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Sample records for biological functions alpha-tocotrienol

  1. Alpha-tocotrienol is the most abundant tocotrienol isomer circulated in plasma and lipoproteins after postprandial tocotrienol-rich vitamin E supplementation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fairus Syed

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tocotrienols (T3 and tocopherols (T, both members of the natural vitamin E family have unique biological functions in humans. T3 are detected in circulating human plasma and lipoproteins, although at concentrations significantly lower than α-tocopherol (α-T. T3, especially α-T3 is known to be neuropotective at nanomolar concentrations and this study evaluated the postprandial fate of T3 and α-T in plasma and lipoproteins. Methods Ten healthy volunteers (5 males and 5 females were administered a single dose of vitamin E [526 mg palm tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF or 537 mg α-T] after 7-d pre-conditioning on a T3-free diet. Blood was sampled at baseline (fasted and 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 24 h after supplementation. Concentrations of T and T3 isomers in plasma, triacylglycerol-rich particles (TRP, LDL, and HDL were measured at each postprandial interval. Results After TRF supplementation, plasma α-T3 and γ-T3 peaked at 5 h (α-T3: 4.74 ± 1.69 μM; γ-T3: 2.73 ± 1.27 μM. δ-T3 peaked earlier at 4 h (0.53 ± 0.25 μM. In contrast, α-T peaked at 6 h (30.13 ± 2.91 μM and 8 h (37.80 ± 3.59 μM following supplementation with TRF and α-T, respectively. α-T was the major vitamin E isomer detected in plasma, TRP, LDL, and HDL even after supplementation with TRF (composed of 70% T3. No T3 were detected during fasted states. T3 are detected postprandially only after TRF supplementation and concentrations were significantly lower than α-T. Conclusions Bio-discrimination between vitamin E isomers in humans reduces the rate of T3 absorption and affects their incorporation into lipoproteins. Although low absorption of T3 into circulation may impact some of their physiological functions in humans, T3 have biological functions well below concentration noted in this study.

  2. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

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

  3. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. The biological function of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

    This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1) contrary to one's intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2) consciousness does have a biological function; and (3) consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM) for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc.) are incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness. PMID:25140159

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Photosynthetic system as a biological functional element

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Metacognition: computation, biology and function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. Imaging cellular and molecular biological functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-07-01

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

  11. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Vega

    2011-03-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Biological pathways and genetic mechanisms involved in social functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To describe the major findings in the literature regarding associations between biological and genetic factors and social functioning, paying special attention to: (1) heritability studies on social functioning and related concepts; (2) hypothesized biological pathways and genetic variants

  14. Structure and biological functions of fungal cerebrosides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barreto-Bergter Eliana

    2004-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Function-Based Algorithms for Biological Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohanty, Pragyan Sheela P.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Conservation biological control (CBC) is a sustainable approach to pest management that can contribute to a reduction in pesticide use as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. CBC is based on the premise that countering habitat loss and environmental disturbance associated...... limitation to the development of effective CBC is due to a failure to adequately direct biological control services to achieve suppression of the target pests. By considering the performance of these and other components of CBC within the context of an integrated system, we believe that the limiting factors...... with intensive crop production will conserve natural enemies, thus contributing to pest suppression. The abundance and diversity of natural enemies increases in response to a variety of conservation measures, including plant and habitat diversification, a reduction in cropping intensity, and increased landscape...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-14

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

  20. Functionalized Nanodiamonds for Biological and Medical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Lin; Barnard, Amanda S

    2015-02-01

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

  1. 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. 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.

  3. Printable Bioelectronics To Investigate Functional Biological Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-19

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

  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. A dynamic model for functional mapping of biological rhythms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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) ...

  9. 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).

  10. Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Sébastien J. M.; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz, Scott; Trievel, Raymond C.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Using functional genetics to understand breast cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Alan; Bernards, Rene

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Powers TuShun R

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Yáñez-Mó

    2015-05-01

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

  18. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minamitani, Haruyuki

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetic nanoparticles with biological entities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mǎgeruşan, Lidia; Mrówczyński, Radosław; Turcu, Rodica

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guseo, Renato

    2016-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    The assessment of genome function requires a mapping between genome-derived entities and biochemical reactions, and the biomedical literature represents a rich source of information about reactions between biological components. However, the increasingly rapid growth in the volume of literature provides both a challenge and an opportunity for researchers to isolate information about reactions of interest in a timely and efficient manner. In response, recent text mining research in the biology domain has been largely focused on the identification and extraction of 'events', i.e. categorised, structured representations of relationships between biochemical entities, from the literature. Functional genomics analyses necessarily encompass events as so defined. Automatic event extraction systems facilitate the development of sophisticated semantic search applications, allowing researchers to formulate structured queries over extracted events, so as to specify the exact types of reactions to be retrieved. This article provides an overview of recent research into event extraction. We cover annotated corpora on which systems are trained, systems that achieve state-of-the-art performance and details of the community shared tasks that have been instrumental in increasing the quality, coverage and scalability of recent systems. Finally, several concrete applications of event extraction are covered, together with emerging directions of research. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Genome-wide survey for biologically functional pseudogenes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orjan Svensson

    2006-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics is a general public health problem. Progress in developing new molecules with antimicrobial properties has been made. In this study, we evaluated the biological activity of a hybrid nanocomposite composed of synthetic biomimetic hydroxyapatite surface-functionalized by lactoferrin (LF-HA). We evaluated the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of LF-HA and found that the composite was active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and that it modulated proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses and enhanced antioxidant properties as compared with LF alone. These results indicate the possibility of using LF-HA as an antimicrobial system and biomimetic hydroxyapatite as a candidate for innovative biomedical applications.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Van Tyne

    2013-04-01

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

  17. Sirtuins in mammals: insights into their biological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    MICHAN, Shaday; SINCLAIR, David

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholl, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunni Wang

    2017-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  1. hCG: Biological Functions and Clinical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sufang Zhang

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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 .

  14. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Momordica charantia L. (M. charantia), a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, and its fruit has been used as a vegetable for thousands of years. Phytochemicals including proteins, polysaccharides, flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, ascorbic acid and steroids have been found in this plant. Various biological activities of M. charantia have been report...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, J. R.; Mantovani, W.

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed

    2013-09-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1986-01-01

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

  20. The Lectins: properties, functions, and applications in biology and medicine

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1986-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, S J

    2007-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from “endless forms most beautiful”

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. PMID:26668171

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arashdeep; Sharma, Savita

    2017-09-22

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, J R; Mantovani, W

    2017-10-23

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

  4. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, O

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Wenhuan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

    on benthic ecosystem functioning over much larger spatial scales than previously undertaken. Biological traits information from 887 stations across European waters (Norwegian, UK, Belgian, Dutch, Danish waters, the Mediterranean and Black Sea) were analysed to: i) quantify the relationships between infaunal...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    The DNA mismatch repair protein PMS2 was recently found to encode a novel endonuclease activity. To determine the biological functions of this activity in mammals, we generated endonuclease-deficient Pms2E702K knock-in mice. Pms2EK/EK mice displayed increased genomic mutation rates and a strong cancer predisposition. In addition, class switch recombination, but not somatic hypermutation, was impaired in Pms2EK/EK B cells, indicating a specific role in Ig diversity. In contrast to Pms2−/− mice, Pms2EK/EK male mice were fertile, indicating that this activity is dispensable in spermatogenesis. Therefore, the PMS2 endonuclease activity has distinct biological functions and is essential for genome maintenance and tumor suppression. PMID:20624957

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-20

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Camoin, Gilbert; Gautret, Pascale

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-11

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses in order to test the sensitivity, ease and cost of performance and biological significance of the data output. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation......; and whether it is only bacteria or also fungi and /or extracellular enzymes. Also they vary in the functions tested and the number of functions. All three techniques were able to separate the soils according to land-use and biogeographical zone, however with different strengths. The MicroResp technique...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens; Olsson, Lisbeth

    2002-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isganitis Timothy

    2006-02-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner Mark

    2008-08-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abigail Mgboyibo Osuafor

    2016-08-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grabow Niels

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

    trait composition and environmental variables (depth, sediment granulometry); ii) determine the relationship between traits and habitat type (EUNIS level 4); and iii) assess the relationships between trawling pressure (using data derived under BENTHIS; see Eigaard et al., this volume) and traits...... characteristics, have allowed us to better understand the interactions between the benthic fauna and their environment at a functional level. We present the initial findings of work conducted under the auspices of the EU-funded project ‘BENTHIS’ which aims to improve our understanding of the impacts of trawling...... on benthic ecosystem functioning over much larger spatial scales than previously undertaken. Biological traits information from 887 stations across European waters (Norwegian, UK, Belgian, Dutch, Danish waters, the Mediterranean and Black Sea) were analysed to: i) quantify the relationships between infaunal...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-08

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-10-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Kripa Balakrishnan

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, Jeffrey C.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2015-04-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-21

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seah Boon-Siew

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with unchanged calculation precision. So the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule becomes a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the Ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), are presented. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The precision of structure determination of inhibitors are tested theoretically.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-05

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yadav, Rachita

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

  17. [Historic and functional biology: the inadequacy of a system theory of evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regelmann, J P

    1982-01-01

    In the first half of the 20th century neo-Kantianism in a broad sense proved itself the main conceptual and methodological background of the central European biology. As such it contributed much to the victory on the typological, idealistic-morphological and psycho-vitalistic interpretations of life. On the other hand it could not give tools to the biologists for working out a strictly darwinian evolution theory. Kant's theory of organism was conceived without evolution as a theory of the internal functionality of the organism. There was only some 'play' with the evolutionary differentiation of the species. Since then the disputes around the work of August Weismann, a synthetical evolution theory which is now behind time, arose. This theory developed from coinciding claims, elaborated by geneticists, mathematicians, and by biologists studying development, natural history and systematics. This was done under a strong influence of marxist ideas. Through the interweaving of such different approaches it was possible for this evolutionary synthesis to influence successfully the development of evolution research during more than 40 years. Philosophically speaking modern evolution theory means therefore an aversion, even a positive abolition of Kantian positions. A number of biologists however--as L. von Bertalanffy--refused to adhere to a misinterpreted Kantian methodology and oriented themselves to an approach via system theory, which obtained a place in evolution research. In fact this is a Kantian approach as well. They only repeated the Kantian dilemma of the evolution which can also be found in Lamarck and Hegel. The system theory of the functionality of the organism never reaches to the level of the evolving species, but remains always on the level of epigenetic thinking, because of its philosophical origin. This paper points out the consequences of this still current dilemma. At the same time an all-enclosing reflection on the methodological, epistemological and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baune, Bernhard T; Air, Tracy

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senthilkumar, Rajendran; Yeh, Kai-Wun

    2012-01-01

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

  1. [The hyperiricosuria as an indicator of derangement of biologic functions of endoecology and adaptation, biologic reactions of excretion, inflammation and arterial tension].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Oshchepkova, E V; Dmitriev, V A; Gushchina, O V; Shiriaeva, Iu K; Iashin, A Ia

    2012-04-01

    During millions years in all animals allantoine (oxidized by uricase uric acid) was catabolite of purines and ascorbic acid was an acceptor of active forms of oxygen. The proximal tubules of nephron reabsorbed the trace amounts of uric acid Then during phylogenesis the primates had a mutation of ascorbic acid gen minus. Later on occurred a second spontaneous mutation and uricase gen minus and uric acid became catabolites of purines. In absence of ascorbic acid synthesis ions of urates became a major capturers of active forms of oxygen and all uric acid as before underwent the reabsorption. Later the carriers were formed which began in epithelium of proximal tubules to secrete all uric acid into urine. At every incident of "littering" of intercellular medium with endogenic flogogens (impairment of biologic function of endoecology) under compensatory development of biologic reaction of inflammation the need in inactivation of active forms of oxygen increases. Hence later on in phylogenesis one more stage was formed--post secretory reabsorption of uric acid In the biologic reaction of inflammation epithelium of proximal tubules initiates retentional hyperiricosuria. The general antioxidant activity of human blood plasma in 60% is presented by urates' ions. The excretion of uric acid includes 4 stages: filtration, full reabsorption, secretion and post secretory reabsorption. In phylogenesis these stages formed in sequence. The mild hyperiricosuria is most frequently considered as a non-specific indicator of activation of biologic reaction of inflammation. The productive hyperiricosuria develops more infrequently under surplus of meat food and cytolysis syndrome (intensification of cell loss in vivo). Under concentration of uric acid more than 400 mkmol/l part of urates circulates in intercellular medium in the form of crystals. The microcrystals of uric acid (biologic "litter") initiate the syndrome of systemic inflammatory response as an endogenic flogogen

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

    OpenAIRE

    Baune, Bernhard T.; Air, Tracy

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Re-evaluating concepts of biological function in clinical medicine: towards a new naturalistic theory of disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin-Yee, Benjamin; Upshur, Ross E G

    2017-08-01

    Naturalistic theories of disease appeal to concepts of biological function, and use the notion of dysfunction as the basis of their definitions. Debates in the philosophy of biology demonstrate how attributing functions in organisms and establishing the function-dysfunction distinction is by no means straightforward. This problematization of functional ascription has undermined naturalistic theories and led some authors to abandon the concept of dysfunction, favoring instead definitions based in normative criteria or phenomenological approaches. Although this work has enhanced our understanding of disease and illness, we need not necessarily abandon naturalistic concepts of function and dysfunction in the disease debate. This article attempts to move towards a new naturalistic theory of disease that overcomes the limitations of previous definitions and offers advantages in the clinical setting. Our approach involves a re-evaluation of concepts of biological function employed by naturalistic theories. Drawing on recent insights from the philosophy of biology, we develop a contextual and evaluative account of function that is better suited to clinical medicine and remains consistent with contemporary naturalism. We also show how an updated naturalistic view shares important affinities with normativist and phenomenological positions, suggesting a possibility for consilience in the disease debate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Vauzour

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florencio-Silva, Rinaldo; Sasso, Gisela Rodrigues da Silva; Sasso-Cerri, Estela; Simões, Manuel Jesus; Cerri, Paulo Sérgio

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, W T; Lauzon, R J

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Jochen; Gallenberger, Iris; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional) and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short-term effects on aphid

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludvigsen, Eva

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Ribeiro Piffer

    2011-06-01

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

  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. 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.

  6. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

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

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ryan, Desmond

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-15

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z; Lönnberg, T; Lahesmaa, R

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leopoldo Díaz-Pérez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antipas, Georgios S. E.; Germenis, Anastasios

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  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

    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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Biological Soil Crusts Influence Hydrologic Function Differently in Various Deserts And Future Climate and Land Use will Affect These Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Wilcox, B.; Barger, N.; Herrick, J.; van Soyoc, M.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) can completely cover plant interspaces in dryland regions, and can constitute 70% or more of the living ground cover. In these areas, where precipitation is low and soils have low fertility, native plants often rely on intact biological soil crusts to provide water and nutrient flow to the broadly scattered vegetation. In cool desert systems, well-developed biocrusts (dominated by lichens and mosses) roughen the soil surface, increasing residence time of surface water flow. This results in increased and relatively homogenous infiltration of water into the soils. Filaments associated with cyanobacteria, fungi, mosses and lichens increase aggregate formation and stabilize soils, thus reducing sediment production, with well-developed biocrusts conferring much more stability on soils than less developed cyanobacterial dominated biocrusts. In hot and hyper-arid desert systems, biocrusts are generally less developed and dominated by cyanobacteria. These biocrusts generally increase runoff from plant interspaces to downslope vegetation. While reduced infiltration may seem to be negative, it can actually be advantageous to the downslope plants, as they may require small watersheds above them to provide the needed amount of water and nutrients required for their growth. Thus, infiltration and nutrient additions are more heterogenous than in cool desert systems. Soil surface disturbance and climate change have the potential to dramatically alter the species composition and thereby function of biological soil crusts in different deserts. Compressional disturbances results in reduced cover and a loss of lichen and moss species. Changes in climate regimes, such as an increase in temperature or a shift in the amount, timing, or intensity of rainfall, will influence the composition and physiological functioning of biological soil crusts, as various crust components have different photosynthetic and respiration responses to temperature and

  15. 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.

  16. The Biology of Bioavailability: The Role of Functional Ecology in Exposure Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-30

    were assessed using polyethylene devices (PEDs) and provided a reasonable indicator of organism exposure but did not account for organisms with...predicting bioavailability, but could not account for divergent animal behavior between species and substrate types. ERDC/EL TR-17-2 3 1.4 Benefits...sediment horizon containing most of the biological activity (application of this ambiguous concept has proven to be very difficult to accomplish, in

  17. Estimation of relevant variables on high-dimensional biological patterns using iterated weighted kernel functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Rojas-Galeano

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of complex proteomic and genomic profiles involves the identification of significant markers within a set of hundreds or even thousands of variables that represent a high-dimensional problem space. The occurrence of noise, redundancy or combinatorial interactions in the profile makes the selection of relevant variables harder.Here we propose a method to select variables based on estimated relevance to hidden patterns. Our method combines a weighted-kernel discriminant with an iterative stochastic probability estimation algorithm to discover the relevance distribution over the set of variables. We verified the ability of our method to select predefined relevant variables in synthetic proteome-like data and then assessed its performance on biological high-dimensional problems. Experiments were run on serum proteomic datasets of infectious diseases. The resulting variable subsets achieved classification accuracies of 99% on Human African Trypanosomiasis, 91% on Tuberculosis, and 91% on Malaria serum proteomic profiles with fewer than 20% of variables selected. Our method scaled-up to dimensionalities of much higher orders of magnitude as shown with gene expression microarray datasets in which we obtained classification accuracies close to 90% with fewer than 1% of the total number of variables.Our method consistently found relevant variables attaining high classification accuracies across synthetic and biological datasets. Notably, it yielded very compact subsets compared to the original number of variables, which should simplify downstream biological experimentation.

  18. Human Dopamine Receptors Interaction Network (DRIN): a systems biology perspective on topology, stability and functionality of the network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podder, Avijit; Jatana, Nidhi; Latha, N

    2014-09-21

    Dopamine receptors (DR) are one of the major neurotransmitter receptors present in human brain. Malfunctioning of these receptors is well established to trigger many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Taking into consideration that proteins function collectively in a network for most of the biological processes, the present study is aimed to depict the interactions between all dopamine receptors following a systems biology approach. To capture comprehensive interactions of candidate proteins associated with human dopamine receptors, we performed a protein-protein interaction network (PPIN) analysis of all five receptors and their protein partners by mapping them into human interactome and constructed a human Dopamine Receptors Interaction Network (DRIN). We explored the topology of dopamine receptors as molecular network, revealing their characteristics and the role of central network elements. More to the point, a sub-network analysis was done to determine major functional clusters in human DRIN that govern key neurological pathways. Besides, interacting proteins in a pathway were characterized and prioritized based on their affinity for utmost drug molecules. The vulnerability of different networks to the dysfunction of diverse combination of components was estimated under random and direct attack scenarios. To the best of our knowledge, the current study is unique to put all five dopamine receptors together in a common interaction network and to understand the functionality of interacting proteins collectively. Our study pinpointed distinctive topological and functional properties of human dopamine receptors that have helped in identifying potential therapeutic drug targets in the dopamine interaction network. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Calibration of Biokinetic and Biological Parameters for a Groundwater Bioremediation Model using Heuristics and Function Approximation Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugunthan, P.; Shoemaker, C. A.; Regis, R. G.

    2003-12-01

    Heuristics and function approximation optimization methods were applied in calibrating biological and biokinetic parameters for a computationally expensive groundwater bioremediation model for engineered reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes. Multi-species groundwater bioremediation models that use monod type kinetics are often not amenable to traditional derivative based optimization due to stiff biokinetic equations. The performance of three heuristic methods, Stochastic Greedy Search (GS), Real Genetic Algorithm (RGA), Derandomized Evolution Strategy (DES), and, Function Approximation Optimization based on Radial Basis Function (FA-RBF) were compared on three-dimensional hypothetical and field problems. GS was implemented so as to perform a more global search. Optimization results on hypothetical problem indicated that FA-RBF performed statistically significantly better than heuristic based evolutionary algorithms at a 10% significance level. Further, this particular implementation of GS performed well and proved superior to RGA. These heuristic methods and FA-RBF, with the exception of RGA, were applied to calibrate biological and biokinetic parameters using treatability test data for enhanced bioremediation at a Naval Air Station in Alameda Point, CA. All three methods performed well and identified similar solutions. The approximate simulation times for the hypothetical and real problems were 7 min and 2.5 hours respectively. Calibration of such computationally expensive models by heuristic and function approximation methods appears promising.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Assessment of the biological control capability of Hippodamia variegata (Col.: Coccinellidae) using functional response experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madadi, Hossein; Parizi, Emad Mohajeri; Allahyari, Hossein

    2011-01-01

    and a three-dimensional set-up with whole plants. In addition, the functional responses in two-dimensional set-ups towards cotton aphids and the pea aphids were compared. H. variegata exhibited a functional type II response to both cotton aphids and pea aphids irrespective of life stage and spatial scale...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Superclusters : a search for novel structures and functions of biological iron-sulfur clusters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arendsen, A.F.

    1996-01-01


    Iron sulfur (Fe-S) proteins are found in a variety of organisms. They usually function in electron transport, but they may also be involved in other functions like gene regulation and Lewis acid catalysis. The structure and spectroscopic properties of Fe-S clusters holding one, two,

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2014-01-01

    Purpose – Biological muscles of animals have a surprising variety of functions, i.e., struts, springs, and brakes. According to this, the purpose of this paper is to apply virtual agonist-antagonist mechanisms to robot joint control allowing for muscle-like functions and variably compliant joint...... motions. Design/methodology/approach – Each joint is driven by a pair of virtual agonist-antagonist mechanism (VAAM, i.e., passive components). The muscle-like functions as well as the variable joint compliance are simply achieved by tuning the damping coefficient of the VAAM. Findings – With the VAAM...... or torque sensing systems; thereby capable of implementing the model on small legged robots driven by, e.g., standard servo motors. Thus, the VAAM minimizes hardware and reduces system complexity. From this point of view, the model opens up another way of simulating muscle behaviors on artificial machines...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Demontis, Ditte; Castro Dias Cuyabano, Beatriz

    2016-01-01

    power to detect genetic markers with small effects. Instead, aggregating genetic markers based on biological information might increase the power to identify sets of genetic markers of etiological significance. Several set test methods have been proposed: Here we propose a new set test derived from......Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with large personal and social costs, and understanding the genetic etiology is important. Such knowledge can be obtained by testing the association between a disease phenotype and individual genetic markers; however, such single-marker methods have limited...

  9. Primary cell culture of Echinococcus granulosus developed from the cystic germinal layer: biological and functional characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albani, Clara M; Elissondo, María Celina; Cumino, Andrea C; Chisari, Andrea; Denegri, Guillermo M

    2010-09-01

    Cell cultures of parasitic helminths are an invaluable tool for investigations of basic biological processes, as well as for development of improved chemotherapeutic agents and molecular interactions between host and parasite. We carried out a simple and efficient methodology to isolate Echinococcus granulosus germinal cells which were maintained for at least 4 months while cultivated in the presence of reducing agents and hormones. Microscopic analysis of the primary cell culture revealed the presence of cells with similar Echinococcus germinal cell morphology and behaviour. Population doubling time was estimated at 48 h, showing a rapid division rate. To discard possible host contamination, the specificity of the primary culture was tested by nested PCR, analyzing mdh gene expression and obtaining only one product with the expected size. We also studied the expression of specific E. granulosus proteins in primary cell culture. The novel and systematized method described here constitutes a powerful tool for investigations in cystic echinococcosis on biochemical and biological aspects related to the life cycle of the parasite and mechanisms of host-parasite interactions. This method also constitutes a powerful tool for the design of more efficient therapeutic alternatives. Copyright (c) 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2011-06-07

    Jun 7, 2011 ... Cellular pathways; genetic network; microRNA; pancreatic cancer; tumorigenic transformation; 3' untranslated region ... components of the complex functional pathway networks controlling important cellular processes, such as proliferation, development, differentiation, stress response' and apoptosis.

  11. 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,

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, part II: Grafting of polyphenols extracted from grape skin

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Polyphenols, as one of the most important family of phytochemicals protective substances from grape fruit, possess various biological activities and health-promoting benefits, for example: inhibition of some degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers, reduction of plasma oxidative stress and slowing aging. The combination of polyphenols and biomaterials may have good potential to reach good bioavailability and controlled release, as well as to give biological signaling properties to the biomaterial surfaces. In this research, conventional solvent extraction was developed for obtaining polyphenols from dry grape skins. The Folin&Ciocalteu method was used to determine the amount of total polyphenols in the extracts. Surface functionalization of two bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2) was performed by grafting the extracted polyphenols on their surfaces. The effectiveness of the functionalization was tested by UV spectroscopy, which analyzes the amount of polyphenols in the uptake solution (before and after functionalization) and on solid samples, and XPS, which analyzes the presence of phenols on the material surface.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. Functional outcomes of posterior vaginal wall repair and prespinous colpopexy with biological small intestinal submucosal (SIS) graft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhu, Chendrimada; Cooke, Joanna; Harber, Penelope; Holmes, David

    2014-10-01

    Surgical management of posterior vaginal wall prolapse has variable functional outcomes. Synthetic and biological grafts are used to improve outcomes and reduce failures. The objective of this study was to determine the functional outcomes and its implications on patient-reported quality of life of a technique of posterior vaginal wall repair and prespinous colpopexy with biological small intestinal submucosal (SIS) graft in the management of posterior vaginal wall prolapse. This prospective cohort study was conducted in a urogynaecology subspecialty center in the UK. Women with moderate degree rectocele or more, with or without other compartmental prolapse underwent posterior vaginal wall repair and prespinous colpopexy with SIS graft over a 3-year period. ICIQ vaginal symptoms questionnaires were used pre-operatively and at 6 months post-operatively to assess functional outcomes. The Wilcoxon signed R test was used to analyze the results. 50 women underwent posterior repair with SIS graft (27 with concomitant procedures). There was a statistically significant improvement (p SIS graft is an effective surgical option for managing women with posterior vaginal wall prolapse with or without other concomitant compartmental defects.

  18. Functional Nanomaterials with Aggregation-Induced Emission Characteristics: Synthesis, Properties and Biological Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Tsz Kin

    Fluorescent nanomaterials have great promise in bioanalysis and biotechnological applications because of their unique optical properties, high surface-to-volume ratio, and surface-modifiable quality. The development of fluorescent biosensors with high sensitivity, selectivity, and biocompatibility is of critical importance because it offers a direct visualization tool for the detection of biological macromolecules and the monitoring of biological events in living systems. Most of the conventional organic fluorophores, however, suffer from the self-quenching problem at high concentration or in the aggregated state. Such aggregation-cause quenching (ACQ) effect has greatly limited the scope of their bio-applications. Recently, our group discovered such a system, in which luminogen aggregation plays a constructive, instead of destructive, role in the light-emitting process. We have termed this abnormal phenomenon as "aggregation-induced emission" (AIE) and identified the restriction of intramolecular rotation as the main cause of the AIE effect. Attracted by the intriguing phenomenon and its fascinating perspectives, we have launched a new program directed towards the development of new AIE materials and exploration of their biological applications. In this work, a series of water-soluble AIE luminogens are designed and synthesized. Hydrophilic groups such as amino and sulfonate groups are incorporated into the AIE structures to impart them with good water solubility. Being practically non-emissive in water, these AIE luminogens are induced to emit intensely when bound to biomacromolecules, such as heparin, protamine and albumins, through hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. Such light-up property enables the quantitation and visualization of biomacromolecules in aqueous solution and in electrophoretic gels. Incorporation of cleavable hydrophilic bioconjugates into AIE luminogens can enhance the specificity of the bioprobes. The bioprobes are nonluminscent in

  19. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

    ) and by production of fast sinking carbon-rich faecal pellets. Hence, the large schools of krill greatly influence the pelagic food web and the flux of organic matter in the sea. However, knowledge of the distribution and feeding biology in krill from northern areas is scarce, although of importance to get a better...... understanding of the marine ecosystems and food webs. This thesis aimed to gain more knowledge of krill in northern hemisphere and to study their trophic position and grazing impact in a sub-Arctic fjord. The project investigated i) species and population composition of krill in the area of Godthåbsfjord, SW...... assumed to be the main grazers in marine ecosystems. This suggests that krill could be and are - in the case of Godthåbsfjord - important grazers that deserve more attention in future monitoring and research programs...

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. The biology and function of extracellular vesicles in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Bo; Shan, Ying; Bao, Lili; Chen, Jing; Yang, Liu; Zhang, Qicheng; Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Zhenxin; Zhang, Jie; Shi, Si; You, Yiwen

    2018-01-01

    Extracellular vesicles are a heterogeneous group of membrane-enclosed vesicles, which play an important role in intercellular communication. Increasing number of studies have shown that tumor-derived extracellular vesicles might be involved in the transfer of oncogenic cargo (proteins, lipids, messenger RNA, microRNA, non-coding RNAs and DNA) through which cancer cells could shape the tumor microenvironment and influence tumor progression. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma-derived extracellular vesicles have also reported to facilitate tumor proliferation, metastasis and immune escape. Moreover, nasopharyngeal carcinoma-derived extracellular vesicles might serve as biomarkers for early diagnosis and therapeutic targets. The present review provides information on the biological and clinical significance of extracellular vesicles in tumors, especially in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

  4. 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.

  5. Protein variety and functional diversity: Swiss-Prot annotation in its biological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boeckmann, Brigitte; Blatter, Marie-Claude; Famiglietti, Livia; Hinz, Ursula; Lane, Lydie; Roechert, Bernd; Bairoch, Amos

    2005-01-01

    We all know that the dogma 'one gene, one protein' is obsolete. A functional protein and, likewise, a protein's ultimate function depend not only on the underlying genetic information but also on the ongoing conditions of the cellular system. Frequently the transcript, like the polypeptide, is processed in multiple ways, but only one or a few out of a multitude of possible variants are produced at a time. An overview on processes that can lead to sequence variety and structural diversity in eukaryotes is given. The UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot protein knowledgebase provides a wealth of information regarding protein variety, function and associated disorders. Examples for such annotation are shown and further ones are available at http://www.expasy.org/sprot/tutorial/examples_CRB.

  6. 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

  7. Discovery of a new method for potent drug development using power function of stoichiometry of homomeric biocomplexes or biological nanomotors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Fengmei; Vieweger, Mario; Zhao, Zhengyi; Wang, Shaoying; Guo, Peixuan

    2016-01-01

    Multidrug resistance and the appearance of incurable diseases inspire the quest for potent therapeutics. We review a new methodology in designing potent drugs by targeting multi-subunit homomeric biological motors, machines or complexes with Z > 1 and K = 1, where Z is the stoichiometry of the target, and K is the number of drugged subunits required to block the function of the complex. The condition is similar to a series electrical circuit of Christmas decorations: failure of one light bulb causes the entire lighting system to lose power. In most multi-subunit, homomeric biological systems, a sequential coordination or cooperative action mechanism is utilized, thus K equals 1. Drug inhibition depends on the ratio of drugged to non-drugged complexes. When K = 1, and Z > 1, the inhibition effect follows a power law with respect to Z, leading to enhanced drug potency. The hypothesis that the potency of drug inhibition depends on the stoichiometry of the targeted biological complexes was recently quantified by Yang-Hui's Triangle (or binomial distribution), and proved using a highly sensitive in vitro phi29 viral DNA packaging system. Examples of targeting homomeric bio-complexes with high stoichiometry for potent drug discovery are discussed. Biomotors with multiple subunits are widespread in viruses, bacteria and cells, making this approach generally applicable in the development of inhibition drugs with high efficiency.

  8. In vitro biocompatibility assessment of functionalized magnetite nanoparticles: biological and cytotoxicological effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbeh, D A; França, R; Merhi, Y; Zhang, X F; Veres, T; Sacher, E; Yahia, L

    2012-06-01

    In the biomedical field, nanomaterials have the potential for use in the targeted delivery of drugs in the human body and in the diagnosis and therapy of certain diseases. In the category of targeted delivery, magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) nanoparticles have received much attention. As with any similar new therapy, when such nanoparticles are functionalized with chemical groups designed to permit the specific attachment of drugs, cytotoxicological testing is necessary before moving to animal models. Here, we consider several variously functionalized magnetite nanoparticles, including those prepared with (1) a monolayer of oleic acid (Fe(3)O(4)@OA), which is subsequently converted to (2) a shell of amine-containing silane (Fe(3)O(4)@NH(2)), (3) a shell of silica (Fe(3)O(4)@SiO(2)), and (4) a shell of amine-containing silane over a shell of silica (Fe(3)O(4)@SiO(2)@NH(2)). These latter three functionalities were evaluated for biocompatibility, cellular morphology, mitochondrial function (MTT assay), lactate dehydrogenase membrane leakage (LDH assay), and proinflammatory potential through enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for interleukin 6 (IL-6). Controlled tests were performed over a period of 72 h, with results showing LDH leakage and abnormal Il-6 secretion at high concentrations (>50 μg/mL). The tests showed that, in addition to the surface characteristics of the nanoparticles, both the nutrient medium and the time of suspension before exposure to cells also contribute to nanoparticle cytotoxicity. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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,

  10. 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.

  11. Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa; Briones, Carlos; de la Escosura, Andrés

    2017-04-01

    In recent years, an extension of the Darwinian framework is being considered for the study of prebiotic chemical evolution, shifting the attention from homogeneous populations of naked molecular species to populations of heterogeneous, compartmentalized and functionally integrated assemblies of molecules. Several implications of this shift of perspective are analysed in this critical review, both in terms of the individual units, which require an adequate characterization as self-maintaining systems with an internal organization, and also in relation to their collective and long-term evolutionary dynamics, based on competition, collaboration and selection processes among those complex individuals. On these lines, a concrete proposal for the set of molecular control mechanisms that must be coupled to bring about autonomous functional systems, at the interface between chemistry and biology, is provided. © 2017 The Authors.

  12. 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.

  13. Genetic associations at 53 loci highlight cell types and biological pathways relevant for kidney function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaro, Cristian; Teumer, Alexander; Gorski, Mathias; Chu, Audrey Y; Li, Man; Mijatovic, Vladan; Garnaas, Maija; Tin, Adrienne; Sorice, Rossella; Li, Yong; Taliun, Daniel; Olden, Matthias; Foster, Meredith; Yang, Qiong; Chen, Ming-Huei; Pers, Tune H; Johnson, Andrew D; Ko, Yi-An; Fuchsberger, Christian; Tayo, Bamidele; Nalls, Michael; Feitosa, Mary F; Isaacs, Aaron; Dehghan, Abbas; d'Adamo, Pio; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Zonderman, Alan B; Nolte, Ilja M; van der Most, Peter J; Wright, Alan F; Shuldiner, Alan R; Morrison, Alanna C; Hofman, Albert; Smith, Albert V; Dreisbach, Albert W; Franke, Andre; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Metspalu, Andres; Tonjes, Anke; Lupo, Antonio; Robino, Antonietta; Johansson, Åsa; Demirkan, Ayse; Kollerits, Barbara; Freedman, Barry I; Ponte, Belen; Oostra, Ben A; Paulweber, Bernhard; Krämer, Bernhard K; Mitchell, Braxton D; Buckley, Brendan M; Peralta, Carmen A; Hayward, Caroline; Helmer, Catherine; Rotimi, Charles N; Shaffer, Christian M; Müller, Christian; Sala, Cinzia; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Saint-Pierre, Aude; Ackermann, Daniel; Shriner, Daniel; Ruggiero, Daniela; Toniolo, Daniela; Lu, Yingchang; Cusi, Daniele; Czamara, Darina; Ellinghaus, David; Siscovick, David S; Ruderfer, Douglas; Gieger, Christian; Grallert, Harald; Rochtchina, Elena; Atkinson, Elizabeth J; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Boerwinkle, Eric; Salvi, Erika; Bottinger, Erwin P; Murgia, Federico; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Ernst, Florian; Kronenberg, Florian; Hu, Frank B; Navis, Gerjan J; Curhan, Gary C; Ehret, George B; Homuth, Georg; Coassin, Stefan; Thun, Gian-Andri; Pistis, Giorgio; Gambaro, Giovanni; Malerba, Giovanni; Montgomery, Grant W; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Jacobs, Gunnar; Li, Guo; Wichmann, H-Erich; Campbell, Harry; Schmidt, Helena; Wallaschofski, Henri; Völzke, Henry; Brenner, Hermann; Kroemer, Heyo K; Kramer, Holly; Lin, Honghuang; Leach, I Mateo; Ford, Ian; Guessous, Idris; Rudan, Igor; Prokopenko, Inga; Borecki, Ingrid; Heid, Iris M; Kolcic, Ivana; Persico, Ivana; Jukema, J Wouter; Wilson, James F; Felix, Janine F; Divers, Jasmin; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Stafford, Jeanette M; Gaspoz, Jean-Michel; Smith, Jennifer A; Faul, Jessica D; Wang, Jie Jin; Ding, Jingzhong; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Attia, John; Whitfield, John B; Chalmers, John; Viikari, Jorma; Coresh, Josef; Denny, Joshua C; Karjalainen, Juha; Fernandes, Jyotika K; Endlich, Karlhans; Butterbach, Katja; Keene, Keith L; Lohman, Kurt; Portas, Laura; Launer, Lenore J; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Yengo, Loic; Franke, Lude; Ferrucci, Luigi; Rose, Lynda M; Kedenko, Lyudmyla; Rao, Madhumathi; Struchalin, Maksim; Kleber, Marcus E; Cavalieri, Margherita; Haun, Margot; Cornelis, Marilyn C; Ciullo, Marina; Pirastu, Mario; de Andrade, Mariza; McEvoy, Mark A; Woodward, Mark; Adam, Martin; Cocca, Massimiliano; Nauck, Matthias; Imboden, Medea; Waldenberger, Melanie; Pruijm, Menno; Metzger, Marie; Stumvoll, Michael; Evans, Michele K; Sale, Michele M; Kähönen, Mika; Boban, Mladen; Bochud, Murielle; Rheinberger, Myriam; Verweij, Niek; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Martin, Nicholas G; Hastie, Nick; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Soranzo, Nicole; Devuyst, Olivier; Raitakari, Olli; Gottesman, Omri; Franco, Oscar H; Polasek, Ozren; Gasparini, Paolo; Munroe, Patricia B; Ridker, Paul M; Mitchell, Paul; Muntner, Paul; Meisinger, Christa; Smit, Johannes H; Kovacs, Peter; Wild, Philipp S; Froguel, Philippe; Rettig, Rainer; Mägi, Reedik; Biffar, Reiner; Schmidt, Reinhold; Middelberg, Rita P S; Carroll, Robert J; Penninx, Brenda W; Scott, Rodney J; Katz, Ronit; Sedaghat, Sanaz; Wild, Sarah H; Kardia, Sharon L R; Ulivi, Sheila; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Enroth, Stefan; Kloiber, Stefan; Trompet, Stella; Stengel, Benedicte; Hancock, Stephen J; Turner, Stephen T; Rosas, Sylvia E; Stracke, Sylvia; Harris, Tamara B; Zeller, Tanja; Zemunik, Tatijana; Lehtimäki, Terho; Illig, Thomas; Aspelund, Thor; Nikopensius, Tiit; Esko, Tonu; Tanaka, Toshiko; Gyllensten, Ulf; Völker, Uwe; Emilsson, Valur; Vitart, Veronique; Aalto, Ville; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Chouraki, Vincent; Chen, Wei-Min; Igl, Wilmar; März, Winfried; Koenig, Wolfgang; Lieb, Wolfgang; Loos, Ruth J F; Liu, Yongmei; Snieder, Harold; Pramstaller, Peter P; Parsa, Afshin; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Susztak, Katalin; Hamet, Pavel; Tremblay, Johanne; de Boer, Ian H; Böger, Carsten A; Goessling, Wolfram; Chasman, Daniel I; Köttgen, Anna; Kao, W H Linda; Fox, Caroline S

    2016-01-21

    Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, 19 associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biological pathways.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  18. Bridging the molecular and biological functions of the oxysterol-binding protein family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrangelo, Antonietta; Ridgway, Neale D

    2018-03-13

    Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related proteins (ORPs) constitute a large eukaryotic gene family that transports and regulates the metabolism of sterols and phospholipids. The original classification of the family based on oxysterol-binding activity belies the complex dual lipid-binding specificity of the conserved OSBP homology domain (OHD). Additional protein- and membrane-interacting modules mediate the targeting of select OSBP/ORPs to membrane contact sites between organelles, thus positioning the OHD between opposing membranes for lipid transfer and metabolic regulation. This unique subcellular location, coupled with diverse ligand preferences and tissue distribution, has identified OSBP/ORPs as key arbiters of membrane composition and function. Here, we will review how molecular models of OSBP/ORP-mediated intracellular lipid transport and regulation at membrane contact sites relate to their emerging roles in cellular and organismal functions.

  19. Functionalization of Self-Organized Nanoparticles for Biological Targeting and Active Drug Release

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jølck, Rasmus Irming

    Functional nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the unique properties of these nanoconstructs. In recognition of the huge potential within this field, much research has been devoted to develop sophisticated nanoparticles for medical diagnostics, sensors, contrast agents, vaccines...... at the surface of the nanoconstructs, resulting in anionic nanoparticles with long circulation properties in xenograft HT1080 tumor‐bearing mice. Charge reversal by peptide hydrolysis was achieved in the presence of proteases, resulting in cationic particles which were readily internalized by cells in vitro...... of functionalized liposomes were slower than the solution phase counterpart and often far from quantitative. The effect of active targeting with 64Cu octreotate liposomes targeting the somatostatin receptor 2 was evaluated to improve tumor bioimaging for diagnostic applications, using positron emission tomography...

  20. Biological Chemistry and Functionality of Protein Sulfenic Acids and Related Thiol Modifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devarie-Baez, Nelmi O.; Silva Lopez, Elsa I.; Furdui, Cristina M.

    2016-01-01

    Selective modification of proteins at cysteine residues by reactive oxygen, nitrogen or sulfur species formed under physiological and pathological states is emerging as a critical regulator of protein activity impacting cellular function. This review focuses primarily on protein sulfenylation (-SOH), a metastable reversible modification connecting reduced cysteine thiols to many products of cysteine oxidation. An overview is first provided on the chemistry principles underlining synthesis, stability and reactivity of sulfenic acids in model compounds and proteins, followed by a brief description of analytical methods currently employed to characterize these oxidative species. The following chapters present a selection of redox-regulated proteins for which the -SOH formation was experimentally confirmed and linked to protein function. These chapters are organized based on the participation of these proteins in the regulation of signaling, metabolism and epigenetics. The last chapter discusses the therapeutic implications of altered redox microenvironment and protein oxidation in disease. PMID:26340608

  1. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Xin

    2014-01-01

    Natural or artificial materials used for replacement or supplement the functions of living tissues, termed as biomaterials, may be bioinert (i.e. alumina and zorconia,) resorbable (i.e. tricalcium phosphate), bioactive (i.e. hydroxyapatite, bioactive glasses, and glass-ceramics) or porous for tissue ingrowth (i.e. hydroxyapatite-coated metals). Among all the biomaterials, bioactive glass and glass-ceramics are widely used in orthopedic and dental applications and are being developed for tissu...

  2. 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

  3. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka

    OpenAIRE

    KALYA SUBASINGHE; AMILA P. SUMANAPALA

    2014-01-01

    Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR) has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five ...

  4. Structure-Property-Function Relationship in Humic Substances to Explain the Biological Activity in Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Andrés Calderín; de Souza, Luiz Gilberto Ambrosio; Pereira, Marcos Gervasio; Castro, Rosane Nora; García-Mina, José María; Zonta, Everaldo; Lisboa, Francy Junior Gonçalves; Berbara, Ricardo Luis Louro

    2016-02-01

    Knowledge of the structure-property-function relationship of humic substances (HSs) is key for understanding their role in soil. Despite progress, studies on this topic are still under discussion. We analyzed 37 humic fractions with respect to their isotopic composition, structural characteristics, and properties responsible for stimulating plant root parameters. We showed that regardless of the source of origin of the carbon (C3 or C4), soil-extracted HSs and humic acids (HAs) are structurally similar to each other. The more labile and functionalized HS fraction is responsible for root emission, whereas the more recalcitrant and less functionalized HA fraction is related to root growth. Labile structures promote root stimulation at lower concentrations, while recalcitrant structures require higher concentrations to promote a similar stimulus. These findings show that lability and recalcitrance, which are derived properties of humic fractions, are related to the type and intensity of their bioactivity. In summary, the comparison of humic fractions allowed a better understanding of the relationship between the source of origin of plant carbon and the structure, properties, and type and intensity of the bioactivity of HSs in plants. In this study, scientific concepts are unified and the basis for the agronomic use of HSs is established.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Results and discussion hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle. PMID:20735820

  9. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    ration of 1% body C d(-1). Furthermore, T. raschii was capable of exploiting plankton cells from 5 to 400 mu m, covering several trophic levels of the pelagic food web. The calculated grazing impact by T. raschii on the fjord plankton community was negligible. However, the schooling and migratory...... and 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...

  11. 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

  12. The Functional Genomics Network in the evolution of biological text mining over the past decade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaschke, Christian; Valencia, Alfonso

    2013-03-25

    Different programs of The European Science Foundation (ESF) have contributed significantly to connect researchers in Europe and beyond through several initiatives. This support was particularly relevant for the development of the areas related with extracting information from papers (text-mining) because it supported the field in its early phases long before it was recognized by the community. We review the historical development of text mining research and how it was introduced in bioinformatics. Specific applications in (functional) genomics are described like it's integration in genome annotation pipelines and the support to the analysis of high-throughput genomics experimental data, and we highlight the activities of evaluation of methods and benchmarking for which the ESF programme support was instrumental. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Functional genomics of apocarotenoids in saffron: insights from chemistry, molecular biology and therapeutic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhar, Manoj K; Sharma, Munish; Bhat, Archana; Chrungoo, Nikhil K; Kaul, Sanjana

    2017-11-01

    Saffron is considered to be the costliest spice of the world. It has been regarded as highly valued medicinal plant in Ayurveda to treat various ailments. Over the past few years, considerable interest has developed in saffron because of its anticancer, antimutagenic, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. Saffron's colour, bitter taste and aroma are its three main and peculiar characteristics, which are conferred by three chemicals namely: crocin, picrocrocin and safranal, respectively. The present review focuses on recent research/progress made in saffron in the area of functional genomics and highlights the potential of several genes and transcription factors involved in carotenoid/apocarotenoid pathway and responsible for flavour and aroma of saffron. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Impact of AT2-receptor stimulation on vascular biology, kidney function, and blood pressure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danyel, L.A.; Schmerler, P.; Paulis, L.

    2013-01-01

    angiotensin II) and with relevance for blood pressure (BP) regulation or hypertensive end-organ damage. These data will include studies on vasodilation/vasoconstriction in isolated resistance arteries ex vivo, studies on kidney function, studies on vascular remodeling, and studies that measured the net effect...... of AT2R stimulation on BP in vivo. Current data indicate that although AT2R stimulation causes vasodilation ex vivo and promotes natriuresis, it does not alter BP levels in vivo acutely - at least as long as there is no additional low-dose blockade of AT1R. However, AT2R stimulation alone is able......, but that this new future drug class may be beneficial in combination with established antihypertensives for the treatment of hypertension with improved protection from end-organ damage....

  15. Venus Kinase Receptors: prospects in signalling and biological functions of these invertebrate receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colette eDissous

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Venus Kinase Receptors (VKRs form a family of invertebrate receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs initially discovered in the parasitic platyhelminth Schistosoma mansoni. VKRs are single transmembrane receptors which contain an extracellular Venus Flytrap (VFT structure similar to the ligand binding domain of G Protein Coupled Receptors of class C, and an intracellular Tyrosine Kinase domain close to that of Insulin Receptors. VKRs are found in a large variety of invertebrates from cnidarians to echinoderms, and are highly expressed in larval stages and in gonads, suggesting a role of these proteins in embryonic and larval development as well as in reproduction. Vkr gene silencing could demonstrate the function of these receptors in oogenesis as well as in spermatogenesis in Schistosoma .mansoni. VKRs are activated by amino-acids, and highly responsive to arginine. As many other RTKs, they form dimers when activated by ligands and induce intracellular pathways involved in protein synthesis and cellular growth, such as MAPK and PI3K/Akt/S6K pathways. VKRs are not present in vertebrates, nor in some invertebrate species. Questions remain open about the origin of this little-known RTK family in evolution and its role in emergence and specialization of Metazoa. What is the meaning of maintenance or loss of VKR in some phyla or species in terms of development and physiological functions? The presence of VKRs in invertebrates of economical and medical importance, such as pests, vectors of pathogens and platyhelminth parasites, and the implication of these RTKs in gametogenesis and reproduction processes are valuable reasons to consider VKRs as interesting targets in new programs for eradication/ control of pests and infectious diseases, with the main advantage in the case of parasite targeting that VKR counterparts are absent from the vertebrate host kinase panel.

  16. Biophysical analyses of human resistin: oligomer formation suggests novel biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aruna, Battu; Islam, Asimul; Ghosh, Sudip; Singh, Anil K; Vijayalakshmi, Malladi; Ahmad, Faizan; Ehtesham, Nasreen Z

    2008-11-25

    Resistin, a small secreted peptide initially identified as a link between obesity and diabetes in mice, was shown to be involved in mediating inflammation in humans. We had shown earlier that recombinant human resistin has a tendency to form aggregates by formation of inter/intramolecular disulfide linkages and that it undergoes a concentration-dependent conformational change in secondary structure from alpha-helical to beta-sheet form. Here we report that this change in secondary structural conformation is due to the increase in the oligomeric form of human resistin as a function of protein concentration. Gel filtration analysis under different conditions further demonstrated that recombinant human resistin exists as a mixture of oligomer and trimer but is converted to a mixture of monomer and oligomer in the presence of 100 mM NaCl. We show that while the trimeric form of human resistin is stable to urea-induced denaturation, it is highly susceptible to NaCl and NaF, indicating the importance of ionic interactions in stabilization of trimer. In addition, urea was able to destabilize the oligomers indicating the involvement of hydrophobic interactions in oligomerization. Ionic as well as hydrophobic interactions stabilize the monomeric human resistin. Our data suggest that human resistin exists predominantly as oligomer and trimer in vitro. The oligomeric form of human resistin shows more potent effect on stimulation of proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, it is very tempting to propose that the structural conformation of resistin may be involved in maintaining the very fine balance in regulation of macrophage function for successful response to a variety of pathological conditions.

  17. Molecular biology of human herpesvirus 8: novel functions and virus-host interactions implicated in viral pathogenesis and replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousins, Emily; Nicholas, John

    2014-01-01

    Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), is the second identified human gammaherpesvirus. Like its relative Epstein-Barr virus, HHV-8 is linked to B-cell tumors, specifically primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease, in addition to endothelial-derived KS. HHV-8 is unusual in its possession of a plethora of "accessory" genes and encoded proteins in addition to the core, conserved herpesvirus and gammaherpesvirus genes that are necessary for basic biological functions of these viruses. The HHV-8 accessory proteins specify not only activities deducible from their cellular protein homologies but also novel, unsuspected activities that have revealed new mechanisms of virus-host interaction that serve virus replication or latency and may contribute to the development and progression of virus-associated neoplasia. These proteins include viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6), viral chemokines (vCCLs), viral G protein-coupled receptor (vGPCR), viral interferon regulatory factors (vIRFs), and viral antiapoptotic proteins homologous to FLICE (FADD-like IL-1β converting enzyme)-inhibitory protein (FLIP) and survivin. Other HHV-8 proteins, such as signaling membrane receptors encoded by open reading frames K1 and K15, also interact with host mechanisms in unique ways and have been implicated in viral pathogenesis. Additionally, a set of micro-RNAs encoded by HHV-8 appear to modulate expression of multiple host proteins to provide conditions conducive to virus persistence within the host and could also contribute to HHV-8-induced neoplasia. Here, we review the molecular biology underlying these novel virus-host interactions and their potential roles in both virus biology and virus-associated disease.

  18. 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.

  19. Insights into functional genes and taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities in biological heap leaching system and their correlation with functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yunhua; Liu, Xueduan; Liang, Yili; Niu, Jiaojiao; Zhang, Xian; Ma, Liyuan; Hao, Xiaodong; Gu, Yabin; Yin, Huaqun

    2016-11-01

    Although the taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities in biological heap leaching systems has been investigated, the diversity of functional genes was still unclear, and, especially, the differentiation and the relationships of diversity and functions of microbial communities in leaching heap (LH) and leaching solution (LS) were also still unclear. In our study, a functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) was employed to investigate the functional gene diversity, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to explore the taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities in LH and LS subsystems of Dexing copper mine (Jiangxi, China). Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) showed that both functional gene structure and taxonomical/phylogenetic structure of microbial communities were significantly different between LH and LS. Signal intensities of genes, including genes for sulfur oxidation (e.g., soxB), metal homeostasis (e.g., arsm), carbon fixation (e.g., rubisco), polyphosphate degradation (e.g., ppk), and organic remediation (e.g., hydrocarbons) were significantly higher in LH, while signal intensities of genes for carbon degradation (e.g., amyA), polyphosphate synthesis (e.g., ppx), and sulfur reduction (e.g., dsrA) were significantly higher in LS. Further inspection revealed that microbial communities in LS and LH were dominated by Acidithiobacillus and Leptospirillum. However, rare species were relatively higher abundant in LH. Additionally, diversity index of functional genes was significantly different in LS (9.915 ± 0.074) and LH (9.781 ± 0.165), and the taxonomical/phylogenetic diversity index was also significantly different in LH (4.398 ± 0.508) and LS (3.014 ± 0.707). Functional tests, including sulfur-oxidizing ability, iron-oxidizing ability, and pyrite bioleaching ability, showed that all abilities of microbial communities were significantly stronger in LH than those in LS. Further studies found that most key genes (e

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. New suggestive genetic loci and biological pathways for attention function in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemany, Silvia; Ribasés, Marta; Vilor-Tejedor, Natàlia; Bustamante, Mariona; Sánchez-Mora, Cristina; Bosch, Rosa; Richarte, Vanesa; Cormand, Bru; Casas, Miguel; Ramos-Quiroga, Josep A; Sunyer, Jordi

    2015-09-01

    Attention deficit is one of the core symptoms of the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the specific genetic variants that may be associated with attention function in adult ADHD remain largely unknown. The present study aimed to identifying SNPs associated with attention function in adult ADHD and tested whether these associations were enriched for specific biological pathways. Commissions, hit-reaction time (HRT), the standard error of HRT (HRTSE), and intraindividual coefficient variability (ICV) of the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT-II) were assessed in 479 unmedicated adult ADHD individuals. A Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) was conducted for each outcome and, subsequently, gene set enrichment analyses were performed. Although no SNPs reached genome-wide significance (P association with the CPT outcomes (P associated SNP was located in the SORCS2 gene (P = 3.65E-07), previously associated with bipolar disorder (BP), Alzheimer disease (AD), and brain structure in elderly individuals. We detected other genes suggested to be involved in synaptic plasticity, cognitive function, neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, and smoking behavior such as NUAK1, FGF20, NETO1, BTBD9, DLG2, TOP3B, and CHRNB4. Also, several of the pathways nominally associated with the CPT outcomes are relevant for ADHD such as the ubiquitin proteasome, neurodegenerative disorders, axon guidance, and AD amyloid secretase pathways. To our knowledge, this is the first GWAS and pathway analysis of attention function in patients with persistent ADHD. Overall, our findings reinforce the conceptualization of attention function as a potential endophenotype for studying the molecular basis of adult ADHD. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Systems biology analysis of omeprazole therapy in cirrhosis demonstrates significant shifts in gut microbiota composition and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajaj, Jasmohan S; Cox, I Jane; Betrapally, Naga S; Heuman, Douglas M; Schubert, Mitchell L; Ratneswaran, Maiyuran; Hylemon, Phillip B; White, Melanie B; Daita, Kalyani; Noble, Nicole A; Sikaroodi, Masoumeh; Williams, Roger; Crossey, Mary M E; Taylor-Robinson, Simon D; Gillevet, Patrick M

    2014-11-15

    Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) have been associated with infectious complications in cirrhosis, but their impact on distal gut microbiota composition and function is unclear. We aimed to evaluate changes in stool microbiota composition and function in patients with cirrhosis and healthy controls after omeprazole therapy. Both 15 compensated cirrhotic patients and 15 age-matched controls underwent serum gastrin measurement, stool microbiota profiling with multitagged pyrosequencing, and urinary metabolic profiling with NMR spectroscopy to assess microbial cometabolites before/after a 14-day course of 40 mg/day omeprazole under constant diet conditions. Results before (pre) and after PPI were compared in both groups, compared with baseline by systems biology techniques. Adherence was >95% without changes in diet or MELD (model for end-stage liver disease) score during the study. Serum gastrin concentrations significantly increased after PPI in cirrhosis (pre 38.3 ± 35.8 vs. 115.6 ± 79.3 pg/ml P microbiota change was seen in both controls and cirrhosis after omeprazole (QIIME P microbiota shift and functional change in the distal gut in patients with compensated cirrhosis that could set the stage for bacterial overgrowth. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Functional characterisation of metal(loid) processes in planta through the integration of synchrotron techniques and plant molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donner, Erica; Punshon, Tracy; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Lombi, Enzo

    2012-04-01

    Functional characterisation of the genes regulating metal(loid) homeostasis in plants is a major focus for phytoremediation, crop biofortification and food security research. Recent advances in X-ray focussing optics and fluorescence detection have greatly improved the potential to use synchrotron techniques in plant science research. With use of methods such as micro X-ray fluorescence mapping, micro computed tomography and micro X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy, metal(loids) can be imaged in vivo in hydrated plant tissues at submicron resolution, and laterally resolved metal(loid) speciation can also be determined under physiologically relevant conditions. This article focuses on the benefits of combining molecular biology and synchrotron-based techniques. By using molecular techniques to probe the location of gene expression and protein production in combination with laterally resolved synchrotron techniques, one can effectively and efficiently assign functional information to specific genes. A review of the state of the art in this field is presented, together with examples as to how synchrotron-based methods can be combined with molecular techniques to facilitate functional characterisation of genes in planta. The article concludes with a summary of the technical challenges still remaining for synchrotron-based hard X-ray plant science research, particularly those relating to subcellular level research.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Growth, density functional theory (DFT) and spectral studies on L-2-aminobutyric acid -biologically active material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usha, C.; Santhakumari, R.; Meenakshi, R.; Jayasree, R.; Bhuvaneswari, M.

    2017-12-01

    Single crystal of L-2-aminobutyric acid (ABA) was grown from water by slow evaporation at room temperature. The crystalline nature of the grown crystal was confirmed using powder X-ray diffraction studies. The grown crystal was subjected to FT-IR, FT-Raman, 1H NMR and 13C NMR spectral analyses to confirm the presence of functional group and molecular structure respectively. Thermal properties were investigated by thermogravimetric and differential thermal analyses. The range and percentage of optical transmission was ascertained by recording UV-vis-NIR spectrum. The electronic charge distribution and reactivity of the molecules within the crystal were studied by HOMO and LUMO analysis and the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) of the grown crystal was performed using the B3LYP method. The anti-bacterial activities of the crystal were performed by disk diffusion method against the standard bacteria E. coli. The crystal exhibits good anti-bacterial activity. Second harmonic generation efficiency of the powdered ABA crystal was tested using Nd:YAG laser and it is found to be ∼3.3 times that of potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Two Arabidopsis orthologs of the transcriptional coactivator ADA2 have distinct biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hark, Amy T; Vlachonasios, Konstantinos E; Pavangadkar, Kanchan A; Rao, Sumana; Gordon, Hillary; Adamakis, Ioannis-Dimosthenis; Kaldis, Athanasios; Thomashow, Michael F; Triezenberg, Steven J

    2009-02-01

    Histone acetylation is an example of covalent modification of chromatin structure that has the potential to regulate gene expression. Gcn5 is a prototypical histone acetyltransferase that associates with the transcriptional coactivator Ada2. In Arabidopsis, two genes encode proteins that resemble yeast ADA2 and share approximately 45% amino acid sequence identity. We previously reported that plants harboring a T-DNA insertion in the ADA2b gene display a dwarf phenotype with developmental defects in several organs. Here we describe T-DNA insertion alleles in the ADA2a gene, which result in no dramatic growth or developmental phenotype. Both ADA2a and ADA2b are expressed in a variety of plant tissues; moreover, expression of ADA2a from a constitutive promoter fails to complement the ada2b-1 mutant phenotype, consistent with the hypothesis that the two proteins have distinct biochemical roles. To further probe the cellular roles of ADA2a and ADA2b, we studied the response of the transcriptional coactivator mutants to abiotic stress. Although ada2b seedlings display hypersensitivity to salt and abscisic acid and altered responses to low temperature stress, the responses of ada2a seedlings to abiotic stress generally parallel those of wildtype plants. Intriguingly, ada2a;ada2b double mutant plants display an intermediate, gcn5-like phenotype, suggesting that ADA2a and ADA2b each work independently with GCN5 to affect genome function in Arabidopsis.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The need for the incorporation of phylogeny in the measurement of biological diversity, with special reference to ecosystem functioning research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ian

    2009-01-01

    Defining and measuring biodiversity is an important research area in biology, with very interesting theoretical and applied aspects. Numerous definitions have been proposed, and these definitions of biodiversity influence how it is measured. From the still commonly used measure of species diversity, through higher taxon diversity, molecular measures, ecological measures and indicator taxa, these measures have as their fundamental shortcoming the lack of an explicit consideration of the evolutionary context represented by phylogenies. Attempts have been made to incorporate phylogenetic considerations into measuring biodiversity, but more hypothesis-driven research needs to be done. A specific case study is presented of how this added emphasis on phylogeny-based biodiversity measurement can influence the way in which research is directed and hypotheses are generated. The elucidation of the relationship of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning is a very timely concern with the unarguable loss of biodiversity this planet is experiencing, whichever way biodiversity is measured.

  19. Cu(II) coordination chemistry of patellamide derivatives: possible biological functions of cyclic pseudopeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comba, Peter; Dovalil, Nina; Gahan, Lawrence R; Haberhauer, Gebhard; Hanson, Graeme R; Noble, Christopher J; Seibold, Björn; Vadivelu, Prabha

    2012-02-27

    Two synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring cyclic pseudooctapeptides patellamide  A-F and ascidiacyclamide, that is, H(4)pat(2), H(4)pat(3), as well as their Cu(II) complexes are described. These cyclic peptide derivatives differ from the naturally occurring macrocycles by the variation of the incorporated heterocyclic donor groups and the configuration of the amino acids connecting the heterocycles. The exchange of the oxazoline and thiazole groups by dimethylimidazoles or methyloxazoles leads to more rigid macrocycles, and the changes in the configuration of the side chains leads to significant differences in the folding of the cyclic peptides. These variations allow a detailed study of the various possible structural changes on the chemistry of the Cu(II) complexes formed. The coordination of Cu(II) with these macrocyclic species was monitored by high-resolution electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), spectrophotometric (UV/Vis) and circular dichroic (CD) titrations, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations and molecular mechanics (MM) simulations have been used to model the structures of the Cu(II) complexes and provide a detailed understanding of their geometric preferences and conformational flexibility. This is related to the Cu(II) coordination chemistry and the reactivity of the dinuclear Cu(II) complexes towards CO(2) fixation. The variation observed between the natural and various synthetic peptide systems enables conclusions about structure-reactivity correlations, and our results also provide information on why nature might have chosen oxazolines and thiazoles as incorporated heterocycles. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. [The biological function of L-carnitine and its content in the particular food examples].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rospond, Bartłomiej; Chłopicka, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this article is to provide information about L-carnitine, its physiological role in the human body and its content in some foods. This chemical compound is mainly synthesized in the liver, kidney and brain and is composed of two aminoacids, lyzine and metionine. L-carnitine regulates the level of acylo-CoA and CoA in the mitochondium and cytozolum, and it provides acetyl moieties for the biosythesis of acetocholine. L-carnitine plays a vital function in the metabolism of lipids and it carries long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria for beta-oxidation. An increase of the amount of L-carnitine in the human body may lead to reduction and inhibition of production of fatty tissue. Despite the fact that human body can synthesise L-carnitine, about 80% of this chemical compound is delivered by food. It is crucial, especially for people who are on a slimming diet, to choose products rich in L-carnitine because this compound may potentially reduce the body weight. Animal by-products contain the highest amount of L-carnitine, and these are, e.g , kangaroo meat (637 mg), horse meat (423mg), beef (139 mg per 100 g of dry weight). The amount of L-carnitine in milk products may range from 1,4 to 42,8 mg per 100 g of dry matter. Vegetables and fruits are products which contain less than 5 mg of L-carnitine per 100 g of dry matter. Lipids are also very low in L-carnitine, e.g sunflower oil is free from this compound. It is worth mentioning that mushrooms are richer in L-carnitine than plants. The amount of L-carnitine (53 mg/100 g dry matter) in pleureotus ostreatus equals approximately 100 g of minced pork.

  1. Identification of biological functions and gene networks regulated by heat stress in U937 human lymphoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furusawa, Yukihiro; Tabuchi, Yoshiaki; Wada, Shigehito; Takasaki, Ichiro; Ohtsuka, Kenzo; Kondo, Takashi

    2011-08-01

    Although cancer cells exposed to temperatures >42.5°C undergo cell death as the temperature rises, exposure of up to 42.5°C induces slight or no cytotoxicity. The temperature of 42.5°C is, therefore, well known to be the inflection point of hyperthermia. To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular responses to heat stress at temperatures higher and lower than the inflection point, we carried out global scale microarray and computational gene expression analyses. Human leukemia U937 cells were incubated at 42°C or 44°C for 15 min and cultured at 37°C for 0-6 h. Apoptosis accompanied by the activation of caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation was only observed in cells treated with heat stress at 44°C, but not at 42°C. Although a large number of genes were differentially expressed by a factor of 2.0 or greater, we found substantial differences with respect to the biological functions and gene networks of the genes differentially expressed at the two temperatures examined. Interestingly, we identified temperature-specific gene networks that were considered to be mainly associated with cell death or cellular compromise and cellular function and maintenance at 44°C or 42°C, respectively, by using the Ingenuity pathway analysis tools. These findings provide the molecular basis for a further understanding of the mechanisms of the biological changes that are responsive to heat stress in human lymphoma cells.

  2. 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 continuously manufactured in a micromixer based device and in situ loading with different components was performed. In this way, dual loaded vesicles with the anticancer drug camptothecin and a high amount of hydrophobic iron oxide nanoparticles were produced. When tested in vitro, these drug-loaded vesicles showed an increased cytotoxic activity against the cancer cell line PC-3 when compared to the free drug. Specific cellular uptake in PC-3 cancer cells was demonstrated with flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy after functionalization with a cancer cell specific targeting peptide and an additional fluorescent label. Magnetic characterization of the iron oxide-loaded vesicles also confirmed the potential

  3. GB3.0: a platform for plant bio-design that connects functional DNA elements with associated biological data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vazquez-Vilar, Marta; Quijano-Rubio, Alfredo; Fernandez-Del-Carmen, Asun; Sarrion-Perdigones, Alejandro; Ochoa-Fernandez, Rocio; Ziarsolo, Peio; Blanca, José; Granell, Antonio; Orzaez, Diego

    2017-02-28

    Modular DNA assembly simplifies multigene engineering in Plant Synthetic Biology. Furthermore, the recent adoption of a common syntax to facilitate the exchange of plant DNA parts (phytobricks) is a promising strategy to speed up genetic engineering. Following this lead, here, we present a platform for plant biodesign that incorporates functional descriptions of phytobricks obtained under pre-defined experimental conditions, and systematically registers the resulting information as metadata for documentation. To facilitate the handling of functional descriptions, we developed a new version (v3.0) of the GoldenBraid (GB) webtool that integrates the experimental data and displays it in the form of datasheets. We report the use of the Luciferase/Renilla (Luc/Ren) transient agroinfiltration assay in Nicotiana benthamiana as a standard to estimate relative transcriptional activities conferred by regulatory phytobricks, and show the consistency and reproducibility of this method in the characterization of a synthetic phytobrick based on the CaMV35S promoter. Furthermore, we illustrate the potential for combinatorial optimization and incremental innovation of the GB3.0 platform in two separate examples, (i) the development of a collection of orthogonal transcriptional regulators based on phiC31 integrase and (ii) the design of a small genetic circuit that connects a glucocorticoid switch to a MYB/bHLH transcriptional activation module. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  4. Origins of biological function in DNA and RNA hairpin loop motifs from replica exchange molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swadling, Jacob B; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei; Kitao, Akio

    2018-01-31

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) have remarkably similar chemical structures, but despite this, they play significantly different roles in modern biology. In this article, we explore the possible conformations of DNA and RNA hairpins to better understand the fundamental differences in structure formation and stability. We use large parallel temperature replica exchange molecular dynamics ensembles to sample the full conformational landscape of these hairpin molecules so that we can identify the stable structures formed by the hairpin sequence. Our simulations show RNA adopts a narrower distribution of folded structures compared to DNA at room temperature, which forms both hairpins and many unfolded conformations. RNA is capable of forming twice as many hydrogen bonds than DNA which results in a higher melting temperature. We see that local chemical differences lead to emergent molecular properties such as increased persistence length in RNA that is weakly temperature dependant. These discoveries provide fundamental insight into how RNA forms complex folded tertiary structures which confer enzymatic-like function in ribozymes, whereas DNA retains structural motifs in order to facilitate function such as translation of sequence.

  5. Expression profiling and Ingenuity biological function analyses of interleukin-6- versus nerve growth factor-stimulated PC12 cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitriades-Schmutz Beatrice

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The major goal of the study was to compare the genetic programs utilized by the neuropoietic cytokine Interleukin-6 (IL-6 and the neurotrophin (NT Nerve Growth Factor (NGF for neuronal differentiation. Results The designer cytokine Hyper-IL-6 in which IL-6 is covalently linked to its soluble receptor s-IL-6R as well as NGF were used to stimulate PC12 cells for 24 hours. Changes in gene expression levels were monitored using Affymetrix GeneChip technology. We found different expression for 130 genes in IL-6- and 102 genes in NGF-treated PC12 cells as compared to unstimulated controls. The gene set shared by both stimuli comprises only 16 genes. A key step is upregulation of growth factors and functionally related external molecules known to play important roles in neuronal differentiation. In particular, IL-6 enhances gene expression of regenerating islet-derived 3 alpha (REG3A; 1084-fold, regenerating islet-derived 3 beta (REG3B/PAPI; 672-fold, growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15; 80-fold, platelet-derived growth factor alpha (PDGFA; 69-fold, growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH; 30-fold, adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP; 20-fold and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF; 5-fold. NGF recruits GDF15 (131-fold, transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1; 101-fold and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; 89-fold. Both stimuli activate growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43 indicating that PC12 cells undergo substantial neuronal differentiation. Moreover, IL-6 activates the transcription factors retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARA; 20-fold and early growth response 1 (Egr1/Zif268; 3-fold known to play key roles in neuronal differentiation. Ingenuity biological function analysis revealed that completely different repertoires of molecules are recruited to exert the same biological functions in neuronal differentiation. Major sub-categories include cellular growth and differentiation, cell migration, chemotaxis, cell

  6. Molecular dynamics simulation studies of transmembrane transport of chemical components in Chinese herbs and the function of platycodin D in a biological membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shufang Yang

    2017-04-01

    Conclusion: The Martini force field was successfully applied to the study of the interaction between herbal compounds and a biological membrane. By combining the dynamics equilibrium morphology, the distribution of drugs inside and outside the biomembrane, and the interaction sites of drugs on the DPPC bilayer, factors influencing transmembrane transport of drugs were elucidated and the function of platycodin D in a biological membrane was reproduced.

  7. Mutational analysis of vaccinia virus E3 protein: the biological functions do not correlate with its biochemical capacity to bind double-stranded RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dueck, Kevin J; Hu, YuanShen Sandy; Chen, Peter; Deschambault, Yvon; Lee, Jocelyn; Varga, Jessie; Cao, Jingxin

    2015-05-01

    Vaccinia E3 protein has the biochemical capacity of binding to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The best characterized biological functions of the E3 protein include its host range function, suppression of cytokine expression, and inhibition of interferon (IFN)-induced antiviral activity. Currently, the role of the dsRNA binding capacity in the biological functions of the E3 protein is not clear. To further understand the mechanism of the E3 protein biological functions, we performed alanine scanning of the entire dsRNA binding domain of the E3 protein to examine the link between its biochemical capacity of dsRNA binding and biological functions. Of the 115 mutants examined, 20 were defective in dsRNA binding. Although the majority of the mutants defective in dsRNA binding also showed defective replication in HeLa cells, nine mutants (I105A, Y125A, E138A, F148A, F159A, K171A, L182A, L183A, and I187/188A) retained the host range function to various degrees. Further examination of a set of representative E3L mutants showed that residues essential for dsRNA binding are not essential for the biological functions of E3 protein, such as inhibition of protein kinase R (PKR) activation, suppression of cytokine expression, and apoptosis. Thus, data described in this communication strongly indicate the E3 protein performs its biological functions via a novel mechanism which does not correlate with its dsRNA binding activity. dsRNAs produced during virus replication are important pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) for inducing antiviral immune responses. One of the strategies used by many viruses to counteract such antiviral immune responses is achieved by producing dsRNA binding proteins, such as poxvirus E3 family proteins, influenza virus NS1, and Ebola virus V35 proteins. The most widely accepted model for the biological functions of this class of viral dsRNA binding proteins is that they bind to and sequester viral dsRNA PAMPs; thus, they suppress the related

  8. Structural and functional investigations of biological catalysts for optimization of solar-driven H II production systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Paul W.; Svedruzic, Drazenka; Cohen, Jordi; Schulten, Klaus; Seibert, Michael; Ghirardi, Maria L.

    2006-08-01

    Research efforts to develop efficient systems for H II production encompass a variety of biological and chemical approaches. For solar-driven H II production we are investigating an approach that integrates biological catalysts, the [FeFe] hydrogenases, with a photoelectrochemical cell as a novel bio-hybrid system. Structurally the [FeFe] hydrogenases consist of an iron-sulfur catalytic site that in some instances is electronically wired to accessory iron-sulfur clusters proposed to function in electron transfer. The inherent structural complexity of most examples of these enzymes is compensated by characteristics desired for bio-hybrid systems (i.e., low activation energy, high catalytic activity and solubility) with the benefit of utilizing abundant, less costly non-precious metals. Redesign and modification of [FeFe] hydrogenases is being undertaken to reduce complexity and to optimize structural properties for various integration strategies. The least complex examples of [FeFe] hydrogenase are found in the species of photosynthetic green algae and are being studied as design models for investigating the effects of structural minimization on substrate transfer, catalytic activity and oxygen sensitivity. Redesigning hydrogenases for effective use in bio-hybrid systems requires a detailed understanding of the relationship between structure and catalysis. To achieve better mechanistic understanding of [FeFe] hydrogenases both structural and dynamic models are being used to identify potential substrate transfer mechanisms which are tested in an experimental system. Here we report on recent progress of our investigations in the areas of [FeFe] hydrogenase overexpression, minimization and biochemical characterization.

  9. Digital genotyping of macrosatellites and multicopy genes reveals novel biological functions associated with copy number variation of large tandem repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brahmachary, Manisha; Guilmatre, Audrey; Quilez, Javier; Hasson, Dan; Borel, Christelle; Warburton, Peter; Sharp, Andrew J

    2014-06-01

    Tandem repeats are common in eukaryotic genomes, but due to difficulties in assaying them remain poorly studied. Here, we demonstrate the utility of Nanostring technology as a targeted approach to perform accurate measurement of tandem repeats even at extremely high copy number, and apply this technology to genotype 165 HapMap samples from three different populations and five species of non-human primates. We observed extreme variability in copy number of tandemly repeated genes, with many loci showing 5-10 fold variation in copy number among humans. Many of these loci show hallmarks of genome assembly errors, and the true copy number of many large tandem repeats is significantly under-represented even in the high quality 'finished' human reference assembly. Importantly, we demonstrate that most large tandem repeat variations are not tagged by nearby SNPs, and are therefore essentially invisible to SNP-based GWAS approaches. Using association analysis we identify many cis correlations of large tandem repeat variants with nearby gene expression and DNA methylation levels, indicating that variations of tandem repeat length are associated with functional effects on the local genomic environment. This includes an example where expansion of a macrosatellite repeat is associated with increased DNA methylation and suppression of nearby gene expression, suggesting a mechanism termed "repeat induced gene silencing", which has previously been observed only in transgenic organisms. We also observed multiple signatures consistent with altered selective pressures at tandemly repeated loci, suggesting important biological functions. Our studies show that tandemly repeated loci represent a highly variable fraction of the genome that have been systematically ignored by most previous studies, copy number variation of which can exert functionally significant effects. We suggest that future studies of tandem repeat loci will lead to many novel insights into their role in modulating

  10. Reproductive function and biological dosimetry prospective study of young thyroid differentiated cancer patients treated with I-131

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Giorgio, M.; Vallerga, M.B.; Taja, M.R.; Radl, A.; Chebel, Graciela; Fadel, Ana Maria; Gutierrez, Silvia; Normandi, Eduardo; Levalle, Oscar; Kundt, Miriam

    2011-01-01

    The administration of I-131 in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is a well established practice. As the spermatogonia is highly sensitive to radiation, large doses of internal radiation could result in adverse effects on reproductive function such as oligo/azoospermia and infertility. During spermiogenesis, mammalian chromatin undergoes replacement of nuclear histones by protamines, which yields a DNA sixfold more highly condensed in spermatozoa than in mitotic chromosomes. The structure of this highly packaged chromatin shows a low binding capacity for several fluorochromes and dyes such as chromomycin A3 (CMA3). The aim of this study is to assess the correlation between reproductive function (endocrine and exocrine testicular function, and levels of CMA3 stainability) and biological dosimetry in a prospective study of 4 young DTC patients treated with I-131. In this context, a background level of CMA3 binding in mature human sperm was established. It revealed a variable accessibility of CMA3 to the DNA that is dependant on packaging quality and thus, indicative of protamine deficiency. The identification of altered stainability suggests DNA damage as well as epigenetic effects, which may be indicators of male infertility. Transient impairment of spermatogenesis associated with an increase in FSH, an altered spermiogram and even azoospermia was observed after the administration of cumulative activities. Overall, testosterone levels were preserved, except in one case, which presented a drastically diminished value associated with an increase in LH level. As peripheral blood lymphocytes and spermatogonia have equivalent radiosensitivity (interphase death) we hypothesize that the knowledge of DNA damage recovery in peripheral lymphocytes could correlate with spermatogonia recovery and with FSH evolution. (authors)

  11. Reproductive function and biological dosimetry prospective study of young thyroid differentiated cancer patients treated with I-131

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Giorgio, Marina; Vallerga, Maria B.; Taja, Maria R.; Radl, Analia; Chebel, Graciela; Fadel, Ana M.; Gutierrez, Silvia; Normandi, Eduardo; Levalle, Oscar; Kundt, Miriam

    2008-01-01

    Full text: The administration of I-131 in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is a well established practice. As the spermatogonia is highly sensitive to radiation, large doses of internal radiation could result in adverse effects on reproductive function such as oligo/azoospermia and infertility. During spermiogenesis, mammalian chromatin undergoes replacement of nuclear histones by protamines, which yields a DNA sixfold more highly condensed in spermatozoa than in mitotic chromosomes. The structure of this highly packaged chromatin shows a low binding capacity for several fluoro chromes and dyes such as chromo mycin A 3 (CMA 3 ). The aim of this study is to assess the correlation between reproductive function (endocrine and exocrine testicular function, and levels of CMA 3 stainability) and biological dosimetry in a prospective study of 4 young DTC patients treated with I-131. In this context, a background level of CMA 3 binding in mature human sperm was established. It revealed a variable accessibility of CMA 3 to the DNA that is dependant on packaging quality and thus, indicative of protamine deficiency. The identification of altered stainability suggests DNA damage as well as epigenetic effects, which may be indicators of male infertility. Transient impairment of spermatogenesis associated with an increase in FSH, an altered spermiogram and even azoospermia was observed after the administration of cumulative activities. Overall, testosterone levels were preserved, except in one case, which presented a drastically diminished value associated with an increase in LH level. As peripheral blood lymphocytes and spermatogonia have equivalent radiosensitivity (interphase death) we hypothesize that the knowledge of DNA damage recovery in peripheral lymphocytes could correlate with spermatogonia recovery and with FSH evolution. Therefore, a prospective study on the decline of unstable chromosome aberrations is being conducted, considering the damage

  12. CLINICAL AND FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT OF THE BIOLOGICAL PROSTHESIS “ASPIRE” FOR SURGICAL CORRECTION OF MITRAL VALVE DISEASE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. G. Esin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To assess clinical and functional efficacy of implanted biological prosthesis “ASPIRE” (manufactured by Vascutek for correction of mitral valve disease.Materials and methods: From October 2008 to December 2013, biological prostheses “ASPIRE” (Vascutek were implanted to 34 patients with mitral valve disease (mean age 63.59 ± 4.96 years, 79.4% female. From these, 24 patients had mitral stenosis and 10 patients had mitral insufficiency. 73.5% of all patients had heart failure Strazhesko-Vasilenko IIA grade and 85.3% of patients had chronic heart failure NYHA III. Isolated mitral valve replacement was performed only in 8 (23.5% of patients. In 22 (64.7% of cases mitral valve replacement was combined with tricuspid valvuloplasty in various modifications. Duration of cardiopulmonary bypass and of aortic clamping was 88.09 ± 25.95 and 65.68 ± 25.51 minutes, respectively. Before and after surgery all patients underwent echocardiographic assessment and clinical assessment of their general status.Results: In-hospital mortality was 5.88% (n = 2 and was related to multiorgan failure in the early postoperative period. All 32 (94.12% surviving patients improved with decrease or complete disappearance of heart failure. Postoperative complications were typical for cardiac surgery. There were no episodes of embolism, structural dysfunction, thrombosis of the prosthesis and endocarditis of the prosthesis in the early postoperative period. Pressure gradients across prosthetic valves were not high and corresponded to good clinical and hemodynamic results in the early postoperative period.Conclusion: Taking into account good immediate results of mitral valve replacement, as well as no need in lifelong anticoagulation in patients with multiple concomitant disorders, implantation of the biological prosthesis “ASPIRE” (Vascutek could become a procedure of choice for correction of valve abnormalities in patients above 65 years. For more comprehensive

  13. Evaluating the biological risk of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes and functionalized oxygen-doped multiwalled carbon nanotubes as possible toxic, carcinogenic, and embryotoxic agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lara-Martínez LA

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Luis A Lara-Martínez,1 Felipe Massó,2 Eduardo Palacios González,3 Isabel García-Peláez,4 Alejandra Contreras–Ramos,5 Mahara Valverde,6 Emilio Rojas,6 Felipe Cervantes-Sodi,7 Salomón Hernández-Gutiérrez1 1Department of Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, Mexico; 2Department of Physiology, National Institute of Cardiology Ignacio Chavez, Mexico City, Mexico; 3Department of Microscopy, Ultra High Resolution Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, Mexico City, Mexico; 4Department of Embryology, Medicine Faculty, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; 5Department of Developmental Biology Research and Experimental Teratogenicity, Children’s Hospital of Mexico, Federico Gomez, Mexico City, Mexico; 6Department of Genomic Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Research, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; 7Department of Physics and Mathematics, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico Abstract: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs have been a focus of attention due to their possible applications in medicine, by serving as scaffolds for cell growth and proliferation and improving mesenchymal cell transplantation and engraftment. The emphasis on the benefits of CNTs has been offset by the ample debate on the safety of nanotechnologies. In this study, we determine whether functionalized multiwalled CNTs (fMWCNTs and functionalized oxygen-doped multiwalled CNTs (fCOxs have toxic effects on rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs in vitro by analyzing morphology and cell proliferation and, using in vivo models, whether they are able to transform MSCs in cancer cells or induce embryotoxicity. Our results demonstrate that there are statistically significant differences in cell proliferation and the cell cycle of MSCs in culture. We identified dramatic changes in cells that were treated with fMWCNTs. Our

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Neuro-differentiated Ntera2 cancer stem cells encapsulated in alginate beads: First evidence of biological functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacciotti, Ilaria; Ceci, Claudia; Bianco, Alessandra; Pistritto, Giuseppa

    2017-12-01

    The present communication investigates an application of alginate encapsulation technology to the differentiation of the embryonic cancer stem NTera2 cells (NT2) into dopamine-producing cells. The encapsulation of cells in polymeric beads allows their immune isolation and makes them eligible for transplantation, thus representing a promising biotech tool for the delivery of biologically active compounds to the brain. The polysaccharide alginate is one of the most commonly used material for this procedure since it is well tolerated by various tissues, including the brain. Two different initial cell concentrations (i.e. 0.5∗10 6 /ml and 1.0∗10 6 /ml) were tested, in order to identify which one could better reflect the homogeneous cell distribution into the alginate beads and guarantee a good cell viability at different times of culture. As evidenced, the higher number of cells promoted the formation of clusters resulting in a better interaction among encapsulated cells and the subsequent promotion of mitotic activity. The distribution of alive/dead cells into the alginate beads was verified and followed at different time points through the fluorescein diacetate/propidium iodide (FDA/PI) staining, confirming the presence of living neuronal positive cells, as determined from fluorescence microscopy imaging. The functionality of the encapsulated NT2 cells was confirmed by their dopamine production capability as assessed by UV-Vis spectrophotometric analysis and by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The NT2/microspheres system can be considered a groundbreaking experimental procedure, a functionally active platform, able to produce and release dopamine, and thus potentially exploitable for therapy in Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Growth of novel ceramic layers on metals via chemical and heat treatments for inducing various biological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi eKokubo

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The present authors’ systematic studies on growth of novel ceramic layers on Ti metal and its alloys by chemical and heat treatments for inducing bone-bonding bioactivity and some other biological functions are reviewed. Ti metal formed an apatite on its surface in a simulated body fluid (SBF, when heat-treated after exposure to strong acid solutions to form rutile surface layer, or to strong alkali solutions to form sodium titanate surface layer. Both types of Ti metal tightly bonded to the living bone.The alkali and heat treatment was applied to the surface Ti metal of an artificial hip joint and successfully used in the clinic since 2007. The acid and heat treatments was applied to porous Ti metal to induce osteoconductivity as well as osteoinductivity. The resulting product was successfully used in clinical trials for spinal fusion devices. For the Ti-based alloys, the alkali and heat treatment was a little modified to form calcium titanate surface layer. Bone-growth promoting Mg, Sr, and Zn ions as well as the antibacterial Ag ion were successfully incorporated into the calcium titanate layer.

  17. Porphyrins from Messel oil shale (Eocene, Germany): Structure elucidation, geochemical and biological significance, and distribution as a function of depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo, Rubén; Bauder, Claude; Callot, Henry J.; Albrecht, Pierre

    1992-02-01

    The extraction and isolation procedures of twenty nickel porphyrins (seven alkylporphyrins, thirteen carboxylic acids) from lacustrine Messel shale (Eocene, Germany), as well as the unequivocal structural assignments (obtained using 200 and 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), nuclear Overhauser effect, mass spectrometry and total or partial synthesis of six reference compounds) are described. Ten porphyrins could be specifically correlated with biological precursors: algal chlorophyll c (4), bacteriochlorophylls d (3) and heme (3), while the remaining ones may arise from several chlorophylls. The structures of these fossil pigments mostly confirm the classical "Treibs scheme," including the origin of some porphyrins from nonchlorophyll sources. They also show that, even in a very immature sediment, deep modifications occur, including, in particular, extensive degradation of chlorophyll E ring. The composition of the porphyrin fractions of Messel oil shale was also studied as a function of depth. A porphyrin acids/alkylporphyrins ratio varying from 0.35 to 24.8 demonstrated that the apparent homogeneity of the shale is not reflected on the molecular scale. This was confirmed when the abundance of the twenty individual porphyrins of known structure was measured along the core. Significant correlations between individual porphyrins were found: fossils of bacteriochlorophylls d, homolog pairs of porphyrins (3-H/3-ethyl), etc.

  18. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27618098

  19. A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the “Function Debate” in the Philosophy of Biology to the “Venom Debate” in the Science of Toxinology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy N. W. Jackson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research on molecular imaging in cancer: linking biology, function, and clinical applications in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

    The AACR Special Conference on Molecular Imaging in Cancer: Linking Biology, Function, and Clinical Applications In Vivo, was held January 23-27, 2002, at the Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Co-Chairs David Piwnica-Worms, Patricia Price and Thomas Meade brought together researchers with diverse expertise in molecular biology, gene therapy, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, and imaging to accelerate progress in developing and applying technologies for imaging specific cellular and molecular signals in living animals and humans. The format of the conference was the presentation of research that focused on basic and translational biology of cancer and current state-of-the-art techniques for molecular imaging in animal models and humans. This report summarizes the special conference on molecular imaging, highlighting the interfaces of molecular biology with animal models, instrumentation, chemistry, and pharmacology that are essential to convert the dreams and promise of molecular imaging into improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of cancer.

  1. Genome-Wide Mapping of Binding Sites Reveals Multiple Biological Functions of the Transcription Factor Cst6p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Guodong; Bergenholm, David; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    In the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the transcription factor Cst6p has been reported to play important roles in several biological processes. However, the genome-wide targets of Cst6p and its physiological functions remain unknown. Here, we mapped the genome-wide binding sites of Cst6p...... of transcription factors. In the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the transcription factor Cst6p has been reported to regulate several biological processes, while its genome-wide targets remain unknown. Here, we mapped the genome-wide binding sites of Cst6p at high resolution. We show that the binding...... at high resolution. Cst6p binds to the promoter regions of 59 genes with various biological functions when cells are grown on ethanol but hardly binds to the promoter at any gene when cells are grown on glucose. The retarded growth of the CST6 deletion mutant on ethanol is attributed to the markedly...

  2. Improved appreciation of the functioning and importance of biological soil crusts in Europe: the Soil Crust International Project (SCIN).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büdel, Burkhard; Colesie, Claudia; Green, T G Allan; Grube, Martin; Lázaro Suau, Roberto; Loewen-Schneider, Katharina; Maier, Stefanie; Peer, Thomas; Pintado, Ana; Raggio, José; Ruprecht, Ulrike; Sancho, Leopoldo G; Schroeter, Burkhard; Türk, Roman; Weber, Bettina; Wedin, Mats; Westberg, Martin; Williams, Laura; Zheng, Lingjuan

    2014-01-01

    Here we report details of the European research initiative "Soil Crust International" (SCIN) focusing on the biodiversity of biological soil crusts (BSC, composed of bacteria, algae, lichens, and bryophytes) and on functional aspects in their specific environment. Known as the so-called "colored soil lichen community" (Bunte Erdflechtengesellschaft), these BSCs occur all over Europe, extending into subtropical and arid regions. Our goal is to study the uniqueness of these BSCs on the regional scale and investigate how this community can cope with large macroclimatic differences. One of the major aims of this project is to develop biodiversity conservation and sustainable management strategies for European BSCs. To achieve this, we established a latitudinal transect from the Great Alvar of Öland, Sweden in the north over Gössenheim, Central Germany and Hochtor in the Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria down to the badlands of Tabernas, Spain in the south. The transect stretches over 20° latitude and 2,300 m in altitude, including natural (Hochtor, Tabernas) and semi-natural sites that require maintenance such as by grazing activities (Öland, Gössenheim). At all four sites BSC coverage exceeded 30 % of the referring landscape, with the alpine site (Hochtor) reaching the highest cyanobacterial cover and the two semi-natural sites (Öland, Gössenheim) the highest bryophyte cover. Although BSCs of the four European sites share a common set of bacteria, algae (including cyanobacteria) lichens and bryophytes, first results indicate not only climate specific additions of species, but also genetic/phenotypic uniqueness of species between the four sites. While macroclimatic conditions are rather different, microclimatic conditions and partly soil properties seem fairly homogeneous between the four sites, with the exception of water availability. Continuous activity monitoring of photosystem II revealed the BSCs of the Spanish site as the least active in terms of

  3. Paracellular barrier and channel functions of TJ claudins in organizing biological systems: advances in the field of barriology revealed in knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Atsushi; Tsukita, Sachiko

    2014-12-01

    Claudin was first identified as a four-transmembrane protein in the tight junctions (TJs) between epithelial cells. The claudin family has 27 members, which are specifically expressed depending on the epithelial cell type. Accumulating evidence has revealed that claudins are responsible for the paracellular barrier that prevents molecules from passing through epithelial cell sheets. In addition, the extracellular domains of some claudins enable them to act as a permselective paracellular channel for specific molecules, including ions and/or non-ionic solutes. Recent studies using claudin knockout mice revealed that the loss of claudins' specific paracellular barrier and/or channel functions affects specific biological functions and leads to pathological states. In this review, considering recent findings in vivo, we describe how, sometimes in concert with canonical transporters and channels, the paracellular barrier and channel functions of claudins sophisticatedly organize biological systems. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Usefulness and limitations of dK random graph models to predict interactions and functional homogeneity in biological networks under a pseudo-likelihood parameter estimation approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luan Yihui

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many aspects of biological functions can be modeled by biological networks, such as protein interaction networks, metabolic networks, and gene coexpression networks. Studying the statistical properties of these networks in turn allows us to infer biological function. Complex statistical network models can potentially more accurately describe the networks, but it is not clear whether such complex models are better suited to find biologically meaningful subnetworks. Results Recent studies have shown that the degree distribution of the nodes is not an adequate statistic in many molecular networks. We sought to extend this statistic with 2nd and 3rd order degree correlations and developed a pseudo-likelihood approach to estimate the parameters. The approach was used to analyze the MIPS and BIOGRID yeast protein interaction networks, and two yeast coexpression networks. We showed that 2nd order degree correlation information gave better predictions of gene interactions in both protein interaction and gene coexpression networks. However, in the biologically important task of predicting functionally homogeneous modules, degree correlation information performs marginally better in the case of the MIPS and BIOGRID protein interaction networks, but worse in the case of gene coexpression networks. Conclusion Our use of dK models showed that incorporation of degree correlations could increase predictive power in some contexts, albeit sometimes marginally, but, in all contexts, the use of third-order degree correlations decreased accuracy. However, it is possible that other parameter estimation methods, such as maximum likelihood, will show the usefulness of incorporating 2nd and 3rd degree correlations in predicting functionally homogeneous modules.

  5. Treatment of ankylosing spondylitis with biologics and targeted physical therapy: positive effect on chest pain, diminished chest mobility, and respiratory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyurcsik, Z; Bodnár, N; Szekanecz, Z; Szántó, S

    2013-12-01

    Biologics are highly effective in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). In this self-controlled study, we assessed the additive value of complex physiotherapy in decreasing chest pain and tenderness and improving respiratory function in AS patients treated with tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) inhibitors. The trial consisted of 2 parts. In study I, clinical data of AS patients with (n=55) or without biological therapy (n=20) were retrospectively analyzed and compared. Anthropometrical data, duration since diagnosis and patient assessment of disease activity, pain intensity, tender points, sacroiliac joint involvement determined by X-ray, functional condition, and physical activity level were recorded. Subjective, functional, and physical tests were performed. In study II, 10 voluntary patients (6 men and 4 women, age 52.4 ± 13.6 years) with definite AS and receiving anti-TNF therapy were recruited. It was a prospective, non-randomized physiotherapeutic trial. BASFI (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index), BASDAI (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index), modified Schober Index, occiput-to-wall distance, and fingertip-to-floor distance were evaluated. Forced vital capacity, forced 1-s expiratory volume, peak expiratory flow, and maximum voluntary ventilation were recorded. Furthermore, typical tender points were recorded. A targeted physiotherapy program was conducted twice a week for 12 weeks and all above parameters were recorded at baseline and after 12 weeks. Differences in patient assessment of disease activity (p=0.019) and pain intensity (p=0.017) were found in study I. Pain and tenderness of the thoracic spine were observed in both groups. Back pain without biologic therapy was slightly higher than other group. In study II, we found that patient assessment of disease activity and pain intensity significantly improved after the physical therapy program (p=0.002 and prespiratory functional parameters showed a tendency towards improvement. AS

  6. Disruption of SLX4-MUS81 Function Increases the Relative Biological Effectiveness of Proton Radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Qi [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Underwood, Tracy S.A.; Kung, Jong [Division of Radiation Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Wang, Meng [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Lu, Hsiao-Ming; Paganetti, Harald [Division of Radiation Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Held, Kathryn D.; Hong, Theodore S.; Efstathiou, Jason A. [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Willers, Henning, E-mail: hwillers@mgh.harvard.edu [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)

    2016-05-01

    Purpose: Clinical proton beam therapy has been based on the use of a generic relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of ∼1.1. However, emerging data have suggested that Fanconi anemia (FA) and homologous recombination pathway defects can lead to a variable RBE, at least in vitro. We investigated the role of SLX4 (FANCP), which acts as a docking platform for the assembly of multiple structure-specific endonucleases, in the response to proton irradiation. Methods and Materials: Isogenic cell pairs for the study of SLX4, XPF/ERCC1, MUS81, and SLX1 were irradiated at the mid-spread-out Bragg peak of a clinical proton beam (linear energy transfer 2.5 keV/μm) or with 250 kVp x-rays, and the clonogenic survival fractions were determined. To estimate the RBE of the protons relative to cobalt-60 photons (Co60Eq), we assigned a RBE(Co60Eq) of 1.1 to x-rays to correct the physical dose measured. Standard DNA repair foci assays were used to monitor the damage responses, and the cell cycle distributions were assessed by flow cytometry. The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib was used for comparison. Results: Loss of SLX4 function resulted in an enhanced proton RBE(Co60Eq) of 1.42 compared with 1.11 for wild-type cells (at a survival fraction of 0.1; P<.05), which correlated with increased persistent DNA double-strand breaks in cells in the S/G{sub 2} phase. Genetic analysis identified the SLX4-binding partner MUS81 as a mediator of resistance to proton radiation. Both proton irradiation and olaparib treatment resulted in a similar prolonged accumulation of RAD51 foci in SLX4/MUS81-deficient cells, suggesting a common defect in the repair of DNA replication fork-associated damage. Conclusions: A defect in the FA pathway at the level of SLX4 results in hypersensitivity to proton radiation, which is, at least in part, due to impaired MUS81-mediated processing of replication forks that stall at clustered DNA damage. In vivo and clinical studies are needed to

  7. Variations in the Biological Functions of HIV-1 Clade C Envelope in a SHIV-Infected Rhesus Macaque during Disease Progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    For Yue Tso

    Full Text Available A better understanding of how the biological functions of the HIV-1 envelope (Env changes during disease progression may aid the design of an efficacious anti-HIV-1 vaccine. Although studies from patient had provided some insights on this issue, the differences in the study cohorts and methodology had make it difficult to reach a consensus of the variations in the HIV-1 Env functions during disease progression. To this end, an animal model that can be infected under controlled environment and reflect the disease course of HIV-1 infection in human will be beneficial. Such an animal model was previously demonstrated by the infection of macaque with SHIV, expressing HIV-1 clade C Env V1-V5 region. By using this model, we examined the changes in biological functions of Env in the infected animal over the entire disease course. Our data showed an increase in the neutralization resistance phenotype over time and coincided with the decrease in the net charges of the V1-V5 region. Infection of PBMC with provirus expressing various Env clones, isolated from the infected animal over time, showed a surprisingly better replicative fitness for viruses expressing the Env from early time point. Biotinylation and ELISA data also indicated a decrease of cell-surface-associated Env and virion-associated gp120 content with disease progression. This decrease did not affect the CD4-binding capability of Env, but were positively correlated with the decrease of Env fusion ability. Interestingly, some of these changes in biological functions reverted to the pre-AIDS level during advance AIDS. These data suggested a dynamic relationship between the Env V1-V5 region with the host immune pressure. The observed changes of biological functions in this setting might reflect and predict those occurring during natural disease progression in human.

  8. Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    biologically significant responses such as changes in reproductive potential, immune system function, acute phase responses, and energetic fitness. The...the National Marine Fisheries Service-Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Particular thanks go to Dr. R.L. Brownell, Ms. Siri Hakala, Agent Rhyan...profiling of a pre-selected class of metabolites, and non-targeted, semi-quantitative fingerprinting of a large number of metabolites providing a “ systems

  9. Biological oceanography, biogeochemical cycles, and pelagic ecosystem functioning of the east-central South Pacific Gyre: focus on Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island

    OpenAIRE

    Von Dassow , Peter; Collado-Fabbri , Silvana

    2014-01-01

    International audience; The Exclusive Economic Zone of Chile defined by Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island is in the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre (SPSG), putting it at the center of the most oligotrophic and biomass poor waters in the world. Only 10 biological oceanographic expeditions have entered this zone in 105 years (1905-2010). We review key aspects of the plankton ecosystem and biogeochemical function relevant for the understanding of and conservation planning for marine environm...

  10. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KALYA SUBASINGHE

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five habitat types (two natural habitats: Sub-montane forest and Pitawala Patana grassland; three modified habitats: cardamom, pinus and abandoned tea plantations in Northern Flank of KMFR using birds as the indicator group. Bird communities were surveyed using point count method. A total of 1,150 individuals belonging to 56 species were observed. The highest species richness was reported from the cardamom plantation where as sub-montane forest had the highest feeding guild diversity in terms of Shannon Weiner index. The abandoned tea plantation and the Pitawala Patana grasslands with fairly open habitats, showed relatively lower levels of feeding guild diversities. It is clear that the structurally complex habitats contribute more to the area’s biological and functional diversities and need to be taken into consideration when developing conservation plans.

  11. Biological rhythms in the human life cycle and their relationship to functional changes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swaab, D. F.; van Someren, E. J.; Zhou, J. N.; Hofman, M. A.

    1996-01-01

    Biological rhythms play a prominent role in the human life cycle. The endogenous rhythms are entrained by the environment and have an astronomical counterpart which is obvious for daily, monthly, and yearly rhythms, and may possibly also be present in weekly rhythms. Circadian rhythms are present

  12. 2K09 and thereafter : the coming era of integrative bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing for functional genomics and personalized medicine research

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Significant interest exists in establishing synergistic research in bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing. Supported by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), International Society of Intelligent Biological Medicine (http://www.ISIBM.org), International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design (IJCBDD) and International Journal of Functional Informatics and Personalized Medicine, the ISIBM International Joint Conferences on Bioinformatics, Systems Biology and Intelligent Computing (ISIBM IJCBS 2009) attracted more than 300 papers and 400 researchers and medical doctors world-wide. It was the only inter/multidisciplinary conference aimed to promote synergistic research and education in bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing. The conference committee was very grateful for the valuable advice and suggestions from honorary chairs, steering committee members and scientific leaders including Dr. Michael S. Waterman (USC, Member of United States National Academy of Sciences), Dr. Chih-Ming Ho (UCLA, Member of United States National Academy of Engineering and Academician of Academia Sinica), Dr. Wing H. Wong (Stanford, Member of United States National Academy of Sciences), Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy (UC Berkeley, Member of United States National Academy of Engineering and Member of United States Institute of Medicine of the National Academies), Dr. Mary Qu Yang (United States National Institutes of Health and Oak Ridge, DOE), Dr. Andrzej Niemierko (Harvard), Dr. A. Keith Dunker (Indiana), Dr. Brian D. Athey (Michigan), Dr. Weida Tong (FDA, United States Department of Health and Human Services), Dr. Cathy H. Wu (Georgetown), Dr. Dong Xu (Missouri), Drs. Arif Ghafoor and Okan K Ersoy (Purdue), Dr. Mark Borodovsky (Georgia Tech, President of ISIBM), Dr. Hamid R. Arabnia (UGA, Vice-President of ISIBM), and other scientific leaders. The committee presented the 2009 ISIBM Outstanding Achievement Awards to Dr. Joydeep Ghosh (UT

  13. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Biologic Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Alessandra; Naranjo, Juan Diego; Londono, Ricardo; Badylak, Stephen F

    2017-09-01

    Biologic scaffold materials composed of allogeneic or xenogeneic extracellular matrix are commonly used for the repair and functional reconstruction of injured and missing tissues. These naturally occurring bioscaffolds are manufactured by the removal of the cellular content from source tissues while preserving the structural and functional molecular units of the remaining extracellular matrix (ECM). The mechanisms by which these bioscaffolds facilitate constructive remodeling and favorable clinical outcomes include release or creation of effector molecules that recruit endogenous stem/progenitor cells to the site of scaffold placement and modulation of the innate immune response, specifically the activation of an anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype. The methods by which ECM biologic scaffolds are prepared, the current understanding of in vivo scaffold remodeling, and the associated clinical outcomes are discussed in this article. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  15. Multicomponent pattern and biological activities of seven Asphodeline taxa: potential sources of natural-functional ingredients for bioactive formulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatelli, Marcello; Zengin, Gokhan; Uysal, Ahmet; Carradori, Simone; De Luca, Elisa; Bellagamba, Giuseppe; Aktumsek, Abdurrahman; Lazarova, Irina

    2017-12-01

    The current study was carried out to evaluate multicomponent pattern, biological and enzymatic activities of seven Asphodeline taxa root extracts as useful ingredients, due to the fact that these plants are commonly used as traditional food supplements in Turkish regions. The extracts were characterized for free anthraquinones and phenolics to obtain a specific chemical fingerprint useful for quality control. These analyzes were coupled to biological and enzymatic activities in order to obtain comprehensive information of the natural product. Free anthraquinones and phenolics were determined using validated HPLC-PDA methods. Antioxidant properties were determined by different procedures including free radical scavenging, reducing power, phosphomolybdenum and metal chelating assays. Ames assay was performed to evaluate mutagenic/antimutagenic properties. Enzyme inhibitory activities were tested against cholinesterase, tyrosinase, α-amylase and α-glucosidase. From the herein reported results, Asphodeline could be valuable for the production of bioactive products or food supplements for cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

  16. Regulatory dynamics of network architecture and function in tristable genetic circuit of Leishmania: a mathematical biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandlik, Vineetha; Gurav, Mayuri; Singh, Shailza

    2015-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology has led to the design of tailor-made synthetic circuits for several therapeutic applications. Biological networks can be reprogramed by designing synthetic circuits that modulate the expression of target proteins. IPCS (inositol phosphorylceramide synthase) has been an attractive target in the sphingolipid metabolism of the parasite Leishmania. In this study, we have constructed a tristable circuit for the IPCS protein. The circuit has been validated and its long-term behavior has been assessed. The robustness and evolvability of the circuit has been estimated using evolutionary algorithms. The tristable synthetic circuit has been specifically designed to improve the rate of production of phosphatidylcholine: ceramide cholinephosphotransferase 4 (SLS4 protein). Site-specific delivery of the circuit into the parasite-infected macrophages could serve as a possible therapeutic intervention of the infectious disease 'Leishmaniasis'.

  17. The Bioethicist Who Cried "Synthetic Biology":An Analysis of the Function of Bioterrorism Predictions in Bioethics

    OpenAIRE

    Holm, Søren

    2017-01-01

    This article analyzes a specter that has haunted bioethics almost since its inception, namely the specter of the misuse of biotechnology by maleficent agents bent on mass destruction, or the complete eradication of human kind and life as we know it. The article provides a general account of why bioethicists cry "catastrophic bioterrorism potential" when new biotechnologies emerge, and an analysis of the arguments that flow from the prediction, especially in relation to synthetic biology.

  18. Conformational control of cofactors in nature The influence of protein-induced macrocycle distortion on the biological function of tetrapyrroles

    OpenAIRE

    SENGE, MATHIAS

    2015-01-01

    PUBLISHED Tetrapyrrole‐containing proteins are one of the most fundamental classes of enzymes in nature and it remains an open question to give a chemical rationale for the multitude of biological reactions that can be catalyzed by these pigment‐ protein complexes. There are many fundamental processes where the same (i.e., chemically identical) porphyrin cofactor is involved in chemically quite distinct reactions. For example, heme is the active cofactor for oxygen transport and s...

  19. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) cellular biology: a review of recent advances in identifying physiological substrates and cellular functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drolet, Robert E; Sanders, John M; Kern, Jonathan T

    2011-12-01

    Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the most common forms of inheritable Parkinson's disease and likely play a role in sporadic disease as well. LRRK2 is a large multidomain protein containing two key groups, a Ras-like GTP binding domain and a serine, threonine kinase domain. Mutations in the LRRK2 gene that associate with Parkinson's disease reside primarily within the two functional domains of the protein, suggesting that LRRK2 function is critical to the pathogenesis of the disease. The most common LRRK2 mutation increases kinase activity, making LRRK2 kinase inhibition an attractive target for small molecule drug development. However, the physiological function of LRRK2 kinase as well as its endogenous protein substrates remains poorly understood and has hindered drug development efforts. Recent advances in LRRK2 biology have revealed several potential cellular roles, interacting proteins, and putative physiological substrates. Together, a picture emerges of a complex multifunctional protein that exists in multiple cellular compartments. Through unclear mechanisms, LRRK2 kinase regulates cytoskeleton architecture through control of protein translation, phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins, and response to cellular stressors. This article will briefly cover some interesting recent studies in LRRK2 cellular biology and highlight emerging cellular models of LRRK2 kinase function.

  20. Functional structure of marine benthic assemblages using Biological Traits Analysis (BTA): A study along the Emilia-Romagna coastline (Italy, North-West Adriatic Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paganelli, Daniele; Marchini, Agnese; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity index has shown that the functional diversity of the macrobenthic community increased along a spatial gradient of distance from the Po river delta (Emilia-Romagna coast, Italy, North-Adriatic Sea), which suggests that riverine inputs have a detrimental effect on community functioning. This study focuses on two different depths along a southward gradient of increasing distance from the Po river delta where the Po river is the main source of freshwater and nutrient inputs in the North-Adriatic Sea. A Biological Traits Analysis (BTA) was used to examine a dataset of 156 soft-bottom macrobenthic species that were collected at eight stations in this area. Instead of comparing communities on the basis of their taxonomic composition, BTA uses a series of life history, morphological and behavioural characteristics of species to indicate aspects of their ecological functioning. The variability of the Emilia-Romagna dataset was governed by relatively few biological traits: growth form, trophic group, type of movement, habit, adult mobility and bioturbation activity. The community closer to the coastline was mainly composed of moderately mobile vermiform organisms with burrowing or tube-dwelling behaviour, and deposit feeding behaviour. However, the offshore community was mainly characterized by organisms with a laterally compressed or globose body and tube-dwelling behaviour; filter feeders and deposit feeders were dominant.

  1. Coiled-coil motif in LBD16 and LBD18 transcription factors are critical for dimerization and biological function in arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Shashank K; Kim, Jungmook

    2018-01-02

    The LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES (LOB) DOMAIN (LBD) gene family members encode a class of plant-specific transcription factors that play important roles in many different aspects of plant growth and development. The LBD proteins contain a conserved LOB domain harboring a Leu zipper-like coiled-coil motif, which has been predicted to mediate protein-protein interactions among the LBD family members. Dimerization of transcription factors is crucial for the modulation of their DNA-binding affinity, specificity, and diversity, contributing to the transcriptional regulation of distinct cellular and biological responses. Our various molecular and biochemical experiments with genetic approaches on LBD16 and LBD18, which are known to control lateral root development in Arabidopsis, demonstrated that the conserved Leu or Val residues in the coiled-coil motifs of these transcription factors are critical for their dimerization as well as the transcriptional regulation to display their biological functions during lateral root formation. We further showed that beside the coiled-coil motif, the carboxyl-terminal region in LBD18 acts as an additional dimerization domain. These findings provide a molecular framework for the homo- and hetero-dimerization of the LBD family proteins for displaying their distinct and diverse biological functions in plants.

  2. Dissecting functions of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor and the related pocket proteins by integrating genetic, cell biology, and electrophoretic techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Klaus; Lukas, J; Holm, K

    1999-01-01

    The members of the 'pocket protein' family, comprising the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (pRB) and its relatives, p107 and p130, negatively regulate cell proliferation and modulate fundamental biological processes including embryonic development, differentiation, homeostatic tissue renewal......, and defense against cancer. The large, multidomain pocket proteins act by binding a plethora of cell fate-determining and growth-stimulatory proteins, the most prominent of which are the E2F/DP transcription factors. These protein-protein interactions are in turn regulated by carefully orchestrated...

  3. The functioning and behaviour of biological parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, attending the outpatient department at Weskoppies Hospital, Pretoria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravindra Sundarlall

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is gradually being acknowledged as a functionally impairing disorder across the lifespan, underscored by heritability. Nonetheless, lack of ADHD (adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder data from South Africa is alarming which could be due to either the unawareness of ADHD symptoms or underutilization of available screening measures. Undiagnosed ADHD may influence family- and working lives unpleasantly. 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 identified either positive or negative subgroups; the Weiss functional impairment rating scale (WFIR-S for functional impairment and the Jerome driving questionnaire (JDQ for risk-taking behaviour specifically driving. Results: Of the 39 (48% parents who experienced impairment in all seven areas of functioning, 23 (59% screened negative for ADHD, while 16 (41% screened positive. A significant association was found between parents who screened either positive or negative for ADHD and functional impairment across five of the seven individual categories namely family, work, self-concept, life-skills and social functioning. Conclusion: This study emphasized the high incidence of functional impairment in parents of ADHD children. Although a substantial number of parents screened negative for ADHD, they still reported impairment in functioning; probably due to undiagnosed ADHD with comorbid psychiatric disorders, and/or parental stress due to the complex behaviour of the child. Parents of children diagnosed with ADHD should be screened for functional impairment followed by referral for psychiatric assessment and parent management training to achieve better clinical outcomes.

  4. On the sensitivity of IMRT dose optimization to the mathematical form of a biological imaging-based prescription function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowen, Stephen R; Bentzen, Soeren M; Jeraj, Robert; Flynn, Ryan T

    2009-01-01

    Voxel-based prescriptions of deliberately non-uniform dose distributions based on molecular imaging, so-called dose painting or theragnostic radiation therapy, require specification of a transformation that maps the image data intensities to prescribed doses. However, the functional form of this transformation is currently unknown. An investigation into the sensitivity of optimized dose distributions resulting from several possible prescription functions was conducted. Transformations between the radiotracer activity concentrations from Cu-ATSM PET images, as a surrogate of tumour hypoxia, and dose prescriptions were implemented to yield weighted distributions of prescribed dose boosts in high uptake regions. Dose escalation was constrained to reflect clinically realistic whole tumour doses and constant normal tissue doses. Optimized heterogeneous dose distributions were found by minimizing a voxel-by-voxel quadratic objective function in which all tumour voxels were given equal weight. Prescriptions based on a polynomial mapping function were found to be least constraining on their optimized plans, while prescriptions based on a sigmoid mapping function were the most demanding to deliver. A prescription formalism that fixed integral dose was less sensitive to errors in the choice of the mapping function than one that boosted integral dose. Integral doses to normal tissue and critical structures were insensitive to the shape of the prescription function. Planned target dose conformity improved with smaller beamlet dimensions until the inherent spatial resolution of the functional image was matched. Clinical implementation of dose painting depends on advances in absolute quantification of functional images and improvements in delivery techniques over smaller spatial scales.

  5. Long-term quality of life and functional outcome of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in the biologic era: a longitudinal follow-up study in the Dutch Arthritis and Biologicals in Children Register.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anink, Janneke; Prince, Femke H M; Dijkstra, Maryanne; Otten, Marieke H; Twilt, Marinka; ten Cate, Rebecca; Gorter, Simone L; Koopman-Keemink, Yvonne; van Rossum, Marion A J; Hoppenreijs, Esther P A; van Suijlekom-Smit, Lisette W A

    2015-11-01

    To carry out a longitudinal investigation of functional outcome, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and treatment strategies in JIA patients who started etanercept >5 years ago. We approached patients whose HRQoL changes were described previously in a subanalysis of the Dutch Arthritis and Biologicals in Children register. Recent disease status, co-morbidities and structural damage were retrieved. Disability and HRQoL were assessed by (Childhood) HAQ [(C)HAQ], Child Health Questionnaire, Short Form 36 and Health Utilities Index Mark 3. Changes over time were analysed with linear mixed models. Forty-three patients (81% response) started etanercept a median 8.5 years ago. At the time of this long-term analysis, median age was 22 years (interquartile range: 18-24 years). HRQoL outcome was similar to HRQoL 15-27 months after the initiation of etanercept; 42% had a (C)HAQ of 0.00 and 67% had achieved inactive disease. Patients reported increasing levels of bodily pain compared with earlier measurements. Unemployment (12%) was comparable to the general population; educational level was higher. Use of biologic agents was as follows: 40% etanercept; 40% other biologic agents; and 20% none. Joint surgery occurred in 14% of patients. At a median 8.5 years after the commencement of etanercept treatment, JIA patients maintain most of the acquired improvement in HRQoL. Although disability and disease activity are low, chronic pain remains an issue. Persistence and possible deterioration of radiological damage emphasize the importance of early treatment. The fact that 20% of patients do not use any anti-rheumatic medication shows that clinical remission of medication might be an achievable goal. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. [Biological adaptation and immune status of preschool children with visual function disorders in conditions of preschool educational institutions of compensating type].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannikova, L P; Koksharov, A V

    2013-01-01

    For implementation of a comprehensive approach in the elaboration of preventive and corrective measures in children with impaired visual function in conditions of preschool educational institutions of compensating type there were studied adaptation reserves of their organism, as well as indices of immune status. Biological adaptation was studied with the help ofcardiointervalography in 111 children aged 6-7years. With the use of ELISA 88 children were examined in terms of IgA, IgM, IgG, slgA in saliva.

  7. Seven-day human biological rhythms: An expedition in search of their origin, synchronization, functional advantage, adaptive value and clinical relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinberg, Alain E; Dejardin, Laurence; Smolensky, Michael H; Touitou, Yvan

    2017-01-01

    This fact-finding expedition explores the perspectives and knowledge of the origin and functional relevance of the 7 d domain of the biological time structure, with special reference to human beings. These biological rhythms are displayed at various levels of organization in diverse species - from the unicellular sea algae of Acetabularia and Goniaulax to plants, insects, fish, birds and mammals, including man - under natural as well as artificial, i.e. constant, environmental conditions. Nonetheless, very little is known about their derivation, functional advantage, adaptive value, synchronization and potential clinical relevance. About 7 d cosmic cycles are seemingly too weak, and the 6 d work/1 d rest week commanded from G-d through the Laws of Mosses to the Hebrews is too recent an event to be the origin in humans. Moreover, human and insect studies conducted under controlled constant conditions devoid of environmental, social and other time cues report the persistence of 7 d rhythms, but with a slightly different (free-running) period (τ), indicating their source is endogenous. Yet, a series of human and laboratory rodent studies reveal certain mainly non-cyclic exogenous events can trigger 7 d rhythm-like phenomena. However, it is unknown whether such triggers unmask, amplify and/or synchronize previous non-overtly expressed oscillations. Circadian (~24 h), circa-monthly (~30 d) and circannual (~1 y) rhythms are viewed as genetically based features of life forms that during evolution conferred significant functional advantage to individual organisms and survival value to species. No such advantages are apparent for endogenous 7 d rhythms, raising several questions: What is the significance of the 7 d activity/rest cycle, i.e. week, storied in the Book of Genesis and adopted by the Hebrews and thereafter the residents of nearby Mediterranean countries and ultimately the world? Why do humans require 1 d off per 7 d span? Do 7 d rhythms bestow functional

  8. Coordination Compounds in Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    . Some of the other important examples are chlorophyll, haemoglobin, myoglobin and cytochromes. The common feature in .... Biochemical Function (in vivo Studies). B. 12 functions in biological systems as a coenzyme. That is, it binds.

  9. Functional genomics to assess biological responses to marine pollution at physiological and evolutionary timescales: toward a vision of predictive ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Noah M; Whitehead, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Marine pollution is ubiquitous, and is one of the key factors influencing contemporary marine biodiversity worldwide. To protect marine biodiversity, how do we surveil, document and predict the short- and long-term impacts of pollutants on at-risk species? Modern genomics tools offer high-throughput, information-rich and increasingly cost-effective approaches for characterizing biological responses to environmental stress, and are important tools within an increasing sophisticated kit for surveiling and assessing impacts of pollutants on marine species. Through the lens of recent research in marine killifish, we illustrate how genomics tools may be useful for screening chemicals and pollutants for biological activity and to reveal specific mechanisms of action. The high dimensionality of transcriptomic responses enables their usage as highly specific fingerprints of exposure, and these fingerprints can be used to diagnose environmental problems. We also emphasize that molecular pathways recruited to respond at physiological timescales are the same pathways that may be targets for natural selection during chronic exposure to pollutants. Gene complement and sequence variation in those pathways can be related to variation in sensitivity to environmental pollutants within and among species. Furthermore, allelic variation associated with evolved tolerance in those pathways could be tracked to estimate the pace of environmental health decline and recovery. We finish by integrating these paradigms into a vision of how genomics approaches could anchor a modernized framework for advancing the predictive capacity of environmental and ecotoxicological science. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Relationship between chemical composition and biological function of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide: effect on human neutrophil chemotaxis and oxidative burst

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kharazmi, A; Fomsgaard, A; Conrad, R S

    1991-01-01

    There are conflicting data on the effect of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on the function of human neutrophils. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between chemical composition and the modulatory effect of LPS on human neutrophil function. LPS was extracted from five...... of LPS. After preincubation, the chemotaxis and chemiluminescence of neutrophils to various stimuli were determined. It was shown that LPS from different strains did not exert the same degree of regulatory effect on neutrophil functions. LPS from strain 174-O:9 exerted the most pronounced effect...... no effect on neutrophil chemotaxis and a slight effect on chemiluminescence. The major differences in chemical composition of the LPS from these two strains are in the rhamnose and heptose content of the O side chain and in the alanine content of the core region. These data indicate that chemical...

  11. Biological activity of the functional epitope of ciguatoxin fragment AB on the neuroblastoma sodium channel in tissue culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hokama, Y; Chun, K E; Campora, C E; Higa, N; Suma, C; Hamajima, A; Isobe, M

    2006-01-01

    It is well established that the targeted receptor for ciguatoxin (CTX) in mammalian tissues is the sodium channel, affecting the influx of sodium into cells and altering the action potential and function of the cell. Since the syntheses of fragments of CTX has become available, our focus has been on the receptor functions of the west sphere AB and east sphere JKLM fragments using the neuroblastoma cell assay, guinea pig atrium assay, and the membrane immunobead assay (MIA). The data presented here suggest that the west sphere AB of the ciguatoxin molecule is the active portion and is responsible for the activation of the sodium channels. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. 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.

  13. A Critical Review of Bioactive Food Components, and of their Functional Mechanisms, Biological Effects and Health Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Gregorio, Rosa; Simal-Gandara, Jesus

    2017-01-01

    Eating behaviours are closely related to some medical conditions potentially leading to death such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Healthy eating practices, maintaining a normal weight, and regular physical activity could prevent up to 80% of coronary heart disease, 90% of type-2 diabetes and onethird of all cancers [1]. Over the last two decades, the food industry has invested much effort in research and development of healthier, more nutritious foods. These foods are frequently designated "functional" when they contain nutritional components required for healthy living or "nutraceuticals" when intended to treat or prevent disease or disorders through a variety of bioactive (e.g., antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, hypocholesterolaemic) functions that are performed by functional enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, fibres, phytosterols, peptides, proteins, isoflavones, saponins or phytic acid, among other substances. Some agricultural and industrial residues have proven to be excellent choices as raw materials for producing bioactive compounds and have been proposed as potentially safe natural sources of antimicrobials and/or antioxidants for the food industry. Functional food ingredients containing bioactive compounds could be used as plant extracts by pharmaceutical and food industries. Bioactive food components influence health outcomes. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  14. Verification of biological activity of irradiated Sopoongsan, an oriental medicinal prescription, for industrial application of functional cosmetic material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jin-Young; Park, Tae-Soon; Ho Son, Jun; Jo, Cheorun; Woo Byun, Myung; Jeun An, Bong

    2007-01-01

    Sopoongsan is an oriental medicinal prescription including 12 medicinal herbs. Sopoongsan is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-allergic, and anti-cancer effects on human skin. To use Sopoongsan extract for functional cosmetic composition, its dark color should be brighter for seeking consumer demand, clear products, without any adverse change in its function. Irradiation with doses 0, 5, 10, and 20 kGy was applied to improve color of ethanol- or water-extracted Sopoongsan and also superoxide dismutase (SOD), xanthine oxidase (XO), melanoma cell growth inhibition, and anti-microbial activity was investigated. Generally, ethanol extract was better than water extract in function and irradiation up to 20 kGy did not change any functional effect. Especially, the inhibition of melanin deposition on skin measured by inhibition of B16F10 (melanoma) cell growth was as high as arbutin, commercially available product, when the ethanol-extracted Sopoongsan was irradiated for 20 kGy. Results showed that when irradiation technology is used, the limitation of addition amount of natural materials for food or cosmetic composition caused by color problem can be decreased significantly with time saving and cost benefit compared to conventional color removal process. Therefore, irradiation would be one of the good methods to pose an additional value for related industry

  15. Nanobiostructure of fibrous-like alumina functionalized with an analog of the BP100 peptide: Synthesis, characterization and biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, L M F C; Braga, N A; Gomes, I P; Almeida, M T; Santos, T L; de Mesquita, J P; da Silva, L M; Martins, H R; Kato, K C; Dos Santos, W T P; Resende, J M; Pereira, M C; Bemquerer, M P; Rodrigues, M A; Verly, R M

    2018-03-01

    The functionalization of alumina nanoparticles of specific morphology with antimicrobial peptides (AMP) can be a promising strategy for modeling medical devices and packaging materials for cosmetics, medicines or food, since the contamination by pathogens could be reduced. In this paper, we show the synthesis of a fibrous-like alumina nanobiostructure, as well as its functionalization with the peptide EAAA-BP100, an analog of the antimicrobial peptide BP100. The antibacterial activity of the obtained material against some bacterial strains is also investigated. The covalent binding of the peptide to the nanoparticles was promoted by a reaction between the carboxyl group of the glutamate side chain (E1) of the peptide and the amino groups of the alumina nanoparticles, previously modified by reaction with 3-aminopropyltrietoxysilane (APTES). The functionalized nanoparticles were characterized by zeta potential measurements, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and other physicochemical techniques. Although the obtained alumina nanobiostructure shows a relatively low degree of substitution with EAAA-BP100, antibacterial activities against Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium strains are appreciably higher than the activities of the free peptide. The obtained results can affect the design of new hybrid nanobiomaterials based on nanoparticles functionalized with AMP. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Verification of biological activity of irradiated Sopoongsan, an oriental medicinal prescription, for industrial application of functional cosmetic material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin-Young; Park, Tae-Soon; Ho Son, Jun; Jo, Cheorun; Woo Byun, Myung; Jeun An, Bong

    2007-11-01

    Sopoongsan is an oriental medicinal prescription including 12 medicinal herbs. Sopoongsan is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-allergic, and anti-cancer effects on human skin. To use Sopoongsan extract for functional cosmetic composition, its dark color should be brighter for seeking consumer demand, clear products, without any adverse change in its function. Irradiation with doses 0, 5, 10, and 20 kGy was applied to improve color of ethanol- or water-extracted Sopoongsan and also superoxide dismutase (SOD), xanthine oxidase (XO), melanoma cell growth inhibition, and anti-microbial activity was investigated. Generally, ethanol extract was better than water extract in function and irradiation up to 20 kGy did not change any functional effect. Especially, the inhibition of melanin deposition on skin measured by inhibition of B16F10 (melanoma) cell growth was as high as arbutin, commercially available product, when the ethanol-extracted Sopoongsan was irradiated for 20 kGy. Results showed that when irradiation technology is used, the limitation of addition amount of natural materials for food or cosmetic composition caused by color problem can be decreased significantly with time saving and cost benefit compared to conventional color removal process. Therefore, irradiation would be one of the good methods to pose an additional value for related industry.

  17. Verification of biological activity of irradiated Sopoongsan, an oriental medicinal prescription, for industrial application of functional cosmetic material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jin-Young; Park, Tae-Soon; Ho Son, Jun [Department of Cosmeceutical Science, Daegu Haany University, Kyungsan 712-715 (Korea, Republic of); Jo, Cheorun [Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764 (Korea, Republic of); Woo Byun, Myung [Radiation Food Science and Biotechnology Team, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup 580-185 (Korea, Republic of); Jeun An, Bong [Department of Cosmeceutical Science, Daegu Haany University, Kyungsan 712-715 (Korea, Republic of)], E-mail: anbj@dhu.ac.kr

    2007-11-15

    Sopoongsan is an oriental medicinal prescription including 12 medicinal herbs. Sopoongsan is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-allergic, and anti-cancer effects on human skin. To use Sopoongsan extract for functional cosmetic composition, its dark color should be brighter for seeking consumer demand, clear products, without any adverse change in its function. Irradiation with doses 0, 5, 10, and 20 kGy was applied to improve color of ethanol- or water-extracted Sopoongsan and also superoxide dismutase (SOD), xanthine oxidase (XO), melanoma cell growth inhibition, and anti-microbial activity was investigated. Generally, ethanol extract was better than water extract in function and irradiation up to 20 kGy did not change any functional effect. Especially, the inhibition of melanin deposition on skin measured by inhibition of B16F10 (melanoma) cell growth was as high as arbutin, commercially available product, when the ethanol-extracted Sopoongsan was irradiated for 20 kGy. Results showed that when irradiation technology is used, the limitation of addition amount of natural materials for food or cosmetic composition caused by color problem can be decreased significantly with time saving and cost benefit compared to conventional color removal process. Therefore, irradiation would be one of the good methods to pose an additional value for related industry.

  18. Investigation of interactions in a biological membrane using structure factor/pair correlation function approach: a first communication on nerve myelin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gbordzoe, M.K.

    1984-09-01

    Interactions in biological and artificial membranes have been studied by applying mostly the methods of biochemical analysis and determination of thermodynamic parameters related to phase transition phenomena. Structure factor, obtained by measuring scattered intensity from small-angle X-ray or neutron scattering experiments, has been used mainly for determining electron density distribution. Drawing upon the experience of the theory of liquids, where Johnson and March (1963) and Johnson, Hutchinson and March (1964) first established the possibility of deriving interparticle potential from experimental measurement of structure factor, it is suggested that structure factor/distance correlation function approach, can be a useful method for studying interactions between various membrane components. Preliminary experimental data presented for nerve myelin are to demonstrate the possibility of studying interactions from the distance correlation function of a membrane pair. (author)

  19. [Biological function of trophology and the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome--syndrome of overeating. Phylogenetically theory of general pathology, role of leptin and adiponectin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (overeating) is a phylogenetically-determined succession of symptoms with the same pathogenesis. There is only one etiological factor, namely, increased consumption of physiologically optimal food. Enterocytes and omental fat cells are a phylogenetically early paracrine-regulated cell community that realizes the biological reactions of exo- and endotrophy. Visceral obesity, high levels of unesterified fatty acids (FA), formation of a pool of micellar FA in the blood, integration of these FA into endothelial cell plasma membrane and enlargement of adipocytes are the causes of hydrodynamic pressure elevation. Toll-like receptors recognize the associates between albumin and greater than physiological number of FA as "foreing" and initiate inflammatory response. "Endoplasm stress" develops in lipid-overloaded cells, protein synthesis (folding) in them is impaired and apoptosis-like cell death is activated. Visceral fat is a phylogenetically early depot of FA to fulfill the biological function of homeostasis, trophology, endoecology and adaptation; it is regulated at the level of paracrine communities and is anatomically limited. The subcutaneous fat depot fulfills the phylogenetically late function of locomotion; the depot size is not anatomically limited. Visceral fat cells have no receptors for phylogenetically late insulin (INS); specialized adipocyes bearing INS and GLUT4 receptors are cells that form the subcutaneous depot. These cells are regulated by phylogenetically late humoral factors at the entire body level. Leptin is an initiator of humoral hypothalamic regulation of in vivo number of ontogenetically programmed number of visceral INS-insensitive fat cells. It prevents "endoplasm stress" and apoptosis, being designed to regulate the amount of consumed food. Leptin initiates storage of FA from visceral pool into subcutaneous pool. Adiponectin is a phylogenetically late humoral hypothalamic regulatory factor that controls optimal number of

  20. Functionalized gold nanoparticles for the binding, stabilization, and delivery of therapeutic DNA, RNA, and other biological macromolecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert K DeLong

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Robert K DeLong1, Christopher M Reynolds1, Yaneika Malcolm1, Ashley Schaeffer1, Tiffany Severs2, Adam Wanekaya21Department of Biomedical Science (Cell and Molecular Biology Program, 2Department of Chemistry, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USAAbstract: Nanotechnology has virtually exploded in the last few years with seemingly limitless opportunity across all segments of our society. If gene and RNA therapy are to ever realize their full potential, there is a great need for nanomaterials that can bind, stabilize, and deliver these macromolecular nucleic acids into human cells and tissues. Many researchers have turned to gold nanomaterials, as gold is thought to be relatively well tolerated in humans and provides an inert material upon which nucleic acids can attach. Here, we review the various strategies for associating macromolecular nucleic acids to the surface of gold nanoparticles (GNPs, the characterization chemistries involved, and the potential advantages of GNPs in terms of stabilization and delivery.Keywords: gold, nanoparticles, nanomaterials, RNA, nucleic acid

  1. Relationship between chemical composition and biological function of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide: effect on human neutrophil chemotaxis and oxidative burst

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kharazmi, A; Fomsgaard, A; Conrad, R S

    1991-01-01

    There are conflicting data on the effect of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on the function of human neutrophils. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between chemical composition and the modulatory effect of LPS on human neutrophil function. LPS was extracted from five...... no effect on neutrophil chemotaxis and a slight effect on chemiluminescence. The major differences in chemical composition of the LPS from these two strains are in the rhamnose and heptose content of the O side chain and in the alanine content of the core region. These data indicate that chemical...... strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from cystic fibrosis patients by the hot phenol-water method. Chemical characterization included neutral sugars, amino components, and fatty acids. Neutrophils isolated from peripheral blood of healthy individuals were preincubated with different concentrations...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background The robust storage, updating and utilization of information are necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of dynamic systems. These systems can exist as constructs of metal-oxide semiconductors and silicon, as in a digital computer, or in the "wetware" of organic compounds, proteins and nucleic acids that make up biological organisms. We propose that there are essential functional properties of centralized information-processing systems; for digital computers these properties reside in the computer's hard drive, and for eukaryotic cells they are manifest in the DNA and associated structures. Methods Presented herein is a descriptive framework that compares DNA and its associated proteins and sub-nuclear structure with the structure and function of the computer hard drive. We identify four essential properties of information for a centralized storage and processing system: (1) orthogonal uniqueness, (2) low level formatting, (3) high level formatting and (4) translation of stored to usable form. The corresponding aspects of the DNA complex and a computer hard drive are categorized using this classification. This is intended to demonstrate a functional equivalence between the components of the two systems, and thus the systems themselves. Results Both the DNA complex and the computer hard drive contain components that fulfill the essential properties of a centralized information storage and processing system. The functional equivalence of these components provides insight into both the design process of engineered systems and the evolved solutions addressing similar system requirements. However, there are points where the comparison breaks down, particularly when there are externally imposed information-organizing structures on the computer hard drive. A specific example of this is the imposition of the File Allocation Table (FAT) during high level formatting of the computer hard drive and the subsequent loading of an operating system (OS). Biological

  3. Meadowsweet Teas as New Functional Beverages: Comparative Analysis of Nutrients, Phytochemicals and Biological Effects of Four Filipendula Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniil N. Olennikov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the increased popularity of functional beverages such as herbal teas and decoctions has led to the search for new sources of raw materials that provide appropriate taste and functionality to consumers. The objective of this study was to investigate the nutritional, phytochemical profiles and bioactivities of possible functional beverages produced from F. ulmaria and its alternative substitutes (F. camtschatica, F. denudata, F. stepposa. The investigated decoctions were analyzed regarding their macronutrient, carbohydrate, organic acid, amino acid and mineral composition. Quantification of the main phenolic compounds in the decoctions of meadowsweet floral teas was performed by a microcolumn RP-HPLC-UV procedure; the highest content was revealed in F. stepposa tea. The investigation of the essential oil of four meadowsweet teas revealed the presence of 28 compounds, including simple phenols, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and aliphatic components. The dominance of methyl salicylate and salicylaldehyde was noted in all samples. Studies on the water soluble polysaccharides of Filipendula flowers allowed us to establish their general affiliation to galactans and/or arabinogalactans with an admixture of glucans of the starch type and galacturonans as minor components. The bioactivity data demonstrated a good ability of meadowsweet teas to inhibit amylase, α-glucosidase and AGE formation. Tea samples showed antioxidant properties by the DPPH•, ABTS•+ and Br• free radicals scavenging assays and the carotene bleaching assay, caused by the presence of highly active ellagitannins. The anti-complement activity of the water-soluble polysaccharide fraction of meadowsweet teas indicated their possible immune-modulating properties. Filipendula beverage formulations can be expected to deliver beneficial effects due to their unique nutritional and phytochemical profiles. Potential applications as health-promoting functional products may be

  4. Trimethylamine-N-oxide: its hydration structure, surface activity, and biological function, viewed by vibrational spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohto, Tatsuhiko; Hunger, Johannes; Backus, Ellen H G; Mizukami, Wataru; Bonn, Mischa; Nagata, Yuki

    2017-03-08

    The osmolyte molecule trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) stabilizes the structure of proteins. As functional proteins are generally found in aqueous solutions, an important aspect of this stabilization is the interaction of TMAO with water. Here, we review, using vibrational spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations, recent studies on the structure and dynamics of TMAO with its surrounding water molecules. This article ends with an outlook on the open questions on TMAO-protein and TMAO-urea interactions in aqueous environments.

  5. Functions of biological soil crusts on central European inland dunes: Water repellency and pore clogging influence water infiltration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Thomas; Spröte, Roland; Veste, Maik; Wiehe, Wolfgang; Lange, Philipp; Bens, Oliver; Raab, Thomas; Hüttl, Reinhard F.

    2010-05-01

    Biological soil crusts play a key role for hydrological processes in many open landscapes. They seal and stabilize the topsoil and promote surface run-off. Three crust types were identified on two inland dunes in Brandenburg, North-East Germany: A natural, active dune, located in a former military training area near Lieberose, and an artificial dune, which was constructed in 2001 and which serves as a study area for geo-ecological monitoring of flora and fauna from the forefield of an opencast-mine ("Neuer Lugteich"). Both dunes consisted of Quarternary, carbonate-free, siliceous sandy substrate. Utilization of the mineral substrate at early stages of microbiotic crust development was assessed using chlorophyll concentrations, scanning electron (SEM) and optical microscopy. Water repellency indices, which are an indication of surface polarity and wettability, were measured using the ethanol/water microinfiltrometer method, and steady state water flow was determined on the dry crusts and after 0, 300, 600, 1200 and 1800 seconds of wetting, thus allowing to follow pore clogging through swelling of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Chlorophyll concentrations indicated early stages of crust development at both sites. In crust type 1, dominating sand grains were physically stabilized in their contact zones by accumulated organic matter and by few filamentous cyanobacteria and filamentous green algae. The pore space was defined by the mineral matrix only. In crust type 2, filamentous cyanobacteria and algae partially filled in the matrix pores and enmeshed sand grains. In the dry sample, the pore space was dominated by crust organisms but still micropore channels, which are known to increase water infiltration, were left. Crust type 3 was characterized by intense growth of filamentous and coccoid algae and cyanobacteria, and by few mosses, which covered less than 5% of the surface. Crust organisms completely utilized the substrate and clogged the pores between

  6. Biological oceanography, biogeochemical cycles, and pelagic ecosystem functioning of the east-central South Pacific Gyre: focus on Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter von Dassow

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Exclusive Economic Zone of Chile defined by Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island is in the South Pacific Sub-tropical Gyre (SPSG, putting it at the center of the most oligotrophic and biomass poor waters in the world. Only 10 biological oceanographic expeditions have entered this zone in 105 years (19052010. We review key aspects of the plankton ecosystem and biogeochemical function relevant for the understanding of and conservation planning for marine environments. Plankton production is limited by lack of dissolved inorganic fixed nitrogen, not phosphorous. Higher organic nitrogen levels might be biologically unavailable. Short-term experiments suggested iron is not limiting, yet iron still likely limits nitrogen fixation, and thus production, at longer time scales, as the presence of nitrogen-fixers is exceptionally low compared to other ocean gyres. Plankton function is dominated by the smallest unicellular organisms, picoplankton (<3 μm in diameter. The SPSG represents a center of high biodiversity for picoplankton, as well as heterotrophic organisms such as tinntinids, siphonophores, and possibly amphipods, although data for key zooplankton, such as copepods, are lacking. Many groups exhibit negative relationships between diversity and total plankton biomass. High diversity might result from dispersal from a very large metacommunity and minimal competition within functional groups. Whether an island-mass effect causes a real or apparent increase in plankton biomass around Easter Island must be confirmed by high-resolution sampling in situ. Long-term threats to the planktonic ecosystem may include climate change-enhanced ocean stratification and plastic marine debris accumulation. Finally, priorities for future research are highlighted.

  7. Should return to sport be delayed until two years after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction? Biological and functional considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelli, Christopher V.; Hewett, Timothy E.

    2016-01-01

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are common knee injuries sustained by athletes during sports participation. A devastating complication of returning to sport following ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is a second ACL injury. Strong evidence now indicates that younger, more active athletes are at particularly high risk for a second ACL injury and this risk is greatest within the first two years following ACLR. Nearly one-third of the younger cohort that resumes sports participation will sustain a second ACL injury within the first two years after ACLR. The evidence indicates that the risk of second injury may abate over this time period. The incidence rate of second injuries in the first year after ACLR is significantly greater than the rate in the second year. The lower relative risk in the second year may be related to athletes achieving baseline joint health and function well after the current expected timeline (6 to 12 months) to be released to unrestricted activity. This highlights a considerable debate in the return to sport decision process as to whether an athlete should wait until two years after ACLR to return to unrestricted, sports activity. In this review, we present evidence in the literature that athletes achieve baseline joint health and function approximately two years after ACLR. We postulate that delay in returning to sports for nearly two years will significantly reduce the incidence of second ACL injuries. PMID:27402457

  8. Keeping track of the growing number of biological functions of chitin and its interaction partners in biomedical research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Bjørn EV; Stougaard, Jens; Spaink, Herman P

    2015-01-01

    Chitin is a vital polysaccharide component of protective structures in many eukaryotic organisms but seems absent in vertebrates. Chitin or chitin oligomers are therefore prime candidates for non-self-molecules, which are recognized and degraded by the vertebrate immune system. Despite the absence of polymeric chitin in vertebrates, chitinases and chitinase-like proteins (CLPs) are well conserved in vertebrate species. In many studies, these proteins have been found to be involved in immune regulation and in mediating the degradation of chitinous external protective structures of invading pathogens. Several important aspects of chitin immunostimulation have recently been uncovered, advancing our understanding of the complex regulatory mechanisms that chitin mediates. Likewise, the last few years have seen large advances in our understanding of the mechanisms and molecular interactions of chitinases and CLPs in relation to immune response regulation. It is becoming increasingly clear that their function in this context is not exclusive to chitin producing pathogens, but includes bacterial infections and cancer signaling as well. Here we provide an overview of the immune signaling properties of chitin and other closely related biomolecules. We also review the latest literature on chitinases and CLPs of the GH18 family. Finally, we examine the existing literature on zebrafish chitinases, and propose the use of zebrafish as a versatile model to complement the existing murine models. This could especially be of benefit to the exploration of the function of chitinases in infectious diseases using high-throughput approaches and pharmaceutical interventions. PMID:25595947

  9. Fundamental Issues Related to the Origin of Melatonin and Melatonin Isomers during Evolution: Relation to Their Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dun-Xian Tan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin and melatonin isomers exist and/or coexist in living organisms including yeasts, bacteria and plants. The levels of melatonin isomers are significantly higher than that of melatonin in some plants and in several fermented products such as in wine and bread. Currently, there are no reports documenting the presence of melatonin isomers in vertebrates. From an evolutionary point of view, it is unlikely that melatonin isomers do not exist in vertebrates. On the other hand, large quantities of the microbial flora exist in the gut of the vertebrates. These microorganisms frequently exchange materials with the host. Melatonin isomers, which are produced by these organisms inevitably enter the host’s system. The origins of melatonin and its isomers can be traced back to photosynthetic bacteria and other primitive unicellular organisms. Since some of these bacteria are believed to be the precursors of mitochondria and chloroplasts these cellular organelles may be the primary sites of melatonin production in animals or in plants, respectively. Phylogenic analysis based on its rate-limiting synthetic enzyme, serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT, indicates its multiple origins during evolution. Therefore, it is likely that melatonin and its isomer are also present in the domain of archaea, which perhaps require these molecules to protect them against hostile environments including extremely high or low temperature. Evidence indicates that the initial and primary function of melatonin and its isomers was to serve as the first-line of defence against oxidative stress and all other functions were acquired during evolution either by the process of adoption or by the extension of its antioxidative capacity.

  10. Fundamental Issues Related to the Origin of Melatonin and Melatonin Isomers during Evolution: Relation to Their Biological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Dun-Xian; Zheng, Xiaodong; Kong, Jin; Manchester, Lucien C.; Hardeland, Ruediger; Kim, Seok Joong; Xu, Xiaoying; Reiter, Russel J.

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin and melatonin isomers exist and/or coexist in living organisms including yeasts, bacteria and plants. The levels of melatonin isomers are significantly higher than that of melatonin in some plants and in several fermented products such as in wine and bread. Currently, there are no reports documenting the presence of melatonin isomers in vertebrates. From an evolutionary point of view, it is unlikely that melatonin isomers do not exist in vertebrates. On the other hand, large quantities of the microbial flora exist in the gut of the vertebrates. These microorganisms frequently exchange materials with the host. Melatonin isomers, which are produced by these organisms inevitably enter the host’s system. The origins of melatonin and its isomers can be traced back to photosynthetic bacteria and other primitive unicellular organisms. Since some of these bacteria are believed to be the precursors of mitochondria and chloroplasts these cellular organelles may be the primary sites of melatonin production in animals or in plants, respectively. Phylogenic analysis based on its rate-limiting synthetic enzyme, serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT), indicates its multiple origins during evolution. Therefore, it is likely that melatonin and its isomer are also present in the domain of archaea, which perhaps require these molecules to protect them against hostile environments including extremely high or low temperature. Evidence indicates that the initial and primary function of melatonin and its isomers was to serve as the first-line of defence against oxidative stress and all other functions were acquired during evolution either by the process of adoption or by the extension of its antioxidative capacity. PMID:25207599

  11. Systematic Analysis of Compositional Order of Proteins Reveals New Characteristics of Biological Functions and a Universal Correlate of Macroevolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persi, Erez; Horn, David

    2013-01-01

    We present a novel analysis of compositional order (CO) based on the occurrence of Frequent amino-acid Triplets (FTs) that appear much more than random in protein sequences. The method captures all types of proteomic compositional order including single amino-acid runs, tandem repeats, periodic structure of motifs and otherwise low complexity amino-acid regions. We introduce new order measures, distinguishing between ‘regularity’, ‘periodicity’ and ‘vocabulary’, to quantify these phenomena and to facilitate the identification of evolutionary effects. Detailed analysis of representative species across the tree-of-life demonstrates that CO proteins exhibit numerous functional enrichments, including a wide repertoire of particular patterns of dependencies on regularity and periodicity. Comparison between human and mouse proteomes further reveals the interplay of CO with evolutionary trends, such as faster substitution rate in mouse leading to decrease of periodicity, while innovation along the human lineage leads to larger regularity. Large-scale analysis of 94 proteomes leads to systematic ordering of all major taxonomic groups according to FT-vocabulary size. This is measured by the count of Different Frequent Triplets (DFT) in proteomes. The latter provides a clear hierarchical delineation of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi and prokaryotes, with thermophiles showing the lowest level of FT-vocabulary. Among eukaryotes, this ordering correlates with phylogenetic proximity. Interestingly, in all kingdoms CO accumulation in the proteome has universal characteristics. We suggest that CO is a genomic-information correlate of both macroevolution and various protein functions. The results indicate a mechanism of genomic ‘innovation’ at the peptide level, involved in protein elongation, shaped in a universal manner by mutational and selective forces. PMID:24278003

  12. Synthetic biological networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Archer, Eric; Süel, Gürol M

    2013-01-01

    Despite their obvious relationship and overlap, the field of physics is blessed with many insightful laws, while such laws are sadly absent in biology. Here we aim to discuss how the rise of a more recent field known as synthetic biology may allow us to more directly test hypotheses regarding the possible design principles of natural biological networks and systems. In particular, this review focuses on synthetic gene regulatory networks engineered to perform specific functions or exhibit particular dynamic behaviors. Advances in synthetic biology may set the stage to uncover the relationship of potential biological principles to those developed in physics. (review article)

  13. Transcriptional profiling reveals developmental relationship and distinct biological functions of CD16+ and CD16- monocyte subsets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou Xiaobo

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human peripheral blood monocytes (Mo consist of subsets distinguished by expression of CD16 (FCγRIII and chemokine receptors. Classical CD16- Mo express CCR2 and migrate in response to CCL2, while a minor CD16+ Mo subset expresses CD16 and CX3CR1 and migrates into tissues expressing CX3CL1. CD16+ Mo produce pro-inflammatory cytokines and are expanded in certain inflammatory conditions including sepsis and HIV infection. Results To gain insight into the developmental relationship and functions of CD16+ and CD16- Mo, we examined transcriptional profiles of these Mo subsets in peripheral blood from healthy individuals. Of 16,328 expressed genes, 2,759 genes were differentially expressed and 228 and 250 were >2-fold upregulated and downregulated, respectively, in CD16+ compared to CD16- Mo. CD16+ Mo were distinguished by upregulation of transcripts for dendritic cell (DC (SIGLEC10, CD43, RARA and macrophage (MΦ (CSF1R/CD115, MafB, CD97, C3aR markers together with transcripts relevant for DC-T cell interaction (CXCL16, ICAM-2, LFA-1, cell activation (LTB, TNFRSF8, LST1, IFITM1-3, HMOX1, SOD-1, WARS, MGLL, and negative regulation of the cell cycle (CDKN1C, MTSS1, whereas CD16- Mo were distinguished by upregulation of transcripts for myeloid (CD14, MNDA, TREM1, CD1d, C1qR/CD93 and granulocyte markers (FPR1, GCSFR/CD114, S100A8-9/12. Differential expression of CSF1R, CSF3R, C1QR1, C3AR1, CD1d, CD43, CXCL16, and CX3CR1 was confirmed by flow cytometry. Furthermore, increased expression of RARA and KLF2 transcripts in CD16+ Mo coincided with absence of cell surface cutaneous lymphocyte associated antigen (CLA expression, indicating potential imprinting for non-skin homing. Conclusion These results suggest that CD16+ and CD16- Mo originate from a common myeloid precursor, with CD16+ Mo having a more MΦ – and DC-like transcription program suggesting a more advanced stage of differentiation. Distinct transcriptional programs, together

  14. Functional identification of valerena-1,10-diene synthase, a terpene synthase catalyzing a unique chemical cascade in the biosynthesis of biologically active sesquiterpenes in Valeriana officinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, Yun-Soo; Nybo, S Eric; Chittiboyina, Amar G; Weerasooriya, Aruna D; Wang, Yan-Hong; Góngora-Castillo, Elsa; Vaillancourt, Brieanne; Buell, C Robin; DellaPenna, Dean; Celiz, Mary Dawn; Jones, A Daniel; Wurtele, Eve Syrkin; Ransom, Nick; Dudareva, Natalia; Shaaban, Khaled A; Tibrewal, Nidhi; Chandra, Suman; Smillie, Troy; Khan, Ikhlas A; Coates, Robert M; Watt, David S; Chappell, Joe

    2013-02-01

    Valerian is an herbal preparation from the roots of Valeriana officinalis used as an anxiolytic and sedative and in the treatment of insomnia. The biological activities of valerian are attributed to valerenic acid and its putative biosynthetic precursor valerenadiene, sesquiterpenes, found in V. officinalis roots. These sesquiterpenes retain an isobutenyl side chain whose origin has been long recognized as enigmatic because a chemical rationalization for their biosynthesis has not been obvious. Using recently developed metabolomic and transcriptomic resources, we identified seven V. officinalis terpene synthase genes (VoTPSs), two that were functionally characterized as monoterpene synthases and three that preferred farnesyl diphosphate, the substrate for sesquiterpene synthases. The reaction products for two of the sesquiterpene synthases exhibiting root-specific expression were characterized by a combination of GC-MS and NMR in comparison to the terpenes accumulating in planta. VoTPS7 encodes for a synthase that biosynthesizes predominately germacrene C, whereas VoTPS1 catalyzes the conversion of farnesyl diphosphate to valerena-1,10-diene. Using a yeast expression system, specific labeled [(13)C]acetate, and NMR, we investigated the catalytic mechanism for VoTPS1 and provide evidence for the involvement of a caryophyllenyl carbocation, a cyclobutyl intermediate, in the biosynthesis of valerena-1,10-diene. We suggest a similar mechanism for the biosynthesis of several other biologically related isobutenyl-containing sesquiterpenes.

  15. Functional Identification of Valerena-1,10-diene Synthase, a Terpene Synthase Catalyzing a Unique Chemical Cascade in the Biosynthesis of Biologically Active Sesquiterpenes in Valeriana officinalis*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, Yun-Soo; Nybo, S. Eric; Chittiboyina, Amar G.; Weerasooriya, Aruna D.; Wang, Yan-Hong; Góngora-Castillo, Elsa; Vaillancourt, Brieanne; Buell, C. Robin; DellaPenna, Dean; Celiz, Mary Dawn; Jones, A. Daniel; Wurtele, Eve Syrkin; Ransom, Nick; Dudareva, Natalia; Shaaban, Khaled A.; Tibrewal, Nidhi; Chandra, Suman; Smillie, Troy; Khan, Ikhlas A.; Coates, Robert M.; Watt, David S.; Chappell, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Valerian is an herbal preparation from the roots of Valeriana officinalis used as an anxiolytic and sedative and in the treatment of insomnia. The biological activities of valerian are attributed to valerenic acid and its putative biosynthetic precursor valerenadiene, sesquiterpenes, found in V. officinalis roots. These sesquiterpenes retain an isobutenyl side chain whose origin has been long recognized as enigmatic because a chemical rationalization for their biosynthesis has not been obvious. Using recently developed metabolomic and transcriptomic resources, we identified seven V. officinalis terpene synthase genes (VoTPSs), two that were functionally characterized as monoterpene synthases and three that preferred farnesyl diphosphate, the substrate for sesquiterpene synthases. The reaction products for two of the sesquiterpene synthases exhibiting root-specific expression were characterized by a combination of GC-MS and NMR in comparison to the terpenes accumulating in planta. VoTPS7 encodes for a synthase that biosynthesizes predominately germacrene C, whereas VoTPS1 catalyzes the conversion of farnesyl diphosphate to valerena-1,10-diene. Using a yeast expression system, specific labeled [13C]acetate, and NMR, we investigated the catalytic mechanism for VoTPS1 and provide evidence for the involvement of a caryophyllenyl carbocation, a cyclobutyl intermediate, in the biosynthesis of valerena-1,10-diene. We suggest a similar mechanism for the biosynthesis of several other biologically related isobutenyl-containing sesquiterpenes. PMID:23243312

  16. From Hans Selye's discovery of biological stress to the identification of corticotropin-releasing factor signaling pathways: implication in stress-related functional bowel diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taché, Yvette; Brunnhuber, Stefan

    2008-12-01

    Selye pioneered the concept of biological stress in 1936, culminating in the identification of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling pathways by Vale's group in the last two decades. The characterization of the 41 amino-acid CRF and other peptide members of the mammalian CRF family, urocortin 1, urocortin 2, and urocortin 3, and the cloning of CRF(1) and CRF(2) receptors, which display distinct affinity for CRF ligands, combined with the development of selective CRF receptor antagonists enable us to unravel the importance of CRF(1) receptor in the stress-related endocrine (activation of pituitary-adrenal axis), behavioral (anxiety/depression, altered feeding), autonomic (activation of sympathetic nervous system), and immune responses. The activation of CRF(1) receptors is also one of the key mechanisms through which various stressors impact the gut to stimulate colonic propulsive motor function and to induce hypersensitivity to colorectal distension as shown by the efficacy of the CRF(1) receptor antagonists in blunting these stress-related components. The importance of CRF(1) signaling pathway in the visceral response to stress in experimental animals provided new therapeutic approaches for treatment of functional bowel disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome, a multifactor functional disorder characterized by altered bowel habits and visceral pain, for which stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology and is associated with anxiety-depression in a subset of patients.

  17. Clues for discovering a new biological function of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin in organisms: potential sulfide receptor and storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dandan; Liu, Li; Wang, Hui; Xu, Haoran; Chen, Lei; Ma, Li; Li, Zhengqiang

    2016-04-01

    The interaction between H2 S and Vitreoscilla hemoglobin (VHb) has been studied by UV-Vis and Resonance Raman spectroscopes to confirm the binding between the ligand and the protein. Kinetic constants, kon = 1.2 × 10(5) m(-1) ·s(-1) and koff = 2.5 × 10(-4) ·s(-1) , have been determined and compared with those for mammalian hemoglobins. Density Functional Theory study supports the binding of H2 S by modeling the configurations of HOMO dispersions. We hypothesized that VHb is involved in H2 S reception and storage. Different from Lucina pectinata HbI, a typical H2 S-binding hemoglobin, VHb, exhibits unusual properties on H2 S reactivity such as steric constraints playing an important role in modulating H2 S entry. A distinct mechanism of VHb interaction with H2 S is supported by studies of variant forms of VHb. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  18. Biological Function of Acetic Acid-Improvement in Obesity and Glucose Tolerance by Acetic Acid in Type 2 Diabetic Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Hiromi

    2016-07-29

    Fatty acids derived from adipose tissue are oxidized by β-oxidation to form ketone bodies as final products under the starving condition. Previously, we found that free acetic acid was formed concomitantly with the production of ketone bodies in isolated rat liver perfusion, and mitochondrial acetyl CoA hydrolase was appeared to be involved with the acetic acid production. It was revealed that acetic acid was formed as a final product of enhanced β-oxidation of fatty acids and utilized as a fuel in extrahepatic tissues under the starving condition. Under the fed condition, β-oxidation is suppressed and acetic acid production is decreased. When acetic acid was taken daily by obesity-linked type 2 diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats under the fed condition, it protected OLETF rats against obesity. Furthermore, acetic acid contributed to protect from the accumulation of lipid in the liver as well as abdominal fat in OLETF rats. Transcripts of lipogenic genes in the liver were decreased, while transcripts of myoglobin and Glut4 genes in abdominal muscles were increased in the acetic acid-administered OLETF rats. It is indicated that exogenously administered acetic acid would have effects on lipid metabolism in both the liver and the skeletal muscles, and have function that works against obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes.

  19. Purification of a beta-galactosidase from cotyledons of Hymenaea courbaril L. (Leguminosae). Enzyme properties and biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Alcântara, P H N; Martim, L; Silva, C O; Dietrich, S M C; Buckeridge, M S

    2006-01-01

    Beta-galactosidases are enzymes that can be found in most living beings and in the plant kingdom its activity and genes have been detected in several tissues such as ripening fruits, developing leaves and flowers and storage tissues such as cotyledons. In plants, their activities are usually associated with the secondary metabolism or with oligosaccharide or polysaccharide degradation. Polysaccharide specific beta-galactosidases include beta-galactanases, which attack pectic polymers and beta-galactosidases that attack xyloglucans (XG). In the present work we purified an XG-specific beta-galactosidase (named hcbetagal) from cotyledons of developing seedlings of Hymenaea courbaril, a legume tree from the Neotropical region of the world. The enzyme has a molecular weight of 52-62 kDa and was shown to attack specifically xyloglucan oligosaccharides (XGOs) but not the polymer. It has a pH optimum between 3 and 4 and at this pH range the enzyme increases activity linearly up to 50 degrees C. Kinetic studies showed that hcbetagal is inhibited competitively by free galactose (K(i) = 3.7). The biochemical properties of hcbetagal as a whole suggest that it is involved in storage xyloglucan mobilisation during seedling development. Its high specificity towards XGOs, the low pH optimum and the fact that it is inhibited by its product (galactose) suggest that hcbetagal might be one of the biochemical control points in xyloglucan catabolism in vivo. A possible relationship with functional stability of the wall during cell death as cotyledons undergo senescence is discussed.

  20. Canine placental prostaglandin E2 synthase: expression, localization, and biological functions in providing substrates for prepartum PGF2alpha synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gram, Aykut; Fox, Barbara; Büchler, Urs; Boos, Alois; Hoffmann, Bernd; Kowalewski, Mariusz P

    2014-12-01

    The prepartum output of PGF2alpha in the bitch is associated with increased placental PGE2-synthase (PTGES) mRNA levels. Contrasting with this is a decreased expression of PGF2alpha-synthase (PGFS/AKR1C3) in uteroplacental compartments during prepartum luteolysis, suggesting an involvement of alternative synthetic pathways in PGF2alpha synthesis, for example, conversion of PGE2 to PGF2alpha. However, because the expression and possible functions of the respective PTGES proteins remained unknown, no further conclusion could be drawn. Therefore, a canine-specific PTGES antibody was generated and used to investigate the expression, cellular localization, and biochemical activities of canine uteroplacental PTGES throughout pregnancy and at prepartum luteolysis. Additionally, the biochemical activities of these tissues involved in the conversion of PGE2 to PGF2alpha were investigated. The endometrial PTGES was localized in the uterine surface epithelium at preimplantation and in superficial and deep uterine glands, endothelial cells, and myometrium throughout pregnancy and at parturition. Placental signals were mostly in the trophoblast. The biochemical properties of recombinant PTGES protein were confirmed. Additionally, expression of two PGE2-receptors, PTGER2/EP2 and PTGER4/EP4, revealed their decreasing expression during luteolysis. In contrast, the uteroplacental expression of prostaglandin transporter (PGT) was strongly elevated prior to parturition. These localization patterns resembled that of PTGES. The increased expression of PTGES and PGT at parturition, together with the accompanying decreased levels of PGE2-receptors and the capability of canine uterine and placental homogenates to take part in the conversion of PGE2 to PGF2alpha, as found in this study, suggest that PGE2 could be used locally as a substrate for prepartum PGF2alpha synthesis in the dog. © 2014 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  1. Acrylamide-functionalized graphene micro-solid-phase extraction coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography for the online analysis of trace monoamine acidic metabolites in biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaoting; Hu, Yufei; Li, Gongke; Zhang, Zhuomin

    2015-05-01

    Monoamine acidic metabolites in biological samples are essential biomarkers for the diagnosis of neurological disorders. In this work, acrylamide-functionalized graphene adsorbent was successfully synthesized by a chemical functionalization method and was packed in a homemade polyether ether ketone micro column as a micro-solid-phase extraction unit. This micro-solid-phase extraction unit was directly coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography to form an online system for the separation and analysis of three monoamine acidic metabolites including homovanillic acid, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in human urine and plasma. The online system showed high stability, permeability, and adsorption capacity toward target metabolites. The saturated extraction amount of this online system was 213.1, 107.0, and 153.4 ng for homovanillic acid, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, respectively. Excellent detection limits were achieved in the range of 0.08-0.25 μg/L with good linearity and reproducibility. It was interesting that three targets in urine and plasma could be actually quantified to be 0.94-3.93 μg/L in plasma and 7.15-19.38 μg/L in urine. Good recoveries were achieved as 84.8-101.4% for urine and 77.8-95.1% for plasma with the intra- and interday relative standard deviations less than 9.3 and 10.3%, respectively. This method shows great potential for online analysis of trace monoamine acidic metabolites in biological samples. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Application of Raman microscopy for simultaneous and quantitative evaluation of multiple intracellular polymers dynamics functionally relevant to enhanced biological phosphorus removal processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majed, Nehreen; Gu, April Z

    2010-11-15

    Polyphosphate (poly-P), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), and glycogen are the key functionally relevant intracellular polymers involved in the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process. Further understanding of the mechanisms of EBPR has been hampered by the lack of cellular level quantification tools to accurately measure the dynamics of these polymers during the EBPR process. In this study, we developed a novel Raman microscopy method for simultaneous identification and quantification of poly-P, PHB, and glycogen abundance in each individual cell and their distribution among the populations in EBPR. Validation of the method was demonstrated via a batch phosphorus uptake and release test, in which the total intracellular polymers abundance determined via Raman approach correlated well with those measured via conventional bulk chemical analysis (correlation coefficient r = 0.8 for poly-P, r = 0.94 for PHB, and r = 0.7 for glycogen). Raman results, for the first time, clearly showed the distributions of microbial cells containing different abundance levels of the three intracellular polymers under the same environmental conditions (at a given time point), indicating population heterogeneity exists. The results revealed the intracellular distribution and dynamics of the functionally relevant polymers in different metabolic stages of the EBPR process and elucidated the association of cellular metabolic state with the fate of these polymers during various substrates availability conditions.

  3. An in-depth analysis of the biological functional studies based on the NMR M2 channel structure of influenza A virus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang Ribo; Du Qishi; Wang Chenghua; Chou, K.-C.

    2008-01-01

    The long-sought three-dimensional structure of the M2 proton channel of influenza A virus was successfully determined recently by the high-resolution NMR [J.R. Schnell, J.J. Chou, Structure and mechanism of the M2 proton channel of influenza A virus, Nature 451 (2008) 591-595]. Such a milestone work has provided a solid structural basis for studying drug-resistance problems. However, the action mechanism revealed from the NMR structure is completely different from the traditional view and hence prone to be misinterpreted as 'conflicting' with some previous biological functional studies. To clarify this kind of confusion, an in-depth analysis was performed for these functional studies, particularly for the mutations D44N, D44A and N44D on position 44, and the mutations on positions 27-38. The analyzed results have provided not only compelling evidences to further validate the NMR structure but also very useful clues for dealing with the drug-resistance problems and developing new effective drugs against H5N1 avian influenza virus, an impending threat to human beings.

  4. [Effects of SIPL1 screened by suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) on biological function and drug resistance of renal cell carcinoma cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chun-yan; Yao, An-mei; Chang, Xiao-ning; Guo, Ya-huan; Xu, Rui

    2013-12-01

    To screen the differentially expressed genes in human renal clear-cell carcinoma (RCC) cells using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), and to explore their biological function and underlying mechanism in RCC cells. Total RNAs were extracted from human renal clear-cell carcinoma cell line RLC-310 and human normal renal cell line HK-2 cells, and SSH technology was used to construct a RCC cell library of differential expression genes and to screen the most differentially expressed genes. RNA interference vector was constructed to silence the expression of the differentially expressed gene SIPL1 in human renal cell lines RLC-310 and GRC-1. Proliferation index was estimated by cell counting, MTT and tumor xenograft assay. Cell cycle analysis was performed using fluorescence activated cell sorting. Drug resistance potential to adriamycin was assessed by MTT. A subtractive cDNA library of highly expressed genes in the RCC cells was constructed and 12 differentially expressed genes were screened from the subtractive library, in which SIPL1 was the most differently expressed gene in the RCC cell line. SIPL1 overexpression in the RCC cells and clinical samples was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. The shRNA expression plasmid targeting to SIPL1 gene was constructed and transfected into RLC-310 and GRC-1 cells, resulting in downregulation of SIPL1. SIPL1 knockdown inhibited the cell proliferation (P SSH technology. SIPL1 functions as an oncogene in RCC, and may become a novel molecular target for RCC diagnosis and therapy.

  5. Improving the biological function of decellularized heart valves through integration of protein tethering and three-dimensional cell seeding in a bioreactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namiri, Mehrnaz; Kazemi Ashtiani, Mohammad; Abbasalizadeh, Saeed; Mazidi, Zahra; Mahmoudi, Elena; Nikeghbalian, Saman; Aghdami, Nasser; Baharvand, Hossein

    2017-11-21

    Decellularized xenogeneic heart valves (DHVs) are promising products for valve replacement. However, the widespread clinical application of such products is limited due to the risk of immune reaction, progressive degeneration, inflammation, and calcification. Here, we have developed an optimized decellularization protocol for a xenogeneic heart valve. We improved the biological function of DHVs by protein tethering onto DHV and three-dimensional (3D) cell seeding in a bioreactor. Our results showed that heart valves treated with a Triton X-100 and sodium deoxycholate-based protocol were completely cell-free, with preserved biochemical and biomechanical properties. The immobilization of stromal derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) and basic fibroblast growth factor on DHV significantly improved recellularization with endothelial progenitor cells under the 3D culture condition in the bioreactor compared to static culture conditions. Cell phenotype analysis showed higher fibroblast-like cells and less myofibroblast-like cells in both protein-tethered DHVs. However, SDF-DHV significantly enhanced recellularization both in vitro and in vivo compared to basic fibroblast growth factor DHV and demonstrated less inflammatory cell infiltration. SDF-DHV had less calcification and platelet adhesion. Altogether, integration of SDF-1α immobilization and 3D cell seeding in a bioreactor might provide a novel, promising approach for production of functional heart valves. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Biologic Patterns of Disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granger, Carl V.; Linn, Richard T.

    2000-01-01

    Describes the use of Rasch analysis to elucidate biological patterns of disability present in the functional ability of persons undergoing medical rehabilitation. Uses two measures, one for inpatients and one for outpatients, to illustrate the approach and provides examples of some biological patterns of disability associated with specific types…

  7. The Biology of Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broom, D. M.

    1981-01-01

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

  8. Research trends in radiobiology since 40 years. a new approach: the enzymatic repair function of DNA, internal factor in evolution of biological systems under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mouton, R.

    1968-01-01

    In the first part of the report, the author attempts to draw an historical scheme of successive research working hypotheses in radiobiology since 1924. Less than a generation ago the effect of radiation exposure were viewed as being direct, immediate, irreparable and unmodifiable. Now it is generally accepted that radiation lesion can also be indirect, delayed, reparable and often modified with appropriate chemical or biochemical treatment. It was however in 1962-1964 that came the decisive breakthrough in radiobiology with the discovery that the cell possesses a natural active self-defense mechanism against whatever stress would affect the integrity of the genetic message contained in the DNA structure itself. The existence of what could be considered as a fourth DNA function i.e. self-repair by enzymatic action under genetic control-brings at least to radiobiology the missing molecular biology basis it needed to get out of its 'phenomenological night' after abandon of the generalization of Lea's theory through lack of experimental evidence. In the second part, which is a prospective one, the author tries to set an enlarged synthesis considering the possible role of DNA repair system not only in cell survival - in presence or absence of dose modifiers or mutagens - but also in the artificial and natural evolution of biological system exposed to sub-lethal doses of radiation. Most recent data from the literature fit well with what must be still considered as a general working hypothesis. Studies dealing with phenotypic and genotypic characters linked with the acquisition of gamma and UV radiation resistance in 'Escherichia coli K12' has been started by the author, in collaboration with O. Tremeau, in order to bring a new experimental contribution in this respect. (author) [fr

  9. 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.

  10. A novel function for selenium in biological system: selenite as a highly effective iron carrier for Chinese hamster ovary cell growth and monoclonal antibody production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinyou; Robinson, David; Salmon, Peter

    2006-12-20

    As the market for biopharmaceuticals especially monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) rapidly grows, their manufacturing methods are coming under increasing regulatory scrutiny, particularly due to concerns about the potential introduction of adventitious agents from animal-sourced components in the media used for their production in mammalian cell culture. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are by far the most commonly used production vehicles for these recombinant glycoproteins. In developing animal-component free media for CHO and other mammalian cell lines, the iron-transporter function of serum or human/bovine transferrin is usually replaced by certain organic or inorganic chelators capable of delivering iron for cell respiration and metabolism, but few of them are sufficiently effective. Selenium is a well-known essential trace element (TE) for cell growth and development, and its positive role in biological system includes detoxification of free radicals by activating glutathione peroxidase. In cell culture, selenium in the form of selenite can help cells to detoxify the medium thus protect them from oxidative damage. In this presentation, we describe the discovery and application of a novel function of selenite, that is, as a highly effective carrier to deliver iron for cell growth and function. In our in-house-developed animal protein-free (APF) medium for CHO cells, using an iron-selenite compound to replace the well-established tropolone delivery system for iron led to comparable or better cell growth and antibody production. A high cell density of >10 x 10(6) viable cells/mL and excellent antibody titer of approximately 3 g/L were achieved in 14-day fed-batch cultures in shake flasks, followed by successful scale-up to stirred bioreactors. The preparation of the commercially unavailable iron-selenite compound from respective ions, and its effectiveness in cell-culture performance, were dependent on reaction time, substrates, and other conditions. Copyright 2006

  11. In vitro cell-biological performance and structural characterization of selective laser sintered and plasma surface functionalized polycaprolactone scaffolds for bone regeneration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Bael, Simon, E-mail: simon.vanbael@mech.kuleuven.be [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Production Engineering, Machine Design and Automation, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 300b, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Biomechanics and Engineering Design, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 300c, bus 2419, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium); Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium); Desmet, Tim [Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S4 Bis, Ghent, 9000 (Belgium); Research Unit Plasma Technology (RUPT), Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Ghent University, Jozef Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Chai, Yoke Chin [Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium); Pyka, Gregory [Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium); Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 44, bus 2450, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Dubruel, Peter [Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S4 Bis, Ghent, 9000 (Belgium); Research Unit Plasma Technology (RUPT), Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Ghent University, Jozef Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Kruth, Jean-Pierre [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Production Engineering, Machine Design and Automation, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 300b, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Schrooten, Jan [Prometheus, Division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O and N 1, Herestraat 49, bus 813, 3000 Leuven (Belgium)

    2013-08-01

    In the present study a structural characterization and in vitro cell-biological evaluation was performed on polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds that were produced by the additive manufacturing technique selective laser sintering (SLS), followed by a plasma-based surface modification technique, either non-thermal oxygen plasma or double protein coating, to functionalize the PCL scaffold surfaces. In the first part of this study pore morphology by means of 2D optical microscopy, surface chemistry by means of hydrophilicity measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, strut surface roughness by means of 3D micro-computed tomography (CT) imaging and scaffold mechanical properties by means of compression testing were evaluated before and after the surface modifications. The results showed that both surface modifications increased the PCL scaffold hydrophilicity without altering the morphological and mechanical properties. In the second part of this study the in vitro cell proliferation and differentiation of human osteoprogenitor cells, over 14 days of culture in osteogenic and growth medium were investigated. The O{sub 2} plasma modification gave rise to a significant lower in vitro cell proliferation compared to the untreated and double protein coated scaffolds. Furthermore the double protein coating increased in vitro cell metabolic activity and cell differentiation compared to the untreated and O{sub 2} plasma PCL scaffolds when OM was used. - Highlights: • Polycaprolactone scaffolds are produced with selective laser sintering. • 2 types of plasma based surface functionalization were applied. • Plasma had no significant effect on strut roughness and pore morphology. • Plasma improved surface hydrophilicity. • In vitro cell differentiation increased with plasma protein coated functionalization.

  12. In vitro cell-biological performance and structural characterization of selective laser sintered and plasma surface functionalized polycaprolactone scaffolds for bone regeneration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Bael, Simon; Desmet, Tim; Chai, Yoke Chin; Pyka, Gregory; Dubruel, Peter; Kruth, Jean-Pierre; Schrooten, Jan

    2013-01-01

    In the present study a structural characterization and in vitro cell-biological evaluation was performed on polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds that were produced by the additive manufacturing technique selective laser sintering (SLS), followed by a plasma-based surface modification technique, either non-thermal oxygen plasma or double protein coating, to functionalize the PCL scaffold surfaces. In the first part of this study pore morphology by means of 2D optical microscopy, surface chemistry by means of hydrophilicity measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, strut surface roughness by means of 3D micro-computed tomography (CT) imaging and scaffold mechanical properties by means of compression testing were evaluated before and after the surface modifications. The results showed that both surface modifications increased the PCL scaffold hydrophilicity without altering the morphological and mechanical properties. In the second part of this study the in vitro cell proliferation and differentiation of human osteoprogenitor cells, over 14 days of culture in osteogenic and growth medium were investigated. The O 2 plasma modification gave rise to a significant lower in vitro cell proliferation compared to the untreated and double protein coated scaffolds. Furthermore the double protein coating increased in vitro cell metabolic activity and cell differentiation compared to the untreated and O 2 plasma PCL scaffolds when OM was used. - Highlights: • Polycaprolactone scaffolds are produced with selective laser sintering. • 2 types of plasma based surface functionalization were applied. • Plasma had no significant effect on strut roughness and pore morphology. • Plasma improved surface hydrophilicity. • In vitro cell differentiation increased with plasma protein coated functionalization

  13. Identification of genome-wide non-canonical spliced regions and analysis of biological functions for spliced sequences using Read-Split-Fly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yongsheng; Kinne, Jeff; Ding, Lizhong; Rath, Ethan C; Cox, Aaron; Naidu, Siva Dharman

    2017-10-03

    It is generally thought that most canonical or non-canonical splicing events involving U2- and U12 spliceosomes occur within nuclear pre-mRNAs. However, the question of whether at least some U12-type splicing occurs in the cytoplasm is still unclear. In recent years next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized the field. The "Read-Split-Walk" (RSW) and "Read-Split-Run" (RSR) methods were developed to identify genome-wide non-canonical spliced regions including special events occurring in cytoplasm. As the significant amount of genome/transcriptome data such as, Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project, have been generated, we have advanced a newer more memory-efficient version of the algorithm, "Read-Split-Fly" (RSF), which can detect non-canonical spliced regions with higher sensitivity and improved speed. The RSF algorithm also outputs the spliced sequences for further downstream biological function analysis. We used open access ENCODE project RNA-Seq data to search spliced intron sequences against the U12-type spliced intron sequence database to examine whether some events could occur as potential signatures of U12-type splicing. The check was performed by searching spliced sequences against 5'ss and 3'ss sequences from the well-known orthologous U12-type spliceosomal intron database U12DB. Preliminary results of searching 70 ENCODE samples indicated that the presence of 5'ss with U12-type signature is more frequent than U2-type and prevalent in non-canonical junctions reported by RSF. The selected spliced sequences have also been further studied using miRBase to elucidate their functionality. Preliminary results from 70 samples of ENCODE datasets show that several miRNAs are prevalent in studied ENCODE samples. Two of these are associated with many diseases as suggested in the literature. Specifically, hsa-miR-1273 and hsa-miR-548 are associated with many diseases and cancers. Our RSF pipeline is able to detect many possible junctions

  14. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud

    2011-01-01

    Introduction and Biological BackgroundBiological ComputationThe Influence of Biology on Mathematics-Historical ExamplesBiological IntroductionModels and Simulations Cellular Automata Biological BackgroundThe Game of Life General Definition of Cellular Automata One-Dimensional AutomataExamples of Cellular AutomataComparison with a Continuous Mathematical Model Computational UniversalitySelf-Replication Pseudo Code Evolutionary ComputationEvolutionary Biology and Evolutionary ComputationGenetic AlgorithmsExample ApplicationsAnalysis of the Behavior of Genetic AlgorithmsLamarckian Evolution Genet

  15. Design and biological functionality of a novel hybrid Ti-6Al-4V/hydrogel system for reconstruction of bone defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Alok; Nune, K C; Misra, R D K

    2018-04-01

    We have designed a unique injectable bioactive hydrogel comprising of alginate, gelatin, and nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite and loaded with osteoblasts, with the ability to infiltrate into three-dimensional Ti-6Al-4V scaffolds with interconnected porous architecture, fabricated by electron beam melting. A two-step crosslinking process using the EDC/NHS and CaCl 2 was adopted and found to be effective in the fabrication of cell-loaded hydrogel/Ti-6Al-4V scaffold system. This hybrid Ti-6Al-4V scaffold/hydrogel system was designed for the reconstruction of bone defects, which are difficult to heal in the absence of suitable support materials. The hybrid Ti-6Al-4V/hydrogel system favourably modulated the biological functions, namely, adhesion, proliferation, cell-to-cell, and cell-material communication because of the presence of extracellular matrix-like hydrogel in the interconnected porous structure of 3D printed Ti-6Al-4V scaffold. The hydrogel was cytocompatible, which was proven through live/dead assay, the expression level of prominent proteins for cell adhesion and cytoskeleton, including 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide (MTT) assay. Furthermore, the high bone formation ability of the hydrogel was confirmed using alkaline phosphatase assay. A high equilibrium water content (~97%) in the hydrogel enables the delivery of cells and bioactive molecules, necessary for bone tissue growth. Although not studied, the presence of hydrogel in the pores of the scaffold can provide the space for the cell migration as well as vascularization through it, required for the effective exchange of nutrients. In conclusion, we underscore that the 3D-printed Ti-6Al-4V scaffold-loaded with bioactive hydrogel to treat the bone defects significantly impacted cellular functions and cell-material interaction. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. 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

  17. Applying x-ray tomography in the field of vertebrate biology: form, function, and evolution of the skull of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Herzen, Julia; Summers, Adam P.; Haas, Alexander

    2008-08-01

    Evolutionary research in biology relies on the comparison of different individuals of different species in order to explore the history of today's biodiversity. Synchrotron radiation based high resolution X-ray tomography (SRμCT) rapidly generates detailed three dimensional datasets. At the beamlines W2 and BW2 of the storage ring DORIS at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, we used SRμCT to study the cranial anatomy of different species and different developmental stages of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). Here we describe a work-flow for analysis of the SRμCT data that covers segmentation of tissues in Amira® (Mercury Computer Systems), photorealistic rendering and animation in MayaTM, rapid prototyping, and morphometrics. The integration of different analyses of SRμCT data in our study resulted in a comprehensive understanding of form, function, and evolution of caecilian skulls. SRμCT imaging has the potential to become a standard technique for life sciences applications in the near future.

  18. Identification of functionally relevant populations in enhanced biological phosphorus removal processes based on intracellular polymers profiles and insights into the metabolic diversity and heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majed, Nehreen; Chernenko, Tatyana; Diem, Max; Gu, April Z

    2012-05-01

    This study proposed and demonstrated the application of a new Raman microscopy-based method for metabolic state-based identification and quantification of functionally relevant populations, namely polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) and glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs), in enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) system via simultaneous detection of multiple intracellular polymers including polyphosphate (polyP), glycogen, and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). The unique Raman spectrum of different combinations of intracellular polymers within a cell at a given stage of the EBPR cycle allowed for its identification as PAO, GAO, or neither. The abundance of total PAOs and GAOs determined by Raman method were consistent with those obtained with polyP staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Different combinations and quantities of intracellular polymer inclusions observed in single cells revealed the distribution of different sub-PAOs groups among the total PAO populations, which exhibit phenotypic and metabolic heterogeneity and diversity. These results also provided evidence for the hypothesis that different PAOs may employ different extents of combination of glycolysis and TCA cycle pathways for anaerobic reducing power and energy generation and it is possible that some PAOs may rely on TCA cycle solely without glycolysis. Sum of cellular level quantification of the internal polymers associated with different population groups showed differentiated and distributed trends of glycogen and PHB level between PAOs and GAOs, which could not be elucidated before with conventional bulk measurements of EBPR mixed cultures. © 2012 American Chemical Society

  19. Proteomic analysis of mitochondria in respiratory epithelial cells infected with human respiratory syncytial virus and functional implications for virus and cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munday, Diane C; Howell, Gareth; Barr, John N; Hiscox, Julian A

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to quantitatively characterise the mitochondrial proteome of airway epithelial cells infected with human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), a major cause of paediatric illness. Quantitative proteomics, underpinned by stable isotope labelling with amino acids in cell culture, coupled to LC-MS/MS, was applied to mitochondrial fractions prepared from HRSV-infected and mock-infected cells 12 and 24 h post-infection. Datasets were analysed using ingenuity pathway analysis, and the results were validated and characterised using bioimaging, targeted inhibition and gene depletion. The data quantitatively indicated that antiviral signalling proteins converged on mitochondria during HRSV infection. The mitochondrial receptor protein Tom70 was found to act in an antiviral manner, while its chaperone, Hsp90, was confirmed to be a positive viral factor. Proteins associated with different organelles were also co-enriched in the mitochondrial fractions from HRSV-infected cells, suggesting that alterations in organelle dynamics and membrane associations occur during virus infection. Protein and pathway-specific alterations occur to the mitochondrial proteome in a spatial and temporal manner during HRSV infection, suggesting that this organelle may have altered functions. These could be targeted as part of potential therapeutic strategies to disrupt virus biology. © 2014 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  20. Evidence of early alterations in adipose tissue biology and function and its association with obesity-related inflammation and insulin resistance in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landgraf, Kathrin; Rockstroh, Denise; Wagner, Isabel V; Weise, Sebastian; Tauscher, Roy; Schwartze, Julian T; Löffler, Dennis; Bühligen, Ulf; Wojan, Magdalena; Till, Holger; Kratzsch, Jürgen; Kiess, Wieland; Blüher, Matthias; Körner, Antje

    2015-04-01

    Accumulation of fat mass in obesity may result from hypertrophy and/or hyperplasia and is frequently associated with adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction in adults. Here we assessed early alterations in AT biology and function by comprehensive experimental and clinical characterization of 171 AT samples from lean and obese children aged 0 to 18 years. We show an increase in adipocyte size and number in obese compared with lean children beginning in early childhood. These alterations in AT composition in obese children were accompanied by decreased basal lipolytic activity and significantly enhanced stromal vascular cell proliferation in vitro, potentially underlying the hypertrophy and hyperplasia seen in obese children, respectively. Furthermore, macrophage infiltration, including the formation of crown-like structures, was increased in AT of obese children from 6 years on and was associated with higher hs-CRP serum levels. Clinically, adipocyte hypertrophy was not only associated with leptin serum levels but was highly and independently correlated with HOMA-IR as a marker of insulin resistance in children. In summary, we show that adipocyte hypertrophy is linked to increased inflammation in AT in obese children, thereby providing evidence that obesity-associated AT dysfunction develops in early childhood and is related to insulin resistance. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  1. The use of wavelength-selective plastic cladding materials in horticulture: understanding of crop and fungal responses through the assessment of biological spectral weighting functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Nigel D; Jacobson, Rob J; Taylor, Anna; Wargent, Jason J; Moore, Jason P

    2005-01-01

    Plant responses to light spectral quality can be exploited to deliver a range of agronomically desirable end points in protected crops. This can be achieved using plastics with specific spectral properties as crop covers. We have studied the responses of a range of crops to plastics that have either (a) increased transmission of UV compared with standard horticultural covers, (b) decreased transmission of UV or (c) increased the ratio of red (R) : far-red (FR) radiation. Both the UV-transparent and R : FR increasing films reduced leaf area and biomass, offering potential alternatives to chemical growth regulators. The UV-opaque film increased growth, but while this may be useful in some crops, there were trade-offs with elements of quality, such as pigmentation and taste. UV manipulation may also influence disease control. Increasing UV inhibited not only the pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea but also the disease biocontrol agent Trichoderma harzianum. Unlike B. cinerea, T. harzianum was highly sensitive to UV-A radiation. These fungal responses and those for plant growth in the growth room and the field under different plastics are analyzed in terms of alternative biological spectral weighting functions (BSWF). The role of BSWF in assessing general patterns of response to UV modification in horticulture is also discussed.

  2. Conservation and function of Rab small GTPases in Entamoeba: annotation of E. invadens Rab and its use for the understanding of Entamoeba biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakada-Tsukui, Kumiko; Saito-Nakano, Yumiko; Husain, Afzal; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2010-11-01

    Entamoeba invadens is a reptilian enteric protozoan parasite closely related to the human pathogen Entamoeba histolytica and a good model organism of encystation. To understand the molecular mechanism of vesicular trafficking involved in the encystation of Entamoeba, we examined the conservation of Rab small GTPases between the two species. E. invadens has over 100 Rab genes, similar to E. histolytica. Most of the Rab subfamilies are conserved between the two species, while a number of species-specific Rabs are also present. We annotated all E. invadens Rabs according to the previous nomenclature [Saito-Nakano, Y., Loftus, B.J., Hall, N., Nozaki, T., 2005. The diversity of Rab GTPases in Entamoeba histolytica. Experimental Parasitology 110, 244-252]. Comparative genomic analysis suggested that the fundamental vesicular traffic machinery is well conserved, while there are species-specific protein transport mechanisms. We also reviewed the function of Rabs in Entamoeba, and proposed the use of the annotation of E. invadens Rab genes to understand the ubiquitous importance of Rab-mediated membrane trafficking during important biological processes including differentiation in Entamoeba. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Electron Resonance Decay into a Biological Function: Decrease in Viability of E. coli Transformed by Plasmid DNA Irradiated with 0.5-18 eV Electrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouass Sahbani, S; Cloutier, P; Bass, A D; Hunting, D J; Sanche, L

    2015-10-01

    Transient negative ions (TNIs) are ubiquitous in electron-molecule scattering at low electron impact energies (0-20 eV) and are particularly effective in damaging large biomolecules. Because ionizing radiation generates mostly 0-20 eV electrons, TNIs are expected to play important roles in cell mutagenesis and death during radiotherapeutic cancer treatment, although this hypothesis has never been directly verified. Here, we measure the efficiency of transforming E. coli bacteria by inserting into the cells, pGEM-3ZfL(-) plasmid DNA that confers resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin. Before transformation, plasmids are irradiated with electrons of specific energies between 0.5 and 18 eV. The loss of transformation efficiency plotted as a function of irradiation energy reveals TNIs at 5.5 and 9.5 eV, corresponding to similar states observed in the yields of DNA double strand breaks. We show that TNIs are detectable in the electron-energy dependence of a biological process and can decrease cell viability.

  4. Molecular Biology and Functions of Carrier Proteins. Annual Symposium (46th) of the Society of General Physiologists held in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on September 10-13, 1992. Volume 48

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-09-13

    Biology and Function of Carrier Proteins Glucose-Galactose Malabsorption One approach to defining residues important for the function of membrane trans...hereditary disease of the transporter. In the case of the intestinal Na÷ /glucose cotransporter the disease is glucose-galactose malabsorption (GGM). Over...patients, there is a selective defect in glucose and galactose absorption by the Na+/glucose cotransporter (hSGLT1). The absorption of fructose via another

  5. Linking network topology to function. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin, A. Krzywicki and M. Zagorski

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Bernardo, Diego

    2016-07-01

    The review by Martin et al. deals with a long standing problem at the interface of complex systems and molecular biology, that is the relationship between the topology of a complex network and its function. In biological terms the problem translates to relating the topology of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) to specific cellular functions. GRNs control the spatial and temporal activity of the genes encoded in the cell's genome by means of specialised proteins called Transcription Factors (TFs). A TF is able to recognise and bind specifically to a sequence (TF biding site) of variable length (order of magnitude of 10) found upstream of the sequence encoding one or more genes (at least in prokaryotes) and thus activating or repressing their transcription. TFs can thus be distinguished in activator and repressor. The picture can become more complex since some classes of TFs can form hetero-dimers consisting of a protein complex whose subunits are the individual TFs. Heterodimers can have completely different binding sites and activity compared to their individual parts. In this review the authors limit their attention to prokaryotes where the complexity of GRNs is somewhat reduced. Moreover they exploit a unique feature of living systems, i.e. evolution, to understand whether function can shape network topology. Indeed, prokaryotes such as bacteria are among the oldest living systems that have become perfectly adapted to their environment over geological scales and thus have reached an evolutionary steady-state where the fitness of the population has reached a plateau. By integrating in silico analysis and comparative evolution, the authors show that indeed function does tend to shape the structure of a GRN, however this trend is not always present and depends on the properties of the network being examined. Interestingly, the trend is more apparent for sparse networks, i.e. where the density of edges is very low. Sparsity is indeed one of the most prominent features

  6. Glycosides from Marine Sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae): Structures, Taxonomical Distribution, Biological Activities and Biological Roles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinin, Vladimir I.; Ivanchina, Natalia V.; Krasokhin, Vladimir B.; Makarieva, Tatyana N.; Stonik, Valentin A.

    2012-01-01

    Literature data about glycosides from sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae) are reviewed. Structural diversity, biological activities, taxonomic distribution and biological functions of these natural products are discussed. PMID:23015769

  7. Exposure Assessment, Biological Monitoring, and Liver Function Tests of Operating Room Personnel Exposed to Halothane in Hamedan Hospitals, West of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakhshaei, Mohammad Hossien; Bahrami, Abdorrahman; Mirzakhani, Amin; Mahjub, Hossien; Assari, Mohammad Javad

    2017-11-04

    Occupational exposure to halogenated hydrocarbons has been associated with halothane hepatitis, an increase of liver enzymes, and congenital malformations. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether bromide, a urinary metabolite of halothane, could be used as a biological marker of exposure to this anesthetic gas and assessment of associated exposure to halothane with any significant changes in conventional parameters of liver function (serum aminotransferase activities). A cross-sectional study. Seventy-five anesthesiologists, anesthesia nurses, operating room nurses, and surgeons (exposed group) and 75 matched unexposed individuals (reference group) were selected randomly from two public hospitals in Hamadan City, western Iran.  Atmospheric concentrations of halothane in the breathing zone of the exposed subjects and urinary bromide levels were measured by headspace gas chromatography. Similarly, serum activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were measured by the enzymatic method using an automatic Prestige instrument. Mean atmospheric concentrations of halothane and urinary bromide levels for exposed subjects were 1.49 ±1.36 ppm and 0.83 ±0.29 mM, respectively. A relatively good correlation was found between exposure to halothane and urinary bromide levels (r=0.38). The chi-squared test results showed that the proportions of the subjects with abnormal ALT and AST among the women exposed were significantly higher than those of reference individuals (P<0.05). Urinary bromide can be used as a potential biomarker of exposure to halothane, although additional studies are necessary to further validate these initial findings.

  8. Dust in the western U.S.: how biological, physical and human activities at the local scale interact to affect hydrologic function at the landscape scale (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Reheis, M. C.; Munson, S. M.

    2009-12-01

    Dryland regions constitute over 35% of terrestrial lands around the globe. Limited rainfall in these regions restricts plant growth and the spaces between vascular plants are often large. Most interspace soils are protected from wind erosion by the cover of rocks, physical crusts, and biological crusts (cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses). However, disturbance of the soil surface in dryland regions (e.g., recreation, livestock, mining and energy exploration, military exercises, fire) reduces or eliminates the protective cover of the soils. Rising temperatures will reduce soil moisture and thus plant cover. Wind tunnel data show that most desert surfaces produce little sediment under typical wind speeds. However, disturbing the soil surface with vehicles, humans, or animals resulted in much higher sediment production from all surfaces tested, regardless of parent material, texture, or age of the soil surface. Synergist effects, such as surface disturbance occurring during drought periods in annualized plant communities, can create very large dust events. As surface disturbance, invasion, and drought are expected to increase in the future, an increase in dust production can be expected as well. Increased particulates in the air threaten human well-being through disease, highway accidents, and economic losses. Where dust losses are greater than the inputs, the source areas lose carbon and nutrients. These compounds are transferred to high elevation regions, where such fertilization likely impacts ecosystem function. Deposition of dust on the snowpack darkens the surface, increasing snowmelt by 30 days or more and exposing soils to evaporation, all of which decrease the quantity and quality of water in major streams and rivers. As increases occur in temperature, pumping of shallow aquifers, human activities, and invasion of exotic annual plants in dryland regions, the frequency, severity, and negative impact of dust storms is expected to increase as well. The

  9. Copper(II) and zinc(II) dinuclear enzymes model compounds: The nature of the metal ion in the biological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraresso, L. G.; de Arruda, E. G. R.; de Moraes, T. P. L.; Fazzi, R. B.; Da Costa Ferreira, A. M.; Abbehausen, C.

    2017-12-01

    First series transition metals are used abundantly by nature to perform catalytic transformations of several substrates. Furthermore, the cooperative activity of two proximal metal ions is common and represents a highly efficient catalytic system in living organisms. In this work three dinuclear μ-phenolate bridged metal complexes were prepared with copper(II) and zinc(II), resulting in a ZnZn, CuCu and CuZn with the ligand 2-ethylaminodimethylamino phenol (saldman) as model compounds of superoxide dismutase (CuCu and CuZn) and metallo-β-lactamases (ZnZn). Metals are coordinated in a μ-phenolate bridged symmetric system. Cu(II) presents a more distorted structure, while zinc is very symmetric. For this reason, [CuCu(saldman)] shows higher water solubility and also higher lability of the bridge. The antioxidant and hydrolytic beta-lactamase-like activity of the complexes were evaluated. The lability of the bridge seems to be important for the antioxidant activity and is suggested to because of [CuCu(saldman)] presents a lower antioxidant capacity than [CuZn(saldman)], which showed to present a more stable bridge in solution. The hydrolytic activity of the bimetallic complexes was assayed using nitrocefin as substrate and showed [ZnZn(saldman)] as a better catalyst than the Cu(II) analog. The series demonstrates the importance of the nature of the metal center for the biological function and how the reactivity of the model complex can be modulated by coordination chemistry.

  10. Systems Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiley, H S.

    2006-06-01

    The biology revolution over the last 50 years has been driven by the ascendancy of molecular biology. This was enthusiastically embraced by most biologists because it took us into increasingly familiar territory. It took mysterious processes, such as the replication of genetic material and assigned them parts that could be readily understood by the human mind. When we think of ''molecular machines'' as being the underlying basis of life, we are using a paradigm derived from everyday experience. However, the price that we paid was a relentless drive towards reductionism and the attendant balkanization of biology. Now along comes ''systems biology'' that promises us a solution to the problem of ''knowing more and more about less and less''. Unlike molecular biology, systems biology appears to be taking us into unfamiliar intellectual territory, such as statistics, mathematics and computer modeling. Not surprisingly, systems biology has met with widespread skepticism and resistance. Why do we need systems biology anyway and how does this new area of research promise to change the face of biology in the next couple of decades?

  11. Biological therapeutics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Greenstein, Ben; Brook, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

    This introductory textbook covers all the main categories of biological medicines, including vaccines, hormonal preparations, drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue diseases, drugs...

  12. Noise in biological circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Michael L; Cox, Chris D; Allen, Michael S; McCollum, James M; Dar, Roy D; Karig, David K; Cooke, John F

    2009-01-01

    Noise biology focuses on the sources, processing, and biological consequences of the inherent stochastic fluctuations in molecular transitions or interactions that control cellular behavior. These fluctuations are especially pronounced in small systems where the magnitudes of the fluctuations approach or exceed the mean value of the molecular population. Noise biology is an essential component of nanomedicine where the communication of information is across a boundary that separates small synthetic and biological systems that are bound by their size to reside in environments of large fluctuations. Here we review the fundamentals of the computational, analytical, and experimental approaches to noise biology. We review results that show that the competition between the benefits of low noise and those of low population has resulted in the evolution of genetic system architectures that produce an uneven distribution of stochasticity across the molecular components of cells and, in some cases, use noise to drive biological function. We review the exact and approximate approaches to gene circuit noise analysis and simulation, and review many of the key experimental results obtained using flow cytometry and time-lapse fluorescent microscopy. In addition, we consider the probative value of noise with a discussion of using measured noise properties to elucidate the structure and function of the underlying gene circuit. We conclude with a discussion of the frontiers of and significant future challenges for noise biology. (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  13. Functional

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fedoua Gandia

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The study was carried out to investigate the effects of inhaled Mg alone and associated with F in the treatment of bronchial hyperresponsiveness. 43 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups and exposed to inhaled NaCl 0.9%, MeCh, MgSO4 and MgF2. Pulmonary changes were assessed by means of functional tests and quantitative histological examination of lungs and trachea. Results revealed that delivery of inhaled Mg associated with F led to a significant decrease of total lung resistance better than inhaled Mg alone (p < 0.05. Histological examinations illustrated that inhaled Mg associated with F markedly suppressed muscular hypertrophy (p = 0.034 and bronchoconstriction (p = 0.006 in MeCh treated rats better than inhaled Mg alone. No histological changes were found in the trachea. This study showed that inhaled Mg associated with F attenuated the main principle of the central components of changes in MeCh provoked experimental asthma better than inhaled Mg alone, potentially providing a new therapeutic approach against asthma.

  14. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  15. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. ... National Center for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, UAS-GKVK Campus, Bangalore 560 065, India ...

  16. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartmann, Lars Røeboe; Jones, Neil; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2011-01-01

    Computation via biological devices has been the subject of close scrutiny since von Neumann’s early work some 60 years ago. In spite of the many relevant works in this field, the notion of programming biological devices seems to be, at best, ill-defined. While many devices are claimed or proved t...

  17. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in biological ...

  18. Physics and biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frauenfelder, H.

    1988-01-01

    The author points out that the coupling between physics and biology is becoming closer as time goes on. He tries to show that physical studies on biological systems not only yield insight into biology but also provide results of interest to physics. Biological systems are extremly complex system. Ideally one would like to understand the behavior of such systems in terms of the behavior of its constituent atoms. Since in small organisms this may be 10 20 atoms, it is clear these are not simple many-body systems. He reviews the basic elements of cells and then considers the broader questions of structure, complexity, and function, which must be looked at on levels from the cell to the organism. Despite the vast amount of observational material already in existence, biophysics and biological physics are only at a beginning. We can expect that physics will continue to interact strongly with biology. Actually, the connection also includes chemistry and mathematics. New tools that become available in physics will continue to be applied to biological problems. We can expect that the flow of information will not be one way; biological systems will provide new information on many old and new parts of physics, from reaction theory and transport phenomena to complexity, cooperativity, and nonlinear processes

  19. 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

  20. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A critical assessment of the recent developmentsof molecular biology is presented.The thesis that they do not lead to a conceptualunderstanding of life and biological systems is defended.Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis is briefly sketchedand its logical circularity avoided by postulatingthe existence of underlying living processes,entailing amplification from the microscopic to the macroscopic scale,with increasing complexity in the passage from one scale to the other.Following such a line of thought, the currently accepted model of condensed matter, which is based on electrostatics and short-ranged forces,is criticized. It is suggested that the correct interpretationof quantum dispersion forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and so onas quantum coherence effects hints at the necessity of includinglong-ranged forces (or mechanisms for them incondensed matter theories of biological processes.Some quantum effects in biology are reviewedand quantum mechanics is acknowledged as conceptually important to biology since withoutit most (if not all of the biological structuresand signalling processes would not even exist. Moreover, it is suggested that long-rangequantum coherent dynamics, including electron polarization,may be invoked to explain signal amplificationprocess in biological systems in general.

  1. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

    The ocean is arguably the largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. As a testament to this diversity and its importance, the discipline of biological oceanography spans studies of all levels of biological organization, from that of single genes, to organisms, to their population dynamics. Biological oceanography also includes studies on how organisms interact with, and contribute to, essential global processes. Students of biological oceanography are often as comfortable looking at satellite images as they are electron micrographs. This diversity of perspective begins the textbook Biological Oceanography, with cover graphics including a Coastal Zone Color Scanner image representing chlorophyll concentration, an electron micrograph of a dinoflagellate, and a photograph of a copepod. These images instantly capture the reader's attention and illustrate some of the different scales on which budding oceanographers are required to think. Having taught a core graduate course in biological oceanography for many years, Charlie Miller has used his lecture notes as the genesis for this book. The text covers the subject of biological oceanography in a manner that is targeted to introductory graduate students, but it would also be appropriate for advanced undergraduates.

  2. Ag(I), Pb(II) and Hg(II) binding to biomolecules studied by Perturbed Angular Correlation of $\\gamma$-rays (PAC) spectroscopy: Function and toxicity of metal ions in biological systems

    CERN Multimedia

    Metal ions display diverse functions in biological systems and are essential components in both protein structure and function, and in control of biochemical reaction paths and signaling. Similarly, metal ions may be used to control structure and function of synthetic biomolecules, and thus be a tool in the design of molecules with a desired function. In this project we address a variety of questions concerning both the function of metal ions in natural systems, in synthetic biomolecules, and the toxic effect of some metal ions. All projects involve other experimental techniques such as NMR, EXAFS, UV-Vis, fluorescence, and CD spectroscopies providing complementary data, as well as interpretation of the experimental data by quantum mechanical calculations of spectroscopic properties.

  3. Relative biological effectiveness of a 650 MeV helion beam as a function of depth determined for growth delay in Vicia faba and induction of chromosome aberrations in Allium cepa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wambersie, A.; Dam, J. van; Laublin, G.

    1978-01-01

    Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of a 650 MeV helion beam was determined as a function of depth in the irradiated medium. Two biological criteria were used: growth delay in Vicia faba bean roots and induction of chromosome aberrations in Allium cepa onion roots. For both systems, RBE increases as a function of depth; on the other hand, RBE values observed for chromosome aberrations are higher than for growth delay. RBE/absorbed dose relationships were determined. For an absorbed dose of 0.5 Gy of the test radiation quality (ref.: initial plateau region), RBE values for growth delay are 1.45, 1.5 and 1.95 at 13, 15 and 17 cm in depth respectively. In the same conditions, RBE values are 1.4, 2.0 and 2.5 for chromosome aberrations [fr

  4. Biological Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skip to main content Biological Pathways Fact Sheet Enter Search Term(s): Español Research Funding An Overview Bioinformatics Current Grants Education and Training Funding Extramural Research News Features ...

  5. [The isozymes of stearil-coenzymeA-desaturase and insulin activity in the light of phylogenetic theory of pathology. Oleic fatty acid and realization of biologic functions of trophology and locomotion].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    The formation of function of isozymes of stearil-coenzymeA-desaturases occured at the different stages of phylogeny under realization of biologic function of trophology (stearil-coenzymeA-desaturase 1) and biologic function of locomotion, insulin system (stearil-coenzymeA-desaturase 2) billions years later. The stearil-coenzymeA-desaturase 1 transforms in C 18:1 oleic fatty acid only exogenous C 16:0 palmitinic saturated fatty acid. The stearil-coenzymeA-desaturase 2 transforms only endogenic palmitinic saturated fatty acid, synthesized form glucose. The biologic role of insulin is in energy support of biologic function of locomotion. Insulin through expressing stearil-coenzymeA-desaturase 2 transforms energetically non-optimal palmitinic variation of metabolism of substrates into highly effective oleic variation for cells' groundwork of energy (saturated fatty acid and mono fatty acid). The surplus of palmitinic saturated fatty acid in food is enabled in pathogenesis of resistance to insulin and derangement of synthesis of hormone by beta-cells of islets. The resistance to insulin and diabetes mellitus are primarily the derangement of metabolism of saturated fatty acids with mono fatty acids, energy problems of organism and only afterwards the derangement of metabolism of carbohydrates. It is desirable to restrict food intake of exogenous palmitinic saturated fatty acid. The reasons are low expression of independent of insulin stearil-coenzymeA-desaturase 2, marked lipotoxicity of polar form of palmitinic saturated fatty acid and synthesis of non-optimal palmitinic triglycerides instead of physiologic and more energetically more effective oleic triglycerides.

  6. Small-scale universality and large-scale diversity. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin, A. Krzywicki, and M. Zagorski

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ispolatov, Yaroslav

    2016-07-01

    Martin et al. undertook an arduous task of reviewing vast literature on evolution and functionality of directed biological networks and gene networks in particular. The literature is assessed addressing a question of whether a set of features particular for gene networks is repeatedly recreated among unrelated species driven by selection pressure or has evolved once and is being inherited. To argue for the former mechanism, Martin and colleagues explore the following examples: Scale-free out-degree distribution.

  7. Standardization in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Kristian M; Arndt, Katja M

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is founded on the idea that complex biological systems are built most effectively when the task is divided in abstracted layers and all required components are readily available and well-described. This requires interdisciplinary collaboration at several levels and a common understanding of the functioning of each component. Standardization of the physical composition and the description of each part is required as well as a controlled vocabulary to aid design and ensure interoperability. Here, we describe standardization initiatives from several disciplines, which can contribute to Synthetic Biology. We provide examples of the concerted standardization efforts of the BioBricks Foundation comprising the request for comments (RFC) and the Registry of Standardized Biological parts as well as the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

  8. Towards a comprehensive understanding of emerging dynamics and function of pancreatic islets: A complex network approach. Comment on "Network science of biological systems at different scales: A review" by Gosak et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loppini, Alessandro

    2018-03-01

    Complex network theory represents a comprehensive mathematical framework to investigate biological systems, ranging from sub-cellular and cellular scales up to large-scale networks describing species interactions and ecological systems. In their exhaustive and comprehensive work [1], Gosak et al. discuss several scenarios in which the network approach was able to uncover general properties and underlying mechanisms of cells organization and regulation, tissue functions and cell/tissue failure in pathology, by the study of chemical reaction networks, structural networks and functional connectivities.

  9. Open questions in origin of life: experimental studies on the origin of nucleic acids and proteins with specific and functional sequences by a chemical synthetic biology approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adamala, K.; Anella, F.; Wieczorek, R.

    2014-01-01

    sequences among a vast array of possible ones, the huge "sequence space", leading to the question "why these macromolecules, and not the others?" We have recently addressed these questions by using a chemical synthetic biology approach. In particular, we have tested the catalytic activity of small peptides...

  10. Synthetic Biology in Health and Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Passel, van M.W.J.; Lam, C.M.C.; Martins dos Santos, V.A.P.; Suarez Diez, M.

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology draws on the understanding from genetics, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computational sciences to (re-)design and (re-)engineer biological functions. Here we address how synthetic biology can be possibly deployed to promote health and tackle disease. We discuss how

  11. Allometry and astro biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sertorio, L.; Renda, E.

    2009-01-01

    Allometric laws expressing power and lifespan as a function of mass for both inorganic and organic systems are analyzed. This way of dealing with complexity unveils striking analogies between domains of science that we are used to consider conceptually irreducible to each other and therefore can be considered a new vision of astro biology.

  12. Long-term quality of life and functional outcome of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in the biologic era: a longitudinal follow-up study in the Dutch Arthritis and Biologicals in Children Register

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anink, Janneke; Prince, Femke H. M.; Dijkstra, Maryanne; Otten, Marieke H.; Twilt, Marinka; ten Cate, Rebecca; Gorter, Simone L.; Koopman-Keemink, Yvonne; van Rossum, Marion A. J.; Hoppenreijs, Esther P. A.; van Suijlekom-Smit, Lisette W. A.

    2015-01-01

    To carry out a longitudinal investigation of functional outcome, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and treatment strategies in JIA patients who started etanercept >5 years ago. We approached patients whose HRQoL changes were described previously in a subanalysis of the Dutch Arthritis and

  13. Long-term quality of life and functional outcome of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in the biologic era: a longitudinal follow-up study in the Dutch Arthritis and Biologicals in Children Register

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anink, J.; Prince, F.H.; Dijkstra, M.; Otten, M.H.; Twilt, M.; Cate, R. Ten; Gorter, S.L.; Koopman-Keemink, Y.; Rossum, M.A. van; Hoppenreijs, E.P.A.H.; Suijlekom-Smit, L.W. van

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To carry out a longitudinal investigation of functional outcome, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and treatment strategies in JIA patients who started etanercept >5 years ago. METHODS: We approached patients whose HRQoL changes were described previously in a subanalysis of the Dutch

  14. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manginell, Ronald P [Albuquerque, NM; Bunker, Bruce C [Albuquerque, NM; Huber, Dale L [Albuquerque, NM

    2008-09-09

    A biological preconcentrator comprises a stimulus-responsive active film on a stimulus-producing microfabricated platform. The active film can comprise a thermally switchable polymer film that can be used to selectively absorb and desorb proteins from a protein mixture. The biological microfabricated platform can comprise a thin membrane suspended on a substrate with an integral resistive heater and/or thermoelectric cooler for thermal switching of the active polymer film disposed on the membrane. The active polymer film can comprise hydrogel-like polymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide) or poly(n-isopropylacrylamide), that are tethered to the membrane. The biological preconcentrator can be fabricated with semiconductor materials and technologies.

  15. Biological rhythms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halberg, F.

    1975-01-01

    An overview is given of basic features of biological rhythms. The classification of periodic behavior of physical and psychological characteristics as circadian, circannual, diurnal, and ultradian is discussed, and the notion of relativistic time as it applies in biology is examined. Special attention is given to circadian rhythms which are dependent on the adrenocortical cycle. The need for adequate understanding of circadian variations in the basic physiological indicators of an individual (heart rate, body temperature, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, etc.) to ensure the effectiveness of prophylactic and therapeutic measures is stressed.

  16. Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Engineering Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Joshua B; Perez-Pinera, Pablo; Gersbach, Charles A

    2017-06-21

    The programming of new functions into mammalian cells has tremendous application in research and medicine. Continued improvements in the capacity to sequence and synthesize DNA have rapidly increased our understanding of mechanisms of gene function and regulation on a genome-wide scale and have expanded the set of genetic components available for programming cell biology. The invention of new research tools, including targetable DNA-binding systems such as CRISPR/Cas9 and sensor-actuator devices that can recognize and respond to diverse chemical, mechanical, and optical inputs, has enabled precise control of complex cellular behaviors at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. These tools have been critical for the expansion of synthetic biology techniques from prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic hosts to mammalian systems. Recent progress in the development of genome and epigenome editing tools and in the engineering of designer cells with programmable genetic circuits is expanding approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease and to establish personalized theranostic strategies for next-generation medicines. This review summarizes the development of these enabling technologies and their application to transforming mammalian synthetic biology into a distinct field in research and medicine.

  17. Marine Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  18. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in ...

  19. Biological digestion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosevear, A.

    1988-01-01

    This paper discusses the biological degradation of non-radioactive organic material occurring in radioactive wastes. The biochemical steps are often performed using microbes or isolated enzymes in combination with chemical steps and the aim is to oxidise the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur to their respective oxides. (U.K.)

  20. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Outlines a variety of laboratory procedures, techniques, and materials including construction of a survey frame for field biology, a simple tidal system, isolation and applications of plant protoplasts, tropisms, teaching lung structure, and a key to statistical methods for biologists. (DS)

  1. Identification of miRNA Signatures Associated with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Chemoresistance with Further Biological and Functional Validation of Identified Key miRNAs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-01

    cells expressing miR-181a. 9 and a LRP coreceptor drives pathway activation resulting in the stabilization and nuclear βcatenin translocation, we...Specific Aim 2 we set -out to functionally validate miRNAs that show a correlation with patient outcome using both gain- and loss-of-function

  2. Biological Implications of Artificial Illumination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurtman, Richard J.

    1968-01-01

    Environmental lighting exerts profound biologic effects on humans and other mammals, in addition to providing the visual stimulus. Light acts on the skin to stimulate the synthesis of Vitamin D. It also acts, through the eyes, to control several glands and many metabolic processes. Light, or its absence, "induces" certain biologic functions. Light…

  3. Synthetic biology of polyketide synthases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yuzawa, Satoshi; Backman, Tyler W.H.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2018-01-01

    ). The modules are composed of enzymatic domains that share sequence and functional similarity across all known PKSs. We have used the nomenclature of synthetic biology to classify the enzymatic domains and modules as parts and devices, respectively, and have generated detailed lists of both. In addition, we...... realize the potential that synthetic biology approaches bring to this class of molecules....

  4. Poorer functionality is related to better quality of life response following the use of biological drugs: 6-month outcomes in a prospective cohort from the Public Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira Junior, Haliton Alves; dos Santos, Jéssica Barreto; Acurcio, Francisco Assis; Almeida, Alessandra Maciel; Kakehasi, Adriana Maria; Alvares, Juliana; de Carvalho, Luis Fernando Duarte; Cherchiglia, Mariangela Leal

    2015-06-01

    We aim to analyze factors associated with the quality of life (QOL) response of individuals with rheumatic diseases treated by the Public Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde) with biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs). Data from 428 patients using bDMARDs were collected using a standardized form at baseline and 6 months after the onset of treatment. The average reduction of the scores on EuroQol-five dimension was 0.11 ± 0.18 6 months after the onset of treatment with bDMARDs, denoting significant improvement of the participants' QOL. All the investigated types of disease exhibited significant improvement at the 6-month assessment, without any difference among them (p = 0.965). The participants with baseline poorest functionality and best QOL exhibited the best QOL outcomes after 6 months of treatment. Our study showed that the use of biological drugs induced considerable improvement in the participants' QOL.

  5. Inference problems in structural biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Simon

    The structure and dynamics of biological molecules are essential for their function. Consequently, a wealth of experimental techniques have been developed to study these features. However, while experiments yield detailed information about geometrical features of molecules, this information...

  6. Inference problems in structural biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Simon

    The structure and dynamics of biological molecules are essential for their function. Consequently, a wealth of experimental techniques have been developed to study these features. However, while experiments yield detailed information about geometrical features of molecules, this information is of...

  7. Biologically active Schiff bases containing thiophene/furan ring and their copper(II) complexes: Synthesis, spectral, nonlinear optical and density functional studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gündüzalp, Ayla Balaban; Özsen, İffet; Alyar, Hamit; Alyar, Saliha; Özbek, Neslihan

    2016-09-01

    Schiff bases; 1,8-bis(thiophene-2-carboxaldimine)-p-menthane (L1) and 1,8-bis(furan-2-carboxaldimine)-p-menthane (L2) have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, 1Hsbnd 13C NMR, UV-vis, FT-IR and LC-MS methods. 1H and 13C shielding tensors for L1 and L2 were calculated with GIAO/DFT/B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) methods in CDCl3. The vibrational band assignments, nonlinear optical (NLO) activities, frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) and absorption spectrum have been investigated by the same basis set. Schiff base-copper(II) complexes have been synthesized and structurally characterized with spectroscopic methods, magnetic and conductivity measurements. The spectroscopic data suggest that Schiff base ligands coordinate through azomethine-N and thiophene-S/furan-O donors (as SNNS and ONNO chelating systems) to give a tetragonal geometry around the copper(II) ions. Schiff bases and Cu(II) complexes have been screened for their biological activities on different species of pathogenic bacteria, those are, Gram positive bacteria: Bacillus subtitilus, Yersinia enterotica, Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Micrococcus luteus and Gram negative bacteria: Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Shigella dysenteriae, Salmonella typhi, Klebsiella pseudomonas by using microdilution technique (MIC values in mM). Biological activity results show that Cu(II) complexes have higher activities than parent ligands and metal chelation may affect significantly the antibacterial behavior of the organic ligands.

  8. Zonula occludens toxin structure-function analysis. Identification of the fragment biologically active on tight junctions and of the zonulin receptor binding domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Pierro, M; Lu, R; Uzzau, S; Wang, W; Margaretten, K; Pazzani, C; Maimone, F; Fasano, A

    2001-06-01

    Zonula occludens toxin (Zot) is an enterotoxin elaborated by Vibrio cholerae that increases intestinal permeability by interacting with a mammalian cell receptor with subsequent activation of intracellular signaling leading to the disassembly of the intercellular tight junctions. Zot localizes in the bacterial outer membrane of V. cholerae with subsequent cleavage and secretion of a carboxyl-terminal fragment in the host intestinal milieu. To identify the Zot domain(s) directly involved in the protein permeating effect, several zot gene deletion mutants were constructed and tested for their biological activity in the Ussing chamber assay and their ability to bind to the target receptor on intestinal epithelial cell cultures. The Zot biologically active domain was localized toward the carboxyl terminus of the protein and coincided with the predicted cleavage product generated by V. cholerae. This domain shared a putative receptor-binding motif with zonulin, the Zot mammalian analogue involved in tight junction modulation. Amino acid comparison between the Zot active fragment and zonulin, combined with site-directed mutagenesis experiments, confirmed the presence of an octapeptide receptor-binding domain toward the amino terminus of the processed Zot.

  9. Olefin Metathesis for Chemical Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Binder, Joseph B; Raines, Ronald T

    2008-01-01

    Chemical biology relies on effective synthetic chemistry for building molecules to probe and modulate biological function. Olefin metathesis in organic solvents is a valuable addition to this armamentarium, and developments during the previous decade are enabling metathesis in aqueous solvents for the manipulation of biomolecules. Functional group-tolerant ruthenium metathesis catalysts modified with charged moieties or hydrophilic polymers are soluble and active in water, enabling ring-openi...

  10. Multiscale Biological Materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frølich, Simon

    materials are characterized by their hierarchical and composite design, where features with sizes ranging from nanometers to centimeters provide the basis for the functionality of the material. Understanding of biological materials is, while very interesting from a basic research perspective, also valuable...... as inspiration for the development of new materials for medical and technological applications. In order to successfully mimic biological materials we must first have a thorough understanding of their design. As such, the purpose of the characterization of biological materials can be defined as the establishment...... mineral and the organic matrix in biomineralized calcite. High resolution powder diffraction was used to study how calcite in chalk, coccoliths, and mollusk shell is affected by the co-existent organic matrix. The calcified attachment organ in the saddle oyster, Anomia simplex serves as a brilliant...

  11. Biological Soft Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinberg, Adam W

    2015-01-01

    In nature, nanometer-scale molecular motors are used to generate force within cells for diverse processes from transcription and transport to muscle contraction. This adaptability and scalability across wide temporal, spatial, and force regimes have spurred the development of biological soft robotic systems that seek to mimic and extend these capabilities. This review describes how molecular motors are hierarchically organized into larger-scale structures in order to provide a basic understanding of how these systems work in nature and the complexity and functionality we hope to replicate in biological soft robotics. These span the subcellular scale to macroscale, and this article focuses on the integration of biological components with synthetic materials, coupled with bioinspired robotic design. Key examples include nanoscale molecular motor-powered actuators, microscale bacteria-controlled devices, and macroscale muscle-powered robots that grasp, walk, and swim. Finally, the current challenges and future opportunities in the field are addressed.

  12. Biological radioprotector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stefanescu, Ioan; Titescu, Gheorghe; Tamaian, Radu; Haulica, Ion; Bild, Walther

    2002-01-01

    According to the patent description, the biological radioprotector is deuterium depleted water, DDW, produced by vacuum distillation with an isotopic content lower than natural value. It appears as such or in a mixture with natural water and carbon dioxide. It can be used for preventing and reducing the ionizing radiation effects upon humans or animal organisms, exposed therapeutically, professionally or accidentally to radiation. The most significant advantage of using DDW as biological radioprotector results from its way of administration. Indeed no one of the radioprotectors currently used today can be orally administrated, what reduces the patients' compliance to prophylactic administrations. The biological radioprotector is an unnoxious product obtained from natural water, which can be administrated as food additive instead of drinking water. Dose modification factor is according to initial estimates around 1.9, what is a remarkable feature when one takes into account that the product is toxicity-free and side effect-free and can be administrated prophylactically as a food additive. A net radioprotective action of the deuterium depletion was evidenced experimentally in laboratory animals (rats) hydrated with DDW of 30 ppm D/(D+H) concentration as compared with normally hydrated control animals. Knowing the effects of irradiation and mechanisms of the acute radiation disease as well as the effects of administration of radiomimetic chemicals upon cellular lines of fast cell division, it appears that the effects of administrating DDW result from stimulation of the immunity system. In conclusion, the biological radioprotector DDW presents the following advantages: - it is obtained from natural products without toxicity; - it is easy to be administrated as a food additive, replacing the drinking water; - besides radioprotective effects, the product has also immunostimulative and antitumoral effects

  13. Crusts: biological

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  14. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index

  15. EDITORIAL: Physical Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roscoe, Jane

    2004-06-01

    Physical Biology is a new peer-reviewed publication from Institute of Physics Publishing. Launched in 2004, the journal will foster the integration of biology with the traditionally more quantitative fields of physics, chemistry, computer science and other math-based disciplines. Its primary aim is to further the understanding of biological systems at all levels of complexity, ranging from the role of structure and dynamics of a single molecule to cellular networks and organisms. The journal encourages the development of a new biology-driven physics based on the extraordinary and increasingly rich data arising in biology, and provides research directions for those involved in the creation of novel bio-engineered systems. Physical Biology will publish a stimulating combination of full length research articles, communications, perspectives, reviews and tutorials from a wide range of disciplines covering topics such as: Single-molecule studies and nanobiotechnology Molecular interactions and protein folding Charge transfer and photobiology Ion channels; structure, function and ion regulation Molecular motors and force generation Subcellular processes Biological networks and neural systems Modeling aspects of molecular and cell biology Cell-cell signaling and interaction Biological patterns and development Evolutionary processes Novel tools and methods in physical biology Experts in the areas encompassed by the journal's scope have been appointed to the Editorial Scientific Committee and the composition of the Committee will be updated regularly to reflect the developments in this new and exciting field. Physical Biology is free online to everyone in 2004; you are invited to take advantage of this offer by visiting the journal homepage at http://physbio.iop.org This special print edition of Physical Biology is a combination of issues 1 and 2 of this electronic-only journal and it brings together an impressive range of articles in the fields covered, including a popular

  16. Telemetry System of Biological Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Spisak

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The mobile telemetry system of biological parameters serves for reading and wireless data transfer of measured values of selected biological parameters to an outlying computer. It concerns basically long time monitoring of vital function of car pilot.The goal of this projects is to propose mobile telemetry system for reading, wireless transfer and processing of biological parameters of car pilot during physical and psychical stress. It has to be made with respect to minimal consumption, weight and maximal device mobility. This system has to eliminate signal noise, which is created by biological artifacts and disturbances during the data transfer.

  17. Excited states in biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cilento, G.; Zinner, K.; Bechara, E.J.H.; Duran, N.; Baptista, R.C. de; Shimizu, Y.; Augusto, O.; Faljoni-Alario, A.; Vidigal, C.C.C.; Oliveira, O.M.M.F.; Haun, M.

    1979-01-01

    Some aspects of bioluminescence related to bioenergetics are discussed: 1. chemical generation of excited species, by means of two general processes: electron transference and cyclic - and linear peroxide cleavage; 2. biological systems capable of generating excited states and 3. biological functions of these states, specially the non-emissive ones (tripletes). The production and the role of non-emissive excited states in biological systems are analysed, the main purpose of the study being the search for non-emissive states. Experiences carried out in biological systems are described; results and conclusions are given. (M.A.) [pt

  18. Synthetic biology for therapeutic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abil, Zhanar; Xiong, Xiong; Zhao, Huimin

    2015-02-02

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new field with the key aim of designing and constructing biological systems with novel functionalities. Today, synthetic biology devices are making their first steps in contributing new solutions to a number of biomedical challenges, such as emerging bacterial antibiotic resistance and cancer therapy. This review discusses some synthetic biology approaches and applications that were recently used in disease mechanism investigation and disease modeling, drug discovery and production, as well as vaccine development and treatment of infectious diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders.

  19. Dual Causality and the Autonomy of Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Walter J

    2017-03-01

    Ernst Mayr's concept of dual causality in biology with the two forms of causes (proximate and ultimate) continues to provide an essential foundation for the philosophy of biology. They are equivalent to functional (=proximate) and evolutionary (=ultimate) causes with both required for full biological explanations. The natural sciences can be classified into nomological, historical nomological and historical dual causality, the last including only biology. Because evolutionary causality is unique to biology and must be included for all complete biological explanations, biology is autonomous from the physical sciences.

  20. Biological process linkage networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dikla Dotan-Cohen

    Full Text Available The traditional approach to studying complex biological networks is based on the identification of interactions between internal components of signaling or metabolic pathways. By comparison, little is known about interactions between higher order biological systems, such as biological pathways and processes. We propose a methodology for gleaning patterns of interactions between biological processes by analyzing protein-protein interactions, transcriptional co-expression and genetic interactions. At the heart of the methodology are the concept of Linked Processes and the resultant network of biological processes, the Process Linkage Network (PLN.We construct, catalogue, and analyze different types of PLNs derived from different data sources and different species. When applied to the Gene Ontology, many of the resulting links connect processes that are distant from each other in the hierarchy, even though the connection makes eminent sense biologically. Some others, however, carry an element of surprise and may reflect mechanisms that are unique to the organism under investigation. In this aspect our method complements the link structure between processes inherent in the Gene Ontology, which by its very nature is species-independent. As a practical application of the linkage of processes we demonstrate that it can be effectively used in protein function prediction, having the power to increase both the coverage and the accuracy of predictions, when carefully integrated into prediction methods.Our approach constitutes a promising new direction towards understanding the higher levels of organization of the cell as a system which should help current efforts to re-engineer ontologies and improve our ability to predict which proteins are involved in specific biological processes.

  1. Chemical synthesis, docking studies and biological effects of functionalized 1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones on human colon cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Min Zhu

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available A series of 1, 3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones was synthesised in order to obtain a new type of anticancer drug, designed with hybrid features to inhibit colon cancer activated receptor. Based on computational modelling and docking studies, potential inhibitors were synthesised and their biological activity evaluated. The structures of newly synthesized compounds were confirmed by 1HNMR, 13CNMR and Mass spectrometry. All analogues were evaluated for in vitro cytotoxicity against human colon (caco-2 cancer cell lines. Compounds 1b, 1f-1h, and 2i showed significant cytotoxicity. Chalcones 1b, 1f and 1g were identified as the most potent and selective anticancer agents with IC50 values <1 µg/mL and 1.5 µg/mL, against caco-2 cell line, respectively. In conclusion, this finding confirms the suitability of indolyl chalcone analogues as candidates for further investigation towards the management of colon cancer related diseases.

  2. OPEN QUESTIONS IN ORIGIN OF LIFE: EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ON THE ORIGIN OF NUCLEIC ACIDS AND PROTEINS WITH SPECIFIC AND FUNCTIONAL SEQUENCES BY A CHEMICAL SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Adamala

    2014-02-01

    We have recently addressed these questions by using a chemical synthetic biology approach. In particular, we have tested the catalytic activity of small peptides, like Ser-His, with respect to peptide- and nucleotides-condensation, as a realistic model of primitive organocatalysis. We have also set up a strategy for exploring the sequence space of random proteins and RNAs (the so-called “never born biopolymer” project with respect to the production of folded structures. Being still far from solved, the main aspects of these “open questions” are discussed here, by commenting on recent results obtained in our groups and by providing a unifying view on the problem and possible solutions. In particular, we propose a general scenario for macromolecule formation via fragment-condensation, as a scheme for the emergence of specific sequences based on molecular growth and selection.

  3. Flow Injection Analysis Coupled with Carbon Electrodes as the Tool for Analysis of Naphthoquinones with Respect to Their Content and Functions in Biological Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Kizek

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Naphthoquinones are one of the groups of secondary metabolites widespread innature, where they mostly appear as chromatic pigments. They embody broad-range ofbiological actions from phytotoxic to fungicidal. An anticancer effect of naphthoquinonesstimulates an interest in determination and characterization of single derivatives of 1,2- and1,4-quinones in biological samples. The main aim of this work was to suggest a techniquesuitable to determine lawsone, juglone and/or plumbagin in biological samples and to studyof their influence on BY-2 tobacco cells. The BY-2 tobacco cells were cultivated in thepresence of the naphthoquinones of interest (500 μg.l-1 for 24 h and then the morphologicalchanges were observed. We found out that naphthoquinones triggered the programmed celldeath at BY-2 cells, which can be confirmed by the apoptotic bodies in nucleus. After thatwe suggested and optimized different electrochemical techniques such differential pulsevoltammetry (DPV coupled with hanging mercury drop (HMDE and carbon pasteelectrode, micro flow device coupled with carbon screen printed electrodes and flowinjection analysis coupled with Coulochem III detector to determine them. The detectionlimits of naphthoquinones of interest were expressed as 3S/N and varied from units tohundreds of ng per millilitres according to methods used. Moreover, we utilized DPVcoupled with HMDE and micro flow device to determine content of juglone in leavesPersian walnut (Juglans regia. We determined that the leaves contained juglone tenths of gper 100 g of fresh weight. The results obtained show the convincing possibilities of using ofthese methods in analysis of plant secondary metabolites.

  4. Functionalized amphipols

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Della Pia, Eduardo Antonio; Hansen, Randi Westh; Zoonens, Manuela

    2014-01-01

    Amphipols are amphipathic polymers that stabilize membrane proteins isolated from their native membrane. They have been functionalized with various chemical groups in the past years for protein labeling and protein immobilization. This large toolbox of functionalized amphipols combined...... with their interesting physico-chemical properties give opportunities to selectively add multiple functionalities to membrane proteins and to tune them according to the needs. This unique combination of properties makes them one of the most versatile strategies available today for exploiting membrane proteins onto...... surfaces for various applications in synthetic biology. This review summarizes the properties of functionalized amphipols suitable for synthetic biology approaches....

  5. Processing semblances induced through inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs, presumed biological parallels of K-lines proposed for building artificial intelligence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kunjumon I Vadakkan

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The internal sensation of memory, which is available only to the owner of an individual nervous system, is difficult to analyze for its basic elements of operation. We hypothesize that associative learning induces the formation of functional LINK between the postsynapses. During memory retrieval, the activation of either postsynapse re-activates the functional LINK evoking a semblance of sensory activity arriving at its opposite postsynapse, nature of which defines the basic unit of virtual internal sensation - namely, semblion. Neuronal networks that undergo continuous oscillatory activity at certain levels of their organization induce semblions enabling the system to continuously learn, self-organize, and demonstrate instantiation, features that can be utilized for developing artificial intelligence (AI. Suitability of the inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs to meet the expectations of Minsky’s K-lines, basic elements of a memory theory generated to develop AI and methods to replicate semblances outside the nervous system are explained.

  6. Microfluidic Technologies for Synthetic Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Kuk Lee

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Microfluidic technologies have shown powerful abilities for reducing cost, time, and labor, and at the same time, for increasing accuracy, throughput, and performance in the analysis of biological and biochemical samples compared with the conventional, macroscale instruments. Synthetic biology is an emerging field of biology and has drawn much attraction due to its potential to create novel, functional biological parts and systems for special purposes. Since it is believed that the development of synthetic biology can be accelerated through the use of microfluidic technology, in this review work we focus our discussion on the latest microfluidic technologies that can provide unprecedented means in synthetic biology for dynamic profiling of gene expression/regulation with high resolution, highly sensitive on-chip and off-chip detection of metabolites, and whole-cell analysis.

  7. DNA in a Tunnel: A Comfy Spot for Recognition - or -The Structure of BsoBI Complexed with DNA. What can we Learn about Function via Structure Determination and how can this be Applied to Bone or Muscle Biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    vanderWoerd, Mark

    2004-01-01

    The structure and function of a biologically active molecule are related. To understand its function, it is necessary (but not always sufficient) to know the structure of the molecule. There are many ways of relating the molecular function with the structure. Mutation analysis can identify pertinent amino acids of an enzyme, or alternatively structure comparison of the of two similar molecules with different function may lead to understanding which parts are responsible for a functional aspect, or a series of "structural cartoons" - enzyme structure, enzyme plus substrate, enzyme with transition state analog, and enzyme with product - may give insight in the function of a molecule. As an example we will discuss the structure and function of the restriction enzyme BsoBI from Bacillus stearothemzophilus in complex with its cognate DNA. The enzyme forms a unique complex with DNA in that it completely encircles the DNA. The structure reveals the enzyme-DNA contacts, how the DNA is distorted compared with the canonical forms, and elegantly shows how two distinct DNA sequences can be recognized with the same efficiency. Based on the structure we may also propose a hypothesis how the enzymatic mechanism works. The knowledge gained thru studies such as this one can be used to alter the function by changing the molecular structure. Usually this is done by design of inhibitors specifically active against and fitting into an active site of the enzyme of choice. In the case of BsoBI one of the objectives of the study was to alter the enzyme specificity. In bone <