM) method, are compared on an example of a simple model - harmonic oscillator with quadrupole-quadrupole residual interaction. It is shown that they give identical formulae for eigenfrequencies and transition probabilities of all collective excitations of the model including the scissors mode, which is a subject of our especial attention. The normalization factor of the "synthetic" scissors state and its overlap with physical states are calculated analytically. The orthogonality of the spurious state to all physical states is proved rigorously.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. T. KORHONEN

    2008-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Reduced Functional Connectivity of Default Mode and Set-Maintenance Networks in Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ileana Pacheco-Colón

    Full Text Available Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD is an X-chromosome linked urea cycle disorder (UCD that causes hyperammonemic episodes leading to white matter injury and impairments in executive functioning, working memory, and motor planning. This study aims to investigate differences in functional connectivity of two resting-state networks--default mode and set-maintenance--between OTCD patients and healthy controls.Sixteen patients with partial OTCD and twenty-two control participants underwent a resting-state scan using 3T fMRI. Combining independent component analysis (ICA and region-of-interest (ROI analyses, we identified the nodes that comprised each network in each group, and assessed internodal connectivity.Group comparisons revealed reduced functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN of OTCD patients, particularly between the anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex (ACC/mPFC node and bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL, as well as between the ACC/mPFC node and the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC node. Patients also showed reduced connectivity in the set-maintenance network, especially between right anterior insula/frontal operculum (aI/fO node and bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG, as well as between the right aI/fO and ACC and between the ACC and right SFG.Internodal functional connectivity in the DMN and set-maintenance network is reduced in patients with partial OTCD compared to controls, most likely due to hyperammonemia-related white matter damage. Because several of the affected areas are involved in executive functioning, it is postulated that this reduced connectivity is an underlying cause of the deficits OTCD patients display in this cognitive domain.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Analysis of Unsteady Propagation of Mode Ⅲ Crack in Arbitrary Direction in Functionally Graded Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Kwang Ho [Kyungpook National University, Daegu (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Sang Bong [Kyungnam University, Changwon (Korea, Republic of); Hawong, Jai Sug [Yeungnam University, Gyungsan (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-02-15

    The stress and displacement fields at the crack tip were studied during the unsteady propagation of a mode Ⅲ crack in a direction that was different from the property graduation direction in functionally graded materials (FGMs). The property graduation in FGMs was assumed based on the linearly varying shear modulus under a constant density and the exponentially varying shear modulus and density. To obtain the solution of the harmonic function, the general partial differential equation of the dynamic equilibrium equation was transformed into a Laplace equation. Based on the Laplace equation, the stress and displacement fields, which depended on the time rates of change in the crack tip speed and stress intensity factor, were obtained through an asymptotic analysis. Using the stress and displacement fields, the effects of the angled property variation on the stresses, displacements, and stress intensity factors are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. Partition functions with spin in AdS{sub 2} via quasinormal mode methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keeler, Cynthia [Niels Bohr International Academy, Niels Bohr Institute,University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 17, DK 2100, Copenhagen (Denmark); Lisbão, Pedro [Department of Physics, University of Michigan,Ann Arbor, MI-48109 (United States); Ng, Gim Seng [Department of Physics, McGill University,Montréal, QC H3A 2T8 (Canada)

    2016-10-12

    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{sub 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{sub 2n} and higher spins.

  15. 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.

  16. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2014-10-23

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens

    2013-10-08

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 .

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Frequency-Dependent Altered Functional Connections of Default Mode Network in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youjun Li

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with the progressive dysfunction of cognitive ability. Previous research has indicated that the default mode network (DMN is closely related to cognition and is impaired in Alzheimer’s disease. Because recent studies have shown that different frequency bands represent specific physiological functions, DMN functional connectivity studies of the different frequency bands based on resting state fMRI (RS-fMRI data may provide new insight into AD pathophysiology. In this study, we explored the functional connectivity based on well-defined DMN regions of interest (ROIs from the five frequency bands: slow-5 (0.01–0.027 Hz, slow-4 (0.027–0.073 Hz, slow-3 (0.073–0.198 Hz, slow-2 (0.198–0.25 Hzs and standard low-frequency oscillations (LFO (0.01–0.08 Hz. We found that the altered functional connectivity patterns are mainly in the frequency band of slow-5 and slow-4 and that the decreased connections are long distance, but some relatively short connections are increased. In addition, the altered functional connections of the DMN in AD are frequency dependent and differ between the slow-5 and slow-4 bands. Mini-Mental State Examination scores were significantly correlated with the altered functional connectivity patterns in the slow-5 and slow-4 bands. These results indicate that frequency-dependent functional connectivity changes might provide potential biomarkers for AD pathophysiology.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Md Mostafizur; Fattah, Shaikh Anowarul

    2017-01-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed; Meier, Stuart Kurt

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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/.

  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. 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.

  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. Binding modes and functional surface of anti-mammalian scorpion α-toxins to sodium channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Rong; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2012-10-02

    Scorpion α-toxins bind to the voltage-sensing domains of voltage-gated sodium (Na(V)) channels and interfere with the inactivation mechanisms. The functional surface of α-toxins has been shown to contain an NC-domain consisting of the five-residue turn (positions 8-12) and the C-terminus (positions 56-64) and a core-domain centered on the residue 18. The NC- and core-domains are interconnected by the linker-domain (positions 8-18). Here with atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, we examine the binding modes between two α-toxins, the anti-mammalian AahII and the anti-insect LqhαIT, and the voltage-sensing domain of rat Na(V)1.2, a subtype of Na(V) channels expressed in nerve cells. Both toxins are docked to the extracellular side of the voltage-sensing domain of Na(V)1.2 using molecular dynamics simulations, with the linker-domain assumed to wedge into the binding pocket. Several salt bridges and hydrophobic clusters are observed to form between the NC- and core-domains of the toxins and Na(V)1.2 and stabilize the toxin-channel complexes. The binding modes predicted are consistent with available mutagenesis data and can readily explain the relative affinities of AahII and LqhαIT for Na(V)1.2. The dissociation constants for the two toxin-channel complexes are derived, which compare favorably with experiment. Our models demonstrate that the functional surface of anti-mammalian scorpion α-toxins is centered on the linker-domain, similar to that of β-toxins.

  20. 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).

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1986-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Communication: Effect of accidental mode degeneracy on Raman intensity in 2D materials: Hybrid functional study of bilayer phosphorene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Yi-Yang; Zhang, Shengbai [Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180 (United States)

    2016-07-14

    Bulk black phosphorus has two optical phonon modes labeled as A{sub g}{sup 2} and B{sub 2u}, respectively, that are nearly degenerate in frequency. However, density functional theory calculations using local or semi-local functionals cannot reproduce this degeneracy. Here, we propose a hybrid functional approach aided by van der Waals (vdW) force fields, which can accurately describe the lattice dynamic and electronic properties of both bulk and few-layer black phosphorus (phosphorene). Using this approach we show that in bilayer phosphorene, the two Raman modes derived from the B{sub 2u} and A{sub g}{sup 2} modes could exhibit strong resonance as a result of the accidental degeneracy so that both modes could be observed in Raman experiment. Without the mode degeneracy, however, the Raman intensity of the B{sub 2u}-derived mode would be too weak to be observed. We further show that the accidental degeneracy is correlated to the applied strain, which enables Raman spectroscopy to be a powerful tool for characterizing built-in strains in 2D materials, e.g., due to the interaction with substrates, which has emerged as an important issue in vdW epitaxy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Helm, Eric

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

  9. Preliminary biological evaluation of a urea-functionalized dendrimer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. TALE factors use two distinct functional modes to control an essential zebrafish gene expression program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladam, Franck; Stanney, William; Donaldson, Ian J; Yildiz, Ozge; Bobola, Nicoletta; Sagerström, Charles G

    2018-06-18

    TALE factors are broadly expressed embryonically and known to function in complexes with transcription factors (TFs) like Hox proteins at gastrula/segmentation stages, but it is unclear if such generally expressed factors act by the same mechanism throughout embryogenesis. We identify a TALE-dependent gene regulatory network (GRN) required for anterior development and detect TALE occupancy associated with this GRN throughout embryogenesis. At blastula stages, we uncover a novel functional mode for TALE factors, where they occupy genomic DECA motifs with nearby NF-Y sites. We demonstrate that TALE and NF-Y form complexes and regulate chromatin state at genes of this GRN. At segmentation stages, GRN-associated TALE occupancy expands to include HEXA motifs near PBX:HOX sites. Hence, TALE factors control a key GRN, but utilize distinct DNA motifs and protein partners at different stages - a strategy that may also explain their oncogenic potential and may be employed by other broadly expressed TFs. © 2018, Ladam et al.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazereeuw, M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Biology and Function of Fetal and Pediatric Skin

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  1. 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. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Y; Morita, M; Fuwa, K

    1992-01-01

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

  7. Effect of PICALM rs3851179 polymorphism on the default mode network function in mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Ding-Ming; Chen, Hai-Feng; Zuo, Qi-Long; Su, Fan; Bai, Feng; Liu, Chun-Feng

    2017-07-28

    Alterations in default mode network (DMN) functional connectivity (FC) might accompany the dysfunction of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Indeed, episodic memory impairment is a hallmark of AD, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been associated with a high risk for AD. Phosphatidylinositol-binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM) (rs3851179) has been associated with AD; in particular, the A allele may serve a protective role, while the G allele serves as a strong genetic risk factor. Therefore, the identification of genetic polymorphisms associated with the DMN is required in MCI subjects. In all, 32 MCI subjects and 32 healthy controls (HCs) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and a genetic imaging approach. Subjects were divided into four groups according to the diagnosis (i.e., MCI and HCs) and the PICALM rs3851179 polymorphism (i.e., AA/AG genotype and GG genotype). The differences in FC within the DMN between the four subgroups were explored. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between our neuroimaging measures and cognitive performance. The regions associated with the genotype-by-disease interaction were in the left middle temporal gyrus (LMTG) and left middle frontal gyrus (LMFG). These changes in LMFG FC were generally manifested as an "inverse U-shaped curve", while a "U-shaped curve" was associated with the LMTG FC between these four subgroups (all Pthe LMFG was related to better episodic memory performance (i.e., AVLT 20min DR, rho=0.72, P=0.044) for the MCI subgroups with the GG genotype. The PICALM rs3851179 polymorphism significantly affects the DMN network in MCI. The LMFG and LMTG may be associated with opposite patterns. However, the altered LMFG FC in MCI patients with the GG genotype was more sensitive to episodic memory impairment, which is more likely to lead to a high risk of AD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. Biological Functions of the Secretome of Neisseria meningitidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tommassen

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelian, K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. Biological couplings: Classification and characteristic rules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    The phenomena that biological functions originate from biological coupling are the important biological foundation of multiple bionics and the significant discoveries in the bionic fields. In this paper, the basic concepts related to biological coupling are introduced from the bionic viewpoint. Constitution, classification and characteristic rules of biological coupling are illuminated, the general modes of biological coupling studies are analyzed, and the prospects of multi-coupling bionics are predicted.

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-20

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

  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. Modulation of steady state functional connectivity in the default mode and working memory networks by cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Allen T; Morgan, Victoria L; Rogers, Baxter P; Gore, John C

    2011-10-01

    Interregional correlations between blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals in the resting state have been interpreted as measures of connectivity across the brain. Here we investigate whether such connectivity in the working memory and default mode networks is modulated by changes in cognitive load. Functional connectivity was measured in a steady-state verbal identity N-back task for three different conditions (N = 1, 2, and 3) as well as in the resting state. We found that as cognitive load increases, the functional connectivity within both the working memory the default mode network increases. To test whether functional connectivity between the working memory and the default mode networks changed, we constructed maps of functional connectivity to the working memory network as a whole and found that increasingly negative correlations emerged in a dorsal region of the posterior cingulate cortex. These results provide further evidence that low frequency fluctuations in BOLD signals reflect variations in neural activity and suggests interaction between the default mode network and other cognitive networks. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. 6d Dirac fermion on a rectangle; scrutinizing boundary conditions, mode functions and spectrum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukihiro Fujimoto

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available We classify possible boundary conditions of a 6d Dirac fermion Ψ on a rectangle under the requirement that the 4d Lorentz structure is maintained, and derive the profiles and spectrum of the zero modes and nonzero KK modes under the two specific boundary conditions, (i 4d-chirality positive components being zero at the boundaries and (ii internal chirality positive components being zero at the boundaries. In the case of (i, twofold degenerated chiral zero modes appear which are localized towards specific directions of the rectangle pointed by an angle parameter θ. This leads to an implication for a new direction of pursuing the origin of three generations in the matter fields of the standard model, even though triple-degenerated zero modes are not realized in the six dimensions. When such 6d fermions couple with a 6d scalar with a vacuum expectation value, θ contributes to a mass matrix of zero-mode fermions consisting of Yukawa interactions. The emergence of the angle parameter θ originates from a rotational symmetry in the degenerated chiral zero modes on the rectangle extra dimensions since they do not feel the boundaries. In the case of (ii, this rotational symmetry is promoted to the two-dimensional conformal symmetry though no chiral massless zero mode appears. We also discuss the correspondence between our model on a rectangle and orbifold models in some details.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Visual Network Asymmetry and Default Mode Network Function in ADHD: An fMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Sigi eHale

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: A growing body of research has identified abnormal visual information processing in ADHD. In particular, slow processing speed and increased reliance on visuo-perceptual strategies have become evident. Objective: The current study used recently developed fMRI methods to replicate and further examine abnormal rightward biased visual information processing in ADHD and to further characterize the nature of this effect; we tested its association to several large-scale distributed network systems. Method: We examined fMRI BOLD response during letter and location judgment tasks, and directly assessed visual network asymmetry and its association to large-scale networks using both a voxelwise and an averaged signal approach. Results: Initial within-group analyses revealed a pattern of left lateralized visual cortical activity in controls but right lateralized visual cortical activity in ADHD children. Direct analyses of visual network asymmetry confirmed atypical rightward bias in ADHD children compared to controls. This ADHD characteristic was atypically associated with reduced activation across several extra-visual networks, including the default mode network (DMN. We also found atypical associations between DMN activation and ADHD subjects’ inattentive symptoms and task performance. Conclusion: The current study demonstrated rightward VNA in ADHD during a simple letter discrimination task. This result adds an important novel consideration to the growing literature identifying abnormal visual processing in ADHD. We postulate that this characteristic reflects greater perceptual engagement of task-extraneous content, and that it may be a basic feature of less efficient top-down task-directed control over visual processing. We additionally argue that abnormal DMN function may contribute to this characteristic.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Preliminary findings of altered functional connectivity of the default mode network linked to functional outcomes one year after pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Jaclyn A; Salorio, Cynthia F; Barber, Anita D; Risen, Sarah R; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Suskauer, Stacy J

    2017-07-10

    This study examined functional connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) and examined brain-behavior relationships in a pilot cohort of children with chronic mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). Compared to uninjured peers, children with TBI demonstrated less anti-correlated functional connectivity between DMN and right Brodmann Area 40 (BA 40). In children with TBI, more anomalous less anti-correlated) connectivity between DMN and right BA 40 was linked to poorer performance on response inhibition tasks. Collectively, these preliminary findings suggest that functional connectivity between DMN and BA 40 may relate to longterm functional outcomes in chronic pediatric TBI.

  11. Functional neuroimaging with default mode network regions distinguishes PTSD from TBI in a military veteran population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raji, Cyrus A; Willeumier, Kristen; Taylor, Derek; Tarzwell, Robert; Newberg, Andrew; Henderson, Theodore A; Amen, Daniel G

    2015-09-01

    PTSD and TBI are two common conditions in veteran populations that can be difficult to distinguish clinically. The default mode network (DMN) is abnormal in a multitude of neurological and psychiatric disorders. We hypothesize that brain perfusion SPECT can be applied to diagnostically separate PTSD from TBI reliably in a veteran cohort using DMN regions. A group of 196 veterans (36 with PTSD, 115 with TBI, 45 with PTSD/TBI) were selected from a large multi-site population cohort of individuals with psychiatric disease. Inclusion criteria were peacetime or wartime veterans regardless of branch of service and included those for whom the traumatic brain injury was not service related. SPECT imaging was performed on this group both at rest and during a concentration task. These measures, as well as the baseline-concentration difference, were then inputted from DMN regions into separate binary logistic regression models controlling for age, gender, race, clinic site, co-morbid psychiatric diseases, TBI severity, whether or not the TBI was service related, and branch of armed service. Predicted probabilities were then inputted into a receiver operating characteristic analysis to compute sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. Compared to PSTD, persons with TBI were older, male, and had higher rates of bipolar and major depressive disorder (p SPECT separated PTSD from TBI in the veterans with 92 % sensitivity, 85 % specificity, and 94 % accuracy. With concentration scans, there was 85 % sensitivity, 83 % specificity and 89 % accuracy. Baseline-concentration (the difference metric between the two scans) scans were 85 % sensitivity, 80 % specificity, and 87 % accuracy. In separating TBI from PTSD/TBI visual readings of baseline scans had 85 % sensitivity, 81 % specificity, and 83 % accuracy. Concentration scans had 80 % sensitivity, 65 % specificity, and 79 % accuracy. Baseline-concentration scans had 82 % sensitivity, 69 % specificity, and 81

  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. Parameters Designing of Slide Mode Variable Structure Controller of Bus Voltage of DC Microgrid Based on Proportion Switching Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Zhenchuan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Constant value control of the DC-bus voltage is a essential problem of the control system of the DC microgrids. DC-DC converters are applied in parallel to realize the transform of energy from the distributed generations (DGs to the DC-bus. Droop control methods are applied to the DC-bus voltage while PI controllers are used in controlling the duty ratios of the converters. This method may bring out the slow response speed of the system accompanied by the large ripple of the voltage. The slide mode variable structure control can speed up the response and reduce the ripple of the voltage as well. In the traditional slide mode control based on the proportion switching function, the denominator of the transfer function of the controlled plant is a second-order characteristic polynomial without the constant term. The denominators of the transfer functions of the buck DC-DC converters contain the constant terms. The designing of the parameters of the slide mode control based on the proportion switching function is analyzed based on mathematics deductions. Simulation results show that the selected parameters can not only speed up the response of the system but also greatly reduce the ripple of the voltage.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanada, N; Tada, A

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Direct assignment of molecular vibrations via normal mode analysis of the neutron dynamic pair distribution function technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fry-Petit, A. M.; Sheckelton, J. P.; McQueen, T. M.; Rebola, A. F.; Fennie, C. J.; Mourigal, M.; Valentine, M.; Drichko, N.

    2015-01-01

    For over a century, vibrational spectroscopy has enhanced the study of materials. Yet, assignment of particular molecular motions to vibrational excitations has relied on indirect methods. Here, we demonstrate that applying group theoretical methods to the dynamic pair distribution function analysis of neutron scattering data provides direct access to the individual atomic displacements responsible for these excitations. Applied to the molecule-based frustrated magnet with a potential magnetic valence-bond state, LiZn 2 Mo 3 O 8 , this approach allows direct assignment of the constrained rotational mode of Mo 3 O 13 clusters and internal modes of MoO 6 polyhedra. We anticipate that coupling this well known data analysis technique with dynamic pair distribution function analysis will have broad application in connecting structural dynamics to physical properties in a wide range of molecular and solid state systems

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-14

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

  19. 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 ...

  20. High-frequency dual mode pulsed wave Doppler imaging for monitoring the functional regeneration of adult zebrafish hearts

    OpenAIRE

    Kang, Bong Jin; Park, Jinhyoung; Kim, Jieun; Kim, Hyung Ham; Lee, Changyang; Hwang, Jae Youn; Lien, Ching-Ling; Shung, K. Kirk

    2015-01-01

    Adult zebrafish is a well-known small animal model for studying heart regeneration. Although the regeneration of scars made by resecting the ventricular apex has been visualized with histological methods, there is no adequate imaging tool for tracking the functional recovery of the damaged heart. For this reason, high-frequency Doppler echocardiography using dual mode pulsed wave Doppler, which provides both tissue Doppler (TD) and Doppler flow in a same cardiac cycle, is developed with a 30 ...

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

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

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viroj Wiwanitkit

    2008-06-01

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

  5. Functional neuroimaging with default mode network regions distinguishes PTSD from TBI in a military veteran population

    OpenAIRE

    Raji, Cyrus A.; Willeumier, Kristen; Taylor, Derek; Tarzwell, Robert; Newberg, Andrew; Henderson, Theodore A.; Amen, Daniel G.

    2015-01-01

    PTSD and TBI are two common conditions in veteran populations that can be difficult to distinguish clinically. The default mode network (DMN) is abnormal in a multitude of neurological and psychiatric disorders. We hypothesize that brain perfusion SPECT can be applied to diagnostically separate PTSD from TBI reliably in a veteran cohort using DMN regions. A group of 196 veterans (36 with PTSD, 115 with TBI, 45 with PTSD/TBI) were selected from a large multi-site population cohort of individua...

  6. High-frequency dual mode pulsed wave Doppler imaging for monitoring the functional regeneration of adult zebrafish hearts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Bong Jin; Park, Jinhyoung; Kim, Jieun; Kim, Hyung Ham; Lee, Changyang; Hwang, Jae Youn; Lien, Ching-Ling; Shung, K. Kirk

    2015-01-01

    Adult zebrafish is a well-known small animal model for studying heart regeneration. Although the regeneration of scars made by resecting the ventricular apex has been visualized with histological methods, there is no adequate imaging tool for tracking the functional recovery of the damaged heart. For this reason, high-frequency Doppler echocardiography using dual mode pulsed wave Doppler, which provides both tissue Doppler (TD) and Doppler flow in a same cardiac cycle, is developed with a 30 MHz high-frequency array ultrasound imaging system. Phantom studies show that the Doppler flow mode of the dual mode is capable of measuring the flow velocity from 0.1 to 15 cm s−1 with high accuracy (p-value = 0.974 > 0.05). In the in vivo study of zebrafish, both TD and Doppler flow signals were simultaneously obtained from the zebrafish heart for the first time, and the synchronized valve motions with the blood flow signals were identified. In the longitudinal study on the zebrafish heart regeneration, the parameters for diagnosing the diastolic dysfunction, for example, E/Em < 10, E/A < 0.14 for wild-type zebrafish, were measured, and the type of diastolic dysfunction caused by the amputation was found to be similar to the restrictive filling. The diastolic function was fully recovered within four weeks post-amputation. PMID:25505135

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Covalent Organic Framework Functionalized with 8-Hydroxyquinoline as a Dual-Mode Fluorescent and Colorimetric pH Sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long; He, Linwei; Ma, Fuyin; Liu, Wei; Wang, Yaxing; Silver, Mark A; Chen, Lanhua; Zhu, Lin; Gui, Daxiang; Diwu, Juan; Chai, Zhifang; Wang, Shuao

    2018-05-09

    Real-time and accurate detection of pH in aqueous solution is of great significance in chemical, environmental, and engineering-related fields. We report here the use of 8-hydroxyquinoline-functionalized covalent organic framework (COF-HQ) for dual-mode pH sensing. In the fluorescent mode, the emission intensity of COF-HQ weakened as the pH decreased, and also displayed a good linear relationship against pH in the range from 1 to 5. In addition, COF-HQ showed discernible color changes from yellow to black as the acidity increased and can be therefore used as a colorimetric pH sensor. All these changes are reversible and COF-HQ can be recycled for multiple detection runs owing to its high hydrolytical stability. It can be further assembled into a mixed matrix membrane for practical applications.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Spatial Disassociation of Disrupted Functional Connectivity for the Default Mode Network in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofen Ma

    Full Text Available To investigate the aberrant functional connectivity of the default mode network (DMN in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD and their clinical relevance.Resting-state functional MRI data were collected from 31 patients with ESRD (24 men, 24-61 years and 31 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs, 21 men, 26-61years. A whole-brain seed-based functional connectivity analysis of these collected R-fMRI data was performed by locating the seeds in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC to investigate the functional connectivity of the posterior and anterior DMN over the whole brain, respectively.Compared to the HCs, the patients exhibited significantly decreased functional connectivity with the PCC in the left middle temporal gyrus, the right anterior cingulate gyrus, and the bilateral medial superior frontal gyrus. For the vmPFC seed, only the right thalamus showed significantly decreased functional connectivity in the patients with ESRD compared to HCs. Interestingly, functional connectivity between the PCC and right medial superior frontal gyrus exhibited a significantly positive correlation with the hemoglobin level in the patients.Our findings suggest a spatially specific disruption of functional connectivity in the DMN in patients with ESRD, thereby providing novel insights into our understanding of the neurophysiology mechanism that underlies the disease.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaughan, D.

    1990-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gabriele; Lepperdinger, Günter; Lackner, Peter

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Mayr

    2008-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaughan, D. (ed.)

    1990-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistretta, Charlotte M; Kumari, Archana

    2017-02-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mandolesi

    2018-04-01

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

  6. 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)

  7. Task Analytic Models to Guide Analysis and Design: Use of the Operator Function Model to Represent Pilot-Autoflight System Mode Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degani, Asaf; Mitchell, Christine M.; Chappell, Alan R.; Shafto, Mike (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Task-analytic models structure essential information about operator interaction with complex systems, in this case pilot interaction with the autoflight system. Such models serve two purposes: (1) they allow researchers and practitioners to understand pilots' actions; and (2) they provide a compact, computational representation needed to design 'intelligent' aids, e.g., displays, assistants, and training systems. This paper demonstrates the use of the operator function model to trace the process of mode engagements while a pilot is controlling an aircraft via the, autoflight system. The operator function model is a normative and nondeterministic model of how a well-trained, well-motivated operator manages multiple concurrent activities for effective real-time control. For each function, the model links the pilot's actions with the required information. Using the operator function model, this paper describes several mode engagement scenarios. These scenarios were observed and documented during a field study that focused on mode engagements and mode transitions during normal line operations. Data including time, ATC clearances, altitude, system states, and active modes and sub-modes, engagement of modes, were recorded during sixty-six flights. Using these data, seven prototypical mode engagement scenarios were extracted. One scenario details the decision of the crew to disengage a fully automatic mode in favor of a semi-automatic mode, and the consequences of this action. Another describes a mode error involving updating aircraft speed following the engagement of a speed submode. Other scenarios detail mode confusion at various phases of the flight. This analysis uses the operator function model to identify three aspects of mode engagement: (1) the progress of pilot-aircraft-autoflight system interaction; (2) control/display information required to perform mode management activities; and (3) the potential cause(s) of mode confusion. The goal of this paper is twofold

  8. 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].

  9. A new integrative model of cerebral activation, deactivation and default mode function in Alzheimer's disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wermke, Marc [Technische Universitaet, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Munich (Germany); Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Nuklearmedizinische Klinik u. Poliklinik, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Muenchen (Germany); Sorg, Christian [Technische Universitaet, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Munich (Germany); Wohlschlaeger, Afra M. [Technische Universitaet, Departments of Neuroradiology and Neurology, Munich (Germany); Drzezga, Alexander [Technische Universitaet, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Munich (Germany)

    2008-03-15

    Functional imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allow in vivo assessment of cerebral metabolism at rest and cerebral responses to cognitive stimuli. Activation studies with different cognitive tasks have deepened the understanding of underlying pathology leading to Alzheimer disease (AD) and how the brain reacts to and potentially compensates the imposed damage inflicted by this disease. The aim of this manuscript study was to summarize current findings of activation studies in healthy people at risk for AD, in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as a possible progenitor of AD and finally in patients with manifest AD, adding recent results about impaired deactivation abilities and default mode function in AD. A new comprehensive model will be introduced integrating these heterogeneous findings and explaining their impact on cognitive performance. (orig.)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

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

  13. Corneal endothelial morphology and function after torsional and longitudinal ultrasound mode phacoemulsification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Módis, László Jr; Szalai, Eszter; Flaskó, Zsuzsa; Németh, Gábor

    2016-01-01

    To study the endothelial cell morphology and corneal thickness changes after phacoemulsification by using the OZil torsional and longitudinal ultrasound techniques (Infiniti Vision System, Alcon Laboratories). Department of Ophthalmology, Clinical Center, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary. 52 patients with cataract were randomly assigned to longitudinal ultrasound and torsional mode group. All surgeries were performed through a 2.2 mm clear corneal incision, the method employed being divide and conquer. The endothelial morphometry such as cell density (ECD), mean cell area, coefficient of variation of cell area, and central corneal thickness were examined with specular microscopy (EM-1000, Tomey) preoperatively and 4, 8 weeks postoperatively. ECD values decreased significantly in both surgical groups (P .05). No significant correlation was found between the endothelial cell loss and the nucleus density. Both phacoemulsification techniques were safe and effective. The torsional handpiece performs oscillatory movements and delivers less energy into the eye than the longitudinal ultrasound technique, therefore providing more favorable energy and thermal safety profile.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  15. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gafni, Aviva; Calderon, Claudia E; Harris, Raviv; Buxdorf, Kobi; Dafa-Berger, Avis; Zeilinger-Reichert, Einat; Levy, Maggie

    2015-01-01

    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 as 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. Meet-in-the-Middle Preimage Attacks on Hash Modes of Generalized Feistel and Misty Schemes with SP Round Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Dukjae; Hong, Deukjo; Kwon, Daesung; Hong, Seokhie

    We assume that the domain extender is the Merkle-Damgård (MD) scheme and he message is padded by a ‘1’, and minimum number of ‘0’s, followed by a fixed size length information so that the length of padded message is multiple of block length. Under this assumption, we analyze securities of the hash mode when the compression function follows the Davies-Meyer (DM) scheme and the underlying block cipher is one of the plain Feistel or Misty scheme or the generalized Feistel or Misty schemes with Substitution-Permutation (SP) round function. We do this work based on Meet-in-the-Middle (MitM) preimage attack techniques, and develop several useful initial structures.

  2. 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

  3. Different Modes of Monitoring and Correction of Cardiac Function During Operations Under Extracorporeal Circulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. A. Krichevsky

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to comparatively evaluate the efficiency of intensive care measures chosen on the basis of traditional monitoring of central hemodynamics (CH or on that of the data of transesophageal echocardiography (TE echoCG.Materials and methods: 50 patients were examined at coronary bypass surgery under extracorporeal circulation. Under a prospective comparative analysis were two algorithms of treatment policy: maintenance of cardiac index, by using the maximum volemic load, or that of left ventricular systolic function under guidance of transesophageal echocardiography.Results: Significantly (p<0.05 larger doses of dopamine and/or dobutamine were required to maintain adequate left ventricular systolic function. However, this treatment policy showed much better (p<0.05 circulatory parameters in the postperfusion period. At the same time the duration of postoperative inotropic therapy in these patients proved to be significantly (p<0.05 less.Conclusion. The treatment policy based on the maintenance of left ventricular systolic function under guidance of TE echoCG leads to the shortest circulatory stabilization during myocardial revascularization. The application of a volemic load and the expectant use of inotropic drugs result in a longer restoration of operated heart function

  4. Influence of composition of functional additives and deformation modes on flow behavior of polymer composite materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onoprienko, N. N.; Rahimbaev, Sh M.

    2018-03-01

    The paper presents the results of the influence of composition of functional water-soluble polymers and viscosity of domestic and foreign one-percent water solution polymer on flow parameters of cement and polymer test. It also gives the results of rheogoniometry of Eunice Granit tile adhesive used for large-size plates from natural stone and ceramic granite.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J Mancuso

    2014-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Y Park

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

  12. Comprehensive reliability allocation method for CNC lathes based on cubic transformed functions of failure mode and effects analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhou; Zhu, Yunpeng; Ren, Hongrui; Zhang, Yimin

    2015-03-01

    Reliability allocation of computerized numerical controlled(CNC) lathes is very important in industry. Traditional allocation methods only focus on high-failure rate components rather than moderate failure rate components, which is not applicable in some conditions. Aiming at solving the problem of CNC lathes reliability allocating, a comprehensive reliability allocation method based on cubic transformed functions of failure modes and effects analysis(FMEA) is presented. Firstly, conventional reliability allocation methods are introduced. Then the limitations of direct combination of comprehensive allocation method with the exponential transformed FMEA method are investigated. Subsequently, a cubic transformed function is established in order to overcome these limitations. Properties of the new transformed functions are discussed by considering the failure severity and the failure occurrence. Designers can choose appropriate transform amplitudes according to their requirements. Finally, a CNC lathe and a spindle system are used as an example to verify the new allocation method. Seven criteria are considered to compare the results of the new method with traditional methods. The allocation results indicate that the new method is more flexible than traditional methods. By employing the new cubic transformed function, the method covers a wider range of problems in CNC reliability allocation without losing the advantages of traditional methods.

  13. Unvealing the Principal Modes of Human Upper Limb Movements through Functional Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Averta

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The rich variety of human upper limb movements requires an extraordinary coordination of different joints according to specific spatio-temporal patterns. However, unvealing these motor schemes is a challenging task. Principal components have been often used for analogous purposes, but such an approach relies on hypothesis of temporal uncorrelation of upper limb poses in time. To overcome these limitations, in this work, we leverage on functional principal component analysis (fPCA. We carried out experiments with 7 subjects performing a set of most significant human actions, selected considering state-of-the-art grasp taxonomies and human kinematic workspace. fPCA results show that human upper limb trajectories can be reconstructed by a linear combination of few principal time-dependent functions, with a first component alone explaining around 60/70% of the observed behaviors. This allows to infer that in daily living activities humans reduce the complexity of movement by modulating their motions through a reduced set of few principal patterns. Finally, we discuss how this approach could be profitably applied in robotics and bioengineering, opening fascinating perspectives to advance the state of the art of artificial systems, as it was the case of hand synergies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davydyan, Garri

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Establishing the resting state default mode network derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging tasks as an endophenotype: A twins study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korgaonkar, Mayuresh S; Ram, Kaushik; Williams, Leanne M; Gatt, Justine M; Grieve, Stuart M

    2014-08-01

    The resting state default mode network (DMN) has been shown to characterize a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Evidence suggests an underlying genetic basis for this network and hence could serve as potential endophenotype for these disorders. Heritability is a defining criterion for endophenotypes. The DMN is measured either using a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan or by extracting resting state activity from task-based fMRI. The current study is the first to evaluate heritability of this task-derived resting activity. 250 healthy adult twins (79 monozygotic and 46 dizygotic same sex twin pairs) completed five cognitive and emotion processing fMRI tasks. Resting state DMN functional connectivity was derived from these five fMRI tasks. We validated this approach by comparing connectivity estimates from task-derived resting activity for all five fMRI tasks, with those obtained using a dedicated task-free resting state scan in an independent cohort of 27 healthy individuals. Structural equation modeling using the classic twin design was used to estimate the genetic and environmental contributions to variance for the resting-state DMN functional connectivity. About 9-41% of the variance in functional connectivity between the DMN nodes was attributed to genetic contribution with the greatest heritability found for functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate and right inferior parietal nodes (P<0.001). Our data provide new evidence that functional connectivity measures from the intrinsic DMN derived from task-based fMRI datasets are under genetic control and have the potential to serve as endophenotypes for genetically predisposed psychiatric and neurological disorders. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, Toribio F

    2017-12-14

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Ryusuke; Niwa, Yuko S

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of the mode of re-socialization after juvenile social isolation on medial prefrontal cortex myelination and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makinodan, Manabu; Ikawa, Daisuke; Yamamuro, Kazuhiko; Yamashita, Yasunori; Toritsuka, Michihiro; Kimoto, Sohei; Yamauchi, Takahira; Okumura, Kazuki; Komori, Takashi; Fukami, Shin-Ichi; Yoshino, Hiroki; Kanba, Shigenobu; Wanaka, Akio; Kishimoto, Toshifumi

    2017-07-14

    Social isolation is an important factor in the development of psychiatric disorders. It is necessary to develop an effective psychological treatment, such as cognitive rehabilitation, for children who have already suffered from social isolation, such as neglect and social rejection. We used socially isolated mice to validate whether elaborate re-socialization after juvenile social isolation can restore hypomyelination in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the attendant functions manifested in socially isolated mice. While mice who underwent re-socialization with socially isolated mice after juvenile social isolation (Re-IS mice) demonstrated less mPFC activity during exposure to a strange mouse, as well as thinner myelin in the mPFC than controls, mice who underwent re-socialization with socially housed mice after juvenile social isolation (Re-SH mice) caught up with the controls in terms of most mPFC functions, as well as myelination. Moreover, social interaction of Re-IS mice was reduced as compared to controls, but Re-SH mice showed an amount of social interaction comparable to that of controls. These results suggest that the mode of re-socialization after juvenile social isolation has significant effects on myelination in the mPFC and the attendant functions in mice, indicating the importance of appropriate psychosocial intervention after social isolation.

  10. 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.

  11. Substrate-specific reorganization of the conformational ensemble of CSK implicates novel modes of kinase function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A Jamros

    Full Text Available Protein kinases use ATP as a phosphoryl donor for the posttranslational modification of signaling targets. It is generally thought that the binding of this nucleotide induces conformational changes leading to closed, more compact forms of the kinase domain that ideally orient active-site residues for efficient catalysis. The kinase domain is oftentimes flanked by additional ligand binding domains that up- or down-regulate catalytic function. C-terminal Src kinase (Csk is a multidomain tyrosine kinase that is up-regulated by N-terminal SH2 and SH3 domains. Although the X-ray structure of Csk suggests the enzyme is compact, X-ray scattering studies indicate that the enzyme possesses both compact and open conformational forms in solution. Here, we investigated whether interactions with the ATP analog AMP-PNP and ADP can shift the conformational ensemble of Csk in solution using a combination of small angle x-ray scattering and molecular dynamics simulations. We find that binding of AMP-PNP shifts the ensemble towards more extended rather than more compact conformations. Binding of ADP further shifts the ensemble towards extended conformations, including highly extended conformations not adopted by the apo protein, nor by the AMP-PNP bound protein. These ensembles indicate that any compaction of the kinase domain induced by nucleotide binding does not extend to the overall multi-domain architecture. Instead, assembly of an ATP-bound kinase domain generates further extended forms of Csk that may have relevance for kinase scaffolding and Src regulation in the cell.

  12. 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

  13. Age- and function-related regional changes in cortical folding of the default mode network in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jockwitz, Christiane; Caspers, Svenja; Lux, Silke; Jütten, Kerstin; Schleicher, Axel; Eickhoff, Simon B; Amunts, Katrin; Zilles, Karl

    2017-01-01

    Healthy aging is accompanied by changes in the functional architecture of the default mode network (DMN), e.g. a posterior to anterior shift (PASA) of activations. The putative structural correlate for this functional reorganization, however, is largely unknown. Changes in gyrification, i.e. decreases of cortical folding were found to be a marker of atrophy of the brain in later decades of life. Therefore, the present study assessed local gyrification indices of the DMN in relation to age and cognitive performance in 749 older adults aged 55-85 years. Age-related decreases in local gyrification indices were found in the anterior part of the DMN [particularly; medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)] of the right hemisphere, and the medial posterior parts of the DMN [particularly; posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)/precuneus] of both hemispheres. Positive correlations between cognitive performance and local gyrification indices were found for (1) selective attention and left PCC/precuneus, (2) visual/visual-spatial working memory and bilateral PCC/precuneus and right angular gyrus (AG), and (3) semantic verbal fluency and right AG and right mPFC. The more pronounced age-related decrease in local gyrification indices of the posterior parts of the DMN supports the functionally motivated PASA theory by correlated structural changes. Surprisingly, the prominent age-related decrease in local gyrification indices in right hemispheric ROIs provides evidence for a structural underpinning of the right hemi-aging hypothesis. Noticeably, the performance-related changes in local gyrification largely involved the same parts of the DMN that were subject to age-related local gyrification decreases. Thus, the present study lends support for a combined structural and functional theory of aging, in that the functional changes in the DMN during aging are accompanied by comparably localized structural alterations.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Cognitive and behavioral comorbidities in Rolandic epilepsy and their relation with default mode network's functional connectivity and organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofer, Isabell; Jacobs, Julia; Jaiser, Nathalie; Akin, Burak; Hennig, Jürgen; Schulze-Bonhage, Andreas; LeVan, Pierre

    2018-01-01

    Rolandic epilepsy (RE) is characterized by typical interictal-electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns mainly localized in centrotemporal and parietooccipital areas. An aberrant intrinsic organization of the default mode network (DMN) due to repeated disturbances from spike-generating areas may be able to account for specific cognitive deficits and behavioral problems in RE. The aim of the present study was to investigate cognitive development (CD) and socioemotional development (SED) in patients with RE during active disease in relation to DMN connectivity and network topology. In 10 children with RE and active EEG, CD was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV); SED was assessed using the Fünf-Faktoren-Fragebogen für Kinder (FFFK), a Big-Five inventory for the assessment of personality traits in children. Functional connectivity (FC) in the DMN was determined from a 15-minute resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and network properties were calculated using standard graph-theoretical measures. More severe deficits of verbal abilities tended to be associated with an earlier age at epilepsy onset, but were not directly related to the number of seizures and disease duration. Nonetheless, at the network level, disease duration was associated with alterations of the efficiency and centrality of parietal network nodes and midline structures. Particularly, centrality of the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) was found to be linked with CD. Reduced centrality of the left IPL and alterations supporting a rather segregated processing within DMN's subsystems was associated with a more favorable CD. A more complicated SED was associated with high seizure frequency and long disease duration, and revealed links with a less favorable CD. An impaired CD and - because of their interrelation - SED might be mediated by a common pathomechanism reflected in an aberrant organization, and thus, a potential functional deficit of the DMN

  18. Evaluation of functionality and biological response of the multilayer flow modulator in porcine animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultan, Sherif; Kavanagh, Edel P; Hynes, Niamh; Diethrich, Edward B

    2016-02-01

    This study outlines the use of non-aneurysmal porcine animal models to study device functionality and biological response of the Multilayer Flow Modulator (MFM) (Cardiatis, Isnes, Belgium), with an emphasis on preclinical device functionality and biological response characteristics in an otherwise healthy aorta. Twelve animals were implanted with the study device in the abdominal aorta, in 6 animals for 1 month and 6 animals for 6 months. Upon completion of the study period, each animal underwent a necropsy to examine how the implanted device had affected the artery and surrounding tissue. Neointima and stenosis formation were recorded via morphometry, and endothelialization via histopathological analysis. The MFM devices were delivered to their respective implantation sites without difficulty. Six of the implanted stents were oversized with percentages ranging from 2.6% to 18.8%. Statistical analysis was carried out and showed no significance between the regular sized stent group and oversized stent group for neointimal area (P=0.17), neointimal thickness (P=0.17), and percentage area stenosis (P=0.65). Histopathological findings showed in most areas flattened endothelium like cells lined the luminal surface of the neointima. Scanning electron microscopy also showed the devices were well tolerated, inciting only a minimal neointimal covering and little fibrin or platelet deposition. Neointimal thickness of 239.7±55.6 μm and 318.3±130.4 μm, and percentage area stenosis of 9.6±2.6% and 12.6±5% were recorded at 1 and 6 months respectively. No statistical differences were found between these results. The MFM devices were delivered to their respective implantation sites without difficulty and incited little neointimal and stenosis formation in the aorta, affirming its functionality and biocompatibility.

  19. Virtual Agonist-antagonist Mechanisms Produce Biological Muscle-like Functions: An Application for Robot Joint Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2014-01-01

    Purpose – Biological muscles of animals have a surprising variety of functions, i.e., struts, springs, and brakes. According to this, the purpose of this paper is to apply virtual agonist-antagonist mechanisms to robot joint control allowing for muscle-like functions and variably compliant joint......, variably compliant joint motions can be produced without mechanically bulky and complex mechanisms or complex force/toque sensing at each joint. Moreover, through tuning the damping coefficient of the VAAM, the functions of the VAAM are comparable to biological muscles. Originality/value – The model (i.......e., VAAM) provides a way forward to emulate muscle-like functions that are comparable to those found in physiological experiments of biological muscles. Based on these muscle-like functions, the robotic joints can easily achieve variable compliance that does not require complex physical components...

  20. Age and Alzheimer's pathology disrupt default mode network functioning via alterations in white matter microstructure but not hyperintensities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Christopher A; Jiang, Yang; Smith, Charles D; Gold, Brian T

    2018-04-19

    The default mode network (DMN) comprises defined brain regions contributing to internally-directed thought processes. Reductions in task-induced deactivation in the DMN have been associated with increasing age and poorer executive task performance, but factors underlying these functional changes remain unclear. We investigated contributions of white matter (WM) microstructure, WM hyperintensities (WMH) and Alzheimer's pathology to age-related alterations in DMN function. Thirty-five cognitively normal older adults and 29 younger adults underwent working memory task fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging. In the older adults, we measured cerebrospinal fluid tau and Aβ 42 (markers of AD pathology), and WMH on FLAIR imaging (marker of cerebrovascular disease). We identified a set of regions showing DMN deactivation and a set of inter-connecting WM tracts (DMN-WM) common to both age groups. There were negative associations between DMN deactivation and task performance in older adults, consistent with previous studies. Decreased DMN deactivation was associated with AD pathology and WM microstructure but not with WMH volume. Mediation analyses showed that WM microstructure mediated declines in DMN deactivation associated with both aging and AD pathology. Together these results suggest that AD pathology may exert a "second-hit" on WM microstructure, over-and-above the effects of age, both contributing to diminished DMN deactivation in older adults. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Direct model-based predictive control scheme without cost function for voltage source inverters with reduced common-mode voltage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jae-Chang; Moon, Sung-Ki; Kwak, Sangshin

    2018-04-01

    This paper presents a direct model-based predictive control scheme for voltage source inverters (VSIs) with reduced common-mode voltages (CMVs). The developed method directly finds optimal vectors without using repetitive calculation of a cost function. To adjust output currents with the CMVs in the range of -Vdc/6 to +Vdc/6, the developed method uses voltage vectors, as finite control resources, excluding zero voltage vectors which produce the CMVs in the VSI within ±Vdc/2. In a model-based predictive control (MPC), not using zero voltage vectors increases the output current ripples and the current errors. To alleviate these problems, the developed method uses two non-zero voltage vectors in one sampling step. In addition, the voltage vectors scheduled to be used are directly selected at every sampling step once the developed method calculates the future reference voltage vector, saving the efforts of repeatedly calculating the cost function. And the two non-zero voltage vectors are optimally allocated to make the output current approach the reference current as close as possible. Thus, low CMV, rapid current-following capability and sufficient output current ripple performance are attained by the developed method. The results of a simulation and an experiment verify the effectiveness of the developed method.

  3. Risk seeking for losses modulates the functional connectivity of the default mode and left frontoparietal networks in young males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deza Araujo, Yacila I; Nebe, Stephan; Neukam, Philipp T; Pooseh, Shakoor; Sebold, Miriam; Garbusow, Maria; Heinz, Andreas; Smolka, Michael N

    2018-06-01

    Value-based decision making (VBDM) is a principle that states that humans and other species adapt their behavior according to the dynamic subjective values of the chosen or unchosen options. The neural bases of this process have been extensively investigated using task-based fMRI and lesion studies. However, the growing field of resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) may shed light on the organization and function of brain connections across different decision-making domains. With this aim, we used independent component analysis to study the brain network dynamics in a large cohort of young males (N = 145) and the relationship of these dynamics with VBDM. Participants completed a battery of behavioral tests that evaluated delay aversion, risk seeking for losses, risk aversion for gains, and loss aversion, followed by an RSFC scan session. We identified a set of large-scale brain networks and conducted our analysis only on the default mode network (DMN) and networks comprising cognitive control, appetitive-driven, and reward-processing regions. Higher risk seeking for losses was associated with increased connectivity between medial temporal regions, frontal regions, and the DMN. Higher risk seeking for losses was also associated with increased coupling between the left frontoparietal network and occipital cortices. These associations illustrate the participation of brain regions involved in prospective thinking, affective decision making, and visual processing in participants who are greater risk-seekers, and they demonstrate the sensitivity of RSFC to detect brain connectivity differences associated with distinct VBDM parameters.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert; Schofield, P. N.; Gkoutos, G. V.

    2015-01-01

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  7. Exploring new biological functions of amyloids: bacteria cell agglutination mediated by host protein aggregation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Torrent

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial proteins and peptides (AMPs are important effectors of the innate immune system that play a vital role in the prevention of infections. Recent advances have highlighted the similarity between AMPs and amyloid proteins. Using the Eosinophil Cationic Protein as a model, we have rationalized the structure-activity relationships between amyloid aggregation and antimicrobial activity. Our results show how protein aggregation can induce bacteria agglutination and cell death. Using confocal and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy we have tracked the formation in situ of protein amyloid-like aggregates at the bacteria surface and on membrane models. In both cases, fibrillar aggregates able to bind to amyloid diagnostic dyes were detected. Additionally, a single point mutation (Ile13 to Ala can suppress the protein amyloid behavior, abolishing the agglutinating activity and impairing the antimicrobial action. The mutant is also defective in triggering both leakage and lipid vesicle aggregation. We conclude that ECP aggregation at the bacterial surface is essential for its cytotoxicity. Hence, we propose here a new prospective biological function for amyloid-like aggregates with potential biological relevance.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Functional biology and ecological role of krill in Northern marine ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

    Krill is an understudied key group of zooplankton, which transfers energy through the food web by linking lower and higher trophic levels. Furthermore, krill play an important role in the biological pump by transporting carbon out of the euphotic zone to depth by diel vertical migration (DVM...... to be the key factor determining the trophic position of a species, where the largest species had the highest trophic position. The species were feeding on the same food items, which could lead to competition for food. However, there is a difference between the two functional groups, represented by M. norvegica...... for the two dominating species within the fjord, T. inermis and T. raschii. The krill grazed community at this time of year. Yet, the grazing impact was similar to the copepods’, which are normally...

  13. Detection of Metabolism Function of Microbial Community of Corpses by Biolog-Eco Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, X Y; Wang, J F; Zhu, G H; Ma, M Y; Lai, Y; Zhou, H

    2016-06-01

    To detect the changes of microbial community functional diversity of corpses with different postmortem interval (PMI) and to evaluate forensic application value for estimating PMI. The cultivation of microbial community from the anal swabs of a Sus scrofa and a human corpse placed in field environment from 0 to 240 h after death was performed using the Biolog-Eco Microplate and the variations of the absorbance values were also monitored. Combined with the technology of forensic pathology and flies succession, the metabolic characteristics and changes of microbial community on the decomposed corpse under natural environment were also observed. The diversity of microbial metabolism function was found to be negatively correlated with the number of maggots in the corpses. The freezing processing had the greatest impact on average well color development value at 0 h and the impact almost disappeared after 48 h. The diversity of microbial metabolism of the samples became relatively unstable after 192 h. The principal component analysis showed that 31 carbon sources could be consolidated for 5 principal components (accumulative contribution ratio >90%).The carbon source tsquare-analysis showed that N -acetyl- D -glucosamine and L -serine were the dominant carbon sources for estimating the PMI (0=240 h) of the Sus scrofa and human corpse. The Biolog-Eco method can be used to reveal the metabolic differences of the carbon resources utilization of the microbial community on the corpses during 0-240 h after death, which could provide a new basis for estimating the PMI. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine

  14. [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

  15. 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.

  16. [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

  17. 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.

  18. Optimization of polysaccharides extraction from watermelon rinds: Structure, functional and biological activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romdhane, Molka Ben; Haddar, Anissa; Ghazala, Imen; Jeddou, Khawla Ben; Helbert, Claire Boisset; Ellouz-Chaabouni, Semia

    2017-02-01

    In the present work, optimization of hot water extraction, structural characteristics, functional properties, and biological activities of polysaccharides extracted from watermelon rinds (WMRP) were investigated. The physicochemical characteristics and the monosaccharide composition of these polysaccharides were then determined using chemical composition analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID). SEM images showed that extracted polysaccharides had a rough surface with many cavities. GC-FID results proved that galactose was the dominant sugar in the extracted polysaccharides, followed by arabinose, glucose, galacturonic acid, rhamnose, mannose, xylose and traces of glucuronic acid. The findings revealed that WMRP displayed excellent antihypertensive and antioxidant activities. Those polysaccharides had also a protection effect against hydroxyl radical-induced DNA damage. Functional properties of extracted polysaccharides were also evaluated. WMRP showed good interfacial dose-dependent proprieties. Overall, the results suggested that WMRP presents a promising natural source of antioxidants and antihypertensive agents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Biology of Bone Tissue: Structure, Function, and Factors That Influence Bone Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinaldo Florencio-Silva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the concerted actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts, whereas osteocytes act as mechanosensors and orchestrators of the bone remodeling process. This process is under the control of local (e.g., growth factors and cytokines and systemic (e.g., calcitonin and estrogens factors that all together contribute for bone homeostasis. An imbalance between bone resorption and formation can result in bone diseases including osteoporosis. Recently, it has been recognized that, during bone remodeling, there are an intricate communication among bone cells. For instance, the coupling from bone resorption to bone formation is achieved by interaction between osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Moreover, osteocytes produce factors that influence osteoblast and osteoclast activities, whereas osteocyte apoptosis is followed by osteoclastic bone resorption. The increasing knowledge about the structure and functions of bone cells contributed to a better understanding of bone biology. It has been suggested that there is a complex communication between bone cells and other organs, indicating the dynamic nature of bone tissue. In this review, we discuss the current data about the structure and functions of bone cells and the factors that influence bone remodeling.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Structural and functional biological materials: Abalone nacre, sharp materials, and abalone foot adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Albert Yu-Min

    A three-part study of lessons from nature is presented through the examination of various biological materials, with an emphasis on materials from the mollusk Haliotis rufescens, commonly referred to as the red abalone. The three categories presented are: structural hierarchy, self-assembly, and functionality. Ocean mollusk shells are composed of aragonite/calcite crystals interleaved with layers of a visco-elastic protein, having dense, tailored structures with excellent mechanical properties. The complex nano-laminate structure of this bio-composite material is characterized and related to its mechanical properties. Three levels of structural hierarchy are identified: macroscale mesolayers separating larger regions of tiled aragonite, microscale organization of 0.5 mum by 10 mum aragonite bricks; nanoscale mineral bridges passing through 30 nm layers of organic matrix separating individual aragonite tiles. Composition and growth mechanisms of this nanostructure were observed through close examination of laboratory-grown samples using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Glass slides and nacre pucks were implanted onto the growth surface of living abalone and removed periodically to observe trends in nacre deposition. Various deproteinization and demineralization experiments are used to explore the inorganic and organic components of the nacre's structure. The organic component of the shell is characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The functionality of various biological materials is described and investigated. Two specific types of functionality are characterized, the ability of some materials to cut and puncture through sharp designs, and the ability for some materials to be used as attachment devices. Aspects of cutting materials employed by a broad range of animals were characterized and compared. In respect to the attachment mechanisms the foot of the abalone and the tree frog were

  5. Regional homogeneity within the default mode network in bipolar depression: a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hong Liu

    Full Text Available AIM: We sought to use a regional homogeneity (ReHo approach as an index in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate the features of spontaneous brain activity within the default mode network (DMN in patients suffering from bipolar depression (BD. METHODS: Twenty-six patients with BD and 26 gender-, age-, and education-matched healthy subjects participated in the resting-state fMRI scans. We compared the differences in ReHo between the two groups within the DMN and investigated the relationships between sex, age, years of education, disease duration, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD total score, and ReHo in regions with significant group differences. RESULTS: Our results revealed that bipolar depressed patients had increased ReHo in the left medial frontal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobe compared to healthy controls. No correlations were found between regional ReHo values and sex, age, and clinical features within the BD group. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that abnormal brain activity is mainly distributed within prefrontal-limbic circuits, which are believed to be involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying bipolar depression.

  6. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    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 < 0.001) and supramarginal gyrus (p = 0.007) of the left cerebral hemisphere. 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

  7. Impact of functional MRI data preprocessing pipeline on default-mode network detectability in patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian eAndronache

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available An emerging application of resting-state functional MRI is the study of patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC, where integrity of default-mode network (DMN activity is associated to the clinical level of preservation of consciousness. Due to the inherent inability to follow verbal instructions, arousal induced by scanning noise and postural pain, these patients tend to exhibit substantial levels of movement. This results in spurious, non-neural fluctuations of the blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD signal, which impair the evaluation of residual functional connectivity. Here, the effect of data preprocessing choices on the detectability of the DMN was systematically evaluated in a representative cohort of 30 clinically and etiologically heterogeneous DoC patients and 33 healthy controls. Starting from a standard preprocessing pipeline, additional steps were gradually inserted, namely band-pass filtering, removal of co-variance with the movement vectors, removal of co-variance with the global brain parenchyma signal, rejection of realignment outlier volumes and ventricle masking. Both independent-component analysis (ICA and seed-based analysis (SBA were performed, and DMN detectability was assessed quantitatively as well as visually. The results of the present study strongly show that the detection of DMN activity in the sub-optimal fMRI series acquired on DoC patients is contingent on the use of adequate filtering steps. ICA and SBA are differently affected but give convergent findings for high-grade preprocessing. We propose that future studies in this area should adopt the described preprocessing procedures as a minimum standard to reduce the probability of wrongly inferring that DMN activity is absent.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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.)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. An Exploratory Investigation of Functional Network Connectivity of Empathy and Default Mode Networks in a Free-Viewing Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vemuri, Kavita; Surampudi, Bapi Raju

    2015-08-01

    This study reports dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) analysis on time courses of putative empathy networks-cognitive, emotional, and motor-and the default mode network (DMN) identified from independent components (ICs) derived by the group independent component analysis (ICA) method. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected from 15 subjects watching movies of three genres, an animation (S1), Indian Hindi (S2), and a Hollywood English (S3) movie. The hypothesis of the study is that empathic engagement in a movie narrative would modulate the activation with the DMN. The clippings were individually rated for emotional expressions, context, and empathy self-response by the fMRI subjects post scanning and by 40 participants in an independent survey who rated at four time intervals in each clipping. The analysis illustrates the following: (a) the ICA method separated ICs with areas reported for empathy response and anterior/posterior DMNs. An IC indicating insula region activation reported to be crucial for the emotional empathy network was separated for S2 and S3 movies only, but not for S1, (b) the dFNC between DMN and ICs corresponding to cognitive empathy network showed higher positive periodical fluctuating correlations for all three movies, while ICs with areas crucial to motor or emotional empathy display lower positive or negative correlation values with no distinct periodicity. A possible explanation for the lower values and anticorrelation between the DMN and emotional empathy networks could possibly be inhibition due to internal self-reflections, attributed to DMN, while processing and preparing a response to external emotional content. The positive higher correlation values for cognitive empathy networks may reflect a functional overlap with DMN for enhanced internal self-reflections, inferring beliefs and intentions about the 'other', all triggered by the external stimuli. The findings are useful in the study of

  14. Cytosolic expression of functional Fab fragments in Escherichia coli using a novel combination of dual SUMO expression cassette and EnBase® cultivation mode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaie, F; Davami, F; Mansouri, K; Agha Amiri, S; Fazel, R; Mahdian, R; Davoudi, N; Enayati, S; Azizi, M; Khalaj, V

    2017-05-08

    The Escherichia coli expression system is highly effective in producing recombinant proteins. However, there are some limitations in this system, especially in obtaining correctly folded forms of some complex proteins such as Fab fragments. To improve the solubility and folding quality of Fab fragments, we have examined the effect of simultaneous application of a SUMO fusion tag, EnBase ® cultivation mode and a redox mutant strain in the E. coli expression system. A bicistronic gene construct was designed to express an antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) Fab fragment as a model system. The construct contained a dual SUMO fusion gene fragment to encode SUMO-tagged heavy and light chains. While the expression of the construct in batch cultures of BL21 or SHuffle ® transformants produced insoluble and unfolded products, the induction of the transformants in EnBase ® medium resulted in soluble and correctly folded Fab fragment, reaching as high as 19% of the total protein in shuffle strain. The functional assays indicated that the biological activity of the target Fab is similar to the commercial anti-VEGF, Lucentis ® . This study demonstrated that the combination of SUMO fusion technology, EnBase ® cultivation system and recruiting a redox mutant of E. coli can efficiently enhance the solubility and productivity of recombinant Fab fragments. The presented strategy provides not only a novel method to produce soluble and active form of an anti-VEGF Fab but also may use in the efficient production of other antibody fragments. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Charge pattern matching as a ‘fuzzy’ mode of molecular recognition for the functional phase separations of intrinsically disordered proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yi-Hsuan; Brady, Jacob P.; Forman-Kay, Julie D.; Chan, Hue Sun

    2017-11-01

    Biologically functional liquid-liquid phase separation of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is driven by interactions encoded by their amino acid sequences. Little is currently known about the molecular recognition mechanisms for distributing different IDP sequences into various cellular membraneless compartments. Pertinent physics was addressed recently by applying random-phase-approximation (RPA) polymer theory to electrostatics, which is a major energetic component governing IDP phase properties. RPA accounts for charge patterns and thus has advantages over Flory-Huggins (FH) and Overbeek-Voorn mean-field theories. To make progress toward deciphering the phase behaviors of multiple IDP sequences, the RPA formulation for one IDP species plus solvent is hereby extended to treat polyampholyte solutions containing two IDP species plus solvent. The new formulation generally allows for binary coexistence of two phases, each containing a different set of volume fractions ({φ }1,{φ }2) for the two different IDP sequences. The asymmetry between the two predicted coexisting phases with regard to their {φ }1/{φ }2 ratios for the two sequences increases with increasing mismatch between their charge patterns. This finding points to a multivalent, stochastic, ‘fuzzy’ mode of molecular recognition that helps populate various IDP sequences differentially into separate phase compartments. An intuitive illustration of this trend is provided by FH models, whereby a hypothetical case of ternary coexistence is also explored. Augmentations of the present RPA theory with a relative permittivity {ɛ }{{r}}(φ ) that depends on IDP volume fraction φ ={φ }1+{φ }2 lead to higher propensities to phase separate, in line with the case with one IDP species we studied previously. Notably, the cooperative, phase-separation-enhancing effects predicted by the prescriptions for {ɛ }{{r}}(φ ) we deem physically plausible are much more prominent than that entailed by common

  16. 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.

  17. Supernatant from bifidobacterium differentially modulates transduction signaling pathways for biological functions of human dendritic cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrille Hoarau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Probiotic bacteria have been shown to modulate immune responses and could have therapeutic effects in allergic and inflammatory disorders. However, the signaling pathways engaged by probiotics are poorly understood. We have previously reported that a fermentation product from Bifidobacterium breve C50 (BbC50sn could induce maturation, high IL-10 production and prolonged survival of DCs via a TLR2 pathway. We therefore studied the roles of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K pathways on biological functions of human monocyte-derived DCs treated with BbC50sn. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: DCs were differentiated from human monocytes with IL-4 and GM-CSF for 5 days and cultured with BbC50sn, lipopolysaccharide (LPS or Zymosan, with or without specific inhibitors of p38MAPK (SB203580, ERK (PD98059, PI3K (LY294002 and GSK3 (SB216763. We found that 1 the PI3K pathway was positively involved in the prolonged DC survival induced by BbC50sn, LPS and Zymosan in contrast to p38MAPK and GSK3 which negatively regulated DC survival; 2 p38MAPK and PI3K were positively involved in DC maturation, in contrast to ERK and GSK3 which negatively regulated DC maturation; 3 ERK and PI3K were positively involved in DC-IL-10 production, in contrast to GSK3 that was positively involved in DC-IL-12 production whereas p38MAPK was positively involved in both; 4 BbC50sn induced a PI3K/Akt phosphorylation similar to Zymosan and a p38MAPK phosphorylation similar to LPS. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We report for the first time that a fermentation product of a bifidobacteria can differentially activate MAPK, GSK3 and PI3K in order to modulate DC biological functions. These results give new insights on the fine-tuned balance between the maintenance of normal mucosal homeostasis to commensal and probiotic bacteria and the specific inflammatory immune responses to pathogen bacteria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pihlajam?ki, Maija; Sperling, Reisa A.

    2009-01-01

    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 abno...

  20. Invited review: Caseins and the casein micelle: their biological functions, structures, and behavior in foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, C; Carver, J A; Ecroyd, H; Thorn, D C

    2013-10-01

    A typical casein micelle contains thousands of casein molecules, most of which form thermodynamically stable complexes with nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate. Like many other unfolded proteins, caseins have an actual or potential tendency to assemble into toxic amyloid fibrils, particularly at the high concentrations found in milk. Fibrils do not form in milk because an alternative aggregation pathway is followed that results in formation of the casein micelle. As a result of forming micelles, nutritious milk can be secreted and stored without causing either pathological calcification or amyloidosis of the mother's mammary tissue. The ability to sequester nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate in a stable complex is not unique to caseins. It has been demonstrated using a number of noncasein secreted phosphoproteins and may be of general physiological importance in preventing calcification of other biofluids and soft tissues. Thus, competent noncasein phosphoproteins have similar patterns of phosphorylation and the same type of flexible, unfolded conformation as caseins. The ability to suppress amyloid fibril formation by forming an alternative amorphous aggregate is also not unique to caseins and underlies the action of molecular chaperones such as the small heat-shock proteins. The open structure of the protein matrix of casein micelles is fragile and easily perturbed by changes in its environment. Perturbations can cause the polypeptide chains to segregate into regions of greater and lesser density. As a result, the reliable determination of the native structure of casein micelles continues to be extremely challenging. The biological functions of caseins, such as their chaperone activity, are determined by their composition and flexible conformation and by how the casein polypeptide chains interact with each other. These same properties determine how caseins behave in the manufacture of many dairy products and how they can be used as functional

  1. 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.

  2. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. Structural changes in PVDF fibers due to electrospinning and its effect on biological function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damaraju, Sita M; Wu, Siliang; Jaffe, Michael; Arinzeh, Treena Livingston

    2013-01-01

    Polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) is being investigated as a potential scaffold for bone tissue engineering because of its proven biocompatibility and piezoelectric property, wherein it can generate electrical activity when mechanically deformed. In this study, PVDF scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning using different voltages (12–30 kV), evaluated for the presence of the piezoelectric β-crystal phase and its effect on biological function. Electrospun PVDF was compared with unprocessed/raw PVDF, films and melt-spun fibers for the presence of the piezoelectric β-phase using differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was evaluated on scaffolds electrospun at 12 and 25 kV (PVDF-12 kV and PVDF-25 kV, respectively) and compared to tissue culture polystyrene (TCP). Electrospinning PVDF resulted in the formation of the piezoelectric β-phase with the highest β-phase fraction of 72% for electrospun PVDF at 25 kV. MSCs cultured on both the scaffolds were well attached as indicated by a spread morphology. Cells on PVDF-25 kV scaffolds had the greatest alkaline phosphatase activity and early mineralization by day 10 as compared to TCP and PVDF-12 kV. The results demonstrate the potential for the use of PVDF scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. (paper)

  6. 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.

  7. A novel biological function of soluble biglycan: Induction of erythropoietin production and polycythemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Helena; Moreth, Kristin; Hsieh, Louise Tzung-Harn; Zeng-Brouwers, Jinyang; Rathkolb, Birgit; Fuchs, Helmut; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Iozzo, Renato V; de Angelis, Martin Hrabě; Schaefer, Liliana

    2017-06-01

    Secondary polycythemia, a disease characterized by a selective increase in circulating mature erythrocytes, is caused by enhanced erythropoietin (Epo) concentrations triggered by hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α). While mechanisms of hypoxia-dependent stabilization of HIF-2α protein are well established, data regarding oxygen-independent regulation of HIF-2α are sparse. In this study, we generated a novel transgenic mouse model, in which biglycan was constitutively overexpressed and secreted by hepatocytes (BGN Tg ), thereby providing a constant source of biglycan released into the blood stream. We discovered that although the mice were apparently normal, they harbored an increase in mature circulating erythrocytes. In addition to erythrocytosis, the BGN Tg mice showed elevated hemoglobin concentrations, hematocrit values and enhanced total iron binding capacity, revealing a clinical picture of polycythemia. In BGN Tg mice markedly enhanced Epo mRNA expression was observed in the liver and kidney, while elevated Epo protein levels were found in liver, kidney and blood. Mechanistically, we showed that the transgenic animals had an abundance of HIF-2α protein in the liver and kidney. Finally, by transiently overexpressing circulating biglycan in mice deficient in various Toll-like receptors (TLRs), we determined that this novel function of biglycan to promote Epo synthesis was specifically mediated by a selective interaction with TLR2. Thus, we discovered a novel biological pathway of soluble biglycan inducing HIF-2α protein stabilization and Epo production presumably in an oxygen-independent manner, ultimately giving rise to secondary polycythemia.

  8. Improved normal tissue sparing in head and neck radiotherapy using biological cost function based-IMRT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, N; Lawford, C; Khoo, V; Rolfo, M; Joon, D L; Wada, M

    2011-12-01

    Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has reduced the impact of acute and late toxicities associated with head and neck radiotherapy. Treatment planning system (TPS) advances in biological cost function based optimization (BBO) and improved segmentation techniques have increased organ at risk (OAR) sparing compared to conventional dose-based optimization (DBO). A planning study was undertaken to compare OAR avoidance in DBO and BBO treatment planning. Simultaneous integrated boost treatment plans were produced for 10 head and neck patients using both planning systems. Plans were compared for tar get coverage and OAR avoidance. Comparisons were made using the BBO TPS Monte Carlo dose engine to eliminate differences due to inherent algorithms. Target coverage (V95%) was maintained for both solutions. BBO produced lower OAR doses, with statistically significant improvement to left (12.3%, p = 0.005) and right parotid mean dose (16.9%, p = 0.004), larynx V50_Gy (71.0%, p = 0.005), spinal cord (21.9%, p < 0.001) and brain stem dose maximums (31.5%, p = 0.002). This study observed improved OAR avoidance with BBO planning. Further investigations will be undertaken to review any clinical benefit of this improved planned dosimetry.

  9. Evaluation of phrenic nerve and diaphragm function with peripheral nerve stimulation and M-mode ultrasonography in potential pediatric phrenic nerve or diaphragm pacing candidates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skalsky, Andrew J; Lesser, Daniel J; McDonald, Craig M

    2015-02-01

    Assessing phrenic nerve function in the setting of diaphragmatic paralysis in diaphragm pacing candidates can be challenging. Traditional imaging modalities and electrodiagnostic evaluations are technically difficult. Either modality alone is not a direct measure of the function of the phrenic nerve and diaphragm unit. In this article, the authors present their method for evaluating phrenic nerve function and the resulting diaphragm function. Stimulating the phrenic nerve with transcutaneous stimulation and directly observing the resulting movement of the hemidiaphragm with M-mode ultrasonography provides quantitative data for predicting the success of advancing technologies such as phrenic nerve pacing and diaphragm pacing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Single Fluorescent Molecules as Nano-Illuminators for Biological Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

    Since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. {62}, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. For example, the shape of single filaments in a living cell can be extracted simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS {103}, 10929 (2006)). The addition of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (super-resolution) and a new array of acronyms (PALM, STORM, F-PALM etc.) and advances have appeared. We have used the native blinking and switching of a common yellow-emitting variant of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) reported more than a decade ago (Nature {388}, 355 (1997)) to achieve sub-40 nm super-resolution imaging of several protein structures in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the quasi-helix of the actin-like protein MreB (Nat. Meth. {5}, 947 (2008)), the cellular distribution of the DNA binding protein HU (submitted), and the recently discovered division spindle composed of ParA filaments (Nat. Cell Biol. {12}, 791 (2010)). Even with these advances, better emitters would provide more photons and improved resolution, and a new photoactivatable small-molecule emitter has recently been synthesized and targeted to specific structures in living cells to provide super-resolution images (JACS {132}, 15099 (2010)). Finally, a new optical method for extracting three-dimensional position information based on

  15. Connecting Structure-Property and Structure-Function Relationships across the Disciplines of Chemistry and Biology: Exploring Student Perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Kathryn P.; Underwood, Sonia M.; Cooper, Melanie M.

    2018-01-01

    While many university students take science courses in multiple disciplines, little is known about how they perceive common concepts from different disciplinary perspectives. Structure-property and structure-function relationships have long been considered important explanatory concepts in the disciplines of chemistry and biology, respectively.…

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Matthew P; Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-11-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  19. Microtearing modes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garbet, X.; Mourgues, F.; Samain, A.; Zou, X.

    1990-01-01

    A serious degradation of confinement with additional heating is commonly observed on most tokamaks. The microtearing modes could provide an explanation for this experimental fact. They are driven linearly unstable by diamagnetism in collisional regimes, but it may be shown that the collisions in non linear regimes provide a small diffusion coefficient which can be only significant at the plasme edge. In the bulk of the plasma, the microtearing turbulence could play a basic role if it is unstable in the collisionless regime. While it is linearly stable without collisions, it could be driven unstable in realistic regimes by the radial diffusion it induces. To study this effect, we have used a model where the non linear action of the modes on a given helicity component is represented by a diffusion operator. They are found unstable for reasonable β p =2μ o nT/B 2 p , with a special radial profile of the potential vector A. The problem arises the validity of this model where non linearities in the trajectories behaviour are replaced by the diffusion which broadens resonances. To test this procedure, we calculate the actual electron distribution function when it is determined by the ergodicity of the field lines. We compute the correlations of the distribution function with the magnetic perturbation and compare them with the analytical expressions derived from the resonance broadening model. (author) 3 refs., 2 figs

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Functional near infrared spectroscopy as a potential biological assessment of addiction recovery: preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey, Jared P; Harris, Kitty S; Shumway, Sterling T; Kimball, Thomas G; Herrera, J Caleb; Dsauza, Cynthia M; Bradshaw, Spencer D

    2015-03-01

    Addiction science has primarily utilized self-report, continued substance use, and relapse factors to explore the process of recovery. However, the entry into successful abstinence substantially reduces our assessment abilities. Advances in neuroscience may be the key to objective understanding, treating, and monitoring long-term success in addiction recovery. To explore functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) as a viable technique in the assessment of addiction-cue reactivity. Specifically, prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation to alcohol cues was explored among formally alcohol-dependent individuals, across varying levels of successful abstinence. The aim of the investigation was to identify patterns of PFC activation change consistent with duration of abstinence. A total of 15 formally alcohol-dependent individuals, with abstinence durations ranging from 1 month to 10 years, viewed alcohol images during fNIR PFC assessment. Participants also subjectively rated the same images for affect and arousal level. Subjective ratings of alcohol cues did not significantly correlate with duration of abstinence. As expected, days of abstinence did not significantly correlate with neutral cue fNIR reactivity. However, for alcohol cues, fNIR results showed increased days of abstinence was associated with decreased activation within the dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex regions. The present results suggest that fNIR may be a viable tool in the assessment of addiction-cue reactivity. RESULTS also support previous findings on the importance of dorsolateral and dorsomedial PFC in alcohol-cue activation. The findings build upon these past results suggesting that fNIR-assessed activation may represent a robust biological marker of successful addiction recovery.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  8. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Smart sensors are needed for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. ► Smart sensors detect analytes with rapid speed, high sensitivity and selectivity. ► Functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can potentially smart sense threat agents. ► Functionalized GNPs support multiple analytical methods for sensing threat agents. ► Threat agents of all types can be detected using functionalized GNPs. - Abstract: There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad range of threat agents, including radioactive substances, explosive compounds, chemical warfare agents, biotoxins, and

  9. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K., E-mail: Upadhyayula.Venkata@epa.gov [Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE), MC-100-44, PO Box 117, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States)

    2012-02-17

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Smart sensors are needed for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Smart sensors detect analytes with rapid speed, high sensitivity and selectivity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can potentially smart sense threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functionalized GNPs support multiple analytical methods for sensing threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Threat agents of all types can be detected using functionalized GNPs. - Abstract: There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

    The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure and it is involved in regulating a number of physiological features of plants such as physical strength, growth, cell differentiation, intercellular communication, water movement and defense responses. Pectins constitute a major class of plant cell wall...... polysaccharides and consist of backbones rich in galacturonic acids, which are decorated with a range of functional groups including acetyl esters and arabinan sidechains. Although much effort has been made to uncover biological functions of pectins in plants and remarkable progresses have taken place, many...... aspects remain elusive. Studies described in this thesis aimed at gaining new insights into the biological roles of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The thesis consists of four chapters: physiological characterization of cell wall mutants affected in cell...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dodell-Feder, David; DeLisi, Lynn E.; Hooker, Christine I.

    2014-01-01

    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,...

  15. Long-term evolution of electron distribution function due to nonlinear resonant interaction with whistler mode waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artemyev, Anton V.; Neishtadt, Anatoly I.; Vasiliev, Alexei A.

    2018-04-01

    Accurately modelling and forecasting of the dynamics of the Earth's radiation belts with the available computer resources represents an important challenge that still requires significant advances in the theoretical plasma physics field of wave-particle resonant interaction. Energetic electron acceleration or scattering into the Earth's atmosphere are essentially controlled by their resonances with electromagnetic whistler mode waves. The quasi-linear diffusion equation describes well this resonant interaction for low intensity waves. During the last decade, however, spacecraft observations in the radiation belts have revealed a large number of whistler mode waves with sufficiently high intensity to interact with electrons in the nonlinear regime. A kinetic equation including such nonlinear wave-particle interactions and describing the long-term evolution of the electron distribution is the focus of the present paper. Using the Hamiltonian theory of resonant phenomena, we describe individual electron resonance with an intense coherent whistler mode wave. The derived characteristics of such a resonance are incorporated into a generalized kinetic equation which includes non-local transport in energy space. This transport is produced by resonant electron trapping and nonlinear acceleration. We describe the methods allowing the construction of nonlinear resonant terms in the kinetic equation and discuss possible applications of this equation.

  16. Modes of interaction between nanostructured metal and a conducting mirror as a function of separation and incident polarization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnie, F.; Arnold, M. D.; Smith, G. B.; Gentle, A. R.

    2013-09-01

    The optical resonances that occur in nanostructured metal layers are modulated in thin film stacks if the nanostructured layer is separated from a reflecting conducting layer by various thicknesses of thin dielectric. We have measured and modeled the optical response of interacting silver layers, with alumina spacer thickness ranging from a few nm to 50 nm, for s- and p-polarized incident light, and a range of incident angles. Standard thin film models, including standard effective medium models for the nanostructured layer, will break down for spacer thickness below a critical threshold. For example, with polarisation in the film plane and some nano-islands, it may occur at around 10 nm depending on spacer refractive index. Of particular interest here are novel effects observed with the onset of percolation in the nanolayer. Hot spot effects can be modified by nearby mirrors. Other modes to consider include (a) a two-particle mode involving a particle and its mirror image (b) A Fano resonance from hybridisation of localized and de-localised plasmon modes (c) a Babinet's core-(partial) shell particle with metal core-dielectric shell in metal (d) spacing dependent phase modulation (e) the impact of field gradients induced by the mirror at the nano-layer.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Systems Biology-Derived Biomarkers to Predict Progression of Renal Function Decline in Type 2 Diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayer, Gert; Heerspink, Hiddo J. L.; Aschauer, Constantin; Heinzel, Andreas; Heinze, Georg; Kainz, Alexander; Sunzenauer, Judith; Perco, Paul; de Zeeuw, Dick; Rossing, Peter; Pena, Michelle; Oberbauer, Rainer

    OBJECTIVE: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in diabetes has a complex molecular and likely multifaceted pathophysiology. We aimed to validate a panel of biomarkers identified using a systems biology approach to predict the individual decline of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in a large

  1. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  2. Guaranteed performance in reaching mode of sliding mode ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    addresses the design of constant plus proportional rate reaching law-based SMC for second-order ... Reaching mode; sliding mode controlled systems; output tracking ... The uncertainty in the input distribution function g is expressed as.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bliddal, Sofie; Borresen, Stina Willemoes; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla

    2017-01-01

    With the increased pro-inflammatory response in both rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid autoimmune diseases, treatment with biological antirheumatic agents (BAAs) of the former may affect the course of the latter. In hepatitis C and cancer patients, treatment with biological agents substantially...... increases the risk of developing thyroid autoimmunity. As the use of BAAs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is increasing, this review aimed to investigate if such use affected thyroid status in rheumatoid arthritis patients. We conducted a systematic literature search and included six studies...... status: a reduction of thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibody concentrations, and a reduction of thyrotropin levels in hypothyroid patients. Despite the small number of studies, they presented compliant data. The BAAs used in rheumatoid arthritis thus did not seem to negatively affect thyroid...

  8. 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.

  9. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L.

    2018-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific tre...... with ustekinumab.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.31....

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The relationship between the connecting peptide of recombined single chain insulin and its biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG; Yiding; (

    2001-01-01

    [1]Straus, D. S., Growth-stimulatory of insulin in vitro and in vivo, Endocr. Rev., 1984, 5(2): 356-369.[2]Svenningsen, A. F., Kanje, M., Insulin and the insulin-like growth factors I and II are mitogenic to cultured rat sciatic nerve segments and stimulate [3H] thuymidine incorporation through their respective receptors, Glia, 1996, 18(1): 68-72.[3]Ogihara, S., Yamada, M., Saito, T. et al., Insulin potentiates mitogenic effect of epidermal growth factor on cultured guinea pig gastric mucous cells, Am. J. Physiol., 1996, 271(1 Pt 1): G104-121.[4]Steiner, D. F., Oyer, P. E., The biosynthesis of insulin and a probable precursor of insulin by a human islet cell adenoma, Proc. Nalt. Acad. Sci. USA, 1967, 57(2): 473-480.[5]King, G. L., Kahn, C. R., The growth-promoting effects of insulin, in Growth and Maturation Factors(ed. Guroff, G.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1984, 223-265.[6]Peavy, D. E., Brunner, M. R., Duckworth, W. C. et al., Receptor binding and biological potency of several split forms (conversion intermediates) of human proinsulin, Studies in cultured IM-9 lymphocytes and in vivo and in vitro in rats, J. Biol. Chem., 1985, 260: 13989-13994.[7]Derewenda, U., Derewenda, Z., Dodson, E. J. et al., X-ray analysis of the single chain B29-A1 peptide-linked insulin molecule. A completely inactive analogue, J. Mol. Biol., 1991, 220: 425-433.[8]Hua, Q. X., Shoelson, S. E., Kochoyan, M. et al., Receptor binding redefined by a structural switch in a mutant human insulin, Nature, 1991, 354: 238-241.[9]Hua, Q. X., Gozani, S. N., Chance, R. E. et al., Structure of a protein in a kinetic trap, Nat. Struc. Boil, 1995, 2: 129-138.[10]Kristensen, C., Andersen, A. S., Hach, M., A single-chain insulin-like growth factor I/insulin hybrid binds with high affinity to the insulin receptor, Biochem. J., 1995, 305: 981-986.[11]Humbel, R. E., Insulin-like growth factors I and II, Euro. J. Biochem., 1990, 190: 445-462.[12]Cooke, R. M

  20. Biological half-life of iodine in adults with intact thyroid function and in athyreotic persons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kramer, G.H.; Hauck, B.M.; Chamberlain, M.J

    2002-07-01

    A joint project between the Human Monitoring Laboratory (HML) and the Ottawa Hospital has measured the retention of {sup 131}I in patients who have received the radioiodine diagnostically. Thirty-nine subjects with intact thyroid glands and nine athyreotic subjects were measured in the HML's whole-body/thyroid counter to determine the retention of {sup 131}I following its medical administration. The average biological half-life of {sup 131}I in 26 euthyroid subjects was found to be 66.1{+-}6.3 days which may be statistically significantly lower than the ICRP recommended value of 80 days. Nine hyperthyroid patients had a mean biological half-life of 38.2{+-}8.6 days and in three hypothyroid patients the corresponding value was 29.3{+-}8.8 days. Thyroid {sup 131}I uptake was measured in a conventional clinical fashion at the Ottawa Hospital Civic campus 24 h after oral administration of the radioiodine using a collimated thick sodium iodide detector placed over the neck arteriorly. Measured values were 0.144{+-}0.009, 0.314{+-}0.035 and 0.045{+-}0.010 of the administered dose in euthyroid, hyperthyroid and hypothyroid patients respectively. The euthyroid range at the hospital is 0.06-0.22. Uptake was significantly lower for the euthyroid group than the ICRP value of 0.3. The radioiodine retention in athyreotic subjects followed a two compartment model with biological half-lives of 1.0{+-}0.2 days and 18.4{+-}1.1. days. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. Biological aspects and life table of Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas, 1878) as a function of temperature

    OpenAIRE

    Auad Alexander Machado; Moraes Jair Campos de

    2003-01-01

    The aphid Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas) is considered a pest of hidroponically-grown lettuce, but basic and applied information on its control are scarce in Brazil. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different temperatures on biological aspects and life history of U. ambrosiae (Thomas) developing on hydroponic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) crop. Newly emerged nymphs were placed on 4-cm discs of hydroponic lettuce, var. Verônica, which were maintained on 5-cm Petri dishes, at te...

  3. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L

    2017-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific...... of ustekinumab treatment. Associations between genetic variants and treatment outcomes (drug survival and Psoriasis Area Severity Index reduction) were assessed using logistic regression analyses (crude and adjusted for gender, age, psoriatic arthritis and previous treatment). After correction for multiple...

  4. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L

    2017-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific tre...... with ustekinumab.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.31....... with response to ustekinumab treatment (qhigh interferon-γ levels may be favorable when treating psoriasis...

  5. Multi-mode Li diffusion in natural zircons: Evidence for diffusion in the presence of step-function concentration boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ming; Rudnick, Roberta L.; McDonough, William F.; Bose, Maitrayee; Goreva, Yulia

    2017-09-01

    Micron- to submicron-scale observations of Li distribution and Li isotope composition profiles can be used to infer the mechanisms of Li diffusion in natural zircon. Extreme fractionation (20-30‰) within each single crystal studied here confirms that Li diffusion commonly occurs in zircon. Sharp Li concentration gradients frequently seen in zircons suggest that the effective diffusivity of Li is significantly slower than experimentally determined (Cherniak and Watson, 2010; Trail et al., 2016), otherwise the crystallization/metamorphic heating of these zircons would have to be unrealistically fast (years to tens of years). Charge coupling with REE and Y has been suggested as a mechanism that may considerably reduce Li diffusivity in zircon (Ushikubo et al., 2008; Bouvier et al., 2012). We show that Li diffused in the direction of decreasing Li/Y ratio and increasing Li concentration (uphill diffusion) in one of the zircons, demonstrating charge coupling with REE and Y. Quantitative modeling reveals that Li may diffuse in at least two modes in natural zircons: one being slow and possibly coupled with REE+Y, and the other one being fast and not coupled with REE+Y. The partitioning of Li between these two modes during its diffusion may depend on the pre-diffusion substitution mechanism of REE and Y in the zircon lattice. Based on our results, sharp Li concentration gradients are not indicative of limited diffusion, and can be preserved at temperatures >700 °C on geologic timescales. Finally, large δ7 Li variations observed in the Hadean Jack Hills zircons may record kinetic fractionation, rather than a record of ancient intense weathering in the granite source materials.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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 an...

  11. 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

    Post-translational modifications provide the proteins with the possibility to perform functions in addition to those determined by their primary sequence. However, analysis of multifunctional protein structures in the environment of cells and body fluids is made especially difficult by the presence...... 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...... of the three selectins are based on the assumption that transitory and reversible protein modifications by phosphate and O-GlcNAc cause specific conformational changes and generate binding sites for other proteins. The computer-assisted prediction of glycosylation and phosphorylation sites in selectins should...

  12. 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,

  13. Integration of genome-wide association studies with biological knowledge identifies six novel genes related to kidney function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasman, Daniel I; Fuchsberger, Christian; Pattaro, Cristian; Teumer, Alexander; Böger, Carsten A; Endlich, Karlhans; Olden, Matthias; Chen, Ming-Huei; Tin, Adrienne; Taliun, Daniel; Li, Man; Gao, Xiaoyi; Gorski, Mathias; Yang, Qiong; Hundertmark, Claudia; Foster, Meredith C; O'Seaghdha, Conall M; Glazer, Nicole; Isaacs, Aaron; Liu, Ching-Ti; Smith, Albert V; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Struchalin, Maksim; Tanaka, Toshiko; Li, Guo; Johnson, Andrew D; Gierman, Hinco J; Feitosa, Mary F; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Atkinson, Elizabeth J; Lohman, Kurt; Cornelis, Marilyn C; Johansson, Asa; Tönjes, Anke; Dehghan, Abbas; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Sorice, Rossella; Kutalik, Zoltan; Lehtimäki, Terho; Esko, Tõnu; Deshmukh, Harshal; Ulivi, Sheila; Chu, Audrey Y; Murgia, Federico; Trompet, Stella; Imboden, Medea; Coassin, Stefan; Pistis, Giorgio; Harris, Tamara B; Launer, Lenore J; Aspelund, Thor; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Mitchell, Braxton D; Boerwinkle, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Cavalieri, Margherita; Rao, Madhumathi; Hu, Frank; Demirkan, Ayse; Oostra, Ben A; de Andrade, Mariza; Turner, Stephen T; Ding, Jingzhong; Andrews, Jeanette S; Freedman, Barry I; Giulianini, Franco; Koenig, Wolfgang; Illig, Thomas; Meisinger, Christa; Gieger, Christian; Zgaga, Lina; Zemunik, Tatijana; Boban, Mladen; Minelli, Cosetta; Wheeler, Heather E; Igl, Wilmar; Zaboli, Ghazal; Wild, Sarah H; Wright, Alan F; Campbell, Harry; Ellinghaus, David; Nöthlings, Ute; Jacobs, Gunnar; Biffar, Reiner; Ernst, Florian; Homuth, Georg; Kroemer, Heyo K; Nauck, Matthias; Stracke, Sylvia; Völker, Uwe; Völzke, Henry; Kovacs, Peter; Stumvoll, Michael; Mägi, Reedik; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Aulchenko, Yurii S; Polasek, Ozren; Hastie, Nick; Vitart, Veronique; Helmer, Catherine; Wang, Jie Jin; Stengel, Bénédicte; Ruggiero, Daniela; Bergmann, Sven; Kähönen, Mika; Viikari, Jorma; Nikopensius, Tiit; Province, Michael; Ketkar, Shamika; Colhoun, Helen; Doney, Alex; Robino, Antonietta; Krämer, Bernhard K; Portas, Laura; Ford, Ian; Buckley, Brendan M; Adam, Martin; Thun, Gian-Andri; Paulweber, Bernhard; Haun, Margot; Sala, Cinzia; Mitchell, Paul; Ciullo, Marina; Kim, Stuart K; Vollenweider, Peter; Raitakari, Olli; Metspalu, Andres; Palmer, Colin; Gasparini, Paolo; Pirastu, Mario; Jukema, J Wouter; Probst-Hensch, Nicole M; Kronenberg, Florian; Toniolo, Daniela; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Shuldiner, Alan R; Coresh, Josef; Schmidt, Reinhold; Ferrucci, Luigi; Siscovick, David S; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Borecki, Ingrid B; Kardia, Sharon L R; Liu, Yongmei; Curhan, Gary C; Rudan, Igor; Gyllensten, Ulf; Wilson, James F; Franke, Andre; Pramstaller, Peter P; Rettig, Rainer; Prokopenko, Inga; Witteman, Jacqueline; Hayward, Caroline; Ridker, Paul M; Parsa, Afshin; Bochud, Murielle; Heid, Iris M; Kao, W H Linda; Fox, Caroline S; Köttgen, Anna

    2012-12-15

    In conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), analytical approaches leveraging biological information may further understanding of the pathophysiology of clinical traits. To discover novel associations with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function, we developed a strategy for integrating prior biological knowledge into the existing GWAS data for eGFR from the CKDGen Consortium. Our strategy focuses on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in genes that are connected by functional evidence, determined by literature mining and gene ontology (GO) hierarchies, to genes near previously validated eGFR associations. It then requires association thresholds consistent with multiple testing, and finally evaluates novel candidates by independent replication. Among the samples of European ancestry, we identified a genome-wide significant SNP in FBXL20 (P = 5.6 × 10(-9)) in meta-analysis of all available data, and additional SNPs at the INHBC, LRP2, PLEKHA1, SLC3A2 and SLC7A6 genes meeting multiple-testing corrected significance for replication and overall P-values of 4.5 × 10(-4)-2.2 × 10(-7). Neither the novel PLEKHA1 nor FBXL20 associations, both further supported by association with eGFR among African Americans and with transcript abundance, would have been implicated by eGFR candidate gene approaches. LRP2, encoding the megalin receptor, was identified through connection with the previously known eGFR gene DAB2 and extends understanding of the megalin system in kidney function. These findings highlight integration of existing genome-wide association data with independent biological knowledge to uncover novel candidate eGFR associations, including candidates lacking known connections to kidney-specific pathways. The strategy may also be applicable to other clinical phenotypes, although more testing will be needed to assess its potential for discovery in general.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25750242

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. [The Functional Role of Exosomes in Cancer Biology and Their Potential as Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets of Cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yutaka; Yoshioka, Yusuke; Ochiya, Takahiro

    2015-06-01

    Intercellular communication plays an important role in the regulation of various cellular events. In particular, cancer cells and the surrounding cells communicate with each other, and this intercellular communication triggers cancer initiation and progression through the secretion of molecules, including growth factors and cytokines. Recent advances in cancer biology have indicated that small membrane vesicles, termed exosomes, also serve as regulatory agents in intercellular communications. Exosomes contain functional cellular components, including proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs), and they transfer these components to recipient cells. This exosome-mediated intercellular communication leads to increased growth, invasion, and metastasis of cancer. Thus, researchers regard exosomes as important cues to understanding the molecular mechanisms of cancer biology. Indeed, several lines of evidence have demonstrated that exosomes can explain multiple aspects of cancer biology. In addition, increasing evidence suggests that exosomes and their specific molecules are also attractive for use as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer. Recent reports showed the efficacy of a novel diagnosis by detecting component molecules of cancer-derived exosomes, including miRNAs and membrane proteins. Furthermore, clinical trials that test the application of exosomes for cancer therapy have already been reported. From these points of view, we will summarize experimental data that support the role of exosomes in cancer progression and the potential of exosomes for use in novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cancer.

  4. Nerve Regeneration: Understanding Biology and Its Influence on Return of Function After Nerve Transfers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Tessa

    2016-05-01

    Poor functional outcomes are frequent after peripheral nerve injuries despite the regenerative support of Schwann cells. Motoneurons and, to a lesser extent, sensory neurons survive the injuries but outgrowth of axons across the injury site is slow. The neuronal regenerative capacity and the support of regenerating axons by the chronically denervated Schwann cells progressively declines with time and distance of the injury from the denervated targets. Strategies, including brief low-frequency electrical stimulation that accelerates target reinnervation and functional recovery, and the insertion of cross-bridges between a donor nerve and a recipient denervated nerve stump, are effective in promoting functional outcomes after complete and incomplete injuries. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. [Scientific bases for the development of functional meat products with combined biological activity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanca, V; Rodríguez, E; Señoráns, J; Reglero, G

    2006-01-01

    The scientific evidences on the relationship between food and health have given place to a new food market of rapid growth in the last years: the market of the functional food. Though the interest of maintaining or improving the state of health by means of the consumption of traditional food with bioactive ingredients added is undoubtedly high, the Spanish population, increasingly formed and informed, is unwilling to consume functional food, until these possess a scientific rigorous base. This article presents a review of the scientific bases that support the development of functional meat products with balanced ratio omega-6/omega-3 and a combination of synergic antioxidants, among them an extract of rosemary obtained by means of extraction with supercritical CO2.

  6. Characterizing the structure-function relationship reveals the mode of action of a novel antimicrobial peptide, P1, from jumper ant Myrmecia pilosula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Tien-Sheng; Tsai, Keng-Chang; Chen, Chinpan

    2017-06-01

    Microbial infections of antibiotic-resistant strains cause serious diseases and have a significant impact on public health worldwide, so novel antimicrobial drugs are urgently needed. Insect venoms, a rich source of bioactive components containing antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), are attractive candidates for new therapeutic agents against microbes. Recently, a novel peptide, P1, identified from the venom of the Australian jumper ant Myrmecia pilosula, showed potent antimicrobial activities against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, but its structure-function relationship is unknown. Here, we used biochemical and biophysical techniques coupled with computational simulations to explore the mode of action of P1 interaction with dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles as a model membrane system. Our circular dichroism (CD) and NMR studies revealed an amphipathic α-helical structure for P1 upon interaction with DPC micelles. A paramagnetic relaxation enhancement approach revealed that P1 orients its α-helix segment (F6-G14) into DPC micelles. In addition, the α-helix segment could be essential for membrane permeabilization and antimicrobial activity. Moreover, the arginine residues R8, R11, and R15 significantly contribute to helix formation and membrane-binding affinity. The lysine residue K19 of the C-terminus functionally guides P1 to interact with DPC micelles in the early interaction stage. Our study provides insights into the mode of action of P1, which is valuable in modifying and developing potent AMPs as antibiotic drugs.

  7. Internal molecular dynamics of LaI3. I. Potential energy function of vibrational modes in harmonic and anharmonic approximations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giricheva, N.I.; Girichev, G.V.; Smorodin, S.V.

    2007-01-01

    Scanning of potential energy surface in the LaI 3 molecule along normal coordinates are realized using the B3LYP/SDD,SDD method. The most anharmonicity is shown to have a potential function of non-planar oscillation ν 2 (A 2 ''). Effect of anharmonicity on the value of mean-square oscillation amplitudes and oscillation spectrum of the molecule is established. It is noted that the account of anharmonicity of potential functions leads to decreasing mean-square oscillation amplitudes [ru

  8. 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,

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Adolescent Gender Differences in Cognitive Control Performance and Functional Connectivity Between Default Mode and Fronto-Parietal Networks Within a Self-Referential Context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Alarcón

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Ineffective reduction of functional connectivity between the default mode network (DMN and frontoparietal network (FPN during cognitive control can interfere with performance in healthy individuals—a phenomenon present in psychiatric disorders, such as depression. Here, this mechanism is studied in healthy adolescents by examining gender differences in task-regressed functional connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and a novel task designed to place the DMN—supporting self-referential processing (SRP—and FPN—supporting cognitive control—into conflict. Compared to boys, girls showed stronger functional connectivity between DMN and FPN during cognitive control in an SRP context (n = 40; boys = 20, a context that also elicited more errors of omission in girls. The gender difference in errors of omission was mediated by higher self-reported co-rumination—the extensive and repetitive discussion of problems and focus on negative feelings with a same-gender peer—by girls, compared to boys. These findings indicate that placing internal and external attentional demands in conflict lead to persistent functional connectivity between FPN and DMN in girls, but not boys; however, deficits in performance during this context were explained by co-rumination, such that youth with higher co-rumination displayed the largest performance deficits. Previous research shows that co-rumination predicts depressive symptoms during adolescence; thus, gender differences in the mechanisms involved with transitioning from internal to external processing may be relevant for understanding heightened vulnerability for depression in adolescent girls.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Covariance Association Test (CVAT) Identifies Genetic Markers Associated with Schizophrenia in Functionally Associated Biological Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Demontis, Ditte; Cuyabano, Beatriz Castro Dias; Børglum, Anders D; Sørensen, Peter

    2016-08-01

    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 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 genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP), the covariance association test (CVAT). We compared the performance of CVAT to other commonly used set tests. The comparison was conducted using a simulated study population having the same genetic parameters as for schizophrenia. We found that CVAT was among the top performers. When extending CVAT to utilize a mixture of SNP effects, we found an increase in power to detect the causal sets. Applying the methods to a Danish schizophrenia case-control data set, we found genomic evidence for association of schizophrenia with vitamin A metabolism and immunological responses, which previously have been implicated with schizophrenia based on experimental and observational studies. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  15. 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

  16. [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.

  17. TTH biological effect and thyrocyte binding in functional states of the thyroid gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrova, G.A.

    1979-01-01

    It was established in experiments made in vitro on the thyroid glands of intact animals and also on hyperplastic, functionally atrophied and inflamed thyroid glands that tritiated TTH actively incorporated into thyroid gland cells of the control animals and raised the rate of thyroxin secretion. Under the conditions of experimental hyperplasia, atrophy and thyroiditis of the thyroid gland, the hormonogenic reaction of thyrocytes and the nature of TTH binding by them was greatly disturbed. The thyrocytes of the hyperplastic and inflamed thyroid tissue did not accept the labelled TTH and did not react to its administration by intensification of thyroxin secretion. The thyrocytes of the functionally atrophied thyroid gland tissue actively bound the tritiated TTH and enhanced thyroxin secretion

  18. The biology, function and clinical implications of exosomes in lung cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Li; Lv, Tangfeng; Zhang, Qun; Zhu, Qingqing; Zhan, Ping; Zhu, Suhua; Zhang, Jianya; Song, Yong

    2017-10-28

    Exosomes are 30-100 nm small membrane vesicles of endocytic origin that are secreted by all types of cells, and can also be found in various body fluids. Increasing evidence implicates that exosomes confer stability and can deliver their cargos such as proteins and nucleic acids to specific cell types, which subsequently serve as important messengers and carriers in lung carcinogenesis. Here, we describe the biogenesis and components of exosomes mainly in lung cancer, we summarize their function in lung carcinogenesis (epithelial mesenchymal transition, oncogenic cell transformation, angiogenesis, metastasis and immune response in tumor microenvironment), and importantly we focus on the clinical potential of exosomes as biomarkers and therapeutics in lung cancer. In addition, we also discuss current challenges that might impede the clinical use of exosomes. Further studies on the functional roles of exosomes in lung cancer requires thorough research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Optimization of culture conditions for biological hydrogen production by Citrobacter freundii CWBI952 in batch, sequenced-batch and semicontinuous operating mode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, Christopher; Hiligsmann, Serge; Beckers, Laurent; Masset, Julien; Thonart, Philippe [Walloon Centre of Industrial Biology, Bd du Rectorat, 29, B.40 - P.70, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Wilmotte, Annick [Center for Protein Engineering, Institute of Chemistry, B.6-P.14, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2010-02-15

    Investigations were carried out to determine the effect of the pH, the nitrogen source, iron and the dilution rate (h{sup -1}) on fermentative hydrogen production from glucose by the newly isolated strain Citrobacter freundii CWBI952. The hydrogen production rate (HPR), hydrogen yield, biomass and soluble metabolites were monitored at 30 C in 100 mL serum bottles and in a 2.3 L bioreactor operated in batch, sequenced-batch and semicontinuous mode. The results indicate that hydrogen production activity, formate biosynthesis and glucose intake rates are very sensitive to the culture pH, and that additional formate bioconversion and production of hydrogen with lower biomass yields can be obtained at pH 5.9. In a further series of cultures casein peptone was replaced by (NH{sub 4}){sub 2}SO{sub 4}, a low cost alternative nitrogen source. The ammonia-based substitute was found to be suitable for H{sub 2} production when a concentration of 0.045 g/L FeSO{sub 4} was provided. Optimal overall performances (ca. an HPR of 33.2 mL H{sub 2}/L h and a yield of 0.83mol{sub H{sub 2}}/mol{sub glucose}) were obtained in the semicontinuous culture applying the previously optimized parameters for pH, nitrogen, and iron with a dilution rate of 0.012 h{sup -1} and degassing of biogas by N{sub 2} at a 28 mL/min flow rate. (author)

  2. Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents with a single multi-functional material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amitai, Gabi; Murata, Hironobu; Andersen, Jill D; Koepsel, Richard R; Russell, Alan J

    2010-05-01

    We report the synthesis of new polymers based on a dimethylacrylamide-methacrylate (DMAA-MA) co-polymer backbone that support both chemical and biological agent decontamination. Polyurethanes containing the redox enzymes glucose oxidase and horseradish peroxidase can convert halide ions into active halogens and exert striking bactericidal activity against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. New materials combining those biopolymers with a family of N-alkyl 4-pyridinium aldoxime (4-PAM) halide-acrylate co-polymers offer both nucleophilic activity for the detoxification of organophosphorus nerve agents and internal sources of halide ions for generation of biocidal activity. Generation of free bromine and iodine was observed in the combined material resulting in bactericidal activity of the enzymatically formed free halogens that caused complete kill of E. coli (>6 log units reduction) within 1 h at 37 degrees C. Detoxification of diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) by the polyDMAA MA-4-PAM iodide component was dose-dependent reaching 85% within 30 min. A subset of 4-PAM-halide co-polymers was designed to serve as a controlled release reservoir for N-hydroxyethyl 4-PAM (HE 4-PAM) molecules that reactivate nerve agent-inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Release rates for HE 4-PAM were consistent with hydrolysis of the HE 4-PAM from the polymer backbone. The HE 4-PAM that was released from the polymer reactivated DFP-inhibited AChE at a similar rate to the oxime antidote 4-PAM. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  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. Molecular mechanisms of the microsomal mixed function oxidases and biological and pathological implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur I. Cederbaum

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The cytochrome P450 mixed function oxidase enzymes play a major role in the metabolism of important endogenous substrates as well as in the biotransformation of xenobiotics. The liver P450 system is the most active in metabolism of exogenous substrates. This review briefly describes the liver P450 (CYP mixed function oxidase system with respect to its enzymatic components and functions. Electron transfer by the NADPH-P450 oxidoreductase is required for reduction of the heme of P450, necessary for binding of molecular oxygen. Binding of substrates to P450 produce substrate binding spectra. The P450 catalytic cycle is complex and rate-limiting steps are not clear. Many types of chemical reactions can be catalyzed by P450 enzymes, making this family among the most diverse catalysts known. There are multiple forms of P450s arranged into families based on structural homology. The major drug metabolizing CYPs are discussed with respect to typical substrates, inducers and inhibitors and their polymorphic forms. The composition of CYPs in humans varies considerably among individuals because of sex and age differences, the influence of diet, liver disease, presence of potential inducers and/or inhibitors. Because of such factors and CYP polymorphisms, and overlapping drug specificity, there is a large variability in the content and composition of P450 enzymes among individuals. This can result in large variations in drug metabolism by humans and often can contribute to drug–drug interactions and adverse drug reactions. Because of many of the above factors, especially CYP polymorphisms, there has been much interest in personalized medicine especially with respect to which CYPs and which of their polymorphic forms are present in order to attempt to determine what drug therapy and what dosage would reflect the best therapeutic strategy in treating individual patients.

  7. Evidence of pervasive biologically functional secondary structures within the genomes of eukaryotic single-stranded DNA viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhire, Brejnev Muhizi; Golden, Michael; Murrell, Ben; Lefeuvre, Pierre; Lett, Jean-Michel; Gray, Alistair; Poon, Art Y F; Ngandu, Nobubelo Kwanele; Semegni, Yves; Tanov, Emil Pavlov; Monjane, Adérito Luis; Harkins, Gordon William; Varsani, Arvind; Shepherd, Dionne Natalie; Martin, Darren Patrick

    2014-02-01

    Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses have genomes that are potentially capable of forming complex secondary structures through Watson-Crick base pairing between their constituent nucleotides. A few of the structural elements formed by such base pairings are, in fact, known to have important functions during the replication of many ssDNA viruses. Unknown, however, are (i) whether numerous additional ssDNA virus genomic structural elements predicted to exist by computational DNA folding methods actually exist and (ii) whether those structures that do exist have any biological relevance. We therefore computationally inferred lists of the most evolutionarily conserved structures within a diverse selection of animal- and plant-infecting ssDNA viruses drawn from the families Circoviridae, Anelloviridae, Parvoviridae, Nanoviridae, and Geminiviridae and analyzed these for evidence of natural selection favoring the maintenance of these structures. While we find evidence that is consistent with purifying selection being stronger at nucleotide sites that are predicted to be base paired than at sites predicted to be unpaired, we also find strong associations between sites that are predicted to pair with one another and site pairs that are apparently coevolving in a complementary fashion. Collectively, these results indicate that natural selection actively preserves much of the pervasive secondary structure that is evident within eukaryote-infecting ssDNA virus genomes and, therefore, that much of this structure is biologically functional. Lastly, we provide examples of various highly conserved but completely uncharacterized structural elements that likely have important functions within some of the ssDNA virus genomes analyzed here.

  8. The Role of Soil Biological Function in Regulating Agroecosystem Services and Sustainability in the Quesungual Agroforestry System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonte, S.; Pauli, N.; Rousseau, L.; SIX, J. W. U. A.; Barrios, E.

    2014-12-01

    The Quesungual agroforestry system from western Honduras has been increasingly promoted as a promising alternative to traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in tropical dry forest regions of the Americas. Improved residue management and the lack of burning in this system can greatly impact soil biological functioning and a number of key soil-based ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes has not been thoroughly integrated to understand system functionality as a whole that can guide improved management. To address this gap, we present a synthesis of various field studies conducted in Central America aimed at: 1) quantifying the influence of the Quesungual agroforestry practices on soil macrofauna abundance and diversity, and 2) understanding how these organisms influence key soil-based ecosystem services that ultimately drive the success of this system. A first set of studies examined the impact of agroecosystem management on soil macrofauna populations, soil fertility and key soil processes. Results suggest that residue inputs (derived from tree biomass pruning), a lack of burning, and high tree densities, lead to conditions that support abundant, diverse soil macrofauna communities under agroforestry, with soil organic carbon content comparable to adjacent forest. Additionally, there is great potential in working with farmers to develop refined soil quality indicators for improved land management. A second line of research explored interactions between residue management and earthworms in the regulation of soil-based ecosystem services. Earthworms are the most prominent ecosystem engineers in these soils. We found that earthworms are key drivers of soil structure maintenance and the stabilization of soil organic matter within soil aggregates, and also had notable impacts on soil nutrient dynamics. However, the impact of earthworms appears to depend on residue management practices, thus indicating the need for an integrated approach for

  9. The leukemia-specific fusion gene ETV6/RUNX1 perturbs distinct key biological functions primarily by gene repression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Fuka

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: ETV6/RUNX1 (E/R (also known as TEL/AML1 is the most frequent gene fusion in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL and also most likely the crucial factor for disease initiation; its role in leukemia propagation and maintenance, however, remains largely elusive. To address this issue we performed a shRNA-mediated knock-down (KD of the E/R fusion gene and investigated the ensuing consequences on genome-wide gene expression patterns and deducible regulatory functions in two E/R-positive leukemic cell lines. FINDINGS: Microarray analyses identified 777 genes whose expression was substantially altered. Although approximately equal proportions were either up- (KD-UP or down-regulated (KD-DOWN, the effects on biological processes and pathways differed considerably. The E/R KD-UP set was significantly enriched for genes included in the "cell activation", "immune response", "apoptosis", "signal transduction" and "development and differentiation" categories, whereas in the E/R KD-DOWN set only the "PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling" and "hematopoietic stem cells" categories became evident. Comparable expression signatures obtained from primary E/R-positive ALL samples underline the relevance of these pathways and molecular functions. We also validated six differentially expressed genes representing the categories "stem cell properties", "B-cell differentiation", "immune response", "cell adhesion" and "DNA damage" with RT-qPCR. CONCLUSION: Our analyses provide the first preliminary evidence that the continuous expression of the E/R fusion gene interferes with key regulatory functions that shape the biology of this leukemia subtype. E/R may thus indeed constitute the essential driving force for the propagation and maintenance of the leukemic process irrespective of potential consequences of associated secondary changes. Finally, these findings may also provide a valuable source of potentially attractive therapeutic targets.

  10. Personalized precision radiotherapy by integration of multi-parametric functional and biological imaging in prostate cancer. A feasibility study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thorwarth, Daniela [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Section for Biomedical Physics; Notohamiprodjo, Mike [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Dept. of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology; Zips, Daniel; Mueller, Arndt-Christan [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Dept. of Radiation Oncology

    2017-05-01

    To increase tumour control probability (TCP) in prostate cancer a method was developed integrating multi-parametric functional and biological information into a dose painting treatment plan aiming focal dose-escalation to tumour sub-volumes. A dose-escalation map was derived considering individual, multi-parametric estimated tumour aggressiveness. Multi-parametric functional imaging (MRI, Choline-/PSMA-/FMISO-PET/CT) was acquired for a high risk prostate cancer patient with a high level of tumour load (cT3b cN0 cM0) indicated by subtotal involvement of prostate including the right seminal vesicle and by PSA-level >100. Probability of tumour presence was determined by a combination of multi-parametric functional image information resulting in a voxel-based map of tumour aggressiveness. This probability map was directly integrated into dose optimization in order to plan for inhomogeneous, biological imaging based dose painting. Histograms of the multi-parametric prescription function were generated in addition to a differential histogram of the planned inhomogeneous doses. Comparison of prescribed doses with planned doses on a voxel level was realized using an effective DVH, containing the ratio of prescribed vs. planned dose for each tumour voxel. Multi-parametric imaging data of PSMA, Choline and FMISO PET/CT as well as ADC maps derived from diffusion weighted MRI were combined to an individual probability map of tumour presence. Voxel-based prescription doses ranged from 75.3 Gy up to 93.4 Gy (median: 79.6 Gy), whereas the planned dose painting doses varied only between 72.5 and 80.0 Gy with a median dose of 75.7 Gy. However, inhomogeneous voxel-based dose prescriptions can only be implemented into a treatment plan until a certain level. Multi-parametric probability based dose painting in prostate cancer is technically and clinically feasible. However, detailed calibration functions to define the necessary probability functions need to be assessed in future

  11. Plasma Modes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubin, D. H. E.

    This chapter explores several aspects of the linear electrostatic normal modes of oscillation for a single-species non-neutral plasma in a Penning trap. Linearized fluid equations of motion are developed, assuming the plasma is cold but collisionless, which allow derivation of the cold plasma dielectric tensor and the electrostatic wave equation. Upper hybrid and magnetized plasma waves in an infinite uniform plasma are described. The effect of the plasma surface in a bounded plasma system is considered, and the properties of surface plasma waves are characterized. The normal modes of a cylindrical plasma column are discussed, and finally, modes of spheroidal plasmas, and finite temperature effects on the modes, are briefly described.

  12. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    study and understand the function of biological systems, particu- larly, the response of such .... understand the organisation and behaviour of prokaryotic sys- tems. ... relationship of the structure of a target molecule to its ability to bind a certain ...

  13. BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION OF TOMBUSVIRUS-ENCODED SUPPRESSOR OF RNA SILENCING IN PLANTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omarov R.T.

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available RNA interference (RNAi plays multiple biological roles in eukaryotic organisms to regulate gene expression. RNAi also operates as a conserved adaptive molecular immune mechanism against invading viruses. The antiviral RNAi pathway is initiated with the generation of virus-derived short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs that are used for subsequent sequence-specific recognition and degradation of the cognate viral RNA molecules. As an efficient counter-defensive strategy, most plant viruses evolved the ability to encode specific proteins capable of interfering with RNAi, and this process is commonly known as RNA silencing suppression. Virus-encoded suppressors of RNAi (VSRs operate at different steps in the RNAi pathway and display distinct biochemical properties that enable these proteins to efficiently interfere with the host-defense system. Tombusvirus-encoded P19 is an important pathogenicity factor, required for symptom development and elicitation of a hypersensitive response in a host-dependent manner. Protein plays a crucial role of TBSV P19 in protecting viral RNA during systemic infection on Nicotiana benthamiana. The X-ray crystallographic studies conducted by two independent groups revealed the existence of a P19-siRNA complex; a conformation whereby caliper tryptophan residues on two subunits of P19 dimers measure and bind 21-nt siRNA duplexes. These structural studies provided the first details on the possible molecular mechanism of any viral suppressor to block RNAi. The association between P19 and siRNAs was also shown to occur in infected plants These and related studies revealed that in general the ability of P19 to efficiently sequester siRNAs influences symptom severity, however this is not a strict correlation in all hosts.The current working model is that during TBSV infection of plants, P19 appropriates abundantly circulating Tombusvirus-derived siRNAs thereby rendering these unavailable to program RISC, to prevent degradation of

  14. 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.

  15. Ancestral state reconstructions require biological evidence to test evolutionary hypotheses: A case study examining the evolution of reproductive mode in squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Oliver W; Blackburn, Daniel G; Brandley, Matthew C; Van Dyke, James U; Whittington, Camilla M; Thompson, Michael B

    2015-09-01

    To understand evolutionary transformations it is necessary to identify the character states of extinct ancestors. Ancestral character state reconstruction is inherently difficult because it requires an accurate phylogeny, character state data, and a statistical model of transition rates and is fundamentally constrained by missing data such as extinct taxa. We argue that model based ancestral character state reconstruction should be used to generate hypotheses but should not be considered an analytical endpoint. Using the evolution of viviparity and reversals to oviparity in squamates as a case study, we show how anatomical, physiological, and ecological data can be used to evaluate hypotheses about evolutionary transitions. The evolution of squamate viviparity requires changes to the timing of reproductive events and the successive loss of features responsible for building an eggshell. A reversal to oviparity requires that those lost traits re-evolve. We argue that the re-evolution of oviparity is inherently more difficult than the reverse. We outline how the inviability of intermediate phenotypes might present physiological barriers to reversals from viviparity to oviparity. Finally, we show that ecological data supports an oviparous ancestral state for squamates and multiple transitions to viviparity. In summary, we conclude that the first squamates were oviparous, that frequent transitions to viviparity have occurred, and that reversals to oviparity in viviparous lineages either have not occurred or are exceedingly rare. As this evidence supports conclusions that differ from previous ancestral state reconstructions, our paper highlights the importance of incorporating biological evidence to evaluate model-generated hypotheses. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Systems Biology-Derived Biomarkers to Predict Progression of Renal Function Decline in Type 2 Diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayer, Gert; Heerspink, Hiddo J L; Aschauer, Constantin

    2017-01-01

    hormone 1, hepatocyte growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2, MMP7, MMP8, MMP13, tyrosine kinase, and tumor necrosis factor receptor-1. These biomarkers were measured in baseline serum samples from 1,765 patients recruited into two large clinical trials. eGFR decline was predicted based...... on molecular markers, clinical risk factors (including baseline eGFR and albuminuria), and both combined, and these predictions were evaluated using mixed linear regression models for longitudinal data. RESULTS: The variability of annual eGFR loss explained by the biomarkers, indicated by the adjusted R2 value......, combined with clinical variables, enhances the prediction of renal function loss over a wide range of baseline eGFR values in patients with type 2 diabetes and CKD....

  17. Chemistry and biology of Tc-99m renal function agents. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fritzberg, A.M.

    1986-01-01

    A major aim of the project was to develop a Tc-99m renal tubular function radiopharmaceutical. Progress was made in synthesizing and evaluating Tc-99m 2,3-dimercaptoaceta-midoprepanoate (CO 2 DADS). In animals and clinical studies the A epimer (early component on reversed phase HPLC) demonstrated high efficiency and specificity for renal tubular secretion. We were unable to obtain only the desired stereoisomer. Synthesis of about twenty diamide dimercaptide N 2 S 2 ligand analogs suggested two others that were of comparable efficiency in humans, but with less difference between stereoisomers; Tc-99m 1,3-dimercaptoacetamide-2-hydroxypropane (HoDADS) and 1,8-dithiol- 2,7-dioxo-3,6-diazanonanoate (α -S-CO 2 DADS). 15 refs

  18. High dimensional ICA analysis detects within-network functional connectivity damage of default mode and sensory motor networks in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ottavia eDipasquale

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available High dimensional independent component analysis (ICA, compared to low dimensional ICA, allows performing a detailed parcellation of the resting state networks. The purpose of this study was to give further insight into functional connectivity (FC in Alzheimer’s disease (AD using high dimensional ICA. For this reason, we performed both low and high dimensional ICA analyses of resting state fMRI (rfMRI data of 20 healthy controls and 21 AD patients, focusing on the primarily altered default mode network (DMN and exploring the sensory motor network (SMN. As expected, results obtained at low dimensionality were in line with previous literature. Moreover, high dimensional results allowed us to observe either the presence of within-network disconnections and FC damage confined to some of the resting state sub-networks. Due to the higher sensitivity of the high dimensional ICA analysis, our results suggest that high-dimensional decomposition in sub-networks is very promising to better localize FC alterations in AD and that FC damage is not confined to the default mode network.

  19. INK4 proteins, a family of mammalian CDK inhibitors with novel biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cánepa, Eduardo T; Scassa, María E; Ceruti, Julieta M; Marazita, Mariela C; Carcagno, Abel L; Sirkin, Pablo F; Ogara, María F

    2007-07-01

    The cyclin D-Cdk4-6/INK4/Rb/E2F pathway plays a key role in controlling cell growth by integrating multiple mitogenic and antimitogenic stimuli. The members of INK4 family, comprising p16(INK4a), p15(INK4b), p18(INK4c), and p19(INK4d), block the progression of the cell cycle by binding to either Cdk4 or Cdk6 and inhibiting the action of cyclin D. These INK4 proteins share a similar structure dominated by several ankyrin repeats. Although they appear to be structurally redundant and equally potent as inhibitors, the INK4 family members are differentially expressed during mouse development. The striking diversity in the pattern of expression of INK4 genes suggested that this family of cell cycle inhibitors might have cell lineage-specific or tissue-specific functions. The INK4 proteins are commonly lost or inactivated by mutations in diverse types of cancer, and they represent established or candidate tumor suppressors. Apart from their capacity to arrest cells in the G1-phase of the cell cycle they have been shown to participate in an increasing number of cellular processes. Given their emerging roles in fundamental physiological as well as pathological processes, it is interesting to explore the diverse roles for the individual INK4 family members in different functions other than cell cycle regulation. Extensive studies, over the past few years, uncover the involvement of INK4 proteins in senescence, apoptosis, DNA repair, and multistep oncogenesis. We will focus the discussion here on these unexpected issues.

  20. Functional Genomics Uncover the Biology behind the Responsiveness of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer Patients to Cetuximab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossi, Paolo; Bergamini, Cristiana; Siano, Marco; Cossu Rocca, Maria; Sponghini, Andrea P; Favales, Federica; Giannoccaro, Marco; Marchesi, Edoardo; Cortelazzi, Barbara; Perrone, Federica; Pilotti, Silvana; Locati, Laura D; Licitra, Lisa; Canevari, Silvana; De Cecco, Loris

    2016-08-01

    To identify the tumor portrait of the minority of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients with recurrent-metastatic (RM) disease who upon treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy plus cetuximab present a long-lasting response. The gene expression of pretreatment samples from 40 HNSCC-RM patients, divided in two groups [14 long-progression-free survival (PFS) and 26 short-PFS (median = 19 and 3 months, respectively)], was associated with PFS and was challenged against a dataset from metastatic colon cancer patients treated with cetuximab. For biologic analysis, we performed functional and subtype association using gene set enrichment analysis, associated biology across all currently available HNSCC signatures, and inferred drug sensitivity using data from the Cancer Genomic Project. The identified genomic profile exhibited a significant predictive value that was essentially confirmed in the single publicly available dataset of cetuximab-treated patients. The main divergence between long- and short-PFS groups was based on developmental/differentiation status. The long-PFS patients are characterized by basal subtype traits such as strong EGFR signaling phenotype and hypoxic differentiation, further validated by the significantly higher association with the hypoxia metagene. The short-PFS patients presented a strong activation of RAS signaling confirmed in an in vitro model of two isogenic HNSCC cell lines sensitive or resistant to cetuximab. The predicted drug sensitivity for all four EGFR inhibitors was higher in long- versus short-PFS patients (P range: biology behind response to platinum-based chemotherapy plus cetuximab in RM-HNSCC cancer and may have translational implications improving treatment selection. Clin Cancer Res; 22(15); 3961-70. ©2016 AACRSee related commentary by Chau and Hammerman, p. 3710. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  1. Gene expression analysis of zebrafish melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium reveals indicators of biological function and developmental origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles W Higdon

    Full Text Available In order to facilitate understanding of pigment cell biology, we developed a method to concomitantly purify melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium from zebrafish, and analyzed their transcriptomes. Comparing expression data from these cell types and whole embryos allowed us to reveal gene expression co-enrichment in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, as well as in melanocytes and iridophores. We found 214 genes co-enriched in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, indicating the shared functions of melanin-producing cells. We found 62 genes significantly co-enriched in melanocytes and iridophores, illustrative of their shared developmental origins from the neural crest. This is also the first analysis of the iridophore transcriptome. Gene expression analysis for iridophores revealed extensive enrichment of specific enzymes to coordinate production of their guanine-based reflective pigment. We speculate the coordinated upregulation of specific enzymes from several metabolic pathways recycles the rate-limiting substrate for purine synthesis, phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate, thus constituting a guanine cycle. The purification procedure and expression analysis described here, along with the accompanying transcriptome-wide expression data, provide the first mRNA sequencing data for multiple purified zebrafish pigment cell types, and will be a useful resource for further studies of pigment cell biology.

  2. Nontarget effects of chemical pesticides and biological pesticide on rhizospheric microbial community structure and function in Vigna radiata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sunil; Gupta, Rashi; Kumari, Madhu; Sharma, Shilpi

    2015-08-01

    Intensive agriculture has resulted in an indiscriminate use of pesticides, which demands in-depth analysis of their impact on indigenous rhizospheric microbial community structure and function. Hence, the objective of the present work was to study the impact of two chemical pesticides (chlorpyrifos and cypermethrin) and one biological pesticide (azadirachtin) at two dosages on the microbial community structure using cultivation-dependent approach and on rhizospheric bacterial communities involved in nitrogen cycle in Vigna radiata rhizosphere through cultivation-independent technique of real-time PCR. Cultivation-dependent study highlighted the adverse effects of both chemical pesticide and biopesticide on rhizospheric bacterial and fungal communities at different plant growth stages. Also, an adverse effect on number of genes and transcripts of nifH (nitrogen fixation); amoA (nitrification); and narG, nirK, and nirS (denitrification) was observed. The results from the present study highlighted two points, firstly that nontarget effects of pesticides are significantly detrimental to soil microflora, and despite being of biological origin, azadirachtin exerted negative impact on rhizospheric microbial community of V. radiata behaving similar to chemical pesticides. Hence, such nontarget effects of chemical pesticide and biopesticide in plants' rhizosphere, which bring out the larger picture in terms of their ecotoxicological effect, demand a proper risk assessment before application of pesticides as agricultural amendments.

  3. Biological data assimilation for parameter estimation of a phytoplankton functional type model for the western North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshiba, Yasuhiro; Hirata, Takafumi; Shigemitsu, Masahito; Nakano, Hideyuki; Hashioka, Taketo; Masuda, Yoshio; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro

    2018-06-01

    Ecosystem models are used to understand ecosystem dynamics and ocean biogeochemical cycles and require optimum physiological parameters to best represent biological behaviours. These physiological parameters are often tuned up empirically, while ecosystem models have evolved to increase the number of physiological parameters. We developed a three-dimensional (3-D) lower-trophic-level marine ecosystem model known as the Nitrogen, Silicon and Iron regulated Marine Ecosystem Model (NSI-MEM) and employed biological data assimilation using a micro-genetic algorithm to estimate 23 physiological parameters for two phytoplankton functional types in the western North Pacific. The estimation of the parameters was based on a one-dimensional simulation that referenced satellite data for constraining the physiological parameters. The 3-D NSI-MEM optimized by the data assimilation improved the timing of a modelled plankton bloom in the subarctic and subtropical regions compared to the model without data assimilation. Furthermore, the model was able to improve not only surface concentrations of phytoplankton but also their subsurface maximum concentrations. Our results showed that surface data assimilation of physiological parameters from two contrasting observatory stations benefits the representation of vertical plankton distribution in the western North Pacific.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja Entringer

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Enhanced Biological Response of AVS-Functionalized Ti-6Al-4V Alloy through Covalent Immobilization of Collagen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezvanian, Parsa; Daza, Rafael; López, Patricia A; Ramos, Milagros; González-Nieto, Daniel; Elices, Manuel; Guinea, Gustavo V; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2018-02-20

    This study presents the development of an efficient procedure for covalently immobilizing collagen molecules on AVS-functionalized Ti-6Al-4V samples, and the assessment of the survival and proliferation of cells cultured on these substrates. Activated Vapor Silanization (AVS) is a versatile functionalization technique that allows obtaining a high density of active amine groups on the surface. A procedure is presented to covalently bind collagen to the functional layer using EDC/NHS as cross-linker. The covalently bound collagen proteins are characterized by fluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy and their stability is tested. The effect of the cross-linker concentration on the process is assessed. The concentration of the cross-linker is optimized and a reliable cleaning protocol is developed for the removal of the excess of carbodiimide from the samples. The results demonstrate that the covalent immobilization of collagen type I on Ti-6Al-4V substrates, using the optimized protocol, increases the number of viable cells present on the material. Consequently, AVS in combination with the carbodiimide chemistry appears as a robust method for the immobilization of proteins and, for the first time, it is shown that it can be used to enhance the biological response to the material.

  6. Recent insights into the biological functions of liver fatty acid binding protein 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, GuQi; Bonkovsky, Herbert L.; de Lemos, Andrew; Burczynski, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    Over four decades have passed since liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP)1 was first isolated. There are few protein families for which most of the complete tertiary structures, binding properties, and tissue occurrences are described in such detail and yet new functions are being uncovered for this protein. FABP1 is known to be critical for fatty acid uptake and intracellular transport and also has an important role in regulating lipid metabolism and cellular signaling pathways. FABP1 is an important endogenous cytoprotectant, minimizing hepatocyte oxidative damage and interfering with ischemia-reperfusion and other hepatic injuries. The protein may be targeted for metabolic activation through the cross-talk among many transcriptional factors and their activating ligands. Deficiency or malfunction of FABP1 has been reported in several diseases. FABP1 also influences cell proliferation during liver regeneration and may be considered as a prognostic factor for hepatic surgery. FABP1 binds and modulates the action of many molecules such as fatty acids, heme, and other metalloporphyrins. The ability to bind heme is another cytoprotective property and one that deserves closer investigation. The role of FABP1 in substrate availability and in protection from oxidative stress suggests that FABP1 plays a pivotal role during intracellular bacterial/viral infections by reducing inflammation and the adverse effects of starvation (energy deficiency). PMID:26443794

  7. Biology and function of adipose tissue macrophages, dendritic cells and B cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Stoyan; Merlin, Johanna; Lee, Man Kit Sam; Murphy, Andrew J; Guinamard, Rodolphe R

    2018-04-01

    The increasing incidence of obesity and its socio-economical impact is a global health issue due to its associated co-morbidities, namely diabetes and cardiovascular disease [1-5]. Obesity is characterized by an increase in adipose tissue, which promotes the recruitment of immune cells resulting in low-grade inflammation and dysfunctional metabolism. Macrophages are the most abundant immune cells in the adipose tissue of mice and humans. The adipose tissue also contains other myeloid cells (dendritic cells (DC) and neutrophils) and to a lesser extent lymphocyte populations, including T cells, B cells, Natural Killer (NK) and Natural Killer T (NKT) cells. While the majority of studies have linked adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) to the development of low-grade inflammation and co-morbidities associated with obesity, emerging evidence suggests for a role of other immune cells within the adipose tissue that may act in part by supporting macrophage homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the functions ATMs, DCs and B cells possess during steady-state and obesity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Matthew; Hooker, Brian S.; Herbert, Martha

    2008-01-01

    We review evidence to support the model that autism may begin when a maternal environmental, infectious, or autoantibody insult causes inflammation which increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the fetus, leading to fetal DNA damage (nuclear and mitochondrial), and that these inflammatory and oxidative stressors persist beyond early development (with potential further exacerbations), producing ongoing functional consequences. In organs with a high metabolic demand such as the central nervous system, the continued use of mitochondria with DNA damage may generate additional ROS which will activate the innate immune system leading to more ROS production. Such a mechanism would self-sustain and possibly progressively worsen. The mitochondrial dysfunction and altered redox signal transduction pathways found in autism would conspire to activate both astroglia and microglia. These activated cells can then initiate a broad-spectrum proinflammatory gene response. Neurons may have acquired receptors for these inflammatory signals to inhibit neuronal signaling as a protection from excitotoxic damage during various pathologic insults (e.g., infection). In autism, over-zealous neuroinflammatory responses could not only influence neural developmental processes, but may more significantly impair neural signaling involved in cognition in an ongoing fashion. This model makes specific predictions in patients and experimental animal models and suggests a number of targets sites of intervention. Our model of potentially reversible pathophysiological mechanisms in autism motivates our hope that effective therapies may soon appear on the horizon.

  9. Biological functions of selenium and its potential influence on Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOEL H. ELLWANGER

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Parkinson's disease is characterized by the death of dopaminergic neurons, mainly in the substantia nigra, and causes serious locomotor dysfunctions. It is likely that the oxidative damage to cellular biomolecules is among the leading causes of neurodegeneration that occurs in the disease. Selenium is an essential mineral for proper functioning of the brain, and mainly due to its antioxidant activity, it is possible to exert a special role in the prevention and in the nutritional management of Parkinson's disease. Currently, few researchers have investigated the effects of selenium on Parkinson´s disease. However, it is known that very high or very low body levels of selenium can (possibly contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, because this imbalance results in increased levels of oxidative stress. Therefore, the aim of this work is to review and discuss studies that have addressed these topics and to finally associate the information obtained from them so that these data and associations serve as input to new research.

  10. HESS Opinions "Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelian, K.

    2012-08-01

    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 components of the biosphere on the Earth's surface 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 processes 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.

  11. Application of Symmetry Adapted Function Method for Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Octahedral Biological Macromolecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songjun Zeng

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A method for three-dimensional (3D reconstruction of macromolecule assembles, that is, octahedral symmetrical adapted functions (OSAFs method, was introduced in this paper and a series of formulations for reconstruction by OSAF method were derived. To verify the feasibility and advantages of the method, two octahedral symmetrical macromolecules, that is, heat shock protein Degp24 and the Red-cell L Ferritin, were utilized as examples to implement reconstruction by the OSAF method. The schedule for simulation was designed as follows: 2000 random orientated projections of single particles with predefined Euler angles and centers of origins were generated, then different levels of noises that is signal-to-noise ratio (S/N =0.1,0.5, and 0.8 were added. The structures reconstructed by the OSAF method were in good agreement with the standard models and the relative errors of the structures reconstructed by the OSAF method to standard structures were very little even for high level noise. The facts mentioned above account for that the OSAF method is feasible and efficient approach to reconstruct structures of macromolecules and have ability to suppress the influence of noise.

  12. Functionalization of titanium with chitosan via silanation: evaluation of biological and mechanical performances.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline Renoud

    Full Text Available Complications in dentistry and orthopaedic surgery are mainly induced by peri-implant bacterial infections and current implant devices do not prevent such infections. The coating of antibacterial molecules such as chitosan on its surface would give the implant bioactive properties. The major challenge of this type of coating is the attachment of chitosan to a metal substrate. In this study, we propose to investigate the functionalization of titanium with chitosan via a silanation. Firstly, the surface chemistry and mechanical properties of such coating were evaluated. We also verified if the coated chitosan retained its biocompatibility with the peri-implant cells, as well as its antibacterial properties. FTIR and Tof-SIMS analyses confirmed the presence of chitosan on the titanium surface. This coating showed great scratch resistance and was strongly adhesive to the substrate. These mechanical properties were consistent with an implantology application. The Chitosan-coated surfaces showed strong inhibition of Actinomyces naeslundii growth; they nonetheless showed a non significant inhibition against Porphyromonas gingivalis after 32 hours in liquid media. The chitosan-coating also demonstrated good biocompatibility to NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Thus this method of covalent coating provides a biocompatible material with improved bioactive properties. These results proved that covalent coating of chitosan has significant potential in biomedical device implantation.

  13. Sensitive SERS-pH sensing in biological media using metal carbonyl functionalized planar substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Kien Voon; Dinish, U S; Lau, Weber Kam On; Olivo, Malini

    2014-04-15

    Conventional nanoparticle based Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technique for pH sensing often fails due to the aggregation of particles when detecting in acidic medium or biosamples having high ionic strength. Here, We develop SERS based pH sensing using a novel Raman reporter, arene chromium tricarbonyl linked aminothiophenol (Cr(CO)3-ATP), functionalized onto a nano-roughened planar substrates coated with gold. Unlike the SERS spectrum of the ATP molecule that dominates in the 400-1700 cm(-1) region, which is highly interfered by bio-molecules signals, metal carbonyl-ATP (Cr(CO)3)-ATP) offers the advantage of monitoring the pH dependent strong CO stretching vibrations in the mid-IR (1800-2200 cm(-1)) range. Raman signal of the CO stretching vibrations at ~1820 cm(-1) has strong dependency on the pH value of the environment, where its peak undergo noticeable shift as the pH of the medium is varied from 3.0 to 9.0. The sensor showed better sensitivity in the acidic range of the pH. We also demonstrate the pH sensing in a urine sample, which has high ionic strength and our data closely correlate to the value obtained from conventional sensor. In future, this study may lead to a sensitive chip based pH sensing platform in bio-fluids for the early diagnosis of diseases. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Abnormal functional brain asymmetry in depression: evidence of biologic commonality between major depression and dysthymia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruder, Gerard E; Stewart, Jonathan W; Hellerstein, David; Alvarenga, Jorge E; Alschuler, Daniel; McGrath, Patrick J

    2012-04-30

    Prior studies have found abnormalities of functional brain asymmetry in patients having a major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed to replicate findings of reduced right hemisphere advantage for perceiving dichotic complex tones in depressed patients, and to determine whether patients having "pure" dysthymia show the same abnormality of perceptual asymmetry as MDD. It also examined gender differences in lateralization, and the extent to which abnormalities of perceptual asymmetry in depressed patients are dependent on gender. Unmedicated patients having either a MDD (n=96) or "pure" dysthymic disorder (n=42) and healthy controls (n=114) were tested on dichotic fused-words and complex-tone tests. Patient and control groups differed in right hemisphere advantage for complex tones, but not left hemisphere advantage for words. Reduced right hemisphere advantage for tones was equally present in MDD and dysthymia, but was more evident among depressed men than depressed women. Also, healthy men had greater hemispheric asymmetry than healthy women for both words and tones, whereas this gender difference was not seen for depressed patients. Dysthymia and MDD share a common abnormality of hemispheric asymmetry for dichotic listening. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Coelomocytes: Biology and Possible Immune Functions in Invertebrates with Special Remarks on Nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qudsia Tahseen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available All metazoans are exposed to a wide range of microbes and have evolved complex immune defenses used to repel infectious agents. Coelomocytes play a key role in the defense reactions of most invertebrates. They are involved in important immune functions, such as phagocytosis, encapsulation, graft rejection, and inflammation, as well as the synthesis and secretion of several humoral factors especially in annelids and echinoderms. Coelomocytes in nematodes are variable in shapes from round, ovoid, cuboidal, and spindle-shaped to stellate or branched cells that are found usually at fixed positions in the pseudocoelom. Their number usually varies from 2 to 6. The model nematode, C. elegans lacks an adaptive immune system and the coelomocytes are capable of endocytosis, but their involvement in phagocytosis of bacteria seems unlikely. The aim of this review is to evaluate current knowledge on coelomocytes of invertebrates with special reference to nematodes. The morphology and structure of these coelomocytes are discussed along with their origin. Their relative positions and diversity in different nematode groups have also been discussed and illustrated.

  16. Proton transfer along water bridges in biological systems with density-functional tight-binding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Krystle; Wise, Abigail; Mazzuca, James

    2015-03-01

    When examining the dynamics of charge transfer in high dimensional enzymatic systems, the cost of quantum mechanical treatment of electrons increases exponentially with the size of the system. As a semi-empirical method, density-functional tight-binding aids in shortening these calculation times, but can be inaccurate in the regime where bonds are being formed and broken. To address these inaccuracies with respect to proton transfer in an enzymatic system, DFTB is being used to calculate small model systems containing only a single amino acid residue donor, represented by an imidazole molecule, and a water acceptor. When DFTB calculations are compared to B3LYP geometry calculations of the donor molecule, we observe a bond angle error on the order of 1.2 degrees and a bond length error on the order of 0.011 Å. As we move forward with small donor-acceptor systems, comparisons between DFTB and B3LYP energy profiles will provide a better clue as to what extent improvements need to be made. To improve the accuracy of the DFTB calculations, the internuclear repulsion term may be altered. This would result in energy profiles that closely resemble those produced by higher-level theory. Alma College Provost's Office.

  17. HESS Opinions "Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Michaelian

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 components of the biosphere on the Earth's surface 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 processes 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.

  18. RYBP and Cbx7 Define Specific Biological Functions of Polycomb Complexes in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lluis Morey

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1 is required for decisions of stem cell fate. In mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs, two major variations of PRC1 complex, defined by the mutually exclusive presence of Cbx7 or RYBP, have been identified. Here, we show that although the genomic localization of the Cbx7- and RYBP-containing PRC1 complexes overlaps in certain genes, it can also be mutually exclusive. At the molecular level, Cbx7 is necessary for recruitment of Ring1B to chromatin, whereas RYBP enhances the PRC1 enzymatic activity. Genes occupied by RYBP show lower levels of Ring1B and H2AK119ub and are consequently more highly transcribed than those bound by Cbx7. At the functional level, we show that genes occupied by RYBP are primarily involved in the regulation of metabolism and cell-cycle progression, whereas those bound by Cbx7 predominantly control early-lineage commitment of ESCs. Altogether, our results indicate that different PRC1 subtypes establish a complex pattern of gene regulation that regulates common and nonoverlapping aspects of ESC pluripotency and differentiation.

  19. 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

  20. Function-oriented synthesis: biological evaluation of laulimalide analogues derived from a last step cross metathesis diversification strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooberry, Susan L; Hilinski, Michael K; Clark, Erin A; Wender, Paul A

    2008-01-01

    Laulimalide is a potent microtubule stabilizing agent and a promising anticancer therapeutic lead. The identification of stable, efficacious and accessible analogues is critical to clinically exploiting this novel lead. To determine which structural features of laulimalide are required for beneficial function and thus for accessing superior clinical candidates, a series of side chain analogues were prepared through a last step cross metathesis diversification strategy and their biological activities were evaluated. Five analogues, differing in potency from 233 nM to 7.9 muM, effectively inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Like laulimalide, they retain activity against multidrug resistant cells, stabilize microtubules and cause the formation of aberrant mitotic spindles, mitotic accumulation, Bcl-2 phosphorylation and initiation of apoptosis. Structural modifications in the C 23-C 27 dihydropyran side chain can be made without changing the overall mechanism of action, but it is clear that this subunit has more than a bystander role.

  1. DPP4 inhibitors promote biological functions of human endothelial progenitor cells by targeting the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Feng

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4 inhibitors(oral hypoglycemic agentshave beneficial effects during the early stages of diabetes. In this study, we evaluated the role of DPP4inhibitorsonthe biological functions of cultured human endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs. After treating EPCs with the DPP4 inhibitors sitagliptin and vildagliptin, we examined the mRNA expression of DPP4, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF,VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2,endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS, caspase-3,stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1, chemokine (C-X-C motif receptor 4 (CXCR4 were measured by RT-PCR. The protein expression of SDF-1 and CXCR4 was determined by Western blot; cell proliferation was tested by the MTT method, and DPP4 activity was determined by a DPP4 assay. Our results revealed that DPP4 expression and activity were inhibited following the treatment with various doses of DPP4 inhibitors. Cell proliferation and the expression of VEGF, VEGFR-2andeNOS were up regulated, while cell apoptosis was inhibited by DPP4 inhibitors in a dose-dependent manner. DPP4 inhibitors activated the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway, shown by the elevated expression of SDF-1/CXCR4. This further proved that after the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway was blocked by its inhibitor ADM3100, the effects of DPP4 inhibitors on the proliferation and apoptosis, and the expression of VEGF, VEGFR-2and eNOS of EPCs were significantly reduced. These findings suggest that DPP4 inhibitors promote the biological functions of human EPCs by up regulating the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway.

  2. Enzyme-functionalized thin-cladding long-period fiber grating in transition mode at dispersion turning point for sugar-level and glucose detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badmos, Abdulyezir A.; Sun, Qizhen; Sun, Zhongyuan; Zhang, Junxi; Yan, Zhijun; Lutsyk, Petro; Rozhin, Alex; Zhang, Lin

    2017-02-01

    Enzyme-functionalized dual-peak long-period fiber grating (LPFG) inscribed in 80-μm-cladding B/Ge codoped single-mode fiber is presented for sugar-level and specific glucose detection. Before enzyme functionalization, the dual-peak LPFG was employed for refractive index sensing and sugar-level detection and high sensitivities of ˜4298.20 nm/RIU and 4.6696 nm/% were obtained, respectively. Glucose detection probe was attained by surface functionalization of the dual-peak LPFG via covalent binding with aminopropyl triethoxysilane used as a binding site. Optical micrographs confirmed the presence of enzyme. The surface-functionalized dual-peak LPFG was tested with D-(+)-glucose solution of different concentrations. While the peak 2 at the longer wavelength was suitable only to measure lower glucose concentration (0.1 to 1.6 mg/ml) recording a high sensitivity of 12.21±0.19 nm/(mg/ml), the peak 1 at the shorter wavelength was able to measure a wider range of glucose concentrations (0.1 to 3.2 mg/ml) exhibiting a maximum resonance wavelength shift of 7.12±0.12 nm/mg/ml. The enzyme-functionalized dual-peak LPFG has the advantage of direct inscription of highly sensitive grating structures in thin-cladding fibre without etching, and most significantly, its sensitivity improvement of approximately one order of magnitude higher than previously reported LPFG and excessively tilted fibre grating (Ex-TFG) for glucose detection.

  3. THz time domain spectroscopy of biomolecular conformational modes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markelz, Andrea; Whitmire, Scott; Hillebrecht, Jay; Birge, Robert

    2002-01-01

    We discuss the use of terahertz time domain spectroscopy for studies of conformational flexibility and conformational change in biomolecules. Protein structural dynamics are vital to biological function with protein flexibility affecting enzymatic reaction rates and sensory transduction cycling times. Conformational mode dynamics occur on the picosecond timescale and with the collective vibrational modes associated with these large scale structural motions in the 1-100 cm -1 range. We have performed THz time domain spectroscopy (TTDS) of several biomolecular systems to explore the sensitivity of TTDS to distinguish different molecular species, different mutations within a single species and different conformations of a given biomolecule. We compare the measured absorbances to normal mode calculations and find that the TTDS absorbance reflects the density of normal modes determined by molecular mechanics calculations, and is sensitive to both conformation and mutation. These early studies demonstrate some of the advantages and limitations of using TTDS for the study of biomolecules

  4. Synthesis, Characterization and Functionalization of Polymeric Nanoparticles and Investigation of the Interaction with Biological Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bleul, Regina

    2015-01-01

    One of the main goals of nanomedicine is to improve the treatment of hazardous diseases whose conventional therapy often has serious side effects. The vision is to create a theranostic drug delivery system which is capable of safely transporting therapeutic cargo through the body to a targeted site of disease at which point the drug is released. Furthermore, it is desirable to track the carrier in real time which would allow for a personal adjustment of the therapy. Studies on the behavior of nanoparticulate substances in a physiological environment form the basis for the possibility to successfully develop a drug carrier system. In the present work, polymeric nanoparticles with different morphologies were prepared by the controlled self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers. The nanoparticles were subsequently characterized and their interactions with human cells and serum proteins investigated. A cytotoxicity study with spherical and cylindrical micelles as well as vesicular structures was carried out and showed a dependency of cytotoxic effects on the geometry and size of the nanoparticles. The agglomeration behavior of various polymeric nanoparticles in the presence of serum proteins was also studied. Highly uniform polymeric vesicles were contin