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Sample records for biological weighting functions

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Rojas-Galeano

    2008-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Weights of Exact Threshold Functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Babai, László; Hansen, Kristoffer Arnsfelt; Podolskii, Vladimir V.

    2010-01-01

    We consider Boolean exact threshold functions defined by linear equations, and in general degree d polynomials. We give upper and lower bounds on the maximum magnitude (absolute value) of the coefficients required to represent such functions. These bounds are very close and in the linear case in ...... leave a substantial gap, a challenge for future work....

  6. Weighted semiconvex spaces of measurable functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olaleru, J.O.

    2001-12-01

    Semiconvex spaces are intermediates between locally convex spaces and the non locally convex topological vector spaces. They include all locally convex spaces; hence it is a generalization of locally convex spaces. In this article, we make a study of weighted semiconvex spaces parallel to weighted locally convex spaces where continuous functions are replaced with measurable functions and N p family replaces Nachbin family on a locally compact space X. Among others, we examine the Hausdorffness, completeness, inductive limits, barrelledness and countably barrelledness of weighted semiconvex spaces. New results are obtained while we have a more elegant proofs of old results. Furthermore, we get extensions of some of the old results. It is observed that the technique of proving theorems in weighted locally convex spaces can be adapted to that of weighted semicovex spaces of measurable functions in most cases. (author)

  7. The biological function of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Biology of obesity and weight regain: Implications for clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogge, Mary Madeline; Gautam, Bibha

    2017-10-01

    Weight loss is recommended as first-line therapy for many chronic illnesses, including obesity. Most patients who do successfully lose weight are unable to maintain their reduced weight. Recent research findings are reviewed and synthesized to explain the biology of obesity, adaptation to weight loss, and weight regain. Weight regain is a common consequence of successful weight loss. Current obesity management strategies fail to take into consideration the underlying genetic and environmental causes of obesity. Available treatment modalities create a negative energy balance that stimulates integrated, persistent neurologic, endocrine, muscle, and adipose tissue adaptation to restore body weight and fat mass, independent of lifestyle changes. Understanding the pathophysiology of obesity and weight loss alters nurse practitioners' responsibilities in caring for patients with obesity. They are responsible for expanding assessment and intervention strategies and offering people with obesity realistic expectations for weight loss and regain. They are obligated to explain weight regain when it occurs to minimize patient frustration. Nurse practitioners have the opportunity to adopt new approaches to patient advocacy, especially in the areas of public policy to improve diagnostic tools and adjunctive therapy for people with obesity. ©2017 American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

  9. Direct measurement of the resistivity weighting function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koon, D. W.; Chan, Winston K.

    1998-12-01

    We have directly measured the resistivity weighting function—the sensitivity of a four-wire resistance measurement to local variations in resistivity—for a square specimen of photoconducting material. This was achieved by optically perturbing the local resistivity of the specimen while measuring the effect of this perturbation on its four-wire resistance. The weighting function we measure for a square geometry with electrical leads at its corners agrees well with calculated results, displaying two symmetric regions of negative weighting which disappear when van der Pauw averaging is performed.

  10. Light-weight integration of molecular biological databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippi, Stephan

    2004-01-01

    Due to the increasing number of molecular biological databases and the exponential growth of their contents, database integration is an important topic of research in bioinformatics. Existing approaches in this area have in common that considerable efforts are needed to provide integrated access to heterogeneous data sources. This article describes the LIMBO architecture as a light-weight approach to molecular biological database integration. By building systems upon this architecture, the efforts needed for database integration can be significantly lowered. As an illustration of the principle usefulness of the underlying ideas, a prototypical implementation based upon the LIMBO architecture is described. This implementation is exclusively based on freely available open source components like the PostgreSQL database management system and the BioRuby project. Additional files and modified components are available upon request from the author.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Some Properties of Weighted Pseudo almost Periodic Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhe-Ming Zheng

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Several interesting and new properties of weighted pseudo almost periodic functions are established. Firstly, we obtain an equivalent definition for weighted pseudo almost periodic functions, which shows a close relationship between asymptotically almost periodic functions and weighted pseudo almost periodic functions; secondly, we prove that the space of asymptotically almost periodic functions is always a proper subspace of the space of weighted pseudo almost periodic functions; thirdly, we show that under some cases, the space of weighted pseudo almost periodic functions equals the classical space of pseudo almost periodic functions.

  14. Moments of the weighted sum-of-digits function | Larcher ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The weighted sum-of-digits function is a slight generalization of the well known sum-of-digits function with the difference that here the digits are weighted by some weights. So for example in this concept also the alternated sum-of-digits function is included. In this paper we compute the first and the second moment of the ...

  15. Photosynthetic system as a biological functional element

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Biologically Weighted Quantities in Radiotherapy: an EMRP Joint Research Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabus Hans

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Funded within the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP [1], the joint research project “Biologically weighted quantities in radiotherapy” (BioQuaRT [2] aims to develop measurement and simulation techniques for determining the physical properties of ionising particle tracks on different length scales (about 2 nm to 10 μm, and to investigate the correlation of these track structure characteristics with the biological effects of radiation at the cellular level. Work package 1 develops micro-calorimeter prototypes for the direct measurement of lineal energy and will characterise their response for different ion beams by experiment and modelling. Work package 2 develops techniques to measure particle track structure on different length scales in the nanometre range as well as a measurement device integrating a silicon microdosimeter and a nanodosimeter. Work package 3 investigates the indirect effects of radiation based on probes for quantifying particular radical and reactive oxygen species (ROS. Work package 4 focuses on the biological aspects of radiation damage and will produce data on initial DNA damage and late effects for radiotherapy beams of different qualities. Work package 5 provides evaluated data sets of DNA cross-sections and develops a multi-scale model to address microscopic and nanometric track structure properties. The project consortium includes three linked researchers holding so-called Researcher Excellence Grants, who carry out ancillary investigations such as developing and benchmarking a new biophysical model for induction of early radiation damage and developing methods for the translation of quantities derived from particle track structure to clinical applications in ion beam therapy.

  17. Metacognition: computation, biology and function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. The Relationships between Weight Functions, Geometric Functions,and Compliance Functions in Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, Rong [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Linear elastic fracture mechanics is widely used in industry because it established simple and explicit relationships between the permissible loading conditions and the critical crack size that is allowed in a structure. Stress intensity factors are the above-mentioned functional expressions that relate load with crack size through geometric functions or weight functions. Compliance functions are to determine the crack/flaw size in a structure when optical inspection is inconvenient. As a result, geometric functions, weight functions and compliance functions have been intensively studied to determine the stress intensity factor expressions for different geometries. However, the relations between these functions have received less attention. This work is therefore to investigate the intrinsic relationships between these functions. Theoretical derivation was carried out and the results were verified on single-edge cracked plate under tension and bending. It is found out that the geometric function is essentially the non-dimensional weight function at the loading point. The compliance function is composed of two parts: a varying part due to crack extension and a constant part from the intact structure if no crack exists. The derivative of the compliance function at any location is the product of the geometric function and the weight function at the evaluation point. Inversely, the compliance function can be acquired by the integration of the product of the geometric function and the weight function with respect to the crack size. The integral constant is just the unchanging compliance from the intact structure. Consequently, a special application of the relations is to obtain the compliance functions along a crack once the geometric function and weight functions are known. Any of the three special functions can be derived once the other two functions are known. These relations may greatly simplify the numerical process in obtaining either geometric functions, weight

  19. 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...

  20. Improved parameter estimation for hydrological models using weighted object functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, A.; Zaadnoordijk, W.J.

    1999-01-01

    This paper discusses the sensitivity of calibration of hydrological model parameters to different objective functions. Several functions are defined with weights depending upon the hydrological background. These are compared with an objective function based upon kriging. Calibration is applied to

  1. Imaging cellular and molecular biological functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-07-01

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

  2. Executive functions predict weight loss in a medically supervised weight loss programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galioto, R; Bond, D; Gunstad, J; Pera, V; Rathier, L; Tremont, G

    2016-12-01

    Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Twenty-three adult patients (age 50.4 ± 15.1, BMI 44.2 ± 8.8, 68% female, 92% White) enrolled in a medically supervised weight loss programme, involving prescription of a very low calorie diet and strategies to change eating and activity behaviours, underwent comprehensive computerized testing of executive functions at baseline. Weight was obtained at baseline and 8 weeks. Demographic and clinical information were obtained through medical chart review. Participants lost an average of 9.8 ± 3.4% of their initial body weight at 8 weeks. Fewer correct responses on a set-shifting task and faster reaction time on a response inhibition task were associated with lower weight loss percentage at 8 weeks after adjusting for age, education and depressive symptoms. There were no associations between performance on tests of working memory or planning and weight loss. This study shows that worse performance on a set-shifting task (indicative of poorer cognitive flexibility) and faster reaction times on a response inhibition test (indicative of higher impulsivity) are associated with lower weight loss among participants in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Pre-treatment assessment of executive functions may be useful in identifying individuals who may be at risk for suboptimal treatment outcomes. Future research is needed to replicate these findings in larger samples and identify underlying mechanisms.

  3. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Vega

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vílchez, Carlos; Forján, Eduardo; Cuaresma, María; Bédmar, Francisco; Garbayo, Inés; Vega, José M.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon. PMID:21556162

  5. Is Biology Destiny? Birth Weight and Differential Parental Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsin, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Time diaries of sibling pairs from the PSID-CDS are used to determine whether maternal time investments compensate for or reinforce birth-weight differences among children. The findings demonstrate that the direction and degree of differential treatment vary by mother's education. Less-educated mothers devote more total time and more educationally oriented time to heavier-birth-weight children, whereas better-educated mothers devote more total and more educationally oriented time to lower-birth-weight children. The compensating effects observed among highly educated mothers are substantially larger than the reinforcing effects among the least-educated mothers. The findings show that families redistribute resources in ways that both compensate for and exacerbate early-life disadvantages. PMID:22865101

  6. Text analysis of MEDLINE for discovering functional relationships among genes: evaluation of keyword extraction weighting schemes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ying; Navathe, Shamkant B; Pivoshenko, Alex; Dasigi, Venu G; Dingledine, Ray; Ciliax, Brian J

    2006-01-01

    One of the key challenges of microarray studies is to derive biological insights from the gene-expression patterns. Clustering genes by functional keyword association can provide direct information about the functional links among genes. However, the quality of the keyword lists significantly affects the clustering results. We compared two keyword weighting schemes: normalised z-score and term frequency-inverse document frequency (TFIDF). Two gene sets were tested to evaluate the effectiveness of the weighting schemes for keyword extraction for gene clustering. Using established measures of cluster quality, the results produced from TFIDF-weighted keywords outperformed those produced from normalised z-score weighted keywords. The optimised algorithms should be useful for partitioning genes from microarray lists into functionally discrete clusters.

  7. Bound state equation for the Nakanishi weight function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell, J.; Frederico, T.; Karmanov, V. A.

    2017-06-01

    The bound state Bethe-Salpeter amplitude was expressed by Nakanishi using a two-dimensional integral representation, in terms of a smooth weight function g, which carries the detailed dynamical information. A similar, but one-dimensional, integral representation can be obtained for the Light-Front wave function in terms of the same weight function g. By using the generalized Stieltjes transform, we first obtain g in terms of the Light-Front wave function in the complex plane of its arguments. Next, a new integral equation for the Nakanishi weight function g is derived for a bound state case. It has the standard form g = N g, where N is a two-dimensional integral operator. We give the prescription for obtaining the kernel N starting with the kernel K of the Bethe-Salpeter equation. The derivation is valid for any kernel given by an irreducible Feynman amplitude.

  8. Biological pathways and genetic mechanisms involved in social functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. How should spin-weighted spherical functions be defined?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Spin-weighted spherical functions provide a useful tool for analyzing tensor-valued functions on the sphere. A tensor field can be decomposed into complex-valued functions by taking contractions with tangent vectors on the sphere and the normal to the sphere. These component functions are usually presented as functions on the sphere itself, but this requires an implicit choice of distinguished tangent vectors with which to contract. Thus, we may more accurately say that spin-weighted spherical functions are functions of both a point on the sphere and a choice of frame in the tangent space at that point. The distinction becomes extremely important when transforming the coordinates in which these functions are expressed, because the implicit choice of frame will also transform. Here, it is proposed that spin-weighted spherical functions should be treated as functions on the spin or rotation groups, which simultaneously tracks the point on the sphere and the choice of tangent frame by rotating elements of an orthonormal basis. In practice, the functions simply take a quaternion argument and produce a complex value. This approach more cleanly reflects the geometry involved, and allows for a more elegant description of the behavior of spin-weighted functions. In this form, the spin-weighted spherical harmonics have simple expressions as elements of the Wigner 𝔇 representations, and transformations under rotation are simple. Two variants of the angular-momentum operator are defined directly in terms of the spin group; one is the standard angular-momentum operator L, while the other is shown to be related to the spin-raising operator ð.

  10. ON WEIGHTED GENERALIZED FUNCTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH QUADRATIC FORMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. L. Shishkina

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article we consider certain types of weighted generalized functions associated with nondegenerate quadratic forms. Such functions and their derivatives are used for constructing fundamental solutions of iterated ultra-hyperbolic equations with the Bessel operator and for constructing negative real powers of ultra-hyperbolic operators with the Bessel operator.

  11. Effect of partial weight bearing program on functional ability and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lilian A. Zaky

    2013-03-17

    Mar 17, 2013 ... Partial weight bearing;. Functional walking;. Quadriceps muscle isometric strength;. Quadriceps training exercise program. Abstract Recurrent joint bleeding in persons with hemophilia is known to lead to joint damage associated with pain, loss of range of motion and function. The researcher was motivated ...

  12. Weight loss improves biomarkers endothelial function and systemic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Although postmenopausal associated disorders are important public health problems worldwide, to date limited studies evaluated the endothelial function and systemic inflammation response to weight loss in obese postmenopausal women. Objective: This study was done to evaluate the endothelial function ...

  13. Optimal synchronization in small-world biological neural networks with time-varying weights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Hongyu; Luo Xiaoshu

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, a new model of small-world biological neural networks based on biophysical Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with time-varying weights is proposed. Then the synchronization phenomenon of small-world biological neural networks evoked by the learning rate is studied. The study shows that there exists an optimal synchronization state by changing the learning rate.

  14. Recurrence relations and weight functions for approximation by orthonormal polynomials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bisoi, A.K.

    1989-12-01

    The popular three-term recurrence relation is found to be a numerically unstable algorithm for generation of higher order orthogonal polynomials. For stability, a k-term recurrence relation for generating the k th order polynomial is suggested. Instead of assigning equal weight to data points with unspecified errors, the use of the Jacobian weight function is suggested for generating the orthogonal polynomials to effect a closer representation. (author). 6 refs, 1 tab

  15. Models for predicting objective function weights in prostate cancer IMRT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boutilier, Justin J.; Lee, Taewoo; Craig, Tim; Sharpe, Michael B.; Chan, Timothy C. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To develop and evaluate the clinical applicability of advanced machine learning models that simultaneously predict multiple optimization objective function weights from patient geometry for intensity-modulated radiation therapy of prostate cancer. Methods: A previously developed inverse optimization method was applied retrospectively to determine optimal objective function weights for 315 treated patients. The authors used an overlap volume ratio (OV) of bladder and rectum for different PTV expansions and overlap volume histogram slopes (OVSR and OVSB for the rectum and bladder, respectively) as explanatory variables that quantify patient geometry. Using the optimal weights as ground truth, the authors trained and applied three prediction models: logistic regression (LR), multinomial logistic regression (MLR), and weighted K-nearest neighbor (KNN). The population average of the optimal objective function weights was also calculated. Results: The OV at 0.4 cm and OVSR at 0.1 cm features were found to be the most predictive of the weights. The authors observed comparable performance (i.e., no statistically significant difference) between LR, MLR, and KNN methodologies, with LR appearing to perform the best. All three machine learning models outperformed the population average by a statistically significant amount over a range of clinical metrics including bladder/rectum V53Gy, bladder/rectum V70Gy, and dose to the bladder, rectum, CTV, and PTV. When comparing the weights directly, the LR model predicted bladder and rectum weights that had, on average, a 73% and 74% relative improvement over the population average weights, respectively. The treatment plans resulting from the LR weights had, on average, a rectum V70Gy that was 35% closer to the clinical plan and a bladder V70Gy that was 29% closer, compared to the population average weights. Similar results were observed for all other clinical metrics. Conclusions: The authors demonstrated that the KNN and MLR

  16. Structure and biological functions of fungal cerebrosides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barreto-Bergter Eliana

    2004-01-01

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

  17. Weighted approximation of continuous functions by sequences of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    which are continuous on ЙaY bК and bounded on R. Baskakov [2] generalized this result to unbounded functions on R. In refs [4] and [5] Gadjiev defined the weight spaces C& and B& of real functions defined on the real line and showed that Korovkin's theorem in general does not hold on these spaces. Here B& :И f f : j fj Mf ...

  18. Effect of partial weight bearing program on functional ability and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... in rehabilitation of lower limb conditions and the lack of literatures regarding these exercises in rehabilitation of hemophilic knee arthritis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of partial weight bearing program on functional ability and quadriceps muscle strength in children with hemophilic knee arthritis.

  19. Weight loss improves biomarkers endothelial function and systemic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Weight loss improves biomarkers endothelial function and systemic inflammation in obese postmenopausal Saudi women. Shehab Mahmoud Abd El- Kader1, Mohammed H Saiem Al-Dahr2. 1. Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University. 2. Department of Medical ...

  20. Decision making generalized by a cumulative probability weighting function

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Lindomar Soares; Destefano, Natália; Martinez, Alexandre Souto

    2018-01-01

    Typical examples of intertemporal decision making involve situations in which individuals must choose between a smaller reward, but more immediate, and a larger one, delivered later. Analogously, probabilistic decision making involves choices between options whose consequences differ in relation to their probability of receiving. In Economics, the expected utility theory (EUT) and the discounted utility theory (DUT) are traditionally accepted normative models for describing, respectively, probabilistic and intertemporal decision making. A large number of experiments confirmed that the linearity assumed by the EUT does not explain some observed behaviors, as nonlinear preference, risk-seeking and loss aversion. That observation led to the development of new theoretical models, called non-expected utility theories (NEUT), which include a nonlinear transformation of the probability scale. An essential feature of the so-called preference function of these theories is that the probabilities are transformed by decision weights by means of a (cumulative) probability weighting function, w(p) . We obtain in this article a generalized function for the probabilistic discount process. This function has as particular cases mathematical forms already consecrated in the literature, including discount models that consider effects of psychophysical perception. We also propose a new generalized function for the functional form of w. The limiting cases of this function encompass some parametric forms already proposed in the literature. Far beyond a mere generalization, our function allows the interpretation of probabilistic decision making theories based on the assumption that individuals behave similarly in the face of probabilities and delays and is supported by phenomenological models.

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of weight reductions on estimated kidney function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    von Scholten, Bernt Johan; Davies, Melanie J; Persson, Frederik

    2017-01-01

    AIMS: Weight loss-induced serum creatinine reduction may increase creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) producing incorrect estimates of kidney function. We investigated whether weight changes in the SCALE program with liraglutide 3.0mg were associated with changes in serum...... in serum creatinine was observed (P≥0.05, both trials, all tests). CONCLUSIONS: Moderate gradual body weight reductions observed in the SCALE program were not associated with changes in serum creatinine....... creatinine. METHODS: Post hoc analysis of two 56-week, randomized, double-blind trials: SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes (n=3731, without type 2 diabetes [T2D], randomized [2:1] to liraglutide 3.0mg [n=2487] or placebo [n=1244]); SCALE Diabetes (n=846 with T2D, randomized [2:1:1] to liraglutide 3.0mg [n=423], 1...

  3. 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

  4. Functional foods to promote weight loss and satiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebello, Candida; Greenway, Frank L; Dhurandhar, Nikhil V

    2014-11-01

    Diets that induce negative energy balance continue to be the cornerstone of obesity management. However, long-term volitional reduction in energy intake is challenging. Functional foods that enhance satiety may have an important practical application in increasing compliance to weight loss diets and thereby promoting sustained weight loss. Here, we present recent advances in identifying common foods that increase satiety. Protein induces satiety in the short term. There is no clear evidence to indicate superiority of a specific protein source over the other. Low-fat dairy products, eggs, and legumes enhance satiety. Although energy dense, nuts have some satiety-inducing effect, when included in the diet by isocaloric replacement of usual foods. Satiety induced by dietary fiber sources, such as oats and rye, are well documented, but these sensations do not always translate into reductions in energy intake or body weight. Several foods and food groups show promising potential in inducing satiety. However, it is important to recognize that the short-term effect of a food may not always translate into greater weight loss in the long term. Long-term clinical studies are needed to demonstrate the utility of a food in promoting weight loss.

  5. Weighted Multimodel Predictive Function Control for Automatic Train Operation System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuhuan Wen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Train operation is a complex nonlinear process; it is difficult to establish accurate mathematical model. In this paper, we design ATO speed controller based on the input and output data of the train operation. The method combines multimodeling with predictive functional control according to complicated nonlinear characteristics of the train operation. Firstly, we cluster the data sample by using fuzzy-c means algorithm. Secondly, we identify parameter of cluster model by using recursive least square algorithm with forgetting factor and then establish the local set of models of the process of train operation. Then at each sample time, we can obtain the global predictive model about the system based on the weighted indicators by designing a kind of weighting algorithm with error compensation. Thus, the predictive functional controller is designed to control the speed of the train. Finally, the simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

  6. Measuring the Hall weighting function for square and cloverleaf geometries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherschligt, Julia K.; Koon, Daniel W.

    2000-02-01

    We have directly measured the Hall weighting function—the sensitivity of a four-wire Hall measurement to the position of macroscopic inhomogeneities in Hall angle—for both a square shaped and a cloverleaf specimen. Comparison with the measured resistivity weighting function for a square geometry [D. W. Koon and W. K. Chan, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 69, 12 (1998)] proves that the two measurements sample the same specimen differently. For Hall measurements on both a square and a cloverleaf, the function is nonnegative with its maximum in the center and its minimum of zero at the edges of the square. Converting a square into a cloverleaf is shown to dramatically focus the measurement process onto a much smaller portion of the specimen. While our results agree qualitatively with theory, details are washed out, owing to the finite size of the magnetic probe used.

  7. 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…

  8. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Dominance Weighted Social Choice Functions for Group Recommendations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia ROSSI

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In travel domains, decision support systems provide support to tourists in the planning of their vacation. In particular, when the number of possible Points of Interest (POI to visit is large, the system should help tourists providing recommendations on the POI that could be more interesting for them. Since traveling is, usually, an activity that involves small groups of people, the system should take simultaneously into account the preferences of each group's member. At the same time, it also should model possible intra-group relationships, which can have an impact in the group decision-making process. In this paper, we model this problem as a multi-agent aggregation of preferences by using weighted social choice functions, whereas such weights are automatically evaluated by analyzing the interactions of the group's members on Online Social Networks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-14

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

  11. Influence of Type of Frequency Weighting Function On VDV Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalska-Koczwara, Alicja; Stypuła, Krzysztof

    2017-10-01

    Transport vibrations are the subject of many research, mostly their influence on structural elements of the building is investigated. However, nowadays, especially in the centres of large cities were apartments, residential buildings are closer to the transport vibration sources, an increasing attention is given to providing vibrational comfort to humans in buildings. Currently, in most countries, two main methods of evaluation are used: root mean squared method (RMS) and vibration dose value (VDV). In this article, VDV method is presented and the analysis of the weighting functions selection on value of VDV is made. Measurements required for the analysis were made in Krakow, on masonry, residential, two storey building located in the city centre. The building is subjected into two transport vibration sources: tram passages and vehicle passages on very close located road. Measurement points were located on the basement wall at ground level to control the excitation and in the middle of the floor on the highest storey (in the place where people percept vibration). The room chosen for measurements is located closest to the transport excitation sources. During the measurements, 25 vibration events were recorded and analysed. VDV values were calculated for three different weighting functions according to standard: ISO 2631-1, ISO 2631-2 and BS-6841. Differences in VDV values are shown, but also influence of the weighting function selection on result of evaluation is also presented. VDV analysis was performed not only for the individual vibration event but also all day and night vibration exposure were calculated using formulas contained in the annex to the standard BS-6841. It is demonstrated that, although there are differences in the values of VDV, an influence on all day and night exposure is no longer so significant.

  12. Weight-lattice discretization of Weyl-orbit functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hrivnák, Jiří, E-mail: jiri.hrivnak@fjfi.cvut.cz, E-mail: walton@uleth.ca [Department of Physics, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Břehová 7, CZ-115 19 Prague (Czech Republic); Walton, Mark A., E-mail: jiri.hrivnak@fjfi.cvut.cz, E-mail: walton@uleth.ca [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4 (Canada)

    2016-08-15

    Weyl-orbit functions have been defined for each simple Lie algebra, and permit Fourier-like analysis on the fundamental region of the corresponding affine Weyl group. They have also been discretized, using a refinement of the coweight lattice, so that digitized data on the fundamental region can be Fourier-analyzed. The discretized orbit function has arguments that are redundant if related by the affine Weyl group, while its labels, the Weyl-orbit representatives, invoke the dual affine Weyl group. Here we discretize the orbit functions in a novel way, by using the weight lattice. A cleaner theory results with symmetry between the arguments and labels of the discretized orbit functions. Orthogonality of the new discretized orbit functions is proved, and leads to the construction of unitary, symmetric matrices with Weyl-orbit-valued elements. For one type of orbit function, the matrix coincides with the Kac-Peterson modular S matrix, important for Wess-Zumino-Novikov-Witten conformal field theory.

  13. 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.

  14. Resistive and Hall weighting functions in three dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koon, D. W.; Knickerbocker, C. J.

    1998-10-01

    The authors extend their study of the effect of macroscopic impurities on resistive and Hall measurements to include objects of finite thickness. The effect of such impurities is calculated for a series of rectangular parallelepipeds with two current and two voltage contacts on the corners of one square face. The weighting functions display singularities near these contacts, but these are shown to vanish in the two-dimensional limit, in agreement with previous results. Finally, it is shown that while Hall measurements principally sample the plane of the electrodes, resistivity measurements sample more of the interior of an object of finite thickness.

  15. High molecular weight DNA assembly in vivo for synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juhas, Mario; Ajioka, James W

    2017-05-01

    DNA assembly is the key technology of the emerging interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology. While the assembly of smaller DNA fragments is usually performed in vitro, high molecular weight DNA molecules are assembled in vivo via homologous recombination in the host cell. Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are the main hosts used for DNA assembly in vivo. Progress in DNA assembly over the last few years has paved the way for the construction of whole genomes. This review provides an update on recent synthetic biology advances with particular emphasis on high molecular weight DNA assembly in vivo in E. coli, B. subtilis and S. cerevisiae. Special attention is paid to the assembly of whole genomes, such as those of the first synthetic cell, synthetic yeast and minimal genomes.

  16. The role of weight teasing and weight bias internalization in psychological functioning: a prospective study among school-aged children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuba, Anna; Warschburger, Petra

    2017-10-01

    Weight-related teasing is a widespread phenomenon in childhood, and might foster the internalization of weight bias. The goal of this study was to examine the role of weight teasing and weight bias internalization as mediators between weight status and negative psychological sequelae, such as restrained eating and emotional and conduct problems in childhood. Participants included 546 female (52%) and 501 (48%) male children aged 7-11 and their parents, who completed surveys assessing weight teasing, weight bias internalization, restrained eating behaviors, and emotional and conduct problems at two points of measurement, approximately 2 years apart. To examine the hypothesized mediation, a prospective design using structural equation modeling was applied. As expected, the experience of weight teasing and the internalization of weight bias were mediators in the relationship between weight status and psychosocial problems. This pattern was observed independently of gender or weight status. Our findings suggest that the experience of weight teasing and internalization of weight bias is more important than weight status in explaining psychological functioning among children and indicate a need for appropriate prevention and intervention approaches.

  17. 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 ...

  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. Printable Bioelectronics To Investigate Functional Biological Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-19

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

  20. 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.

  1. Exact Membership Functions for the Fuzzy Weighted Average

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broek, P.M.; Noppen, J.A.R.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of computing the fuzzy weighted average, where both attributes and weights are fuzzy numbers, is well studied in the literature. Generally, the approach is to apply Zadeh’s extension principle to compute α-cuts of the fuzzy weighted average from the α-cuts of the attributes and weights

  2. Construction of microRNA functional families by a mixture model of position weight matrices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je-Keun Rhee

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small regulatory molecules that repress the translational processes of their target genes by binding to their 3′ untranslated regions (3′ UTRs. Because the target genes are predominantly determined by their sequence complementarity to the miRNA seed regions (nucleotides 2–7 which are evolutionarily conserved, it is inferred that the target relationships and functions of the miRNA family members are conserved across many species. Therefore, detecting the relevant miRNA families with confidence would help to clarify the conserved miRNA functions, and elucidate miRNA-mediated biological processes. We present a mixture model of position weight matrices for constructing miRNA functional families. This model systematically finds not only evolutionarily conserved miRNA family members but also functionally related miRNAs, as it simultaneously generates position weight matrices representing the conserved sequences. Using mammalian miRNA sequences, in our experiments, we identified potential miRNA groups characterized by similar sequence patterns that have common functions. We validated our results using score measures and by the analysis of the conserved targets. Our method would provide a way to comprehensively identify conserved miRNA functions.

  3. Analysis on Influential Functions in the Weighted Software Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haitao He

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Identifying influential nodes is important for software in terms of understanding the design patterns and controlling the development and the maintenance process. However, there are no efficient methods to discover them so far. Based on the invoking dependency relationships between the nodes, this paper proposes a novel approach to define the node importance for mining the influential software nodes. First, according to the multiple execution information, we construct a weighted software network (WSN to denote the software execution dependency structure. Second, considering the invoking times and outdegree about software nodes, we improve the method PageRank and put forward the targeted algorithm FunctionRank to evaluate the node importance (NI in weighted software network. It has higher influence when the node has lager value of NI. Finally, comparing the NI of nodes, we can obtain the most influential nodes in the software network. In addition, the experimental results show that the proposed approach has good performance in identifying the influential nodes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. On the Projective Description of Weighted (LF-Spaces of Continuous Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine V. Komarchuk

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We solve the problem of the topological or algebraic description of countable inductive limits of weighted Fréchet spaces of continuous functions on a cone. This problem is investigated for two families of weights defined by positively homogeneous functions. Weights of this form play the important role in Fourier analysis.

  7. [Exploration of common biological pathways for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and low birth weight].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Bo; Yu, Minglan; Liang, Xuemei; Lei, Wei; Huang, Chaohua; Chen, Jing; He, Wenying; Zhang, Tao; Li, Tao; Liu, Kezhi

    2017-12-10

    To explore common biological pathways for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and low birth weight (LBW). Thei-Gsea4GwasV2 software was used to analyze the result of genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) for LBW (pathways were derived from Reactome), and nominally significant (Ppathways were tested for replication in ADHD.Significant pathways were analyzed with DAPPLE and Reatome FI software to identify genes involved in such pathways, with each cluster enriched with the gene ontology (GO). The Centiscape2.0 software was used to calculate the degree of genetic networks and the betweenness value to explore the core node (gene). Weighed gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was then used to explore the co-expression of genes in these pathways.With gene expression data derived from BrainSpan, GO enrichment was carried out for each gene module. Eleven significant biological pathways was identified in association with LBW, among which two (Selenoamino acid metabolism and Diseases associated with glycosaminoglycan metabolism) were replicated during subsequent ADHD analysis. Network analysis of 130 genes in these pathways revealed that some of the sub-networksare related with morphology of cerebellum, development of hippocampus, and plasticity of synaptic structure. Upon co-expression network analysis, 120 genes passed the quality control and were found to express in 3 gene modules. These modules are mainly related to the regulation of synaptic structure and activity regulation. ADHD and LBW share some biological regulation processes. Anomalies of such proces sesmay predispose to ADHD.

  8. 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.

  9. 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) ...

  10. 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).

  11. What Determines the Shape of the Probability Weighting Function Under Uncertainty?

    OpenAIRE

    Michael Kilka; Martin Weber

    2001-01-01

    Decision weights are an important component in recent theories of decision making under uncertainty. To better explain these decision weights, a two-stage approach has been proposed: First, the probability of an event is judged and then this probability is transformed by the probability weighting function known from decision making under risk. We extend the two-stage approach by allowing the probability weighting function to depend on the type of uncertainty. Using this more general approach,...

  12. Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Sébastien J. M.; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-10-15

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

  14. Low-molecular-weight cyclin E: the missing link between biology and clinical outcome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akli, Said; Keyomarsi, Khandan

    2004-01-01

    Cyclin E, a key mediator of transition during the G 1 /S cellular division phase, is deregulated in a wide variety of human cancers. Our group recently reported that overexpression and generation of low-molecular-weight (LMW) isoforms of cyclin E were associated with poor clinical outcome among breast cancer patients. However, the link between LMW cyclin E biology in mediating a tumorigenic phenotype and clinical outcome is unknown. To address this gap in knowledge, we assessed the role of LMW isoforms in breast cancer cells; we found that these forms of cyclin E induced genomic instability and resistance to p21, p27, and antiestrogens in breast cancer. These findings suggest that high levels of LMW isoforms of cyclin E not only can predict failure to endocrine therapy but also are true prognostic indicators because of their influence on cell proliferation and genetic instability

  15. Impact on weight and physical function of intensive medical weight loss in older adults with stage II and III obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ard, Jamy D; Cook, Miranda; Rushing, Julia; Frain, Annette; Beavers, Kristen; Miller, Gary; Miller, Michael E; Nicklas, Barb

    2016-09-01

    A 6-month pilot trial compared two strategies for weight loss in older adults with body mass indexes (BMIs) ≥35 kg/m(2) to assess weight loss response, safety, and impact on physical function. Twenty-eight volunteers were randomized to a balanced deficit diet (BDD) (500 kcal/day below estimated energy needs) or an intensive, low-calorie, meal replacement diet (ILCD, 960 kcal/day). Behavioral interventions and physical activity prescriptions were similar for both groups. Primary outcomes were changes in body weight and adverse event frequency; secondary outcomes included measures of physical function and body composition. ILCD average weight change was -19.1 ± 2.2 kg or 15.9 ± 4.6% of initial body weight compared with -9.1 ± 2.7 kg or 7.2 ± 1.9% for BDD. ILCD lost more fat mass (-7.7 kg, 95% CI [-11.9 to -3.5]) but had similar loss of lean mass (-1.7 kg, 95% CI [-4.1 to 0.6]) compared with BDD. There were no significant differences in change in physical function or adverse event frequency. Compared with a traditional BDD intervention, older adults who have severe obesity treated with intensive medical weight loss had greater weight loss and decreases in fat mass without a higher frequency of adverse events. In the short term, however, this did not translate into greater improvements in physical function. © 2016 The Obesity Society.

  16. Attenuating the Biologic Drive for Weight Regain Following Weight Loss: Must What Goes Down Always Go Back Up?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melby, Christopher L; Paris, Hunter L; Foright, Rebecca M; Peth, James

    2017-05-06

    Metabolic adaptations occur with weight loss that result in increased hunger with discordant simultaneous reductions in energy requirements-producing the so-called energy gap in which more energy is desired than is required. The increased hunger is associated with elevation of the orexigenic hormone ghrelin and decrements in anorexigenic hormones. The lower total daily energy expenditure with diet-induced weight loss results from (1) a disproportionately greater decrease in circulating leptin and resting metabolic rate (RMR) than would be predicted based on the decline in body mass, (2) decreased thermic effect of food (TEF), and (3) increased energy efficiency at work intensities characteristic of activities of daily living. These metabolic adaptations can readily promote weight regain. While more experimental research is needed to identify effective strategies to narrow the energy gap and attenuate weight regain, some factors contributing to long-term weight loss maintenance have been identified. Less hunger and greater satiation have been associated with higher intakes of protein and dietary fiber, and lower glycemic load diets. High levels of physical activity are characteristic of most successful weight maintainers. A high energy flux state characterized by high daily energy expenditure and matching energy intake may attenuate the declines in RMR and TEF, and may also result in more accurate regulation of energy intake to match daily energy expenditure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz, Scott; Trievel, Raymond C.

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Unbiased Rare Event Sampling in Spatial Stochastic Systems Biology Models Using a Weighted Ensemble of Trajectories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rory M Donovan

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The long-term goal of connecting scales in biological simulation can be facilitated by scale-agnostic methods. We demonstrate that the weighted ensemble (WE strategy, initially developed for molecular simulations, applies effectively to spatially resolved cell-scale simulations. The WE approach runs an ensemble of parallel trajectories with assigned weights and uses a statistical resampling strategy of replicating and pruning trajectories to focus computational effort on difficult-to-sample regions. The method can also generate unbiased estimates of non-equilibrium and equilibrium observables, sometimes with significantly less aggregate computing time than would be possible using standard parallelization. Here, we use WE to orchestrate particle-based kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, which include spatial geometry (e.g., of organelles, plasma membrane and biochemical interactions among mobile molecular species. We study a series of models exhibiting spatial, temporal and biochemical complexity and show that although WE has important limitations, it can achieve performance significantly exceeding standard parallel simulation--by orders of magnitude for some observables.

  19. Deciphering genetic diversity and inheritance of tomato fruit weight and composition through a systems biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual, Laura; Xu, Jiaxin; Biais, Benoît; Maucourt, Mickaël; Ballias, Patricia; Bernillon, Stéphane; Deborde, Catherine; Jacob, Daniel; Desgroux, Aurore; Faurobert, Mireille; Bouchet, Jean-Paul; Gibon, Yves; Moing, Annick; Causse, Mathilde

    2013-12-01

    Integrative systems biology proposes new approaches to decipher the variation of phenotypic traits. In an effort to link the genetic variation and the physiological and molecular bases of fruit composition, the proteome (424 protein spots), metabolome (26 compounds), enzymatic profile (26 enzymes), and phenotypes of eight tomato accessions, covering the genetic diversity of the species, and four of their F1 hybrids, were characterized at two fruit developmental stages (cell expansion and orange-red). The contents of metabolites varied among the genetic backgrounds, while enzyme profiles were less variable, particularly at the cell expansion stage. Frequent genotype by stage interactions suggested that the trends observed for one accession at a physiological level may change in another accession. In agreement with this, the inheritance modes varied between crosses and stages. Although additivity was predominant, 40% of the traits were non-additively inherited. Relationships among traits revealed associations between different levels of expression and provided information on several key proteins. Notably, the role of frucktokinase, invertase, and cysteine synthase in the variation of metabolites was highlighted. Several stress-related proteins also appeared related to fruit weight differences. These key proteins might be targets for improving metabolite contents of the fruit. This systems biology approach provides better understanding of networks controlling the genetic variation of tomato fruit composition. In addition, the wide data sets generated provide an ideal framework to develop innovative integrated hypothesis and will be highly valuable for the research community.

  20. Walnut consumption in a weight reduction intervention: effects on body weight, biological measures, blood pressure and satiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rock, Cheryl L; Flatt, Shirley W; Barkai, Hava-Shoshana; Pakiz, Bilge; Heath, Dennis D

    2017-12-04

    Dietary strategies that help patients adhere to a weight reduction diet may increase the likelihood of weight loss maintenance and improved long-term health outcomes. Regular nut consumption has been associated with better weight management and less adiposity. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of a walnut-enriched reduced-energy diet to a standard reduced-energy-density diet on weight, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and satiety. Overweight and obese men and women (n = 100) were randomly assigned to a standard reduced-energy-density diet or a walnut-enriched (15% of energy) reduced-energy diet in the context of a behavioral weight loss intervention. Measurements were obtained at baseline and 3- and 6-month clinic visits. Participants rated hunger, fullness and anticipated prospective consumption at 3 time points during the intervention. Body measurements, blood pressure, physical activity, lipids, tocopherols and fatty acids were analyzed using repeated measures mixed models. Both study groups reduced body weight, body mass index and waist circumference (time effect p weight was -9.4 (0.9)% vs. -8.9 (0.7)% (mean [SE]), for the standard vs. walnut-enriched diet groups, respectively. Systolic blood pressure decreased in both groups at 3 months, but only the walnut-enriched diet group maintained a lower systolic blood pressure at 6 months. The walnut-enriched diet group, but not the standard reduced-energy-density diet group, reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at 6 months, from 203 to 194 mg/dL and 121 to 112 mg/dL, respectively (p weight loss that is comparable to a standard reduced-energy-density diet in the context of a behavioral weight loss intervention. Although weight loss in response to both dietary strategies was associated with improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, the walnut-enriched diet promoted more favorable effects on LDL-C and systolic blood pressure. The trial

  1. Calculation of intensity factors using weight function theory for a transversely isotropic piezoelectric material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Son, In Ho; An, Deuk Man

    2012-01-01

    In fracture mechanics, the weight function can be used for calculating stress intensity factors. In this paper, a two dimensional electroelastic analysis is performed on a transversely isotropic piezoelectric material with an open crack. A plane strain formulation of the piezoelectric problem is solved within the Leknitskii formalism. Weight function theory is extended to piezoelectric materials. The stress intensity factors and electric displacement intensity factor are calculated by the weight function theory

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyedeh Samira Mokhlesi

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Weighting factor for instantaneous source functions of a permeable ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A multiplicative weighting factor, E, is obtained which shows constant behaviour at late dimensionless flow times for a particular set of well and reservoir dimensionless parameters. Computation of dimensionless pressures using the factor shows conformity with expected behaviour for a layered reservoir with crossflow ...

  4. Diffusion Weighted/Tensor Imaging, Functional MRI and Perfusion Weighted Imaging in Glioblastoma—Foundations and Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gayle R. Salama

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we review the basics of diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI, their current utility in preoperative neurosurgical mapping, and their limitations. We also discuss potential future applications, including implementation of resting state functional MRI. We then discuss perfusion and diffusion-weighted imaging and their application in advanced neuro-oncologic practice. We explain how these modalities can be helpful in guiding surgical biopsies and differentiating recurrent tumor from treatment related changes.

  5. 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

  6. Using functional genetics to understand breast cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Alan; Bernards, Rene

    2010-07-01

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

  7. Biological mechanisms discriminating growth rate and adult body weight phenotypes in two Chinese indigenous chicken breeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dou, Tengfei; Zhao, Sumei; Rong, Hua; Gu, Dahai; Li, Qihua; Huang, Ying; Xu, Zhiqiang; Chu, Xiaohui; Tao, Linli; Liu, Lixian; Ge, Changrong; Te Pas, Marinus F W; Jia, Junjing

    2017-06-20

    Intensive selection has resulted in increased growth rates and muscularity in broiler chickens, in addition to adverse effects, including delayed organ development, sudden death syndrome, and altered metabolic rates. The biological mechanisms underlying selection responses remain largely unknown. Non-artificially-selected indigenous Chinese chicken breeds display a wide variety of phenotypes, including differential growth rate, body weight, and muscularity. The Wuding chicken breed is a fast growing large chicken breed, and the Daweishan mini chicken breed is a slow growing small chicken breed. Together they form an ideal model system to study the biological mechanisms underlying broiler chicken selection responses in a natural system. The objective of this study was to study the biological mechanisms underlying differential phenotypes between the two breeds in muscle and liver tissues, and relate these to the growth rate and body development phenotypes of the two breeds. The muscle tissue in the Wuding breed showed higher expression of muscle development genes than muscle tissue in the Daweishan chicken breed. This expression was accompanied by higher expression of acute inflammatory response genes in Wuding chicken than in Daweishan chicken. The muscle tissue of the Daweishan mini chicken breed showed higher expression of genes involved in several metabolic mechanisms including endoplasmic reticulum, protein and lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, as well as specific immune traits than in the Wuding chicken. The liver tissue showed fewer differences between the two breeds. Genes displaying higher expression in the Wuding breed than in the Daweishan breed were not associated with a specific gene network or biological mechanism. Genes highly expressed in the Daweishan mini chicken breed compared to the Wuding breed were enriched for protein metabolism, ABC receptors, signal transduction, and IL6-related mechanisms. We conclude that faster growth rates and larger

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Predicting objective function weights from patient anatomy in prostate IMRT treatment planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Taewoo; Hammad, Muhannad; Chan, Timothy C Y; Craig, Tim; Sharpe, Michael B

    2013-12-01

    Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning typically combines multiple criteria into a single objective function by taking a weighted sum. The authors propose a statistical model that predicts objective function weights from patient anatomy for prostate IMRT treatment planning. This study provides a proof of concept for geometry-driven weight determination. A previously developed inverse optimization method (IOM) was used to generate optimal objective function weights for 24 patients using their historical treatment plans (i.e., dose distributions). These IOM weights were around 1% for each of the femoral heads, while bladder and rectum weights varied greatly between patients. A regression model was developed to predict a patient's rectum weight using the ratio of the overlap volume of the rectum and bladder with the planning target volume at a 1 cm expansion as the independent variable. The femoral head weights were fixed to 1% each and the bladder weight was calculated as one minus the rectum and femoral head weights. The model was validated using leave-one-out cross validation. Objective values and dose distributions generated through inverse planning using the predicted weights were compared to those generated using the original IOM weights, as well as an average of the IOM weights across all patients. The IOM weight vectors were on average six times closer to the predicted weight vectors than to the average weight vector, using l2 distance. Likewise, the bladder and rectum objective values achieved by the predicted weights were more similar to the objective values achieved by the IOM weights. The difference in objective value performance between the predicted and average weights was statistically significant according to a one-sided sign test. For all patients, the difference in rectum V54.3 Gy, rectum V70.0 Gy, bladder V54.3 Gy, and bladder V70.0 Gy values between the dose distributions generated by the predicted weights and IOM weights

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Powers TuShun R

    2012-06-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Biological, Psychological, and Sociocultural Factors Contributing to the Drive for Muscularity in Weight-Training Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Catharina; Rollitz, Laura; Voracek, Martin; Hennig-Fast, Kristina

    2016-01-01

    The drive for muscularity and associated behaviors (e.g., exercising and dieting) are of growing importance for men in Western societies. In its extreme form, it can lead to body image concerns and harmful behaviors like over-exercising and the misuse of performance-enhancing substances. Therefore, investigating factors associated with the drive for muscularity, especially in vulnerable populations like bodybuilders and weight trainers can help identify potential risk and protective factors for body image problems. Using a biopsychosocial framework, the aim of the current study was to explore different factors associated with drive for muscularity in weight-training men. To this purpose, German-speaking male weight trainers (N = 248) completed an online survey to determine the extent to which biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors contribute to drive for muscularity and its related attitudes and behaviors. Using multiple regression models, findings showed that media ideal body internalization was the strongest positive predictor for drive for muscularity, while age (M = 25.9, SD = 7.4) held the strongest negative association with drive for muscularity. Dissatisfaction with muscularity, but not with body fat, was related to drive for muscularity. The fat-free mass index, a quantification of the actual degree of muscularity of a person, significantly predicted drive for muscularity-related behavior but not attitudes. Body-related aspects of self-esteem, but not global self-esteem, were significant negative predictors of drive for muscularity. Since internalization of media body ideals presented the highest predictive value for drive for muscularity, these findings suggest that media body ideal internalizations may be a risk factor for body image concerns in men, leading, in its most extreme form to disordered eating or muscle dysmorphia. Future research should investigate the relations between drive for muscularity, age, body composition

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minamitani, Haruyuki

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

  16. 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.

  17. Cryptographic Properties of the Hidden Weighted Bit Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

    is an inner product , for instance, ω ·x = ω1x1 +ω2x2 + · · ·+ωnxn. It is easy to see that a Boolean function f is balanced if and only if Wf (0) = 0...K. Feng, An Infinite Class of Balanced Vectorial Boolean Functions with Optimum Algebraic Immunity and Good Nonlinearity, in: IWCC 2009, In: LNCS

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  19. Functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetic nanoparticles with biological entities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mǎgeruşan, Lidia; Mrówczyński, Radosław; Turcu, Rodica

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Functional Defecation Disorders and Excessive Body Weight: A Systematic Review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koppen, Ilan J. N.; Kuizenga-Wessel, Sophie; Saps, Miguel; Di Lorenzo, Carlo; Benninga, Marc A.; van Etten-Jamaludin, Faridi S.; Tabbers, Merit M.

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have suggested an association between functional defecation disorders (FDDs) and overweight/obesity in children. To synthesize current evidence evaluating the association between FDDs and overweight/obesity in children. PubMed, Medline, and Embase were searched from inception until

  2. Effect of partial weight bearing program on functional ability and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lilian A. Zaky

    2013-03-17

    Mar 17, 2013 ... associated with pain, loss of range of motion and function. The researcher was motivated by the .... The object of this test is to walk as far as possible for 6 min. The patient will walk back and forth in the ... by grasping the table; the thigh was stabilized by the therapist's hand. The test was performed as a ...

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guseo, Renato

    2016-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Embeddings between weighted Copson and Cesaro function spaces

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gogatishvili, Amiran; Mustafayev, R.Ch.; Ünver, T.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 67, č. 4 (2017), s. 1005-1132 ISSN 0011-4642 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-14743S Institutional support: RVO:67985840 Keywords : Cesaro and Copson function spaces * embedding * iterated Hardy inequalities Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics OBOR OECD: Pure mathematics Impact factor: 0.364, year: 2016 https://link.springer.com/article/10.21136/CMJ.2017.0424-16

  11. Embeddings between weighted Copson and Cesaro function spaces

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gogatishvili, Amiran; Mustafayev, R.Ch.; Ünver, T.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 67, č. 4 (2017), s. 1005-1132 ISSN 0011-4642 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-14743S Institutional support: RVO:67985840 Keywords : Cesaro and Copson function spaces * embedding * iterated Hardy inequalities Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics OBOR OECD: Pure mathematics Impact factor: 0.364, year: 2016 https://link. springer .com/article/10.21136/CMJ.2017.0424-16

  12. Functional brain response to food images in successful adolescent weight losers compared with normal-weight and overweight controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Chad D; Kirwan, C Brock

    2015-03-01

    Research conducted with adults suggests that successful weight losers demonstrate greater activation in brain regions associated with executive control in response to viewing high-energy foods. No previous studies have examined these associations in adolescents. Functional neuroimaging was used to assess brain response to food images among groups of overweight (OW), normal-weight (NW), and successful weight-losing (SWL) adolescents. Eleven SWL, 12 NW, and 11 OW participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while viewing images of high- and low-energy foods. When viewing high-energy food images, SWLs demonstrated greater activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) compared with OW and NW controls. Compared with NW and SWL groups, OW individuals demonstrated greater activation in the ventral striatum and anterior cingulate in response to food images. Adolescent SWLs demonstrated greater neural activation in the DLPFC compared with OW/NW controls when viewing high-energy food stimuli, which may indicate enhanced executive control. OW individuals' brain responses to food stimuli may indicate greater reward incentive processes than either SWL or NW groups. © 2015 The Obesity Society.

  13. Ternary Weighted Function and Beurling Ternary Banach Algebra l1ω(S

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Dehghanian

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Let S be a ternary semigroup. In this paper, we introduce our notation and prove some elementary properties of a ternary weight function ω on S. Also, we make ternary weighted algebra l1ω(S and show that l1ω(S is a ternary Banach algebra.

  14. Smoking cessation, lung function, and weight gain : a follow-up study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chinn, S; Jarvis, D; Melotti, R; Luczynska, C; Ackermann-Liebrich, U; Anto, JM; Cerveri, [No Value; de Marco, R; Gislason, T; Heinrich, J; Janson, C; Kunzli, N; Leynaert, B; Neukirch, F; Schouten, J; Sunyer, J; Svanes, C; Vermeire, P; Wjst, M; Burney, P

    2005-01-01

    Background Only one population-based study in one country has reported effects of smoking cessation and weight change on lung function, and none has reported the net effect. We estimated the net benefit of smoking cessation, and the independent effects of smoking and weight change on change in

  15. A modified weighted function method for parameter estimation of Pearson type three distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Zhongmin; Hu, Yiming; Li, Binquan; Yu, Zhongbo

    2014-04-01

    In this paper, an unconventional method called Modified Weighted Function (MWF) is presented for the conventional moment estimation of a probability distribution function. The aim of MWF is to estimate the coefficient of variation (CV) and coefficient of skewness (CS) from the original higher moment computations to the first-order moment calculations. The estimators for CV and CS of Pearson type three distribution function (PE3) were derived by weighting the moments of the distribution with two weight functions, which were constructed by combining two negative exponential-type functions. The selection of these weight functions was based on two considerations: (1) to relate weight functions to sample size in order to reflect the relationship between the quantity of sample information and the role of weight function and (2) to allocate more weights to data close to medium-tail positions in a sample series ranked in an ascending order. A Monte-Carlo experiment was conducted to simulate a large number of samples upon which statistical properties of MWF were investigated. For the PE3 parent distribution, results of MWF were compared to those of the original Weighted Function (WF) and Linear Moments (L-M). The results indicate that MWF was superior to WF and slightly better than L-M, in terms of statistical unbiasness and effectiveness. In addition, the robustness of MWF, WF, and L-M were compared by designing the Monte-Carlo experiment that samples are obtained from Log-Pearson type three distribution (LPE3), three parameter Log-Normal distribution (LN3), and Generalized Extreme Value distribution (GEV), respectively, but all used as samples from the PE3 distribution. The results show that in terms of statistical unbiasness, no one method possesses the absolutely overwhelming advantage among MWF, WF, and L-M, while in terms of statistical effectiveness, the MWF is superior to WF and L-M.

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

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Genome-wide survey for biologically functional pseudogenes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orjan Svensson

    2006-05-01

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

  20. Cost analysis of biologic drugs in rheumatoid arthritis first line treatment after methotrexate failure according to patients' body weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Román Ivorra, José Andrés; Ivorra, José; Monte-Boquet, Emilio; Canal, Cristina; Oyagüez, Itziar; Gómez-Barrera, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    The objective was to assess the influence of patients' weight in the cost of rheumatoid arthritis treatment with biologic drugs used in first line after non-adequate response to methotrexate. Pharmaceutical and administration costs were calculated in two scenarios: non-optimization and optimization of intravenous (IV) vials. The retrospective analysis of 66 patients from a Spanish 1,000 beds-hospital Rheumatology Clinic Service was used to obtain posology and weight data. The study time horizon was two years. Costs were expressed in 2013 euros. For an average 69kg-weighted patient the lowest cost corresponded to abatacept subcutaneous (SC ABA) (€21,028.09) in the scenario without IV vials optimization and infliximab (IFX) (€20,779.29) with optimization. Considering patients' weight in the scenario without IV vials optimization infliximab (IFX) was the least expensive drug in patients ranged 45-49kg, IV ABA in 50-59kg and SC ABA in patients over 60kg. With IV vials optimization IFX was the least expensive drug in patients under 69kg and SC ABA over 70kg. Assuming comparable effectiveness of biological drugs, patient's weight is a variable to consider, potentials savings could reach €20,000 in two years. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and Sociedad Española de Reumatología y Colegio Mexicano de Reumatología. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Van Tyne

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Sirtuins in mammals: insights into their biological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    MICHAN, Shaday; SINCLAIR, David

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Real photon spectral weight functions, imaginary part of vacuum polarization and electromagnetic vertices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chahine, C.; College de France, 75 - Paris. Lab. de Physique Corpusculaire)

    1978-02-01

    The concept of a real photon spectral weight function for any cross-section involving charged particles is introduced as a simple approximation taking into account the soft part of photon emission to all orders in perturbation theory. The spectral weight function replaces the energy-momentum conservation delta function in the elastic cross-section. The spectral weight function is computed in closed form in space-time and in the peaking approximation in momentum space. The spectral weight function description is applied to the imaginary part of vacuum polarization ImPI and to electron-proton scattering. A spectral representation for ImPI is derived and its content compared with the known fourth order result, showing in particular the identity of the soft and peaking approximations in lowest order. The virtual photon radiative corrections are discussed in part, with emphasis on the threshold behavior of the vertex functions. A relativistic generalization of the electric non-relativistic vertex function is given, whose asymptotic behavior is approppriate to use in conjuction with the spectral weight function

  5. Presurgical Weight Is Associated with Pain, Functional Impairment, and Anxiety among Gastric Bypass Surgery Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharlene Wedin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic pain and obesity are significant public health concerns in the United States associated with significant levels of health-care expenses and lost productivity. Previous research suggests that obesity is a risk factor for chronic pain, mainly due to excessive weight placed on the joints. However, the obesity-pain relationship appears to be complex and reciprocal. Little work to date has focused on the relationship between weight and pain among patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. Patients scheduled to undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss at a large southeastern academic medical center ( completed the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI, the Center for Epidemiological Studies 10-item Depression scale (CESD-10, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI. Higher presurgical weight was associated with higher pain-on-average ratings, higher functional impairment due to pain across the domains of physical activity, mood, walking ability, relationships, and enjoyment of life. Higher presurgical weight was associated with higher BAI scores, but weight was not related to depression. Findings suggest that bariatric surgery candidates report a moderate amount of pain prior to surgery and that presurgical weight is associated with higher pain, increased functional impairment due to pain, and increased anxiety. Anxiety was found to mediate the relationship between increased weight and pain.

  6. Assessment of executive functioning in binge-eating disorder independent of weight status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eneva, Kalina T; Arlt, Jean M; Yiu, Angelina; Murray, Susan M; Chen, Eunice Y

    2017-08-01

    Executive functioning (EF) problems may serve as vulnerability or maintenance factors for Binge-Eating Disorder (BED). However, it is unclear if EF problems observed in BED are related to overweight status or BED status. The current study extends this literature by examining EF in overweight and normal-weight BED compared to weight-matched controls. Participants were normal-weight women with BED (n = 23), overweight BED (n = 32), overweight healthy controls (n = 48), and normal-weight healthy controls (n = 29). The EF battery utilized tests from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). After controlling for years of education and minority status, overweight individuals performed more poorly than normal-weight individuals on a task of cognitive flexibility requiring generativity (p < .01), and speed on psychomotor performance tasks (p = .01). Normal-weight and overweight BED performed worse on working memory tasks compared to controls (p = .04). Unexpectedly, normal-weight BED individuals out-performed all other groups on an inhibitory control task (p < .01). No significant differences were found between the four groups on tasks of planning. Regardless of weight status, BED is associated with working memory problems. Replication of the finding that normal-weight BED is associated with enhanced inhibitory control is needed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Weighted Composition Operators Acting on Some Classes of Banach Spaces of Analytic Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hmidouch, Nacir

    Let X be a Banach space of analytic functions defined on a domain O contained in the complex plane, upsilon be a fixed analytic function on O and ϕ be an analytic self-map of O. The weighted composition operator is defined on the space H(O) of analytic functions on O by. [special characters omitted]. As specific examples of the operator, we obtain the composition operator Cϕ (upsilon = 1) or the multiplication operator Mupsilon(ϕ( z) = z). [special characters omitted]. The study of weighted composition operators is important because they characterize the isometries of many Banach spaces. In addition, there are interesting connections between the weighted composition operators and Brennan's conjecture, see for example [24] and [25]. Given a weight mu on the open unit disk D, we introduce a one-parameter family of spaces we call iterated weighted-type spaces, [special characters omitted], defined inductively by [special characters omitted]. [special characters omitted]. The special cases n = 0, n = 1, and n = 2 yield the Banach-type spaces, the Blochtype spaces and the Zygmund-type spaces, which have been thoroughly studied by many researchers. In this dissertation, we analyze the Banach space structure of [special characters omitted] for [special characters omitted] . We show that, for n ≥ 3, Vn is an algebra. In addition, we study the weighted composition operators between several iterated weighted-type spaces for [special characters omitted]. Specically, we characterize the bounded, and the compact weighted composition operators, determine operator norm and essential norm estimates, and characterize the invertible weighted composition operators on Vn for n ≠ 2. Moreover, we analyze the weighted composition operators acting between the spaces V3 and V0, V 1 and V2. We determine a necessary and a sufficient condition for a weighted composition operator to be bounded and compact. Furthermore, we conjecture that this condition to be necessary on Vn..

  8. THE EFFECT OF DIFFERENT FORMS OF SELENIUM IN DIET ON LIVER FUNCTION AND BODY WEIGHT OF BROILER CHICKENS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zdenko Stanko Kanački

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The main biological role of selenium is performed via enzyme glutathione peroxidase, and includes the participation in the defense mechanism of the cell membrane from the peroxide damage. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of added selenium in foods in varying amounts and from various sources (organic and inorganic selenium. The experiment was conducted on the broilers, and the following parameters were monitored: body weight, total serum protein and the activity of the liver enzymes AST and ALT. The study demonstrated that organically-bound selenium had the most pronounced protective property, while both forms of selenium did not significantly affect the growth and concentration of the total serum protein. Therefore, this research suggests economic benefits of organic selenium in the diet of broiler chickens. Key words: selenium, body weight, liver function, broiler chickens

  9. A new class of weight and WA systems of the Kravchenko-Kaiser functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kravchenko, V. F.; Pustovoit, V. I.; Churikov, D. V.

    2014-05-01

    A new class of weight and WA-systems of the Kravchenko-Kaiser functions which showed its efficiency in various physical applications is proposed and substantiated. This publication consists of three parts. In the first the Kravchenko-Kaiser weight functions are constructed on basis of the theory of atomic functions (AFs) and the Kaiser windows for the first time. In the second part new constructions of analytic WA-systems of the Kravchenko-Kaiser functions are costructed. In the third part their applications to problems of weight averaging of the difference frequency signals are considered. The numerical experiment and the physical analysis of the results for concrete physical models confirmed their efficiency. This class of functions can find wide physical applications in problems of digital signal processing, restoration of images, radar, radiometry, radio astronomy, remote sensing, etc.

  10. Biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholl, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunni Wang

    2017-01-01

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

  12. A Bayesian spatial model for neuroimaging data based on biologically informed basis functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huertas, Ismael; Oldehinkel, Marianne; van Oort, Erik S B; Garcia-Solis, David; Mir, Pablo; Beckmann, Christian F; Marquand, Andre F

    2017-11-01

    The dominant approach to neuroimaging data analysis employs the voxel as the unit of computation. While convenient, voxels lack biological meaning and their size is arbitrarily determined by the resolution of the image. Here, we propose a multivariate spatial model in which neuroimaging data are characterised as a linearly weighted combination of multiscale basis functions which map onto underlying brain nuclei or networks or nuclei. In this model, the elementary building blocks are derived to reflect the functional anatomy of the brain during the resting state. This model is estimated using a Bayesian framework which accurately quantifies uncertainty and automatically finds the most accurate and parsimonious combination of basis functions describing the data. We demonstrate the utility of this framework by predicting quantitative SPECT images of striatal dopamine function and we compare a variety of basis sets including generic isotropic functions, anatomical representations of the striatum derived from structural MRI, and two different soft functional parcellations of the striatum derived from resting-state fMRI (rfMRI). We found that a combination of ∼50 multiscale functional basis functions accurately represented the striatal dopamine activity, and that functional basis functions derived from an advanced parcellation technique known as Instantaneous Connectivity Parcellation (ICP) provided the most parsimonious models of dopamine function. Importantly, functional basis functions derived from resting fMRI were more accurate than both structural and generic basis sets in representing dopamine function in the striatum for a fixed model order. We demonstrate the translational validity of our framework by constructing classification models for discriminating parkinsonian disorders and their subtypes. Here, we show that ICP approach is the only basis set that performs well across all comparisons and performs better overall than the classical voxel-based approach

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  14. The Weighted Square Integral Inequalities for the First Derivative of the Function of a Real Variable

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Shashiashvili

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available We generalize the square integral estimate for the derivative of the convex function by Shashiashvili (2005 to the case of the family of the weight functions, satisfying certain conditions. This kind of generalization is especially valuable in the problems of mathematical finance for construction of the discrete time hedging strategies.

  15. The Weighted Square Integral Inequalities for the First Derivative of the Function of a Real Variable

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussain S

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available We generalize the square integral estimate for the derivative of the convex function by Shashiashvili (2005 to the case of the family of the weight functions, satisfying certain conditions. This kind of generalization is especially valuable in the problems of mathematical finance for construction of the discrete time hedging strategies.

  16. hCG: Biological Functions and Clinical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sufang Zhang

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

  19. 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.

  20. Composition of S^p-weighted pseudo almost automorphic functions and applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuan-Hua Chen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Since the background space of $S^p$-weighted pseudo almost automorphic functions (abbr. $S^p$-wpaa functions is endowed with a norm coming from $L^p$ norm, it is natural to consider the composition of $S^p$-wpaa functions under conditions of $L^p$ norm. However, the known resutls for composition of $S^p$-wpaa functions were always given under conditions of supremum norm. Motivated by this, we establish some new results for the composition of $S^p$-almost automorphic functions and $S^p$-wpaa functions under a ``uniform continuity condition'' with respect to $L^p$ norm. As an application, we prove the existence of mild weighted pseudo almost automorphic solutions for some semilinear differential equations with an $S^p$-wpaa force term. An example of the heat equation illustrates our results.

  1. Associative Memory and Mutual Information in a Chaotic Neural NetworkIntroducing Function Typed Synaptic Weights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masanao, Obayashi; Kenji, Yuda; Rie, Omiya; Kunikazu, Kobayashi

    So far, in associative memory search problems chaotic neural networks have constant synaptic weights to store patterns. In this paper, we propose a chaotic neural network(CNN) which has function typed synaptic weights to store patterns in order to make a better performance of the retrieval of the stored patterns. In stored patterns retrieval simulation, it is clarified that our proposed method is superior to the conventional method, that is, which has constant synaptic weights. Furthermore we propose an algorithm to calculate the mutual information in a CNN and show that the mutual information in the CNN, which are on the edge of chaos, gets the biggest values.

  2. A deterministic algorithm for fitting a step function to a weighted point-set

    KAUST Repository

    Fournier, Hervé

    2013-02-01

    Given a set of n points in the plane, each point having a positive weight, and an integer k>0, we present an optimal O(nlogn)-time deterministic algorithm to compute a step function with k steps that minimizes the maximum weighted vertical distance to the input points. It matches the expected time bound of the best known randomized algorithm for this problem. Our approach relies on Coles improved parametric searching technique. As a direct application, our result yields the first O(nlogn)-time algorithm for computing a k-center of a set of n weighted points on the real line. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

  3. Tailoring of the Nanotexture of Mesoporous Silica Films and their Functionalized Derivatives for Selectively Harvesting Low Molecular Weight Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ye; Bouamrani, Ali; Tasciotti, Ennio; Li, Li; Liu, Xuewu; Ferrari, Mauro

    2010-01-01

    We present a fast, efficient and reliable system based on mesoporous silica chips to specifically fractionate and enrich the low molecular weight proteome. Mesoporous silica thin films with tunable features at the nanoscale were fabricated using the triblock copolymer template pathway. Using different templates and concentrations in the precursor solution, various pore size distributions, pore structures and connectivity were obtained and applied for selective recovery of low mass proteins. In combination with mass spectrometry and statistic analysis, we demonstrated the correlation between the nanophase characteristics of the mesoporous silica thin films and the specificity and efficacy of low mass proteome harvesting. In addition, to overcome the limitations of the pre-functionalization method in polymer selection, plasma ashing was used for the first time for the treatment of the mesoporous silica surface prior to chemical modification. Surface charge modifications by different functional groups resulted in a selective capture of the low molecular weight proteins from serum sample. In conclusion our study demonstrates that the ability to tune the physico-chemical properties of mesoporous silica surfaces, for a selective enrichment of the low molecular weight proteome from complex biological fluids, has the potential to promote proteomic biomarker discovery. PMID:20014864

  4. Association between socioeconomic and biological factors and infant weight gain: Brazilian Demographic and Health Survey - PNDS-2006/07

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Augusto C. Silveira

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations between socioeconomic and biological factors and infant weight gain. METHODS: All infants (0-23 months of age with available birth and postnatal weight data (n = 1763 were selected from the last nationally representative survey with complex probability sampling conducted in Brazil (2006/07. The outcome variable was conditional weight gain (CWG, which represents how much an individual has deviated from his/her expected weight gain, given the birth weight. Associations were estimated using simple and hierarchical multiple linear regression, considering the survey sampling design, and presented in standard deviations of CWG with their respective 95% of confidence intervals. Hierarchical models were designed considering the UNICEF Conceptual Framework for Malnutrition (basic, underlying and immediate causes. RESULTS: The poorest Brazilian regions (-0.14 [-0.25; -0.04] and rural areas (-0.14 [-0.26;-0.02] were inversely associated with CWG in the basic causes model. However, this association disappeared after adjusting for maternal and household characteristics. In the final hierarchical model, lower economic status (-0.09 [-0.15; -0.03], human capital outcomes (maternal education < 4th grade (-0.14[-0.29; 0.01], higher maternal height (0.02[0.01; 0.03], and fever in the past 2 weeks (-0.13[-0.26; -0.01] were associated with postnatal weight gain. CONCLUSION: The results showed that poverty and lower human capital are still key factors associated with poor postnatal weight gain. The approach used in these analyses was sensitive to characterize inequalities among different socioeconomic contexts and to identify factors associated with CWG in different levels of determination.

  5. Cognitive function and MRI findings in very low birth weight infants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imamura, Atsuko; Takagishi, Yuka; Takada, Satoru; Uetani, Yoshiyuki; Nakamura, Toru; Nakamura, Hajime; Inagaki, Yuko.

    1996-01-01

    Twenty-two very low birth weight infants at preschool ages of 5-6 years were studied to clarify the correlation between cognitive function and MRI findings. Cognitive function was evaluated by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) and the Frostig developmental test of visual perception. Ventricular enlargement, assessed by the bioccipital index (B.I.) measured on MRI, was correlated to cognitive disorders. Children with periventricular high intensity areas (T 2 -weighted images) extending from the posterior periventricular region to the parietal lobe tend to highly suffer from cerebral palsy and visuoperceptual impairment. These results indicate that the disorders of cognitive function in very low birth weight infants were caused by a damage of association fibers in periventricular areas which was detectable by MRI. (author)

  6. Endothelial function in hypertensive obese patients: 1 year after surgically induced weight loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, L; Núñez, I; Vidal, J; Rueda, S; Viaplana, J; Rodríguez, L; Esmatjes, E

    2014-09-01

    The aim of this study was to describe the effect of surgically induced weight loss on vascular function measured by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in hypertensive obese patients. This prospective study included 33 patients (78 % females, mean age 53 (9) years) undergoing bariatric surgery (BS). Before and 12 months postoperatively, the BMI, 24-h ambulatory BP, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), leptin, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA IR), and abdominal fat were measured. Endothelial function was assessed by FMD. After BS, the excess body weight loss was 71 %; the 24-h [systolic 18(11)//diastolic 7(7) mmHg] BP values, hs-CRP, leptin, HOMA, and abdominal fat significantly decreased, with no changes in endothelial function. Weight loss achieved by BS was associated with a significant improvement in BP and metabolic and inflammation parameters, but FMD did not improve.

  7. Cognitive function and MRI findings in very low birth weight infants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imamura, Atsuko; Takagishi, Yuka; Takada, Satoru; Uetani, Yoshiyuki; Nakamura, Toru; Nakamura, Hajime [Kobe Univ. (Japan). School of Medicine; Inagaki, Yuko

    1996-07-01

    Twenty-two very low birth weight infants at preschool ages of 5-6 years were studied to clarify the correlation between cognitive function and MRI findings. Cognitive function was evaluated by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) and the Frostig developmental test of visual perception. Ventricular enlargement, assessed by the bioccipital index (B.I.) measured on MRI, was correlated to cognitive disorders. Children with periventricular high intensity areas (T{sub 2}-weighted images) extending from the posterior periventricular region to the parietal lobe tend to highly suffer from cerebral palsy and visuoperceptual impairment. These results indicate that the disorders of cognitive function in very low birth weight infants were caused by a damage of association fibers in periventricular areas which was detectable by MRI. (author)

  8. Gentamicin volume of distribution as a power function of body weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, F

    1989-01-01

    Gentamicin volume of distribution (V) was related to body weight (W) in 183 obese, normal weight and infant patients as reported in five published studies. In contrast to the usually postulated simple proportionality (V = bW) a linear function was found (V = a + bW) with an intercept (a = 2.5 +/- 0.49) significantly different from zero (P = 0.0001) and a slope (b = 0.19 +/- 0.10) significantly different (P = 0.0001) from the mean factor of proportion (b = 0.35 +/- 0.19). As compared with the linear function, a power function (V = 0.57 W 0.79) approximated even more closely the dependence of gentamicin volume on body weight (r = 0.94 vs r = 0.81). The difference between both functions was more than 50% only for body weight less than 5 kg. It is concluded that the relation between gentamicin volume of distribution and body weight is non-linear. PMID:2590606

  9. Reduced weight decontamination formulation for neutralization of chemical and biological warfare agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Mark D.

    2014-06-03

    A reduced weight DF-200 decontamination formulation that is stable under high temperature storage conditions. The formulation can be pre-packed as an all-dry (i.e., no water) or nearly-dry (i.e., minimal water) three-part kit, with make-up water (the fourth part) being added later in the field at the point of use.

  10. High molecular weight FGF2: the biology of a nuclear growth factor

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chlebová, K.; Bryja, Vítězslav; Dvořák, Petr; Kozubík, Alois; Wilcox, W.R.; Krejčí, Pavel

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 2 (2009), s. 225-235 ISSN 1420-682X Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) LC06077 Program:LC Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507; CEZ:AV0Z50040702 Keywords : high molecular weight * FGF2 * nuclear Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 6.090, year: 2009

  11. 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

  12. Effects of weight loss on myocardial energetics and diastolic function in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rider, O J; Francis, J M; Tyler, D; Byrne, J; Clarke, K; Neubauer, S

    2013-06-01

    A reduced myocardial phosphocreatine/adenosine triphosphate (PCr/ATP) ratio is linked to both diastolic dysfunction and heart failure. Although obesity is well known to cause diastolic dysfunction a link to impaired cardiac energetics has only recently been established. We assessed whether or not long-term weight loss in obesity, which is known to reduce mortality, is accompanied by both improved cardiac energetics and diastolic function. Normal weight (BMI 22 ± 2; n = 18) and obese subjects (BMI 34 ± 4; n = 13) underwent cine-MRI (1.5 Tesla) to determine left ventricular diastolic function using volume-time curve analysis, and (31)P-MR spectroscopy (3 Tesla) to assess cardiac energetics (PCr/ATP ratio). Obese subjects (n = 13) underwent repeat assessment after 1 year of supervised weight loss. Obesity, in the absence of identifiable cardiovascular risk factors, was associated with significantly impaired myocardial high energy phosphate metabolism (PCr/ATP ratio, normal; 2.03 ± 0.27 vs. obese; 1.58 ± 0.47, p = 0.002) and significantly lower peak diastolic filling rate (normal; 4.8 ± 0.8 vs. obese; 3.8 ± 0.7 EDV/s, p = 0.01). Weight loss (on average 9 kg, 55% excess weight) over 1 year resulted in a 24% increase in PCr/ATP ratio (p = 0.01) and an 18% improvement in peak diastolic filling rate (p = 0.01). Myocardial PCr/ATP ratio remained positively correlated with peak diastolic filling rate after weight loss (r = 0.63, p = 0.02). In obesity, weight loss improves impaired cardiac energetics and myocardial relaxation. Improved myocardial energetics appear to play a key role in diastolic functional recovery accompanying weight loss.

  13. Weight status in adolescence is associated with later life functional limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasunilashorn, Sarinnapha; Martinson, Melissa L

    2013-08-01

    This study examines the relationship between weight status in adolescence and later life functional limitations. We use the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to characterize the relationship between standardized relative body mass ascertained from high school photograph portraits in 1957 and self-reported functional imitations in 2004. Compared to individuals with normal body mass, those who were overweight in high school had poorer later life physical function, with observed gender differences. Women who were underweight in adolescence had better functioning in older adulthood than their normal weight counterparts. This relationship, however, was not found among men. These findings underscore the long-term consequences of being overweight in adolescence on the functional disadvantages conferred in late life.

  14. Characterization and prediction of chemical functions and weight fractions in consumer products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin K. Isaacs

    Full Text Available Assessing exposures from the thousands of chemicals in commerce requires quantitative information on the chemical constituents of consumer products. Unfortunately, gaps in available composition data prevent assessment of exposure to chemicals in many products. Here we propose filling these gaps via consideration of chemical functional role. We obtained function information for thousands of chemicals from public sources and used a clustering algorithm to assign chemicals into 35 harmonized function categories (e.g., plasticizers, antimicrobials, solvents. We combined these functions with weight fraction data for 4115 personal care products (PCPs to characterize the composition of 66 different product categories (e.g., shampoos. We analyzed the combined weight fraction/function dataset using machine learning techniques to develop quantitative structure property relationship (QSPR classifier models for 22 functions and for weight fraction, based on chemical-specific descriptors (including chemical properties. We applied these classifier models to a library of 10196 data-poor chemicals. Our predictions of chemical function and composition will inform exposure-based screening of chemicals in PCPs for combination with hazard data in risk-based evaluation frameworks. As new information becomes available, this approach can be applied to other classes of products and the chemicals they contain in order to provide essential consumer product data for use in exposure-based chemical prioritization. Keywords: Chemical function, Exposure modeling, Chemical prioritization, Consumer products, Cosmetics, ExpoCast

  15. Independent functional connectivity networks underpin food and monetary reward sensitivity in excess weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdejo-Román, Juan; Fornito, Alex; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Vilar-López, Raquel; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2017-02-01

    Overvaluation of palatable food is a primary driver of obesity, and is associated with brain regions of the reward system. However, it remains unclear if this network is specialized in food reward, or generally involved in reward processing. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to characterize functional connectivity during processing of food and monetary rewards. Thirty-nine adults with excess weight and 37 adults with normal weight performed the Willingness to Pay for Food task and the Monetary Incentive Delay task in the fMRI scanner. A data-driven graph approach was applied to compare whole-brain, task-related functional connectivity between groups. Excess weight was associated with decreased functional connectivity during the processing of food rewards in a network involving primarily frontal and striatal areas, and increased functional connectivity during the processing of monetary rewards in a network involving principally frontal and parietal areas. These two networks were topologically and anatomically distinct, and were independently associated with BMI. The processing of food and monetary rewards involve segregated neural networks, and both are altered in individuals with excess weight. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Solid State Structures of Alkali Metal Ion Complexes Formed by Low-Molecular-Weight Ligands of Biological Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Katsuyuki; Murayama, Kazutaka; Hu, Ning-Hai

    2016-01-01

    This chapter provides structural data, mainly metal binding sites/modes, observed in crystal structures of alkali metal ion complexes containing low-molecular-weight ligands of biological relevance, mostly obtained from the Cambridge Structural Database (the CSD version 5.35 updated to February 2014). These ligands include (i) amino acids and small peptides, (ii) nucleic acid constituents (excluding quadruplexes and other oligonucleotides), (iii) simple carbohydrates, and (iv) naturally occurring antibiotic ionophores. For some representative complexes of these ligands, some details on the environment of the metal coordination and structural characteristics are described.

  17. Study Under AC Stimulation on Excitement Properties of Weighted Small-World Biological Neural Networks with Side-Restrain Mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan Wujie; Luo Xiaoshu; Jiang Pinqun

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a new model of weighted small-world biological neural networks based on biophysical Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with side-restrain mechanism. Then we study excitement properties of the model under alternating current (AC) stimulation. The study shows that the excitement properties in the networks are preferably consistent with the behavior properties of a brain nervous system under different AC stimuli, such as refractory period and the brain neural excitement response induced by different intensities of noise and coupling. The results of the study have reference worthiness for the brain nerve electrophysiology and epistemological science.

  18. Functional foods for weight management: Dietary Fiber – a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona Boaz

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTIt has been estimated that more than 1.5 billion adults are overweight or obese worldwide [1], rendering obesity a global epidemic [2]. Obesity is associated with significant morbidity, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and some cancers [3]. Thus, obesity is clearly a medical issue, its costs impacting heavily on health care systems in both developed and developing nations [4]. The combined impact of transmissible and chronic disease in the third world is particularly devastating to the very health care systems with fewest resources [5].Because obesity has been identified as a major health issue, treating obesity is an important goal. However, weight loss management has proven notoriously difficult. It is well documented that reduced energy intake and increased energy expenditure may reduce body weight in the short term, but obesity relapse is the long term is anticipated [6]. In a study of overweight or obese US adults who weighed ≥ 10% less than their maximum body weight the year prior to the survey (n=1310, 33.5% regained > 5% during that year [7].Despite its somewhat unimpressive success rate, "lifestyle" weight management remains the first line intervention for obesity treatment [8]. Lifestyle weight management can be defined as interventions based on energy restriction (weight loss diet; increased energy output (exercise; and/or behavioral change (cognitive or behavior therapy. Functional foods have been explored as a tool for enhancing lifestyle weight management.Functional foods evaluated for their efficacy as obesity interventions can be divided into two broad categories: 1 foods which suppress appetite and increase satiety; and 2 foods which enhance thermogenesis. The present review will focus on those foods thought to act by increasing satiety and suppressing appetite.Key words: Obesity, weight loss, systematic review, dietary fiber

  19. 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

  20. Thermal performance of functionally graded parabolic annular fins having constant weight

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaba, Vivek Kumar; Tiwari, Anil Kumar; Bhowmick, Shubhankar [National Institute of Technology Raipur, Raipur (India)

    2014-10-15

    The proposed work reports the performance of parabolic annular fins of constant weight made of functionally graded materials. The work involves computation of temperature gradient, efficiency and effectiveness of such fins and compares the performances for different functionally graded parabolic fin profiles obtained by varying grading parameters and profile parameters respectively keeping the weight of the fins constant. The functional grading of thermal conductivity is based on a power function of radial co-ordinate which consists of parameters, namely grading parameters, varying which different grading combinations are studied. A general second order ordinary differential equation has been derived for all the profiles and material grading. The efficiency and effectiveness of the annular fins of different profile and grading combinations have been calculated and plotted and the results reveal the dependence of fin performance on profile and grading parameter.

  1. Diet-Induced Weight Loss Alters Functional Brain Responses during an Episodic Memory Task

    OpenAIRE

    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan; Stomby, Andreas; Ryberg, Mats; Lindahl, Bernt; Larsson, Christel; Nyberg, Lars; Olsson, Tommy

    2015-01-01

    Objective: It has been suggested that overweight is negatively associated with cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a reduction in body weight by dietary interventions could improve episodic memory performance and alter associated functional brain responses in overweight and obese women. Methods: 20 overweight postmenopausal women were randomized to either a modified paleolithic diet or a standard diet adhering to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations for 6 mon...

  2. Glutamate mediates the function of melanocortin receptor 4 on sim1 neurons in body weight regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    The melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R) is a well-established mediator of body weight homeostasis. However, the neurotransmitter(s) that mediate MC4R function remain largely unknown; as a result, little is known about the second-order neurons of the MC4R neural pathway. Single-minded 1 (Sim1)-expressing ...

  3. Gain in lung function after weight reduction in severely obese children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Griendt, E.J.; van der Baan-Slootweg, O.H.; van Essen-Zandvliet, E.E.; van der Palen, Jacobus Adrianus Maria; Tamminga-Smeulders, C.L.; Benninga, M.A.; van Aalderen, W.M.

    2012-01-01

    AIM: The primary objective of this prospective cohort study was to determine the effect of weight loss on pulmonary function values in extremely obese children. METHODS: Obese children participated in a 26-week in-hospital or outpatient multidisciplinary treatment programme. Waist circumference was

  4. Cognitive and motor function of neurologically impaired extremely low birth weight children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Janine; Friedman, Harriet; Minich, Nori; Taylor, H Gerry; Wilson-Costello, Deanne; Hack, Maureen

    2015-01-01

    Rates of neurological impairment among extremely low birth weight children (ELBW [<1 kg]) have decreased since 2000; however, their functioning is unexamined. To compare motor and cognitive functioning of ELBW children with neurological impairment, including cerebral palsy and severe hypotonia/hypertonia, between two periods: 1990 to 1999 (n=83) and 2000 to 2005 (n=34). Measures of function at 20 months corrected age included the Mental and Psychomotor Developmental Indexes of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and the Gross Motor Functional Classification System as primary outcomes and individual motor function items as secondary outcomes. Analysis failed to reveal significant differences for the primary outcomes, although during 2000 to 2005, sitting significantly improved in children with neurological impairment (P=0.003). Decreases in rates of neurological impairment among ELBW children have been accompanied by a suggestion of improved motor function, although cognitive function has not changed.

  5. Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of p(26)+Be neutrons from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre CS-30 cyclotron measured by testis weight loss

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feola, J.M.; Aissi, A.; Greer, W.; Clubb, B.; El-Akkad, S.

    1989-01-01

    Testis weight loss of C3H and Swiss-Webster (SW) mice was used as endpoint to determine the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of p(26)+Be fast neutrons with respect to Co-60 gamma irradiation. Percent weight loss versus dose curves showed two components. Comparing first component effects, the RBE was 3.4 (C3H) and 3.7 (SW); when the second component was used, the RBE was 2.6 and 2.7 (C3H), and 3.5 (SW). When percent weight loss was plotted versus log dose, parallel lines were obtained, giving an RBE of 3.9 and 4.1 (C3H), and 4.2 (SW). Results were compared with published values and RBE as a function of fast neutron energy was plotted. A good correlation was found. Discrepancies seem to be mostly due to the use of different baseline radiation. When a constant correction is made, most of the values fit a single line. The possibility of using this approach as a substitute for international comparisons is discussed. (orig.) [de

  6. Regularized Laplace-Fourier-Domain Full Waveform Inversion Using a Weighted l 2 Objective Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, Hyunggu; Kwon, Jungmin; Shin, Changsoo; Zhou, Hongbo; Cogan, Mike

    2017-03-01

    Full waveform inversion (FWI) can be applied to obtain an accurate velocity model that contains important geophysical and geological information. FWI suffers from the local minimum problem when the starting model is not sufficiently close to the true model. Therefore, an accurate macroscale velocity model is essential for successful FWI, and Laplace-Fourier-domain FWI is appropriate for obtaining such a velocity model. However, conventional Laplace-Fourier-domain FWI remains an ill-posed and ill-conditioned problem, meaning that small errors in the data can result in large differences in the inverted model. This approach also suffers from certain limitations related to the logarithmic objective function. To overcome the limitations of conventional Laplace-Fourier-domain FWI, we introduce a weighted l 2 objective function, instead of the logarithmic objective function, as the data-domain objective function, and we also introduce two different model-domain regularizations: first-order Tikhonov regularization and prior model regularization. The weighting matrix for the data-domain objective function is constructed to suitably enhance the far-offset information. Tikhonov regularization smoothes the gradient, and prior model regularization allows reliable prior information to be taken into account. Two hyperparameters are obtained through trial and error and used to control the trade-off and achieve an appropriate balance between the data-domain and model-domain gradients. The application of the proposed regularizations facilitates finding a unique solution via FWI, and the weighted l 2 objective function ensures a more reasonable residual, thereby improving the stability of the gradient calculation. Numerical tests performed using the Marmousi synthetic dataset show that the use of the weighted l 2 objective function and the model-domain regularizations significantly improves the Laplace-Fourier-domain FWI. Because the Laplace-Fourier-domain FWI is improved, the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Executive Functions of Six-Year-Old Boys with Normal Birth Weight and Gestational Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phua, Desiree Yee-Ling; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne; Saw, Seang-Mei; Meaney, Michael J.; Qiu, Anqi

    2012-01-01

    Impaired fetal development, reflected by low birth weight or prematurity, predicts an increased risk for psychopathology, especially attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Such effects cut across the normal range of birth weight and gestation. Despite the strength of existing epidemiological data, cognitive pathways that link fetal development to mental health are largely unknown. In this study we examined the relation of birth weight (>2500 g) and gestational age (37–41 weeks) within the normal range with specific executive functions in 195 Singaporean six-year-old boys of Chinese ethnicity. Birth weight adjusted for gestational age was used as indicator of fetal growth while gestational age was indicative of fetal maturity. Linear regression revealed that increased fetal growth within the normal range is associated with an improved ability to learn rules during the intra/extra-dimensional shift task and to retain visual information for short period of time during the delayed matching to sample task. Moreover, faster and consistent reaction times during the stop-signal task were observed among boys born at term, but with higher gestational age. Hence, even among boys born at term with normal birth weight, variations in fetal growth and maturity showed distinct effects on specific executive functions. PMID:22558470

  9. Low-Molecular-Weight Metabolites from Diatoms: Structures, Biological Roles and Biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stonik, Valentin; Stonik, Inna

    2015-06-09

    Diatoms are abundant and important biological components of the marine environment that biosynthesize diverse natural products. These microalgae are rich in various lipids, carotenoids, sterols and isoprenoids, some of them containing toxins and other metabolites. Several groups of diatom natural products have attracted great interest due to their potential practical application as energy sources (biofuel), valuable food constituents, and prospective materials for nanotechnology. In addition, hydrocarbons, which are used in climate reconstruction, polyamines which participate in biomineralization, new apoptotic agents against tumor cells, attractants and deterrents that regulate the biochemical communications between marine species in seawaters have also been isolated from diatoms. However, chemical studies on these microalgae are complicated by difficulties, connected with obtaining their biomass, and the influence of nutrients and contaminators in their environment as well as by seasonal and climatic factors on the biosynthesis of the corresponding natural products. Overall, the number of chemically studied diatoms is lower than that of other algae, but further studies, particularly those connected with improvements in the isolation and structure elucidation technique as well as the genomics of diatoms, promise both to increase the number of studied species with isolated biologically active natural products and to provide a clearer perception of their biosynthesis.

  10. Weight change and cognitive function: findings from the Women's Health Initiative Study of Cognitive Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Ira; Espeland, Mark A; Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia; Gaussoin, Sarah A; Ding, Jingzhong; Granek, Iris A; Ockene, Judith K; Phillips, Lawrence S; Yaffe, Kristine; Resnick, Susan M

    2011-08-01

    Although studies exploring relationships between obesity and cognitive impairment in the elderly are conflicting, literature suggests that overweight and obesity may be protective against cognitive impairment and dementia in older women. We examine the associations between changes in weight and waist circumference (WC) with global and domain-specific cognitive function in a large, well-defined cohort of 2,283 older, postmenopausal women (aged 65-79) prospectively followed through the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Study of Cognitive Aging (WHISCA). We assessed the associations between changes in weight and WC collected up to 5 years before WHISCA enrollment and mean levels of global and domain-specific cognitive performance across an average of 5.4 years of subsequent follow-up. There was a lack of associations between weight and cognition in women who remained stable or gained weight. The only significant relationships observed were in association with weight loss (P ≤ 0.05), most likely signaling incipient disease. Moreover, cognition was not related to changes in WC. Relationships were largely independent of initial BMI, self-reported caloric intake or dieting. The lack of associations between weight gain and cognition in women is consistent with the existing literature.

  11. Trajectory modeling of gestational weight: A functional principal component analysis approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menglu Che

    Full Text Available Suboptimal gestational weight gain (GWG, which is linked to increased risk of adverse outcomes for a pregnant woman and her infant, is prevalent. In the study of a large cohort of Canadian pregnant women, our goals are to estimate the individual weight growth trajectory using sparsely collected bodyweight data, and to identify the factors affecting the weight change during pregnancy, such as prepregnancy body mass index (BMI, dietary intakes and physical activity. The first goal was achieved through functional principal component analysis (FPCA by conditional expectation. For the second goal, we used linear regression with the total weight gain as the response variable. The trajectory modeling through FPCA had a significantly smaller root mean square error (RMSE and improved adaptability than the classic nonlinear mixed-effect models, demonstrating a novel tool that can be used to facilitate real time monitoring and interventions of GWG. Our regression analysis showed that prepregnancy BMI had a high predictive value for the weight changes during pregnancy, which agrees with the published weight gain guideline.

  12. 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.

  13. Two Types of Distributed CFAR Detection Based on Weighting Functions in Fusion Center for Weibull Clutter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir Zaimbashi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Two types of distributed constant false alarm rate (CFAR detection using binary and fuzzy weighting functions in fusion center are developed. In the two types of distributed detectors, it was assumed that the clutter parameters at the local sensors are unknown and each local detector performs CFAR processing based on ML and OS CFAR processors before transmitting data to the fusion center. At the fusion center, received data is weighted either by a binary or a fuzzy weighting functions and combined according to deterministic rules, constructing global test statistics. Moreover, for the Weibull clutter, the expression of the weighting functions, based on ML and OS CFAR processors in local detectors, is obtained. In the binary type, we analyzed various distributed detection schemes based on maximum, minimum, and summation rules in fusion center. In the fuzzy type, we consider the various distributed detectors based on algebraic product, algebraic sum, probabilistic OR, and Lukasiewicz t-conorm fuzzy rules in fusion center. The performance of the two types of distributed detectors is analyzed and compared in the homogenous and nonhomogenous situations, multiple targets, or clutter edge. The simulation results indicate the superiority and robust performance of fuzzy type in homogenous and non homogenous situations.

  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. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. An Assessment of Weight-Length Relationships for Muskellunge,Northern Pike, and Chain Pickerel In Carlander's Handbook of Freshwater Fishery Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Daviscourt, Joshua; Huertas, Joshua; Courtney, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Carlander's Handbook of Freshwater Fishery Biology (1969) contains life history data from many species of freshwater fish found in North America. It has been cited over 1200 times and used to produce standard-weight curves for some species. Recent work (Cole-Fletcher et al. 2011) suggests Carlander (1969) contains numerous errors in listed weight-length equations. This paper assesses the weight-length relationships listed in Carlander for muskellunge, northern pike, and chain pickerel by comp...

  19. Effects of weight training on cognitive functions in elderly with Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thays Martins Vital

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Deterioration in cognitive functions is characteristic in Alzheimer's disease (AD and may be associated with decline in daily living activities with consequent reduced quality of life. Objective: To analyze weight training effects on cognitive functions in elderly with AD. Subjects: 34 elderly with AD were allocated into two groups: Training Group (TG and Social Gathering Group (SGG. Methods: Global cognitive status was determined using the Mini-Mental State Exam. Specific cognitive functions were measured using the Brief Cognitive Battery, Clock Drawing Test and Verbal Fluency Test. The protocols were performed three times a week, one hour per session. The weight training protocol consisted of three sets of 20 repetitions, with two minutes of rest between sets and exercises. The activities proposed for the SGG were not systematized and aimed at promoting social interaction among patients. The statistical analyses were performed with the U Mann Whitney and Wilcoxon tests for group comparisons. All analyses were considered statistically significant at a p-value of 0.05. Results: There were no significant differences associated to the effects of the practice of weight training on cognition in AD patients. Conclusion: In this study, no improvement in cognitive functions was evident in elderly with AD who followed a low intensity resistance exercise protocol. Thus, future studies could evaluate the effect of more intense exercise programs.

  20. ENDURANCE TRAINING IN FASTING CONDITIONS: BIOLOGICAL ADAPTATIONS AND BODY WEIGHT MANAGEMENT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente-Salar, Néstor; Urdampilleta Otegui, Aritz; Roche Collado, Enrique

    2015-12-01

    in the majority of sports the athlete is required to achieve optimal conditions both at a muscular and metabolic level as well as in body composition, increasing the lean body mass and maintaining a low body fat mass. In this context, different training protocols have been proposed in order to reduce body fat content, by maximizing fat use instead of glycogen. to verify if the training while fasting favours the use of fatty acids due to the low glycogen levels, allowing an improvement in the performance ant the control of body weight. protocols have been published, differing in time periods and exercise intensity. In addition, several markers ranging from gene expression analysis to determination of circulating parameters have been assessed in order to interpret the results. Discusion: at low intensities of endurance-based exercises, adipose tissue lipolysis and muscle fat oxidation rate seem to be higher in fasting than in fed state. On the other hand, glucose metabolism is adapted in order to save glycogen stores, possibly through gluconeogenesis activation. Finally, it has been observed that protein degradation is mainly downregulated. Only one study analyses changes in body composition after fasting during long periods, thus further work is necessary to demonstrate that this is the best method to control body fat. Copyright AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2014. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.

  1. 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 .

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Jia

    2017-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Tracking the Reorganization of Module Structure in Time-Varying Weighted Brain Functional Connectivity Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Christoph; Piper, Diana; Pester, Britta; Mierau, Andreas; Witte, Herbert

    2018-05-01

    Identification of module structure in brain functional networks is a promising way to obtain novel insights into neural information processing, as modules correspond to delineated brain regions in which interactions are strongly increased. Tracking of network modules in time-varying brain functional networks is not yet commonly considered in neuroscience despite its potential for gaining an understanding of the time evolution of functional interaction patterns and associated changing degrees of functional segregation and integration. We introduce a general computational framework for extracting consensus partitions from defined time windows in sequences of weighted directed edge-complete networks and show how the temporal reorganization of the module structure can be tracked and visualized. Part of the framework is a new approach for computing edge weight thresholds for individual networks based on multiobjective optimization of module structure quality criteria as well as an approach for matching modules across time steps. By testing our framework using synthetic network sequences and applying it to brain functional networks computed from electroencephalographic recordings of healthy subjects that were exposed to a major balance perturbation, we demonstrate the framework's potential for gaining meaningful insights into dynamic brain function in the form of evolving network modules. The precise chronology of the neural processing inferred with our framework and its interpretation helps to improve the currently incomplete understanding of the cortical contribution for the compensation of such balance perturbations.

  5. Recovery of lower limb function following 6 weeks of non-weight bearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntyre, Donna L.; Eng, Janice J.; Allen, Trevor J.

    2005-05-01

    Skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy occur following an extended period of decreased use, including space flight and limb unloading. It is also likely that affected muscles will be susceptible to a re-loading injury when they begin return to earth or weight bearing. However, there is a paucity of literature evaluating the response of human unloaded muscle to exercise and return to activity. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the soreness, function and strength response of muscle to re-loading in seven patients who were non-weight bearing for 6 weeks, compared to five healthy subjects. Function improved significantly over time for the patients but was still less than the healthy subjects over 12 weeks of physiotherapy. Concentric quadriceps muscle strength increased significantly over time for the patients. There was considerable variability in the patients' reports of muscle soreness but there were no significant changes over time or between groups.

  6. Measurement and analysis of environmental gamma radiation using the spectral weighting function method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moriuchi, Shigeru

    1991-01-01

    JAERI has developed a dose evaluation method using a NaI (Tl) scintillation detector and a spectral weighting function for low-level gamma rays in the environment. This method has the following advantages : (a) the detection efficiency is high ; (b) information on energy spectra can be used ; (c) the method is easily applied to the estimation of effective dose equivalent ; and (d) small and highly efficient instruments using this method can be produced because of recent development of IC technique. In this paper, the principle of the method, derivation of the weighting function, and the practical application of this method to the environmental measuring instruments are described. Further, the characteristics of dose rates in the urban environments examined with a portable dose rate meter using this method are briefly explained. (author)

  7. Data on body weight and liver functionality in aged rats fed an enriched strawberry diet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Giampieri

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Here, we present new original data on the effects of strawberry consumption on body weight and liver status of aged rats. Wistar rats aged 19–21 months were fed a strawberry enriched diet prepared by substituting 15% of the total calories with freeze-dried strawberry powder for two months. Body weight, plasma biomarkers of liver injury (alanine transferase, aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase and liver histological analysis were assessed. These data indicate that strawberry supplementation did not interfere with normal animal maintenance and with liver structure and functionality. For further details and experimental findings please refer to the article “Strawberry consumption improves aging-associated impairments, mitochondrial biogenesis and functionality through the AMP-Activated Protein Kinase signaling cascade” in FOOD CHEMISTRY (Giampieri et al., 2017 [1].

  8. Stress intensity factors and weight functions for cracks in front of notches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fett, T.

    1993-12-01

    The knowledge of stress intensity factors for cracks at notch roots is important for the fracture mechanical treatment of real components. Stress intensity factor solutions are available only for special notches and externally applied loads. For the treatment of more complex loadings as thermal stresses near the notch root the weight function is needed in addition. In the first part of this report weight functions for cracks in front of internal notches are derived from stress intensity factor solutions under external loading available in the literature. The second part deals with cracks in front of edge notches. Limit cases of stress intensity factors are derived which allow to estimate stress intensity factors for cracks in front of internal elliptical notches with arbitrary aspect ratio of the ellipse and for external notches. (orig.) [de

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

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, J. R.; Mantovani, W.

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Reduction theorems for weighted integral inequalities on the cone of monotone functions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gogatishvili, Amiran; Stepanov, V.D.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 68, č. 4 (2013), s. 597-664 ISSN 0036-0279 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/08/0383; GA ČR GA13-14743S Institutional support: RVO:67985840 Keywords : weighted Lebesgue space * cone of monotone functions * duality principle Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics Impact factor: 1.357, year: 2013 http://iopscience.iop.org/0036-0279/68/4/597

  11. Effect of Nutritional Supplements on Immune Function and Body Weight in Malnourished Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Lawrence J. Cheskin; Joseph Margolick; Scott Kahan; Andrea H. Mitola; Kavita H. Poddar; Tricia Nilles; Sanjivani Kolge; Frederick Menendez; Michelande Ridoré; Shing-Jung Wang; Jacob Chou; Eve Carlson

    2010-01-01

    In the United States, approximately 5% of the population is malnourished or has low body weight, which can adversely affect immune function. Malnutrition is more prevalent in older adults and is often a result of energy imbalance from various causes. Dietary supplementation to promote positive energy balance can reverse malnutrition, but has not been assessed for its effect on immune parameters. This 8-week clinical feeding trial evaluated the effect of a commercially available, high-protein,...

  12. Functions of Uni- and Multi-citations: Implications for Weighted Citation Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dangzhi Zhao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: (1 To test basic assumptions underlying frequency-weighted citation analysis: (a Uni-citations correspond to citations that are nonessential to the citing papers; (b The influence of a cited paper on the citing paper increases with the frequency with which it is cited in the citing paper. (2 To explore the degree to which citation location may be used to help identify nonessential citations. Design/methodology/approach: Each of the in-text citations in all research articles published in Issue 1 of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST 2016 was manually classified into one of these five categories: Applied, Contrastive, Supportive, Reviewed, and Perfunctory. The distributions of citations at different in-text frequencies and in different locations in the text by these functions were analyzed. Findings: Filtering out nonessential citations before assigning weight is important for frequency-weighted citation analysis. For this purpose, removing citations by location is more effective than re-citation analysis that simply removes uni-citations. Removing all citation occurrences in the Background and Literature Review sections and uni-citations in the Introduction section appears to provide a good balance between filtration and error rates. Research limitations: This case study suffers from the limitation of scalability and generalizability. We took careful measures to reduce the impact of other limitations of the data collection approach used. Relying on the researcher’s judgment to attribute citation functions, this approach is unobtrusive but speculative, and can suffer from a low degree of confidence, thus creating reliability concerns. Practical implications: Weighted citation analysis promises to improve citation analysis for research evaluation, knowledge network analysis, knowledge representation, and information retrieval. The present study showed the importance of filtering out nonessential

  13. 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.

  14. Isoeffective dose: a concept for biological weighting of absorbed dose in proton and heavier-ion therapies

    CERN Document Server

    Wambersie, A; Menzel, H G; Gahbauer, R; DeLuca, P M; Hendry, J H; Jones, D T L

    2011-01-01

    When reporting radiation therapy procedures, International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) recommends specifying absorbed dose at/in all clinically relevant points and/or volumes. In addition, treatment conditions should be reported as completely as possible in order to allow full understanding and interpretation of the treatment prescription. However, the clinical outcome does not only depend on absorbed dose but also on a number of other factors such as dose per fraction, overall treatment time and radiation quality radiation biology effectiveness (RBE). Therefore, weighting factors have to be applied when different types of treatments are to be compared or to be combined. This had led to the concept of `isoeffective absorbed dose', introduced by ICRU and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The isoeffective dose D(IsoE) is the dose of a treatment carried out under reference conditions producing the same clinical effects on the target volume as those of the actual treatment. It i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Highest weight generating functions for hyperKähler T{sup ⋆}(G/H) spaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanany, Amihay [Theoretical Physics Group, Imperial College London,Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Ramgoolam, Sanjaye [Centre for Research in String Theory,School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom); Rodriguez-Gomez, Diego [Department of Physics, Universidad de Oviedo,Avda. Calvo Sotelo 18, 33007, Oviedo (Spain)

    2016-10-05

    We develop an efficient procedure for counting holomorphic functions on a hyperKahler cone that has a resolution as a cotangent bundle of a homogeneous space by providing a formula for computing the corresponding Highest Weight Generating function.

  17. Liver volume in thalassaemia major: relationship with body weight, serum ferritin, and liver function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chan Yuleung; Law Manyee; Howard, Robert [Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Organ Imaging, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong (China); Li Chikong; Chik Kiwai [Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Paediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong (China)

    2005-02-01

    It is not known whether body weight alone can adjust for the volume of liver in the calculation of the chelating dose in {beta}-thalassaemia major patients, who frequently have iron overload and hepatitis. The hypothesis is that liver volume in children and adolescents suffering from {beta}-thalassaemia major is affected by ferritin level and liver function. Thirty-five {beta}-thalassaemia major patients aged 7-18 years and 35 age- and sex-matched controls had liver volume measured by MRI. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and ferritin levels were obtained in the thalassaemia major patients. Body weight explained 65 and 86% of the change in liver volume in {beta}-thalassaemia major patients and age-matched control subjects, respectively. Liver volume/kilogram body weight was significantly higher (P<0.001) in thalassaemia major patients than in control subjects. There was a significant correlation between ALT level and liver volume/kilogram body weight (r=0.55, P=0.001). Patients with elevated ALT had significantly higher liver volume/kilogram body weight (mean 42.9{+-}12 cm{sup 3}/kg) than control subjects (mean 23.4{+-}3.6 cm{sup 3}/kg) and patients with normal ALT levels (mean 27.4{+-}3.6 cm{sup 3}/kg). Body weight is the most important single factor for liver-volume changes in thalassaemia major patients, but elevated ALT also has a significant role. Direct liver volume measurement for chelation dose adjustment may be advantageous in patients with elevated ALT. (orig.)

  18. 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, ...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1986-01-01

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

  20. Memory function and hippocampal volumes in preterm born very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aanes, Synne; Bjuland, Knut Jørgen; Skranes, Jon; Løhaugen, Gro C C

    2015-01-15

    The hippocampi are regarded as core structures for learning and memory functions, which is important for daily functioning and educational achievements. Previous studies have linked reduction in hippocampal volume to working memory problems in very low birth weight (VLBW; ≤ 1500 g) children and reduced general cognitive ability in VLBW adolescents. However, the relationship between memory function and hippocampal volume has not been described in VLBW subjects reaching adulthood. The aim of the study was to investigate memory function and hippocampal volume in VLBW young adults, both in relation to perinatal risk factors and compared to term born controls, and to look for structure-function relationships. Using Wechsler Memory Scale-III and MRI, we included 42 non-disabled VLBW and 61 control individuals at age 19-20 years, and related our findings to perinatal risk factors in the VLBW-group. The VLBW young adults achieved lower scores on several subtests of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III, resulting in lower results in the immediate memory indices (visual and auditory), the working memory index, and in the visual delayed and general memory delayed indices, but not in the auditory delayed and auditory recognition delayed indices. The VLBW group had smaller absolute and relative hippocampal volumes than the controls. In the VLBW group inferior memory function, especially for the working memory index, was related to smaller hippocampal volume, and both correlated with lower birth weight and more days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Our results may indicate a structural-functional relationship in the VLBW group due to aberrant hippocampal development and functioning after preterm birth. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Cognitive function predicts 24-month weight loss success after bariatric surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Alosco, Michael; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael; Cohen, Ronald; Paul, Robert; Crosby, Ross D; Mitchell, James E; Gunstad, John

    2013-01-01

    Clinically significant cognitive impairment, particularly in attention/executive and memory function, is found in many patients undergoing bariatric surgery. These difficulties have previously been linked to decreased weight loss 12 months after surgery, but more protracted examination of this relationship has not yet been conducted. The present study prospectively examined the independent contribution of cognitive function to weight loss 24 months after bariatric surgery. Given the rapid rate of cognitive improvement observed after surgery, postoperative cognitive function (i.e., cognition 12 weeks after surgery, controlling for baseline cognition) was expected to predict lower body mass index (BMI) and higher percent total weight loss (%WL) at 24-month follow-up. Data were collected by 3 sites of the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) parent project. Fifty-seven individuals enrolled in the LABS project who were undergoing bariatric surgery completed cognitive evaluation at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 months. BMI and %WL were calculated for 24-month postoperative follow-up. Better cognitive function 12 weeks after surgery predicted higher %WL and lower BMI at 24 months, and specific domains of attention/executive and memory function were robustly related to decreased BMI and greater %WL at 24 months. Results show that cognitive performance shortly after bariatric surgery predicts greater long-term %WL and lower BMI 24 months after bariatric surgery. Further work is needed to clarify the degree to which this relationship is mediated by adherence to postoperative guidelines. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Boundary values of functions in a Sobolev space with Muckenhoupt weight on some non-Lipschitz domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyulenev, A. I.

    2014-08-01

    This paper gives an explicit description of the traces of functions in a weighted Sobolev space (with local Muckenhoupt weight) on the domain lying between two graphs of Lipschitz functions and on the complement of the closure of this domain. Bibliography: 11 titles.

  3. Liver volume in thalassaemia major: relationship with body weight, serum ferritin, and liver function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chan Yuleung; Law Manyee; Howard, Robert; Li Chikong; Chik Kiwai

    2005-01-01

    It is not known whether body weight alone can adjust for the volume of liver in the calculation of the chelating dose in β-thalassaemia major patients, who frequently have iron overload and hepatitis. The hypothesis is that liver volume in children and adolescents suffering from β-thalassaemia major is affected by ferritin level and liver function. Thirty-five β-thalassaemia major patients aged 7-18 years and 35 age- and sex-matched controls had liver volume measured by MRI. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and ferritin levels were obtained in the thalassaemia major patients. Body weight explained 65 and 86% of the change in liver volume in β-thalassaemia major patients and age-matched control subjects, respectively. Liver volume/kilogram body weight was significantly higher (P 3 /kg) than control subjects (mean 23.4±3.6 cm 3 /kg) and patients with normal ALT levels (mean 27.4±3.6 cm 3 /kg). Body weight is the most important single factor for liver-volume changes in thalassaemia major patients, but elevated ALT also has a significant role. Direct liver volume measurement for chelation dose adjustment may be advantageous in patients with elevated ALT. (orig.)

  4. Surrogate-assisted identification of influences of network construction on evolving weighted functional networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahn, Kirsten; Lehnertz, Klaus

    2017-12-01

    We aim at identifying factors that may affect the characteristics of evolving weighted networks derived from empirical observations. To this end, we employ various chains of analysis that are often used in field studies for a data-driven derivation and characterization of such networks. As an example, we consider fully connected, weighted functional brain networks before, during, and after epileptic seizures that we derive from multichannel electroencephalographic data recorded from epilepsy patients. For these evolving networks, we estimate clustering coefficient and average shortest path length in a time-resolved manner. Lastly, we make use of surrogate concepts that we apply at various levels of the chain of analysis to assess to what extent network characteristics are dominated by properties of the electroencephalographic recordings and/or the evolving weighted networks, which may be accessible more easily. We observe that characteristics are differently affected by the unavoidable referencing of the electroencephalographic recording, by the time-series-analysis technique used to derive the properties of network links, and whether or not networks were normalized. Importantly, for the majority of analysis settings, we observe temporal evolutions of network characteristics to merely reflect the temporal evolutions of mean interaction strengths. Such a property of the data may be accessible more easily, which would render the weighted network approach—as used here—as an overly complicated description of simple aspects of the data.

  5. Diet-Induced Weight Loss Alters Functional Brain Responses during an Episodic Memory Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan; Stomby, Andreas; Ryberg, Mats; Lindahl, Bernt; Larsson, Christel; Nyberg, Lars; Olsson, Tommy

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that overweight is negatively associated with cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a reduction in body weight by dietary interventions could improve episodic memory performance and alter associated functional brain responses in overweight and obese women. 20 overweight postmenopausal women were randomized to either a modified paleolithic diet or a standard diet adhering to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations for 6 months. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain function during an episodic memory task as well as anthropometric and biochemical data before and after the interventions. Episodic memory performance improved significantly (p = 0.010) after the dietary interventions. Concomitantly, brain activity increased in the anterior part of the right hippocampus during memory encoding, without differences between diets. This was associated with decreased levels of plasma free fatty acids (FFA). Brain activity increased in pre-frontal cortex and superior/middle temporal gyri. The magnitude of increase correlated with waist circumference reduction. During episodic retrieval, brain activity decreased in inferior and middle frontal gyri, and increased in middle/superior temporal gyri. Diet-induced weight loss, associated with decreased levels of plasma FFA, improves episodic memory linked to increased hippocampal activity. © 2015 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.

  6. Diet-Induced Weight Loss Alters Functional Brain Responses during an Episodic Memory Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl-Johan Boraxbekk

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: It has been suggested that overweight is negatively associated with cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a reduction in body weight by dietary interventions could improve episodic memory performance and alter associated functional brain responses in overweight and obese women. Methods: 20 overweight postmenopausal women were randomized to either a modified paleolithic diet or a standard diet adhering to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations for 6 months. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain function during an episodic memory task as well as anthropometric and biochemical data before and after the interventions. Results: Episodic memory performance improved significantly (p = 0.010 after the dietary interventions. Concomitantly, brain activity increased in the anterior part of the right hippocampus during memory encoding, without differences between diets. This was associated with decreased levels of plasma free fatty acids (FFA. Brain activity increased in pre-frontal cortex and superior/middle temporal gyri. The magnitude of increase correlated with waist circumference reduction. During episodic retrieval, brain activity decreased in inferior and middle frontal gyri, and increased in middle/superior temporal gyri. Conclusions: Diet-induced weight loss, associated with decreased levels of plasma FFA, improves episodic memory linked to increased hippocampal activity.

  7. Low birth weight young adults: quality of life, academic achievements and social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odberg, Morten Duus; Elgen, Irene Bircow

    2011-02-01

    To compare the quality of life (QOL), academic achievements and social functioning of 134 non-handicapped low birth weight (LBW, birth weight 3000 g) young adults. Population-based longitudinal follow-up study. The Norwegian version of the originally US child health questionnaire, child form 87 (CHQ-CF87), a generic health instrument was applied to measure different physical and psychosocial concepts of QOL. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were applied to the cohort to register different aspects of social functioning and academic performance. The LBW group reported well-being in the different aspects of QOL. The LBW group was socially well functioning. The college attendance was similar in the two groups, but more LBW young adults had dropped out of school or attended individually adjusted classes. Performance in mathematics for the LBW women attending academic college was lower. With this exception, the academic performance was comparable in the two groups. Except a somewhat higher rate of school dropouts, the overall outcome of school performance, QOL and social functioning in the LBW young adults was comparable to that of the NBW control group. © 2011 The Author(s)/Acta Paediatrica © 2011 Foundation Acta Paediatrica.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, S J

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Functional nanostructured platforms for chemical and biological sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Létant, S. E.

    2006-05-01

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

  15. Biological factors of natural and artificial ecosystems stable (unstable) functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nikolai S.

    The problem of sustainable development of humanity on Earth and the problem of supporting human life in space have the same scientific and methodological bases. The key to solve both problems is a long term maintenance of balanced material cycle. As a whole, natural or artificial ecosystems are to be more closed than open, but their elements (links of systems) are to be substantially open in interactions with each other. Prolonged stable interactions of different links have to have unique joint results - closed material cycling or biotic turnover. It is necessary to include, at least, three types of main links into any system to support real material cycling: producers, consumers, reducers. Producer links are now under studies in many laboratories. It is evident that the higher productivity of link, the lower link stability. Especially, it concerns with parasite impact to plants. As usual, artificial ecosystems are more simple (incomplete) than natural ecosystems, sometimes, they have not enough links for prolonged stable functioning. For example, life support system for space flight can be incomplete in consumer link, having only some crew persons, instead of interacting populations of consumers. As for reducer link, it is necessary to "organize" a special coordinated work of microbial biocenoses to fulfill proper cycling. Possible evolution of links, their self development is a matter of special attention for the maintenance of prolonged stable functioning. It's the most danger for systems with populations of quickly reproducing, so-called, R - strategists, according to symbols of logistic equation. From another side, quick reproduction of R - strategists is able to increase artificial ecosystems and their links functioning. After some damages of system, R - strategist's link can be quickly "self repaired" up to level of normal functioning. Some experimental data of this kind and mathematical models are to be discussed in the paper. This work is supported by

  16. Kindergarten classroom functioning of extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Taylor; Taylor, H Gerry; Klein, Nancy; Espy, Kimberly A; Anselmo, Marcia G; Minich, Nori; Hack, Maureen

    2014-12-01

    Cognitive, behavioral, and learning problems are evident in extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight (EPT/ELBW, <28 weeks gestational age or <1000 g) children by early school age. However, we know little about how they function within the classroom once they start school. To determine how EPT/ELBW children function in kindergarten classrooms compared to termborn normal birth weight (NBW) classmates and identify factors related to difficulties in classroom functioning. A 2001-2003 birth cohort of 111 EPT/ELBW children and 110 NBW classmate controls were observed in regular kindergarten classrooms during a 1-hour instructional period using a time-sample method. The groups were compared on frequencies of individual teacher attention, competing or offtask behaviors, task management/preparation, and academic responding. Regression analysis was also conducted within the EPT/ELBW group to examine associations of these measures with neonatal and developmental risk factors, kindergarten neuropsychological and behavioral assessments, and classroom characteristics. The EPT/ELBW group received more individual teacher attention and was more often off-task than the NBW controls. Poorer classroom functioning in the EPT/ELBW group was associated with higher neonatal and developmental risk, poorer executive function skills, more negative teaching ratings of behavior and learning progress, and classroom characteristics. EPT/ELBW children require more teacher support and are less able to engage in instructional activities than their NBW classmates. Associations of classroom functioning with developmental history and cognitive and behavioral traits suggest that these factors may be useful in identifying the children most in need of special educational interventions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The impact of birth weight on the level of lung function and lung function decline in the general adult population. The Inter99 study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baumann, Sophie; Godtfredsen, Nina Skavlan; Lange, Peter

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Previous studies have reported an association between low birth weight and low adult lung function, but findings have not been consistent. The aim of this study was to investigate whether birth weight is associated with both the level and the decline in adult lung function in general......'s age at birth, parity, prematurity, multiple pregnancy, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors and lung symptoms as covariates. RESULTS: Birth weight was positively associated with spirometric variables. For a 1 kg increase in birth weight, FEV1 increased by 86 ml (CI95%: 34-139) and FVC by 88 ml (CI95......1 and FVC. CONCLUSION: Low birth weight was significantly associated with lower adult FEV1 and FVC but not with the decline in these variables during a 5-year observation. Although FEV1/FVC ratio was not related to birth weight, persons with low birth weight experienced a steeper decline...

  18. Determining importance weighting functions for Contributon theory eigenvalue sensitivity coefficient methodologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perfetti, C.; Martin, W.; Rearden, B.; Williams, M.

    2012-01-01

    This study introduced two new approaches for calculating the F*(r) importance weighting function for Contributon and CLUTCH eigenvalue sensitivity coefficient calculations, and compared them in terms of accuracy and applicability. The necessary levels of F*(r) mesh refinement and mesh convergence for obtaining accurate eigenvalue sensitivity coefficients were determined for two preliminary problems through two parametric studies, and the results of these studies suggest that a sufficiently accurate F*(r) mesh for calculating eigenvalue sensitivity coefficients can be obtained for these problems with only a small increase in problem runtime. (authors)

  19. Socioeconomic position in early life, birth weight, childhood cognitive function, and adult mortality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Osler, M; Andersen, A-M N; Due, P

    2003-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the relation between socioeconomic position in early life and mortality in young adulthood, taking birth weight and childhood cognitive function into account. DESIGN: A longitudinal study with record linkage to the Civil Registration System and Cause of Death Registry....... The data were analysed using Cox regression. SETTING: The metropolitan area of Copenhagen, Denmark. SUBJECTS: 7493 male singletons born in 1953, who completed a questionnaire with various cognitive measures, in school at age 12 years, and for whom birth certificates with data on birth and parental...

  20. Determining importance weighting functions for Contributon theory eigenvalue sensitivity coefficient methodologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perfetti, C.; Martin, W. [Univ. of Michigan, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, 2355 Bonisteel Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2104 (United States); Rearden, B.; Williams, M. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Reactor and Nuclear Systems Div., Bldg. 5700, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6170 (United States)

    2012-07-01

    This study introduced two new approaches for calculating the F*(r) importance weighting function for Contributon and CLUTCH eigenvalue sensitivity coefficient calculations, and compared them in terms of accuracy and applicability. The necessary levels of F*(r) mesh refinement and mesh convergence for obtaining accurate eigenvalue sensitivity coefficients were determined for two preliminary problems through two parametric studies, and the results of these studies suggest that a sufficiently accurate F*(r) mesh for calculating eigenvalue sensitivity coefficients can be obtained for these problems with only a small increase in problem runtime. (authors)

  1. Calculation of ex-core detector weighting functions for a sodium-cooled tru burner mockup using MCNP5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pham Nhu Viet Ha; Min Jae Lee; Sunghwan Yun; Sang Ji Kim

    2015-01-01

    Power regulation systems of fast reactors are based on the signals of excore detectors. The excore detector weighting functions, which establish correspondence between the core power distribution and detector signal, are very useful for detector response analyses, e.g., in rod drop experiments. This paper presents the calculation of the weighting functions for a TRU burner mockup of the Korean Prototype Generation-IV Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (named BFS-76-1A) using the MCNP5 multi-group adjoint capability. For generation of the weighting functions, all fuel assemblies were considered and each of them was divided into ten horizontal layers. Then the weighting functions for individual fuel assembly horizontal layers, the assembly weighting functions, and the shape annealing functions at RCP (Reactor Critical Point) and at conditions under which a control rod group was fully inserted into the core while other control rods at RCP were determined and evaluated. The results indicate that the weighting functions can be considered relatively insensitive to the control rods position during the rod drop experiments and therefore those weighting values at RCP can be applied to the dynamic rod worth simulation for the BFS-76-1A. (author)

  2. Resolving Anatomical and Functional Structure in Human Brain Organization: Identifying Mesoscale Organization in Weighted Network Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Christian; Bassett, Danielle S.; Lim, Kelvin O.; Carlson, Jean M.

    2014-01-01

    Human brain anatomy and function display a combination of modular and hierarchical organization, suggesting the importance of both cohesive structures and variable resolutions in the facilitation of healthy cognitive processes. However, tools to simultaneously probe these features of brain architecture require further development. We propose and apply a set of methods to extract cohesive structures in network representations of brain connectivity using multi-resolution techniques. We employ a combination of soft thresholding, windowed thresholding, and resolution in community detection, that enable us to identify and isolate structures associated with different weights. One such mesoscale structure is bipartivity, which quantifies the extent to which the brain is divided into two partitions with high connectivity between partitions and low connectivity within partitions. A second, complementary mesoscale structure is modularity, which quantifies the extent to which the brain is divided into multiple communities with strong connectivity within each community and weak connectivity between communities. Our methods lead to multi-resolution curves of these network diagnostics over a range of spatial, geometric, and structural scales. For statistical comparison, we contrast our results with those obtained for several benchmark null models. Our work demonstrates that multi-resolution diagnostic curves capture complex organizational profiles in weighted graphs. We apply these methods to the identification of resolution-specific characteristics of healthy weighted graph architecture and altered connectivity profiles in psychiatric disease. PMID:25275860

  3. Functional evaluation of the kidney by diffusion-weighted MR imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Taro; Hasegawa, Norio; Irie, Takeo; Fukuda, Kunihiko

    2003-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and diffuse renal disease by diffusion-weighted echo planar magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (EPI). Ten volunteers, seven patients with chronic renal failure and eighteen recipients of renal transplants were examined with diffusion-weighted EPI. We compared renal function (serum creatinine level) with provided ADC value. The average ADC values were 2.63 x 10 -3 mm 2 /sec for the whole kidney, 2.67 x 10 -3 mm 2 /sec for the cortex and 2.61 x 10 -3 mm 2 /sec for the medulla in normal kidneys. ADC values in the whole kidney, the cortex and the medulla in chronic renal failure were significantly lower than those for normal kidneys. In renal transplantation kidneys, the ADC values in the cortex were significantly lower than those for normal kidney. There was a linear correlation between ADC value and serum creatinine level. Our results show that diffusion-weighted MR imaging may be useful to identify renal dysfunction. (author)

  4. Effect of Nutritional Supplements on Immune Function and Body Weight in Malnourished Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence J. cheskin

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In the United States, approximately 5% of the population is malnourished or has low body weight, which can adversely affect immune function. Malnutrition is more prevalent in older adults and is often a result of energy imbalance from various causes. Dietary supplementation to promote positive energy balance can reverse malnutrition, but has not been assessed for its effect on immune parameters. This 8-week clinical feeding trial evaluated the effect of a commercially available, high-protein, high-energy formula on body weight and immune parameters in 30 adult volunteers with body-mass indices (BMI <21 kg/m 2 . After the intervention, participants gained a mean of 3.74 lbs and increased BMI by 0.58 kg/m 2 . The intervention improved lean body mass and limited body fat accumulation. However, no clinically significant improvements in immune measures were observed. These results support the use of high-protein, high-energy supplements in the treatment of underweight/malnutrition. Further investigation utilizing feeding studies of longer duration, and/or studying severely malnourished individuals may be needed to detect an effect on immune parameters of weight gain promoted by nutritional supplements.

  5. 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.

  6. Development of biological functional material and product from Nelumbo nucifera

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Il Yun; Park, Yong Dae; Jin, Chang Hyun; Choi, Dae Seong

    2008-01-01

    The solvent extracts of Nelumbo nucifera G. were investigated for the activities of antioxidant, whitening, anti-wrinkle and antimicrobial effects to apply as a functional ingredient for cosmetic products. The electron donating ability of irradiated NN-L extract was above 85% at the concentration of 50ppm. The superoxide dismutase(SOD)-like activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 76% at 1,000ppm concentration. The xanthine oxidase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 15% at 1,000ppm. The tyrosinase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 18% at 1,000ppm. Anti-wrinkle effect, the elastase inhibition activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 45% at 1,000ppm concentration. All these findings suggested that Nelumbo nucifera G. has a great potential as a cosmeceutical ingredient

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Improved theory of generalized meteo-ballistic weighting factor functions and their use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Cech

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available It follows from the analysis of artillery fire errors that approximately two-thirds of the inaccuracy of indirect artillery fire is caused by inaccuracies in the determination of the meteo parameters included in fire error budget model. Trajectories calculated under non-standard conditions are considered to be perturbed. The tools utilized for the analysis of perturbed trajectories are weighting factor functions (WFFs which are a special kind of sensitivity functions. WFFs are used for calculation of meteo ballistic elements µB (ballistic wind wB, density ρB, virtual temperature τB, pressure pB as well. We have found that the existing theory of WFF calculation has several significant shortcomings. The aim of the article is to present a new, improved theory of generalized WFFs that eliminates the deficiencies found. Using this theory will improve methods for designing firing tables, fire control systems algorithms, and meteo message generation algorithms.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A new technique to improve the mechanical and biological performance of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene using a nylon coating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firouzi, Dariush; Youssef, Aya; Amer, Momen; Srouji, Rami; Amleh, Asma; Foucher, Daniel A; Bougherara, Habiba

    2014-04-01

    A new patent pending technique is proposed in this study to improve the mechanical and biological performance of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), i.e., to uniformly coat nylon onto the UHMWPE fiber (Firouzi et al., 2012). Mechanical tests were performed on neat and new nylon coated UHMWPE fibers to examine the tensile strength and creep resistance of the samples at different temperatures. Cytotoxicity and osteolysis induced by wear debris of the materials were investigated using (MTT) assay, and RT-PCR for tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) osteolysis markers. Mechanical test results showed substantial improvement in maximum creep time, maximum breaking force, and toughness values of Nylon 6,6 and Nylon 6,12 coated UHMWPE fibers between average 15% and 60% at 25, 50, and 70°C. Furthermore, cytotoxicity studies have demonstrated significant improvement in cell viability using the nylon coated UHMWPE over the neat one (72.4% vs 54.8%) for 48h and (80.7 vs 5%) for 72h (PNylon 6,6 coated UHMWPE (2.5 fold increase for TNFα at 48h, and three fold increase for IL-6 at 72h (Pnylon could be used as a novel material in clinical applications with lower cytotoxicity, less wear debris-induced osteolysis, and superior mechanical properties compared to neat UHMWPE. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Peculiarities of sexual development and reproductive function in young women with childhood onset weight problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikvaidze, N; Kristesashvili, J; Gegechkori, M

    2014-10-01

    The risks of reproductive problems are higher in underweight and overweight or obese women, especially in case of rapid weight gain or loss. But evidence is inconsistent especially in relation to the effect of age of body weight changes. The aim of the study was detection of peculiarities of sexual development and reproductive function in underweight and overweight/obese females with childhood thinness or childhood obesity. 103 young females (48 - with low BMI, 55 - with high BMI) with different reproductive problems were examined prospectively. In all investigated patients full clinical examination was held, including body mass index (BMI), type of body fat distribution (waist-to-hip ratio), age of body weight changes, assessment of hirsutism, acne, stretch marks and hyperpigmentation, menstrual disturbances and fertility problems were recorded and gynecological ultrasound was performed. There was no difference established according to the age of menarche and types of menstrual disturbances between the groups of low BMI and high BMI females (p>.05). The correlation was established between the onset of menstrual disruption and progression of changes in body mass (R=.448, p=.005). Hirsutism, stretch marks and acantosis nigricans (hyperpigmentation) were exhibited significantly more frequently in the patients with high BMI (pdistribution of acne was almost the same in the study groups (p>.05). 74.5% of overweight and obese patients had upper body fat distribution (waist-to-hip ratio > 0.8), whilst underweight patients had mostly equal (66.7%) or lower body fat distribution (31.3%) (p=.000). Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and metabolic syndrome (MS) was the most frequent in overweight and obese patients, whilst non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH) and ovarian dysfunction prevailed in the underweight females (p<.05). Infertility was mostly observed in patients with high BMI (p<.05). In conclusion, the peculiarities of sexual development and menstrual

  15. Monsplasty after massive weight loss: Assessment of its aesthetic and functional impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechevy, L; Gourari, A; Carloni, R; Sauvaget, F; Bertheuil, N; Goga, D

    2016-02-01

    Massive weight loss frequently leads to a ptosis or a pubic bulge. This deformation is a source of functional as well as aesthetic discomfort, and it also has psychological repercussions. We have analyzed the degree of satisfaction reported by 23 female patients having undergone a monsplasty procedure and have also proposed a decisional algorithm designed to facilitate surgical care according to type of pubic deformation. This is a one-year prospective study involving 23 female patients having undergone a monsplasty procedure following massive weight loss. The interventions were all carried out in standardized fashion by the same surgeon according to stage of deformation. Analysis of the patients' degree of aesthetic and functional satisfaction was performed using a questionnaire filled out during preoperative and postoperative consultations, the latter taking place 6 months to one year after the operation. It included a self-esteem assessment based on the Rosenberg scale, appraisal of functional benefits (clothing, sexual activity, daily physical activities, intimate hygiene) and evaluation of the pubis in aesthetic terms. Assessment of impact on self-esteem revealed average improvement of 10.08 points, rising from 25.87 to 35.95. All of the patients, without exception, were satisfied or very satisfied with the impact of monsplasty on the different items under evaluation. stage 3 and stage 4 patients were particularly sensitive to improvement involving personal hygiene, physical activities and the clothes they wore. In most cases, they likewise reported a positive impact on their sexual experience. Abdominoplasty or body lift without monsplasty can entail long-lasting aesthetic and functional discomfort. Thorough preoperative semiological analysis is essential to optimized surgical care conducive to successful integration of the monsplasty. An appropriate caretaking attitude enhances both the aesthetic result and patient self-esteem. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier

  16. Total ozone retrieval from GOME UV spectral data using the weighting function DOAS approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Coldewey-Egbers

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available A new algorithm approach called Weighting Function Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (WFDOAS is presented which has been developed to retrieve total ozone columns from nadir observations of the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment. By fitting the vertically integrated ozone weighting function rather than ozone cross-section to the sun-normalized radiances, a direct retrieval of vertical column amounts is possible. The new WFDOAS approach takes into account the slant path wavelength modulation that is usually neglected in the standard DOAS approach using single airmass factors. This paper focuses on the algorithm description and error analysis, while in a companion paper by Weber et al. (2004 a detailed validation with groundbased measurements is presented. For the first time several auxiliary quantities directly derived from the GOME spectral range such as cloud-top-height and cloud fraction (O2-A band and effective albedo using the Lambertian Equivalent Reflectivity (LER near 377nm are used in combination as input to the ozone retrieval. In addition the varying ozone dependent contribution to the Raman correction in scattered light known as Ring effect has been included. The molecular ozone filling-in that is accounted for in the new algorithm has the largest contribution to the improved total ozone results from WFDOAS compared to the operational product. The precision of the total ozone retrieval is estimated to be better than 3% for solar zenith angles below 80°.

  17. Effect of ankle-foot orthosis on weight bearing of chronic stroke patients performing various functional standing tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Don Kim, Kyoung; Lee, Hyun Jin; Lee, Myoung Hyo; Hwangbo, Gak

    2015-04-01

    [Purpose] This study examined how an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) influences the weight-bearing of chronic stroke patients during the performance of five functional standing tasks. [Subjects and Methods] Sixteen patients with stroke participated in this experiment. The subjects performed functional standing tasks with or without the AFO and weight bearing was measured during the tasks. [Results] Patients showed increased weight-bearing ability on the affected side during wearing the AFO in all tasks, and there were significant differences among Tasks 1, 2, and 3. Patients showed a small amount of increased weight bearing on the unaffected side while wearing the AFO in all tasks except for Task 2. [Conclusion] ADL-related functional standing tasks with AFO increased the weight bearing.

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  20. Executive functions profile in extreme eating/weight conditions: from anorexia nervosa to obesity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Fagundo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Extreme weight conditions (EWC groups along a continuum may share some biological risk factors and intermediate neurocognitive phenotypes. A core cognitive trait in EWC appears to be executive dysfunction, with a focus on decision making, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Differences between individuals in these areas are likely to contribute to the differences in vulnerability to EWC. The aim of the study was to investigate whether there is a common pattern of executive dysfunction in EWC while comparing anorexia nervosa patients (AN, obese subjects (OB and healthy eating/weight controls (HC. METHODS: Thirty five AN patients, fifty two OB and one hundred thirty seven HC were compared using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST; Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT; and Iowa Gambling Task (IGT. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years. RESULTS: There was a significant difference in IGT score (F(1.79; p<.001, with AN and OB groups showing the poorest performance compared to HC. On the WCST, AN and OB made significantly more errors than controls (F(25.73; p<.001, and had significantly fewer correct responses (F(2.71; p<.001. Post hoc analysis revealed that the two clinical groups were not significantly different from each other. Finally, OB showed a significant reduced performance in the inhibition response measured with the Stroop test (F(5.11; p<.001 compared with both AN and HC. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that EWC subjects (namely AN and OB have similar dysfunctional executive profile that may play a role in the development and maintenance of such disorders.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arashdeep; Sharma, Savita

    2017-09-22

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, J R; Mantovani, W

    2017-10-23

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

  7. 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.

  8. Thyroid function and body weight in girls with irregular menstrual cycle living in mild iodine deficiency region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Sh Vagapova

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available To establish the relation of body weight indexes and functional state of thyroid in female adolescents with menstrual cycle disorder, living in the iodine-deficiency region, the investigation was conducted in 130 female adolescents with irregular menses. Obesity incidence and overweight in them was 18.5%, body weight deficiency was 43.8%.37.7% of the girls had normal body weight. Statistically significant differences were not defined according to TSH, fT4 and fT3 in patients with different body weight indexes. So, the results of investigation can help to come to the conclusion about the absence of true correlation between body weight and functional thyroid state in female adolescents with irregular menses.

  9. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  10. The Impact of Acute Loss of Weight on Eustachian Tube Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascoto, Gabriela

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction The eustachian tube is one of the key structures responsible for the functional balance of the middle ear. Some clinical conditions associated with tubal malfunction can cause extremely unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms could be triggered by acute loss of weight, for example, after bariatric surgery. Objective To evaluate the frequency and intensity of auditory tube dysfunction symptoms in obese patients after bariatric surgery. Methods Nineteen patients with accepted formal indications for bariatric surgery underwent a hearing evaluation (otoscopy, tonal and vocal audiometry, and impedanceometry and a hearing questionnaire before, at the time of, 3 months after surgery (first postoperative evaluation, and 6 months (second postoperative evaluation after surgery. Patients with a history of ear disease or ear surgery were excluded. Results None of the patients reported tubal dysfunction symptoms before surgery. Postsurgical results showed that 5 (26.3% patients presented symptoms related to dysfunction of the eustachian tube at the first postoperative evaluation. After the 6-month follow-up, 9 (47.3% patients reported symptoms of tubal dysfunction. Conclusion This study suggests that bariatric surgery can cause symptoms of eustachian tube dysfunction, probably due to rapid weight loss and the consequent loss of peritubal fat.

  11. Evaluation of renal function with dynamic MRI-T2-weighted gradient echo technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kato, Katsuya

    1995-01-01

    To evaluate the usefulness of dynamic MRI of kidneys in healthy volunteers and patients with different 24-hour creatinine clearance (Ccr) levels, a dynamic study that employed the T2 weighted gradient echo technique (FLASH: TR/TE=34/25 msec, flip angle= 20 degrees) with single images during breathhold was performed on 10 healthy volunteers and 35 patients, all examined for the Ccr and suspected of having renal parenchymal disease after a phantom study. T1-weighted and dynamic MR imagings were obtained with a 1.5T imager. I analyzed the time-intensity curve of renal cortex and medulla, and defined a cortex decreased ratio (CDR) and medulla decreased ratio (MDR) in comparison with the Ccr. The cortico-medullary difference ratio (CMDR) of T1WI was also compared with the Ccr. The parameters of the T2 dynamic MRI study (CDR, MDR) better correlated with the Ccr than CMDR. Renal function can be quantitatively evaluated with the T2 dynamic MRI and there is a possibility that we can qualitatively evaluate the renal dysfunction and estimate its cause. (author)

  12. Modeling production functions and economic weights in intensive meat production of guinea pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual, Mariam; Cruz, Danny Julio; Blasco, Agustín

    2017-10-01

    A profit function for a typical commercial farm of intensive guinea pig production was designed. The simulated farm contained 86 cages with a ratio of 7:1 females/males, with continuous mating. Kits were weaned at 15 days of age and slaughtered for meat production at 90 days of age. The absolute (EW) and relative economic weights of the main traits were calculated. The highest EW were kits produced per kindling (US$25), kits weaned per kindling (US$22), kits born alive per kindling (US$20), and the number of kindlings per female and year (US$12). Profit, returns, and costs per female and year were US$15, 68, and 53, respectively. Returns came from the production of young guinea pigs and discarded reproductive adults for meat production, 90 and 10% of the total returns. The highest costs were feeding and labor, 44 and 23% of the total cost. The EW and profit did not substantially change when simulating variations of ±20% in the prices of kilograms of fattening feed and kilograms of live weight of guinea pig, showing their robustness to future variations in market prices or to variations in prices between countries. The results obtained highlight the importance of the feeding costs in the guinea pig meat production.

  13. Chronic kidney disease: Pathological and functional evaluation with intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Wei; Zhou, Jianjun; Zeng, Mengsu; Ding, Yuqin; Qu, Lijie; Chen, Caizhong; Ding, Xiaoqiang; Wang, Yaqiong; Fu, Caixia

    2018-05-01

    Because chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide problem, accurate pathological and functional evaluation is required for planning treatment and follow-up. Intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging (IVIM-DWI) can assess both capillary perfusion and tissue diffusion and may be helpful in evaluating renal function and pathology. To evaluate functional and pathological alterations in CKD by applying IVIM-DWI. Prospective study. In all, 72 CKD patients who required renal biopsy and 20 healthy volunteers. 1.5T. All subjects underwent IVIM-DWI of the kidneys, and image analysis was performed by two radiologists. The mean values of true diffusion coefficient (D), pseudo diffusion coefficient (D*), and perfusion fraction (f) were acquired from renal parenchyma. Correlation between IVIM-DWI parameters and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), as well as pathological damage, were assessed. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), paired sample t-test and Spearman correlation analysis. The paired sample t-test revealed that IVIM-DWI parameters were significantly lower in medulla than cortex for both patients and controls (P Imaging 2018;47:1251-1259. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  14. Surface functionalization of solid state ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene through chemical grafting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherazi, Tauqir A.; Rehman, Tayyiba; Naqvi, Syed Ali Raza; Shaikh, Ahson Jabbar; Shahzad, Sohail Anjum; Abbas, Ghazanfar; Raza, Rizwan; Waseem, Amir

    2015-12-01

    The surface of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) powder was functionalized with styrene using chemical grafting technique. The grafting process was initiated through radical generation on base polymer matrix in the solid state by sodium thiosulfate, while peroxides formed at radical sites during this process were dissociated by ceric ammonium nitrate. Various factors were optimized and reasonably high level of monomer grafting was achieved, i.e., 15.6%. The effect of different acids as additive and divinyl benzene (DVB) as a cross-linking agent was also studied. Post-grafting sulfonation was conducted to introduce the ionic moieties to the grafted polymer. Ion-exchange capacity (IEC) was measured experimentally and is found to be 1.04 meq g-1, which is in close agreement with the theoretical IEC values. The chemical structure of grafted and functionalized polymer was characterized by attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and thermal properties were investigated by thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Thermal analysis depicts that the presence of radicals on the polymer chain accelerates the thermal decomposition process. The results signify that the chemical grafting is an effective tool for substantial surface modification and subsequent functionalization of polyethylene.

  15. Atherosclerosis and cardiac function assessment in low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice undergoing body weight cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillen, T S; Minami, E; Leboeuf, R C

    2013-06-24

    Obesity has become an epidemic in many countries and is supporting a billion dollar industry involved in promoting weight loss through diet, exercise and surgical procedures. Because of difficulties in maintaining body weight reduction, a pattern of weight cycling often occurs (so called 'yo-yo' dieting) that may result in deleterious outcomes to health. There is controversy about cardiovascular benefits of yo-yo dieting, and an animal model is needed to better understand the contributions of major diet and body weight changes on heart and vascular functions. Our purpose is to determine the effects of weight cycling on cardiac function and atherosclerosis development in a mouse model. We used low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice due to their sensitivity to metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases when fed high-fat diets. Alternating ad libitum feeding of high-fat and low-fat (rodent chow) diets was used to instigate weight cycling during a 29-week period. Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity tests were done at 22 and 24 weeks, echocardiograms at 25 weeks and atherosclerosis and plasma lipoproteins assessed at 29 weeks. Mice subjected to weight cycling showed improvements in glucose homeostasis during the weight loss cycle. Weight-cycled mice showed a reduction in the severity of atherosclerosis as compared with high-fat diet-fed mice. However, atherosclerosis still persisted in weight-cycled mice as compared with mice fed rodent chow. Cardiac function was impaired in weight-cycled mice and matched with that of mice fed only the high-fat diet. This model provides an initial structure in which to begin detailed studies of diet, calorie restriction and surgical modifications on energy balance and metabolic diseases. This model also shows differential effects of yo-yo dieting on metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.

  16. Weighted-density functional approach for the solid-liquid interfaces in electrolytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cherepanova, T.A.; Stekolnikov, A.V.

    1991-09-01

    A weighted-density functional method is proposed to describe the atomic structure of the crystal-melt interface in electrolytes based on a charged-hard-sphere model of salt. The contribution of long-range Coulomb interaction is taken into account in the field formulation: the electrostatic field potential is determined from the Poisson equation. The ion density profiles and crystalline order parameter at the crystal-melt interface in the 1:1 symmetric electrolytes are calculated. The structurization of liquid near the solid surface is described. The results are compared to those for the neutral hard sphere system. The impurity distributions of extremely small concentrations are calculated both for the neutral and charged hard sphere systems. (author). 24 refs, 6 figs, 1 tab

  17. Forecasting business cycle with chaotic time series based on neural network with weighted fuzzy membership functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chai, Soo H.; Lim, Joon S.

    2016-01-01

    This study presents a forecasting model of cyclical fluctuations of the economy based on the time delay coordinate embedding method. The model uses a neuro-fuzzy network called neural network with weighted fuzzy membership functions (NEWFM). The preprocessed time series of the leading composite index using the time delay coordinate embedding method are used as input data to the NEWFM to forecast the business cycle. A comparative study is conducted using other methods based on wavelet transform and Principal Component Analysis for the performance comparison. The forecasting results are tested using a linear regression analysis to compare the approximation of the input data against the target class, gross domestic product (GDP). The chaos based model captures nonlinear dynamics and interactions within the system, which other two models ignore. The test results demonstrated that chaos based method significantly improved the prediction capability, thereby demonstrating superior performance to the other methods.

  18. Sea Surface Temperature Modeling using Radial Basis Function Networks With a Dynamically Weighted Particle Filter

    KAUST Repository

    Ryu, Duchwan

    2013-03-01

    The sea surface temperature (SST) is an important factor of the earth climate system. A deep understanding of SST is essential for climate monitoring and prediction. In general, SST follows a nonlinear pattern in both time and location and can be modeled by a dynamic system which changes with time and location. In this article, we propose a radial basis function network-based dynamic model which is able to catch the nonlinearity of the data and propose to use the dynamically weighted particle filter to estimate the parameters of the dynamic model. We analyze the SST observed in the Caribbean Islands area after a hurricane using the proposed dynamic model. Comparing to the traditional grid-based approach that requires a supercomputer due to its high computational demand, our approach requires much less CPU time and makes real-time forecasting of SST doable on a personal computer. Supplementary materials for this article are available online. © 2013 American Statistical Association.

  19. Composite Structural Motifs of Binding Sites for Delineating Biological Functions of Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinjo, Akira R.; Nakamura, Haruki

    2012-01-01

    Most biological processes are described as a series of interactions between proteins and other molecules, and interactions are in turn described in terms of atomic structures. To annotate protein functions as sets of interaction states at atomic resolution, and thereby to better understand the relation between protein interactions and biological functions, we conducted exhaustive all-against-all atomic structure comparisons of all known binding sites for ligands including small molecules, proteins and nucleic acids, and identified recurring elementary motifs. By integrating the elementary motifs associated with each subunit, we defined composite motifs that represent context-dependent combinations of elementary motifs. It is demonstrated that function similarity can be better inferred from composite motif similarity compared to the similarity of protein sequences or of individual binding sites. By integrating the composite motifs associated with each protein function, we define meta-composite motifs each of which is regarded as a time-independent diagrammatic representation of a biological process. It is shown that meta-composite motifs provide richer annotations of biological processes than sequence clusters. The present results serve as a basis for bridging atomic structures to higher-order biological phenomena by classification and integration of binding site structures. PMID:22347478

  20. Functional imaging of parotid glands: Diffusion-weighted echo-planar MRI before and after stimulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habermann, C.R.; Cramer, M.C.; Gossrau, P.; Adam, G. [University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany). Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology; Graessner, J. [Siemens AG, Hamburg (Germany). Medical Solutions; Reitmeier, F.; Jaehne, M. [University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany). Department of Oto-, Rhino-, Laryngology; Fiehler, J. [University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany). Department of Neuroradiology; Schoder, V. [University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany). Institute for Medical Biometry and Epidemiology

    2004-10-01

    Purpose: To investigate the feasibility of diffusion-weighted (DW) echo-planar imaging (EPI) for measuring different functional conditions of the parotid gland and to compare different measurement approaches. Materials and Methods: Parotid glands of 27 healthy volunteers were examined with a DW EPI sequence (TR 1,500 msec, TE 77 msec, field-of-view 250 x 250 mm, pixel size 2.10 x 1.95 mm, section thickness 5 mm) before and after oral stimulation with commercially available lemon juice. The b factors used were 0, 500, and 1,000 sec/mm{sup 2}. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were digitally transferred to MRIcro (Chris Rorden, University of Nottingham, Great Britain) and evaluated with a manually placed circular region of interest (ROI) containing 100-200 pixel. Additional ROIs including the entire parotid gland were placed on either side. The results of both measurements were compared, using the Student's t test based on the median ADC values for each person. A two-tailed p-value of less than.05 was determined to indicate statistical significance. To compare both measurement approaches, the Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) was calculated. Results: Diffusion-weighted echo-planar MR imaging successfully visualized the parotid gland of all volunteers. In a first step, the median ADC value per person was computed. Using ROIs of 100-200 pixels, the mean was calculated to be 1.08 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec{+-}0.12 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec for both parotid glands prior to simulation. After stimulation, the mean ADC was measured at 1.15 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec{+-}0.11 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec for both parotid glands. Evaluating the entire parotid gland, the ADC was 1.12 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec{+-}0.08 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec prior to simulation, whereas the ADC increased to 1.18 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec{+-}0.09 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}/sec after simulation with lemon juice. For both types of measurements, the increase in ADC after

  1. 3-D thermal weight function method and multiple virtual crack extension technique for thermal shock problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu Yanlin; Zhou Xiao; Qu Jiadi; Dou Yikang; He Yinbiao

    2005-01-01

    An efficient scheme, 3-D thermal weight function (TWF) method, and a novel numerical technique, multiple virtual crack extension (MVCE) technique, were developed for determination of histories of transient stress intensity factor (SIF) distributions along 3-D crack fronts of a body subjected to thermal shock. The TWF is a universal function, which is dependent only on the crack configuration and body geometry. TWF is independent of time during thermal shock, so the whole history of transient SIF distributions along crack fronts can be directly calculated through integration of the products of TWF and transient temperatures and temperature gradients. The repeated determinations of the distributions of stresses (or displacements) fields for individual time instants are thus avoided in the TWF method. An expression of the basic equation for the 3-D universal weight function method for Mode I in an isotropic elastic body is derived. This equation can also be derived from Bueckner-Rice's 3-D WF formulations in the framework of transformation strain. It can be understood from this equation that the so-called thermal WF is in fact coincident with the mechanical WF except for some constants of elasticity. The details and formulations of the MVCE technique are given for elliptical cracks. The MVCE technique possesses several advantages. The specially selected linearly independent VCE modes can directly be used as shape functions for the interpolation of unknown SIFs. As a result, the coefficient matrix of the final system of equations in the MVCE method is a triple-diagonal matrix and the values of the coefficients on the main diagonal are large. The system of equations has good numerical properties. The number of linearly independent VCE modes that can be introduced in a problem is unlimited. Complex situations in which the SIFs vary dramatically along crack fronts can be numerically well simulated by the MVCE technique. An integrated system of programs for solving the

  2. Functional weight-bearing mobilization after Achilles tendon rupture enhances early healing response: a single-blinded randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkering, Kars P; Aufwerber, Susanna; Ranuccio, Francesco; Lunini, Enricomaria; Edman, Gunnar; Ackermann, Paul W

    2017-06-01

    Functional weight-bearing mobilization may improve repair of Achilles tendon rupture (ATR), but the underlying mechanisms and outcome were unknown. We hypothesized that functional weight-bearing mobilization by means of increased metabolism could improve both early and long-term healing. In this prospective randomized controlled trial, patients with acute ATR were randomized to either direct post-operative functional weight-bearing mobilization (n = 27) in an orthosis or to non-weight-bearing (n = 29) plaster cast immobilization. During the first two post-operative weeks, 15°-30° of plantar flexion was allowed and encouraged in the functional weight-bearing mobilization group. At 2 weeks, patients in the non-weight-bearing cast immobilization group received a stiff orthosis, while the functional weight-bearing mobilization group continued with increased range of motion. At 6 weeks, all patients discontinued immobilization. At 2 weeks, healing metabolites and markers of procollagen type I (PINP) and III (PIIINP) were examined using microdialysis. At 6 and 12 months, functional outcome using heel-rise test was assessed. Healing tendons of both groups exhibited increased levels of metabolites glutamate, lactate, pyruvate, and of PIIINP (all p bearing mobilization group demonstrated significantly higher concentrations of glutamate compared to the non-weight-bearing cast immobilization group (p = 0.045).The upregulated glutamate levels were significantly correlated with the concentrations of PINP (r = 0.5, p = 0.002) as well as with improved functional outcome at 6 months (r = 0.4; p = 0.014). Heel-rise tests at 6 and 12 months did not display any differences between the two groups. Functional weight-bearing mobilization enhanced the early healing response of ATR. In addition, early ankle range of motion was improved without the risk of Achilles tendon elongation and without altering long-term functional outcome. The relationship between

  3. Diffusion-weighted ASPECTS as an independent marker for predicting functional outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tei, Hideaki; Uchiyama, Sinichiro; Usui, Toru; Ohara, Kuniko

    2011-04-01

    Whether lesion volume on diffusion-weighted MRI imaging (DWI) can reliably predict functional outcome in acute ischemic stroke is controversial. The aim of our study was to assess whether the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) on DWI is useful for predicting functional outcome in patients with anterior circulation infarction with a broad range of severities. Three-hundred and fifty patients with first-ever ischemic stroke in the anterior circulation within 24 h of onset were enrolled. We compared background characteristics, vital signs, laboratory data, and MRI findings between favorable (F) and unfavorable (U) outcome groups at 3 months, according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). The F and U groups were defined as having a mRS of 0-2 and 3-6, respectively. DWI ASPECTS was scored by DWI obtained 3-24 h after onset. Two-hundred and eighteen patients (62.3%) were classified into the F group and 132 patients (37.7%) into the U group. On univariate analysis, the F group patients were younger, had lower score of the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) at entry (5.7 ± 3.3 vs. 14.2 ± 6.0), male predominance, longer time after onset, lower rate of prior antithrombotic therapy, higher hematocrit and lower fibrinogen than the U group patients. Stroke subtype was different between the two groups, and F group patients had higher DWI ASPECTS score, lower leukoaraiosis and medial temporal atrophy score, and lower rate of early neurological deterioration (END) than the U group patients. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that NIHSS (p < 0.001), prior antithrombotic therapy (p = 0.013), ASPECTS (p = 0.002), and END (p < 0.001) were independent predictors of functional outcome. DWI ASPECTS can be an independent predictor for functional outcome, along with other clinical variables.

  4. Reduced body weight or increased muscle quality: Which is more important for improving physical function following exercise and weight loss in overweight and obese older women?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straight, Chad R; Berg, Alison C; Reed, Rachelle A; Johnson, Mary Ann; Evans, Ellen M

    2018-04-19

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relative contributions of changes in muscle quality and body composition to changes in lower-extremity physical function (LEPF) following a 6-month exercise and weight loss intervention in overweight and obese older women. Thirty-eight overweight and obese (BMI = 30.0 ± 4.4 kg/m 2 ) older (age = 69.3 ± 4.1 y) women completed 6 months of multicomponent exercise (cardiorespiratory, resistance, balance and flexibility training) and weight loss (hypocaloric diet that reduced energy intake by ~500 kcal/d). Body composition was measured via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and muscle quality (N-m/kg) was defined as maximal concentric isokinetic knee torque divided by upper-leg lean mass. The standardized scores of four objective measures of physical function were summed to yield a composite LEPF Z-score. At 6 months, there were significant reductions in body weight (-9.6 ± 3.5%, p quality (+1.6 ± 1.8 N-m/kg, p quality was the strongest independent predictor of an improvement in LEPF Z-score (standardized β = 0.64, p quality. In conclusion, muscle quality can be increased in the presence of clinically meaningful weight loss, and is the primary determinant of improved physical function in overweight/obese older women. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Body weight status and onset of functional limitations in U.S. middle-aged and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Ruopeng; Shi, Yuyan

    2015-07-01

    The sweeping obesity epidemic could further increase the incidence of functional limitations in the U.S. rapidly aging population. To examine the relationship between body weight status and onset of functional limitations in U.S. middle-aged and older adults. Study sample came from 1992 to 2010 waves of the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from self-reported height/weight. Functional limitations were classified into physical mobility limitation (PM), large muscle function limitation (LMF), activities of daily living limitation (ADL), gross motor function limitation (GMF), and fine motor function limitation (FMF). Mixed-effect logistic regressions were performed to estimate the relationship between prior-wave body weight status and current-wave onset of functional limitations, adjusted for individual characteristics and survey design. Prior-wave body weight status prospectively predicted onset of functional limitation, and the relationship showed a U-shaped pattern. Compared with their normal weight counterparts, the odds ratios (ORs) in underweight (BMI adults were 1.30 (95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.62) and 2.31 (2.11-2.52) for PM, 1.20 (0.96-1.50) and 1.63 (1.49-1.79) for LMF, 2.02 (1.66-2.46) and 1.40 (1.28-1.54) for ADL, 1.96 (1.60-2.39) and 1.77 (1.62-1.93) for GMF, and 1.66 (1.37-2.02) and 1.34 (1.22-1.46) for FMF, respectively. For PM, LMF and GMF, the impact of obesity appeared more pronounced in women, whereas that of underweight more pronounced in men. Proper weight management during aging is crucial in preventing functional limitations in middle-aged and older adults. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Constructing "proper" ROCs from ordinal response data using weighted power functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossman, Douglas; Peng, Hongying

    2014-05-01

    Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis is the standard method for describing the accuracy of diagnostic systems where the decision task involves distinguishing between 2 mutually exclusive possibilities. The popular binormal curve-fitting model usually produces ROCs that are improper in that they do not have the ever-decreasing slope required by signal detection theory. Not infrequently, binormal ROCs have visible hooks that falsely imply worse-than-chance diagnostic differentiation where the curve lies below the no-information diagonal. In this article, we present and evaluate a 2-parameter, weighted power function (WPF) model that always results in a proper ROC curve with a positive, monotonically decreasing slope. We used a computer simulation study to compare results from binormal and WPF models. The WPF model produces ROC curves that are less biased and closer to the true values than are curves obtained using the binormal model. The better performance of the WPF model follows from its design constraint as a necessarily proper ROC. The WPF model fits a broader variety of data sets than previously published power function models while maintaining straightforward relationships among the original decision variable, specific operating points, ROC curve contours, and model parameters. Compared with other proper ROC models, the WPF model is distinctive in its simplicity, and it avoids the flaws of the conventional binormal ROC model.

  7. Neural Responses to Visual Food Cues According to Weight Status: A Systematic Review of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirrilly ePursey

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Emerging evidence from recent neuroimaging studies suggests specific food related behaviours contribute to the development of obesity. The aim of this review was to report the neural responses to visual food cues, as assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, in humans of differing weight status. Published studies to 2014 were retrieved and included if they: used visual food cues, studied humans >18 years old, reported weight status, and included fMRI outcomes. Sixty studies were identified that investigated the neural responses of healthy weight participants (n=26, healthy weight compared to obese participants (n=17, and weight loss interventions (n=12. High calorie food images were used in the majority of studies (n=36, however, image selection justification was only provided in 19 studies. Obese individuals had increased activation of reward-related brain areas including the insula and orbitofrontal cortex in response to visual food cues compared to healthy weight individuals, and this was particularly evident in response to energy dense cues. Additionally, obese individuals were more responsive to food images when satiated. Meta-analysis of changes in neural activation post- weight loss revealed small areas of convergence of activation across studies in brain areas related to emotion, memory and learning such as the cingulate gyrus, lentiform nucleus and precuneus.Differential activation patterns to visual food cues were observed between obese, healthy weight and weight loss populations. Future studies require standardisation of dietetic variables and fMRI outcomes to enable more direct comparisons between studies.

  8. Functional SNP associated with birth weight in independent populations identified with a permutation step added to GBLUP-GWAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study was conducted as an initial assessment of a newly available genotyping assay containing about 34,000 common SNP included on previous SNP chips, and 199,000 sequence variants predicted to affect gene function. Objectives were to identify functional variants associated with birth weight in...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, O

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Wenhuan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  16. Joint association of physical activity and body weight with subsequent physical and mental functioning: a follow-up study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindhom, Vivian; Lahti, Jouni; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero; Lallukka, Tea

    2013-03-06

    Physical inactivity and overweight are major threats to public health. However, it is not well understood to what extent physical activity might counteract the harmful effects of overweight on functioning. Thus, we examined the joint associations of leisure-time physical activity and body mass index (BMI) with subsequent physical and mental functioning over a follow-up of five to seven years. The data were derived from the Helsinki Health Study, which is a cohort study among employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland. The baseline postal survey data were collected among 40-60-year-old employees in 2000-02 (n = 8960, response rate 67%), and the follow-up data in 2007 among all baseline survey respondents (n = 7332, response rate 83%). We divided the participants into six groups according to their amount of physical activity (inactive, moderately active and highly active) and their relative weight (normal weight and overweight). Highly active normal-weight participants were used as a reference group in all the analyses. Poor functioning was defined as the lowest quartile of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey's physical and mental component summaries, with the follow-up cut-off point also applied at baseline. We used logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, baseline functioning, smoking, alcohol use, marital status, socioeconomic position and working conditions. At baseline 48% of the participants were overweight and 11% were inactive. After adjustments inactivity was associated with poor physical functioning at follow-up both among the normal-weight (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.09-2.10) and overweight (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.56-2.63) groups. Being overweight regardless of activity level was associated with poor physical functioning. Poor physical functioning was practically equally common among the highly active overweight group and the inactive normal-weight group. After adjustments, for mental functioning, only inactivity among the overweight was associated

  17. Differences in brain functional connectivity at resting state in neonates born to healthy obese or normal-weight mothers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, X; Andres, A; Shankar, K; Pivik, R T; Glasier, C M; Ramakrishnaiah, R H; Zhang, Y; Badger, T M; Ou, X

    2016-12-01

    Recent studies have shown associations between maternal obesity at pre- or early pregnancy and long-term neurodevelopment in children, suggesting in utero effects of maternal obesity on offspring brain development. In this study, we examined whether brain functional connectivity to the prefrontal lobe network is different in newborns from normal-weight or obese mothers. Thirty-four full-term healthy infants from uncomplicated pregnancies were included, with 18 born to normal-weight and 16 born to obese mothers. Two weeks after delivery, the infants underwent an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination during natural sleep, which included structural imaging and resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) scans. Independent component analysis was used to identify the prefrontal lobe network, and dual regression was used to compare functional connectivity between groups. Infants born to normal-weight mothers had higher recruiting (Pmaternal intelligence quotient, gestational weight gain and infant postmenstrual age, gender, birth weight/length, head circumference and neonatal diet. The functional connectivity strength in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex negatively correlated (Pmaternal fat mass percentage measured at early pregnancy. This preliminary study indicates that exposure to maternal obesity in utero may be associated with changes in resting-state functional connectivity in the newborn offspring's brain.

  18. Long-Term Normal Renal Function after Drastic Weight Reduction in Patients with Obesity-Related Glomerulopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assumpta Serra

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Aims: No long-term studies of renal function evolution in morbidly obese (MO patients after weight loss are available. The aim of our work was to ascertain the long-term influence of drastic weight reduction on renal function in MO patients with obesity-related glomerular lesions. Methods: 92 MO patients with normal renal function and biopsy evidence of mild obesity-related glomerulopathy underwent bariatric surgery (BS and subsequent drastic weight loss. A long-term prospective follow-up (mean duration: 76 ± 42 months was carried out. Basal renal biopsies and basal and long-term metabolic and renal function studies were performed in all cases. Linear mixed models were applied. Results: Blood pressure dropped early after BS and remained stable thereafter. Creatinine clearance and BMI fell in the first 2 years, rose slightly after 5 years and then remained stable. Serum creatinine and albuminuria decreased throughout the follow-up period. Renal function and albuminuria evolution showed non-significant differences in relation to the number of glomerular lesions. Conclusions: Drastic weight loss in BS-treated MO patients with pre-surgical normal renal function and mild obesity-related glomerular lesions is associated with short- and long-term maintenance of normal renal function and improvement in both arterial hypertension and albuminuria.

  19. Family functioning and quality of parent-adolescent relationship: cross-sectional associations with adolescent weight-related behaviors and weight status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, Jess; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Horton, Nicholas J; Kleinman, Ken; Bauer, Katherine W; Davison, Kirsten K; Walton, Kathryn; Austin, S Bryn; Field, Alison E; Gillman, Matthew W

    2016-06-14

    Little is known about how factors within the general family environment are associated with weight and related behaviors among adolescents/young adults. We studied 3768 females and 2614 males, 14-24 years old in 2011, participating in the Growing Up Today Study 2. We used generalized mixed models to examine cross-sectional associations of family functioning and quality of mother- and father-adolescent relationship with adolescent/young adult weight status, disordered eating, intake of fast food and sugar-sweetened beverages, screen time, physical activity, and sleep duration. In all models, we included participant's age and family structure. Eighty percent of participants reported high family functioning and 60% and 50% of participants reported high-quality mother and father relationship, respectively. Among both males and females, high family functioning was associated with lower odds of disordered eating (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] females = 0.53; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 0.45-0.63; AOR males = 0.48; CI = 0.39-0.60), insufficient physical activity, i.e., less than 1 h/day, (AOR females = 0.74; CI = 0.61-0.89; AOR males = 0.73; CI = 0.58-0.92), and insufficient sleep, i.e., less than 7 h/day, (AOR females = 0.56; CI = 0.45-0.68; AOR males = 0.65; CI 0.5-0.85). High family functioning was also associated with lower odds of being overweight/obese (AOR = 0.73; CI = 0.60-0.88) and eating fast food one or more times/week (AOR = 0.74; CI = 0.61-0.89) among females only. Among females, high-quality mother and father relationship were both associated with lower odds of being overweight/obese and disordered eating, eating fast food, and insufficient sleep and the magnitude of associations were similar for mother and father relationship quality (AOR range 0.61-0.84). Among males, high-quality mother and father relationship were both associated with lower odds of disordered eating, insufficient physical activity

  20. Psychopathological status and interpersonal functioning following weight loss in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guisado, Juan A; Vaz, Francisco J; Alarcón, Javier; López-Ibor, Juan J; Rubio, Miguel A; Gaite, Luis

    2002-12-01

    We questioned whether differences in psychopathological status and interpersonal relations exist in a group of morbidly obese patients 18 months after bariatric surgery, as related to extent of weight loss. The study group consisted of 100 morbidly obese patients (85 female, 15 male) who had undergone surgical treatment (vertical banded gastroplasty) for weight reduction. Each patient completed the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile European version, the Eating Disorder Inventory, the Symptom Check List-90-Revised, and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II. The sample was divided into 2 groups according to the percentage of excess weight loss 18 months after surgery: a greater weight loss group (weight loss > 30%) and a lesser weight loss group (weight loss < 30%). Significant differences were found between the 2 groups in percentage of weight loss (P < 0.0001), negative self-esteem (P < 0.001), drive for thinness (P < 0.001), body dissatisfaction (P < 0.001), global EDI (P < 0.002), anxiety (P < 0.003), GSI (P < 0.002), avoidant (P < 0.001), borderline (P < 0.0001), and passive-aggressive (P < 0.002). Greater weight loss strongly correlates with improved quality of life, less disturbed eating behavior, and lower psychopathology. These results justify the clinical use of surgical procedures and demonstrate that weight loss has powerful psychological and psychosocial implications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. Low Molecular Weight Heparin Improves Endothelial Function in Pregnant Women at High Risk of Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Kelsey; Baczyk, Dora; Potts, Audrey; Hladunewich, Michelle; Parker, John D; Kingdom, John C P

    2017-01-01

    Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) has been investigated for the prevention of severe preeclampsia, although the mechanisms of action are unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the cardiovascular effects of LMWH in pregnant women at high risk of preeclampsia. Pregnant women at high risk of preeclampsia (n=25) and low-risk pregnant controls (n=20) at 22 to 26 weeks' gestation underwent baseline cardiovascular assessments. High-risk women were then randomized to LMWH or saline placebo (30 mg IV bolus and 1 mg/kg subcutaneous dose). Cardiovascular function was assessed 1 and 3 hours post randomization. The in vitro endothelial effects of patient serum and exogenous LMWH on human umbilical venous endothelial cells were determined. High-risk women demonstrated a reduced cardiac output, high resistance hemodynamic profile with impaired radial artery flow-mediated dilation compared with controls. LMWH increased flow-mediated dilation in high-risk women 3 hours after randomization compared with baseline and increased plasma levels of placental growth factor, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1, and myeloperoxidase. Serum from high-risk women impaired endothelial cell angiogenesis and increased PlGF-1 and PlGF-2 transcription compared with serum from low-risk controls. Coexposure of high-risk serum with LMWH improved the in vitro angiogenic response such that it was equivalent to that of low-risk serum and promoted placental growth factor secretion. LMWH improves maternal endothelial function in pregnant women at high risk of developing preeclampsia, possibly mediated through increased placental growth factor bioavailability. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  3. The weighted function method: A handy tool for flood frequency analysis or just a curiosity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogdanowicz, Ewa; Kochanek, Krzysztof; Strupczewski, Witold G.

    2018-04-01

    The idea of the Weighted Function (WF) method for estimation of Pearson type 3 (Pe3) distribution introduced by Ma in 1984 has been revised and successfully applied for shifted inverse Gaussian (IGa3) distribution. Also the conditions of WF applicability to a shifted distribution have been formulated. The accuracy of WF flood quantiles for both Pe3 and IGa3 distributions was assessed by Monte Caro simulations under the true and false distribution assumption versus the maximum likelihood (MLM), moment (MOM) and L-moments (LMM) methods. Three datasets of annual peak flows of Polish catchments serve the case studies to compare the results of the WF, MOM, MLM and LMM performance for the real flood data. For the hundred-year flood the WF method revealed the explicit superiority only over the MLM surpassing the MOM and especially LMM both for the true and false distributional assumption with respect to relative bias and relative mean root square error values. Generally, the WF method performs well and for hydrological sample size and constitutes good alternative for the estimation of the flood upper quantiles.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

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

  5. Reduced weight decontamination formulation utilizing a solid peracid compound for neutralization of chemical and biological warfare agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Mark D [Albuquerque, NM

    2011-09-20

    A reduced weight decontamination formulation that utilizes a solid peracid compound (sodium borate peracetate) and a cationic surfactant (dodecyltrimethylammonium chloride) that can be packaged with all water removed. This reduces the packaged weight of the decontamination formulation by .about.80% (as compared to the "all-liquid" DF-200 formulation) and significantly lowers the logistics burden on the warfighter. Water (freshwater or saltwater) is added to the new decontamination formulation at the time of use from a local source.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Stress intensity factors and weight functions for the edge cracked plate calculated by the boundary collocation method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fett, T.

    1990-09-01

    The determination of stress intensity factors for cracks exposed to arbitrary stress distribution according to the weight function method calls for knowledge of the crack opening displacements and stress intensity factor for a reference load case. The determination of these variables by means of the Boundary Collocation Method (BCM) is discussed by the example of the drawn plate with an edge crack. After derivation of the formulas for evaluation the influence is studied of the relative crack depth and the plate length on the stress intensity factor, and the results are compared with data from the literature. The crack opening displacement field is determined from the stress function established by the Boundary Collocation Method and the fracture mechanical weight function is calculated from it. The results are compared with an analytical weight function obtained on the basis of approximative crack opening displacement fields. A formula is indicated for the weight function which covers the total range from a/W=0 to a/W=1. This formula is the result of BCM computations made up to a/W=0.8 for a relative plate length of a/H > 1.5 and applies to the limit case a/W=1 known from the analysis. Finally the Boundary Collocation Method is used to calculate the mode II stress intensity factors for shear loaded plates with an edge crack. The results of the computations are compared with solutions proposed in the literature. For the edge crack loaded with constant shear stresses, which act on the crack surfaces, a numerical formula is given of the geometric function. Values applicable to the weight function are determined from the crack opening displacements. (orig.) [de

  8. 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

  9. Birth weight relates to blood pressure and microvascular function in normal subjects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serne, EH; Stehouwer, CDA; ter Maaten, JC; ter Wee, PM; Gans, ROB

    2000-01-01

    Objective The relationship between low birth weight and elevated blood pressure in adult life is well established but presently unexplained. Both microvascular dysfunction and insulin resistance have been proposed as a possible explanation. We have examined the relation between birth weight and

  10. Rheological properties of poly (vinylpiyrrolidone) as a function of average molecular weight and its applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marani, Debora; Sudireddy, Bhaskar Reddy; Kiebach, Ragnar

    characterized regarding their viscosimetric properties in ethanol. Average molecular weights (Mw, Mn, and Mz) have been determined by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and then used in a numerical method to evaluate the viscosity average molecular weight (Mv) via the Mark-Houwink-Sakurada (MHS) equation...

  11. LOS function and obesity: The impact of untreated obesity, weight loss, and chronic gastric balloon distension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathus-Vliegen, E. M. H.; van Weeren, M.; van Eerten, P. V.

    2003-01-01

    Background/Aims: In obesity, many gastro-oesophageal reflux promoting factors are present. Weight reduction is advised to symptomatic overweight subjects. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influences of untreated obesity, weight loss, and chronic gastric balloon distension on the

  12. 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.

  13. Thyroid Function and Body Weight: A Community-Based Longitudinal Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjergved, Lena; Jørgensen, Torben; Perrild, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Body weight and overt thyroid dysfunction are associated. Cross-sectional population-based studies have repeatedly found that thyroid hormone levels, even within the normal reference range, might be associated with body weight. However, for longitudinal data, the association is less...... clear. Thus, we tested the association between serum thyrotropin (TSH) and body weight in a community-based sample of adult persons followed for 11 years. Methods: A random sample of 4,649 persons aged 18-65 years from a general population participated in the DanThyr study in 1997-8. We included 2....... Results: Baseline TSH concentration was not associated with change in weight (women, P = 0.17; men, P = 0.72), and baseline body mass index (BMI) was not associated with change in TSH (women, P = 0.21; men, P = 0.85). Change in serum TSH and change in weight were significantly associated in both sexes...

  14. Weight Gain and Serum TSH Increase within the Reference Range after Hemithyroidectomy Indicate Lowered Thyroid Function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toft Kristensen, Tina; Larsen, Jacob; Pedersen, Palle Lyngsie

    2014-01-01

    Background. Weight gain is frequently reported after hemithyroidectomy but the significance is recently discussed. Therefore, the aim of the study was to examine changes in body weight of hemithyroidectomized patients and to evaluate if TSH increase within the reference range could be related...... to weight gain. Methods. In a controlled follow-up study, two years after hemithyroidectomy for benign euthyroid goiter, postoperative TSH and body weight of 28 patients were compared to preoperative values and further compared to the results in 47 matched control persons, after a comparable follow......-up period. Results. Two years after hemithyroidectomy, median serum TSH was increased over preoperative levels (1.23 versus 2.08 mIU/L, P gained weight (75.0 versus 77.3 kg, P = 0.02). Matched healthy controls had unchanged median serum TSH (1.70 versus 1.60 mIU/L, P = 0...

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-20

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

  1. 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.

  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. Effect of 48 h Fasting on Autonomic Function, Brain Activity, Cognition, and Mood in Amateur Weight Lifters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skurvydas, Albertas

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. The acute fasting-induced cardiovascular autonomic response and its effect on cognition and mood remain debatable. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of a 48 h, zero-calorie diet on autonomic function, brain activity, cognition, and mood in amateur weight lifters. Methods. Nine participants completed a 48 h, zero-calorie diet program. Cardiovascular autonomic function, resting frontal brain activity, cognitive performance, and mood were evaluated before and after fasting. Results. Fasting decreased (p Fasting decreased (p Fasting also increased (p fasting resulted in higher parasympathetic activity and decreased resting frontal brain activity, increased anger, and improved prefrontal-cortex-related cognitive functions, such as mental flexibility and set shifting, in amateur weight lifters. In contrast, hippocampus-related cognitive functions were not affected by it. PMID:28025637

  4. A relationship between the weighted density approximation and the local-scaling transformation version of density functional theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diez, Reinaldo Pis; Karasiev, Valentin V

    2003-01-01

    A relationship between the auxiliary density, ρ(r), defined within the framework of the weighted density approximation and the kinetic energy modulating factor, A N ([ρ(r)]; r), which appears in the local-scaling transformation version of density functional theory is presented. This relationship imposes the condition of positiveness on the kinetic energy modulating factor and this, in turn, leads to an important mathematical condition on any approximate kinetic energy density functional. It is shown that two well-known approximate kinetic energy density functionals do not satisfy the above relationship at distances very close to the nucleus. By forcing a given approximate kinetic energy density functional to obey the above condition, both the kinetic and exchange energies can be obtained within a framework similar to that of the weighted density approximation. Results on some closed-shell atomic systems provide support for those ideas

  5. Effect of 48 h Fasting on Autonomic Function, Brain Activity, Cognition, and Mood in Amateur Weight Lifters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solianik, Rima; Sujeta, Artūras; Terentjevienė, Asta; Skurvydas, Albertas

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. The acute fasting-induced cardiovascular autonomic response and its effect on cognition and mood remain debatable. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of a 48 h, zero-calorie diet on autonomic function, brain activity, cognition, and mood in amateur weight lifters. Methods. Nine participants completed a 48 h, zero-calorie diet program. Cardiovascular autonomic function, resting frontal brain activity, cognitive performance, and mood were evaluated before and after fasting. Results. Fasting decreased ( p anger, whereas other mood states were not affected by it. Conclusions. 48 h fasting resulted in higher parasympathetic activity and decreased resting frontal brain activity, increased anger, and improved prefrontal-cortex-related cognitive functions, such as mental flexibility and set shifting, in amateur weight lifters. In contrast, hippocampus-related cognitive functions were not affected by it.

  6. A global weighted mean temperature model based on empirical orthogonal function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qinzheng; Chen, Peng; Sun, Langlang; Ma, Xiaping

    2018-03-01

    A global empirical orthogonal function (EOF) model of the tropospheric weighted mean temperature called GEOFM_Tm was developed using high-precision Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) Atmosphere Tm data during the years 2008-2014. Due to the quick convergence of EOF decomposition, it is possible to use the first four EOF series, which consists base functions Uk and associated coefficients Pk, to represent 99.99% of the overall variance of the original data sets and its spatial-temporal variations. Results show that U1 displays a prominent latitude distribution profile with positive peaks located at low latitude region. U2 manifests an asymmetric pattern that positive values occurred over 30° in the Northern Hemisphere, and negative values were observed at other regions. U3 and U4 displayed significant anomalies in Tibet and North America, respectively. Annual variation is the major component of the first and second associated coefficients P1 and P2, whereas P3 and P4 mainly reflects both annual and semi-annual variation components. Furthermore, the performance of constructed GEOFM_Tm was validated by comparison with GTm_III and GTm_N with different kinds of data including GGOS Atmosphere Tm data in 2015 and radiosonde data from Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA) in 2014. Generally speaking, GEOFM_Tm can achieve the same accuracy and reliability as GTm_III and GTm_N models in a global scale, even has improved in the Antarctic and Greenland regions. The MAE and RMS of GEOFM_Tm tend to be 2.49 K and 3.14 K with respect to GGOS Tm data, respectively; and 3.38 K and 4.23 K with respect to IGRA sounding data, respectively. In addition, those three models have higher precision at low latitude than middle and high latitude regions. The magnitude of Tm remains at the range of 220-300 K, presented a high correlation with geographic latitude. In the Northern Hemisphere, there was a significant enhancement at high latitude region reaching 270 K during summer

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

    OpenAIRE

    Camoin, Gilbert; Gautret, Pascale

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Effect of 48?h Fasting on Autonomic Function, Brain Activity, Cognition, and Mood in Amateur Weight Lifters

    OpenAIRE

    Solianik, Rima; Sujeta, Art?ras; Terentjevien?, Asta; Skurvydas, Albertas

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. The acute fasting-induced cardiovascular autonomic response and its effect on cognition and mood remain debatable. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of a 48?h, zero-calorie diet on autonomic function, brain activity, cognition, and mood in amateur weight lifters. Methods. Nine participants completed a 48?h, zero-calorie diet program. Cardiovascular autonomic function, resting frontal brain activity, cognitive performance, and mood were evaluated befor...

  9. Lung Function in Preteenaged Canadian School Children: Comparison with Two Standard Prediction Equations and Examination of the Effect of Weight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith A Leech

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To compare prediction curves for forced vital capacity (FVC in children from a large population sample with the standard prediction curves currently in clinical use. A secondary objective was to assess the contribution of weight to the prediction of lung function in preteenagers.

  10. Non-weight-bearing status compromises the functional level up to 1 yr after hip fracture surgery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ariza-Vega, Patrocinio; Jiménez-Moleón, José Juan; Kristensen, Morten Tange

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the influence of weight-bearing (WB) status after hip fracture surgery on 1-yr functional outcome. DESIGN: This was a prospective cohort study, carried out in a public acute hospital trauma service. The 194 patients (36 men and 158 women), with a me...

  11. Calculation of the weighting function and determination of the depth of correlation in micro-PIV from experimental particle images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hein, M; Seemann, R; Wieneke, B

    2014-01-01

    Micro-particle image velocimetry (µPIV) uses volume-illumination and imaging of particles through a single microscope objective. Displacement fields are obtained by image correlation and depend on all imaged particles, including defocused particles. The measured in-plane displacement is a weighted spatial average of the true displacement, with a weighting function W(z) that depends on the optical system and flow-gradients. The characteristic width of the weighting function W(z) is also referred to as depth of correlation (DOC) and is a measure up to which distance from the focal plane particles influence the measurement, which is crucial for the interpretation of measured flow fields. We present procedures to determine the W(z) from which the DOC can be derived and to directly determine the DOC from PIV double images, generated from experimentally recorded particle images. Both procedures provide comparable DOC results. Our approach allows determination of the DOC and W(z)as a function of out of plane gradients, optical setup parameters and PIV-analysis parameters. Experimental results for different objectives and particle sizes are discussed, revealing substantial deviations from theoretical predictions for high NA air-objectives. Moreover, using the determined weighting function W(z), the correction of measured flow profiles for errors introduced by the spatial averaging is demonstrated. (paper)

  12. Exercise and dietary program-induced weight reduction is associated with cognitive function among obese adolescents: a longitudinal study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun Xie

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective The present study was to determine the effect of a combined exercise and dietary program on cognitive function as well as the relationship between the program-induced weight change and cognitive function alterations. Design The study applies a quasi-experimental design. Methods Fifty-eight adolescents with obese status (body mass index, BMI >28 kg/m2 were assigned to either an experiment (n = 30 or control group (n = 28. Participants in the experiment group received a scheduled program with a specific exercise protocol (two sessions per day, six days per week and diet plan for four consecutive weeks; the control group was instructed to maintain their normal school activities. The primary outcome measures were anthropometric data and flanker task performance. Results The combined program led to reduced BMI with maintenance of the incongruent accuracy in the experiment group, but the incongruent accuracy decreased in the control group after the four-week period. Additionally, the change in weight status between post- and pre-test measurements was inversely correlated with the change in incongruent accuracy. Conclusion The combined exercise and dietary program resulted in decreased weight and enhanced executive function in the obese adolescents, and the weight alteration may be considered the mediator between the intervention and executive function.

  13. Effects of ankle-foot orthoses for children with hemiplegia on weight-bearing and functional ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, Tara; Hunt, Adrienne; Thomas, Bronwyn; Harris, Lynne; Burns, Joshua

    2009-01-01

    To compare the effects of a leaf spring ankle-foot orthosis (LAFO) and a hinged AFO with plantar flexion stop with that of shoe only on weight-bearing and function in children with hemiplegia. The study used an experimental single-subject alternating treatment design with replication. Outcomes measured were weight-bearing symmetry, weight-bearing on the hemiplegic rear foot compared with that of the forefoot, functional ability, and child and parent preference. Both AFOs increased relative contact area of the hemiplegic foot. The LAFO increased relative force through the hemiplegic foot. There was increased pressure through the rear foot, time spent on the rear foot, and force through the forefoot. Rear foot contact area increased in the LAFO. Neither AFO affected function. Patient preference for AFO condition was inconsistent. Both AFOs increased weight-bearing through the hemiplegic foot and rear foot, indicative of potential benefit to growth. Neither the LAFO nor the hinged AFO with plantar flexion stop improved function of the children.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-11

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

  16. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens; Olsson, Lisbeth

    2002-01-01

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

  19. New reference centiles for boys' height, weight and body mass index used voice break as the marker of biological age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumm, Rebekka; Hermanussen, Michael; Scheffler, Christiane

    2016-10-01

    We aimed to develop the first references for body height, body weight and body mass index (BMI) for boys based on the individual developmental tempo with respect to their voice break status. We re-analysed data from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS study) on body height, body weight and body mass index based on the voice break, or mutation, in 3956 boys aged 10-17 years. We used the LMS method to construct smoothed references centiles for the studied variables in premutational, mutational and postmutational boys. Body height, body weight and BMI differed significantly (p voice break. On average, boys were 5.9 cm taller, 5.8 kg heavier and had a 0.7 kg/m² higher BMI with every higher stage of voice break. Currently used growth references for chronological age in comparison with maturity-related references led to an average of 5.4% of boys being falsely classified as overweight. These newly developed growth references allowed convenient classifications of underweight and overweight or obese boys with respect to their voice break status. They should be added to currently used references centiles for the body mass index to avoid misclassifying boys' weight. ©2016 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Relationship between birth weight, maternal smoking during pregnancy and childhood and adolescent lung function: A path analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balte, Pallavi; Karmaus, Wilfried; Roberts, Graham; Kurukulaaratchy, Ramesh; Mitchell, Frances; Arshad, Hasan

    2016-12-01

    Low birth weight and gestational maternal smoking have been linked with reduced lung function in children in many cross sectional studies. However, these associations have not yet been assessed with repeated measurements of lung function. Our aim was to investigate the effects of birth weight, gestational age, and gestational maternal smoking on lung function in children at age 10 and 18 years. In the Isle of Wight birth cohort spirometry was performed at age 10 and 18 years. Information on birth weight and gestational age were obtained from hospital records. Mothers were asked about smoking during pregnancy. We employed linear mixed models to estimate the effect of these risk factors on repeated measurements of lung function. We considered maternal asthma, sex, neonatal intensive care unit admission, height, socio-economic status, personal smoking in participants at age 18, body mass index and environmental tobacco smoke exposure as potential confounders. Finally, we used path analysis to determine links between birth weight, gestational age and gestational maternal smoking on lung function at age 10 and 18 years. Linear mixed models showed that with every 1 kg increase in birth weight, Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV 1 ) increased by 42.6 ± 17.2 mL and Forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% (FEF 25-75 ) of Forced vital capacity (FVC) increased by 95.5 ± 41.2 mL at age 18 years after adjusting for potential confounders. Path analysis suggested that birth weight had positive direct effects on FEV 1 and FEF 25-75 and positive indirect effect on FVC at 10 years which were carried forward to 18 years. Additionally, results also suggested a positive association between gestational age and FEV 1 , FVC and FEF 25-75  at ages 10 and 18 years and an inverse association between gestational smoke exposure and FEV 1 /FVC ratio and FEF 25-75  at age 18 years. Higher birth weight and gestational age were associated with higher FEV 1 , FVC and FEF 25

  3. Pulmonary and cardiac function in asymptomatic obese subjects and changes following a structured weight reduction program: a prospective observational study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Held

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The prevalence of obesity is rising. Obesity can lead to cardiovascular and ventilatory complications through multiple mechanisms. Cardiac and pulmonary function in asymptomatic subjects and the effect of structured dietary programs on cardiac and pulmonary function is unclear. OBJECTIVE: To determine lung and cardiac function in asymptomatic obese adults and to evaluate whether weight loss positively affects functional parameters. METHODS: We prospectively evaluated bodyplethysmographic and echocardiographic data in asymptomatic subjects undergoing a structured one-year weight reduction program. RESULTS: 74 subjects (32 male, 42 female; mean age 42±12 years with an average BMI 42.5±7.9, body weight 123.7±24.9 kg were enrolled. Body weight correlated negatively with vital capacity (R = -0.42, p<0.001, FEV1 (R = -0.497, p<0.001 and positively with P 0.1 (R = 0.32, p = 0.02 and myocardial mass (R = 0.419, p = 0.002. After 4 months the study subjects had significantly reduced their body weight (-26.0±11.8 kg and BMI (-8.9±3.8 associated with a significant improvement of lung function (absolute changes: vital capacity +5.5±7.5% pred., p<0.001; FEV1+9.8±8.3% pred., p<0.001, ITGV+16.4±16.0% pred., p<0.001, SR tot -17.4±41.5% pred., p<0.01. Moreover, P0.1/Pimax decreased to 47.7% (p<0.01 indicating a decreased respiratory load. The change of FEV1 correlated significantly with the change of body weight (R = -0.31, p = 0.03. Echocardiography demonstrated reduced myocardial wall thickness (-0.08±0.2 cm, p = 0.02 and improved left ventricular myocardial performance index (-0.16±0.35, p = 0.02. Mitral annular plane systolic excursion (+0.14, p = 0.03 and pulmonary outflow acceleration time (AT +26.65±41.3 ms, p = 0.001 increased. CONCLUSION: Even in asymptomatic individuals obesity is associated with abnormalities in pulmonary and cardiac function and increased myocardial mass. All the

  4. Consumption of High-Polyphenol Dark Chocolate Improves Endothelial Function in Individuals with Stage 1 Hypertension and Excess Body Weight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lívia de Paula Nogueira

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Hypertension and excess body weight are important risk factors for endothelial dysfunction. Recent evidence suggests that high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function and lowers blood pressure. This study aimed to evaluate the association of chocolate 70% cocoa intake with metabolic profile, oxidative stress, inflammation, blood pressure, and endothelial function in stage 1 hypertensives with excess body weight. Methods. Intervention clinical trial includes 22 stage 1 hypertensives without previous antihypertensive treatment, aged 18 to 60 years and presents a body mass index between 25.0 and 34.9 kg/m2. All participants were instructed to consume 50 g of chocolate 70% cocoa/day (2135 mg polyphenols for 4 weeks. Endothelial function was evaluated by peripheral artery tonometry using Endo-PAT 2000 (Itamar Medical. Results. Twenty participants (10 men completed the study. Comparison of pre-post intervention revealed that (1 there were no significant changes in anthropometric parameters, percentage body fat, glucose metabolism, lipid profile, biomarkers of inflammation, adhesion molecules, oxidized LDL, and blood pressure; (2 the assessment of endothelial function through the reactive hyperemia index showed a significant increase: 1.94 ± 0.18 to 2.22 ± 0.08, P=0.01. Conclusion.In individuals with stage 1 hypertension and excess body weight, high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function.

  5. Consumption of high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function in individuals with stage 1 hypertension and excess body weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Lívia de Paula; Knibel, Marcela Paranhos; Torres, Márcia Regina Simas Gonçalves; Nogueira Neto, José Firmino; Sanjuliani, Antonio Felipe

    2012-01-01

    Background. Hypertension and excess body weight are important risk factors for endothelial dysfunction. Recent evidence suggests that high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function and lowers blood pressure. This study aimed to evaluate the association of chocolate 70% cocoa intake with metabolic profile, oxidative stress, inflammation, blood pressure, and endothelial function in stage 1 hypertensives with excess body weight. Methods. Intervention clinical trial includes 22 stage 1 hypertensives without previous antihypertensive treatment, aged 18 to 60 years and presents a body mass index between 25.0 and 34.9 kg/m(2). All participants were instructed to consume 50 g of chocolate 70% cocoa/day (2135 mg polyphenols) for 4 weeks. Endothelial function was evaluated by peripheral artery tonometry using Endo-PAT 2000 (Itamar Medical). Results. Twenty participants (10 men) completed the study. Comparison of pre-post intervention revealed that (1) there were no significant changes in anthropometric parameters, percentage body fat, glucose metabolism, lipid profile, biomarkers of inflammation, adhesion molecules, oxidized LDL, and blood pressure; (2) the assessment of endothelial function through the reactive hyperemia index showed a significant increase: 1.94 ± 0.18 to 2.22 ± 0.08, P = 0.01. Conclusion.In individuals with stage 1 hypertension and excess body weight, high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isganitis Timothy

    2006-02-01

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

  7. Weight-loss changes PPAR expression, reduces atherosclerosis and improves cardiovascular function in obese insulin-resistant mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verreth, Wim; Verhamme, Peter; Pelat, Michael; Ganame, Javier; Bielicki, John K.; Mertens, Ann; Quarck, Rozenn; Benhabiles, Nora; Marguerie, Gerard; Mackness, Bharti; Mackness, Mike; Ninio, Ewa; Herregods, Marie-Christine; Balligand, Jean-Luc; Holvoet, Paul

    2003-09-01

    Weight-loss in obese insulin-resistant, but not in insulin-sensitive, persons reduces CHD risk. It is not known to what extent changes in the adipose gene expression profile are important for reducing CHD risk. We studied the effect of diet restriction-induced weight-loss on gene expression in adipose tissue, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular function in mice with combined leptin and LDL-receptor deficiency. Obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and insulin-resistance are associated with hypertension, impaired left ventricle function and accelerated atherosclerosis in those mice. Diet restriction during 12 weeks caused a 45% weight-loss and changes in the gene expression in adipose tissue of PPARa and PPAR? and of key genes regulating glucose transport and insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and inflammation, most of which are under the transcriptional control of PPARs. These changes were associated with increased insulin-sensitivity, decreased hypertriglyceridemia, reduced mean 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate, restored circadian variations of blood pressure and heart rate, increased ejection fraction, and reduced atherosclerosis. Thus, induction of PPARa and PPAR? in adipose tissue is a key mechanism for reducing atherosclerosis and improving cardiovascular function resulting from weight-loss. Our observations point to the critical role of PPARs in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular features of the metabolic syndrome.

  8. Feasibility of Using an Arm Weight-Supported Training System to Improve Hand Function Skills in Children With Hemiplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnaswamy, Swetha; Coletti, Daniel J; Berlin, Hilary; Friel, Kathleen

    This investigation was a pilot feasibility trial evaluating the use of an arm-weight-supported training device to improve upper-extremity function in children with hemiplegia. A single-group within-subject design was used. Participants were 6 children ages 7-17 yr with upper-extremity weakness secondary to hemiplegia. The intervention consisted of 15-18 treatment sessions using an arm-weight-supported training device with the affected upper extremity. Fine motor function was assessed using the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test, the Box and Block Test, and the Assisting Hand Assessment. We examined participants' interactions with the device and assessment scores pre- and postintervention. Five of the 6 children exhibited some changes after the therapy. The system required significant modifications to ensure appropriate positioning. The arm-weight-supported system may be viable for therapeutic use. Future studies should use randomized controlled designs and compare effectiveness of weight-supported training with that of other rehabilitation strategies. Copyright © 2016 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

  9. Universal generating function based recursive algorithms for reliability evaluation of multi-state weighted k-out-of-n systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yuan, Yan; Ding, Yi

    2012-01-01

    of the multi-state weighted k-out-of-n systems. The well known universal generating function (UGF) approach was also used as a counterpart to compare with the developed recursive algorithms, which is not very efficient. In this paper a transformation of the conventional UGF formula is proposed to develop a UGF......A multi-state k-out-of-n system model provides a flexible tool for evaluating vulnerability and reliability of critical infrastructures such as electric power systems. The multi-state weighted k-out-of-n system model is the generalization of the multi-state k-out-of-n system model, where...

  10. Effect of large weight reductions on measured and estimated kidney function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    von Scholten, Bernt Johan; Persson, Frederik; Svane, Maria S

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: When patients experience large weight loss, muscle mass may be affected followed by changes in plasma creatinine (pCr). The MDRD and CKD-EPI equations for estimated GFR (eGFR) include pCr. We hypothesised that a large weight loss reduces muscle mass and pCr causing increase in e...... (mean ± SD) 40.0 ± 9.3 years, 14 (74%) were female and 5 (26%) had type 2 diabetes, baseline weight was 128 ± 19 kg, body mass index 41 ± 6 kg/m2 and absolute mGFR 122 ± 24 ml/min. Six months post-surgery weight loss was 27 (95% CI: 23; 30) kg, mGFR decreased by 9 (-17; -2) from 122 ± 24 to 113 ± 21 ml...... was reduced by 3.5 (-4.4;-2.6; p weight reductions are associated with a reduction in absolute mGFR, which may reflect resolution of glomerular hyperfiltration, while m...

  11. Rheological properties of poly (vinylpiyrrolidone) as a function of average molecular weight and its applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marani, Debora; Sudireddy, Bhaskar Reddy; Kiebach, Ragnar

    of formulations for pharmaceutics, food, personal care, or coatings, paintings, and printing applications. It is also widely used as organic additive, i.e. dispersant for ceramics. Regardless of the application, the control over the polymer behavior in solution is required for an efficient optimization...... of the formulation. Specifically, understanding the rheological properties is of paramount interest. Among the different factors that influence the rheological behavior, viscosity average molecular weight of the polymer is the most relevant. In this work, PVP polymers with various molecular weights have been....... The MHS equation relates the intrinsic viscosity [η] of a polymer in a given solvent at fixed temperature to the molecular weight. The adopted method also enables for the evaluation of the two MHS equation parameters (a and K), and of the polydispersity correction factor (qMHS). The intrinsic viscosity...

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-18

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

  15. Do Knee Bracing and Delayed Weight Bearing Affect Mid-Term Functional Outcome after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Miceli, Riccardo; Marambio, Carlotta Bustos; Zati, Alessandro; Monesi, Roberta; Benedetti, Maria Grazia

    2017-12-01

    Purpose  The aim of this study was to assess the effect of knee bracing and timing of full weight bearing after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) on functional outcomes at mid-term follow-up. Methods  We performed a retrospective study on 41 patients with ACLR. Patients were divided in two groups: ACLR group, who received isolated ACL reconstruction and ACLR-OI group who received ACL reconstruction and adjunctive surgery. Information about age at surgery, bracing, full or progressive weight bearing permission after surgery were collected for the two groups. Subjective IKDC score was obtained at follow-up. Statistical analysis was performed to compare the two groups for IKDC score. Subgroup analysis was performed to assess the effect of postoperative regimen (knee bracing and weight bearing) on functional outcomes. Results  The mean age of patients was 30.8 ± 10.6 years. Mean IKDC score was 87.4 ± 13.9. The mean follow-up was 3.5 ± 1.8 years. Twenty-two (53.7%) patients underwent ACLR only, while 19 (46.3%) also received other interventions, such as meniscal repair and/or collateral ligament suture. Analysis of overall data showed no differences between the groups for IKDC score. Patients in the ACLR group exhibited a significantly better IKDC score when no brace and full weight bearing after 4 weeks from surgery was prescribed in comparison with patients who worn a brace and had delayed full weight bearing. No differences were found with respect to the use of brace and postoperative weight bearing regimen in the ACLR-OI group. Conclusion  Brace and delayed weight bearing after ACLR have a negative influence on long-term functional outcomes. Further research is required to explore possible differences in the patients operated on ACLR and other intervention with respect to the use of a brace and the timing of full weight bearing to identify optimal recovery strategies. Level of Evidence  Level III, retrospective observational

  16. FUNCTIONAL OUTCOMES OF HIP ARTHROSCOPY IN AN ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY POPULATION UTILIZING A CRITERION-BASED EARLY WEIGHT BEARING PROGRESSION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, K Aaron; Jacobs, Jeremy M; Evanson, J Richard; Pniewski, Josh; Dickston, Michelle L; Mueller, Terry; Bojescul, John A

    2017-10-01

    Hip arthroscopy allows surgeons to address intra-articular pathology of the hip while avoiding more invasive open surgical dislocation. However the post-operative rehabilitation protocols have varied greatly in the literature, with many having prolonged periods of limited motion and weight bearing. The purpose of this study was to describe a criterion-based early weight bearing protocol following hip arthroscopy and investigate functional outcomes in the subjects who were active duty military. Active duty personnel undergoing hip arthroscopy for symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement were prospectively assessed in a controlled environment for the ability to incorporate early postoperative weight-bearing with the following criteria: no increased pain complaint with weight bearing and normalized gait pattern. Modified Harris Hip (HHS) and Hip Outcome score (HOS) were performed preoperatively and at six months post-op. Participants were progressed with a standard hip arthroscopy protocol. Hip flexion was limited to not exceed 90 degrees for the first three weeks post-op, with progression back to running beginning at three months. Final discharge was dependent upon the ability to run two miles at military specified pace and do a single leg broad jump within six inches of the contralateral leg without an increase in pain. Eleven participants met inclusion criteria over the study period. Crutch use was discontinued at an average of five days following surgery based on established weight bearing criteria. Only one participant required continued crutch use at 15 days. Participants' functional outcome was improved postoperatively, as demonstrated by significant increases in HOS and HHS. At the six month follow up, eight of 11 participants were able to take and complete a full Army Physical Fitness Test. Following completion of the early weight bearing rehabilitation protocol, 81% of participants were able to progress to full weight bearing by four days post

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-22

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

  18. Effect of 48 h Fasting on Autonomic Function, Brain Activity, Cognition, and Mood in Amateur Weight Lifters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rima Solianik

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The acute fasting-induced cardiovascular autonomic response and its effect on cognition and mood remain debatable. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of a 48 h, zero-calorie diet on autonomic function, brain activity, cognition, and mood in amateur weight lifters. Methods. Nine participants completed a 48 h, zero-calorie diet program. Cardiovascular autonomic function, resting frontal brain activity, cognitive performance, and mood were evaluated before and after fasting. Results. Fasting decreased (p<0.05 weight, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure, whereas no changes were evident regarding any of the measured heart rate variability indices. Fasting decreased (p<0.05 the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin and improved (p<0.05 mental flexibility and shifting set, whereas no changes were observed in working memory, visuospatial discrimination, and spatial orientation ability. Fasting also increased (p<0.05 anger, whereas other mood states were not affected by it. Conclusions. 48 h fasting resulted in higher parasympathetic activity and decreased resting frontal brain activity, increased anger, and improved prefrontal-cortex-related cognitive functions, such as mental flexibility and set shifting, in amateur weight lifters. In contrast, hippocampus-related cognitive functions were not affected by it.

  19. A randomised trial comparing the effect of exercise training and weight loss on microvascular function in coronary artery disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Rasmus Huan; Pedersen, Lene Rørholm; Jürs, Anders; Snoer, Martin; Haugaard, Steen B; Prescott, Eva

    2015-04-15

    Coronary microvascular function is associated with outcome and is reduced in coronary artery disease (CAD) and obesity. We compared the effect of aerobic interval training (AIT) and weight loss on coronary flow reserve (CFR) and peripheral vascular function in revascularised obese CAD patients. Seventy non-diabetic patients (BMI 28-40 kg × m(-2), age 45-75 years) were randomised to 12 weeks' AIT (three weekly sessions lasting 38 min with ≈ 16 min at 85-90% of VO2peak) or low energy diet (LED, 800-1000 kcal/day). Per protocol adherence was defined by training-attendance ≥ 60% and weight loss ≥ 5%, respectively. CFR was assessed by Doppler echocardiography of the LAD. Peripheral vascular function was assessed by arterial tonometry as reactive hyperaemia index (RHI) and augmentation index. Most participants had impaired CFR with a mean CFR of 2.38 (SD 0.59). Twenty-six AIT and 24 LED participants completed the study per protocol with valid CFR measurements. AIT resulted in a 10.4% improvement in VO2peak and LED in a 10.6% weight loss (between group differences both P0.50). Intention-to-treat analyses showed similar results. 12 weeks' AIT and LED increased CFR by comparable magnitude; thus both interventions might impact prognosis of CAD through improvement of coronary microvascular function. URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01724567. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Rheological properties of poly(vinylpiyrrolidone) as a function of molecular weight

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marani, Debora; Sudireddy, Bhaskar Reddy; Kiebach, Wolff-Ragnar

    2014-01-01

    Different grades of poly (vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) were studied as dispersant for gadolinium doped cerium oxide (CGO) in ethanol-based colloidal dispersions. The average molecular weights Mw, Mn, and Mz were determined by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and then used in a numerical method...

  1. Direct calculation of depth of correlation and weighting function in ?PIV from experimental particle images

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hein, M.; Wieneke, B.; Seemann, R.

    2013-01-01

    Micro-PIV (?PIV) uses volume-illumination and imaging of fluorescent tracer particles through a single microscope objective. Displacement fields measured by image correlation depend on all imaged particles, including defocused particles. The measured in-plane displacement is a weighted average of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner Mark

    2008-08-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abigail Mgboyibo Osuafor

    2016-08-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grabow Niels

    2017-09-01

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

  7. Functional evaluation of hydronephrosis by diffusion-weighted MR imaging: Relationship between apparent diffusion coefficient and split glomerular filtration rate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toyoshima, S.; Noguchi, K.; Seto, H.; Shimizu, M.; Watanabe, N.

    2000-01-01

    To determine the relationship between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values measured by diffusion-weighted MR imaging and split renal function determined by renal scintigraphy in patients with hydronephrosis. Material and Methods: Diffusion-weighted imaging on a 1.5 T MR unit and renal scintigraphy were performed in 36 patients with hydronephrosis (45 hydronephrotic kidneys, 21 non-hydronephrotic kidneys). ADC values of the individual kidneys were measured by diffusion-weighted MR imaging. Split renal function (glomerular filtration rate (GFR)) was determined by renal scintigraphy using 99m Tc-DTPA. The relationship between ADC values and split GFR was examined in 66 kidneys. The hydronephrotic kidneys were further classified into three groups (severe renal dysfunction, GFR 25 ml/min, n=28), and mean values for ADCs were calculated. Results: In hydronephrotic kidneys, there was a moderate positive correlation between ADC values and split GFR (R2=0.56). On the other hand, in non-hydronephrotic kidneys, poor correlation between ADC values and split GFR was observed (R2=0.08). The mean values for ADCs of the dysfunctioning hydronephrotic kidneys (severe renal dysfunction, 1.32x10 -3 ±0.18x10 -3 mm 2 /s; moderate renal dysfunction, 1.38x10 -3 ±0.10x10 -3 mm2/s) were significantly lower than that of the normal functioning hydronephrotic kidneys (1.63x10 -3 ±0.12±10 -3 mm 2 /s). Conclusion: These results indicated that measurement of ADC values by diffusion-weighted MR imaging has a potential value in the evaluation of the functional status of hydronephrotic kidneys

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. Dynamic Establishment of Weight of Enterprise’s Internal Function Based on AHP and QFD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Pei

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Modern enterprise management strives to become effective and pragmatic, usually, KPI is the most essential key indicator for the enterprise examination department. However, because the supporting and bearing roles of KPI for different departments are different, no a rather scientific quantification for the weight between them is available, unbalanced examination weights between indicators and departments usually exists. Here, it is with balanced score card to breakdown enterprise’s key tasks, card the performance indicators supporting enterprise’s key tasks, and utilize AHP and QFD method to dynamically establish a standard for measuring each department’s indicators so as to provide a basis for enterprise’s scientific examination.

  11. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-08

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

  19. Exploring the Non-Stationary Effects of Forests and Developed Land within Watersheds on Biological Indicators of Streams Using Geographically-Weighted Regression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyoung-Jin An

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the non-stationary relationship between the ecological condition of streams and the proportions of forest and developed land in watersheds using geographically-weighted regression (GWR. Most previous studies have adopted the ordinary least squares (OLS method, which assumes stationarity of the relationship between land use and biological indicators. However, these conventional OLS models cannot provide any insight into local variations in the land use effects within watersheds. Here, we compared the performance of the OLS and GWR statistical models applied to benthic diatom, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities in sub-watershed management areas. We extracted land use datasets from the Ministry of Environment LULC map and data on biological indicators in Nakdong river systems from the National Aquatic Ecological Monitoring Program in Korea. We found that the GWR model had superior performance compared with the OLS model, as assessed based on R2, Akaike’s Information Criterion, and Moran’s I values. Furthermore, GWR models revealed specific localized effects of land use on biological indicators, which we investigated further. The results of this study can be used to inform more effective policies on watershed management and to enhance ecological integrity by prioritizing sub-watershed management areas

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-10-02

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

  1. Impact of Birth Weight and Smoking on Lung Function in Patients with Asthma, COPD, and Healthy Volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panaszek, Bernard; Pawłowicz, Robert; Lindner, Karolina; Dobek, Rafał; Panaszek, Konrad; Obojski, Andrzej; Rosińczuk, Joanna; Ichnowski, Jerzy

    2016-01-01

    Birth weight (BW) is an important factor for determining the development of the respiratory system. The majority of research analyzed the impact of BW on lung function in youth. BW influence and smoking on lung function in adults with asthma and COPD is an interesting issue. The aim of the study was to investigate relationships between BW, smoking, and lung function in adult healthy individuals and diagnosed with asthma or COPD. Four hundred seventy-nine subjects were divided into 5 groups: 123 healthy non-smokers, 180 healthy smokers, 72 non-smoking asthmatics, 57 smoking asthmatics, and 47 COPD patients. Relationships between 4 BW quartiles and lung function was analyzed with respect to smoking. Impact analyzes of BW, smoking, and asthma on FVC% revealed that asthma is the only significant differentiating factor in this spirometric parameter (p smoking.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Kripa Balakrishnan

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

  6. 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.

  7. Application of Multi-Valued Weighting Logical Functions in the Analysis of a Degree of Importance of Construction Parameters on the Example of Hydraulic Valves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deptuła, A.

    2014-08-01

    In the optimization process, changes in the construction parameters value influence the behaviour of functions depending on time. Weighting logical coefficients for the stabilisation time are taken into consideration here, i.e., a shorter (better) stabilisation time has a more important (bigger) value of the weighting coefficient. An example of applying weighting logical functions in the analysis of a degree of importance of construction parameters of a hydraulic valve is presented in the paper

  8. 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

  9. Identification of impeding factors for dry weight achievement in end-stage renal disease after appropriate kidney graft function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-González, Sonia Catalina; Pérez-Grovas, Héctor; Madero, Magdalena; Mora-Bravo, Franklin; Saavedra, Nadia; López-Rodriguez, Javier; Lerma, Claudia

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the factors that prevent dry weight achievement in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in renal replacement therapy through the change in their body weight after kidney transplant (KT) compared with 1 week before KT. The study included 188 ESRD patients of diverse etiology who received living kidney transplantation with normal immediate graft function, 62.2% were male, age 29 ± 11 years old. All patients were on renal replacement therapy for at least 1 month before KT with either hemodiafiltration (N = 106), hemodialysis (N = 25), or peritoneal dialysis (N = 57). Based on body weight difference (after transplant-before transplant), patients with body weight difference ≤2 kg were considered as being close to their dry weight (Group 1, N = 112), whereas patients with body weight difference >2 kg were considered as being overhydrated (Group 2, N = 76). Clinical and biochemical characteristics were obtained from the medical records at three periods of time: time of ESRD initiation (baseline), 1 week before undergoing KT, and 1 week after KT. The mean time (± standard deviation) from renal replacement therapy initiation to the week before KT was 9.2 ± 5 months. Group 2 had a higher proportion of men, antihypertensive use, peritoneal dialysis, and higher urine output during all periods. Before KT, Group 2 had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures than Group 1. After KT, both systolic and diastolic blood pressures decreased in Group 2, whereas no change occurred in Group 1. Before KT, Group 2 had higher levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid, and phosphorous compared with Group 1. Compared with baseline, Group 1 had more optimal blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid parameters before KT than Group 2. After KT, all parameters improved with respect to baseline in both groups. Hemoglobin, albumin, and sodium were similar between groups, except for higher

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. CLOCK 3111T/C genetic variant influences the daily rhythm of autonomic nervous function: relevance to body weight control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, M-T; Bandin, C; Yang, H-W; Scheer, F A J L; Hu, K; Garaulet, M

    2018-02-01

    Humans carrying the genetic risk variant C at the circadian CLOCK (Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput) 3111T/C have been shown to have more difficulties to achieve desired weight loss than TT carriers. We tested the hypothesis that the daily rhythm of autonomic nervous function differs in CLOCK 3111C carriers, leading to reduced effectiveness in weight control. We recruited 40 overweight/obese Caucasian women (body mass index>25), 20 carrying CLOCK 3111C (CC and TC) and 20 non-carriers with matched age and body mass index who participated in a dietary obesity treatment program of up to 30 weeks. Following the treatment, ambulatory electrocardiography was continuously monitored for up to 3.5 days when subjects underwent their normal daily activities. To assess autonomic function, heart rate variability analysis (HRV) was performed hourly to obtain mean inter-beat interval between two consecutive R waves (mean RR) and s.d. of normal-to-normal heartbeat intervals (SDNN), and two parasympathetic measures, namely, proportion of differences between adjacent NN intervals that are >50 ms (pNN50), and high-frequency (HF: 0.15-0.4 Hz) power. In the TT carriers, all tested HRV indices showed significant daily rhythms (all P-values CLOCK variation on body weight control.

  13. Role of surfactant molecular weight on morphology and properties of functionalized graphite oxide filled polypropylene nanocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Wang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Various surfactants of different molecular weights, including alkylamine, poly(oxypropylene diamine (POP, and maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (PPgMA oligomers, were used for simultaneous funtionalization and reduction of graphite oxide (fGO. In this study, the effect of molecular weight and compatibility of the surfactants on the morphology and properties of the nanocomposites are reported. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD exhibited a definite interlayer thickness for GOA (alkylamine intercalated GO, however, the diffraction peaks were nearly suppressed for fGOs combining ODA with either POP (GOAP or PPgMA (GOAE. The uniform dispersion of the fGO flakes in the polypropylene matrix resulted in the significant increase in both the degradation temperature and the crystallization temperature. A single characteristic melting peak of monoclinic (α crystalline phase was observed from DSC traces, which was consistent with WAXD results. Dynamic mechanical analysis clearly indicated increase in both the storage modulus and the glass transition temperature of the nanocomposites due to the enhanced affinity between fGO and the polypropylene matrix. However, GOAP composite showed lower E' and Tg than GOAE because POP is less compatible with the matrix than PPgMA oligomer. Dielectric analysis also showed significant increase in both dielectric permittivity and dielectric loss at low frequency regimes with GOAE showing maximum dielectric properties. The finely dispersed GOAE and its compatibility with polymer matrix manifested the interfacial polarization, which gave rise to much greater ε' and ε" than other nanocomposites.

  14. Relationship between weight loss and parameters of skeletal muscle function in patients with advanced cancer and fatigue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, P Cresta; Giorlando, A; Castro, M; Navigante, A

    2016-09-01

    This study aims to determine the influence of significant weight loss on parameters of skeletal muscle function in a population of advanced cancer patients with fatigue. A cross-sectional and comparative study was designed between two arms of advanced cancer patients with fatigue (fatigue numeral scale (FNS) ≥4). A arm (n = 27) with ≥5 % weight loss in the last 6 months, and B arm (n = 22) without weight loss. Muscle strength was examined by hand grip technique and measurements of body composition by bioimpedance analysis (BIA), values of hemoglobin, albumin, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), c-reactive protein (CRP), urine creatinine, and FNS. These variables were compared between both groups and correlated within each group. here were no differences concerning parameters of muscle strength between both arms. A arm had values of CRP ≥10 ug/dl in 77 % compared with 38.5 % of B arm (p = 0.004). A arm showed a higher percentage of body cell mass (%BCM) than B arm (p = 0.005). The A arm also showed a lower percentage of fat mass (%FM) (p = 0.014) when compared to the B arm. FNS was higher in A arm (median 7 vs 5; p = 0.047). All the variables of muscle strength had a significant positive correlation. In A arm, BCM had a negative significant correlation with CRP (p = 0.021). In this study, significant weight loss and high CRP did not have influence on parameters of skeletal muscular function. We consider that further studies should be necessary, preferably with longitudinal designs to evaluate these findings.

  15. Seven Years Cognitive Functioning and Early Assessment in Extremely Low Birth Weight Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squarza, Chiara; Picciolini, Odoardo; Gardon, Laura; Ravasi, Maura; Giannì, Maria L; Porro, Matteo; Bonzini, Matteo; Gangi, Silvana; Mosca, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Infants born preterm are at high risk for the onset of cognitive dysfunctions at school age. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between early neurodevelopmental assessment and the risk of adverse cognitive outcome in extremely low birth weight children. We enrolled all newborns (January 2002 - April 2007) consecutively admitted to our Institution, with a birthweight age using the Griffiths Mental Development Scales Revised. The same children were re-assessed at school age through the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Children with impaired Griffiths General Quotient (i.e., age showed a significantly lower Full Scale Intelligence Quotient at 7 years of chronological age when compared to children who scored in the normal range at 1 year ( p Eye and Hand Coordination Sub-quotients were specifically associated with poorer Performance or Verbal Intelligence Quotients, respectively ( p age. Larger confirmation studies are needed.

  16. A Subtractive-Type Speech Enhancement Using the Perceptual Frequency-Weighting Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Seiji; Inukai, Hiroyuki; Suguimoto, Masahiro

    The present paper describes quality enhancement of speech corrupted by an additive background noise in a single-channel system. The proposed approach is based on the introduction of a perceptual criterion using a frequency-weighting filter in a subtractive-type enhancement process. Although this subtractive-type method is very attractive because of its simplicity, it produces an unnatural and unpleasant residual noise. Thus, it is difficult to select fixed optimized parameters for all speech and noise conditions. A new and effective algorithm is thus developed based on the masking properties of the human ear. This newly developed algorithm allows for an automatic adaptation in the time and frequency of the enhancement system and determines a suitable noise estimate according to the frequency of the noisy input speech. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach can efficiently remove additive noise related to various kinds of noise corruption.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-21

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-05

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yadav, Rachita

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

  10. Toxicity of cadmium in Japanese quail: Evaluation of body weight, hepatic and renal function, and cellular immune response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sant'Ana, M.G.; Moraes, R.; Bernardi, M.M.

    2005-01-01

    Cadmium (Cd) is an environmental pollutant that is able to alter the immune function. Previous studies have shown that, in mammals, chronic exposure to Cd decreases the release of macrophagic cytokines such as IL1 and TNα and decreases phagocytosis activity. On the other hand contradictory results showed an increase in the humoral response. The cellular response could be decreased by exposure to Cd. These alterations were observed in mammals. The present study aimed to investigate some of the toxic effects of Cd exposure in birds. In particular, the main objective of this work was to elucidate the effects of exposure to this pollutant on the cellular immune function of the Japanese quail as a model for the study of toxicity in animals exposed in nature. The animals were exposed to the metal (100 ppm, per os) during development, i.e., from 1 to 28 days old. Body weight, biochemical parameters, and cellular immune response were measured during and at the end of treatment. The results showed that the exposure to Cd for 28 days significantly reduced the body weight and induced hepatic toxicity. The kidney function and cellular immune response were not affected by the Cd exposure

  11. [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

  12. Fast Back-Propagation Learning Using Steep Activation Functions and Automatic Weight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai-Hoon Cho; Richard W. Conners; Philip A. Araman

    1992-01-01

    In this paper, several back-propagation (BP) learning speed-up algorithms that employ the ãgainä parameter, i.e., steepness of the activation function, are examined. Simulations will show that increasing the gain seemingly increases the speed of convergence and that these algorithms can converge faster than the standard BP learning algorithm on some problems. However,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-27

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

  14. Chronic Protein Restriction in Mice Impacts Placental Function and Maternal Body Weight before Fetal Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Paula N; Gasperowicz, Malgorzata; Barbeito-Andrés, Jimena; Klenin, Natasha; Cross, James C; Hallgrímsson, Benedikt

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms of resource allocation are essential for maternal and fetal survival, particularly when the availability of nutrients is limited. We investigated the responses of feto-placental development to maternal chronic protein malnutrition to test the hypothesis that maternal low protein diet produces differential growth restriction of placental and fetal tissues, and adaptive changes in the placenta that may mitigate impacts on fetal growth. C57BL/6J female mice were fed either a low-protein diet (6% protein) or control isocaloric diet (20% protein). On embryonic days E10.5, 17.5 and 18.5 tissue samples were prepared for morphometric, histological and quantitative RT-PCR analyses, which included markers of trophoblast cell subtypes. Potential endocrine adaptations were assessed by the expression of Prolactin-related hormone genes. In the low protein group, placenta weight was significantly lower at E10.5, followed by reduction of maternal weight at E17.5, while the fetuses became significantly lighter no earlier than at E18.5. Fetal head at E18.5 in the low protein group, though smaller than controls, was larger than expected for body size. The relative size and shape of the cranial vault and the flexion of the cranial base was affected by E17.5 and more severely by E18.5. The junctional zone, a placenta layer rich in endocrine and energy storing glycogen cells, was smaller in low protein placentas as well as the expression of Pcdh12, a marker of glycogen trophoblast cells. Placental hormone gene Prl3a1 was altered in response to low protein diet: expression was elevated at E17.5 when fetuses were still growing normally, but dropped sharply by E18.5 in parallel with the slowing of fetal growth. This model suggests that nutrients are preferentially allocated to sustain fetal and brain growth and suggests the placenta as a nutrient sensor in early gestation with a role in mitigating impacts of poor maternal nutrition on fetal growth.

  15. Amino Acid Profile, Group of Functional and Molecular Weight Distribution of Goat Skin Gelatin That Produced Through Acid Process

    OpenAIRE

    Muhammad Irfan Said; Suharjono Triatmojo; Yuny Erwanto; Achmad Fudholi

    2012-01-01

    Gelatin is a product of hydrolysis of collagen protein from animals that are partially processed.  Gelatin used in food and non food industries.  Gelatin is produced when many import of raw skins and bones of pigs and cows.  Goat skins potential as a raw material substitution that still doubt its halal. Process production of gelatin determine the properties of gelatin. The objectives of this research were to determine amino acid profile, group of functional and molecular weight distribution o...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baune, Bernhard T; Air, Tracy

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senthilkumar, Rajendran; Yeh, Kai-Wun

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Seven Years Cognitive Functioning and Early Assessment in Extremely Low Birth Weight Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Squarza

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Infants born preterm are at high risk for the onset of cognitive dysfunctions at school age. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between early neurodevelopmental assessment and the risk of adverse cognitive outcome in extremely low birth weight children. We enrolled all newborns (January 2002 – April 2007 consecutively admitted to our Institution, with a birthweight < 1000 g. Exclusion criteria were genetic abnormalities, severe neurofunctional impairment, and/or neurosensory disabilities. Ninety-nine children were assessed at 1 year of corrected age using the Griffiths Mental Development Scales Revised. The same children were re-assessed at school age through the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Children with impaired Griffiths General Quotient (i.e., <1 SD at 1 year of corrected age showed a significantly lower Full Scale Intelligence Quotient at 7 years of chronological age when compared to children who scored in the normal range at 1 year (p < 0.01. Considering the Griffiths Sub-quotients separately, a poor score in the Performance or in the Personal-Social Sub-quotients at 1 year was associated with significantly worse cognitive outcomes both in the Verbal and in the Performance Intelligence Quotients at 7 years (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively. A score <1 SD in the Locomotor or in the Eye and Hand Coordination Sub-quotients were specifically associated with poorer Performance or Verbal Intelligence Quotients, respectively (p < 0.05. Our findings suggest that a poor score on the Griffiths Scales at 1 year is associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment at school age. Larger confirmation studies are needed.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Baune, Bernhard T.; Air, Tracy

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Locomotor step training with body weight support improves respiratory motor function in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terson de Paleville, Daniela; McKay, William; Aslan, Sevda; Folz, Rodney; Sayenko, Dimitry; Ovechkin, Alexander

    2013-12-01

    This prospective case-controlled clinical study was undertaken to investigate to what extent the manually assisted treadmill stepping locomotor training with body weight support (LT) can change respiratory function in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). Pulmonary function outcomes (forced vital capacity /FVC/, forced expiratory volume one second /FEV1/, maximum inspiratory pressure /PImax/, maximum expiratory pressure /PEmax/) and surface electromyographic (sEMG) measures of respiratory muscles activity during respiratory tasks were obtained from eight individuals with chronic C3-T12 SCI before and after 62±10 (mean±SD) sessions of the LT. FVC, FEV1, PImax, PEmax, amount of overall sEMG activity and rate of motor unit recruitment were significantly increased after LT (prespiratory muscles preserved after injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Vauzour

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rospond, Bartłomiej; Chłopicka, Joanna

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Few adults with functional limitations advised to exercise more or lose weight in NHANES 2011-14 seek health professional assistance: An opportunity for physical therapists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinslow, Brian; De Heer, Hendrik D; Warren, Meghan

    2018-03-02

    Functional limitations are associated with decreased physical activity and increased body mass index. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of functional limitations among adults who reported receiving health professional advice to exercise more or lose weight, and to assess involvement of health professionals, including physical therapists, in weight loss efforts with these individuals. A cross-sectional analysis of U.S. adults from the 2011 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 5,480). Participant demographics, health history, and functional limitations were assessed via self-report and examination. Frequency distributions were calculated using SAS® analytical software, accounting for the complex survey design. Population estimates were calculated using the American Community Survey. 31.0% of individuals (n = 1,696), representing a population estimate of 35 million adults, advised to exercise more or lose weight by a health professional reported one or more functional limitation. Of the 31%, 57.6% attempted weight loss, and 40.1% used exercise for weight loss. Few sought health professional assistance. Physical therapists were not mentioned. Few individuals with functional limitations advised to lose weight or increase exercise seek health professional assistance for weight loss. Physical therapists have an opportunity to assist those with functional limitations with exercise prescription.

  11. Reduction in body weight but worsening renal function with late ultrafiltration for treatment of acute decompensated heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Sandesh; Shirolkar, Shailesh C; Stevens, Susanna R; Shaw, Linda K; Adams, Patricia A; Felker, G Michael; Rogers, Joseph G; O'Connor, Christopher M

    2012-01-01

    The safety, effectiveness and indications for ultrafiltration (UF) are not well established. We hypothesized that UF would not worsen renal function in patients with heart failure (HF) who were not responding to medical therapy. Data was collected for patients who underwent UF between 2006 and 2010 (n = 72, median age 61 years, 54% males, 61% Caucasian, 54% left ventricular ejection fraction ≥ 40%). Baseline GFR was 38 ml/min/1.73 m2. All patients were initially treated with loop diuretics and 58% required a thiazide-like diuretic or vasoactive agent. UF resulted in total fluid removal of 11.3 liters and weight loss was 9.7 kg. The median decrease in eGFR during UF was 4.5 ml/min/m2 (IQR--13, 0; p < 0.01) and 43% of patients experienced a ≥ 20% decrease in eGFR. Ten percent of patients required dialysis and 13% died, received a ventricular assist device/cardiac transplant or were discharged to hospice. In a cohort of HF patients who did not respond to medical therapy, UF was associated not only with a significant reduction of body weight and fluid removal, but also acute worsening of renal function. Further research to identify the appropriate population for UF, long-term outcomes and the intensity of treatment is required if UF is to gain wide acceptance for HF management. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, W T; Lauzon, R J

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  19. Aberrant resting-state corticostriatal functional connectivity in cirrhotic patients with hyperintense globus pallidus on T1-weighted MR imaging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xi-Qi Zhu

    Full Text Available Neurobiological and neuroimaging studies have emphasized the structural and functional alterations in the striatum of cirrhotic patients, but alterations in the functional connections between the striatum and other brain regions have not yet been explored. Of note, manganese accumulation in the nervous system, frequently reflected by hyperintensity at the bilateral globus pallidus (GP on T1-weighted imaging, has been considered a factor affecting the striatal and cortical functions in hepatic decompensation. We employed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to analyze the temporal correlation between the striatum and the remaining brain regions using seed-based correlation analyses. The two-sample t-test was conducted to detect the differences in corticostriatal connectivity between 44 cirrhotic patients with hyperintensity at the bilateral GP and 20 healthy controls. Decreased connectivity of the caudate was detected in the anterior/middle cingulate gyrus, and increased connectivity of the caudate was found in the left motor cortex. A reduction in functional connectivity was found between the putamen and several regions, including the anterior cingulate gyrus, right insular lobe, inferior frontal gyrus, left parahippocampal gyrus, and anterior lobe of the right cerebellum; increased connectivity was detected between the putamen and right middle temporal gyrus. There were significant correlations between the corticostriatal connectivity and neuropsychological performances in the patient group, but not between the striatal connectivity and GP signal intensity. These alterations in the corticostriatal functional connectivity suggested the abnormalities in the intrinsic brain functional organiztion among the cirrhotic patients with manganese deposition, and may be associated with development of metabolic encephalopathy. The manganese deposition in nervous system, however, can not be an independent factor predicting the resting

  20. Executive function training with game elements for obese children: A novel treatment to enhance self-regulatory abilities for weight-control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verbeken, S.; Braet, C.; Goossens, L.; van der Oord, S.

    2013-01-01

    For obese children behavioral treatment results in only small changes in relative weight and frequent relapse. The current study investigated the effects of an Executive Functioning (EF) training with game-elements on weight loss maintenance in obese children, over and above the care as usual in an

  1. Robust Template Decomposition without Weight Restriction for Cellular Neural Networks Implementing Arbitrary Boolean Functions Using Support Vector Classifiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yih-Lon Lin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available If the given Boolean function is linearly separable, a robust uncoupled cellular neural network can be designed as a maximal margin classifier. On the other hand, if the given Boolean function is linearly separable but has a small geometric margin or it is not linearly separable, a popular approach is to find a sequence of robust uncoupled cellular neural networks implementing the given Boolean function. In the past research works using this approach, the control template parameters and thresholds are restricted to assume only a given finite set of integers, and this is certainly unnecessary for the template design. In this study, we try to remove this restriction. Minterm- and maxterm-based decomposition algorithms utilizing the soft margin and maximal margin support vector classifiers are proposed to design a sequence of robust templates implementing an arbitrary Boolean function. Several illustrative examples are simulated to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method by comparing our results with those produced by other decomposition methods with restricted weights.

  2. Effects of the addition of functional electrical stimulation to ground level gait training with body weight support after chronic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado-Medeiros, Christiane L; Sousa, Catarina O; Souza, Andréa S; Soares, Márcio R; Barela, Ana M F; Salvini, Tania F

    2011-01-01

    The addition of functional electrical stimulation (FES) to treadmill gait training with partial body weight support (BWS) has been proposed as a strategy to facilitate gait training in people with hemiparesis. However, there is a lack of studies that evaluate the effectiveness of FES addition on ground level gait training with BWS, which is the most common locomotion surface. To investigate the additional effects of commum peroneal nerve FES combined with gait training and BWS on ground level, on spatial-temporal gait parameters, segmental angles, and motor function. Twelve people with chronic hemiparesis participated in the study. An A1-B-A2 design was applied. A1 and A2 corresponded to ground level gait training using BWS, and B corresponded to the same training with the addition of FES. The assessments were performed using the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Functional Ambulation Category (FAC), Rivermead Motor Assessment (RMA), and filming. The kinematics analyzed variables were mean walking speed of locomotion; step length; stride length, speed and duration; initial and final double support duration; single-limb support duration; swing period; range of motion (ROM), maximum and minimum angles of foot, leg, thigh, and trunk segments. There were not changes between phases for the functional assessment of RMA, for the spatial-temporal gait variables and segmental angles, no changes were observed after the addition of FES. The use of FES on ground level gait training with BWS did not provide additional benefits for all assessed parameters.

  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. Minor long-term changes in weight have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function in obese subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenfalck, A M; Hendel, Helle Westergren; Rasmussen, M H

    2002-01-01

    To evaluate the long-term effect of changes in body composition induced by weight loss on insulin sensitivity (SI), non-insulin mediated glucose disposal, glucose effectiveness (SG)and beta-cell function....

  5. Weight functions for the determination of stress intensity factor and T-stress for edge-cracked plates with built-in ends

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, J.; Wang, X.; Tan, C.L.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents the weight functions for the determination of the stress intensity factor and T-stress solutions for edge-cracked plates with built-in ends under complex stress distributions. First, a compliance analysis approach is used to calculate stress intensity factor and T-stress for edge cracks in finite width plates with built-in ends with uniform or linear stress distributions acting on the crack face. The results serve as the reference solutions for the next step in which the approaches of deriving weight functions from reference stress intensity factor and T-stress solutions developed for stress boundary conditions are extended to obtain the corresponding weight functions for edge-cracked plates with built-in ends. Finite element analysis is conducted to validate the derived solutions. The weight functions derived are suitable for obtaining stress intensity factors and T-stress solutions under any complex stress field

  6. Functionalization of Graphene Oxide with Low Molecular Weight Poly (Lactic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingwei Yuan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the hydroxyl groups on the surface of graphene oxide (GO were used to initiate the ring-opening polymerization of a lactic acid O-carboxyanhydride. GO grafted with poly (l-lactic acid molecular chains (GO-g-PLLA was prepared. Lactic acid O-carboxyanhydride has a higher polymerization activity under mild polymerization conditions. Thus, the functionalization of the polymer chains and obtaining poly (lactic acid (PLLA was easily achieved by ring-opening polymerization with 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP as the catalyst. The results showed that with this method, PLLA can be rapidly grafted to the surface of GO in one step. As a result, the chemical structure of the GO surface was altered, improving its dispersion in organic solvents and in a PLLA matrix, as well as its bonding strength with the PLLA interface. We then prepared GO/PLLA and PLLA/GO-g-PLLA composite materials and investigated the differences in their interfacial properties and mechanical properties. GO-g-PLLA exhibited excellent dispersion in the PLLA matrix and formed excellent interfacial bonds with PLLA through mechanical interlocking, demonstrating a significant enhancement effect compared to PLLA. The water vapor and oxygen permeabilities of the GO-g-PLLA/PLLA composite decreased by 19% and 29%, respectively.

  7. Effects of side group functionality and molecular weight on the activity of synthetic antimicrobial polypeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engler, Amanda C; Shukla, Anita; Puranam, Sravanthi; Buss, Hilda G; Jreige, Nina; Hammond, Paula T

    2011-05-09

    The rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria along with increasing difficulty in biofilm treatment has caused an immediate need for the development of new classes of antimicrobial therapeutics. We have developed a library of antimicrobial polypeptides, prepared by the ring-opening polymerization of γ-propargyl-L-glutamate N-carboxyanhydride and the alkyne-azide cycloaddition click reaction, which mimic the favorable characteristics of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides (AmPs). AmPs are known not to cause drug resistance as well as prevent bacteria attachment on surfaces. The ease and scale of synthesis of the antimicrobial polypeptides developed here are significantly improved over the traditional Merrifield synthetic peptide approaches needed for naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides and avoids the unique challenges of biosynthetic pathways. The polypeptides range in length from 30 to 140 repeat units and can have varied side group functionality, including primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary amines with hydrocarbon side chains ranging from 1 to 12 carbons long. Overall, we find these polypeptides to exhibit broad-spectrum activity against both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, namely, S. aureus and E. coli , while having very low hemolytic activity. Many of the polypeptides can also be used as surface coatings to prevent bacterial attachment. The polypeptide library developed in this work addresses the need for effective biocompatible therapeutics for drug delivery and medical device coatings.

  8. Renal function following three distinct weight loss dietary strategies during 2 years of a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirosh, Amir; Golan, Rachel; Harman-Boehm, Ilana; Henkin, Yaakov; Schwarzfuchs, Dan; Rudich, Assaf; Kovsan, Julia; Fiedler, Georg M; Blüher, Matthias; Stumvoll, Michael; Thiery, Joachim; Stampfer, Meir J; Shai, Iris

    2013-08-01

    This study addressed the long-term effect of various diets, particularly low-carbohydrate high-protein, on renal function on participants with or without type 2 diabetes. In the 2-year Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT), 318 participants (age, 51 years; 86% men; BMI, 31 kg/m(2); mean estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR], 70.5 mL/min/1.73 m(2); mean urine microalbumin-to-creatinine ratio, 12:12) with serum creatinine low-fat, Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate diets. The 2-year compliance was 85%, and the proportion of protein intake significantly increased to 22% of energy only in the low-carbohydrate diet (P low-fat and Mediterranean). We examined changes in urinary microalbumin and eGFR, estimated by Modification of Diet in Renal Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration formulas. Significant (P low-carbohydrate (+5.3% [95% CI 2.1-8.5]), Mediterranean (+5.2% [3.0-7.4]), and low-fat diets (+4.0% [0.9-7.1]) with similar magnitude (P > 0.05) across diet groups. The increased eGFR was at least as prominent in participants with (+6.7%) or without (+4.5%) type 2 diabetes or those with lower baseline renal function of eGFR weight loss, and change in protein intake (confounders and univariate predictors), only a decrease in fasting insulin (β = -0.211; P = 0.004) and systolic blood pressure (β = -0.25; P low-carbohydrate diet is as safe as Mediterranean or low-fat diets in preserving/improving renal function among moderately obese participants with or without type 2 diabetes, with baseline serum creatinine weight loss-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.

  9. Morning and Evening Blue-Enriched Light Exposure Alters Metabolic Function in Normal Weight Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Ivy N.; Zee, Phyllis C.; Shalman, Dov; Malkani, Roneil G.; Kang, Joseph; Reid, Kathryn J.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence points to associations between light-dark exposure patterns, feeding behavior, and metabolism. This study aimed to determine the acute effects of 3 hours of morning versus evening blue-enriched light exposure compared to dim light on hunger, metabolic function, and physiological arousal. Nineteen healthy adults completed this 4-day inpatient protocol under dim light conditions (morning group) or 10.5 hours after wake (n = 10; evening group). All participants remained in dim light on Day 2 to serve as their baseline. Subjective hunger and sleepiness scales were collected hourly. Blood was sampled at 30-minute intervals for 4 hours in association with the light exposure period for glucose, insulin, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin. Homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and area under the curve (AUC) for insulin, glucose, HOMA-IR and cortisol were calculated. Comparisons relative to baseline were done using t-tests and repeated measures ANOVAs. In both the morning and evening groups, insulin total area, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-IR AUC were increased and subjective sleepiness was reduced with blue-enriched light compared to dim light. The evening group, but not the morning group, had significantly higher glucose peak value during blue-enriched light exposure compared to dim light. There were no other significant differences between the morning or the evening groups in response to blue-enriched light exposure. Blue-enriched light exposure acutely alters glucose metabolism and sleepiness, however the mechanisms behind this relationship and its impacts on hunger and appetite regulation remain unclear. These results provide further support for a role of environmental light exposure in the regulation of metabolism. PMID:27191727

  10. Morning and Evening Blue-Enriched Light Exposure Alters Metabolic Function in Normal Weight Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Ivy N; Zee, Phyllis C; Shalman, Dov; Malkani, Roneil G; Kang, Joseph; Reid, Kathryn J

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence points to associations between light-dark exposure patterns, feeding behavior, and metabolism. This study aimed to determine the acute effects of 3 hours of morning versus evening blue-enriched light exposure compared to dim light on hunger, metabolic function, and physiological arousal. Nineteen healthy adults completed this 4-day inpatient protocol under dim light conditions (blue-enriched light exposure on Day 3 starting either 0.5 hours after wake (n = 9; morning group) or 10.5 hours after wake (n = 10; evening group). All participants remained in dim light on Day 2 to serve as their baseline. Subjective hunger and sleepiness scales were collected hourly. Blood was sampled at 30-minute intervals for 4 hours in association with the light exposure period for glucose, insulin, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin. Homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and area under the curve (AUC) for insulin, glucose, HOMA-IR and cortisol were calculated. Comparisons relative to baseline were done using t-tests and repeated measures ANOVAs. In both the morning and evening groups, insulin total area, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-IR AUC were increased and subjective sleepiness was reduced with blue-enriched light compared to dim light. The evening group, but not the morning group, had significantly higher glucose peak value during blue-enriched light exposure compared to dim light. There were no other significant differences between the morning or the evening groups in response to blue-enriched light exposure. Blue-enriched light exposure acutely alters glucose metabolism and sleepiness, however the mechanisms behind this relationship and its impacts on hunger and appetite regulation remain unclear. These results provide further support for a role of environmental light exposure in the regulation of metabolism.

  11. Rifaximin and midodrine improve clinical outcome in refractory ascites including renal function, weight loss, and short-term survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanafy, Amr S; Hassaneen, Ahmad M

    2016-12-01

    The occurrence of refractory ascites in nearly 17% of patients with decompensated cirrhosis is an unresolved issue. Advanced liver disease, functional renal impairment, and vascular insensitivity to vasopressors are the main causes of its refractoriness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on diuresis, weight loss, and short-term survival if midodrine and rifaximin were added to the diuretic therapy (DT). The study evaluated the eligibility of 650 patients with cirrhosis and refractory ascites who were selected during the period from November 2011 to May 2015. A total of 50 patients were excluded and finally 600 were selected and divided into the following groups: patients exposed to DT (n=200) as a control group, or DT with midodrine and rifaximin group (n=400). Body weight, mean arterial pressure, and glomerular filtration rate were determined. Plasma renin and aldosterone were also determined. Follow-up was performed after 2, 6, and 12 weeks, and then every 2 months for 24 months. The mean arterial pressure was significantly higher in the midodrine and rifaximin group (P=0.000), and there was a highly significant weight loss after 12 weeks (12.5 kg) (P=0.000), a highly significant increase in serum sodium, urine output, and urinary sodium excretion (P=0.000), and creatinine clearance was more reduced in the control group. With rifaximin and midodrine, a complete response occurred in 310 (78%) patients, a partial response in 72 (18%), and no response in 18 (4%) versus 30 (15%), 110 (55%), and 60 (30%) in the control group, respectively (P=0.000). Midodrine and rifaximin significantly reduced paracentesis needs when compared with the controls (18 study patients vs. 75 DT-only patients, P=0.000). Adding rifaximin and midodrine to DT enhanced diuresis in refractory ascites with improved systemic, renal hemodynamics and short-term survival.

  12. Chest circumference and birth weight are good predictors of lung function in preschool children from an e-waste recycling area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xiang; Xu, Xijin; Zhang, Yuling; Li, Weiqiu; Huo, Xia

    2017-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between birth weight, chest circumference, and lung function in preschool children from e-waste exposure area. A total of 206 preschool children from Guiyu (an e-waste recycling area) and Haojiang and Xiashan (the reference areas) in China were recruited and required to undergo physical examination, blood tests, and lung function tests during the study period. Birth outcome such as birth weight and birth height were obtained by questionnaire. Children living in the e-waste-exposed area have a lower birth weight, chest circumference, height, and lung function when compare to their peers from the reference areas (all p value <0.05). Both Spearman and partial correlation analyses showed that birth weight and chest circumference were positively correlated with lung function levels including forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV 1 ). After adjustment for the potential confounders in further linear regression analyses, birth weight, and chest circumference were positively associated with lung function levels, respectively. Taken together, birth weight and chest circumference may be good predictors for lung function levels in preschool children.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludvigsen, Eva

    2007-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Ribeiro Piffer

    2011-06-01

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

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

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

  2. Telemetry System of Biological Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Spisak

    2005-01-01

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

  3. Higher Molecular Weight Polyethylene Glycol Increases Cell Proliferation While Improving Barrier Function in an In Vitro Colon Cancer Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruthi Bharadwaj

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Polyethylene glycol (PEG has been previously shown to protect against enteric pathogens and prevent colon cancer invasion. To determine if PEG could indeed protect against previously observed pro-invasive effects of commensal E. coli and EPEC, Caco-2 cells grown in an in vitro model of colon cancer were infected with strains of human commensal E. coli or EPEC and treated with 10% PEG 3350, PEG 8000, and PEG 20,000, respectively. At 24 hours after infection, MMP-1 and MMP-13 activities, cell cluster thickness, depth of invasion, and proliferation were determined using standard molecular biology techniques and advanced imaging. We found that higher molecular weight PEG, especially PEG 8000 and 20,000, regardless of bacterial infection, increased proliferation and depth of invasion although a decrease in cellular density and MMP-1 activity was also noted. Maximum proliferation and depth of invasion of Caco-2 cells was observed in scaffolds treated with a combination of commensal E. coli strain, HS4 and PEG 8000. In conclusion, we found that PEG 8000 increased cell proliferation and led to the preservation of cell density in cells treated with commensal bacteria. This is important, because the preservation of a proliferative response in colon cancer results in a more chemo-responsive tumor.

  4. Intellectual psycho-educational and functional status of low birth weight survivors beyond 5 years of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tandon, A; Kumari, S; Ramji, S; Malik, A; Singh, S; Nigam, V R

    2000-11-01

    To determine the intellectual, psycho-educational and functional status of low birth weight (LBW) survivors (birth weight Gestalt Test. The proportion of children having soft neurological signs was determined. Vineland Social Maturity Scale was performed on all children. Fifty-nine LBW children and fifty-seven matched control children participated in the study. 27 of LBW children were examined at a mean age of 7.0 +/- 1.1 years (group I) and 32 were examined at a mean age of 10.6 +/- 1.2 years (group II). The LBW children as a group performed in the normal range on the tests of cognition and academic achievement, but were significantly disadvantaged (p Gestalt. Test as compared to controls but the difference was not significant. A significantly higher proportion of LBW children of both the groups showed the presence of soft neurological signs as compared to controls. The social quotient as assessed by the vineland Social Maturity Scale was significantly lower in the LBW children as compared to controls. Thus, though the LBW children were performing in the normal range on various measures, comparison with the control group showed that they were clearly disadvantaged on nearly every measure tested, emphasizing the need for early detection and referral for special education.

  5. Cuckoo search with Lévy flights for weighted Bayesian energy functional optimization in global-support curve data fitting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gálvez, Akemi; Iglesias, Andrés; Cabellos, Luis

    2014-01-01

    The problem of data fitting is very important in many theoretical and applied fields. In this paper, we consider the problem of optimizing a weighted Bayesian energy functional for data fitting by using global-support approximating curves. By global-support curves we mean curves expressed as a linear combination of basis functions whose support is the whole domain of the problem, as opposed to other common approaches in CAD/CAM and computer graphics driven by piecewise functions (such as B-splines and NURBS) that provide local control of the shape of the curve. Our method applies a powerful nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithm called cuckoo search, introduced recently to solve optimization problems. A major advantage of this method is its simplicity: cuckoo search requires only two parameters, many fewer than other metaheuristic approaches, so the parameter tuning becomes a very simple task. The paper shows that this new approach can be successfully used to solve our optimization problem. To check the performance of our approach, it has been applied to five illustrative examples of different types, including open and closed 2D and 3D curves that exhibit challenging features, such as cusps and self-intersections. Our results show that the method performs pretty well, being able to solve our minimization problem in an astonishingly straightforward way.

  6. Skeletal muscle mass adjusted by height correlated better with muscular functions than that adjusted by body weight in defining sarcopenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Der-Sheng; Chang, Ke-Vin; Li, Chia-Ming; Lin, Yu-Hong; Kao, Tung-Wei; Tsai, Keh-Sung; Wang, Tyng-Grey; Yang, Wei-Shiung

    2016-01-20

    Sarcopenia, characterized by low muscle mass and function, results in frailty, comorbidities and mortality. However, its prevalence varies according to the different criteria used in its diagnosis. This cross-sectional study investigated the difference in the number of sarcopenia cases recorded by two different measurement methods of low muscle mass to determine which measurement was better. We recruited 878 (54.2% female) individuals aged over 65 years and obtained their body composition and functional parameters. Low muscle mass was defined as two standard deviations below either the mean height-adjusted (hSMI) or weight-adjusted (wSMI) muscle mass of a young reference group. The prevalence of sarcopenia was 6.7% vs. 0.4% (male/female) by hSMI, and 4.0% vs. 10.7% (male/female) by wSMI. The κ coefficients for these two criteria were 0.39 vs. 0.03 (male/female), and 0.17 in all subjects. Serum myostatin levels correlated positively with gait speed (r = 0.142, p = 0.007) after adjustment for gender. hSMI correlated with grip strength, cardiopulmonary endurance, leg endurance, gait speed, and flexibility. wSMI correlated with grip strength, leg endurance, gait speed, and flexibility. Since hSMI correlated more closely with grip strength and more muscular functions, we recommend hSMI in the diagnosis of low muscle mass.

  7. Co-analysis of brain structure and function using fMRI and diffusion-weighted imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Jeffrey S; Greenberg, Adam S; Pyles, John A; Pathak, Sudhir K; Behrmann, Marlene; Schneider, Walter; Tarr, Michael J

    2012-11-08

    The study of complex computational systems is facilitated by network maps, such as circuit diagrams. Such mapping is particularly informative when studying the brain, as the functional role that a brain area fulfills may be largely defined by its connections to other brain areas. In this report, we describe a novel, non-invasive approach for relating brain structure and function using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This approach, a combination of structural imaging of long-range fiber connections and functional imaging data, is illustrated in two distinct cognitive domains, visual attention and face perception. Structural imaging is performed with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and fiber tractography, which track the diffusion of water molecules along white-matter fiber tracts in the brain (Figure 1). By visualizing these fiber tracts, we are able to investigate the long-range connective architecture of the brain. The results compare favorably with one of the most widely-used techniques in DWI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). DTI is unable to resolve complex configurations of fiber tracts, limiting its utility for constructing detailed, anatomically-informed models of brain function. In contrast, our analyses reproduce known neuroanatomy with precision and accuracy. This advantage is partly due to data acquisition procedures: while many DTI protocols measure diffusion in a small number of directions (e.g., 6 or 12), we employ a diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI)(1, 2) protocol which assesses diffusion in 257 directions and at a range of magnetic gradient strengths. Moreover, DSI data allow us to use more sophisticated methods for reconstructing acquired data. In two experiments (visual attention and face perception), tractography reveals that co-active areas of the human brain are anatomically connected, supporting extant hypotheses that they form functional networks. DWI allows us to create a "circuit diagram" and reproduce it on an individual-subject basis

  8. Grey-Markov prediction model based on background value optimization and central-point triangular whitenization weight function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Jing; Dang, Yaoguo; Li, Bingjun

    2018-01-01

    Grey-Markov forecasting model is a combination of grey prediction model and Markov chain which show obvious optimization effects for data sequences with characteristics of non-stationary and volatility. However, the state division process in traditional Grey-Markov forecasting model is mostly based on subjective real numbers that immediately affects the accuracy of forecasting values. To seek the solution, this paper introduces the central-point triangular whitenization weight function in state division to calculate possibilities of research values in each state which reflect preference degrees in different states in an objective way. On the other hand, background value optimization is applied in the traditional grey model to generate better fitting data. By this means, the improved Grey-Markov forecasting model is built. Finally, taking the grain production in Henan Province as an example, it verifies this model's validity by comparing with GM(1,1) based on background value optimization and the traditional Grey-Markov forecasting model.

  9. A randomised trial comparing the effect of exercise training and weight loss on microvascular function in coronary artery disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Rasmus Huan; Pedersen, Lene Rørholm; Jürs, Anders

    2015-01-01

    patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: Seventy non-diabetic patients (BMI 28-40 kg × m(-2), age 45-75 years) were randomised to 12 weeks' AIT (three weekly sessions lasting 38 min with ≈ 16 min at 85-90% of VO2peak) or low energy diet (LED, 800-1000 kcal/day). Per protocol adherence was defined by training......-six AIT and 24 LED participants completed the study per protocol with valid CFR measurements. AIT resulted in a 10.4% improvement in VO2peak and LED in a 10.6% weight loss (between group differences both P... might impact prognosis of CAD through improvement of coronary microvascular function. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01724567....

  10. 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.

  11. Weight status, diet quality, perceived stress, and functional health of caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoyin Sara; Pinto-Martin, Jennifer A; Thompson, Aleda; Chittams, Jesse; Kral, Tanja V E

    2018-01-01

    Caring for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be highly demanding and can put significant strain on caregivers. To date, little is known about the extent to which caregivers of children with ASD experience increased levels of stress which may adversely affect health outcomes. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to compare caregivers of children with ASD and caregivers of typically developing children (TDC) in weight status, diet quality, perceived stress related to the parenting role, and functional health and well-being. Caregivers of 25 children with ASD and 30 TDC completed the 2005 Block Food Frequency Questionnaire, the 36-item Short Form of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI/SF), and the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and had their heights and weights measured during an onsite visit. Diet quality was assessed using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2010 and its dietary components and conformance to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. ASD caregivers did not differ significantly from TDC caregivers in body mass index or overweight/obesity prevalence (p ≥ .28), even when controlling for covariates. In univariate analyses, ASD caregivers consumed significantly fewer empty calories from solid fats, alcohol, and added sugars than TDC caregivers (p = .03), but they did not differ significantly in any other dietary outcomes including nutrient adequacy (p ≥ .10) and mean total HEI scores (p = .20). ASD caregivers, when compared to TDC caregivers, reported significantly greater parenting stress for the subscales difficult child and parent-child dysfunctional interaction as well as total stress (p stress (p health domains related to functional health and well-being (p ≥ .10). Despite higher reported levels of stress, ASD caregivers did not differ significantly from TDC caregivers in diet- and health-related outcomes. Nurses and other health professionals should use comprehensive screening tools to assess overall caregiver stress and

  12. On Equalities Involving Integrals of the Logarithm of the Riemann ς-Function with Exponential Weight Which Are Equivalent to the Riemann Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey K. Sekatskii

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Integral equalities involving integrals of the logarithm of the Riemann ς-function with exponential weight functions are introduced, and it is shown that an infinite number of them are equivalent to the Riemann hypothesis. Some of these equalities are tested numerically. The possible contribution of the Riemann function zeroes nonlying on the critical line is rigorously estimated and shown to be extremely small, in particular, smaller than nine milliards of decimals for the maximal possible weight function exp(−2πt. We also show how certain Fourier transforms of the logarithm of the Riemann zeta-function taken along the real (demiaxis are expressible via elementary functions plus logarithm of the gamma-function and definite integrals thereof, as well as certain sums over trivial and nontrivial Riemann function zeroes.

  13. [The impact of weight management and related diuretic medication intervention based on body weight changes on cardiac function and re-hospitalization rate in patients with chronic congestive heart failure].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, F W; Shi, J; Shi, J; Yang, J W; Wang, Z H; Ye, J H; Ye, Y; Zheng, H Q; Huang, J

    2017-10-24

    Objective: To explore the impact of weight management and related medication intervention based on body weight changes on cardiac function among patients with chronic congestive heart failure (CHF). Methods: Using prospective, randomized, controlled study methods, consecutive CHF patients, who hospitalized in our department from June 2014 to June 2016 ( n =350), were randomly divided into intervention group ( n =175) and control group ( n =175). Patients in the intervention group received weight management guidance and the post discharge diuretic drugs regimen was adjusted based on body weight changes. The control group received routine medical care post discharge. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), B type natriuretic peptide precursor (NT-proBNP), 6 minutes walk distance and NYHA classification at one day before discharge and after 6 months were compared between the two groups respectively. Results: Follow-up visit data were not available from 6 patients in the control and intervention group respectively. NYHA classification, LVEF, NT-proBNP and 6 minutes walk distance were similar between the two groups at one day before discharge (all P >0.05). After 6 months, the LVEF and 6 minutes walk distance were significantly higher while NT-proBNP level was significantly lower in the intervention group compared to the control group (all P weight remained unchanged in the intervention group, while body weight tended to be higher in the control group compared to one day before discharge. Conclusion: The weight management and diuretic drug regimen adjudgment intervention based on body weight changes can improve cardiac function and reduced re-hospitalization rate in CHF patients.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ryan, Desmond

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Black Tea High-Molecular-Weight Polyphenol-Rich Fraction Promotes Hypertrophy during Functional Overload in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Aoki

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria activation factor (MAF is a high-molecular-weight polyphenol extracted from black tea that stimulates training-induced 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK activation and improves endurance capacity. Originally, MAF was purified from black tea using butanol and acetone, making it unsuitable for food preparation. Hence, we extracted a MAF-rich sample “E80” from black tea, using ethanol and water only. Here, we examined the effects of E80 on resistance training. Eight-week old C57BL/6 mice were fed with a normal diet or a diet containing 0.5% E80 for 4, 7 and 14 days under conditions of functional overload. It was found that E80 administration promoted overload-induced hypertrophy and induced phosphorylation of the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR pathway proteins, such as Akt, P70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K, and S6 in the plantaris muscle. Therefore, functional overload and E80 administration accelerated mTOR signaling and increased protein synthesis in the muscle, thereby inducing hypertrophy.

  20. Orientation-weighted local Minkowski functionals in 3D for quantitative assessment of trabecular bone structure in the hip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehm, H. F.; Bitterling, H.; Weber, C.; Kuhn, V.; Eckstein, F.; Reiser, M.

    2007-03-01

    Fragility fractures or pathologic fractures of the hip, i.e. fractures with no apparent trauma, represent the worst complication in osteoporosis with a mortality close to 25% during the first post-traumatic year. Over 90% of hip fractures result from falls from standing height. A substantial number of femoral fractures are initiated in the femoral neck or the trochanteric regions which contain an internal architecture of trabeculae that are functionally highly specialized to withstand the complex pattern of external and internal forces associated with human gait. Prediction of the mechanical strength of bone tissue can be achieved by dedicated texture analysis of data obtained by high resolution imaging modalities, e.g. computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance tomography (MRI). Since in the case of the proximal femur, the connectivity, regional distribution and - most of all - the preferred orientation of individual trabeculae change considerably within narrow spatial limits, it seems most reasonable to evaluate the femoral bone structure on an orientation-weighted, local scale. In past studies, we could demonstrate the advantages of topological analysis of bone structure using the Minkowski Functionals in 3D on a global and on a local scale. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that the prediction of the mechanical competence of the proximal femur by a new algorithm considering orientational changes of topological properties in the trabecular architecture is feasible and better suited than conventional methods based on the measurement of the mineral density of bone tissue (BMD).

  1. Black Tea High-Molecular-Weight Polyphenol-Rich Fraction Promotes Hypertrophy during Functional Overload in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Yuki; Ozawa, Tetsuo; Takemasa, Tohru; Numata, Osamu

    2017-03-29

    Mitochondria activation factor (MAF) is a high-molecular-weight polyphenol extracted from black tea that stimulates training-induced 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation and improves endurance capacity. Originally, MAF was purified from black tea using butanol and acetone, making it unsuitable for food preparation. Hence, we extracted a MAF-rich sample "E80" from black tea, using ethanol and water only. Here, we examined the effects of E80 on resistance training. Eight-week old C57BL/6 mice were fed with a normal diet or a diet containing 0.5% E80 for 4, 7 and 14 days under conditions of functional overload. It was found that E80 administration promoted overload-induced hypertrophy and induced phosphorylation of the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway proteins, such as Akt, P70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K), and S6 in the plantaris muscle. Therefore, functional overload and E80 administration accelerated mTOR signaling and increased protein synthesis in the muscle, thereby inducing hypertrophy.

  2. Renal Function Following Three Distinct Weight Loss Dietary Strategies During 2 Years of a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirosh, Amir; Golan, Rachel; Harman-Boehm, Ilana; Henkin, Yaakov; Schwarzfuchs, Dan; Rudich, Assaf; Kovsan, Julia; Fiedler, Georg M.; Blüher, Matthias; Stumvoll, Michael; Thiery, Joachim; Stampfer, Meir J.; Shai, Iris

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE This study addressed the long-term effect of various diets, particularly low-carbohydrate high-protein, on renal function on participants with or without type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In the 2-year Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT), 318 participants (age, 51 years; 86% men; BMI, 31 kg/m2; mean estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR], 70.5 mL/min/1.73 m2; mean urine microalbumin-to-creatinine ratio, 12:12) with serum creatinine Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate diets. The 2-year compliance was 85%, and the proportion of protein intake significantly increased to 22% of energy only in the low-carbohydrate diet (P Mediterranean). We examined changes in urinary microalbumin and eGFR, estimated by Modification of Diet in Renal Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration formulas. RESULTS Significant (P Mediterranean (+5.2% [3.0–7.4]), and low-fat diets (+4.0% [0.9–7.1]) with similar magnitude (P > 0.05) across diet groups. The increased eGFR was at least as prominent in participants with (+6.7%) or without (+4.5%) type 2 diabetes or those with lower baseline renal function of eGFR diet group, type 2 diabetes, use of ACE inhibitors, 2-year weight loss, and change in protein intake (confounders and univariate predictors), only a decrease in fasting insulin (β = −0.211; P = 0.004) and systolic blood pressure (β = −0.25; P The urine microalbumin-to-creatinine ratio improved similarly across the diets, particularly among participants with baseline sex-adjusted microalbuminuria, with a mean change of −24.8 (P diet is as safe as Mediterranean or low-fat diets in preserving/improving renal function among moderately obese participants with or without type 2 diabetes, with baseline serum creatinine <176 μmol/L. Potential improvement is likely to be mediated by weight loss–induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. PMID:23690533

  3. 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.

  4. Unsupervised learning of generative and discriminative weights encoding elementary image components in a predictive coding model of cortical function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratling, M W

    2012-01-01

    A method is presented for learning the reciprocal feedforward and feedback connections required by the predictive coding model of cortical function. When this method is used, feedforward and feedback connections are learned simultaneously and independently in a biologically plausible manner. The performance of the proposed algorithm is evaluated by applying it to learning the elementary components of artificial and natural images. For artificial images, the bars problem is employed, and the proposed algorithm is shown to produce state-of-the-art performance on this task. For natural images, components resembling Gabor functions are learned in the first processing stage, and neurons responsive to corners are learned in the second processing stage. The properties of these learned representations are in good agreement with neurophysiological data from V1 and V2. The proposed algorithm demonstrates for the first time that a single computational theory can explain the formation of cortical RFs and also the response properties of cortical neurons once those RFs have been learned.

  5. α, ω-Cholesterol-Functionalized Low Molecular Weight Polyethylene Glycol as a Novel Modifier of Cationic Liposomes for Gene Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cui-Cui Ma

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Here, three novel cholesterol (Ch/low molecular weight polyethylene glycol (PEG conjugates, termed α, ω-cholesterol-functionalized PEG (Ch2-PEGn, were successfully synthesized using three kinds of PEG with different average molecular weight (PEG600, PEG1000 and PEG2000. The purpose of the study was to investigate the potential application of novel cationic liposomes (Ch2-PEGn-CLs containing Ch2-PEGn in gene delivery. The introduction of Ch2-PEGn affected both the particle size and zeta potential of cationic liposomes. Ch2-PEG2000 effectively compressed liposomal particles and Ch2-PEG2000-CLs were of the smallest size. Ch2-PEG1000 and Ch2-PEG2000 significantly decreased zeta potentials of Ch2-PEGn-CLs, while Ch2-PEG600 did not alter the zeta potential due to the short PEG chain. Moreover, the in vitro gene transfection efficiencies mediated by different Ch2-PEGn-CLs also differed, in which Ch2-PEG600-CLs achieved the strongest GFP expression than Ch2-PEG1000-CLs and Ch2-PEG2000-CLs in SKOV-3 cells. The gene delivery efficacy of Ch2-PEGn-CLs was further examined by addition of a targeting moiety (folate ligand in both folate-receptor (FR overexpressing SKOV-3 cells and A549 cells with low expression of FR. For Ch2-PEG1000-CLs and Ch2-PEG2000-CLs, higher molar ratios of folate ligand resulted in enhanced transfection efficacies, but Ch2-PEG600-CLs had no similar in contrast. Additionally, MTT assay proved the reduced cytotoxicities of cationic liposomes after modification by Ch2-PEGn. These findings provide important insights into the effects of Ch2-PEGn on cationic liposomes for delivering genes, which would be beneficial for the development of Ch2-PEGn-CLs-based gene delivery system.

  6. 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

  7. Growth, lung function, and physical activity in schoolchildren who were very-low-birth-weight preterm infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winck, Aline Dill; Heinzmann-Filho, João Paulo; Schumann, Deise; Zatti, Helen; Mattiello, Rita; Jones, Marcus Herbert; Stein, Renato Tetelbom

    2016-01-01

    To compare somatic growth, lung function, and level of physical activity in schoolchildren who had been very-low-birth-weight preterm infants (VLBWPIs) or normal-birth-weight full-term infants. We recruited two groups of schoolchildren between 8 and 11 years of age residing in the study catchment area: those who had been VLBWPIs (birth weight prematuros com muito baixo peso e escolares nascidos a termo e com peso adequado. Foram recrutados escolares com idade de 8 a 11 anos residentes na mesma área de abrangência do estudo: prematuros e com peso < 1.500 g e controles (nascidos a termo e com peso ≥ 2.500 g). Foram obtidas medidas antropométricas e espirométricas e aplicado um questionário sobre a atividade física. Além disso, foram coletadas informações do período perinatal/neonatal dos recém-nascidos com muito baixo peso (RNMBP) de seus prontuários médicos. Dos 93 escolares avaliados, 48 crianças no grupo RNMBP e 45 no grupo controle. Não houve diferenças significativas entre os grupos em relação às características antropométricas e nutricionais ou aos parâmetros de função pulmonar. Não foram encontradas associações entre as variáveis perinatais/neonatais e parâmetros da função pulmonar dos escolares no grupo RNMBP. Embora sem diferença significativa em relação aos níveis de atividade física, o grupo RNMBP apresentou uma tendência de ser mais ativo que o grupo controle. Nos escolares aqui estudados o crescimento e a função pulmonar parecem não ser afetados por prematuridade, peso ao nascimento ou nível de atividade física.

  8. 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

  9. Weight history from birth through childhood and youth in relation to adult lung function, in Danish juvenile obese and non-obese men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bua, J; Prescott, E; Schack-Nielsen, L

    2005-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations of birth weight, body mass index (BMI) during childhood and youth, and current BMI with adult lung function. DESIGN: Population-based longitudinal study of juvenile obese and non-obese men, who were identified at draft board examination (age range: 19-27 y......) and who participated in a follow-up examination in 1981-1983 (age range: 25-48 y). Birth weight, childhood weight and height measurements from 7 to 13 y of age were obtained from school health records. Current BMI and lung function were assessed at follow-up. SETTING: Copenhagen and adjacent regions....... RESULTS: After adjusting for current BMI, smoking and education, birth weight was positively related to FEV(1), although only with borderline statistical significance. BMI at age 7 y was positively associated with both FEV(1) and FVC, whereas BMI at later ages in childhood and in youth was not associated...

  10. Longitudinal relationships between early adolescent family functioning and youth adjustment: an examination of the moderating role of very low birth weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenley, Rachel Neff; Taylor, H Gerry; Drotar, Dennis; Minich, Nori M

    2007-05-01

    To examine longitudinal relations between early adolescent family conflict and late adolescent psychosocial adjustment, and the moderating role of low birth weight. Three groups of adolescents (48 with birth weight parents completed ratings of family conflict at age 11 (Time 1). Parent, teacher, and youth reports of psychosocial functioning were obtained at ages 11 and 17 (Time 2). Birth weight moderated the relationship between Time 1 adolescent-perceived conflict and change in adolescent behavioral functioning. For adolescents with histories of conflict predicted less adaptive changes in teacher-reported total behavior problems and externalizing problems. Small disruptions to the parent-child relationship have negative implications for the later well-being of adolescents with extreme levels of low birth weight. Clinical attention to resolving early adolescent conflict may promote adaptive adjustment.

  11. Chemical composition, molecular weight distribution, secondary structure and effect of NaCl on functional properties of walnut (Juglans regia L) protein isolates and concentrates

    OpenAIRE

    Mao, Xiao-Ying; Hua, Yu-Fei

    2012-01-01

    Chemical composition, molecular weight distribution, secondary structure and effect of sodium chloride concentration on functional properties of walnut protein isolates, concentrates and defatted walnut flour were study. Compared with walnut protein concentrates (75.6%) and defatted walnut flour (52.5%), walnut protein isolates contain a relatively high amount of protein (90.5%). The yield of walnut protein isolates and concentrates was 43.2% and 76.6%, respectively. In molecular weight distr...

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z; Lönnberg, T; Lahesmaa, R

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leopoldo Díaz-Pérez

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

  18. Use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance as an Experimental Probe in Multiphase Systems: Determination of the Instrument Weight Function for Measurements of Liquid-Phase Volume Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maneval, J. E.; McCarthy, M. J.; Whitaker, S.

    1990-11-01

    The relativist approach (Baveye and Sposito (1984)) to the interpretation of measurements in multiphase systems was proposed in order to incorporate the details of measurements into theoretical analyses of multiphase transport processes. To help establish the utility of this approach, the weight functions for actual experimental probes must be determined. In this paper we analyze the measurement of liquid-phase porosity in a model system by nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. We show how both nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) physics and experimental technique combine to determine the weight function for the spin-warp spin-echo sequence. The analysis shows clearly what aspects of the weight function are determined by the experimental method and what aspects are determined by the system being studied. The results will help establish the utility of the relativist approach as well as improve understanding NMR measurements in multiphase systems.

  19. Household expenditures on dietary supplements sold for weight loss, muscle building, and sexual function: Disproportionate burden by gender and income.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, S Bryn; Yu, Kimberly; Liu, Selena Hua; Dong, Fan; Tefft, Nathan

    2017-06-01

    Dietary supplements sold for weight loss (WL), muscle building (MB), and sexual function (SF) are not medically recommended. They have been shown to be ineffective in many cases and pose serious health risks to consumers due to adulteration with banned substances, prescription pharmaceuticals, and other dangerous chemicals. Yet no prior research has investigated how these products may disproportionately burden individuals and families by gender and socioeconomic position across households. We investigated household (HH) cost burden of dietary supplements sold for WL, MB, and SF in a cross-sectional study using data from 60,538 U.S. households (HH) in 2012 Nielsen/IRi National Consumer Panel, calculating annual HH expenditures on WL, MB, and SF supplements and expenditures as proportions of total annual HH income. We examined sociodemographic patterns in HH expenditures using Wald tests of mean differences across subgroups. Among HH with any expenditures on WL, MB, or SF supplements, annual HH first and ninth expenditure deciles were, respectively: WL $5.99, $145.36; MB $6.99, $141.93; and SF $4.98, $88.52. Conditional on any purchases of the products, female-male-headed HH spent more on WL supplements and male-headed HH spend more on MB and SF supplements compared to other HH types ( p -values supplements types ( p -values supplements ( p -values supplements sold for WL, MB, and SF disproportionately burden HH by income and gender.

  20. Spirometry and volumetric capnography in lung function assessment of obese and normal-weight individuals without asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Mariana S; Mendes, Roberto T; Marson, Fernando A L; Zambon, Mariana P; Antonio, Maria A R G M; Paschoal, Ilma A; Toro, Adyléia A D C; Severino, Silvana D; Ribeiro, Maria A G O; Ribeiro, José D

    To analyze and compare lung function of obese and healthy, normal-weight children and adolescents, without asthma, through spirometry and volumetric capnography. Cross-sectional study including 77 subjects (38 obese) aged 5-17 years. All subjects underwent spirometry and volumetric capnography. The evaluations were repeated in obese subjects after the use of a bronchodilator. At the spirometry assessment, obese individuals, when compared with the control group, showed lower values of forced expiratory volume in the first second by forced vital capacity (FEV 1 /FVC) and expiratory flows at 75% and between 25 and 75% of the FVC (p11 years (p<0.05). Even without the diagnosis of asthma by clinical criteria and without response to bronchodilator use, obese individuals showed lower FEV 1 /FVC values and forced expiratory flow, indicating the presence of an obstructive process. Volumetric capnography showed that obese individuals had higher alveolar tidal volume, with no alterations in ventilation homogeneity, suggesting flow alterations, without affecting lung volumes. Copyright © 2017 Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  1. Multi-step beef ration optimisation: application of linear and weighted goal programming with a penalty function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. ZGAJNAR

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to present the method and tool for optimisation of beef-fattening diets. Changes in policy environment and changes in costs of feed pose challenges for farm efficiency. We construct a spreadsheet from two modules based on mathematical deterministic programming techniques. In order to obtain an estimate of the magnitude of costs that may be incurred, the first module utilizes a linear program for least-cost ration formulation. The resulting value is then targeted as a cost goal in the second module. This is supported by weighted goal programming with a penalty function system. The approach presented here is an example of how a combination of mathematical programming techniques might be applied to prepare a user-friendly tool for ‘optimal’ ration formulations. We report results that confirm this approach as useful, since one is able to formulate a least-cost ration without risking a decrease in the ration’s nutritive value or affecting the balance between nutrients.;

  2. Weight loss is associated with improvements in cognitive function among overweight and obese people: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veronese, Nicola; Facchini, Silvia; Stubbs, Brendon; Luchini, Claudio; Solmi, Marco; Manzato, Enzo; Sergi, Giuseppe; Maggi, Stefania; Cosco, Theodore; Fontana, Luigi

    2017-01-01

    Whilst obesity is associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment, the influence of weight loss on cognitive function in obese/overweight people is equivocal. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and longitudinal studies evaluating the influence of voluntary weight loss on cognitive function in obese/overweight individuals. Articles were acquired from a systematic search of major databases from inception till 01/2016. A random effect meta-analysis of weight loss interventions (diet, physical activity, bariatric surgery) on different cognitive domains (memory, attention, executive functions, language and motor speed) was conducted. Twenty studies (13 longitudinal studies=551 participants; 7 RCTs=328 treated vs. 140 controls) were included. Weight loss was associated with a significant improvement in attention and memory in both longitudinal studies and RCTs, whereas executive function and language improved in longitudinal and RCT studies, respectively. In conclusion, intentional weight loss in obese/overweight people is associated with improvements in performance across various cognitive domains. Future adequately powered RCTs are required to confirm/refute these findings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Assessment of Impact of Weight Loss on Left and Right Ventricular Functions and Value of Tissue Doppler Echocardiography in Obese Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuksel, Isa Oner; Akar Bayram, Nihal; Koklu, Erkan; Ureyen, Cagin Mustafa; Kucukseymen, Selcuk; Arslan, Sakir; Bozkurt, Engin

    2016-06-01

    In our study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of weight loss on left and right ventricular functions in obese patients. Thirty patients with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m(2) and without any exclusion criteria were included in the study. Left ventricular systolic and diastolic functions were assessed with conventional and tissue Doppler echocardiography (TDE). At the end of 3 months, echocardiographic examination was repeated in patients with weight loss for cardiac function evaluation and it was compared to the baseline echocardiographic parameters. At the end of 3 months of weight loss period, conventional Doppler echocardiography revealed an improvement in diastolic functions with an increase in mitral E-wave, a decrease in mitral A-wave and an increase in E/A ratio. Deceleration time and isovolumetric relaxation time were ascertained shortened and Tei index decreased. TDE showed an increase in left ventricular lateral wall systolic wave (Sm) and E-wave velocity (Em). Mitral septal annular isovolumetric acceleration time (IVA), Sm and Em, were found to be increased, whereas Tei index was ascertained reduced. Right ventricular tissue Doppler examination following weight loss revealed an increase in RV- IVA, RV-Sm, and RV-Em, and a decrease in Tei index. We disclosed that left ventricular structural changes and diastolic dysfunction occur in obese patients, and by weight loss, these abnormalities may be reversible which we demonstrated both by conventional and TDE. In addition, obesity might impair RV function as well, and we observed an enhancement in right ventricular functions by weight loss. © 2016, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-08

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antipas, Georgios S. E.; Germenis, Anastasios

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Accumulation of nucleopolyhedrosis virus of the European pine sawfly (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) as a function of larval weight

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.A. Mohamed; H.C. Coppel; J.D. Podgwaite; W.D. Rollinson

    1983-01-01

    Disease-free larvae of Neodiprion sertifer (Geoffroy) treated with its nucleopolyhedrosis virus in the field and under laboratory conditions showed a high correlation between virus accumulation and body weight. Simple linear regression models were found to fit viral accumulation versus body weight under either circumstance.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Exercising for weight and shape reasons vs. health control reasons: the impact on eating disturbance and psychological functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Sónia F; Gomes, A Rui

    2012-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of exercise motivated by health and weight/shape reasons. In total, 301 participants (53.5% males) completed questionnaires assessing eating behaviors, affect, self-esteem and attitudes toward exercise. Almost 48% of the participants reported that their exercise is motivated by weight/shape reasons. These individuals were more likely to report eating problems and more positive affect after exercising. For both groups, gender, ideal