WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological functions include

  1. BIOLOGIC AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF INCLUDING DIFFERENT ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biologic and economic effects of including three agro-industrial by-products as ingredients in turkey poult diets were investigated using 48 turkey poults in a completely randomised design experiment. Diets were formulated to contain the three by-products – wheat offal, rice husk and palm kernel meal, each at 20% level ...

  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. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hateren, J H

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Distal radioulnar joint: functional anatomy, including pathomechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haugstvedt, J R; Langer, M F; Berger, R A

    2017-05-01

    The distal radioulnar joint allows the human to rotate the forearm to place the hand in a desired position to perform different tasks, without interfering with the grasping function of the hand. The ulna is the stable part of the forearm around which the radius rotates; the stability of the distal radioulnar joint is provided by the interaction between ligaments, muscles and bones. The stabilizing structures are the triangular fibrocartilage complex, the ulnocarpal ligament complex, the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon and tendon sheath, the pronator quadratus, the interosseous membrane and ligament, the bone itself and the joint capsule. The purpose of this review article is to present and illustrate the current understanding of the functional anatomy and pathomechanics of this joint.

  6. The biological function of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eEarl

    2014-08-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Biological treatment of inorganic ion contamination including radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cherry, R.S.

    1997-01-01

    Microorganisms and plants are capable of a broad range of activities useful in treating inorganic contaminants in soil, groundwater, and surface runoff water Among the advantages of biological processes for this purpose are relatively low costs (related to their mild conditions) and the practicality of letting them run unattended. This talk will review both kinds of treatment chemistry that can be done biologically as well as present data from INEEL projects on bioremediation of specific elements. Biological processes can either solubilize or immobilize metals and other ions depending on the need. Uranium ions are solubilized from soil by the local bioproduction of organic acids as chelating agents, allowing removal of this ion as part of an ex-situ treatment process. Further, the microbial production of sulfuric acid can be used to solubilize Cs contamination in concrete surfaces. More usual though is the need to control metal movement in soil or water. Various metals such as Se and Cd are taken up from soil by hyper-accumulating plants, where they can be harvested in concentrated form in the leaves and stems. Excess acidity and a broad variety of toxic metals in acid rock drainage, such as Hg, Cd, Zn and others, can be removed by the production of sulfide ion in an easily fielded biological reactor which may be useful on phosphate processing runoff water contaminated with naturally occuring radioactive materials. Soluble Co, Cu, and Cd can be treated by sorption onto immobilized algae. Inorganic ions can also be directly reduced by bacteria as part of treatment, for example the conversion of soluble selenate ion to insoluble elemental selenium and the conversion of highly toxic CR(VI) to the far less soluble and less toxic Cr(III)

  9. Biological treatment of inorganic ion contamination including radionuclides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cherry, R S [Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1997-12-01

    Microorganisms and plants are capable of a broad range of activities useful in treating inorganic contaminants in soil, groundwater, and surface runoff water Among the advantages of biological processes for this purpose are relatively low costs (related to their mild conditions) and the practicality of letting them run unattended. This talk will review both kinds of treatment chemistry that can be done biologically as well as present data from INEEL projects on bioremediation of specific elements. Biological processes can either solubilize or immobilize metals and other ions depending on the need. Uranium ions are solubilized from soil by the local bioproduction of organic acids as chelating agents, allowing removal of this ion as part of an ex-situ treatment process. Further, the microbial production of sulfuric acid can be used to solubilize Cs contamination in concrete surfaces. More usual though is the need to control metal movement in soil or water. Various metals such as Se and Cd are taken up from soil by hyper-accumulating plants, where they can be harvested in concentrated form in the leaves and stems. Excess acidity and a broad variety of toxic metals in acid rock drainage, such as Hg, Cd, Zn and others, can be removed by the production of sulfide ion in an easily fielded biological reactor which may be useful on phosphate processing runoff water contaminated with naturally occuring radioactive materials. Soluble Co, Cu, and Cd can be treated by sorption onto immobilized algae. Inorganic ions can also be directly reduced by bacteria as part of treatment, for example the conversion of soluble selenate ion to insoluble elemental selenium and the conversion of highly toxic CR(VI) to the far less soluble and less toxic Cr(III).

  10. Functional biology of sympatric krill species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2016-01-01

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

  11. BIOLOGY OF HUMAN MALARIA PLASMODIA INCLUDING PLASMODIUM KNOWLESI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spinello Antinori

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a vector-borne infection caused by unicellular parasite of the genus Plasmodium. Plasmodia are obligate intracellular parasites that in humans after a clinically silent replication phase in the liver are able to infect and replicate within the erythrocytes. Four species (P.falciparum, P.malariae, P.ovale and P.vivax are traditionally recognized as responsible of natural infection in human beings but the recent upsurge of P.knowlesi malaria in South-East Asia has led clinicians to consider it as the fifth human malaria parasite. Recent studies in wild-living apes in Africa have revealed that P.falciparum, the most deadly form of human malaria, is not only human-host restricted as previously believed and its phylogenetic lineage is much more complex with new species identified in gorilla, bonobo and chimpanzee. Although less impressive, new data on biology of P.malariae, P.ovale and P.vivax are also emerging and will be briefly discussed in this review.

  12. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Rang Yun

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

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

  15. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Integrative Biological Chemistry Program Includes the Use of Informatics Tools, GIS and SAS Software Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Malcolm J.; Kashmar, Richard J.; Hurst, Kent; Fiedler, Frank; Gross, Catherine E.; Deol, Jasbir K.; Wilson, Alora

    2015-01-01

    Wesley College is a private, primarily undergraduate minority-serving institution located in the historic district of Dover, Delaware (DE). The College recently revised its baccalaureate biological chemistry program requirements to include a one-semester Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences course and project-based experiential learning…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  20. Mass spectrometry in identification of ecotoxicants including chemical and biological warfare agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebedev, Albert T.

    2005-01-01

    Mass spectrometry is a unique tool to detect and identify trace levels of organic and bioorganic compounds as well as microorganisms in the environment. The range of potential chemical warfare (CW) and biological warfare (BW) agents is very broad. An important advantage of mass spectrometry over other techniques involves potential for full spectrum detection of chemical and biological agents including mid-spectrum materials (i.e. bioactive peptides, toxins, etc.) for which biological approaches are inadequate. Being very fast (seconds and minutes), extremely sensitive (zeptomoles 10 -21 ), and informative (detailed qualitative and quantitative composition of mixtures containing hundreds of chemicals), mass spectrometry is a principal analytical tool at the sites of destruction of CW. Due to its unique features, mass spectrometry is applied not only for the detection of CW agents, but for the analysis of products of metabolism and degradation of these agents in organisms or environment as well. The present paper deals with some examples of successful application of mass spectrometry for the analyses of ecotoxicants, chemical warfare agents, explosives, and microorganisms including biology warfare agents

  1. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charbel Niño El-Hani

    2009-10-01

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

  2. The functional biology of human milk oligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Lars

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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).

  4. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. IMRT optimization with pseudo-biologic objective function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl-Heinz Wagner

    2016-06-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. Green mathematics: Benefits of including biological variation in your data analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tijskens, L.M.M.; Schouten, R.E.; Unuk, T.; Simcic, M.

    2015-01-01

    Biological variation is omnipresent in nature. It contains useful information that is neglected by the usually applied statistical procedures. To extract this information special procedures have to be applied. Biological variation is seen in properties (e.g. size, colour, firmness), but the

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-09

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

  13. Teaching Methods in Biology Education and Sustainability Education Including Outdoor Education for Promoting Sustainability--A Literature Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeronen, Eila; Palmberg, Irmeli; Yli-Panula, Eija

    2017-01-01

    There are very few studies concerning the importance of teaching methods in biology education and environmental education including outdoor education for promoting sustainability at the levels of primary and secondary schools and pre-service teacher education. The material was selected using special keywords from biology and sustainable education…

  14. Controlled Carbon Source Addition to an Alternating Nitrification-Denitrification Wastewater Treatment Process Including Biological P Removal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Isaacs, Steven Howard; Henze, Mogens

    1995-01-01

    The paper investigates the effect of adding an external carbon source on the rate of denitrification in an alternating activated sludge process including biological P removal. Two carbon sources were examined, acetate and hydrolysate derived from biologically hydrolyzed sludge. Preliminary batch ...

  15. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hateren, J. H.

    2017-01-01

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

  16. 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 ...

  17. Functional mapping in biology and medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McEachron, D.L.

    1986-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Reproductive Biology Including Evidence for Superfetation in the European Badger Meles meles (Carnivora: Mustelidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh A L Corner

    Full Text Available The reproductive biology of the European badger (Meles meles is of wide interest because it is one of the few mammal species that show delayed implantation and one of only five which are suggested to show superfetation as a reproductive strategy. This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers with a view to increasing our understanding of the process of delayed implantation and superfetation. We carried out a detailed histological examination of the reproductive tract of 264 female badgers taken from sites across 20 of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland. The key results show evidence of multiple blastocysts at different stages of development present simultaneously in the same female, supporting the view that superfetation is relatively common in this population of badgers. In addition we present strong evidence that the breeding rate in Irish badgers is limited by failure to conceive, rather than failure at any other stages of the breeding cycle. We show few effects of age on breeding success, suggesting no breeding suppression by adult females in this population. The study sheds new light on this unusual breeding strategy of delayed implantation and superfetation, and highlights a number of significant differences between the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers and those of Great Britain and Swedish populations.

  1. AFM imaging of functionalized carbon nanotubes on biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Mechanical–biological treatment: Performance and potentials. An LCA of 8 MBT plants including waste characterization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Montejo, Cristina; Tonini, Davide; Márquez, María del Carmen

    2013-01-01

    recovery through increased automation of the selection and to prioritize biogas-electricity production from the organic fraction over direct composting. The optimal strategy for refuse derived fuel (RDF) management depends upon the environmental compartment to be prioritized and the type of marginal...... of the MBT plants. These widely differed in type of biological treatment and recovery efficiencies. The results indicated that the performance is strongly connected with energy and materials recovery efficiency. The recommendation for upgrading and/or commissioning of future plants is to optimize materials...... electricity source in the system. It was estimated that, overall, up to ca. 180—190 kt CO2-eq. y−1 may be saved by optimizing the MBT plants under assessment....

  4. Biological review of 82 species of coral petitioned to be included in the Endangered Species Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brainard, Russell E.; Birkeland, Charles; Eakin, C. Mark; McElhany, Paul; Miller, Margaret W.; Patterson, Matt; Piniak, G.A.

    2011-01-01

    list 83 coral species as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The petition was based on a predicted decline in available habitat for the species, citing anthropogenic climate change and ocean acidification as the lead factors among the various stressors responsible for the potential decline. The NMFS identified 82 of the corals as candidate species, finding that the petition provided substantive information for a potential listing of these species. The NMFS established a Biological Review Team (BRT) to prepare this Status Review Report that examines the status of these 82 candidate coral species and evaluates extinction risk for each of them. This document makes no recommendations for listing, as that is a separate evaluation to be conducted by the NMFS.

  5. Fuzzy logic for plant-wide control of biological wastewater treatment process including greenhouse gas emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santín, I; Barbu, M; Pedret, C; Vilanova, R

    2018-06-01

    The application of control strategies is increasingly used in wastewater treatment plants with the aim of improving effluent quality and reducing operating costs. Due to concerns about the progressive growth of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), these are also currently being evaluated in wastewater treatment plants. The present article proposes a fuzzy controller for plant-wide control of the biological wastewater treatment process. Its design is based on 14 inputs and 6 outputs in order to reduce GHG emissions, nutrient concentration in the effluent and operational costs. The article explains and shows the effect of each one of the inputs and outputs of the fuzzy controller, as well as the relationship between them. Benchmark Simulation Model no 2 Gas is used for testing the proposed control strategy. The results of simulation results show that the fuzzy controller is able to reduce GHG emissions while improving, at the same time, the common criteria of effluent quality and operational costs. Copyright © 2018 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Rodrigo; Vargas, Marcelo R

    2018-04-23

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. T. KORHONEN

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Resolution of fine biological structure including small narcomedusae across a front in the Southern California Bight

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClatchie, Sam; Cowen, Robert; Nieto, Karen; Greer, Adam; Luo, Jessica Y.; Guigand, Cedric; Demer, David; Griffith, David; Rudnick, Daniel

    2012-04-01

    We sampled a front detected by SST gradient, ocean color imagery, and a Spray glider south of San Nicolas Island in the Southern California Bight between 14 and 18 October 2010. We sampled the front with an unusually extensive array of instrumentation, including the Continuous Underway Fish Egg Sampler (CUFES), the undulating In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS) (fitted with temperature, salinity, oxygen, and fluorescence sensors), multifrequency acoustics, a surface pelagic trawl, a bongo net, and a neuston net. We found higher fluorescence and greater cladoceran, decapod, and euphausiid densities in the front, indicating increased primary and secondary production. Mesopelagic fish were most abundant in oceanic waters to the west of the front, market squid were abundant in the front associated with higher krill and decapod densities, and jack mackerel were most common in the front and on the shoreward side of the front. Egg densities peaked to either side of the front, consistent with both offshore (for oceanic squid and mesopelagic fish) and shelf origins (for white croaker and California halibut). We discovered unusually high concentrations of predatory narcomedusae in the surface layer of the frontal zone. Potential ichthyoplankton predators were more abundant either in the front (decapods, euphausiids, and squid) or shoreward of the front (medusae, chaetognaths, and jack mackerel). For pelagic fish like sardine, which can thrive in less productive waters, the safest place to spawn would be offshore because there are fewer potential predators.

  13. 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.

  14. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Multi trace element analysis of dry biological materials by neutron activation analysis including a chemical group separation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weers, C.A.

    1980-07-01

    Multi-element analysis of dry biological material by neutron activation analysis has to include radiochemical separation. The evaporation process is described in terms of the half-volume. The pretreatment of the samples and the development of the destruction-evaporation apparatus are described. The successive adsorption steps with active charcoal, Al 2 O 3 and coprecipitation with Fe(OH) 3 are described. Results obtained for standard reference materials are summarized. (G.T.H.)

  16. 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

  17. Progress in the biological function of alpha-enolase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Ji

    2016-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirag, N

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Convex reformulation of biologically-based multi-criteria intensity-modulated radiation therapy optimization including fractionation effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Aswin L; den Hertog, Dick; Siem, Alex Y D; Kaanders, Johannes H A M; Huizenga, Henk

    2008-11-21

    Finding fluence maps for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can be formulated as a multi-criteria optimization problem for which Pareto optimal treatment plans exist. To account for the dose-per-fraction effect of fractionated IMRT, it is desirable to exploit radiobiological treatment plan evaluation criteria based on the linear-quadratic (LQ) cell survival model as a means to balance the radiation benefits and risks in terms of biologic response. Unfortunately, the LQ-model-based radiobiological criteria are nonconvex functions, which make the optimization problem hard to solve. We apply the framework proposed by Romeijn et al (2004 Phys. Med. Biol. 49 1991-2013) to find transformations of LQ-model-based radiobiological functions and establish conditions under which transformed functions result in equivalent convex criteria that do not change the set of Pareto optimal treatment plans. The functions analysed are: the LQ-Poisson-based model for tumour control probability (TCP) with and without inter-patient heterogeneity in radiation sensitivity, the LQ-Poisson-based relative seriality s-model for normal tissue complication probability (NTCP), the equivalent uniform dose (EUD) under the LQ-Poisson model and the fractionation-corrected Probit-based model for NTCP according to Lyman, Kutcher and Burman. These functions differ from those analysed before in that they cannot be decomposed into elementary EUD or generalized-EUD functions. In addition, we show that applying increasing and concave transformations to the convexified functions is beneficial for the piecewise approximation of the Pareto efficient frontier.

  4. Direct fragmentation of quarkonia including Fermi motion using light-cone wave function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nobary, M.A. Gomshi [Razi University, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Kermanshah (Iran); A.E.O.I., Center for Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, Tehran (Iran); Javadi, B. [Razi University, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Kermanshah (Iran)

    2005-07-01

    We investigate the effect of Fermi motion on the direct fragmentation of the J/{psi} and {upsilon} states employing a light-cone wave function. Consistent with such a wave function we set up the kinematics of a heavy quark fragmenting into quarkonia such that the Fermi motion of the constituents splits into a longitudinal as well as a transverse direction and thus calculate the fragmentation functions for these states. In the framework of our investigation, we estimate that the fragmentation probabilities of J/{psi} and {upsilon} may increase at least up to 14 percent when including this degree of freedom. (orig.)

  5. Teaching Methods in Biology Education and Sustainability Education Including Outdoor Education for Promoting Sustainability—A Literature Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eila Jeronen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available There are very few studies concerning the importance of teaching methods in biology education and environmental education including outdoor education for promoting sustainability at the levels of primary and secondary schools and pre-service teacher education. The material was selected using special keywords from biology and sustainable education in several scientific databases. The article provides an overview of 24 selected articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals from 2006–2016. The data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Altogether, 16 journals were selected and 24 articles were analyzed in detail. The foci of the analyses were teaching methods, learning environments, knowledge and thinking skills, psychomotor skills, emotions and attitudes, and evaluation methods. Additionally, features of good methods were investigated and their implications for teaching were emphasized. In total, 22 different teaching methods were found to improve sustainability education in different ways. The most emphasized teaching methods were those in which students worked in groups and participated actively in learning processes. Research points toward the value of teaching methods that provide a good introduction and supportive guidelines and include active participation and interactivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Kazuki; Matsuda, Fumio

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 .

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-31

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, K; Kishimoto, T; Akira, S

    1997-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-07-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  18. Association between functional performance and executive cognitive functions in an elderly population including patients with low ankle–brachial index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Naomi Vidal; Cunha, Paulo Jannuzzi; da Costa, Danielle Irigoyen; dos Santos, Fernando; Costa, Fernando Oliveira; Consolim-Colombo, Fernanda; Irigoyen, Maria Cláudia

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Peripheral arterial disease, as measured by the ankle–brachial index (ABI), is prevalent among the elderly, and is associated with functional performance, assessed by the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Executive cognitive function (ECF) impairments are also prevalent in this population, but no existing study has investigated the association between ECF and functional performance in an elderly population including individuals with low ABI. Aim To investigate the association between functional performance, as measured by the 6MWT, and loss in ECF, in an elderly sample including individuals with low ABI. Method The ABI group was formed by 26 elderly individuals with low ABI (mean ABI: 0.63±0.19), and the control group was formed by 40 elderly individuals with normal ABI (mean ABI: 1.08±0.07). We analyzed functional performance using the 6MWT, global cognition using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and ECF using the Digit Span for assessing attention span and working memory, the Stroop Color Word Test (SCWT) for assessing information processing speed and inhibitory control/impulsivity, and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) for assessing semantic verbal fluency and phonemic verbal fluency. We also used a factor analysis on all of the ECF tests (global ECF). Results Before adjustment, the ABI group performed worse on global cognition, attention span, working memory, inhibitory control/impulsivity, semantic verbal fluency, and phonemic verbal fluency. After adjustment, the ABI group performance remained worse for working memory and semantic verbal fluency. In a simple correlation analysis including all of the subjects, the 6MWT was associated with global cognition, attention span, working memory, information processing speed, inhibitory control/impulsivity, semantic verbal fluency, and global ECF. After adjustment, all the associations remained statistically significant. Conclusion This study found an independent association between

  19. A new wall function boundary condition including heat release effect for supersonic combustion flows

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Zhen-Xun; Jiang, Chong-Wen; Lee, Chun-Hian

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A new wall function including heat release effect is theoretically derived. • The new wall function is a unified form holding for flows with/without combustion. • The new wall function shows good results for a supersonic combustion case. - Abstract: A new wall function boundary condition considering combustion heat release effect (denoted as CWFBC) is proposed, for efficient predictions of skin friction and heat transfer in supersonic combustion flows. Based on a standard flow model including boundary-layer combustion, the Shvab–Zeldovich coupling parameters are introduced to derive a new velocity law-of-the-wall including the influence of combustion. For the temperature law-of-the-wall, it is proposed to use the enthalpy–velocity relation, instead of the Crocco–Busemann equation, to eliminate explicit influence of chemical reactions. The obtained velocity and temperature law-of-the-walls constitute the CWFBC, which is a unified form simultaneously holding for single-species, multi-species mixing and multi-species reactive flows. The subsequent numerical simulations using this CWFBC on an experimental case indicate that the CWFBC could accurately reflect the influences on the skin friction and heat transfer by the chemical reactions and heat release, and show large improvements compared to previous WFBC. Moreover, the CWFBC can give accurate skin friction and heat flux for a coarse mesh with y"+ up to 200 for the experimental case, except for slightly larger discrepancy of the wall heat flux around ignition position.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. TS Fuzzy Model-Based Controller Design for a Class of Nonlinear Systems Including Nonsmooth Functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vafamand, Navid; Asemani, Mohammad Hassan; Khayatiyan, Alireza

    2018-01-01

    This paper proposes a novel robust controller design for a class of nonlinear systems including hard nonlinearity functions. The proposed approach is based on Takagi-Sugeno (TS) fuzzy modeling, nonquadratic Lyapunov function, and nonparallel distributed compensation scheme. In this paper, a novel...... criterion, new robust controller design conditions in terms of linear matrix inequalities are derived. Three practical case studies, electric power steering system, a helicopter model and servo-mechanical system, are presented to demonstrate the importance of such class of nonlinear systems comprising...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. A Synthetic Biology Framework for Programming Eukaryotic Transcription Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Representing uncertainty in objective functions: extension to include the influence of serial correlation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croke, B. F.

    2008-12-01

    The role of performance indicators is to give an accurate indication of the fit between a model and the system being modelled. As all measurements have an associated uncertainty (determining the significance that should be given to the measurement), performance indicators should take into account uncertainties in the observed quantities being modelled as well as in the model predictions (due to uncertainties in inputs, model parameters and model structure). In the presence of significant uncertainty in observed and modelled output of a system, failure to adequately account for variations in the uncertainties means that the objective function only gives a measure of how well the model fits the observations, not how well the model fits the system being modelled. Since in most cases, the interest lies in fitting the system response, it is vital that the objective function(s) be designed to account for these uncertainties. Most objective functions (e.g. those based on the sum of squared residuals) assume homoscedastic uncertainties. If model contribution to the variations in residuals can be ignored, then transformations (e.g. Box-Cox) can be used to remove (or at least significantly reduce) heteroscedasticity. An alternative which is more generally applicable is to explicitly represent the uncertainties in the observed and modelled values in the objective function. Previous work on this topic addressed the modifications to standard objective functions (Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, RMSE, chi- squared, coefficient of determination) using the optimal weighted averaging approach. This paper extends this previous work; addressing the issue of serial correlation. A form for an objective function that includes serial correlation will be presented, and the impact on model fit discussed.

  7. Merkel Cell Carcinomas Arising in Autoimmune Disease Affected Patients Treated with Biologic Drugs, Including Anti-TNF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotondo, John Charles; Bononi, Ilaria; Puozzo, Andrea; Govoni, Marcello; Foschi, Valentina; Lanza, Giovanni; Gafà, Roberta; Gaboriaud, Pauline; Touzé, Françoise Antoine; Selvatici, Rita; Martini, Fernanda; Tognon, Mauro

    2017-07-15

    Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to characterize Merkel cell carcinomas (MCC) arisen in patients affected by autoimmune diseases and treated with biologic drugs. Experimental Design: Serum samples from patients with MCC were analyzed for the presence and titer of antibodies against antigens of the oncogenic Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV). IgG antibodies against the viral oncoproteins large T (LT) and small T (ST) antigens and the viral capsid protein-1 were analyzed by indirect ELISA. Viral antigens were recombinant LT/ST and virus-like particles (VLP), respectively. MCPyV DNA sequences were studied using PCR methods in MCC tissues and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses were carried out in MCC tissues to reveal MCPyV LT oncoprotein. Results: MCPyV DNA sequences identified in MCC tissues showed 100% homology with the European MKL-1 strain. PBMCs from patients tested MCPyV-negative. Viral DNA loads in the three MCC tissues were in the 0.1 to 30 copy/cell range. IgG antibodies against LT/ST were detected in patients 1 and 3, whereas patient 2 did not react to the MCPyV LT/ST antigen. Sera from the three patients with MCC contained IgG antibodies against MCPyV VP1. MCC tissues tested MCPyV LT-antigen-positive in IHC assays, with strong LT expression with diffuse nuclear localization. Normal tissues tested MCPyV LT-negative when employed as control. Conclusions: We investigated three new MCCs in patients affected by rheumatologic diseases treated with biologic drugs, including TNF. A possible cause-effect relationship between pharmacologic immunosuppressive treatment and MCC onset is suggested. Indeed, MCC is associated with MCPyV LT oncoprotein activity. Clin Cancer Res; 23(14); 3929-34. ©2017 AACR . ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-09-01

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

  9. Defining the breeding goal for a sheep breed including production and functional traits using market data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodoridis, A; Ragkos, A; Rose, G; Roustemis, D; Arsenos, G

    2017-11-16

    In this study, the economic values for production and functional traits of dairy sheep are estimated through the application of a profit function model using farm-level technical and economic data. The traits incorporated in the model were milk production, prolificacy, fertility, milking speed, longevity and mastitis occurrence. The economic values for these traits were derived as the approximate partial derivative of the specified profit function. A sensitivity analysis was also conducted in order to examine how potential changes in input and output prices would affect the breeding goal. The estimated economic values of the traits revealed their economic impact on the definition of the breeding goal for the specified production system. Milk production and fertility had the highest economic values (€40.30 and €20.28 per standard genetic deviation (SDa)), while, mastitis only had a low negative value of -0.57 €/SDa. Therefore, breeding for clinical mastitis will have a minor impact on farm profitability because it affects a small proportion of the flock and has low additive variance. The production traits, which include milk production, prolificacy and milking speed, contributed most to the breeding goal (70.0%), but functional traits still had a considerable share (30.0%). The results of this study highlight the importance of the knowledge of economic values of traits in the design of a breeding program. It is also suggested that the production and functional traits under consideration can be categorized as those which can be efficiently treated through genetic improvement (e.g. milk production and fertility) while others would be better dealt with through managerial interventions (e.g. mastitis occurrence). Also, sub-clinical mastitis that affects a higher proportion of flocks could have a higher contribution to breeding goals.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viroj Wiwanitkit

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Sequence-specific 1H-NMR assignments for the aromatic region of several biologically active, monomeric insulins including native human insulin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, M; Lee, R W; Kaarsholm, N C; Thøgersen, H; Brange, J; Dunn, M F

    1990-06-12

    The aromatic region of the 1H-FT-NMR spectrum of the biologically fully-potent, monomeric human insulin mutant, B9 Ser----Asp, B27 Thr----Glu has been investigated in D2O. At 1 to 5 mM concentrations, this mutant insulin is monomeric above pH 7.5. Coupling and amino acid classification of all aromatic signals is established via a combination of homonuclear one- and two-dimensional methods, including COSY, multiple quantum filters, selective spin decoupling and pH titrations. By comparisons with other insulin mutants and with chemically modified native insulins, all resonances in the aromatic region are given sequence-specific assignments without any reliance on the various crystal structures reported for insulin. These comparisons also give the sequence-specific assignments of most of the aromatic resonances of the mutant insulins B16 Tyr----Glu, B27 Thr----Glu and B25 Phe----Asp and the chemically modified species des-(B23-B30) insulin and monoiodo-Tyr A14 insulin. Chemical dispersion of the assigned resonances, ring current perturbations and comparisons at high pH have made possible the assignment of the aromatic resonances of human insulin, and these studies indicate that the major structural features of the human insulin monomer (including those critical to biological function) are also present in the monomeric mutant.

  14. Etiopathophysiological assessment of cases with chronic daily headache: A functional magnetic resonance imaging included investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashemi, Akram; Nami, Mohammad Torabi; Oghabian, Mohammad Ali; Ganjgahi, Habib; Vahabi, Zahra

    2012-01-01

    Background Chronic daily headache (CDH) has gained little attention in functional neuro-imaging. When no structural abnormality is found in CDH, defining functional correlates between activated brain regions during headache bouts may provide unique insights towards understanding the pathophysiology of this type of headache. Methods We recruited four CDH cases for comprehensive assessments, including history taking, physical examinations and neuropsychological evaluations (The Addenbrooke's Cognitive Evaluation, Beck's Anxiety and Depression Inventories, Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale). Visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to self-rate the intensity of headache. Patients then underwent electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial Doppler (TCD) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evaluations during maximal (VAS = 8-10/10) and off-headache (VAS = 0-3/10) conditions. Data were used to compare in both conditions. We also used BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) -group level activation map fMRI to possibly locate headache-related activated brain regions. Results General and neurological examinations as well as conventional MRIs were unremarkable. Neuropsychological assessments showed moderate anxiety and depression in one patient and minimal in others. Unlike three patients, maximal and off-headache TCD evaluation in one revealed increased middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity, at the maximal pain area. Although with no seizure history, the same patient's EEG showed paroxysmal epileptic discharges during maximal headache intensity, respectively. Group level activation map fMRI showed activated classical pain matrix regions upon headache bouts (periaqueductal grey, substantia nigra and raphe nucleus), and markedly bilateral occipital lobes activation. Conclusion The EEG changes were of note. Furthermore, the increased BOLD signals in areas outside the classical pain matrix (i.e. occipital lobes) during maximal headaches may

  15. [Functional results of cryosurgical procedures in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment including macula region - our experience].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrapek, O; Sín, M; Jirková, B; Jarkovský, J; Rehák, J

    2013-10-01

    Aim of this study is to evaluate retrospectively functional results of cryosurgical treatment of uncomplicated, idiopathic rhegmatogenous retinal detachment including macula region in phakic patients operated on at the Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty Hospital, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, E.U., during the period 2002 -2013, and to evaluate the significance of the macula detachment duration for the final visual acuity. In the study group were included 56 eyes of 56 patients operated in the years 2003 - 2012 at the Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty Hospital, Palacký University, Olomouc. All patients were phakic and in all of them, the retinal detachment including the macula region was diagnosed. The mean follow-up period of the patients was 8,75 months. The initial and final visual acuity testing were performed. Comparing the initial and final visual acuity we rated the level of the visual acuity change. The result was stated as improved, if the visual acuity improved by 1 or more lines on the ETDRS chart. The result was rated as stabilized, if the visual acuity remained the same or it changed by 1 line of the ETDRS chart only. The result was evaluated as worsened, if the visual acuity decreased by 1 or more lines of the ETDRS chart. In the followed-up group, the authors compared visual acuity levels in patients with the macula detachment duration 10 days and 11 days. For the statistical evaluation of achieved results, the Mann - Whitney U test was used. The visual acuity improved in 49 (87 %), did not changed in 5 (9 %) and worsened in 2 (4 %) patients. The patients with macula detachment duration 10 days achieved statistically significant better visual acuity than patients with macula detachment duration 11 days. Patients with macula detachment duration 10 days have better prognosis for functional result than patients with macula detachment duration 11 days.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistretta, Charlotte M; Kumari, Archana

    2017-02-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-06-01

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

  19. Communication: importance sampling including path correlation in semiclassical initial value representation calculations for time correlation functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Feng; Tao, Guohua

    2013-03-07

    Full semiclassical (SC) initial value representation (IVR) for time correlation functions involves a double phase space average over a set of two phase points, each of which evolves along a classical path. Conventionally, the two initial phase points are sampled independently for all degrees of freedom (DOF) in the Monte Carlo procedure. Here, we present an efficient importance sampling scheme by including the path correlation between the two initial phase points for the bath DOF, which greatly improves the performance of the SC-IVR calculations for large molecular systems. Satisfactory convergence in the study of quantum coherence in vibrational relaxation has been achieved for a benchmark system-bath model with up to 21 DOF.

  20. 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

  1. Extended automated separation techniques in destructive neutron activation analysis; application to various biological materials, including human tissues and blood

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tjioe, P.S.; Goeij, J.J.M. de; Houtman, J.P.W.

    1976-09-01

    Neutron activation analysis may be performed as a multi-element and low-level technique for many important trace elements in biological materials, provided that post-irradiation chemical separations are applied. This paper describes a chemical separation consisting of automated procedures for destruction, distillation, and anion-chromatography. The system developed enables the determination of 14 trace elements in biological materials, viz. antimony, arsenic, bromine, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gold, iron, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, and zinc. The aspects of sample preparation, neutron irradiation, gamma-spectrum evaluation, and blank-value contribution are also discussed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Biological soil crust effects must be included to accurately model infiltration and erosion in drylands : an example from Tabernas Badlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, E.; Canton, Y.; Jetten, V.G.

    2015-01-01

    In dryland ecosystems, runoff is mainly generated in bare areas, which are also more susceptible to water erosion than vegetated areas. These bare areas are often covered and protected by biological soil crusts (BSCs), which modify numerous physicochemical surface properties involved in runoff and

  4. Including a Service Learning Educational Research Project in a Biology Course-I: Assessing Community Awareness of Childhood Lead Poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Shakra, Amal; Saliim, Eric

    2012-01-01

    A university course project was developed and implemented in a biology course, focusing on environmental problems, to assess community awareness of childhood lead poisoning. A set of 385 questionnaires was generated and distributed in an urban community in North Carolina, USA. The completed questionnaires were sorted first into yes and no sets…

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

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

  7. 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

  8. Optimisation of chromatographic resolution using objective functions including both time and spectral information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Lapasió, J R; Pous-Torres, S; Ortiz-Bolsico, C; García-Alvarez-Coque, M C

    2015-01-16

    The optimisation of the resolution in high-performance liquid chromatography is traditionally performed attending only to the time information. However, even in the optimal conditions, some peak pairs may remain unresolved. Such incomplete resolution can be still accomplished by deconvolution, which can be carried out with more guarantees of success by including spectral information. In this work, two-way chromatographic objective functions (COFs) that incorporate both time and spectral information were tested, based on the peak purity (analyte peak fraction free of overlapping) and the multivariate selectivity (figure of merit derived from the net analyte signal) concepts. These COFs are sensitive to situations where the components that coelute in a mixture show some spectral differences. Therefore, they are useful to find out experimental conditions where the spectrochromatograms can be recovered by deconvolution. Two-way multivariate selectivity yielded the best performance and was applied to the separation using diode-array detection of a mixture of 25 phenolic compounds, which remained unresolved in the chromatographic order using linear and multi-linear gradients of acetonitrile-water. Peak deconvolution was carried out using the combination of orthogonal projection approach and alternating least squares. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Pulmonary Function After Treatment for Embryonal Brain Tumors on SJMB03 That Included Craniospinal Irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, Daniel M.; Merchant, Thomas E.; Billups, Catherine A.; Stokes, Dennis C.; Broniscer, Alberto; Bartels, Ute; Chintagumpala, Murali; Hassall, Timothy E.; Gururangan, Sridharan; McCowage, Geoffrey B.; Heath, John A.; Cohn, Richard J.; Fisher, Michael J.; Srinivasan, Ashok; Robinson, Giles W.; Gajjar, Amar

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The treatment of children with embryonal brain tumors (EBT) includes craniospinal irradiation (CSI). There are limited data regarding the effect of CSI on pulmonary function. Methods: Protocol SJMB03 enrolled patients 3 to 21 years of age with EBT. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV 1 ] and forced vital capacity [FVC] by spirometry, total lung capacity [TLC] by nitrogen washout or plethysmography, and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide corrected for hemoglobin [DLCO corr ]) were obtained. Differences between PFTs obtained immediately after the completion of CSI and 24 or 60 months after the completion of treatment (ACT) were compared using exact Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and repeated-measures models. Results: Between June 24, 2003, and March 1, 2010, 303 eligible patients (spine dose: ≤2345 cGy, 201; >2345 cGy, 102; proton beam, 20) were enrolled, 260 of whom had at least 1 PFT. The median age at diagnosis was 8.9 years (range, 3.1-20.4 years). The median thoracic spinal radiation dose was 23.4 Gy (interquartile range [IQR], 23.4-36.0 Gy). The median cyclophosphamide dose was 16.0 g/m 2 (IQR, 15.7-16.0 g/m 2 ). At 24 and 60 months ACT, DLCO corr was <75% predicted in 23% (27/118) and 25% (21/84) of patients, FEV 1 was <80% predicted in 20% (34/170) and 29% (32/109) of patients, FVC was <80% predicted in 27% (46/172) and 28% (30/108) of patients, and TLC was <75% predicted in 9% (13/138) and 11% (10/92) of patients. DLCO corr was significantly decreased 24 months ACT (median difference [MD] in % predicted, 3.00%; P=.028) and 60 months ACT (MD in % predicted, 6.00%; P=.033) compared with the end of radiation therapy. These significant decreases in DLCO corr were also observed in repeated-measures models (P=.011 and P=.032 at 24 and 60 months ACT, respectively). Conclusions: A significant minority of EBT survivors experience PFT deficits after CSI. Continued monitoring of this cohort

  10. Pulmonary Function After Treatment for Embryonal Brain Tumors on SJMB03 That Included Craniospinal Irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Green, Daniel M., E-mail: daniel.green@stjude.org [Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (United States); Merchant, Thomas E. [Department of Radiological Sciences, St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (United States); Billups, Catherine A. [Department of Biostatistics, St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (United States); Stokes, Dennis C. [Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee School of Medicine, Memphis, Tennessee (United States); Broniscer, Alberto [Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (United States); Bartels, Ute [Department of Haematology and Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Chintagumpala, Murali [Department of Pediatric Medicine, Texas Children' s Cancer and Hematology Centers, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas (United States); Hassall, Timothy E. [Department of Haematology and Oncology, Royal Children' s Hospital, Brisbane (Australia); Gururangan, Sridharan [Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (United States); McCowage, Geoffrey B. [Department of Pediatrics, Children' s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney (Australia); Heath, John A. [Children' s Cancer Center, Royal Children' s Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne (Australia); Cohn, Richard J. [Department of Clinical Oncology, Sydney Children' s Hospital, Sydney (Australia); Fisher, Michael J. [Department of Pediatrics, Children' s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States); Srinivasan, Ashok [Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (United States); Robinson, Giles W.; Gajjar, Amar [Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Purpose: The treatment of children with embryonal brain tumors (EBT) includes craniospinal irradiation (CSI). There are limited data regarding the effect of CSI on pulmonary function. Methods: Protocol SJMB03 enrolled patients 3 to 21 years of age with EBT. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV{sub 1}] and forced vital capacity [FVC] by spirometry, total lung capacity [TLC] by nitrogen washout or plethysmography, and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide corrected for hemoglobin [DLCO{sub corr}]) were obtained. Differences between PFTs obtained immediately after the completion of CSI and 24 or 60 months after the completion of treatment (ACT) were compared using exact Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and repeated-measures models. Results: Between June 24, 2003, and March 1, 2010, 303 eligible patients (spine dose: ≤2345 cGy, 201; >2345 cGy, 102; proton beam, 20) were enrolled, 260 of whom had at least 1 PFT. The median age at diagnosis was 8.9 years (range, 3.1-20.4 years). The median thoracic spinal radiation dose was 23.4 Gy (interquartile range [IQR], 23.4-36.0 Gy). The median cyclophosphamide dose was 16.0 g/m{sup 2} (IQR, 15.7-16.0 g/m{sup 2}). At 24 and 60 months ACT, DLCO{sub corr} was <75% predicted in 23% (27/118) and 25% (21/84) of patients, FEV{sub 1} was <80% predicted in 20% (34/170) and 29% (32/109) of patients, FVC was <80% predicted in 27% (46/172) and 28% (30/108) of patients, and TLC was <75% predicted in 9% (13/138) and 11% (10/92) of patients. DLCO{sub corr} was significantly decreased 24 months ACT (median difference [MD] in % predicted, 3.00%; P=.028) and 60 months ACT (MD in % predicted, 6.00%; P=.033) compared with the end of radiation therapy. These significant decreases in DLCO{sub corr} were also observed in repeated-measures models (P=.011 and P=.032 at 24 and 60 months ACT, respectively). Conclusions: A significant minority of EBT survivors experience PFT deficits after CSI

  11. 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.

  12. Diversity and functional traits of culturable microbiome members, including cyanobacteria in the rice phyllosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatachalam, S; Ranjan, K; Prasanna, R; Ramakrishnan, B; Thapa, S; Kanchan, A

    2016-07-01

    The diversity and abundance of culturable microbiome members of the rice phyllosphere was investigated using cv. Pusa Punjab Basmati 1509. Both diversity and species richness of bacteria were significantly higher in plants in pots in a semi-controlled environment than those in fields. Application of fertilisers reduced both diversity and species richness in field-grown plants under a conventional flooded system of rice intensification (SRI) and in dry-seeded rice (DSR) modes. Sequence analyses of 16S rDNA of culturable bacteria, those selected after amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA), showed the dominance of α-proteobacteria (35%) and actinobacteria (38%); Pantoea, Exiguobacterium and Bacillus were common among the culturable phyllospheric bacteria. About 34% of 83 culturable bacterial isolates had higher potential (>2 μg·ml(-1) ) for indole acetic acid production in the absence of tryptophan. Interestingly, the phyllosphere bacterial isolates from the pot experiment had significantly higher potential for nitrogen fixation than isolates from the field experiment. Enrichment for cyanobacteria showed both unicellular forms and non-heterocystous filaments under aerobic as well as anaerobic conditions. PCR-DGGE analysis of these showed that aerobic and anaerobic conditions as well as the three modes of cultivation of rice in the field strongly influenced the number and abundance of phylotypes. The adaptability and functional traits of these culturable microbiome members suggest enormous diversity in the phyllosphere, including potential for plant growth promotion, which was also significantly influenced by the different methods of growing rice. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Simak

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

  16. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens

    2013-10-08

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

  20. Planar optical waveguide based sandwich assay sensors and processes for the detection of biological targets including protein markers, pathogens and cellular debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Jennifer S [Santa Fe, NM; Swanson, Basil I [Los Alamos, NM; Grace, Karen M [Los Alamos, NM; Grace, Wynne K [Los Alamos, NM; Shreve, Andrew P [Santa Fe, NM

    2009-06-02

    An assay element is described including recognition ligands bound to a film on a single mode planar optical waveguide, the film from the group of a membrane, a polymerized bilayer membrane, and a self-assembled monolayer containing polyethylene glycol or polypropylene glycol groups therein and an assay process for detecting the presence of a biological target is described including injecting a biological target-containing sample into a sensor cell including the assay element, with the recognition ligands adapted for binding to selected biological targets, maintaining the sample within the sensor cell for time sufficient for binding to occur between selected biological targets within the sample and the recognition ligands, injecting a solution including a reporter ligand into the sensor cell; and, interrogating the sample within the sensor cell with excitation light from the waveguide, the excitation light provided by an evanescent field of the single mode penetrating into the biological target-containing sample to a distance of less than about 200 nanometers from the waveguide thereby exciting the fluorescent-label in any bound reporter ligand within a distance of less than about 200 nanometers from the waveguide and resulting in a detectable signal.

  1. Simultaneous measurements of work function and H‒ density including caesiation of a converter surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristofaro, S.; Friedl, R.; Fantz, U.

    2017-08-01

    Negative hydrogen ion sources rely on the surface conversion of neutral atomic hydrogen and positive hydrogen ions to H-. The efficiency of this process depends on the actual work function of the converter surface. By introducing caesium into the source the work function decreases, enhancing the negative ion yield. In order to study the impact of the work function on the H- surface production at similar conditions to the ones in ion sources for fusion devices like ITER and DEMO, fundamental investigations are performed in a flexible laboratory experiment. The work function of the converter surface can be absolutely measured by photoelectric effect, while a newly installed cavity ring-down spectroscopy system (CRDS) measures the H- density. The CRDS is firstly tested and characterized by investigations on H- volume production. Caesiation of a stainless steel sample is then performed in vacuum and the plasma effect on the Cs layer is investigated also for long plasma-on times. A minimum work function of (1.9±0.1) eV is reached after some minutes of plasma treatment, resulting in a reduction by a value of 0.8 eV compared to vacuum measurements. The H- density above the surface is (2.1±0.5)×1015 m-3. With further plasma exposure of the caesiated surface, the work function increases up to 3.75 eV, due to the impinging plasma particles which gradually remove the Cs layer. As a result, the H- density decreases by a factor of at least 2.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed; Meier, Stuart Kurt

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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/.

  6. 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.

  7. Dynamical density functional theory for arbitrary-shape colloidal fluids including inertia and hydrodynamic interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duran-Olivencia, Miguel A.; Goddard, Ben; Kalliadasis, Serafim

    2015-11-01

    Over the last few decades the classical density-functional theory (DFT) and its dynamic extensions (DDFTs) have become a remarkably powerful tool in the study of colloidal fluids. Recently there has been extensive research to generalise all previous DDFTs finally yielding a general DDFT equation (for spherical particles) which takes into account both inertia and hydrodynamic interactions (HI) which strongly influence non-equilibrium properties. The present work will be devoted to a further generalisation of such a framework to systems of anisotropic particles. To this end, the kinetic equation for the Brownian particle distribution function is derived starting from the Liouville equation and making use of Zwanzig's projection-operator techniques. By averaging over all but one particle, a DDFT equation is finally obtained with some similarities to that for spherical colloids. However, there is now an inevitable translational-rotational coupling which affects the diffusivity of asymmetric particles. Lastly, in the overdamped (high friction) limit the theory is notably simplified leading to a DDFT equation which agrees with previous derivations. We acknowledge financial support from European Research Council via Advanced Grant No. 247031.

  8. 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, ...

  9. A review on early gut maturation and colonization in pigs, including biological and dietary factors affecting gut homeostasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Everaert, Nadia; Van Cruchten, Steven; Weström, Björn

    2017-01-01

    During the prenatal, neonatal and post-weaning periods, the mammalian gastrointestinal tract undergoes various morphological and physiological changes alongside with an expansion of the immune system and microbial ecosystem. This review focuses on the time period before weaning and summarizes...... in digestive function coincides with development in both the adaptive and innate immune system. This secures a balanced immune response to the ingested milk-derived macromolecules, and colonizing bacteria. Husbandry and dietary interventions in early life appear to affect the development of multiple components...... and immunological maturation, as influenced by early microbial colonization and ingestion of dietary factors, is of utmost importance to identify management and feeding strategies to optimize intestinal health. We discuss some possible implications related to intrauterine growth restriction, and preterm delivery...

  10. Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis. A review including ultrastructural and pulmonary function studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prakash, U.B.; Barham, S.S.; Rosenow, E.C.; Brown, M.L.; Payne, W.S.

    1983-01-01

    Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis is a rare disease of unknown cause in which calcium phosphate microliths are deposited throughout the lungs. These deposits are of sufficient density to be almost diagnostic on chest roentgenograms. The Mayo Clinic experience with 8 patients is added to the approximately 120 cases reported in the world literature. The age range of all patients is from newborn to 80 years, with a mean age at diagnosis of about 35 years. No sexual predominance has been noted, but in about half of the reported cases a familial pattern has been found. The progression of the disease is generally very slow, some patients having been followed up for more than 30 years without evidence of change. No specific treatment is available. Pulmonary function studies demonstrate a tendency toward a restrictive pattern. Technetium-99m scanning and scanning and transmission electron microscopy are useful procedures for analysis of pulmonary alveolar microliths

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  12. Inflation including collapse of the wave function: the quasi-de Sitter case

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leon, Gabriel [Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria-PabI, Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Landau, Susana J. [Universidad de Buenos Aires y IFIBA, CONICET, Ciudad Universitaria-PabI, Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Piccirilli, Maria Pia [Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Grupo de Astrofisica, Relatividad y Cosmologia, Facultad de Ciencias Astronomicas y Geofisicas, Pcia de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2015-08-15

    The precise physical mechanism describing the emergence of the seeds of cosmic structure from a perfect isotropic and homogeneous universe has not been fully explained by the standard version of inflationary models. To handle this shortcoming, D. Sudarsky and collaborators have developed a proposal: the self-induced collapse hypothesis. In this scheme, the objective collapse of the inflaton wave function is responsible for the emergence of inhomogeneity and anisotropy at all scales. In previous papers, the proposal was developed with an almost exact de Sitter space-time approximation for the background that led to a perfect scale-invariant power spectrum. In the present article, we consider a full quasi-de Sitter expansion and calculate the primordial power spectrum for three different choices of the self-induced collapse. The consideration of a quasi-de Sitter background allows us to distinguish departures from an exact scale-invariant power spectrum that are due to the inclusion of the collapse hypothesis. These deviations are also different from the prediction of standard inflationary models with a running spectral index. A comparison with the primordial power spectrum and the CMB temperature fluctuation spectrum preferred by the latest observational data is also discussed. From the analysis performed in this work, it follows that most of the collapse schemes analyzed in this paper are viable candidates to explain the present observations of the CMB fluctuation spectrum. (orig.)

  13. Inflation including collapse of the wave function: the quasi-de Sitter case

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leon, Gabriel; Landau, Susana J.; Piccirilli, Maria Pia

    2015-01-01

    The precise physical mechanism describing the emergence of the seeds of cosmic structure from a perfect isotropic and homogeneous universe has not been fully explained by the standard version of inflationary models. To handle this shortcoming, D. Sudarsky and collaborators have developed a proposal: the self-induced collapse hypothesis. In this scheme, the objective collapse of the inflaton wave function is responsible for the emergence of inhomogeneity and anisotropy at all scales. In previous papers, the proposal was developed with an almost exact de Sitter space-time approximation for the background that led to a perfect scale-invariant power spectrum. In the present article, we consider a full quasi-de Sitter expansion and calculate the primordial power spectrum for three different choices of the self-induced collapse. The consideration of a quasi-de Sitter background allows us to distinguish departures from an exact scale-invariant power spectrum that are due to the inclusion of the collapse hypothesis. These deviations are also different from the prediction of standard inflationary models with a running spectral index. A comparison with the primordial power spectrum and the CMB temperature fluctuation spectrum preferred by the latest observational data is also discussed. From the analysis performed in this work, it follows that most of the collapse schemes analyzed in this paper are viable candidates to explain the present observations of the CMB fluctuation spectrum. (orig.)

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Structural and functional effects of heavy metals on the nervous system, including sense organs, of fish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baatrup, E

    1991-01-01

    metals are well known pollutants in the aquatic environment. Their interaction with relevant chemical stimuli may interfere with the communication between fish and environment. 5. The affinity for a number of ligands and macromolecules makes heavy metals most potent neurotoxins. 6. The present Mini......1. Today, fish in the environment are inevitably exposed to chemical pollution. Although most hazardous substances are present at concentrations far below the lethal level, they may still cause serious damage to the life processes of these animals. 2. Fish depend on an intact nervous system......, including their sense organs, for mediating relevant behaviour such as food search, predator recognition, communication and orientation. 3. Unfortunately, the nervous system is most vulnerable and injuries to its elements may dramatically change the behaviour and consequently the survival of fish. 4. Heavy...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Helm, Eric

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

  18. Single-wavelength functional photoacoustic microscopy in biological tissue

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Preliminary biological evaluation of a urea-functionalized dendrimer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazereeuw, M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Biology and Function of Fetal and Pediatric Skin

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Economic values of production and functional traits, including residual feed intake, in Finnish milk production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hietala, P; Wolfová, M; Wolf, J; Kantanen, J; Juga, J

    2014-02-01

    Improving the feed efficiency of dairy cattle has a substantial effect on the economic efficiency and on the reduction of harmful environmental effects of dairy production through lower feeding costs and emissions from dairy farming. To assess the economic importance of feed efficiency in the breeding goal for dairy cattle, the economic values for the current breeding goal traits and the additional feed efficiency traits for Finnish Ayrshire cattle under production circumstances in 2011 were determined. The derivation of economic values was based on a bioeconomic model in which the profit of the production system was calculated, using the generated steady state herd structure. Considering beef production from dairy farms, 2 marketing strategies for surplus calves were investigated: (A) surplus calves were sold at a young age and (B) surplus calves were fattened on dairy farms. Both marketing strategies were unprofitable when subsidies were not included in the revenues. When subsidies were taken into account, a positive profitability was observed in both marketing strategies. The marginal economic values for residual feed intake (RFI) of breeding heifers and cows were -25.5 and -55.8 €/kg of dry matter per day per cow and year, respectively. The marginal economic value for RFI of animals in fattening was -29.5 €/kg of dry matter per day per cow and year. To compare the economic importance among traits, the standardized economic weight of each trait was calculated as the product of the marginal economic value and the genetic standard deviation; the standardized economic weight expressed as a percentage of the sum of all standardized economic weights was called relative economic weight. When not accounting for subsidies, the highest relative economic weight was found for 305-d milk yield (34% in strategy A and 29% in strategy B), which was followed by protein percentage (13% in strategy A and 11% in strategy B). The third most important traits were calving

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  10. 25 CFR 1000.361 - Will the annual review include a review of the Secretary's residual trust functions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... Evaluations § 1000.361 Will the annual review include a review of the Secretary's residual trust functions... Department official will be notified of the need for corrective action. The review of the Secretary's trust... 25 Indians 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Will the annual review include a review of the Secretary...

  11. 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

  12. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Y; Morita, M; Fuwa, K

    1992-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  19. [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

  20. The emerging functionality of endogenous lectins: A primer to the concept and a case study on galectins including medical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabius, Hans-Joachim; Wu, Albert M

    2006-01-01

    Biochemistry textbooks commonly make it appear that it is a foregone conclusion that the hardware of biological information storage and transfer is confined to nucleotides and amino acids, the letters of the genetic code. However, the remarkable talents of a third class of biomolecules are often overlooked. For example, one of them far surpasses the building blocks of nucleic acids and proteins in terms of theoretical coding capacity by oligomer formation. Although often exclusively assigned to duties in energy metabolism, carbohydrates as part of cellular glycoconjugates (glycoproteins, proteoglycans, glycolipids) have, in fact, other important tasks. Currently, they are increasingly gaining recognition as an operative high-density information coding system. An elaborate enzymatic machinery enables cells to be versatile enough to produce a glycan profile (glycome) that is as characteristic as a fingerprint. Moreover, swift modifications during dynamic processes, such as differentiation or malignant transformation, are readily possible. The translation of the information presented in oligosaccharide determinants to biological responses is carried out by lectins. Recognition of foreign glycosignatures in innate immunity, regulation of cell-cell/matrix interactions, cell migration or growth, and intra- and intercellular glycan routing etc represent physiologically far-reaching lectin-carbohydrate functionality. The classification of endogenous lectins is guided by sequence alignments and conservation of distinct structural traits. For example, a jelly-roll-like folding pattern and maintenance of key residue positioning involved in stacking and C-H/pi-interactions as well as directional hydrogen bonds to the 1-galactoside ligands are common denominators among galectins. Biochemical and biophysical studies are beginning to unravel the intricacies of the selection of a limited set of endogenous ligands, such as certain integrins or ganglioside GM1, and combined with

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-20

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

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinaldo Florencio-Silva

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A predator-prey model with a holling type I functional response including a predator mutual interference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, G.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2011-01-01

    The most widely used functional response in describing predator-prey relationships is the Holling type II functional response, where per capita predation is a smooth, increasing, and saturating function of prey density. Beddington and DeAngelis modified the Holling type II response to include interference of predators that increases with predator density. Here we introduce a predator-interference term into a Holling type I functional response. We explain the ecological rationale for the response and note that the phase plane configuration of the predator and prey isoclines differs greatly from that of the Beddington-DeAngelis response; for example, in having three possible interior equilibria rather than one. In fact, this new functional response seems to be quite unique. We used analytical and numerical methods to show that the resulting system shows a much richer dynamical behavior than the Beddington-DeAngelis response, or other typically used functional responses. For example, cyclic-fold, saddle-fold, homoclinic saddle connection, and multiple crossing bifurcations can all occur. We then use a smooth approximation to the Holling type I functional response with predator mutual interference to show that these dynamical properties do not result from the lack of smoothness, but rather from subtle differences in the functional responses. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  9. 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.

  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...... reviews the metabolism, occurrence and assay of NAPE and pNAPE, and discusses the putative biological functions in mammals of these phospholipids. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Phospholipids and Phospholipid Metabolism....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanada, N; Tada, A

    2001-01-01

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

  15. The Frontlines of Medicine Project: a proposal for the standardized communication of emergency department data for public health uses including syndromic surveillance for biological and chemical terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barthell, Edward N; Cordell, William H; Moorhead, John C; Handler, Jonathan; Feied, Craig; Smith, Mark S; Cochrane, Dennis G; Felton, Christopher W; Collins, Michael A

    2002-04-01

    The Frontlines of Medicine Project is a collaborative effort of emergency medicine (including emergency medical services and clinical toxicology), public health, emergency government, law enforcement, and informatics. This collaboration proposes to develop a nonproprietary, "open systems" approach for reporting emergency department patient data. The common element is a standard approach to sending messages from individual EDs to regional oversight entities that could then analyze the data received. ED encounter data could be used for various public health initiatives, including syndromic surveillance for chemical and biological terrorism. The interlinking of these regional systems could also permit public health surveillance at a national level based on ED patient encounter data. Advancements in the Internet and Web-based technologies could allow the deployment of these standardized tools in a rapid time frame.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-02-17

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

  20. Quantitative analysis of biological responses to low dose-rate γ-radiation, including dose, irradiation time, and dose-rate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magae, J.; Furukawa, C.; Kawakami, Y.; Hoshi, Y.; Ogata, H.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: Because biological responses to radiation are complex processes dependent on irradiation time as well as total dose, it is necessary to include dose, dose-rate and irradiation time simultaneously to predict the risk of low dose-rate irradiation. In this study, we analyzed quantitative relationship among dose, irradiation time and dose-rate, using chromosomal breakage and proliferation inhibition of human cells. For evaluation of chromosome breakage we assessed micronuclei induced by radiation. U2OS cells, a human osteosarcoma cell line, were exposed to gamma-ray in irradiation room bearing 50,000 Ci 60 Co. After the irradiation, they were cultured for 24 h in the presence of cytochalasin B to block cytokinesis, cytoplasm and nucleus were stained with DAPI and propidium iodide, and the number of binuclear cells bearing micronuclei was determined by fluorescent microscopy. For proliferation inhibition, cells were cultured for 48 h after the irradiation and [3H] thymidine was pulsed for 4 h before harvesting. Dose-rate in the irradiation room was measured with photoluminescence dosimeter. While irradiation time less than 24 h did not affect dose-response curves for both biological responses, they were remarkably attenuated as exposure time increased to more than 7 days. These biological responses were dependent on dose-rate rather than dose when cells were irradiated for 30 days. Moreover, percentage of micronucleus-forming cells cultured continuously for more than 60 days at the constant dose-rate, was gradually decreased in spite of the total dose accumulation. These results suggest that biological responses at low dose-rate, are remarkably affected by exposure time, that they are dependent on dose-rate rather than total dose in the case of long-term irradiation, and that cells are getting resistant to radiation after the continuous irradiation for 2 months. It is necessary to include effect of irradiation time and dose-rate sufficiently to evaluate risk

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-14

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. TRANSAT-- method for detecting the conserved helices of functional RNA structures, including transient, pseudo-knotted and alternative structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, Nicholas J P; Meyer, Irmtraud M

    2010-06-24

    The prediction of functional RNA structures has attracted increased interest, as it allows us to study the potential functional roles of many genes. RNA structure prediction methods, however, assume that there is a unique functional RNA structure and also do not predict functional features required for in vivo folding. In order to understand how functional RNA structures form in vivo, we require sophisticated experiments or reliable prediction methods. So far, there exist only a few, experimentally validated transient RNA structures. On the computational side, there exist several computer programs which aim to predict the co-transcriptional folding pathway in vivo, but these make a range of simplifying assumptions and do not capture all features known to influence RNA folding in vivo. We want to investigate if evolutionarily related RNA genes fold in a similar way in vivo. To this end, we have developed a new computational method, Transat, which detects conserved helices of high statistical significance. We introduce the method, present a comprehensive performance evaluation and show that Transat is able to predict the structural features of known reference structures including pseudo-knotted ones as well as those of known alternative structural configurations. Transat can also identify unstructured sub-sequences bound by other molecules and provides evidence for new helices which may define folding pathways, supporting the notion that homologous RNA sequence not only assume a similar reference RNA structure, but also fold similarly. Finally, we show that the structural features predicted by Transat differ from those assuming thermodynamic equilibrium. Unlike the existing methods for predicting folding pathways, our method works in a comparative way. This has the disadvantage of not being able to predict features as function of time, but has the considerable advantage of highlighting conserved features and of not requiring a detailed knowledge of the cellular

  7. A mathematical model of the accumulation of radionuclides by oysters (C. virginica) aquacultured in the effluent of a nuclear power reactor to include major biological parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hess, C.T.; Smith, C.W.; Price, A.H.

    1977-01-01

    The uptake, accumulation and loss of radionuclides by the American oyster (C. virginica) aquacultured in the effluent of a nuclear power reactor has been measured monthly for 3 yr at four field stations in the Montsweag Estuary of the Sheepscot River and at a control station in the nearby Damariscotta River Estuary, southern central coastal Maine, U.S.A. A mathematical model for the time variation of the specific activity of the oysters has been developed to include the physical half-lives of the various radionuclides, the biological half-lives of the various radionuclides (biological depuration), the water temperature (oyster hibernation) and shell growth. The resulting first order linear differential equation incorporating these phenomena is driven by the liquid radionuclide effluent release of the Maine Yankee Nuclear Reactor. Comparison of the monthly measurements of the specific activity for 58 Co, 60 Co, 54 Mn, 134 Cs and 137 Cs in oysters with model calculations show close agreement over all ranges of variation observed. A special feature of this mathematical model is its ability to describe the non-chemostatic field situation. (author)

  8. 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.

  9. Effect of yoga practices on pulmonary function tests including transfer factor of lung for carbon monoxide (TLCO) in asthma patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Savita; Soni, Ritu; Singh, K P; Tandon, O P

    2012-01-01

    Prana is the energy, when the self-energizing force embraces the body with extension and expansion and control, it is pranayama. It may affect the milieu at the bronchioles and the alveoli particularly at the alveolo-capillary membrane to facilitate diffusion and transport of gases. It may also increase oxygenation at tissue level. Aim of our study is to compare pulmonary functions and diffusion capacity in patients of bronchial asthma before and after yogic intervention of 2 months. Sixty stable asthmatic-patients were randomized into two groups i.e group 1 (Yoga training group) and group 2 (control group). Each group included thirty patients. Lung functions were recorded on all patients at baseline, and then after two months. Group 1 subjects showed a statistically significant improvement (Pincreased significantly. It was concluded that pranayama & yoga breathing and stretching postures are used to increase respiratory stamina, relax the chest muscles, expand the lungs, raise energy levels, and calm the body.

  10. Computation of transverse muon-spin relaxation functions including trapping-detrapping reactions, with application to electron-irradiated tantalum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doering, K.P.; Aurenz, T.; Herlach, D.; Schaefer, H.E.; Arnold, K.P.; Jacobs, W.; Orth, H.; Haas, N.; Seeger, A.; Max-Planck-Institut fuer Metallforschung, Stuttgart

    1986-01-01

    A new technique for the economical evaluation of transverse muon spin relaxation functions in situations involving μ + trapping at and detrapping from crystal defects is applied to electron-irradiated Ta exhibiting relaxation maxima at about 35 K, 100 K, and 250 K. The long-range μ + diffusion is shown to be limted by traps over the entire temperature range investigated. The (static) relaxation rates for several possible configurations of trapped muons are discussed, including the effect of the simultaneous presence of a proton in a vacancy. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zammito, John

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-21

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

  18. 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

  19. Association between functional performance and executive cognitive functions in an elderly population including patients with low ankle–brachial index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferreira NV

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Naomi Vidal Ferreira,1 Paulo Jannuzzi Cunha,2 Danielle Irigoyen da Costa,3 Fernando dos Santos,1 Fernando Oliveira Costa,1 Fernanda Consolim-Colombo,4 Maria Cláudia Irigoyen1 1Heart Institute, Medical School, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; 2Neuroimaging in Psychiatry Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; 3Rio Grande do Sul Cardiology Institute, Fundação Universitária de Cardiologia, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil; 4Medical School, Universidade Nove de Julho, São Paulo, SP, Brazil Introduction: Peripheral arterial disease, as measured by the ankle–brachial index (ABI, is prevalent among the elderly, and is associated with functional performance, assessed by the 6-minute walk test (6MWT. Executive cognitive function (ECF impairments are also prevalent in this population, but no existing study has investigated the association between ECF and functional performance in an elderly population including individuals with low ABI.Aim: To investigate the association between functional performance, as measured by the 6MWT, and loss in ECF, in an elderly sample including individuals with low ABI.Method: The ABI group was formed by 26 elderly individuals with low ABI (mean ABI: 0.63±0.19, and the control group was formed by 40 elderly individuals with normal ABI (mean ABI: 1.08±0.07. We analyzed functional performance using the 6MWT, global cognition using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE, and ECF using the Digit Span for assessing attention span and working memory, the Stroop Color Word Test (SCWT for assessing information processing speed and inhibitory control/impulsivity, and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT for assessing semantic verbal fluency and phonemic verbal fluency. We also used a factor analysis on all of the ECF tests (global ECF.Results: Before adjustment, the ABI group performed worse on global cognition, attention span, working

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yutaka; Yoshioka, Yusuke; Ochiya, Takahiro

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. 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

  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; Hou, Harry; Sellers, Rani S; Modrich, Paul; Scharff, Matthew D; Edelmann, Winfried

    2010-07-27

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mandolesi

    2018-04-01

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

  10. ON A COURNOT DUOPOLY GAME WITH DIFFERENTIATED GOODS, HETEROGENEOUS EXPECTATIONS AND A COST FUNCTION INCLUDING EMISSION COSTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georges SARAFOPOULOS

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study we investigate the dynamics of a nonlinear Cournot- type duopoly game with differentiated goods, linear demand and a cost function that includes emission costs. The game is modeled with a system of two difference equations. Existence and stability of equilibria of this system are studied. We show that the model gives more complex chaotic and unpredictable trajectories as a consequence of change in the parameter of horizontal product differentiation and a higher (lower degree of product differentiation (weaker or fiercer competition destabilize (stabilize the economy. The chaotic features are justified numerically via computing Lyapunov numbers and sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Also, we show that in this case there are stable trajectories and a higher (lower degree of product differentiation does not tend to destabilize the economy.

  11. Optimization of biological and instrumental detection of explosives and ignitable liquid residues including canines, SPME/ITMS and GC/MSn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furton, Kenneth G.; Harper, Ross J.; Perr, Jeannette M.; Almirall, Jose R.

    2003-09-01

    A comprehensive study and comparison is underway using biological detectors and instrumental methods for the rapid detection of ignitable liquid residues (ILR) and high explosives. Headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME) has been demonstrated to be an effective sampling method helping to identify active odor signature chemicals used by detector dogs to locate forensic specimens as well as a rapid pre-concentration technique prior to instrumental detection. Common ignitable liquids and common military and industrial explosives have been studied including trinitrotoluene, tetryl, RDX, HMX, EGDN, PETN and nitroglycerine. This study focuses on identifying volatile odor signature chemicals present, which can be used to enhance the level and reliability of detection of ILR and explosives by canines and instrumental methods. While most instrumental methods currently in use focus on particles and on parent organic compounds, which are often involatile, characteristic volatile organics are generally also present and can be exploited to enhance detection particularly for well-concealed devices. Specific examples include the volatile odor chemicals 2-ethyl-1-hexanol and cyclohexanone, which are readily available in the headspace of the high explosive composition C-4; whereas, the active chemical cyclo-1,3,5-trimethylene-2,4,6-trinitramine (RDX) is not. The analysis and identification of these headspace 'fingerprint' organics is followed by double-blind dog trials of the individual components using certified teams in an attempt to isolate and understand the target compounds to which dogs are sensitive. Studies to compare commonly used training aids with the actual target explosive have also been undertaken to determine their suitability and effectiveness. The optimization of solid phase microextraction (SPME) combined with ion trap mobility spectrometry (ITMS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (GC/MSn) is detailed including interface development

  12. An impedance function approach for soil-structure interaction analyses including structure-to-structure interaction effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gantayat, A.; Kamil, H.

    1981-01-01

    The dynamic soil-structure and structure-to-structure interaction effects may be determined in one of the two ways: by modeling the entire soil-structure system by a finite-element model, or by using a frequency-dependent (or frequency-independent) impedance function approach. In seismic design of nuclear power plant structures, the normal practice is to use the first approach because of its simplicity and easy availability of computer codes to perform such analyses. However, in the finite-element approach, because of the size and cost restrictions, the three-dimensional behavior of the entire soil-structure system and the radiation damping in soil are only approximately included by using a two-dimensional finite-element mesh. In using the impedance function approach, the soil-structure analyses can be performed in four steps: (a) determination of the dynamic properties of the fixed base superstructure, (b) determination of foundation and structure impedance matrices and input motions, (c) evaluation of foundation motion, (d) analysis of the fixed base superstructure using computed foundation motion. (orig./RW)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raica, Marius; Cimpean, Anca Maria

    2017-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

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

  15. A Comparative Density Functional Theory and Density Functional Tight Binding Study of Phases of Nitrogen Including a High Energy Density Material N8

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Capel

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available We present a comparative dispersion-corrected Density Functional Theory (DFT and Density Functional Tight Binding (DFTB-D study of several phases of nitrogen, including the well-known alpha, beta, and gamma phases as well as recently discovered highly energetic phases: covalently bound cubic gauche (cg nitrogen and molecular (vdW-bound N8 crystals. Among several tested parametrizations of N–N interactions for DFTB, we identify only one that is suitable for modeling of all these phases. This work therefore establishes the applicability of DFTB-D to studies of phases, including highly metastable phases, of nitrogen, which will be of great use for modelling of dynamics of reactions involving these phases, which may not be practical with DFT due to large required space and time scales. We also derive a dispersion-corrected DFT (DFT-D setup (atom-centered basis parameters and Grimme dispersion parameters tuned for accurate description simultaneously of several nitrogen allotropes including covalently and vdW-bound crystals and including high-energy phases.

  16. Wetland Biomass Production: emergent aquatic management options and evaluations. A final subcontract report. [Includes a bibliography containing 686 references on Typha from biological abstracts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pratt, D.C.; Dubbe, D.R.; Garver, E.G.; Linton, P.J.

    1984-07-01

    The high yield potential and attractive chemical composition of Typha make it a particularly viable energy crop. The Minnesota research effort has demonstrated that total annual biomass yields equivalent to 30 dry tonnes/ha (13 tons/acre) are possible in planted stands. This compares with yields of total plant material between 9 and 16 dry tonnes/ha (4 to 7 tons/acre) in a typical Minnesota corn field. At least 50% of the Typha plant is comprised of a belowground rhizome system containing 40% starch and sugar. This high level of easily fermentable carbohydrate makes rhizomes an attractive feedstock for alcohol production. The aboveground portion of the plant is largely cellulose, and although it is not easily fermentable, it can be gasified or burned. This report is organized in a manner that focuses on the evaluation of the management options task. Results from stand management research performed at the University of Minnesota during 1982 and 1983 are integrated with findings from an extensive survey of relevant emergent aquatic plant research and utilization. These results and findings are then arranged in sections dealing with key steps and issues that need to be dealt with in the development of a managed emergent aquatic bio-energy system. A brief section evaluating the current status of rhizome harvesting is also included along with an indexed bibliography of the biology, ecology, and utilization of Typha which was completed with support from this SERI subcontract. 686 references, 11 figures, 17 tables.

  17. Simulation with Phast of the pore water chemistry experiment results (Mont Terri Url, Switzerland), including transport, thermodynamics, kinetics, and biological activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tournassat, C.; Gaucher, E.; Pearson, F.J.; Mettler, S.; Wersin, P.

    2005-01-01

    Full text of publication follows: The Pore water Chemistry (PC-)experiment was initially designed to determine the processes that control the redox properties of pore water in the Opalinus Clay at the Mont Terri URL. However, changes in isotopic data and chemical parameters such as pH, alkalinity, dissolved methane, acetate and sulphate concentrations indicated unexpected microbial activity. The origin of the bacteria is not clear. In the light of published data, an indigenous origin cannot be ruled out. A combined biological and reactive transport model has been developed with the parallel PHAST software to simulate the processes that determine pore water chemistry. The influence of bacterial activity on the system is successfully modelled by considering different reaction pathways scenarios including aceto-genesis, methano-genesis, and methane/acetate oxidation coupled to sulphate reduction. Several conclusions can be clearly stated in the light of the simulation results: - The measured redox potentials (redox electrode) are in line with the S(-II)/S(+VI) redox system. - In the undisturbed pore water, S(-II) and S(+VI) activities are controlled by a mineral assemblage containing pyrite and a Fe carbonate (siderite or ankerite). pH is buffered by mineral phases and SO 4 2- concentration is inherited from the marine sedimentary rock. - Some local redox potentials in the sedimentary rock do not correspond to the measured redox potential; for instance, organic matter/HCO 3 - and CH 4 /HCO 3 - systems are not at equilibrium with the measured redox potential. - Redox disequilibrium can be exploited by micro-organisms as a source of energy for their metabolism. In this experiment CH 4 , acetate and other organic acids were produced and SO 4 2- was reduced to HS - . The redox properties of the system are then governed by kinetics rather than by thermodynamic equilibrium. The unexpected persistence of acetate in the borehole water is one of the consequences of these

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-15

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

  5. 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,

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 11th IUBMB Focused Meeting on the Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases: Sailing a New Sea of Complex Functions in Human Biology and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francklyn, Christopher; Roy, Herve; Alexander, Rebecca

    2018-05-01

    The 11th IUBMB Focused Meeting on Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases was held in Clearwater Beach, Florida from 29 October⁻2 November 2017, with the aim of presenting the latest research on these enzymes and promoting interchange among aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (ARS) researchers. Topics covered in the meeting included many areas of investigation, including ARS evolution, mechanism, editing functions, biology in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and their organelles, their roles in human diseases, and their application to problems in emerging areas of synthetic biology. In this report, we provide a summary of the major themes of the meeting, citing contributions from the oral presentations in the meeting.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondi, Giulia; Wall, David; Bacher, Matthias; Emmet-Booth, Jeremy; Graça, Jessica; Marongiu, Irene; Creamer, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    The delivery of the ecosystem's functions is predominantly controlled by soil biology. The biology found in a gram of soil contains more than ten thousand individual species of bacteria and fungi (Torsvik et al., 1990). Understanding the role and the requirements of these organisms is essential for the protection and the sustainable use of soils. Soil biology represents the engine of all the processes occurring in the soil and it supports the ecosystem services such as: 1) nutrient mineralisation 2) plant production 3) water purification and regulation and 4) carbon cycling and storage. During the last years land management type and intensity have been identified as major drivers for microbial performance in soil. For this reason land management needs to be appropriately studied to understand the role of soil biology within this complex interplay of functions. We aimed to study whether and how land management drives soil biological processes and related functions. To reach this objective we built a land use intensity index (LUI) able to quantify the impact of the common farming practices carried out in Irish grassland soils. The LUI is derived from a detailed farmer questionnaire on grassland management practices at 38 farms distributed in the five major agro-climatic regions of Ireland defined by Holden and Brereton (2004). Soils were classified based on their drainage status according to the Irish Soil Information System by Creamer et al. (2014). This detailed questionnaire is then summarised into 3 management intensity components: (i) intensity of Fertilisation (Fi), (ii) frequency of Mowing (Mi) and (iii) intensity of Livestock Grazing (Gi). Sites were sampled to assess the impact of land management intensity on microbial community structure and enzyme behaviour in relation to nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycling. Preliminary results for enzymes linked to C and N cycles showed higher activity in relation to low grazing pressure (low Gi). Enzymes linked to P

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Adult Diffuse Astrocytoma in the Medulla Oblongata: Molecular Biological Analyses Including H3F3A Mutation of Histone H3.3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uekawa, Ken; Nakamura, Hideo; Shinojima, Naoki; Takezaki, Tatsuya; Yano, Shigetoshi; Kuratsu, Jun-Ichi

    2016-04-01

    Unlike in children, brain stem gliomas in adult are rare and still poorly understood. In addition, most adult brain stem gliomas result predominantly in the pons and are less often found in the medulla oblongata. Here, we report a case of an adult glioma in the medulla oblongata and its molecular biological features. A 46-year-old male presented with gait disturbance, paresthesia, and dysphagia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a diffuse hyper-intensive lesion in the medulla oblongata on a T 2 -weighted image without gadolinium contrast enhancement. We performed an open biopsy and the lesion was pathologically diagnosed as a diffuse astrocytoma. Molecular biological analyses revealed the absence of histone H3.3 mutation (H3F3A K27M), and presence of methylation of O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter and a mutation in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH-1). The patient received local radiotherapy and temozolomide chemotherapy. The patient's symptoms were ameliorated, and MRI showed no tumor growth at 6 months after the initial treatment. Biopsy for brain stem lesions is generally thought to have risk of complications, but if performed minimally, it is useful to diagnose and determine treatment strategy. Obtaining patient characteristics and molecular biological features will provide insight towards therapeutic treatment for adult brain stem gliomas.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory actions of various functional food materials including glucosamine on synovial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Yoshie; Someya, Akimasa; Imai, Kensuke; Nagao, Junji; Nagaoka, Isao

    2017-08-01

    The anti-inflammatory actions of glucosamine (GlcN) on arthritic disorders involve the suppression of inflammatory mediator production from synovial cells. GlcN has also been reported to inhibit the activation of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. The present study aimed to determine the cooperative and anti‑inflammatory actions of functional food materials and evaluated the production of interleukin (IL)‑8 and phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in IL-1β-activated synovial cells, incubated with the combination of GlcN and various functional food materials containing L‑methionine (Met), undenatured type II collagen (UC‑II), chondroitin sulfate (CS), methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and agaro-oligosaccharide (AO). The results indicated that Met, UC‑II, CS, MSM and AO slightly or moderately suppressed the IL-1β-stimulated IL‑8 production by human synovial MH7A cells. The same compounds further decreased the IL‑8 level lowered by GlcN. Similarly, they slightly suppressed the phosphorylation level of p38 MAPK and further reduced the phosphorylation level lowered by GlcN. These observations suggest a possibility that these functional food materials exert an anti‑inflammatory action (inhibition of IL‑8 production) in combination with GlcN by cooperatively suppressing the p38 MAPK signaling (phosphorylation).

  13. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Torrent

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Fuka

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

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. [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

  4. 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

  5. Gender, renal function, and outcomes on the liver transplant waiting list: assessment of revised MELD including estimated glomerular filtration rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Robert P; Shaheen, Abdel Aziz M; Aspinall, Alexander I; Quinn, Robert R; Burak, Kelly W

    2011-03-01

    The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) allocation system for liver transplantation (LT) may present a disadvantage for women by including serum creatinine, which is typically lower in females. Our objectives were to investigate gender disparities in outcomes among LT candidates and to assess a revised MELD, including estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), for predicting waiting list mortality. Adults registered for LT between 2002 and 2007 were identified using the UNOS database. We compared components of MELD, MDRD-derived eGFR, and the 3-month probability of LT and death between genders. Discrimination of MELD, MELDNa, and revised models including eGFR for mortality were compared using c-statistics. A total of 40,393 patients (36% female) met the inclusion criteria; 9% died and 24% underwent LT within 3 months of listing. Compared with men, women had lower median serum creatinine (0.9 vs. 1.0 mg/dl), eGFR (72 vs. 83 ml/min/1.73 m(2)), and mean MELD (16.5 vs. 17.2; all p discrimination for 3-month mortality (c-statistics: MELD 0.896, MELD-eGFR 0.894, MELDNa 0.911, MELDNa-eGFR 0.905). Women are disadvantaged under MELD potentially due to its inclusion of creatinine. However, since including eGFR in MELD does not improve mortality prediction, alternative refinements are necessary. Copyright © 2010 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Studies of the reproductive biology of deep-sea megabenthos. 7: The Porcellanasteridae (Asteroidea: Echinodermata) including material collected at Great Meteor East, during Discovery cruise 156

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyler, P.A.; Muirhead, A.

    1986-07-01

    The reproductive biology of Porcellanaster ceruleus, Hyphalaster inermis and Styrachaster horridus is described. P. ceruleus was collected as part of the time series study in the rockall Trough, N.E. Atlantic. This species had a maximum size of 7.0mm arm radius although maximum size known is 36.0mm arm radius. Relatively few eggs are produced and in these samples grow to a maximum size of 230μm. There was no evidence of reproductive seasonality. In Hyphalaster inermis and Styrachaster horridus the eggs grow to 600μm diameter. At this size the cytoplasm is reticulate and filled with neutral fat whilst the periphery is an amorphous layer. Development of the testes in all three species appears typical of deep-sea asteroids. (author)

  8. Radiochemical and biological studies, including in non-human primates, towards indigenous development of 153Sm-EDTMP for metastatic bone pain palliation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saraswathy, P.; Mehra, K.S.; Ranganatha, D.K.; Das, M.K.; Balasubramanian, P.S.; Ananthakrishnan, M.; Ramamoorthy, N.; Gunasekaran, S.; Shanthly, N.; Retna Ponmalar, J.; Narasimhan, S.

    2001-01-01

    The combination of ease of formulation and superior biological features of 153 Sm-EDTMP in terms of safety and efficacy for metastatic bone pain palliation, together with the prospect of better logistics of production, has prompted extensive efforts by many groups world over for its preparation and evaluation. Our efforts have been directed towards exploring the feasibility for formulation of 153 Sm-EDTMP suitable for human use by neutron activation in medium flux reactors of the freely available and inexpensive natural samarium oxide target. The emphasis in biological studies was placed on tests in larger animals (monkeys) as a prelude to clinical evaluation. Feasibility to achieve reasonably high specific activity of 300-700 mCi/mg Sm at EOB with natural samarium has been adequately demonstrated. The radioeuropium contamination, estimated by γ-spectrometry to be 153 Sm-EDTMP from natural samarium at high radioactive concentrations of 40-50 mCi 153 Sm/mL, acceptable biolocalization, as revealed by both biodistribution studies in rats (femur uptake of 2-3% injected dose at 1h p.i. and retention up to 120 h p.i.) and gamma camera images in monkeys and adequate stability have been feasible. Excellent quality bone images of monkeys were recorded showing rapid clearance from blood, visualization of skeleton, clearance from kidneys within 2 hours and retention in skeleton up to 116 hours p.i. No significant activity in other soft tissues was noted. Comparative evaluation of the product prepared from enriched samarium as well as using in-house synthesized EDTMP has, likewise, revealed identical biolocalization features. EDTMP dose tolerance test in mice showed a safety factor of about 100 for a product made from natural samarium at an adult human dose of 50 mCi 153 Sm. Feasibility for production, reasonable safety and satisfactory biolocalisation of the indigenous product has been adequately established so as to warrant clinical trials in patients. (author)

  9. 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...

  10. The Biology of Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broom, D. M.

    1981-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Albert Yu-Min

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

  17. A graphical user interface (GUI) toolkit for the calculation of three-dimensional (3D) multi-phase biological effective dose (BED) distributions including statistical analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauweloa, Kevin I; Gutierrez, Alonso N; Stathakis, Sotirios; Papanikolaou, Niko; Mavroidis, Panayiotis

    2016-07-01

    A toolkit has been developed for calculating the 3-dimensional biological effective dose (BED) distributions in multi-phase, external beam radiotherapy treatments such as those applied in liver stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and in multi-prescription treatments. This toolkit also provides a wide range of statistical results related to dose and BED distributions. MATLAB 2010a, version 7.10 was used to create this GUI toolkit. The input data consist of the dose distribution matrices, organ contour coordinates, and treatment planning parameters from the treatment planning system (TPS). The toolkit has the capability of calculating the multi-phase BED distributions using different formulas (denoted as true and approximate). Following the calculations of the BED distributions, the dose and BED distributions can be viewed in different projections (e.g. coronal, sagittal and transverse). The different elements of this toolkit are presented and the important steps for the execution of its calculations are illustrated. The toolkit is applied on brain, head & neck and prostate cancer patients, who received primary and boost phases in order to demonstrate its capability in calculating BED distributions, as well as measuring the inaccuracy and imprecision of the approximate BED distributions. Finally, the clinical situations in which the use of the present toolkit would have a significant clinical impact are indicated. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Tessa

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Endothelin-2/Vasoactive Intestinal Contractor: Regulation of Expression via Reactive Oxygen Species Induced by CoCl22, and Biological Activities Including Neurite Outgrowth in PC12 Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiichi Kotake-Nara

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the local hormone endothelin-2 (ET-2, or vasoactive intestinal contractor (VIC, a member of the vasoconstrictor ET peptide family, where ET-2 is the human orthologous peptide of the murine VIC. While ET-2/VIC gene expression has been observed in some normal tissues, ET-2 recently has been reported to act as a tumor marker and as a hypoxia-induced autocrine survival factor in tumor cells. A recently published study reported that the hypoxic mimetic agent CoCl2 at 200 µM increased expression of the ET-2/VIC gene, decreased expression of the ET-1 gene, and induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS increase and neurite outgrowth in neuronal model PC12 cells. The ROS was generated by addition of CoCl2 to the culture medium, and the CoCl2-induced effects were completely inhibited by the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine. Furthermore, interleukin-6 (IL-6 gene expression was up-regulated upon the differentiation induced by CoCl2. These results suggest that expression of ET-2/VIC and ET-1 mediated by CoCl2-induced ROS may be associated with neuronal differentiation through the regulation of IL-6 expression. CoCl2 acts as a pro-oxidant, as do Fe(II, III and Cu(II. However, some biological activities have been reported for CoCl2 that have not been observed for other metal salts such as FeCl3, CuSO4, and NiCl2. The characteristic actions of CoCl2 may be associated with the differentiation of PC12 cells. Further elucidation of the mechanism of neurite outgrowth and regulation of ET-2/VIC expression by CoCl2 may lead to the development of treatments for neuronal disorders.

  1. Characterization of natural anaerobic dechlorination of TCE and 1,1,1-TCA in clay till including isotope fractionation and molecular biological tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Ida; Bælum, J.; Hunkeler, D.

    2010-01-01

    One of the major challenges when using enhanced reductive dechlorination (ERD) as a remediation technology at clay till sites is to obtain good contact between added agents such as donor, bacteria and the contamination. It is unclear whether degradation only takes place in fractures and/or sand l...... including the location of degradation in the fracture matrix geology. An extensive field collection of cores and discrete soil sampling has been conducted and samples have been analysed using state of the art microbial and chemical tools including isotope fractionation....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrille Hoarau

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  4. Surface functionalization of a polymeric lipid bilayer for coupling a model biological membrane with molecules, cells, and microstructures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morigaki, Kenichi; Mizutani, Kazuyuki; Saito, Makoto; Okazaki, Takashi; Nakajima, Yoshihiro; Tatsu, Yoshiro; Imaishi, Hiromasa

    2013-02-26

    We describe a stable and functional model biological membrane based on a polymerized lipid bilayer with a chemically modified surface. A polymerized lipid bilayer was formed from a mixture of two diacetylene-containing phospholipids, 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DiynePC) and 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DiynePE). DiynePC formed a stable bilayer structure, whereas the ethanolamine headgroup of DiynePE enabled functional molecules to be grafted onto the membrane surface. Copolymerization of DiynePC and DiynePE resulted in a robust bilayer. Functionalization of the polymeric bilayer provided a route to a robust and biomimetic surface that can be linked with biomolecules, cells, and three-dimensional (3D) microstructures. Biotin and peptides were grafted onto the polymeric bilayer for attaching streptavidin and cultured mammalian cells by molecular recognition, respectively. Nonspecific adsorption of proteins and cells on polymeric bilayers was minimum. DiynePE was also used to attach a microstructure made of an elastomer (polydimethylsiloxan: PDMS) onto the membrane, forming a confined aqueous solution between the two surfaces. The microcompartment enabled us to assay the activity of a membrane-bound enzyme (cyochrome P450). Natural (fluid) lipid bilayers were incorporated together with membrane-bound proteins by lithographically polymerizing DiynePC/DiynePE bilayers. The hybrid membrane of functionalized polymeric bilayers and fluid bilayers offers a novel platform for a wide range of biomedical applications including biosensor, bioassay, cell culture, and cell-based assay.

  5. Research in Biological and Medical Sciences, Including Biochemistry, Communicable Disease and Immunology, Internal Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Physiology, Psychiatry, Surgery and Veterinary Medicine. Volume 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-07-01

    during the past fiscal year include 45 ovario- hysterectomles, one caesarean section, one fracture repair, one patent ductus arteriosus repair, one...Following closure of the thoracotomy, SOD was down by 60% and VQJ was> 80% of control levels. SOD and VQO did not relate to each other in a parallel...tions. Two patents were applied for, one for the Electronic Debubbler Circuit and one for the Improved Flow Cell. A paper on this latest

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio Viana Ramos

    2000-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. A Reinvestigation of the Dimer of para-Benzoquinone with Pyrimidine with MP2, CCSD(T) and DFT using Functionals including those Designed to Describe Dispersion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marianski, Mateusz; Oliva, Antoni

    2012-01-01

    We reevaluate the interaction of pyridine and p-benzoquinone using functionals designed to treat dispersion. We compare the relative energies of four different structures: stacked, T-shaped (identified for the first time) and two planar H-bonded geometries using these functionals (B97-D, ωB97x-D, M05, M05-2X, M06, M06L, M06-2X), other functionals (PBE1PBE, B3LYP, X3LYP), MP2 and CCSD(T) using basis sets as large as cc-pVTZ. The functionals designed to treat dispersion behave erratically as the predictions of the most stable structure vary considerably. MP2 predicts the experimentally observed structure (H-bonded) to be the least stable, while single point CCSD(T) at the MP2 optimized geometry correctly predicts the observed structure to be most stable. We have confirmed the assignment of the experimental structure using new calculations of the vibrational frequency shifts previously used to identify the structure. The MP2/cc-pVTZ vibrational calculations are in excellent agreement with the observations. All methods used to calculate the energies provide vibrational shifts that agree with the observed structure even though most do not predict this structure to be most stable. The implications for evaluating possible π-stacking in biologically important systems are discussed. PMID:22765283

  13. A reinvestigation of the dimer of para-benzoquinone and pyrimidine with MP2, CCSD(T), and DFT using functionals including those designed to describe dispersion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marianski, Mateusz; Oliva, Antoni; Dannenberg, J J

    2012-08-02

    We reevaluate the interaction of pyridine and p-benzoquinone using functionals designed to treat dispersion. We compare the relative energies of four different structures: stacked, T-shaped (identified for the first time), and two planar H-bonded geometries using these functionals (B97-D, ωB97x-D, M05, M05-2X, M06, M06L, and M06-2X), other functionals (PBE1PBE, B3LYP, X3LYP), MP2, and CCSD(T) using basis sets as large as cc-pVTZ. The functionals designed to treat dispersion behave erratically as the predictions of the most stable structure vary considerably. MP2 predicts the experimentally observed structure (H-bonded) to be the least stable, while single-point CCSD(T) at the MP2 optimized geometry correctly predicts the observed structure to be the most stable. We have confirmed the assignment of the experimental structure using new calculations of the vibrational frequency shifts previously used to identify the structure. The MP2/cc-pVTZ vibrational calculations are in excellent agreement with the observations. All methods used to calculate the energies provide vibrational shifts that agree with the observed structure even though most do not predict this structure to be most stable. The implications for evaluating possible π-stacking in biologically important systems are discussed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ocampo, R.; Bauder, C.; Callot, H.J.; Albrecht, P. (Univ. Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg (France))

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

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

  18. Health effects of an increased protein intake on kidney function and colorectal cancer risk factors, including the role of animal and plant protein sources – the PREVIEW project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Grith

    intake, including the role of animal and plant protein in pre-diabetic, overweight or obese individuals on health outcomes: markers of kidney function and putative risk factors for colorectal cancer as well as insulin sensitivity and kidney function in healthy individuals. The thesis is based on PREVIEW......, especially plant protein, on insulin sensitivity and kidney function. In paper II, the aim of the study was to assess the effect after one year of a higher protein intake on kidney function, measured by in creatinine clearance. This was investigated in pre-diabetic older adults based on a sub-group of 310...... pre-diabetic individuals included in the PREVIEW RCT. We found that a higher protein intake was associated with a significant increase in urea to creatinine ratio and serum urea after one year. There were no associations between increased protein intake and creatinine clearance, estimated glomerular...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Wei Hu

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The clinical obesity maintenance model: an integration of psychological constructs including mood, emotional regulation, disordered overeating, habitual cluster behaviours, health literacy and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Jayanthi; Smith, Evelyn; Hay, Phillipa

    2013-01-01

    Psychological distress and deficits in executive functioning are likely to be important barriers to effective weight loss maintenance. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, in the light of recent evidence in the fields of neuropsychology and obesity, particularly on the deficits in the executive function in overweight and obese individuals, a conceptual and theoretical framework of obesity maintenance is introduced by way of a clinical obesity maintenance model (COMM). It is argued that psychological variables, that of habitual cluster Behaviors, emotional dysregulation, mood, and health literacy, interact with executive functioning and impact on the overeating/binge eating behaviors of obese individuals. Second, cognizant of this model, it is argued that the focus of obesity management should be extended to include a broader range of maintaining mechanisms, including but not limited to cognitive deficits. Finally, a discussion on potential future directions in research and practice using the COMM is provided.

  9. The Clinical Obesity Maintenance Model: An Integration of Psychological Constructs including Mood, Emotional Regulation, Disordered Overeating, Habitual Cluster Behaviours, Health Literacy and Cognitive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayanthi Raman

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Psychological distress and deficits in executive functioning are likely to be important barriers to effective weight loss maintenance. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, in the light of recent evidence in the fields of neuropsychology and obesity, particularly on the deficits in the executive function in overweight and obese individuals, a conceptual and theoretical framework of obesity maintenance is introduced by way of a clinical obesity maintenance model (COMM. It is argued that psychological variables, that of habitual cluster Behaviors, emotional dysregulation, mood, and health literacy, interact with executive functioning and impact on the overeating/binge eating behaviors of obese individuals. Second, cognizant of this model, it is argued that the focus of obesity management should be extended to include a broader range of maintaining mechanisms, including but not limited to cognitive deficits. Finally, a discussion on potential future directions in research and practice using the COMM is provided.

  10. Development of a comprehensive survey of sexuality issues including a self-report version of the International Spinal Cord Injury sexual function basic data sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    New, P W; Currie, K E

    2016-08-01

    Questionnaire development, validation and completion. Develop comprehensive survey of sexuality issues including validated self-report versions of the International Spinal Cord Injury male sexual function and female sexual and reproductive function basic data sets (SR-iSCI-sexual function). People with spinal cord damage (SCD) living in the community, Australia from August 2013 to June 2014. An iterative process involving rehabilitation medicine clinicians, a nurse specialising in sexuality issues in SCD and people with SCD who developed a comprehensive survey that included the SR-iSCI-sexual function. Participants recruitment through spinal rehabilitation review clinic and community organisations that support people with SCD. Surveys completed by 154 people. Most were male (n=101, 65.6%). Respondents' median age was 50 years (interquartile range (IQR) 38-58), and they were a median of 10 years (IQR 4-20) after the onset of SCD. Sexual problems unrelated to SCD were reported by 12 (8%) respondents, and 114 (n=75.5%) reported sexual problems because of SCD. Orgasms were much less likely (χ(2)=13.1, P=0.006) to be normal in males (n=5, 5%) compared with females (n=11, 22%). Males had significantly worse (χ(2)=26.0, P=0.001) psychogenic genital functioning (normal n=9, 9%) than females (normal n=13, 26%) and worse (χ(2)=10.8, P=0.013) reflex genital functioning. Normal ejaculation was reported in only three (3%) men. Most (n=26, 52%) women reported reduced or absent menstruation pattern since SCD. The SR-iSCI-sexual function provides a useful tool for researchers and clinicians to collect information regarding patient-reported sexual functioning after SCD and to facilitate comparative studies.

  11. Characterization of Genotoxic Response to 15 Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes with Variable Physicochemical Properties Including Surface Functionalizations in the FE1-Muta(TM) Mouse Lung Epithelial Cell Line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jackson, Petra; Kling, Kirsten; Jensen, Keld Alstrup

    2015-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes vary greatly in physicochemical properties. We compared cytotoxic and genotoxic response to 15 multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) with varying physicochemical properties to identify drivers of toxic responses. The studied MWCNT included OECD Working Party on Manufactured...... Nanomaterials (WPMN) (NM-401, NM-402, and NM-403), materials (NRCWE-026 and MWCNT-XNRI-7), and three sets of surface-modified MWCNT grouped by physical characteristics (thin, thick, and short I-III, respectively). Each Groups I-III included pristine, hydroxylated and carboxylated MWCNT. Group III also included...... an amino-functionalized MWCNT. The level of surface functionalization of the MWCNT was low. The level and type of elemental impurities of the MWCNT varied by...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Burke-Fahn-Marsden dystonia severity, Gross Motor, Manual Ability, and Communication Function Classification scales in childhood hyperkinetic movement disorders including cerebral palsy: a 'Rosetta Stone' study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elze, Markus C; Gimeno, Hortensia; Tustin, Kylee; Baker, Lesley; Lumsden, Daniel E; Hutton, Jane L; Lin, Jean-Pierre S-M

    2016-02-01

    Hyperkinetic movement disorders (HMDs) can be assessed using impairment-based scales or functional classifications. The Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale-movement (BFM-M) evaluates dystonia impairment, but may not reflect functional ability. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), Manual Ability Classification System (MACS), and Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) are widely used in the literature on cerebral palsy to classify functional ability, but not in childhood movement disorders. We explore the concordance of these three functional scales in a large sample of paediatric HMDs and the impact of dystonia severity on these scales. Children with HMDs (n=161; median age 10y 3mo, range 2y 6mo-21y) were assessed using the BFM-M, GMFCS, MACS, and CFCS from 2007 to 2013. This cross-sectional study contrasts the information provided by these scales. All four scales were strongly associated (all Spearman's rank correlation coefficient rs >0.72, pdisorders including cerebral palsy can be effectively evaluated using these scales. © 2015 Mac Keith Press.

  14. 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

  15. FSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Guidance on the scientific requirements for health claims related to functions of the ne rvous system, including psycholog ical functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tetens, Inge

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies to draft guidance on scientific requirements for health claims related to functions of the nervous system, including psychological functions. This guidance has been drawn from scientific opinions......, and was released for public consultation from 17 October 2011 to 16 December 2011....

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Including screening in van der Waals corrected density functional theory calculations: The case of atoms and small molecules physisorbed on graphene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvestrelli, Pier Luigi; Ambrosetti, Alberto [Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, via Marzolo 8, I–35131 Padova, Italy and DEMOCRITOS National Simulation Center of the Italian Istituto Officina dei Materiali (IOM) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Trieste (Italy)

    2014-03-28

    The Density Functional Theory (DFT)/van der Waals-Quantum Harmonic Oscillator-Wannier function (vdW-QHO-WF) method, recently developed to include the vdW interactions in approximated DFT by combining the quantum harmonic oscillator model with the maximally localized Wannier function technique, is applied to the cases of atoms and small molecules (X=Ar, CO, H{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O) weakly interacting with benzene and with the ideal planar graphene surface. Comparison is also presented with the results obtained by other DFT vdW-corrected schemes, including PBE+D, vdW-DF, vdW-DF2, rVV10, and by the simpler Local Density Approximation (LDA) and semilocal generalized gradient approximation approaches. While for the X-benzene systems all the considered vdW-corrected schemes perform reasonably well, it turns out that an accurate description of the X-graphene interaction requires a proper treatment of many-body contributions and of short-range screening effects, as demonstrated by adopting an improved version of the DFT/vdW-QHO-WF method. We also comment on the widespread attitude of relying on LDA to get a rough description of weakly interacting systems.

  5. Human microRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors show significantly different biological patterns: from functions to targets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Wang

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs which play essential roles in many important biological processes. Therefore, their dysfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Increasing evidence shows that miRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, and although there is great interest in research into these cancer-associated miRNAs, little is known about them. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of putative human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. We found that miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors clearly show different patterns in function, evolutionary rate, expression, chromosome distribution, molecule size, free energy, transcription factors, and targets. For example, miRNA oncogenes are located mainly in the amplified regions in human cancers, whereas miRNA tumor suppressors are located mainly in the deleted regions. miRNA oncogenes tend to cleave target mRNAs more frequently than miRNA tumor suppressors. These results indicate that these two types of cancer-associated miRNAs play different roles in cancer formation and development. Moreover, the patterns identified here can discriminate novel miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors with a high degree of accuracy. This study represents the first large-scale bioinformatic analysis of human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Our findings provide help for not only understanding of miRNAs in cancer but also for the specific identification of novel miRNAs as miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. In addition, the data presented in this study will be valuable for the study of both miRNAs and cancer.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Self-assembly and stability of double rosette nanostructures with biological functionalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Cate, M.G.J.; Omerovic, Merdan; Oshovsky, G.; Crego Calama, Mercedes; Reinhoudt, David

    2005-01-01

    The syntheses of calix[4]arene dimelamines that are functionalized with alkyl, aminoalkyl, ureido, pyridyl, carbohydrate, amino acid and peptide functionalities, and their self-assembly with barbituric acid or cyanuric acid derivatives into well-defined hydrogen-bonded nanostructures are described.

  10. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-03-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms.

  11. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-01-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG; Yiding; (

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Auad Alexander Machado; Moraes Jair Campos de

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Uncertainty in Measurement: A Review of Monte Carlo Simulation Using Microsoft Excel for the Calculation of Uncertainties Through Functional Relationships, Including Uncertainties in Empirically Derived Constants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrance, Ian; Frenkel, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (usually referred to as the GUM) provides the basic framework for evaluating uncertainty in measurement. The GUM however does not always provide clearly identifiable procedures suitable for medical laboratory applications, particularly when internal quality control (IQC) is used to derive most of the uncertainty estimates. The GUM modelling approach requires advanced mathematical skills for many of its procedures, but Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) can be used as an alternative for many medical laboratory applications. In particular, calculations for determining how uncertainties in the input quantities to a functional relationship propagate through to the output can be accomplished using a readily available spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. The MCS procedure uses algorithmically generated pseudo-random numbers which are then forced to follow a prescribed probability distribution. When IQC data provide the uncertainty estimates the normal (Gaussian) distribution is generally considered appropriate, but MCS is by no means restricted to this particular case. With input variations simulated by random numbers, the functional relationship then provides the corresponding variations in the output in a manner which also provides its probability distribution. The MCS procedure thus provides output uncertainty estimates without the need for the differential equations associated with GUM modelling. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the ease with which Microsoft Excel (or a similar spreadsheet) can be used to provide an uncertainty estimate for measurands derived through a functional relationship. In addition, we also consider the relatively common situation where an empirically derived formula includes one or more ‘constants’, each of which has an empirically derived numerical value. Such empirically derived ‘constants’ must also have associated uncertainties which propagate through the functional

  16. Uncertainty in measurement: a review of monte carlo simulation using microsoft excel for the calculation of uncertainties through functional relationships, including uncertainties in empirically derived constants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrance, Ian; Frenkel, Robert

    2014-02-01

    The Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (usually referred to as the GUM) provides the basic framework for evaluating uncertainty in measurement. The GUM however does not always provide clearly identifiable procedures suitable for medical laboratory applications, particularly when internal quality control (IQC) is used to derive most of the uncertainty estimates. The GUM modelling approach requires advanced mathematical skills for many of its procedures, but Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) can be used as an alternative for many medical laboratory applications. In particular, calculations for determining how uncertainties in the input quantities to a functional relationship propagate through to the output can be accomplished using a readily available spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. The MCS procedure uses algorithmically generated pseudo-random numbers which are then forced to follow a prescribed probability distribution. When IQC data provide the uncertainty estimates the normal (Gaussian) distribution is generally considered appropriate, but MCS is by no means restricted to this particular case. With input variations simulated by random numbers, the functional relationship then provides the corresponding variations in the output in a manner which also provides its probability distribution. The MCS procedure thus provides output uncertainty estimates without the need for the differential equations associated with GUM modelling. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the ease with which Microsoft Excel (or a similar spreadsheet) can be used to provide an uncertainty estimate for measurands derived through a functional relationship. In addition, we also consider the relatively common situation where an empirically derived formula includes one or more 'constants', each of which has an empirically derived numerical value. Such empirically derived 'constants' must also have associated uncertainties which propagate through the functional relationship

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jølck, Rasmus Irming

    Functional nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the unique properties of these nanoconstructs. In recognition of the huge potential within this field, much research has been devoted to develop sophisticated nanoparticles for medical diagnostics, sensors, contrast agents, vaccines an...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Post-translational modifications provide the proteins with the possibility to perform functions in addition to those determined by their primary sequence. However, analysis of multifunctional protein structures in the environment of cells and body fluids is made especially difficult by the presence...... both modifications are likely to occur can also be predicted (YinYang sites), to suggest further functional versatility. Structural modifications of hydroxyl groups of P-, E-, and L-selectins have been predicted and possible functions resulting from such modifications are proposed. Functional changes...... of the three selectins are based on the assumption that transitory and reversible protein modifications by phosphate and O-GlcNAc cause specific conformational changes and generate binding sites for other proteins. The computer-assisted prediction of glycosylation and phosphorylation sites in selectins should...

  3. 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...

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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,

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with large personal and social costs, and understanding the genetic etiology is important. Such knowledge can be obtained by testing the association between a disease phenotype and individual genetic markers; however, such single-marker methods have limited power to detect genetic markers with small effects. Instead, aggregating genetic markers based on biological information might increase the power to identify sets of genetic markers of etiological significance. Several set test methods have been proposed: Here we propose a new set test derived from genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP), the covariance association test (CVAT). We compared the performance of CVAT to other commonly used set tests. The comparison was conducted using a simulated study population having the same genetic parameters as for schizophrenia. We found that CVAT was among the top performers. When extending CVAT to utilize a mixture of SNP effects, we found an increase in power to detect the causal sets. Applying the methods to a Danish schizophrenia case-control data set, we found genomic evidence for association of schizophrenia with vitamin A metabolism and immunological responses, which previously have been implicated with schizophrenia based on experimental and observational studies. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  14. 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

  15. [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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrova, G.A.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-28

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

  18. Intersection of transfer cells with phloem biology – broad evolutionary trends, function and induction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicity eAndriunas

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Transfer cells (TCs are ubiquitous throughout the plant kingdom. Their unique ingrowth wall labyrinths, supporting a plasma membrane enriched in transporter proteins, provides these cells with an enhanced membrane transport capacity for resources. In certain plant species, TCs have been shown to function to facilitate phloem loading and/or unloading at cellular sites of intense resource exchange between symplasmic/apoplasmic compartments. Within the phloem, the key cellular locations of TCs are leaf minor veins of collection phloem and stem nodes of transport phloem. In these locations, companion and phloem parenchyma cells trans-differentiate to a TC morphology consistent with facilitating loading and re-distribution of resources respectively. At a species level, occurrence of TCs is significantly higher in transport than in collection phloem. TCs are absent from release phloem but occur within post-sieve element unloading pathways and particularly at interfaces between generations of developing Angiosperm seeds. Experimental accessibility of seed TCs has provided opportunities to investigate their inductive signaling, regulation of ingrowth wall formation and membrane transport function. This review uses this information base to explore current knowledge of phloem transport function and inductive signaling for phloem-associated TCs. The functional role of collection phloem and seed TCs is supported by definitive evidence, but no such information is available for stem node TCs that present an almost intractable experimental challenge. There is an emerging understanding of inductive signals and signaling pathways responsible for initiating trans-differentiation to a TC morphology in developing seeds. However, scant information is available to comment on a potential role for inductive signals that induce seed TCs, in regulating induction of phloem-associated TCs. Biotic phloem invaders have been used as a model to speculate on involvement of

  19. Including pork in the Mediterranean diet for an Australian population: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial assessing cardiovascular risk and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Alexandra T; Davis, Courtney R; Dyer, Kathryn A; Hodgson, Jonathan M; Woodman, Richard J; Keage, Hannah A D; Murphy, Karen J

    2017-12-22

    The Mediterranean diet is characterised by the high consumption of extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts; moderate consumption of fish, poultry, eggs and dairy; and low consumption of red meat and sweets. Cross sectional, longitudinal and intervention studies indicate that a Mediterranean diet may be effective for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and dementia. However, previous research suggests that an Australian population may find red meat restrictions difficult, which could affect long term sustainability of the diet. This paper outlines the protocol for a randomised controlled trial that will assess the cardiovascular and cognitive benefits of a Mediterranean diet modified to include 2-3 weekly serves of fresh, lean pork. A 24-week cross-over design trial will compare a modified Mediterranean diet with a low-fat control diet in at-risk men and women. Participants will follow each of the two diets for 8 weeks, with an 8-week washout period separating interventions. Home measured systolic blood pressure will be the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcomes will include body mass index, body composition, fasting blood lipids, C-reactive protein, fasting plasma glucose, fasting serum insulin, erythrocyte fatty acids, cognitive function, psychological health and well-being, and dementia risk. To our knowledge this research is the first to investigate whether an alternate source of protein can be included in the Mediterranean diet to increase sustainability and feasibility for a non-Mediterranean population. Findings will be significant for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and age-related decline, and may inform individuals, clinicians and public health policy. ACTRN12616001046493 . Registered 5 August 2016.

  20. Neural Response to Biological Motion in Healthy Adults Varies as a Function of Autistic-Like Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan H. Puglia

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Perception of biological motion is an important social cognitive ability that has been mapped to specialized brain regions. Perceptual deficits and neural differences during biological motion perception have previously been associated with autism, a disorder classified by social and communication difficulties and repetitive and restricted interests and behaviors. However, the traits associated with autism are not limited to diagnostic categories, but are normally distributed within the general population and show the same patterns of heritability across the continuum. In the current study, we investigate whether self-reported autistic-like traits in healthy adults are associated with variable neural response during passive viewing of biological motion displays. Results show that more autistic-like traits, particularly those associated with the communication domain, are associated with increased neural response in key regions involved in social cognitive processes, including prefrontal and left temporal cortices. This distinct pattern of activation might reflect differential neurodevelopmental processes for individuals with varying autistic-like traits, and highlights the importance of considering the full trait continuum in future work.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  2. Integrated Biological Control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    JOHNSON, A.R.

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Analyses in zebrafish embryos reveal that nanotoxicity profiles are dependent on surface-functionalization controlled penetrance of biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paatero, Ilkka; Casals, Eudald; Niemi, Rasmus; Özliseli, Ezgi; Rosenholm, Jessica M; Sahlgren, Cecilia

    2017-08-21

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are extensively explored as drug delivery systems, but in depth understanding of design-toxicity relationships is still scarce. We used zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to study toxicity profiles of differently surface functionalized MSNs. Embryos with the chorion membrane intact, or dechoroniated embryos, were incubated or microinjected with amino (NH 2 -MSNs), polyethyleneimine (PEI-MSNs), succinic acid (SUCC-MSNs) or polyethyleneglycol (PEG-MSNs) functionalized MSNs. Toxicity was assessed by viability and cardiovascular function. NH 2 -MSNs, SUCC-MSNs and PEG-MSNs were well tolerated, 50 µg/ml PEI-MSNs induced 100% lethality 48 hours post fertilization (hpf). Dechoroniated embryos were more sensitive and 10 µg/ml PEI-MSNs reduced viability to 5% at 96hpf. Sensitivity to PEG- and SUCC-, but not NH 2 -MSNs, was also enhanced. Typically cardiovascular toxicity was evident prior to lethality. Confocal microscopy revealed that PEI-MSNs penetrated into the embryos whereas PEG-, NH2- and SUCC-MSNs remained aggregated on the skin surface. Direct exposure of inner organs by microinjecting NH 2 -MSNs and PEI-MSNs demonstrated that the particles displayed similar toxicity indicating that functionalization affects the toxicity profile by influencing penetrance through biological barriers. The data emphasize the need for careful analyses of toxicity mechanisms in relevant models and constitute an important knowledge step towards the development of safer and sustainable nanotherapies.

  4. Time-resolved diffuse optical tomographic imaging for the provision of both anatomical and functional information about biological tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Huijuan; Gao, Feng; Tanikawa, Yukari; Homma, Kazuhiro; Yamada, Yukio

    2005-04-01

    We present in vivo images of near-infrared (NIR) diffuse optical tomography (DOT) of human lower legs and forearm to validate the dual functions of a time-resolved (TR) NIR DOT in clinical diagnosis, i.e., to provide anatomical and functional information simultaneously. The NIR DOT system is composed of time-correlated single-photon-counting channels, and the image reconstruction algorithm is based on the modified generalized pulsed spectral technique, which effectively incorporates the TR data with reasonable computation time. The reconstructed scattering images of both the lower legs and the forearm revealed their anatomies, in which the bones were clearly distinguished from the muscles. In the absorption images, some of the blood vessels were observable. In the functional imaging, a subject was requested to do handgripping exercise to stimulate physiological changes in the forearm tissue. The images of oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, and total hemoglobin concentration changes in the forearm were obtained from the differential images of the absorption at three wavelengths between the exercise and the rest states, which were reconstructed with a differential imaging scheme. These images showed increases in both blood volume and oxyhemoglobin concentration in the arteries and simultaneously showed hypoxia in the corresponding muscles. All the results have demonstrated the capability of TR NIR DOT by reconstruction of the absolute images of the scattering and the absorption with a high spatial resolution that finally provided both the anatomical and functional information inside bulky biological tissues.

  5. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole Laurence A

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur I. Cederbaum

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omarov R.T.

    2012-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fritzberg, A.M.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-07-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Radio imaging moving poly functional device development R.I.T.M. Medicine and biology applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saoudi, A.

    1994-07-01

    We want to the medicine request. They wish to set out weak dimension nuclear imaging equipment, allowing to be movable indeed exploitable during the operation. We are using radioactive tracers either γ or β. For the postoperatory phases, no efficient and quick method of total ''osteoid-osteoma'' exeresis was existing. The device permitted to see if the extracted pieces included the maximal radioactivity zone, essential information on the surgery therapy quality, before the anatomy pathology tests. 36 refs., 109 figs., 3 tabs., 1 appendix

  15. Microbes in biological processes for municipal landfill leachate treatment: Community, function and interaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Duoying; Vahala, Riku; Wang, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Landfill leachate (LFL) contains high strength of ammonium and complex organic substances including biodegradable volatile fatty acids (VFAs), refractory aquatic humic substances (AHS) and micro-scale xenobiotic organic chemicals (XOCs), which promotes the diverse microbial community in LFL...... treatment bioreactors. These microbes cooperate to remove nitrogen, biodegrade organic matters, eliminate the toxicity of XOCs and produce energy. In these diverse microbes, some show dominant in the bioreactor and are prevalent in many kinds of LFL treatment bio-processes, such as Brocadia from the phylum...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-20

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-30

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qudsia Tahseen

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Krystle; Wise, Abigail; Mazzuca, James

    2015-03-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    systems do not have an external source for a map of their stored information or for an operational instruction set; rather, they must contain an organizational template conserved within their intra-nuclear architecture that "manipulates" the laws of chemistry and physics into a highly robust instruction set. We propose that the epigenetic structure of the intra-nuclear environment and the non-coding RNA may play the roles of a Biological File Allocation Table (BFAT) and biological operating system (Bio-OS) in eukaryotic cells. Conclusions The comparison of functional and structural characteristics of the DNA complex and the computer hard drive leads to a new descriptive paradigm that identifies the DNA as a dynamic storage system of biological information. This system is embodied in an autonomous operating system that inductively follows organizational structures, data hierarchy and executable operations that are well understood in the computer science industry. Characterizing the "DNA hard drive" in this fashion can lead to insights arising from discrepancies in the descriptive framework, particularly with respect to positing the role of epigenetic processes in an information-processing context. Further expansions arising from this comparison include the view of cells as parallel computing machines and a new approach towards characterizing cellular control systems. PMID:20092652

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Onofrio, David J; An, Gary

    2010-01-21

    external source for a map of their stored information or for an operational instruction set; rather, they must contain an organizational template conserved within their intra-nuclear architecture that "manipulates" the laws of chemistry and physics into a highly robust instruction set. We propose that the epigenetic structure of the intra-nuclear environment and the non-coding RNA may play the roles of a Biological File Allocation Table (BFAT) and biological operating system (Bio-OS) in eukaryotic cells. The comparison of functional and structural characteristics of the DNA complex and the computer hard drive leads to a new descriptive paradigm that identifies the DNA as a dynamic storage system of biological information. This system is embodied in an autonomous operating system that inductively follows organizational structures, data hierarchy and executable operations that are well understood in the computer science industry. Characterizing the "DNA hard drive" in this fashion can lead to insights arising from discrepancies in the descriptive framework, particularly with respect to positing the role of epigenetic processes in an information-processing context. Further expansions arising from this comparison include the view of cells as parallel computing machines and a new approach towards characterizing cellular control systems.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D'Onofrio David J

    2010-01-01

    system (OS. Biological systems do not have an external source for a map of their stored information or for an operational instruction set; rather, they must contain an organizational template conserved within their intra-nuclear architecture that "manipulates" the laws of chemistry and physics into a highly robust instruction set. We propose that the epigenetic structure of the intra-nuclear environment and the non-coding RNA may play the roles of a Biological File Allocation Table (BFAT and biological operating system (Bio-OS in eukaryotic cells. Conclusions The comparison of functional and structural characteristics of the DNA complex and the computer hard drive leads to a new descriptive paradigm that identifies the DNA as a dynamic storage system of biological information. This system is embodied in an autonomous operating system that inductively follows organizational structures, data hierarchy and executable operations that are well understood in the computer science industry. Characterizing the "DNA hard drive" in this fashion can lead to insights arising from discrepancies in the descriptive framework, particularly with respect to positing the role of epigenetic processes in an information-processing context. Further expansions arising from this comparison include the view of cells as parallel computing machines and a new approach towards characterizing cellular control systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yadav, Rachita

    , Chapter 1 provides an introduction to various methodologies utilised in this thesis work. Subsequently, chapters 2, 3 and 4 in the second section, address finding causal variations in childhood asthma. Chapter 2 focuses on a genome wide association study (GWAS) performed on asthma exacerbation case cohort....... This study reports a new susceptibility locus within the gene CDHR3 for exacerbation phenotype of childhood asthma. Chapter 3 of the thesis presents a pilot study, which aims at designing a candidate gene panel for childhood asthma to identify the causal variants from known asthma genes. Chapter 4 describes...... in adipose depots, which is a major tissue implicated in obesity. Chapter 5 sheds light on different mechanisms that result in the replacement of metabolism efficient brown fat with the storage-type white fat in large mammals (including human) especially within the first few months following birth...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Feng

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Nitric oxide synthesis and biological functions of nitric oxide released from ruthenium compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.C. Pereira

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available During three decades, an enormous number of studies have demonstrated the critical role of nitric oxide (NO as a second messenger engaged in the activation of many systems including vascular smooth muscle relaxation. The underlying cellular mechanisms involved in vasodilatation are essentially due to soluble guanylyl-cyclase (sGC modulation in the cytoplasm of vascular smooth cells. sGC activation culminates in cyclic GMP (cGMP production, which in turn leads to protein kinase G (PKG activation. NO binds to the sGC heme moiety, thereby activating this enzyme. Activation of the NO-sGC-cGMP-PKG pathway entails Ca2+ signaling reduction and vasodilatation. Endothelium dysfunction leads to decreased production or bioavailability of endogenous NO that could contribute to vascular diseases. Nitrosyl ruthenium complexes have been studied as a new class of NO donors with potential therapeutic use in order to supply the NO deficiency. In this context, this article shall provide a brief review of the effects exerted by the NO that is enzymatically produced via endothelial NO-synthase (eNOS activation and by the NO released from NO donor compounds in the vascular smooth muscle cells on both conduit and resistance arteries, as well as veins. In addition, the involvement of the nitrite molecule as an endogenous NO reservoir engaged in vasodilatation will be described.

  1. Smart Polymeric Hydrogels for Cartilage Tissue Engineering: A Review on the Chemistry and Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eslahi, Niloofar; Abdorahim, Marjan; Simchi, Abdolreza

    2016-11-14

    Stimuli responsive hydrogels (SRHs) are attractive bioscaffolds for tissue engineering. The structural similarity of SRHs to the extracellular matrix (ECM) of many tissues offers great advantages for a minimally invasive tissue repair. Among various potential applications of SRHs, cartilage regeneration has attracted significant attention. The repair of cartilage damage is challenging in orthopedics owing to its low repair capacity. Recent advances include development of injectable hydrogels to minimize invasive surgery with nanostructured features and rapid stimuli-responsive characteristics. Nanostructured SRHs with more structural similarity to natural ECM up-regulate cell-material interactions for faster tissue repair and more controlled stimuli-response to environmental changes. This review highlights most recent advances in the development of nanostructured or smart hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering. Different types of stimuli-responsive hydrogels are introduced and their fabrication processes through physicochemical procedures are reported. The applications and characteristics of natural and synthetic polymers used in SRHs are also reviewed with an outline on clinical considerations and challenges.

  2. Multi-element neutron activation analysis of biological tissues: contribution to the study of trace element accumulation as a function of aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaudry, Andre.

    1975-01-01

    The accumulation of trace elements in various organs as a function of age was studied in rats, in connection with tissue aging phenomena. Part one reviews the various methods available to develop a programme of simultaneous multi-element analysis in biological matrices. Part two studies the precision and accuracy offered by neutron activation analysis. Special attention is paid to the problem of sample contamination by the silica glass irradiation supports. The possible causes of this effect are mentioned and a procedure limiting its harmful influence is proposed. Part three defines the restrictions introduced by the use of a method to separate the activable matrix. The fourth and last chapter describes the development of a multielement chemical separation system, designed to work semi-automatically for the simultaneous treatment of three samples and a standard in a shielded cell of small dimensions. The principles of a multi-comparator calibration where a knowledge of certain conventional but imprecise nuclear data is unnecessary owing to an experimental expedient are outlined briefly. Finally the separation method is tried out on various biological samples, including a reference (bovine liver SRM1577-NBS), and some results are given [fr

  3. 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

  4. Characterization and biological function analysis of the TRIM47 gene from common carp (Cyprinus carpio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yeda; Kuang, Ming; Lu, Yuanan; Lin, Li; Liu, Xueqin

    2017-09-05

    The TRIM family protein was known to play an important role in many cellular processes, including potential antiviral activity, which has attracted lots of attention. In this study, a TRIM47 homolog from common carp (Cyprinus carpio) was cloned and the full length coding DNA sequence (CDS) of this gene was analyzed, results showed that there was a 97% similarity between common carp and zebrafish (Danio rerio), but only 18% similarity with that of human (Homo sapiens) and mouse (Mus musculus). The tissue distribution analysis showed TRIM47 had the highest mRNA level in the brain, a few immune related organs such as liver and kidney also had a relatively high level of TRIM47 expression. SVCV infection decreased TRIM47 mRNA level significantly both in vitro and in vivo, but its expression was not affected by the virus at the protein level. The recombinant plasmid pcDNA4-TRIM47-His was constructed, the subcellular localization in FHM cells showed that TRIM47 uniformly distributed in the cytoplasm at the form of tiny spots, and partially localized in the mitochondria. Overexpression TRIM47 in FHM cells significantly decreased the mRNA level of SVCV-G gene, and it was accompanied with the increasing of IFN1, a member of type I IFN, at the case of SVCV stimulation. In summary, our results had first demonstrated that TRIM47 of the common carp played an important role in viral resistance processes as well as the regulation of IFN signaling pathway. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. THE INFLUENCE OF COMBINATION NON-MEDICAL TREATMENT INCLUDING FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMED ELECTRICAL STIMULATION ON THE CLINICAL AND INSTRUMENTAL PARAMETERS IN PATIENTS WITH CEREBRAL PALSY WITH SPASTIC DIPLEGIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Eliseev

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Cerebral palsy is the leading cause of physical disability in pediatric  age. The search for new methods and improvement of old rehabil- itation techniques is ongoing, due to low efficacy of the latter. Aim: To assess the efficacy of a func- tional programmed electrical muscle stimulation as a part  of combination treatment of patients with cerebral palsy in the form of spastic diplegia. Materials and methods: We analyzed the results of treatment of 71 children with cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia, who had  been  randomized  into two groups  depending on the type of treatment. In  the  first group,  the  patients  (n = 38 received a course of functional programmed electric stim- ulation  in combination with  other  non-medical treatment  methods.  The  second   group   (n = 33 underwent a usual  course  of electrical  stimula- tion in combination with non-medical  treatment, similar to that  in the first group. The third group (control   included   41   children   without    cere- bral palsy. Clinical and  instrumental parameters were  assessed  in all study  participants. Results: After the course of combination treatment in the group  1, the  tonus  of m. gastrocnemius was de- creased significantly by 41%, that of the posterior group  of femur muscles by 43%, adductor group of femur muscles by 36%. In the group  2, the re- spective parameters decreased by 24, 21 and 21%. Muscle power  endurance was  increased  signifi- cantly in patients of both groups: that of long back extensors by 12.5 and 6.2 sec, of m. rectus abdomi- nis by 10.6 sec and 5.2 sec, of gluteal muscles by 9.3 and 4.6 sec, of m. quadriceps  by 19.8 and 7.2 sec, of m. anterior  tibialis by 12.1 and 4.6 sec, respec- tively. After the  treatment, the  active movement volume in the large joints of lower extremities  in the group 1 patients  improved as follows: by 15.6° in hip joints, by 11.1° in knee joints and by

  6. Plant species modifies the functional response of Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) to Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae): implications for biological control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skirvin, D J; Fenlon, J S

    2001-02-01

    The functional response of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot to eggs of its prey, the spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch was examined on three plant species. Experiments were done to determine whether differences in the functional response on the three plant species were due to the morphological features of the crop directly on the predator or through an effect of the plant species on the prey. The results show that crop morphology is the only factor influencing the predatory ability of P. persimilis on the three plant species. Fewer eggs were eaten on Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. 'Autumnal Blue', the plant species with hairy leaves, and greater numbers of prey consumed on Choisya ternata, a species with smooth leaves. However, similarly few eggs were eaten on the smooth, but waxy leaved Euonymus japonicus as on Ceanothus thyrsiflorus, demonstrating that morphological characters of leaves other than the possession of hairs and trichomes may affect the rates of predation. The implications of these results for the tritrophic interactions between plant, predator and prey, and the development of suitable biological control strategies are discussed.

  7. Hyperfractionated radiotherapy and simultaneous cisplatin for stage-III and -IV carcinomas of the head and neck. Long-term results including functional outcome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huguenin, P.; Glanzmann, C.; Taussky, D.; Luetolf, U.M.; Schmid, S.; Moe, K.

    1998-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the survival rate, the probability of local control, the patterns of relapse and late sequelae including self-reported quality of life in patients treated with hyperfractionated radiotherapy (RT) and simultaneous CDDP chemotherapy for stage-III to stage-IV carcinomas of the head and neck. Methods: From 1988 to 1994, 64 patients (median age 55.5 years) with carcinomas of different subsites, excluding the nasopharynx, were treated in a pilot study with 1.2 Gy bid (6 h interval; total dose 74.4 Gy) and simultaneous CDDP (20 mg/m 2 daily, 5 days in week 1 and 5) and followed at regular intervals. Overall survival and local control, as well as the rates of late toxicity, were estimated using the actuarial method. Median follow-up was 3.3 years for all and 5.2 years for surviving patients. To assess the quality of life, the EORTC QLQ-C 30 questionnaire and the H and N35 module questionnaire were sent to the patients surviving with no evidence of disease or second primary tumors; they were answered by 15/23 (67%). Results: Overall survival was 37% at 5 years, whereas disease-specific survival was 59%. Twenty-three patients died from uncontrolled head and neck cancer. Second primary tumors were observed in 13 patients, most frequently in the lung. Local control without salvage surgery was 74% at 5 years for all subsites and stages, and loco-regional disease-free survival was 72%. Eleven patients developed distant metastases, which was the only site of failure in 6 cases. Salvage surgery was successful in 2 cases. The actuarial estimates of ≥grade-3 late toxicity was 4% for the mandibular bone and 23% for dysphagia, and 50% of the patients experienced a permanent xerostomy. Self-reported global quality of life in surviving patients was good (mean 68 points on a scale 0 to 100); consequences of impaired salivary function had most impact on nutritional and social aspects. Conclusions: Hyperfractionated RT with concomitant CDDP is well tolerated and highly

  8. 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.

  9. Changes in endocrine thymus function in patients with breast cancer under the action of combined treatment including non-specific active immunotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bendyug, G.D.

    1988-01-01

    The state of endocrine thymus function in patients with breast cancer of the 1st-4th stage and in 31 patients with precancerous diseases is studied. It is established that considerable decrease of thymus serous factor (TSF) content in all patients is observed. Radiation- and polychemotherapy carried out decreases the endocrine thymus function. Inclusions of non-specific active immunotherapy in patients' treatment promote the increase of TSF content, that increases treatment efficiency

  10. The Clinical Obesity Maintenance Model: An Integration of Psychological Constructs including Mood, Emotional Regulation, Disordered Overeating, Habitual Cluster Behaviours, Health Literacy and Cognitive Function

    OpenAIRE

    Raman, Jayanthi; Smith, Evelyn; Hay, Phillipa

    2013-01-01

    Psychological distress and deficits in executive functioning are likely to be important barriers to effective weight loss maintenance. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, in the light of recent evidence in the fields of neuropsychology and obesity, particularly on the deficits in the executive function in overweight and obese individuals, a conceptual and theoretical framework of obesity maintenance is introduced by way of a clinical obesity maintenance model (COMM). It is argued tha...

  11. Review of Biological Network Data and Its Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donghyeon Yu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Studying biological networks, such as protein-protein interactions, is key to understanding complex biological activities. Various types of large-scale biological datasets have been collected and analyzed with high-throughput technologies, including DNA microarray, next-generation sequencing, and the two-hybrid screening system, for this purpose. In this review, we focus on network-based approaches that help in understanding biological systems and identifying biological functions. Accordingly, this paper covers two major topics in network biology: reconstruction of gene regulatory networks and network-based applications, including protein function prediction, disease gene prioritization, and network-based genome-wide association study.

  12. Manufacturing validation of biologically functional T cells targeted to CD19 antigen for autologous adoptive cell therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollyman, Daniel; Stefanski, Jolanta; Przybylowski, Mark; Bartido, Shirley; Borquez-Ojeda, Oriana; Taylor, Clare; Yeh, Raymond; Capacio, Vanessa; Olszewska, Malgorzata; Hosey, James; Sadelain, Michel; Brentjens, Renier J.; Rivière, Isabelle

    2009-01-01

    Summary Based on promising pre-clinical data demonstrating the eradication of systemic B cell malignancies by CD19-targeted T lymphocytes in vivo in SCID beige mouse models, we are launching Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We present here the validation of the bioprocess we developed for the production and expansion of clinical grade autologous T cells derived from patients with CLL. We demonstrate that T cells genetically modified with a replication-defective gammaretroviral vector derived from the Moloney murine leukemia virus encoding a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeted to CD19 (1928z) can be expanded with Dynabeads® CD3/CD28. This bioprocess allows us to generate clinical doses of 1928z+ T cells in approximately 2 to 3 weeks in a large-scale semi-closed culture system using the Wave bioreactor. These 1928z+ T cells remain biologically functional not only in vitro but also in SCID beige mice bearing disseminated tumors. The validation requirements in terms of T cell expansion, T cell transduction with the 1928z CAR, biological activity, quality control testing and release criteria were met for all four validation runs using apheresis products from patients with CLL. Additionally, following expansion of the T cells, the diversity of the skewed Vβ T cell receptor repertoire was significantly restored. This validated process will be used in phase I clinical trials in patients with chemo-refractory CLL and in patients with relapsed ALL. It can also be adapted for other clinical trials involving the expansion and transduction of patient or donor T cells using any chimeric antigen receptor or T cell receptor. PMID:19238016

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Models including electron correlation in relation to Fock's proposed expansion of the ground-state wave function of He-like atomic ions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glasser, M. L.; March, N. H.; Nieto, L. M. [Departamento de Fisica Teorica, Atomica y Optica, Universidad de Valladolid, ES-47011 Valladolid, Spain and Department of Physics, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Antwerp, BE-2020 Antwerp, Belgium and Department of Theoretical Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD (United Kingdom); Departamento de Fisica Teorica, Atomica y Optica, Universidad de Valladolid, ES-47011 Valladolid (Spain)

    2011-12-15

    Here attention is first drawn to the importance of gaining insight into Fock's early proposal for expanding the ground-state wave function for He-like atomic ions in hyperspherical coordinates. We approach the problem via two solvable models, namely, (i) the s-term model put forth by Temkin [Phys. Rev. 126, 130 (1962)] and (ii) the Hookean atom model proposed by Kestner and Sinanoglu [Phys. Rev. 128, 2687 (1962)]. In both cases the local kinetic energy can be obtained explicitly in hyperspherical coordinates. Separation of variables occurs in both model wave functions, though in a different context in the two cases. Finally, a k-space formulation is proposed that should eventually result in distinctive identifying characteristics of Fock's nonanalyticities for He-like atomic ions when both electrons are close to the nucleus.

  19. The Biological Function and Clinical Utilization of CD147 in Human Diseases: A Review of the Current Scientific Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Lijuan; Edwards, Carl K.; Zhou, Lijun

    2014-01-01

    CD147 or EMMPRIN is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily in humans. It is widely expressed in human tumors and plays a central role in the progression of many cancers by stimulating the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cytokines. CD147 regulates cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor cell migration, metastasis and differentiation, especially under hypoxic conditions. CD147 is also important to many organ systems. This review will provide a detailed overview of the discovery, characterization, molecular structure, diverse biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of CD147 in human physiological and pathological processes. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the potential application of CD147 not only as a phenotypic marker of activated regulatory T cells but also as a potential diagnostic marker for early-stage disease. Moreover, CD147 is recognized as an effective therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and other cancers, and exciting clinical progress has been made in HCC treatment using CD147-directed monoclonal antibodies. PMID:25268615

  20. Validation of systems biology derived molecular markers of renal donor organ status associated with long term allograft function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perco, Paul; Heinzel, Andreas; Leierer, Johannes; Schneeberger, Stefan; Bösmüller, Claudia; Oberhuber, Rupert; Wagner, Silvia; Engler, Franziska; Mayer, Gert

    2018-05-03

    Donor organ quality affects long term outcome after renal transplantation. A variety of prognostic molecular markers is available, yet their validity often remains undetermined. A network-based molecular model reflecting donor kidney status based on transcriptomics data and molecular features reported in scientific literature to be associated with chronic allograft nephropathy was created. Significantly enriched biological processes were identified and representative markers were selected. An independent kidney pre-implantation transcriptomics dataset of 76 organs was used to predict estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values twelve months after transplantation using available clinical data and marker expression values. The best-performing regression model solely based on the clinical parameters donor age, donor gender, and recipient gender explained 17% of variance in post-transplant eGFR values. The five molecular markers EGF, CD2BP2, RALBP1, SF3B1, and DDX19B representing key molecular processes of the constructed renal donor organ status molecular model in addition to the clinical parameters significantly improved model performance (p-value = 0.0007) explaining around 33% of the variability of eGFR values twelve months after transplantation. Collectively, molecular markers reflecting donor organ status significantly add to prediction of post-transplant renal function when added to the clinical parameters donor age and gender.

  1. The Biological Function and Clinical Utilization of CD147 in Human Diseases: A Review of the Current Scientific Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan Xiong

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available CD147 or EMMPRIN is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily in humans. It is widely expressed in human tumors and plays a central role in the progression of many cancers by stimulating the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs and cytokines. CD147 regulates cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor cell migration, metastasis and differentiation, especially under hypoxic conditions. CD147 is also important to many organ systems. This review will provide a detailed overview of the discovery, characterization, molecular structure, diverse biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of CD147 in human physiological and pathological processes. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the potential application of CD147 not only as a phenotypic marker of activated regulatory T cells but also as a potential diagnostic marker for early-stage disease. Moreover, CD147 is recognized as an effective therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC and other cancers, and exciting clinical progress has been made in HCC treatment using CD147-directed monoclonal antibodies.

  2. R5-SHIV induces multiple defects in T cell function during early infection of rhesus macaques including accumulation of T reg cells in lymph nodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Santosuosso

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available HIV-1 is a pathogen that T cell responses fail to control. HIV-1gp120 is the surface viral envelope glycoprotein that interacts with CD4 T cells and mediates entry. HIV-1gp120 has been implicated in immune dysregulatory functions that may limit anti-HIV antigen-specific T cell responses. We hypothesized that in the context of early SHIV infection, immune dysregulation of antigen-specific T-effector cell and regulatory functions would be detectable and that these would be associated or correlated with measurable concentrations of HIV-1gp120 in lymphoid tissues.Rhesus macaques were intravaginally inoculated with a Clade C CCR5-tropic simian-human immunodeficiency virus, SHIV-1157ipd3N4. HIV-1gp120 levels, antigen-specificity, levels of apoptosis/anergy and frequency and function of Tregs were examined in lymph node and blood derived T cells at 5 and 12 weeks post inoculation.We observed reduced responses to Gag in CD4 and gp120 in CD8 lymph node-derived T cells compared to the peripheral blood at 5 weeks post-inoculation. Reduced antigen-specific responses were associated with higher levels of PD-1 on lymph node-derived CD4 T cells as compared to peripheral blood and uninfected lymph node-derived CD4 T cells. Lymph nodes contained increased numbers of Tregs as compared to peripheral blood, which positively correlated with gp120 levels; T regulatory cell depletion restored CD8 T cell responses to Gag but not to gp120. HIV gp120 was also able to induce T regulatory cell chemotaxis in a dose-dependent, CCR5-mediated manner. These studies contribute to our broader understanding of the ways in which HIV-1 dysregulates T cell function and localization during early infection.

  3. Measurement of the structure functions F2 and xF3 and comparison with QCD predictions including kinematical and dynamical higher twist effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varvell, K.; Wells, J.; Sansum, R.A.; Bullock, F.W.; Fitch, P.J.; Armenise, N.; Calicchio, M.; Erriquez, O.; Natali, S.; Nuzzo, S.; Ruggieri, F.; Baton, J.P.; Gerbier, G.; Kasper, P.; Kochowski, C.; Neveu, M.; Brisson, V.; Petiau, P.; Vallee, C.; Clayton, E.F.; Iaselli, G.; Mobayyen, M.M.; Petrides, A.; Jones, G.T.; Middleton, R.P.; O'Neale, S.W.; Mermikides, M.; Simopoulou, E.; Vayaki, A.

    1987-01-01

    The isoscalar nucleon structure functions F 2 (x,Q 2 ) and xF 3 (x,Q 2 ) are measured in the range 0 2 2 , 1.7 2 2 , x 2 values, it is found that a low Λsub(anti Manti S) value in the neighbourhood of 100 MeV describes the data adequately and that the contribution of dynamical higher twist effects is small and negative. (orig.)

  4. Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ayoung; Lee, Young Ju; Yoo, Hye Jin; Kim, Minkyung; Chang, Yeeun; Lee, Dong Seog; Lee, Jong Ho

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. paracasei), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (B. lactis) and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK) cell activity, interleukin (IL)-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN)-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03051425). PMID:28561762

  5. Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayoung Lee

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (B. lactis and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK cell activity, interleukin (IL-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03051425.

  6. Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ayoung; Lee, Young Ju; Yoo, Hye Jin; Kim, Minkyung; Chang, Yeeun; Lee, Dong Seog; Lee, Jong Ho

    2017-05-31

    The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei ( L. paracasei ), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis ( B. lactis ) and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum ( L. plantarum ) on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK) cell activity, interleukin (IL)-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN)-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei , B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03051425).

  7. Hyperfractionated radiotherapy and simultaneous cisplatin for stage-III and -IV carcinomas of the head and neck. Long-term results including functional outcome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huguenin, P.; Glanzmann, C.; Taussky, D.; Luetolf, U.M. [Univ. Hospital Zurich (Switzerland). Radiation Oncology Dept.; Schmid, S.; Moe, K. [Univ. Hospital Zurich (Switzerland). Dept. of Head and Neck Surgery

    1998-08-01

    Purpose: To assess the survival rate, the probability of local control, the patterns of relapse and late sequelae including self-reported quality of life in patients treated with hyperfractionated radiotherapy (RT) and simultaneous CDDP chemotherapy for stage-III to stage-IV carcinomas of the head and neck. Methods: From 1988 to 1994, 64 patients (median age 55.5 years) with carcinomas of different subsites, excluding the nasopharynx, were treated in a pilot study with 1.2 Gy bid (6 h interval; total dose 74.4 Gy) and simultaneous CDDP (20 mg/m{sup 2} daily, 5 days in week 1 and 5) and followed at regular intervals. Overall survival and local control, as well as the rates of late toxicity, were estimated using the actuarial method. Median follow-up was 3.3 years for all and 5.2 years for surviving patients. To assess the quality of life, the EORTC QLQ-C 30 questionnaire and the H and N35 module questionnaire were sent to the patients surviving with no evidence of disease or second primary tumors; they were answered by 15/23 (67%). Results: Overall survival was 37% at 5 years, whereas disease-specific survival was 59%. Twenty-three patients died from uncontrolled head and neck cancer. Second primary tumors were observed in 13 patients, most frequently in the lung. Local control without salvage surgery was 74% at 5 years for all subsites and stages, and loco-regional disease-free survival was 72%. Eleven patients developed distant metastases, which was the only site of failure in 6 cases. Salvage surgery was successful in 2 cases. The actuarial estimates of {>=}grade-3 late toxicity was 4% for the mandibular bone and 23% for dysphagia, and 50% of the patients experienced a permanent xerostomy. Self-reported global quality of life in surviving patients was good (mean 68 points on a scale 0 to 100); consequences of impaired salivary function had most impact on nutritional and social aspects. Conclusions: Hyperfractionated RT with concomitant CDDP is well tolerated and

  8. Development of new auxiliary basis functions of the Karlsruhe segmented contracted basis sets including diffuse basis functions (def2-SVPD, def2-TZVPPD, and def2-QVPPD) for RI-MP2 and RI-CC calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellweg, Arnim; Rappoport, Dmitrij

    2015-01-14

    We report optimized auxiliary basis sets for use with the Karlsruhe segmented contracted basis sets including moderately diffuse basis functions (Rappoport and Furche, J. Chem. Phys., 2010, 133, 134105) in resolution-of-the-identity (RI) post-self-consistent field (post-SCF) computations for the elements H-Rn (except lanthanides). The errors of the RI approximation using optimized auxiliary basis sets are analyzed on a comprehensive test set of molecules containing the most common oxidation states of each element and do not exceed those of the corresponding unaugmented basis sets. During these studies an unsatisfying performance of the def2-SVP and def2-QZVPP auxiliary basis sets for Barium was found and improved sets are provided. We establish the versatility of the def2-SVPD, def2-TZVPPD, and def2-QZVPPD basis sets for RI-MP2 and RI-CC (coupled-cluster) energy and property calculations. The influence of diffuse basis functions on correlation energy, basis set superposition error, atomic electron affinity, dipole moments, and computational timings is evaluated at different levels of theory using benchmark sets and showcase examples.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Assessment of the structural and functional impact of in-frame mutations of the DMD gene, using the tools included in the eDystrophin online database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Aurélie

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dystrophin is a large essential protein of skeletal and heart muscle. It is a filamentous scaffolding protein with numerous binding domains. Mutations in the DMD gene, which encodes dystrophin, mostly result in the deletion of one or several exons and cause Duchenne (DMD and Becker (BMD muscular dystrophies. The most common DMD mutations are frameshift mutations resulting in an absence of dystrophin from tissues. In-frame DMD mutations are less frequent and result in a protein with partial wild-type dystrophin function. The aim of this study was to highlight structural and functional modifications of dystrophin caused by in-frame mutations. Methods and results We developed a dedicated database for dystrophin, the eDystrophin database. It contains 209 different non frame-shifting mutations found in 945 patients from a French cohort and previous studies. Bioinformatics tools provide models of the three-dimensional structure of the protein at deletion sites, making it possible to determine whether the mutated protein retains the typical filamentous structure of dystrophin. An analysis of the structure of mutated dystrophin molecules showed that hybrid repeats were reconstituted at the deletion site in some cases. These hybrid repeats harbored the typical triple coiled-coil structure of native repeats, which may be correlated with better function in muscle cells. Conclusion This new database focuses on the dystrophin protein and its modification due to in-frame deletions in BMD patients. The observation of hybrid repeat reconstitution in some cases provides insight into phenotype-genotype correlations in dystrophin diseases and possible strategies for gene therapy. The eDystrophin database is freely available: http://edystrophin.genouest.org/.

  13. Function and modulation of premotor brainstem parasympathetic cardiac neurons that control heart rate by hypoxia-, sleep-, and sleep-related diseases including obstructive sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dergacheva, Olga; Weigand, Letitia A; Dyavanapalli, Jhansi; Mares, Jacquelyn; Wang, Xin; Mendelowitz, David

    2014-01-01

    Parasympathetic cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the brainstem dominate the control of heart rate. Previous work has determined that these neurons are inherently silent, and their activity is largely determined by synaptic inputs to CVNs that include four major types of synapses that release glutamate, GABA, glycine, or serotonin. Whereas prior reviews have focused on glutamatergic, GABAergic and glycinergic pathways, and the receptors in CVNs activated by these neurotransmitters, this review focuses on the alterations in CVN activity with hypoxia-, sleep-, and sleep-related cardiovascular diseases including obstructive sleep apnea. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Guideline-recommended therapy, including beta-blocker utilization, in patients with chronic heart failure: results from a Canadian community hospital heart function clinic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heffernan M

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Michael Heffernan Division of Cardiology, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, Oakville, ON, Canada Abstract: A comprehensive analysis of beta-blocker utilization and other guideline-recommended therapies for the treatment of chronic heart failure in a Canadian community hospital heart function clinic has not been undertaken and was, therefore, the focus of this study. The proportion of patients who would be potential candidates for ivabridine and sacubitril–valsartan therapy as a result of fulfilling the criteria for enrollment in either the Systolic Heart failure treatment with the If inhibitor ivabradine Trial (SHIFT study (left-ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] >35%, sinus rhythm, New York Heart Association II–IV or the Prospective Comparison of angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI to determine impact on global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF study (LVEF <40%, New York Heart Association II–IV, glomerular filtration rate >30 mL/min, was also assessed. A retrospective cross-sectional analysis was carried out in all 371 patients treated in this community heart function clinic for at least a 12-month period. The patients were elderly (mean age 74±13.3 years and predominately male (61.5% with symptomatic (82.5% moderate left-ventricular dysfunction (LVEF 45.4%±15.6%. A substantial proportion of the patients also had a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (52.8%. The total use of beta blockers exceeded 87%, while 100% of patients without a documented contraindication or intolerance to a beta blocker received therapy. Adherence to other guideline-recommended pharmacotherapies specifically for heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection was high: 86.1% of the eligible patients were treated with an ACEI/angiotensin receptor blocker and 61.9% received a mineralcorticoid receptor antagonist. We determined that 13.7% of the complement of this heart

  15. Maleimide-activated aryl diazonium salts for electrode surface functionalization with biological and redox-active molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Jason C; Polsky, Ronen; Wheeler, David R; Brozik, Susan M

    2008-03-04

    A versatile and simple method is introduced for formation of maleimide-functionalized surfaces using maleimide-activated aryl diazonium salts. We show for the first time electrodeposition of N-(4-diazophenyl)maleimide tetrafluoroborate on gold and carbon electrodes which was characterized via voltammetry, grazing angle FTIR, and ellipsometry. Electrodeposition conditions were used to control film thickness and yielded submonolayer-to-multilayer grafting. The resulting phenylmaleimide surfaces served as effective coupling agents for electrode functionalization with ferrocene and the redox-active protein cytochrome c. The utility of phenylmaleimide diazonium toward formation of a diazonium-activated conjugate, followed by direct electrodeposition of the diazonium-modified DNA onto the electrode surface, was also demonstrated. Effective electron transfer was obtained between immobilized molecules and the electrodes. This novel application of N-phenylmaleimide diazonium may facilitate the development of bioelectronic devices including biofuel cells, biosensors, and DNA and protein microarrays.

  16. Evaluation of the persistence of functional and biological respiratory health effects in clean-up workers 6 years after the Prestige oil spill.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zock, J.P.; Rodríguez-Trigo, G.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, E.; Souto-Alonso, A.; Espinosa, A.; Pozo-Rodríguez, F.; Gómez, F.P.; Fuster, C.; Castaño-Vinyals, G.; Antó, J.M.; Barberà, J.A.

    2014-01-01

    Fishermen who had participated in clean-up activities of the Prestige oil spill showed increased bronchial responsiveness and higher levels of respiratory biomarkers 2years later. We aimed to evaluate the persistence of these functional and biological respiratory health effects 6years after clean-up

  17. 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.

  18. Tiotropium improves lung function, exacerbation rate, and asthma control, independent of baseline characteristics including age, degree of airway obstruction, and allergic status

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerstjens, Huib A M; Moroni-Zentgraf, Petra; Tashkin, Donald P

    2016-01-01

    performed in parallel in patients with severe symptomatic asthma. Exploratory subgroup analyses of peak forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), trough FEV1, time to first severe exacerbation, time to first episode of asthma worsening, and seven-question Asthma Control Questionnaire responder rate were......BACKGROUND: Many patients with asthma remain symptomatic despite treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) with or without long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs). Tiotropium add-on to ICS plus a LABA has been shown to improve lung function and reduce exacerbation risk in patients with symptomatic...... asthma. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the efficacy of tiotropium add-on therapy is dependent on patients' baseline characteristics. METHODS: Two randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, twin trials (NCT00772538 and NCT00776984) of once-daily tiotropium Respimat(®) 5 μg add-on to ICS plus a LABA were...

  19. Measurement of the structure functions F 2 and xF 3 and comparison with QCD predictions including kinematical and dynamical higher twist effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varvell, K.; Cooper-Sarkar, A. M.; Parker, M. A.; Sansum, R. A.; Aderholz, M.; Armenise, N.; Baton, J. P.; Bullock, F. W.; Berggren, M.; Bertrand, D.; Brisson, V.; Burkot, W.; Calcchio, M.; Claytoh, E. F.; Coghen, T.; Erriquez, O.; Fitch, P. J.; Gerbier, G.; Guy, J.; Hulth, P. O.; Iaselli, G.; Jones, G. T.; Kasper, P.; Klein, H.; Kochowski, C.; Marage, P.; Mermikides, M.; Middleton, R. P.; Morrison, D. R. O.; Mobayyen, M. M.; Natali, S.; Neveu, M.; Nuzzo, S.; O'Neale, S. W.; Petiau, P.; Petrides, A.; Ruggieri, F.; Sacton, J.; Simopoulou, E.; Vallee, C.; Vayaki, A.; Venus, W. A.; Wachsmuth, H.; Wells, J.; Wittek, W.

    1987-03-01

    The isoscalar nucleon structure functions F 2( x, Q 2) and xF 3( x, Q 2) are measured in the range 0< Q 2<64 GeV2, 1.7< W 2<250 GeV2, x<0.7 using ν andbar v interactions on neon in BEBC. The data are used to evaluate possible higher twist contributions and to determine their impact on the evaluation of the QCD parameter Λ. In contrast to previous analyses reaching to such low W 2 values, it is found that a lowΛ _{overline {MS} } value in the neighbourhood of 100 MeV describes the data adequately and that the contribution of dynamical higher twist effects is small and negative.

  20. Characterization of the stability and bio-functionality of tethered proteins on bioengineered scaffolds: implications for stem cell biology and tissue repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting-Yi; Bruggeman, Kiara A F; Sheean, Rebecca K; Turner, Bradley J; Nisbet, David R; Parish, Clare L

    2014-05-23

    Various engineering applications have been utilized to deliver molecules and compounds in both innate and biological settings. In the context of biological applications, the timely delivery of molecules can be critical for cellular and organ function. As such, previous studies have demonstrated the superiority of long-term protein delivery, by way of protein tethering onto bioengineered scaffolds, compared with conventional delivery of soluble protein in vitro and in vivo. Despite such benefits little knowledge exists regarding the stability, release kinetics, longevity, activation of intracellular pathway, and functionality of these proteins over time. By way of example, here we examined the stability, degradation and functionality of a protein, glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which is known to influence neuronal survival, differentiation, and neurite morphogenesis. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) revealed that GDNF, covalently tethered onto polycaprolactone (PCL) electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds, remained present on the scaffold surface for 120 days, with no evidence of protein leaching or degradation. The tethered GDNF protein remained functional and capable of activating downstream signaling cascades, as revealed by its capacity to phosphorylate intracellular Erk in a neural cell line. Furthermore, immobilization of GDNF protein promoted cell survival and differentiation in culture at both 3 and 7 days, further validating prolonged functionality of the protein, well beyond the minutes to hours timeframe observed for soluble proteins under the same culture conditions. This study provides important evidence of the stability and functionality kinetics of tethered molecules. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  1. Biological desulfurisation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arena, B.J. [UOP LLC (United States); Benschop, A.; Janssen, A. [Paques Natural Solutions (Netherlands); Kijlstra, S. [Shell Global Solutions (Netherlands)

    2001-03-01

    This article focuses on the biological THIOPAQ process for removing hydrogen sulphide from refinery gases and recovering elemental sulphur. Details are given of the process which absorbs hydrogen sulphide-containing gas in alkaline solution prior to oxidation of the dissolved sulphur to elemental sulphur in a THIOPAQ aerobic biological reactor, with regeneration of the caustic solution. Sulphur handling options including sulphur wash, the drying of the sulphur cake, and sulphur smelting by pressure liquefaction are described. Agricultural applications of the biologically recovered sulphur, and application of the THIOPAQ process to sulphur recovery are discussed.

  2. Biological functionalization of drug delivery carriers to bypass size restrictions of receptor-mediated endocytosis independently from receptor targeting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansar, Maria; Serrano, Daniel; Papademetriou, Iason; Bhowmick, Tridib Kumar; Muro, Silvia

    2013-12-23

    Targeting of drug carriers to cell-surface receptors involved in endocytosis is commonly used for intracellular drug delivery. However, most endocytic receptors mediate uptake via clathrin or caveolar pathways associated with ≤200-nm vesicles, restricting carrier design. We recently showed that endocytosis mediated by intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), which differs from clathrin- and caveolae-mediated pathways, allows uptake of nano- and microcarriers in cell culture and in vivo due to recruitment of cellular sphingomyelinases to the plasmalemma. This leads to ceramide generation at carrier binding sites and formation of actin stress-fibers, enabling engulfment and uptake of a wide size-range of carriers. Here we adapted this paradigm to enhance uptake of drug carriers targeted to receptors associated with size-restricted pathways. We coated sphingomyelinase onto model (polystyrene) submicro- and microcarriers targeted to clathrin-associated mannose-6-phosphate receptor. In endothelial cells, this provided ceramide enrichment at the cell surface and actin stress-fiber formation, modifying the uptake pathway and enhancing carrier endocytosis without affecting targeting, endosomal transport, cell-associated degradation, or cell viability. This improvement depended on the carrier size and enzyme dose, and similar results were observed for other receptors (transferrin receptor) and cell types (epithelial cells). This phenomenon also enhanced tissue accumulation of carriers after intravenous injection in mice. Hence, it is possible to maintain targeting toward a selected receptor while bypassing natural size restrictions of its associated endocytic route by functionalization of drug carriers with biological elements mimicking the ICAM-1 pathway. This strategy holds considerable promise to enhance flexibility of design of targeted drug delivery systems.

  3. Long-term follow-up of cardiac function in patients with Hodgkin's disease treated with mediastinal irradiation and combination chemotherapy including doxorubicin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LaMonte, C.S.; Yeh, S.D.; Straus, D.J.

    1986-01-01

    Among 41 evaluable patients whose first treatment for advanced Hodgkin's disease had consisted of alternating cycles of mechlorethamine, vincristine, prednisone, and procarbazine (MOPP), and doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD), in addition to low-dose mediastinal irradiation, 19 underwent retrospective cardiac evaluation by routine posteroanterior and lateral chest x-ray, 12-lead ECG, M-mode echocardiogram, and ECG-gated left ventricular blood pool scan at rest and during exercise. Fifteen patients had unequivocally normal left ventricular function by all these parameters. Two patients had minimally reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at rest with a normal increment with exercise. In two other patients with high normal resting LVEF and subnormal increment with exercise, the elevated resting values implied initial measurement in a nonbasal state. A twentieth patient (the oldest; one of two with active Hodgkin's disease at the time of evaluation and the stimulus for this study) had markedly reduced LVEF as determined by radionuclide cardiac angiography and had developed clinical congestive heart failure shortly before evaluation. Despite this patient, the study indicates that treatment with MOPP/ABVD and low-dose mediastinal irradiation entails low risk for cardiac complications

  4. 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

  5. Ninth International Workshop on Plant Membrane Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-12-31

    This report is a compilation of abstracts from papers which were discussed at a workshop on plant membrane biology. Topics include: plasma membrane ATP-ases; plant-environment interactions, membrane receptors; signal transduction; ion channel physiology; biophysics and molecular biology; vaculor H+ pumps; sugar carriers; membrane transport; and cellular structure and function.

  6. Environmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tschumi, P.A.

    1981-01-01

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

  7. Synthesis and Exploratory Catalysis of 3d Metals: Group-Transfer Reactions, and the Activation and Functionalization of Small Molecules Including Greenhouse Gases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mindiola, Daniel J.

    2014-05-07

    Our work over the past three years has resulted in the development of electron rich and low-coordinate vanadium fragments, molecular nitrides of vanadium and parent imide systems of titanium, and the synthesis of phosphorus containing molecules of the 3d transition metal series. Likewise, with financial support from BES Division in DOE (DE-FG02-07ER15893), we now completed the full characterization of the first single molecular magnet (SMM) of Fe(III). We demonstrated that this monomeric form of Fe(III) has an unusual slow relaxation of the magnetization under zero applied field. To make matters more interesting, this system also undergoes a rare example of an intermediate to high-spin transition (an S = 3/2 to S = 5/2 transition). In 2010 we reported the synthesis of the first neutral and low-coordinate vanadium complexes having the terminal nitride functionality. We have now completed a full study to understand formation of the nitride ligand from the metastable azide precursor, and have also explored the reactivity of the nitride ligand in the context of incomplete and complete N-atom transfer. During the 2010-2013 period we also discovered a facile approach to assemble low-coordinate and low-valent vanadium(II) complexes and exploit their multielectron chemistry ranging from 1-3 electrons. Consequently, we can now access 3d ligand frameworks such as cyclo-P3 (and its corresponding radical anion), nitride radical anions and cations, low-coordinate vanadium oxo’s, and the first example of a vanadium thionitrosyl complex. A cis-divacant iron(IV) imido having some ligand centered radical has been also discovered, and we are in the process of elucidating its electronic structure (in particular the sign of zero field splitting and the origin of its magnitude), bonding and reactivity. We have also revisited some paramagnetic and classic metallocene compounds with S >1/2 ground states in order to understand their reactivity patterns and electronic structure. Lastly

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenhui; Nunez-Iglesias, Juan; Luan, Yihui; Sun, Fengzhu

    2009-09-03

    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. 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. 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.

  10. Cesic: optomechanical technology last development results and new HBCesic highly light weighted space mirror development including corrective function 7th international conference on space optics, october 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devilliers, Christophe; Kroedel, Mathias

    2017-11-01

    18 Kg/m2 has been designed, sized and manufactured and is currently under polishing at SESO. The polishing to a micro-roughness of far less than 20 nm RMS without expensive overcoatings has been already validated on mirrors up to 800 mm. This 600 mm mirror will be polished to a WFE of less than 20 nm, and afterwards the mirror will be tested under cryogenic environment to measure the WFE evolution between ambient and cryo. The mirror is equipped with a system for focus and astigmatism modification. During the cryo test this system will be activated at cryo temperature to also demonstrate the function of this system. This correction system is developed for future large mirrors for interferometric nulling or aperture synthesis missions like the Darwin mission . For such missions very large and very lightweight mirrors up to 3,5 m diameter with an areal density of less than 25 Kg/m2 are required and thank to the HBCesictechnology such performance is now feasible.

  11. Functional analysis of biological matter across dimensions by atomic force microscopy (AFM): from tissues to molecules and, ultimately, atoms

    OpenAIRE

    Stolz, Martin

    2004-01-01

    For a detailed understanding of biological tissues and proteins and their dynamical processes the 3D structures of the components involved must be known. Most of the structural data have been obtained through the combination of three major techniques: X-ray crystallography, NMR and TEM. These three methods enable the determination of the structure of biological macromolecules at near atomic resolution and each of those was developed over many years to perfection. Nevertheless each one has its...

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Systematic analysis of compositional order of proteins reveals new characteristics of biological functions and a universal correlate of macroevolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erez Persi

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. 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

  20. Effect and Mechanism of EGFL7 Downregulation in Human Osteosarcoma Cells on the Biological Function of Co-cultured HUVEC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Li

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Even though epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 is known to be overexpressed in osteosarcoma and is associated with poor clinical outcome, few reports are available regarding its mechanism. Aims: The objective of this study was to explore the effect and mechanism of downregulating epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 expression in a human osteosarcoma cell line on the biological function of co-cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Study Design: Cell study. Methods: In the present study, human osteosarcoma cell lines U2OS, Saos-2, HOS, and MG63, and normal human osteoblasts were cultured in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum and 1x antibiotics at 37 °C and 5% CO2 in an incubator. Of the four osteosarcoma cell lines, U2OS expresses the highest level of epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 mRNA as determined using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. With the knockdown of epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 in U2OS and human umbilical vein endothelial cells by lentivirus, the proliferation and apoptosis of U2OS and human umbilical vein endothelial cells were investigated using MTT and flow cytometry assays. After the co-culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and epidermal growth factor-like domain 7-knockdown U2OS, the in vitro effects on cell proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, migration, and the angiogenic ability of human umbilical vein endothelial cells were detected using MTT, flow cytometry, Transwell, and tube formation assays, respectively. The expressions of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, phospho-Akt, total Akt, and vascular endothelial growth factor in human umbilical vein endothelial cells were detected using western blot assay. Results: Lentivirus with epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 shRNA could not significantly affect the proliferation and apoptosis of both U2OS and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, whereas the knockdown of

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Review of the functional morphology, biology and perturbation impacts on the boreal, habitat-forming horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae: Modiolinae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dinesen, Grete E.; Morton, Brian

    2014-01-01

    The boreal bivalve Modiolus modiolus is common subtidally where it aggregates to form extensive, long-lived, biogenic habitats with a diverse associated flora and, especially, fauna. Despite this ecological importance, M. modiolus has not been described in terms of its functional morphology and o...... several M. modiolus habitats with deleterious impacts on ecosystem functioning. Post-impact recovery times are slow and dependent on both local and mega-population distributions...... and overall biology. Modiolus modiolus is a typical epibenthic, suspension-feeding mytilid, albeit with anatomical modifications adapting it to a partially buried, gregarious lifestyle in a stable environment experiencing medium–high energy levels. The juvenile shell is covered partly in byssal setae secreted...... and locality. With age (≥ 20–45 years), shells often become deformed, particularly posteriorly and around the byssal gape, thereby increasing reproductive capacity (gonadal volume) without increasing somatic growth. Information on the biology, reproductive strategy and life history traits of M. modiolus...

  4. 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...

  5. ASTM lights the way for tissue engineered medical products standards: jump start for combination medical products that restore biological function of human tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picciolo, G L; Stocum, D L

    2001-01-01

    Everybody hopes for better health and restoration of impaired bodily function, and now that hope is illuminated by the promise of powerful biological tools that make human cells grow and replace human tissue. ASTM Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices is taking the lead by defining some of those tools as standards that can be used for the development, production, testing, and regulatory approval of medical products.

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

    OpenAIRE

    D'Onofrio, David J; An, Gary

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. A comparative study of economical separation and aggregation properties of biologically capped and thiol functionalized gold nanoparticles: selecting the eco-friendly trojan horses for biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Sunil; Thakur, Mukeshchand; Shah, Ritu; Oza, Goldie; Mewada, Ashmi; Sharon, Madhuri

    2013-09-01

    We are presenting facile bio-fabrication of extremely stable gold nanoparticles (GNPs) using medicinal plant Azadirachta indica (commonly called Neem) and its comparison with most commonly used glutathione (GSH) protected GNPs in terms of stability under physiological conditions, seperation using density gradient centrifugation and aggregation properties in the solution. There was dual peak at 536 and 662 nm indicating the presence of non-spherical GNPs including triangles, rods and hexagons in case of A. indica mediated GNPs unlike citrate stabilized GNPs which exhibited single sharp peak. Spherical GNPs were separated from the consortium of uniquely shaped nanoparticles bio-fabricated using A. indica leaf extract using sucrose density gradient centrifugation (SDGC).To comprehend the anti-agglomeration potentials of A. indica leaf mediated GNPs and GSH-GNPs under physiological conditions, flocculation parameters (FP) were calculated and found to be least for A. indica leaf mediated GNPs, indicating their exceptional stability. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. The biology of skin wetness perception and its implications in manual function and for reproducing complex somatosensory signals in neuroprosthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filingeri, Davide; Ackerley, Rochelle

    2017-04-01

    Our perception of skin wetness is generated readily, yet humans have no known receptor (hygroreceptor) to signal this directly. It is easy to imagine the sensation of water running over our hands or the feel of rain on our skin. The synthetic sensation of wetness is thought to be produced from a combination of specific skin thermal and tactile inputs, registered through thermoreceptors and mechanoreceptors, respectively. The present review explores how thermal and tactile afference from the periphery can generate the percept of wetness centrally. We propose that the main signals include information about skin cooling, signaled primarily by thinly myelinated thermoreceptors, and rapid changes in touch, through fast-conducting, myelinated mechanoreceptors. Potential central sites for integration of these signals, and thus the perception of skin wetness, include the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices and the insula cortex. The interactions underlying these processes can also be modeled to aid in understanding and engineering the mechanisms. Furthermore, we discuss the role that sensing wetness could play in precision grip and the dexterous manipulation of objects. We expand on these lines of inquiry to the application of the knowledge in designing and creating skin sensory feedback in prosthetics. The addition of real-time, complex sensory signals would mark a significant advance in the use and incorporation of prosthetic body parts for amputees in everyday life. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Little is known about the underlying mechanisms that generate the perception of skin wetness. Humans have no specific hygroreceptor, and thus temperature and touch information combine to produce wetness sensations. The present review covers the potential mechanisms leading to the perception of wetness, both peripherally and centrally, along with their implications for manual function. These insights are relevant to inform the design of neuroengineering interfaces, such as sensory

  10. New and Unexpected Biological Functions for the Src-Homology 2 Domain-Containing Phosphatase SHP-2 in the Gastrointestinal TractSummary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geneviève Coulombe

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available SHP-2 is a tyrosine phosphatase expressed in most embryonic and adult tissues. SHP-2 regulates many cellular functions including growth, differentiation, migration, and survival. Genetic and biochemical evidence show that SHP-2 is required for rat sarcoma viral oncogene/extracellular signal-regulated kinases mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activation by most tyrosine kinase receptors, as well as by G-protein–coupled and cytokine receptors. In addition, SHP-2 can regulate the Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription, nuclear factor-κB, phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase/Akt, RhoA, Hippo, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. Emerging evidence has shown that SHP-2 dysfunction represents a key factor in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal diseases, in particular in chronic inflammation and cancer. Variations within the gene locus encoding SHP-2 have been associated with increased susceptibility to develop ulcerative colitis and gastric atrophy. Furthermore, mice with conditional deletion of SHP-2 in intestinal epithelial cells rapidly develop severe colitis. Similarly, hepatocyte-specific deletion of SHP-2 induces hepatic inflammation, resulting in regenerative hyperplasia and development of tumors in aged mice. However, the SHP-2 gene initially was suggested to be a proto-oncogene because activating mutations of this gene were found in pediatric leukemias and certain forms of liver and colon cancers. Moreover, SHP-2 expression is up-regulated in gastric and hepatocellular cancers. Notably, SHP-2 functions downstream of cytotoxin-associated antigen A (CagA, the major virulence factor of Helicobacter pylori, and is associated with increased risks of gastric cancer. Further compounding this complexity, most recent findings suggest that SHP-2 also coordinates carbohydrate, lipid, and bile acid synthesis in the liver and pancreas. This review aims to summarize current knowledge and recent data regarding the

  11. 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.

  12. Temporal dynamics of spectral bioindicators evidence biological and ecological differences among functional types in a cork oak open woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerasoli, Sofia; Costa e Silva, Filipe; Silva, João M. N.

    2016-06-01

    The application of spectral vegetation indices for the purpose of vegetation monitoring and modeling increased largely in recent years. Nonetheless, the interpretation of biophysical properties of vegetation through their spectral signature is still a challenging task. This is particularly true in Mediterranean oak forest characterized by a high spatial and temporal heterogeneity. In this study, the temporal dynamics of vegetation indices expected to be related with green biomass and photosynthetic efficiency were compared for the canopy of trees, the herbaceous layer, and two shrub species: cistus ( Cistus salviifolius) and ulex ( Ulex airensis). coexisting in a cork oak woodland. All indices were calculated from in situ measurements with a FieldSpec3 spectroradiometer (ASD Inc., Boulder, USA). Large differences emerged in the temporal trends and in the correlation between climate and vegetation indices. The relationship between spectral indices and temperature, radiation, and vapor pressure deficit for cork oak was opposite to that observed for the herbaceous layer and cistus. No correlation was observed between rainfall and vegetation indices in cork oak and ulex, but in the herbaceous layer and in the cistus, significant correlations were found. The analysis of spectral vegetation indices with fraction of absorbed PAR (fPAR) and quantum yield of chlorophyll fluorescence ( ΔF/ Fm') evidenced strongest relationships with the indices Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI)512, respectively. Our results, while confirms the ability of spectral vegetation indices to represent temporal dynamics of biophysical properties of vegetation, evidence the importance to consider ecosystem composition for a correct ecological interpretation of results when the spatial resolution of observations includes different plant functional types.

  13. Physics of biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.

    The biological membrane is a complex system consisting of an aqueous biomolecular planar aggregate of predominantly lipid and protein molecules. At physiological temperatures, the membrane may be considered a thin (˜50Å) slab of anisotropic fluid characterized by a high lateral mobility of the various molecular components. A substantial fraction of biological activity takes place in association with membranes. As a very lively piece of condensed matter, the biological membrane is a challenging research topic for both the experimental and theoretical physicists who are facing a number of fundamental physical problems including molecular self-organization, macromolecular structure and dynamics, inter-macromolecular interactions, structure-function relationships, transport of energy and matter, and interfacial forces. This paper will present a brief review of recent theoretical and experimental progress on such problems, with special emphasis on lipid bilayer structure and dynamics, lipid phase transitions, lipid-protein and lipid-cholesterol interactions, intermembrane forces, and the physical constraints imposed on biomembrane function and evolution. The paper advocates the dual point of view that there are a number of interesting physics problems in membranology and, at the same time, that the physical properties of biomembranes are important regulators of membrane function.

  14. Surgery confounds biology: the predictive value of stage-, grade- and prostate-specific antigen for recurrence after radical prostatectomy as a function of surgeon experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Andrew J; Savage, Caroline J; Bianco, Fernando J; Klein, Eric A; Kattan, Michael W; Secin, Fernando P; Guilloneau, Bertrand D; Scardino, Peter T

    2011-04-01

    Statistical models predicting cancer recurrence after surgery are based on biologic variables. We have shown previously that prostate cancer recurrence is related to both tumor biology and to surgical technique. Here, we evaluate the association between several biological predictors and biochemical recurrence across varying surgical experience. The study included two separate cohorts: 6,091 patients treated by open radical prostatectomy and an independent replication set of 2,298 patients treated laparoscopically. We calculated the odds ratios for biological predictors of biochemical recurrence-stage, Gleason grade and prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-and also the predictive accuracy (area under the curve, AUC) of a multivariable model, for subgroups of patients defined by the experience of their surgeon. In the open cohort, the odds ratio for Gleason score 8+ and advanced pathologic stage, though not PSA or Gleason score 7, increased dramatically when patients treated by surgeons with lower levels of experience were excluded (Gleason 8+: odds ratios 5.6 overall vs. 13.0 for patients treated by surgeons with 1,000+ prior cases; locally advanced disease: odds ratios of 6.6 vs. 12.2, respectively). The AUC of the multivariable model was 0.750 for patients treated by surgeons with 50 or fewer cases compared to 0.849 for patients treated by surgeons with 500 or more. Although predictiveness was lower overall for the independent replication set cohort, the main findings were replicated. Surgery confounds biology. Although our findings have no direct clinical implications, studies investigating biological variables as predictors of outcome after curative resection of cancer should consider the impact of surgeon-specific factors. Copyright © 2010 UICC.

  15. 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...

  16. Abstracts of the 29. annual meeting of the Brazilian Society on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-01-01

    Several aspects concerning biochemistry and molecular biology of either animals (including man), plants and microorganisms are studied. Topics such as cell membrane structures (including receptors), enzymatic assays, biological pathways, structural chemical analysis, metabolism, biological functions are focused. The use of radiolabelled compounds (radioassay, radioenzymatic assay, radioreceptor assay and nuclear magnetic resonance are the most applied techniques

  17. Abstracts of the 28. Annual meeting of the Brazilian Society on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    Biochemistry, genetic and molecular biology aspects of either animals (including man), plants and microorganisms are studied. Topics such as cell membrane structures (including receptors), enzymatic assays, biological pathways, structural chemical analysis, metabolism, biological functions are focused. The use of radiolabelled compounds (radioassay, radioenzymatic assay, radioreceptor assay) and nuclear magnetic resonance are the most applied techniques

  18. 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