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Sample records for biological weighting functions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

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

  3. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Psychophysics of the probability weighting function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Taiki

    2011-03-01

    A probability weighting function w(p) for an objective probability p in decision under risk plays a pivotal role in Kahneman-Tversky prospect theory. Although recent studies in econophysics and neuroeconomics widely utilized probability weighting functions, psychophysical foundations of the probability weighting functions have been unknown. Notably, a behavioral economist Prelec (1998) [4] axiomatically derived the probability weighting function w(p)=exp(-() (01e)=1e,w(1)=1), which has extensively been studied in behavioral neuroeconomics. The present study utilizes psychophysical theory to derive Prelec's probability weighting function from psychophysical laws of perceived waiting time in probabilistic choices. Also, the relations between the parameters in the probability weighting function and the probability discounting function in behavioral psychology are derived. Future directions in the application of the psychophysical theory of the probability weighting function in econophysics and neuroeconomics are discussed.

  5. 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)

  6. The biological function of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eEarl

    2014-08-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Multi-function nuclear weight scale system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Mingquan; Sun Jinhua; Jia Changchun; Wang Mingqian; Tang Ke

    1998-01-01

    The author introduces the methods to contrive the hardware and software of a Multi-function Nuclear Weight Scale System based on the communication contract in compliance with RS485 between a master (industrial control computer 386) and a slave (single chip 8098) and its main functions

  9. IMRT optimization with pseudo-biologic objective function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Eigenvector Weighting Function in Face Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pang Ying Han

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Graph-based subspace learning is a class of dimensionality reduction technique in face recognition. The technique reveals the local manifold structure of face data that hidden in the image space via a linear projection. However, the real world face data may be too complex to measure due to both external imaging noises and the intra-class variations of the face images. Hence, features which are extracted by the graph-based technique could be noisy. An appropriate weight should be imposed to the data features for better data discrimination. In this paper, a piecewise weighting function, known as Eigenvector Weighting Function (EWF, is proposed and implemented in two graph based subspace learning techniques, namely Locality Preserving Projection and Neighbourhood Preserving Embedding. Specifically, the computed projection subspace of the learning approach is decomposed into three partitions: a subspace due to intra-class variations, an intrinsic face subspace, and a subspace which is attributed to imaging noises. Projected data features are weighted differently in these subspaces to emphasize the intrinsic face subspace while penalizing the other two subspaces. Experiments on FERET and FRGC databases are conducted to show the promising performance of the proposed technique.

  11. Executive function in weight loss and weight loss maintenance: a conceptual review and novel neuropsychological model of weight control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gettens, Katelyn M; Gorin, Amy A

    2017-10-01

    Weight loss maintenance is a complex, multifaceted process that presents a significant challenge for most individuals who lose weight. A growing body of literature indicates a strong relationship between cognitive dysfunction and excessive body weight, and suggests that a subset of high-order cognitive processes known as executive functions (EF) likely play an important role in weight management. Recent reviews cover neuropsychological correlates of weight status yet fail to address the role of executive function in the central dilemma of successful weight loss maintenance. In this paper, we provide an overview of the existing literature examining executive functions as they relate to weight status and initial weight loss. Further, we propose a novel conceptual model of the relationships between EF, initial weight loss, and weight loss maintenance, mapping specific executive functions onto strategies known to be associated with both phases of the weight control process. Implications for the development of more efficacious weight loss maintenance interventions are discussed.

  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. 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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hateren, J H

    2017-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background 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. Methods Twenty?three adult patients (age 50.4???15.1, BMI 44.2???8.8, 68% female, 92% White)...

  18. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

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

  19. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Weighted -Integral Representations of -Functions in

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arman H. Karapetyan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available For 1-functions , given in the complex space , integral representations of the form =(−( are obtained. Here, is the orthogonal projector of the space 2{;−||||(} onto its subspace of entire functions and the integral operator appears by means of explicitly constructed kernel Φ which is investigated in detail.

  1. Functional biology of sympatric krill species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Two-dimensional analytic weighting functions for limb scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zawada, D. J.; Bourassa, A. E.; Degenstein, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    Through the inversion of limb scatter measurements it is possible to obtain vertical profiles of trace species in the atmosphere. Many of these inversion methods require what is often referred to as weighting functions, or derivatives of the radiance with respect to concentrations of trace species in the atmosphere. Several radiative transfer models have implemented analytic methods to calculate weighting functions, alleviating the computational burden of traditional numerical perturbation methods. Here we describe the implementation of analytic two-dimensional weighting functions, where derivatives are calculated relative to atmospheric constituents in a two-dimensional grid of altitude and angle along the line of sight direction, in the SASKTRAN-HR radiative transfer model. Two-dimensional weighting functions are required for two-dimensional inversions of limb scatter measurements. Examples are presented where the analytic two-dimensional weighting functions are calculated with an underlying one-dimensional atmosphere. It is shown that the analytic weighting functions are more accurate than ones calculated with a single scatter approximation, and are orders of magnitude faster than a typical perturbation method. Evidence is presented that weighting functions for stratospheric aerosols calculated under a single scatter approximation may not be suitable for use in retrieval algorithms under solar backscatter conditions.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:28090338

  5. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lilian A. Zaky

    2013-03-17

    Mar 17, 2013 ... essence of the importance of partial weight bearing program in rehabilitation of lower limb condi ... and long term physical and psychosocial impairments [11,12]. .... gram for their functional walking using the 6-min walking test,.

  7. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. [Weight loss in overweight or obese patients and family functioning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo-Sánchez, Rosalba; Espinosa-de Santillana, Irene; Espíndola-Jaramillo, Ilia Angélica

    2012-01-01

    to determine the association between weight loss and family functioning. a cohort of 168 persons with overweight or obesity from 20-49 years, either sex, with no comorbidity was studied at the nutrition department. A sociodemographic data was obtained and FACES III instrument to measure family functioning was applied. At the third month a new assessment of the body mass index was measured. Descriptive statistical analysis and relative risk were done. obesity presented in 50.6 %, 59.53 % of them did not lose weight. Family dysfunction was present in 56.6 % of which 50 % did not lose weight. From 43.4 % of functional families, 9.52 % did not lose weight (p = 0.001). The probability or risk of not losing weight was to belong to a dysfunctional family is 4.03 % (CI = 2.60-6.25). A significant association was found between the variables: weight loss and family functioning. Belonging to a dysfunctional family may be a risk factor for not losing weight.

  10. Preoperative thyroid function and weight loss after bariatric surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, João Sérgio; Souteiro, Pedro; Oliveira, Sofia Castro; Pedro, Jorge; Magalhães, Daniela; Guerreiro, Vanessa; Costa, Maria Manuel; Bettencourt-Silva, Rita; Santos, Ana Cristina; Queirós, Joana; Varela, Ana; Freitas, Paula; Carvalho, Davide

    2018-05-16

    Thyroid function has an important role on body weight regulation. However, the impact of thyroid function on weight loss after bariatric surgery is still largely unknown. We evaluated the association between preoperative thyroid function and the excess weight loss 1 year after surgery, in 641 patients with morbid obesity who underwent bariatric surgery. Patients with a history of thyroid disease, treatment with thyroid hormone or antithyroid drugs and those with preoperative evaluation consistent with overt hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism were excluded. The preoperative levels of TSH and FT4 were not associated with weight loss after bariatric surgery. The variation of FT3 within the reference range was also not associated with weight loss. In contrast, the subgroup with FT3 above the reference range (12.3% of patients) had a significantly higher excess weight loss than patients with normal FT3. This difference remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, type of surgery, TSH and FT4. In conclusion, we observed an association between high FT3 and a greater weight loss after bariatric surgery, highlighting a group of patients with an increased benefit from this intervention. Our results also suggest a novel hypothesis: the pharmacological modulation of thyroid function may be a potential therapeutic target in patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

  11. Measurement of residual stresses using fracture mechanics weight functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fan, Y.

    2000-01-01

    A residual stress measurement method has been developed to quantify through-the-thickness residual stresses. Accurate measurement of residual stresses is crucial for many engineering structures. Fabrication processes such as welding and machining generate residual stresses that are difficult to predict. Residual stresses affect the integrity of structures through promoting failures due to brittle fracture, fatigue, stress corrosion cracking, and wear. In this work, the weight function theory of fracture mechanics is used to measure residual stresses. The weight function theory is an important development in computational fracture mechanics. Stress intensity factors for arbitrary stress distribution on the crack faces can be accurately and efficiently computed for predicting crack growth. This paper demonstrates that the weight functions are equally useful in measuring residual stresses. In this method, an artificial crack is created by a thin cut in a structure containing residual stresses. The cut relieves the residual stresses normal to the crack-face and allows the relieved residual stresses to deform the structure. Strain gages placed adjacent to the cut measure the relieved strains corresponding to incrementally increasing depths of the cut. The weight functions of the cracked body relate the measured strains to the residual stresses normal to the cut within the structure. The procedure details, such as numerical integration of the singular functions in applying the weight function method, will be discussed

  12. Measurement of residual stresses using fracture mechanics weight functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fan, Y.

    2001-01-01

    A residual stress measurement method has been developed to quantify through-the-thickness residual stresses. Accurate measurement of residual stresses is crucial for many engineering structures. Fabrication processes such as welding and machining generate residual stresses that are difficult to predict. Residual stresses affect the integrity of structures through promoting failures due to brittle fracture, fatigue, stress corrosion cracking, and wear. In this work, the weight function theory of fracture mechanics is used to measure residual stresses. The weight function theory is an important development in computational fracture mechanics. Stress intensity factors for arbitrary stress distribution on the crack faces can be accurately and efficiently computed for predicting crack growth. This paper demonstrates that the weight functions are equally useful in measuring residual stresses. In this method, an artificial crack is created by a thin cut in a structure containing residual stresses. The cut relieves the residual stresses normal to the crack-face and allows the relieved residual stresses to deform the structure. Strain gages placed adjacent to the cut measure the relieved strains corresponding to incrementally increasing depths of the cut. The weight functions of the cracked body relate the measured strains to the residual stresses normal to the cut within the structure. The procedure details, such as numerical integration of the singular functions in applying the weight function method, will be discussed. (author)

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charbel Niño El-Hani

    2009-10-01

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

  16. Weight Suppression in Bulimia Nervosa: Associations with Biology and Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodell, Lindsay P.; Keel, Pamela K.

    2015-01-01

    Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a serious eating disorder that can persist for years and contribute to medical complications and increased mortality, underscoring the need to better understand factors maintaining this disorder. Higher levels of weight suppression (WS) have been found to predict both the onset and maintenance of BN; however, no studies have examined mechanisms that may account for the effects of WS on BN. We hypothesized that high WS would lead to reduced leptin levels, which may increase risk of binge eating by modulating reward responses to food. The current study examined the relationship between WS, leptin levels, and the reinforcing value of food in women with BN (n=32) and non-eating disorder controls (n=30). Participants provided information on WS, completed a fasting blood draw to obtain serum leptin, and completed a progressive ratio task to measure the reinforcing value of food. Individuals with BN had greater WS (p<.01) and reinforcing food value (p<.05) compared to controls. Additionally, higher WS was associated with both lower leptin (p<.05) and increased reinforcing value of food (p<.05). Contrary to hypotheses, BN and control participants did not differ significantly on leptin levels, and leptin levels were not significantly associated with the reinforcing value of food. Findings support that efforts to conform to the thin ideal may alter drive to consume rewarding foods and leave women vulnerable to binge episodes. However, mechanisms through which WS contributes to food reward and binge eating remain unknown. PMID:26191637

  17. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boutilier, Justin J., E-mail: j.boutilier@mail.utoronto.ca; Lee, Taewoo [Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, 5 King’s College Road, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 (Canada); Craig, Tim [Radiation Medicine Program, UHN Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, 610 University of Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2M9, Canada and Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, 148 - 150 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3S2 (Canada); Sharpe, Michael B. [Radiation Medicine Program, UHN Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, 610 University of Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2M9 (Canada); Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, 148 - 150 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3S2 (Canada); Techna Institute for the Advancement of Technology for Health, 124 - 100 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1P5 (Canada); Chan, Timothy C. Y. [Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, 5 King’s College Road, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8, Canada and Techna Institute for the Advancement of Technology for Health, 124 - 100 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1P5 (Canada)

    2015-04-15

    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

  19. Discriminating Among Probability Weighting Functions Using Adaptive Design Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavagnaro, Daniel R.; Pitt, Mark A.; Gonzalez, Richard; Myung, Jay I.

    2014-01-01

    Probability weighting functions relate objective probabilities and their subjective weights, and play a central role in modeling choices under risk within cumulative prospect theory. While several different parametric forms have been proposed, their qualitative similarities make it challenging to discriminate among them empirically. In this paper, we use both simulation and choice experiments to investigate the extent to which different parametric forms of the probability weighting function can be discriminated using adaptive design optimization, a computer-based methodology that identifies and exploits model differences for the purpose of model discrimination. The simulation experiments show that the correct (data-generating) form can be conclusively discriminated from its competitors. The results of an empirical experiment reveal heterogeneity between participants in terms of the functional form, with two models (Prelec-2, Linear in Log Odds) emerging as the most common best-fitting models. The findings shed light on assumptions underlying these models. PMID:24453406

  20. The functional biology of human milk oligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Lars

    2015-11-01

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

  1. The SOS model partition function and the elliptic weight functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pakuliak, S; Silantyev, A; Rubtsov, V

    2008-01-01

    We generalized a recent observation (Khoroshkin and Pakuliak 2005 Theor. Math. Phys. 145 1373) that the partition function of the six-vertex model with domain wall boundary conditions can be obtained from a calculation of projections of the product of total currents in the quantum affine algebra U q (sl 2 -hat) in its current realization. A generalization is done for the elliptic current algebra (Enriquez and Felder 1998 Commun. Math. Phys. 195 651, Enriquez and Rubtsov 1997 Ann. Sci. Ecole Norm. Sup. 30 821). The projections of the product of total currents in this case are calculated explicitly and are presented as integral transforms of a product of the total currents. It is proved that the integral kernel of this transform is proportional to the partition function of the SOS model with domain wall boundary conditions

  2. A functional food product for the management of weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Stacey J; Goodrick, G Ken

    2002-03-01

    More than half of Americans have a body mass index of 25 kg/m2 or more, which classifies them as overweight or obese. Overweight or obesity is strongly associated with comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease, gall bladder disease, and sleep apnea. Clearly, this is a national health concern, and although about 30 to 40% of the obese claim that they are trying to lose weight or maintain weight after weight loss, current therapies appear to have little effect. None of the current popular diets are working, and there is room for innovation. With the advancing science of nutrition, several nutrients - low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, 5-hydroxytryptophan, green tea extract, and chromium - have been identified that may promote weight loss. The first two nutrients decrease appetite, green tea increases the 24-h energy expenditure, and chromium promotes the composition of the weight lost to be fat rather than lean tissue. These have been assembled in efficacious doses into a new functional food product and described in this review. The product is undergoing clinical testing; each component has already been shown to promote weight loss in clinical trials.

  3. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Relative biological effectiveness and radiation weighting factors in the context of animals and plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higley, K.A.; Kocher, D.C.; Real, A.G.; Chambers, D.B.

    2012-01-01

    Radiation weighting factors have long been employed to modify absorbed dose as part of the process of evaluating radiological impact to humans. Their use represents an acknowledgement of the fundamental difference in energy deposition patterns of charged and uncharged particles, and how this can translate into varying degrees of biological impact. Weighting factors used in human radiation protection are derived from a variety of endpoints taken from in-vitro experiments that include human and animal cell lines, as well as in-vivo experiments with animals. Nonetheless, the application of radiation weighting factors in the context of dose assessment of animals and plants is not without some controversy. Specifically, radiation protection of biota has largely focused on limiting deterministic effects, such as reduced reproductive fitness. Consequently, the application of conventional stochastic-based radiation weighting factors (when used for human protection) appears inappropriate. While based on research, radiation weighting factors represent the parsing of extensive laboratory studies on relative biological effectiveness. These studies demonstrate that the magnitude of a biological effect depends not just on dose, but also on other factors including the rate at which the dose is delivered, the type and energy of the radiation delivering the dose, and, most importantly, the endpoint under consideration. This article discusses the efforts taken to develop a logical, transparent, and defensible approach to establishing radiation weighting factors for use in assessing impact to non-human biota, and the challenges found in differentiating stochastic from deterministic impacts.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Log-supermodularity of weight functions and the loading monotonicity of weighted insurance premiums

    OpenAIRE

    Hristo S. Sendov; Ying Wang; Ricardas Zitikis

    2010-01-01

    The paper is motivated by a problem concerning the monotonicity of insurance premiums with respect to their loading parameter: the larger the parameter, the larger the insurance premium is expected to be. This property, usually called loading monotonicity, is satisfied by premiums that appear in the literature. The increased interest in constructing new insurance premiums has raised a question as to what weight functions would produce loading-monotonic premiums. In this paper we demonstrate a...

  8. 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

  9. Function-Based Algorithms for Biological Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohanty, Pragyan Sheela P.

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Hash function construction using weighted complex dynamical networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song Yu-Rong; Jiang Guo-Ping

    2013-01-01

    A novel scheme to construct a hash function based on a weighted complex dynamical network (WCDN) generated from an original message is proposed in this paper. First, the original message is divided into blocks. Then, each block is divided into components, and the nodes and weighted edges are well defined from these components and their relations. Namely, the WCDN closely related to the original message is established. Furthermore, the node dynamics of the WCDN are chosen as a chaotic map. After chaotic iterations, quantization and exclusive-or operations, the fixed-length hash value is obtained. This scheme has the property that any tiny change in message can be diffused rapidly through the WCDN, leading to very different hash values. Analysis and simulation show that the scheme possesses good statistical properties, excellent confusion and diffusion, strong collision resistance and high efficiency. (general)

  12. The relation of birth weight and gestational age to biological, occupational and socioeconomic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velonakis, E G; Maghiorakos, P; Tzonou, A; Barrat, J; Proteau, J; Ladopoulos, I

    1997-01-01

    The data of the 2,040 single births, born during 1987 at the "Saint Antoine" Hospital in Paris, were analysed in order to identify the impact of various biological, occupational, and socioeconomic factors on gestational age and birth weight. Birth weight is associated with the height of the mother and the weight gained during pregnancy. It is lower for mothers with preeclampsia during the current or previous pregnancies or with urogenital infections during the current pregnancy and for mothers with one or more induced abortions. Girls weigh less than boys. Parity has a positive relation to the baby's weight, while manual work seems to have a negative one. APGAR score and duration of the pregnancy are associated with the birth weight. Placenta previa, preeclampsia and urinary infections affect the gestational age. A short pause period in work is related to a shorter gestational age. Weight gain is associated with a prolonged duration of the pregnancy. Gestational age and birth weight are associated with the nationality of the mother, especially in some ethnic groups, and with marital status.

  13. Executive functioning in low birth weight children entering kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, S E; DeBoer, M D; Scharf, R J

    2018-01-01

    Poor executive functioning is associated with life-long difficulty. Identification of children at risk for executive dysfunction is important for early intervention to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study is designed to examine relationships between birthweight and executive functioning in US children during kindergarten. Our hypothesis was that children with higher birthweights would have better executive function scores. We evaluated data from 17506 US children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten 2011 cohort. Birthweight and gestational age were obtained by parental survey. Executive functions were directly assessed using the number reverse test and card sort test to measure working memory and cognitive flexibility, respectively. Teacher evaluations were used for additional executive functions. Data were analyzed using SAS to run all linear and logistical regressions. For every kilogram of birthweight, scores of working memory increased by 1.47 (Pexecutive functioning. As birthweight increases executive function scores improve, even among infants born normal weight. Further evaluation of this population including interventions and progression through school is needed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Rang Yun

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-09

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

  19. 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.

  20. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hateren, J. H.

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Explaining Biological Functionality: Is Control Theory Enough ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    I argue that the etiological approach, as understood in terms of control theory, suffers from a problem of symmetry, by which function can equally well be placed in the environment as in the organism. Focusing on the autonomy view, I note that it can be understood to some degree in terms of control theory in its version called ...

  2. Functional mapping in biology and medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McEachron, D.L.

    1986-01-01

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

  3. Towards Integration of Biological and Physiological Functions at Multiple Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taishin eNomura

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available An aim of systems physiology today can be stated as to establish logical and quantitative bridges between phenomenological attributes of physiological entities such as cells and organs and physical attributes of biological entities, i.e., biological molecules, allowing us to describe and better understand physiological functions in terms of underlying biological functions. This article illustrates possible schema that can be used for promoting systems physiology by integrating quantitative knowledge of biological and physiological functions at multiple levels of time and space with the use of information technology infrastructure. Emphasis will be made for systematic, modular, hierarchical, and standardized descriptions of mathematical models of the functions and advantages for the use of them.

  4. Genomic Functionalization: The Next Revolution In Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Peter [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Schoeniger, Joseph S. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Imbro, Paula M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-07-01

    We have implemented a ligand-alignment algorithm into our developed computational pipeline for identifying specificity-determining features (SDFs) in protein-ligand complexes. Given a set of protein-ligand complex structures, the algorithm aligns the complexes by ligand rather than by the C -RMSD or standard approach, providing a single reference frame for extracting SDFs. We anticipate that this ligand-alignment capability will be highly useful for protein function prediction. We already have a database containing > 20 K ligand-protein complex crystal structures taken from the Protein Data Bank. By aligning these proteins to single reference frames using ligand alignment, we can submit the complexes to our pipeline for SDF extraction. The SDFs derived from this training procedure can be used as thumbprints that are hallmarks of individual enzyme classes. These SDF thumbprints may then serve as guides to the prediction of function of new unknown proteins.

  5. Regional differences in low birth weight in Spain: biological, demographic and socioeconomic variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuster, Vicente; Zuluaga, Pilar; Colantonio, S E; Román-Busto, J

    2015-01-01

    The geographic and demographic dimensions of Spain, in terms of surface and number of inhabitants, and its heterogeneous socioeconomic development offer an adequate opportunity to study the provincial differences in birth weight from 1996 to 2010, focusing on possible factors determining the relative frequency of low birth weight. The study analysed geographic differences with regard to biological, demographic and socioeconomic factors that interfere with the female reproductive pattern. The variables considered here were: birth order, proportion of premature deliveries, mother's age, multiparity, mother's country of origin and professional qualifications. Two periods (1996-2000 and 2006-2010) were compared by means of principal components analysis. An increase in the relative frequency of deliveries weighing less than 2500 g occurred in most of the 52 geographic units studied, differences being significant in 42. Only in five cases was there a non-significant reduction in the proportion of low weight births. The first component after principal component analysis indicated that low birth weight was positively related to maternal age and to multiple deliveries, and negatively to the mother's low professional qualification. The second component related positively to the incidence of premature deliveries and to non-Spanish status and negatively in the case of primiparous mothers. The progressive increase in low birth weight incidence observed in Spain from 1996 onwards has occurred with considerable variation in each province. In part, this diversity can be attributed to the unequal reproductive patterns of immigrant mothers.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  8. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Uncovering Biological Network Function via Graphlet Degree Signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataša Pržulj

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Motivation: Proteins are essential macromolecules of life and thus understanding their function is of great importance. The number of functionally unclassified proteins is large even for simple and well studied organisms such as baker’s yeast. Methods for determining protein function have shifted their focus from targeting specific proteins based solely on sequence homology to analyses of the entire proteome based on protein-protein interaction (PPI networks. Since proteins interact to perform a certain function, analyzing structural properties of PPI networks may provide useful clues about the biological function of individual proteins, protein complexes they participate in, and even larger subcellular machines.Results: We design a sensitive graph theoretic method for comparing local structures of node neighborhoods that demonstrates that in PPI networks, biological function of a node and its local network structure are closely related. The method summarizes a protein’s local topology in a PPI network into the vector of graphlet degrees called the signature of the protein and computes the signature similarities between all protein pairs. We group topologically similar proteins under this measure in a PPI network and show that these protein groups belong to the same protein complexes, perform the same biological functions, are localized in the same subcellular compartments, and have the same tissue expressions. Moreover, we apply our technique on a proteome-scale network data and infer biological function of yet unclassified proteins demonstrating that our method can provide valuable guidelines for future experimental research such as disease protein prediction.Availability: Data is available upon request.

  12. The functioning and behaviour of biological parents of children ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parenting a child with ADHD may intensify parental stress through functional impairment notwithstanding the diagnosis of ADHD. Methods: Eighty-one biological parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder were screened using self-reporting measurements. ADHD self-report scale (ASRS-V 1.1) ...

  13. A "weight of evidence" approach for the integration of environmental "triad" data to assess ecological risk and biological vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino, Alessandro; Sforzini, Susanna; Dondero, Francesco; Fenoglio, Stefano; Bona, Elisa; Jensen, John; Viarengo, Aldo

    2008-07-01

    A new Expert Decision Support System (EDSS) that can integrate Triad data for assessing environmental risk and biological vulnerability at contaminated sites has been developed. Starting with ecosystem relevance, the EDSS assigns different weights to the results obtained from Triad disciplines. The following parameters have been employed: 1) chemical soil analyses (revealing the presence of potentially dangerous substances), 2) ecotoxicological bioassays (utilizing classical endpoints such as survival and reproduction rates), 3) biomarkers (showing sublethal pollutant effects), and 4) ecological parameters (assessing changes in community structure and functions). For each Triad discipline, the EDSS compares the data obtained at the studied field sites with reference values and calculates different 0-1 indexes (e.g., Chemical Risk Index, Ecotoxicological Risk Index, and Ecological Risk Index). The EDSS output consists of 3 indexes: 1) Environmental Risk index (EnvRI), quantifying the levels of biological damage at population-community level, 2) Biological Vulnerability Index (BVI), assessing the potential threats to biological equilibriums, and 3) Genotoxicity Index (GTI), screening genotoxicity effects. The EDSS has been applied in the integration of a battery of Triad data obtained during the European Union-funded Life Intervention in the Fraschetta Area (LINFA) project, which has been carried out in order to estimate the potential risk from soils of a highly anthropized area (Alessandria, Italy) mainly impacted by deposition of atmospheric pollutants. Results obtained during 4 seasonal sampling campaigns (2004-2005) show maximum values of EnvRI in sites A and B (characterized by industrial releases) and lower levels in site D (affected by vehicular traffic emissions). All 3 potentially polluted sites have shown high levels of BVI and GTI, suggesting a general change from reference conditions (site C).

  14. 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).

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  17. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Geographically Weighted Regression Model with Kernel Bisquare and Tricube Weighted Function on Poverty Percentage Data in Central Java Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nugroho, N. F. T. A.; Slamet, I.

    2018-05-01

    Poverty is a socio-economic condition of a person or group of people who can not fulfil their basic need to maintain and develop a dignified life. This problem still cannot be solved completely in Central Java Province. Currently, the percentage of poverty in Central Java is 13.32% which is higher than the national poverty rate which is 11.13%. In this research, data of percentage of poor people in Central Java Province has been analyzed through geographically weighted regression (GWR). The aim of this research is therefore to model poverty percentage data in Central Java Province using GWR with weighted function of kernel bisquare, and tricube. As the results, we obtained GWR model with bisquare and tricube kernel weighted function on poverty percentage data in Central Java province. From the GWR model, there are three categories of region which are influenced by different of significance factors.

  3. 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

  4. 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 ...

  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. Progress in the biological function of alpha-enolase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Ji

    2016-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirag, N

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Weight change and physical function in older women: findings from the Nun Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tully, C L; Snowdon, D A

    1995-12-01

    To investigate the association between change in weight and decline in physical function in older women. Longitudinal study of a defined population of Catholic sisters (nuns) whose weight and function were assessed twice, an average of 584 days apart. Unique life communities (convents) located throughout the United States. 475 Catholic sisters who were 75 to 99 years of age (M = 82.1, SD = 4.8) and were independent in at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL) at the first assessment of weight and function. None. At each assessment, weight, ADLs, and cognitive function were evaluated as part of the Nun Study--a longitudinal study of aging and Alzheimer's disease. Annual percent weight change was calculated using weights from the two assessments, as well as the number of days that elapsed between assessments. Mean weight at first assessment was 140 pounds (range 78 to 232, SD = 27). The mean annual percent weight change was 0.1% (range 22% loss to 16% gain, SD = 3.8). Age- and initial weight-adjusted findings indicated that those participants with an annual percent weight loss of 3% or greater had 2.7 to 3.9 times the risk of becoming dependent in each ADL, compared to the sisters with no weight change. The elevated risk persisted in those who were mentally intact or were independent in their eating habits. Monitoring of weight may be an easy and inexpensive method of identifying older individuals at increased risk of disability.

  9. Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: 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. Methods: 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. Results: The IOM weight vectors were on average six times closer to the predicted weight vectors than to the average weight vector, usingl 2 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Weighted Anisotropic Integral Representations of Holomorphic Functions in the Unit Ball of

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arman Karapetyan

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We obtain weighted integral representations for spaces of functions holomorphic in the unit ball and belonging to area-integrable weighted -classes with “anisotropic” weight function of the type ∏=1(1−|1|2−|2|2−⋯−||2, =(1,2,…,∈. The corresponding kernels of these representations are estimated, written in an integral form, and even written out in an explicit form (for =2.

  15. Mothers' health and babies' weights: the biology of poverty at the Melbourne Lying-in Hospital, 1857-83.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccalman, Janet; Morley, Ruth

    2003-04-01

    Birth weight remains a major focus of medical research into the relationship between pre-natal growth and life course health, and historians have used mean birth weight to assess women's standard of living. However, there are intrinsic difficulties in inferring maternal health and nutritional status from birth weight, and some of the known data sets produce puzzling results. One rich data set comes from the Melbourne Lying-in Hospital, 1857-83, and the article discusses the complex institutional, social, and economic causes that may underlie its apparently counter-intuitive anthropometric results. This data set reveals the biological effects differential social conditions can inflict, even within an otherwise affluent society.

  16. Body mass and body weight: a dual reference system in biology Masa y peso corporales: un sistema dual de referencia en biología

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BRUNO GÜNTHER

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The aim of the present study was to compare two different biological similarity criteria, one was based on body mass (M as a theoretical reference system in accordance with the MLT-system of physics, while the other utilized the body weight (W for the same purpose. The mass-dependent allometry should be applied during space flights as well as during fetal and newborn conditions of life, whereas the weight-dependence should prevail in earth-bound physiology. The above mentioned distinctions are relevant not only for the specific metabolic rates but also for numerous biological time functions, as for instance for the heart and respiratory rates of all mammals, whose allometric exponent is b = - 0.09 during fetal life, and b = - 0.25 in all adult specimens.El objetivo del presente trabajo fue la comparación de dos diferentes criterios de similitud, uno basado en la masa corporal (M como sistema teórico de referencia de acuerdo con el sistema MLT de la Física, en tanto que el otro utilizó el peso corporal (W con este mismo propósito. La alometría dependiente de la masa debería aplicarse durante los vuelos espaciales así como durante la vida fetal y la condición de recién nacido, en tanto que la dependencia del peso debe prevalecer en la fisiología terrestre. La distinción antes mencionada es relevante, no sólo para el metabolismo específico y también para numerosas funciones biológicas en relación con funciones de tiempo, como ser con las frecuencias cardiaca y respiratoria de todos los mamíferos cuyo exponente alométrico es b = - 0,09 durante la vida fetal, y b = - 0,25 en todos los especimenes adultos.

  17. 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.

  18. Effect of weight reductions on estimated kidney function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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.......8mg [n=211, excluded from this analysis] or placebo [n=212]). NCT01272219/NCT01272232. RESULTS: In SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes, mean (±SD) weight loss (baseline to week 56) with liraglutide was 8.0±6.7% (2.6±6.9% with placebo); baseline creatinine with liraglutide was 76±15μmol/L and 74±15μmol...

  19. 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.

  20. Cryptographic Properties of the Hidden Weighted Bit Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

    valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE 23 DEC 2013 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2013 to 00-00-2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE...K. Feng, An Infinite Class of Balanced Vectorial Boolean Functions with Optimum Algebraic Immunity and Good Nonlinearity, in: IWCC 2009, In: LNCS

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-31

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-07-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Wearing weighted backpack dilates subjective visual duration: The role of functional linkage between weight experience and visual timing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina eJia

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Bodily state plays a critical role in our perception. In the present study, we asked the question whether and how bodily experience of weights influences time perception. Participants judged durations of a picture (a backpack or a trolley bag presented on the screen, while wearing different weight backpacks or without backpack. The results showed that the subjective dura-tion of the backpack picture was dilated when participants wore a medium weighted backpack relative to an empty backpack or without backpack, regardless of identity (e.g., color of the visual backpack. However, the duration dilation was not manifested for the picture of trolley bag. These findings suggest that weight experience modulates visual duration estimation through the linkage between the wore backpack and to-be-estimated visual target. The con-gruent action affordance between the wore backpack and visual inputs plays a critical role in the functional linkage between inner experience and time perception. We interpreted our findings within the framework of embodied time perception.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  11. Multi-functional fitness chair for light weight trainer

    OpenAIRE

    Fan, Rong; Wu, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays, physical inactivity has become a global problem. According to the research, about 5.3 million deaths all over the world in 2008 could be attributed to inactivity [1]. However, it is enough to do a little exercise every day to reduce the risk of premature deaths by as much as 30 percent. Due to the increasing working pressure, people do not have enough time to go to gym and do exercises, which means that the design of multi-functional fitness chair is necessary so that people can do ...

  12. Characterization of the best polynomial approximation with a sign-sensitive weight to a continuous function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramazanov, A.-R K

    2005-01-01

    Necessary and sufficient conditions for the best polynomial approximation with an arbitrary and, generally speaking, unbounded sign-sensitive weight to a continuous function are obtained; the components of the weight can also take infinite values, therefore the conditions obtained cover, in particular, approximation with interpolation at fixed points and one-sided approximation; in the case of the weight with components equal to 1 one arrives at Chebyshev's classical alternation theorem.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Fournier, Hervé ; Vigneron, Antoine E.

    2013-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. [Range of Hip Joint Motion and Weight of Lower Limb Function under 3D Dynamic Marker].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Q; Zhang, M; Gao, D; Xia, W T

    2017-12-01

    To explore the range of reasonable weight coefficient of hip joint in lower limb function. When the hip joints of healthy volunteers under normal conditions or fixed at three different positions including functional, flexed and extension positions, the movements of lower limbs were recorded by LUKOtronic motion capture and analysis system. The degree of lower limb function loss was calculated using Fugl-Meyer lower limb function assessment form when the hip joints were fixed at the aforementioned positions. One-way analysis of variance and Tamhane's T2 method were used to proceed statistics analysis and calculate the range of reasonable weight coefficient of hip joint. There were significant differences between the degree of lower limb function loss when the hip joints fixed at flexed and extension positions and at functional position. While the differences between the degree of lower limb function loss when the hip joints fixed at flexed position and extension position had no statistical significance. In 95% confidence interval, the reasonable weight coefficient of hip joint in lower limb function was between 61.05% and 73.34%. Expect confirming the reasonable weight coefficient, the effects of functional and non-functional positions on the degree of lower limb function loss should also be considered for the assessment of hip joint function loss. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine

  19. Wigner weight functions and Weyl symbols of non-negative definite linear operators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, A.J.E.M.

    1989-01-01

    In this paper we present several necessary and, for radially symmetric functions, necessary and sufficient conditions for a function of two variables to be a Wigner weight function (Weyl symbol of a non-negative definite linear operator of L2(R)). These necessary conditions are in terms of spread

  20. Weighted functional linear regression models for gene-based association analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belonogova, Nadezhda M; Svishcheva, Gulnara R; Wilson, James F; Campbell, Harry; Axenovich, Tatiana I

    2018-01-01

    Functional linear regression models are effectively used in gene-based association analysis of complex traits. These models combine information about individual genetic variants, taking into account their positions and reducing the influence of noise and/or observation errors. To increase the power of methods, where several differently informative components are combined, weights are introduced to give the advantage to more informative components. Allele-specific weights have been introduced to collapsing and kernel-based approaches to gene-based association analysis. Here we have for the first time introduced weights to functional linear regression models adapted for both independent and family samples. Using data simulated on the basis of GAW17 genotypes and weights defined by allele frequencies via the beta distribution, we demonstrated that type I errors correspond to declared values and that increasing the weights of causal variants allows the power of functional linear models to be increased. We applied the new method to real data on blood pressure from the ORCADES sample. Five of the six known genes with P models. Moreover, we found an association between diastolic blood pressure and the VMP1 gene (P = 8.18×10-6), when we used a weighted functional model. For this gene, the unweighted functional and weighted kernel-based models had P = 0.004 and 0.006, respectively. The new method has been implemented in the program package FREGAT, which is freely available at https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/FREGAT/index.html.

  1. On weighted hardy inequalities on semiaxis for functions vanishing at the endpoints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stepanov Vladimir

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available We study the weighted Hardy inequalities on the semiaxis of the form for functions vanishing at the endpoints together with derivatives up to the order . The case is completely characterized.

  2. AFM imaging of functionalized carbon nanotubes on biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. A Synthetic Biology Framework for Programming Eukaryotic Transcription Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Effects of a weight loss plus exercise program on physical function in overweight, older women: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Stephen D; Manini, Todd M; Milsom, Vanessa A; Dubyak, Pamela; Cesari, Matteo; Cheng, Jing; Daniels, Michael J; Marsiske, Michael; Pahor, Marco; Leeuwenburgh, Christiaan; Perri, Michael G

    2011-01-01

    Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with physical impairments and biologic changes in older adults. Weight loss combined with exercise may reduce inflammation and improve physical functioning in overweight, sedentary, older adults. This study tested whether a weight loss program combined with moderate exercise could improve physical function in obese, older adult women. Participants (N = 34) were generally healthy, obese, older adult women (age range 55-79 years) with mild to moderate physical impairments (ie, functional limitations). Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups for 24 weeks: (i) weight loss plus exercise (WL+E; n = 17; mean age = 63.7 years [4.5]) or (ii) educational control (n = 17; mean age = 63.7 [6.7]). In the WL+E group, participants attended a group-based weight management session plus three supervised exercise sessions within their community each week. During exercise sessions, participants engaged in brisk walking and lower-body resistance training of moderate intensity. Participants in the educational control group attended monthly health education lectures on topics relevant to older adults. Outcomes were: (i) body weight, (ii) walking speed (assessed by 400-meter walk test), (iii) the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and (iv) knee extension isokinetic strength. Participants randomized to the WL+E group lost significantly more weight than participants in the educational control group (5.95 [0.992] vs 0.23 [0.99] kg; P meter walk test = 44 seconds; P < 0.05). Scores on the SPPB improved in both the intervention and educational control groups from pre- to post-test (P < 0.05), with significant differences between groups (P = 0.02). Knee extension strength was maintained in both groups. Our findings suggest that a lifestyle-based weight loss program consisting of moderate caloric restriction plus moderate exercise can produce significant weight loss and improve physical function while maintaining muscle

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-09-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Postnatal weight gain modifies severity and functional outcome of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Andreas; Chen, Jing; Sapieha, Przemyslaw; Seaward, Molly R; Krah, Nathan M; Dennison, Roberta J; Favazza, Tara; Bucher, Felicitas; Löfqvist, Chatarina; Ong, Huy; Hellström, Ann; Chemtob, Sylvain; Akula, James D; Smith, Lois E H

    2010-12-01

    In clinical studies, postnatal weight gain is strongly associated with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). However, animal studies are needed to investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms of how postnatal weight gain affects the severity of ROP. In the present study, we identify nutritional supply as one potent parameter that affects the extent of retinopathy in mice with identical birth weights and the same genetic background. Wild-type pups with poor postnatal nutrition and poor weight gain (PWG) exhibit a remarkably prolonged phase of retinopathy compared to medium weight gain or extensive weight gain pups. A high (r(2) = 0.83) parabolic association between postnatal weight gain and oxygen-induced retinopathy severity is observed, as is a significantly prolonged phase of proliferative retinopathy in PWG pups (20 days) compared with extensive weight gain pups (6 days). The extended retinopathy is concomitant with prolonged overexpression of retinal vascular endothelial growth factor in PWG pups. Importantly, PWG pups show low serum levels of nonfasting glucose, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor-1 as well as high levels of ghrelin in the early postoxygen-induced retinopathy phase, a combination indicative of poor metabolic supply. These differences translate into visual deficits in adult PWG mice, as demonstrated by impaired bipolar and proximal neuronal function. Together, these results provide evidence for a pathophysiological correlation between poor postnatal nutritional supply, slow weight gain, prolonged retinal vascular endothelial growth factor overexpression, protracted retinopathy, and reduced final visual outcome.

  20. 'Battling my biology': psychological effects of genetic testing for risk of weight gain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisel, S F; Wardle, J

    2014-04-01

    The availability of genetic tests for multifactorial conditions such as obesity raises concerns that higher-risk results could lead to fatalistic reactions or lower-risk results to complacency. No study has investigated the effects of genetic test feedback for the risk of obesity in non-clinical samples. The present study explored psychological and behavioral reactions to genetic test feedback for a weight related gene (FTO) in a volunteer sample (n = 18) using semi-structured interviews. Respondents perceived the gene test result as scientifically objective; removing some of the emotion attached to the issue of weight control. Those who were struggling with weight control reported relief of self-blame. There was no evidence for either complacency or fatalism; all respondents emphasized the importance of lifestyle choices in long-term weight management, although they recognized the role of both genes and environment. Regardless of the test result, respondents evaluated the testing positively and found it motivating and informative. Genetic test feedback for risk of weight gain may offer psychological benefits beyond its objectively limited clinical utility. As the role of genetic counselors is likely to expand, awareness of reasons for genetic testing for common, complex conditions and reactions to the test result is important.

  1. Effects of Hofmeister Anions on the LCST of PNIPAM as a Function of Molecular Weight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanjie; Furyk, Steven; Sagle, Laura B.; Cho, Younhee; Bergbreiter, David E.; Cremer, Paul S.

    2008-01-01

    The effect of a series of sodium salts on the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), PNIPAM, was investigated as a function of molecular weight and polymer concentration with a temperature gradient microfluidic device under a dark-field microscope. In solutions containing sufficient concentrations of kosmotropic anions, the phase transition of PNIPAM was resolved into two separate steps for higher molecular weight samples. The first step of this two step transition was found to be sensitive to the polymer’s molecular weight and solution concentration, while the second step was not. Moreover, the binding of chaotropic anions to the polymer was also influenced by molecular weight. Both sets of results could be explained by the formation of intramolecular and intermolecular hydrogen-bonding between polymer chains. By contrast, the hydrophobic hydration of the isopropyl moieties and polymer backbone was found to be unaffected by either the polymer’s molecular weight or solution concentration. PMID:18820735

  2. A method for measuring quality of life through subjective weighting of functional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stineman, Margaret G; Wechsler, Barbara; Ross, Richard; Maislin, Greg

    2003-04-01

    To apply a new tool to understand the quality of life (QOL) implications of patients' functional status. Results from the Features-Resource Trade-Off Game were used to form utility weights by ranking functional activities by the relative value of achieving independence in each activity compared with all other component activities. The utility weights were combined with patients' actual levels of performance across the same activities to produce QOL-weighted functional status scores and to form "value rulers" to order activities by perceived importance. Persons with severe disabilities living in the community and clinicians practicing in various rehabilitation disciplines. Two panels of 5 consumers with disabilities and 2 panels of 5 rehabilitation clinicians. The 4 panels played the Features Resource Trade-Off Game by using the FIMT(TM) instrument definitions. Utility weights for each of the 18 FIM items, QOL-weighted FIM scores, and value rulers. All 4 panels valued the achievement of independence in cognitive and communication activities more than independence in physical activities. Consequently, the unweighted FIM scores of patients who have severe physical disabilities but relatively intact cognitive skills will underestimate QOL, while inflating QOL in those with low levels of independence in cognition and communication but higher physical function. Independence in some activities is more valued than in others; thus, 2 people with the same numeric functional status score could experience very different QOL. QOL-weighted functional status scores translate objectively measured functional status into its subjective meaning. This new technology for measuring subjective function-related QOL has a variety of applications to clinical, educational, and research practices.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Rodrigo; Vargas, Marcelo R

    2018-04-23

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Y; Morita, M; Fuwa, K

    1992-01-01

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

  11. 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)

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The temperament of pre-term, low birth weight infants and its potential biological substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Sandra J; Jonn-Seed, Mary St; Wilson, Peggy

    2004-12-01

    Temperament profiles of pre-term, low birth weight (LBW) infants were assessed at 6 months of age using standardized norms from the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire (RITQ). The contributions of perinatal risk, ethnicity, and gender to various temperament dimensions were examined. The sample included 152 infants with a mean birth weight of 1687 g and a mean gestational age of 31 weeks. Eighty percent of the infants were classified as having temperaments that were difficult to manage. Irregularity of the infants' biorhythms, slowness in their ability to adapt to changes, and distractibility were the most problematic. Birth weight, gestational age, and gender were not associated with temperament. Perinatal morbidity was related to the temperament dimension of infant persistence, with implications for the infant's attention span and task performance. Euro American infants were rated as more persistent and less intense in emotional expression than were infants of other ethnic groups. Results suggest the need for a more direct assessment of the effects of neurobiological processes on development of temperament phenotypes and for measurement of temperament that is socioculturally appropriate.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Effect of weight loss in obese dogs on indicators of renal function or disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tvarijonaviciute, A; Ceron, J J; Holden, S L; Biourge, V; Morris, P J; German, A J

    2013-01-01

    Obesity is a common medical disorder in dogs, and can predispose to a number of diseases. Human obesity is a risk factor for the development and progression of chronic kidney disease. To investigate the possible association of weight loss on plasma and renal biomarkers of kidney health. Thirty-seven obese dogs that lost weight were included in the study. Prospective observational study. Three novel biomarkers of renal functional impairment, disease, or both (homocysteine, cystatin C, and clusterin), in addition to traditional markers of chronic renal failure (serum urea and creatinine, urine specific gravity [USG], urine protein-creatinine ratio [UPCR], and urine albumin corrected by creatinine [UAC]) before and after weight loss in dogs with naturally occurring obesity were investigated. Urea (P = .043) and USG (P = .012) were both greater after weight loss than before loss, whilst UPCR, UAC, and creatinine were less after weight loss (P = .032, P = .006, and P = .026, respectively). Homocysteine (P canine obesity, which improve with weight loss. Further work is required to determine the nature of these alterations and, most notably, the reason for the association between before loss plasma clusterin and subsequent lean tissue loss during weight management. Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

  19. Image features dependant correlation-weighting function for efficient PRNU based source camera identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, Mayank; Gupta, Bhupendra

    2018-04-01

    For source camera identification (SCI), photo response non-uniformity (PRNU) has been widely used as the fingerprint of the camera. The PRNU is extracted from the image by applying a de-noising filter then taking the difference between the original image and the de-noised image. However, it is observed that intensity-based features and high-frequency details (edges and texture) of the image, effect quality of the extracted PRNU. This effects correlation calculation and creates problems in SCI. For solving this problem, we propose a weighting function based on image features. We have experimentally identified image features (intensity and high-frequency contents) effect on the estimated PRNU, and then develop a weighting function which gives higher weights to image regions which give reliable PRNU and at the same point it gives comparatively less weights to the image regions which do not give reliable PRNU. Experimental results show that the proposed weighting function is able to improve the accuracy of SCI up to a great extent. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Statistically generated weighted curve fit of residual functions for modal analysis of structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookout, P. S.

    1995-01-01

    A statistically generated weighting function for a second-order polynomial curve fit of residual functions has been developed. The residual flexibility test method, from which a residual function is generated, is a procedure for modal testing large structures in an external constraint-free environment to measure the effects of higher order modes and interface stiffness. This test method is applicable to structures with distinct degree-of-freedom interfaces to other system components. A theoretical residual function in the displacement/force domain has the characteristics of a relatively flat line in the lower frequencies and a slight upward curvature in the higher frequency range. In the test residual function, the above-mentioned characteristics can be seen in the data, but due to the present limitations in the modal parameter evaluation (natural frequencies and mode shapes) of test data, the residual function has regions of ragged data. A second order polynomial curve fit is required to obtain the residual flexibility term. A weighting function of the data is generated by examining the variances between neighboring data points. From a weighted second-order polynomial curve fit, an accurate residual flexibility value can be obtained. The residual flexibility value and free-free modes from testing are used to improve a mathematical model of the structure. The residual flexibility modal test method is applied to a straight beam with a trunnion appendage and a space shuttle payload pallet simulator.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Effect of weight loss on menstrual function in adolescents with polycystic ovary syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornstein, Rollyn M; Copperman, Nancy M; Jacobson, Marc S

    2011-06-01

    To compare the effects of a hypocaloric low-fat diet with those of a very low carbohydrate diet on body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and menstrual function in overweight adolescent females with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Randomized pilot trial of two diets in a prospective, 12-week study. A hospital-based, academic adolescent medicine division. 24 females, age 12-22 years (mean 15.8 ± 2.2), with PCOS and a BMI above the 85(th) percentile for age (mean 35.7 ± 6.0 kg/m(2)). Nutrition counseling was given biweekly, and dietary compliance, menstrual history, and weight were recorded. WC was measured at the beginning and end of the study. Changes in weight, BMI, WC, and improvement in menstrual function over the course of the study period. 16 participants completed the study. 12 completers menstruated during the study period, 8 with regularity. The number of periods over 3 months increased from 0.6 ± 0.6 pre-treatment to 1.6 ± 1.3 post-treatment (P = 0.003). Overall, weight loss averaged 6.5% (P weight were 3.4 times more likely to have improved menstrual function (P = 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. Weight loss is feasible in adolescents with PCOS and results in significant improvements in BMI, WC, and menstrual function. Weight management may be preferable as first-line treatment in adolescents, because it targets both the menstrual dysfunction and risk factors for long-term morbidity associated with PCOS. Copyright © 2011 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The correlation between biological activity and diffusion-weighted MR imaging and ADC value in cases with prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokmen, Bedriye Koyuncu; Sokmen, Dogukan; Ucar, Nese; Ozkurt, Huseyin; Simsek, Abdulmuttalip

    2017-12-31

    Firstly, we aimed to investigate the correlation among dynamic contrasted magnetic resonance (MR) images, diffusion-weighted MR images, and apparent diffusion coefficent (ADC) values in patients with prostate cancer. Secondly, we aimed to investigate the roles of these variables on clinical risk classification and the biological behavior of the prostate cancer. A total of sixty with prostatic adenocarcinoma patients diagnosed between January 2011 and May 2013 were retrospectively included in the study. Risk classification of patients were evaluated as low-risk (Group 1) (n = 20) (Stage T1c-T2a, PSA T3a, PSA > 20 ng/ml, Gleason Score > 7). Diffusion-weighted MR images, dynamic contrasted MR images, and ADC values of the prostates were correlated. ADC values of the cases in Group 3 were lower than those of the other groups (p values of the areas without malignancy did not differ significantly between groups (p > 0.05). Biological activity of the tumor tissue was determined by GS, while a negative correlation was observed between GSs and ADC values of the patients, (p values were obtained. These measured values can play a role in the noninvasive determination of the cellularity of the tumoral mass.

  5. The correlation between biological activity and diffusion-weighted MR imaging and ADC value in cases with prostate cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bedriye Koyuncu Sokmen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Firstly, we aimed to investigate the correlation among dynamic contrasted magnetic resonance (MR images, diffusion-weighted MR images, and apparent diffusion coefficent (ADC values in patients with prostate cancer. Secondly, we aimed to investigate the roles of these variables on clinical risk classification and the biological behavior of the prostate cancer. Methods: A total of sixty with prostatic adenocarcinoma patients diagnosed between January 2011 and May 2013 were retrospectively included in the study. Risk classification of patients were evaluated as low-risk (Group 1 (n = 20 (Stage T1c-T2a, PSA T3a, PSA > 20 ng/ml, Gleason Score > 7. Diffusion-weighted MR images, dynamic contrasted MR images, and ADC values of the prostates were correlated. Results: ADC values of the cases in Group 3 were lower than those of the other groups (p 0.05. Biological activity of the tumor tissue was determined by GS, while a negative correlation was observed between GSs and ADC values of the patients, (p < 0.001. Conclusion: In tumors with higher Gleason scores, lower ADC values were obtained. These measured values can play a role in the noninvasive determination of the cellularity of the tumoral mass.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gogatishvili, A; Stepanov, V D

    2013-01-01

    This paper surveys results related to the reduction of integral inequalities involving positive operators in weighted Lebesgue spaces on the real semi-axis and valid on the cone of monotone functions, to certain more easily manageable inequalities valid on the cone of non-negative functions. The case of monotone operators is new. As an application, a complete characterization for all possible integrability parameters is obtained for a number of Volterra operators. Bibliography: 118 titles

  7. Birth weight and cognitive function at age 11 years: the Scottish Mental Survey 1932

    OpenAIRE

    Shenkin, S; Starr, J; Pattie, A; Rush, M; Whalley, L; Deary, I; PHARAOH, E. P.

    2001-01-01

    AIMS—To examine the relation between birth weight and cognitive function at age 11 years, and to examine whether this relation is independent of social class.
METHODS—Retrospective cohort study based on birth records from 1921 and cognitive function measured while at school at age 11 in 1932.Subjects were 985 live singletons born in the Edinburgh Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital in 1921. Moray House Test scores from the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 were trace...

  8. Birth weight and cognitive function at age 11years: the Scottish Mental Survey 1932

    OpenAIRE

    Shenkin, S D; Starr, John M; Pattie, Alison; Rush, M A; Whalley, Lawrence J; Deary, Ian J

    2001-01-01

    AIMS---To examine the relation between birth weight and cognitive function at age 11 years, and to examine whether this relation is independent of social class. METHODS---Retrospective cohort study based on birth records from 1921 and cognitive function measured while at school at age 11 in 1932. Subjects were 985 live singletons born in the Edinburgh Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital in 1921. Moray House Test scores from the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 were traced on 449 of th...

  9. Organ doses as a function of body weight for environmental gamma rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, Kimiaki; Petoussi, N.; Zankl, M.; Veit, R.; Jacob, P.; Drexler, G.

    1991-01-01

    The organ doses for γ rays from typical environmental sources were determined with Monte Carlo calculations using anthropomorphic phantoms having different body sizes. It has been suggested that body weight is the predominant factor influencing organ doses for environmental γ rays, regardless of sex and age. A weight function expressing organ doses for environmental γ rays was introduced. This function fitted well with the organ doses calculated using the different phantoms. The function coefficients were determined mathematically with the least squares method. On the assumption that this function was applicable to organ doses for human bodies with diverse characteristics, the variances in organ doses due to race, sex, age and difference in body weight of adults were investigated. The variations of organ doses due to race and sex were not significant. Differences in body weight were found to alter organ doses by a maximum of 10% for γ rays over 100 keV, and 20% for low-energy γ rays. The doses for organs located deep inside a body, such as ovaries, differed between a newborn baby and an adult by a maximum factor of 2 to 3. For γ rays over 100 keV, the variation was within a factor of 2 for all organs. The organ doses for adolescents more than 12 years agreed within 15% with those of the average adult. (author)

  10. Weighting Function Integrated in Grid-interfacing Converters for Unbalanced Voltage Correction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, F.; Duarte, J.L.; Hendrix, M.A.M.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper a weighting function for voltage unbalance correction is proposed to be integrated into the control of distributed grid-interfacing systems. The correction action can help decrease the negative-sequence voltage at the point of connection with the grid. Based on the voltage unbalance

  11. Uncertainty plus Prior Equals Rational Bias: An Intuitive Bayesian Probability Weighting Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, John; Baddeley, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that when making choices based on probabilistic options, people behave as if they overestimate small probabilities, underestimate large probabilities, and treat positive and negative outcomes differently. These distortions have been modeled using a nonlinear probability weighting function, which is found in several…

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ryu, Duchwan; Liang, Faming; Mallick, Bani K.

    2013-01-01

    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

  13. A functional approach to cerebral visual impairments in very preterm/very-low-birth-weight children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldof, C.J.A.; van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, A.G.; Dik, M.; Kok, J.H.; Oosterlaan, J.

    2015-01-01

    Background:Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is a major cause of visual impairment, with very preterm birth/very low birth weight (VP/VLBW) being a major risk factor. There is no generally accepted definition of CVI. This study aims to investigate the usefulness of an empirically-based functional

  14. A functional approach to cerebral visual impairments in very preterm/very-low-birth-weight children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldof, Christiaan J. A.; van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, Aleid G.; Dik, Marjolein; Kok, Joke H.; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2015-01-01

    Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is a major cause of visual impairment, with very preterm birth/very low birth weight (VP/VLBW) being a major risk factor. There is no generally accepted definition of CVI. This study aims to investigate the usefulness of an empirically-based functional definition of

  15. 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 ...

  16. Pancreatic cancerrelated cachexia: influence on metabolism and correlation to weight loss and pulmonary function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachmann, Jeannine; Ketterer, Knut; Marsch, Christiane; Fechtner, Kerstin; Krakowski-Roosen, Holger; Büchler, Markus W; Friess, Helmut; Martignoni, Marc E

    2009-01-01

    Dramatic weight loss is an often underestimated symptom in pancreatic cancer patients. Cachexia- defined as an unintended loss of stable weight exceeding 10% – is present in up to 80% of patients with cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and has a significant influence on survival. The aim of the study was to show the multiple systemic effects of cachexia in pancreatic cancer patients, in terms of resection rate, effects on pulmonary function, amount of fat and muscle tissue, as well as changes in laboratory parameters. In patients with pancreatic cancer, clinical appearance was documented, including the amount of weight loss. Laboratory parameters and lung-function tests were evaluated, and the thickness of muscle and fat tissue was measured with computed tomography scans. Statistical analysis, including multivariate analysis, was performed using SPSS software. Survival curves were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test. To test for significant differences between the examined groups we used Student's t-test and the Mann-Whitney U test. Significance was defined as p < 0.05. Of 198 patients with a ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, 70% were suffering from weight loss when they presented for operation, and in 40% weight loss exceeded 10% of the stable weight. In patients with cachexia, metastases were diagnosed significantly more often (47% vs. 24%, P < 0.001), leading to a significantly reduced resection rate in these patients. Patients with cachexia had significantly reduced fat tissue amounts. Hence, dramatic weight loss in a patient with pancreatic cancer may be a hint of a more progressed or more aggressive tumour. Pancreatic cancer patients with cachexia had a higher rate of more progressed tumour stages and a worse nutritional status. Furthermore, patients with cachexia had an impaired lung function and a reduction in fat tissue. Patients with pancreatic cancer and cachexia had significantly reduced survival. If weight

  17. Pancreatic cancerrelated cachexia: influence on metabolism and correlation to weight loss and pulmonary function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachmann, Jeannine; Ketterer, Knut [Department of Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich (Germany); Marsch, Christiane [Department of General Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Fechtner, Kerstin [Department of Radiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Krakowski-Roosen, Holger [German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Büchler, Markus W [Department of General Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Friess, Helmut; Martignoni, Marc E [Department of Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich (Germany)

    2009-07-28

    Dramatic weight loss is an often underestimated symptom in pancreatic cancer patients. Cachexia- defined as an unintended loss of stable weight exceeding 10% – is present in up to 80% of patients with cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and has a significant influence on survival. The aim of the study was to show the multiple systemic effects of cachexia in pancreatic cancer patients, in terms of resection rate, effects on pulmonary function, amount of fat and muscle tissue, as well as changes in laboratory parameters. In patients with pancreatic cancer, clinical appearance was documented, including the amount of weight loss. Laboratory parameters and lung-function tests were evaluated, and the thickness of muscle and fat tissue was measured with computed tomography scans. Statistical analysis, including multivariate analysis, was performed using SPSS software. Survival curves were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test. To test for significant differences between the examined groups we used Student's t-test and the Mann-Whitney U test. Significance was defined as p < 0.05. Of 198 patients with a ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, 70% were suffering from weight loss when they presented for operation, and in 40% weight loss exceeded 10% of the stable weight. In patients with cachexia, metastases were diagnosed significantly more often (47% vs. 24%, P < 0.001), leading to a significantly reduced resection rate in these patients. Patients with cachexia had significantly reduced fat tissue amounts. Hence, dramatic weight loss in a patient with pancreatic cancer may be a hint of a more progressed or more aggressive tumour. Pancreatic cancer patients with cachexia had a higher rate of more progressed tumour stages and a worse nutritional status. Furthermore, patients with cachexia had an impaired lung function and a reduction in fat tissue. Patients with pancreatic cancer and cachexia had significantly reduced survival. If weight loss

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Stonik

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Effects of a weight loss plus exercise program on physical function in overweight, older women: a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton SD

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Stephen D Anton1,2, Todd M Manini1, Vanessa A Milsom2, Pamela Dubyak2, Matteo Cesari3, Jing Cheng4, Michael J Daniels5, Michael Marsiske2, Marco Pahor1, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh1, Michael G Perri21Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 2Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 3Area di Geriatria, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy; 4Division of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health, San Francisco, CA, USA; 5Department of Statistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USABackground: Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with physical impairments and biologic changes in older adults. Weight loss combined with exercise may reduce inflammation and improve physical functioning in overweight, sedentary, older adults. This study tested whether a weight loss program combined with moderate exercise could improve physical function in obese, older adult women.Methods: Participants (n = 34 were generally healthy, obese, older adult women (age range 55–79 years with mild to moderate physical impairments (ie, functional limitations. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups for 24 weeks: (i weight loss plus exercise (WL+E; n = 17; mean age = 63.7 years [4.5] or (ii educational control (n = 17; mean age = 63.7 [6.7]. In the WL+E group, participants attended a group-based weight management session plus three supervised exercise sessions within their community each week. During exercise sessions, participants engaged in brisk walking and lower-body resistance training of moderate intensity. Participants in the educational control group attended monthly health education lectures on topics relevant to older adults. Outcomes were: (i body weight, (ii walking speed (assessed by 400-meter walk test, (iii the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB, and (iv knee extension isokinetic strength.Results: Participants randomized

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. T. KORHONEN

    2008-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Analysis of Vertical Weighting Functions for Lidar Measurements of Atmospheric CO2 and O2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooi, S.; Mao, J.; Abshire, J. B.; Browell, E. V.; Weaver, C. J.; Kawa, S. R.

    2011-12-01

    Several NASA groups have developed integrated path differential absorption (IPDA) lidar approaches to measure atmospheric CO2 concentrations from space as a candidates for NASA's ASCENDS space mission. For example, the Goddard CO2 Sounder approach uses two pulsed lasers to simultaneously measure both CO2 and O2 absorption in the vertical path to the surface at a number of wavelengths across a CO2 line near 1572 nm and an O2 line doublet near 764 nm. The measurements of CO2 and O2 absorption allow computing their vertically weighted number densities and then their ratios for estimating CO2 concentration relative to dry air. Since both the CO2 and O2 densities and their absorption line-width decrease with altitude, the absorption response (or weighting function) varies with both altitude and absorption wavelength. We have used some standard atmospheres and HITRAN 2008 spectroscopy to calculate the vertical weighting functions for two CO2 lines near 1571 nm and the O2 lines near 764.7 and 1260 nm for candidate online wavelength selections for ASCENDS. For CO2, the primary candidate on-line wavelengths are 10-12 pm away from line center with the weighting function peaking in the atmospheric boundary layer to measure CO2 sources and sinks at the surface. Using another on-line wavelength 3-5 pm away from line center allows the weighting function to peak in the mid- to upper troposphere, which is sensitive to CO2 transport in the free atmosphere. The Goddard CO2 sounder team developed an airborne precursor version of a space instrument. During the summers of 2009, 2010 and 2011 it has participated in airborne measurement campaigns over a variety of different sites in the US, flying with other NASA ASCENDS lidar candidates along with accurate in-situ atmospheric sensors. All flights used altitude patterns with measurements at steps in altitudes between 3 and 13 km, along with spirals from 13 km altitude to near the surface. Measurements from in-situ sensors allowed an

  4. 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...

  5. Relationship between different approaches to derive weighting functions related to atmospheric remote sensing problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozanov, Vladimir V.; Rozanov, Alexei V.

    2007-01-01

    The paper is devoted to the investigation of the relationship between different methods used to derive weighting functions required to solve numerous inverse problems related to the remote sensing of the Earth's atmosphere by means of scattered solar light observations. The first method commonly referred to as the forward-adjoint approach is based on a joint solution of the forward and adjoint radiative transfer equations and the second one requires the linearized forward radiative transfer equation to be solved. In the framework of the forward-adjoint method we consider two approaches commonly used to derive the weighting functions. These approaches are referenced as the 'response function' and the 'formal solution' techniques, respectively. We demonstrate here that the weighting functions derived employing the formal solution technique can also be obtained substituting the analytical representations for the direct forward and direct adjoint intensities into corresponding expressions obtained in the framework of the response function technique. The advantages and disadvantages of different techniques are discussed

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens

    2013-10-08

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

  12. 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.

  13. Weight preoccupation as a function of observed physical attractiveness: ethnic differences among normal-weight adolescent females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colabianchi, Natalie; Ievers-Landis, Carolyn E; Borawski, Elaine A

    2006-09-01

    To examine the association between observer ratings of physical attractiveness and weight preoccupation for female adolescents, and to explore any ethnic differences between Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic females. Normal-weight female adolescents who had participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in-home Wave II survey were included (n = 4,324). Physical attractiveness ratings were made in vivo by interviewers. Using logistic regression models stratified by ethnicity, the associations between observer-rated attractiveness and weight preoccupation were examined after controlling for demographics, measured body mass index (BMI) and psychosocial factors. Caucasian female adolescents perceived as being more attractive reported significantly greater weight preoccupation compared with those rated as being less attractive. Observed attractiveness did not relate to weight preoccupation among African-American or Hispanic youth when controlling for other factors. For Caucasian female adolescents, being perceived by others as more attractive may be a risk factor for disordered eating.

  14. Tests of potential functional barriers for laminated multilayer food packages. Part II: Medium molecular weight permeants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simal-Gándara, J; Sarria-Vidal, M; Rijk, R

    2000-09-01

    Experiments were performed to characterize the kinetics of the permeation of different medium molecular weight model permeants: bisphenol A, warfarin and anthracene, from liquid paraffin, through a surrogate potential functional barrier (25 microns-thick orientated polypropylene--OPP) into the food simulants olive oil and 3% (w/v) acetic acid. The characterization of permeation kinetics generally observed the permeation models previously reported to explain the experimental permeation results obtained for a low molecular weight group of model permeants. In general, the model permeants exhibited behaviour consistent with their relative molecular weights with respect to (a) the time taken to attain steady-state permeation into the food simulant in which they were more soluble, (b) their subsequent steady-state permeation rates, and (c) their partition between liquid paraffin and the OPP membrane.

  15. Configuration space analysis of common cost functions in radiotherapy beam-weight optimization algorithms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rowbottom, Carl Graham [Joint Department of Physics, Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Sutton, Surrey (United Kingdom); Webb, Steve [Joint Department of Physics, Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Sutton, Surrey (United Kingdom)

    2002-01-07

    The successful implementation of downhill search engines in radiotherapy optimization algorithms depends on the absence of local minima in the search space. Such techniques are much faster than stochastic optimization methods but may become trapped in local minima if they exist. A technique known as 'configuration space analysis' was applied to examine the search space of cost functions used in radiotherapy beam-weight optimization algorithms. A downhill-simplex beam-weight optimization algorithm was run repeatedly to produce a frequency distribution of final cost values. By plotting the frequency distribution as a function of final cost, the existence of local minima can be determined. Common cost functions such as the quadratic deviation of dose to the planning target volume (PTV), integral dose to organs-at-risk (OARs), dose-threshold and dose-volume constraints for OARs were studied. Combinations of the cost functions were also considered. The simple cost function terms such as the quadratic PTV dose and integral dose to OAR cost function terms are not susceptible to local minima. In contrast, dose-threshold and dose-volume OAR constraint cost function terms are able to produce local minima in the example case studied. (author)

  16. Preparation of Low Molecular Weight Chondroitin Sulfates, Screening of a High Anti-Complement Capacity of Low Molecular Weight Chondroitin Sulfate and Its Biological Activity Studies in Attenuating Osteoarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lian; Li, Yan; Feng, Danyang; Xu, Linghua; Yin, Fengxin; Zang, Hengchang; Liu, Chunhui; Wang, Fengshan

    2016-10-11

    Chondroitin sulfate (CS) plays important roles in the complement system. However, the CS structure is complicated due to different sources and the number and positions of sulfate groups. The objective of this study was to prepare different low molecular weight chondroitin sulfates (LMWCSs) and to investigate the biological activity in anti-complement capacity. A series of LMWCSs was prepared from different sources and characterized by ultraviolet-visible (UV) spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), size exclusion chromatography-multiangle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Hemolytic, anti-complement 3 deposition capacity and cell viability assays were carried out to investigate the biological activities in vitro. The results showed that LMWCS prepared from shark cartilage with the oxidative degradation method (LMWCS-S-O) had the best anti-complement capacity. LMWCS-S-O could inhibit the alternative pathway of the complement system and protect chondrocytes from cell death. The attenuating effect of LMWCS-S-O on Osteoarthritis (OA) was investigated by destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) model in vivo. Functional wind-up, histological and C5b-9 analyses were used to evaluate the treatment effect on the OA model. In vivo results showed that LMWCS-S-O could attenuate OA. LMWCS-S-O with a high content of ΔDi-2,6diS and ΔDi-6S could be used for attenuating OA through regulating the complement system.

  17. Preparation of Low Molecular Weight Chondroitin Sulfates, Screening of a High Anti-Complement Capacity of Low Molecular Weight Chondroitin Sulfate and Its Biological Activity Studies in Attenuating Osteoarthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lian Li

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Chondroitin sulfate (CS plays important roles in the complement system. However, the CS structure is complicated due to different sources and the number and positions of sulfate groups. The objective of this study was to prepare different low molecular weight chondroitin sulfates (LMWCSs and to investigate the biological activity in anti-complement capacity. A series of LMWCSs was prepared from different sources and characterized by ultraviolet-visible (UV spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC, size exclusion chromatography-multiangle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy. Hemolytic, anti-complement 3 deposition capacity and cell viability assays were carried out to investigate the biological activities in vitro. The results showed that LMWCS prepared from shark cartilage with the oxidative degradation method (LMWCS-S-O had the best anti-complement capacity. LMWCS-S-O could inhibit the alternative pathway of the complement system and protect chondrocytes from cell death. The attenuating effect of LMWCS-S-O on Osteoarthritis (OA was investigated by destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM model in vivo. Functional wind-up, histological and C5b-9 analyses were used to evaluate the treatment effect on the OA model. In vivo results showed that LMWCS-S-O could attenuate OA. LMWCS-S-O with a high content of ΔDi-2,6diS and ΔDi-6S could be used for attenuating OA through regulating the complement system.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 .

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    . 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...... with all cause mortality. The association between father's social class and mortality attenuated (HR(working class)1.30 (1.08 to 1.56); HR(unknown class)1.81 (1.30 to 2.52)) after control for birth weight and cognitive function. Mortality from cardiovascular diseases and violent deaths was also......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...

  4. 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].

  5. Relationship of body weight with gastrointestinal motor and sensory function: studies in anorexia nervosa and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluemel, Sena; Menne, Dieter; Milos, Gabriella; Goetze, Oliver; Fried, Michael; Schwizer, Werner; Fox, Mark; Steingoetter, Andreas

    2017-01-05

    Whether gastrointestinal motor and sensory function is primary cause or secondary effect of abnormal body weight is uncertain. Moreover, studies relating continuous postprandial sensations of satiation to measurable pathology are scarce. This work assessed postprandial gastrointestinal function and concurrent sensations of satiation across a wide range of body weight and after weight change. Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and obesity (OB) were investigated in reference to normal weight controls (HC). AN were additionally investigated longitudinally. Gastric emptying, antral contractions and oro-cecal transit after ingestion of a solid meal were investigated by MRI and 13 C-lactose-ureide breath test. The dependency of self-reported sensations of satiation on the varying degree of stomach filling during gastric emptying was compared between groups. 24 AN (BMI 14.4 (11.9-16.0) kg/m 2 ), 16 OB (34.9 (29.6-41.5) kg/m 2 ) and 20 HC (21.9 (18.9-24.9) kg/m 2 ) were studied. Gastric half-emptying time (t 50 ) was slower in AN than HC (p = 0.016) and OB (p = 0.007), and a negative association between t 50 and BMI was observed between BMI 12 and 25 kg/m 2 (p = 0.007). Antral contractions and oro-cecal transit were not different. For any given gastric content volume, self-reported postprandial fullness was greater in AN than in HC or OB (p < 0.001). After weight rehabilitation, t 50 in AN tended to become shorter (p = 0.09) and postprandial fullness was less marked (p < 0.01). A relationship between body weight and gastric emptying as well as self-reported feelings of satiation is present. AN have slower gastric emptying and heightened visceral perception compared to HC and OB. Longitudinal follow-up after weight rehabilitation in AN suggests these abnormalities are not a primary feature, but secondary to other factors that determine abnormal body weight. Registered July 20, 2009 at ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT00946816 ).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed; Meier, Stuart Kurt

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Uncertainty plus prior equals rational bias: an intuitive Bayesian probability weighting function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, John; Baddeley, Roland

    2012-10-01

    Empirical research has shown that when making choices based on probabilistic options, people behave as if they overestimate small probabilities, underestimate large probabilities, and treat positive and negative outcomes differently. These distortions have been modeled using a nonlinear probability weighting function, which is found in several nonexpected utility theories, including rank-dependent models and prospect theory; here, we propose a Bayesian approach to the probability weighting function and, with it, a psychological rationale. In the real world, uncertainty is ubiquitous and, accordingly, the optimal strategy is to combine probability statements with prior information using Bayes' rule. First, we show that any reasonable prior on probabilities leads to 2 of the observed effects; overweighting of low probabilities and underweighting of high probabilities. We then investigate 2 plausible kinds of priors: informative priors based on previous experience and uninformative priors of ignorance. Individually, these priors potentially lead to large problems of bias and inefficiency, respectively; however, when combined using Bayesian model comparison methods, both forms of prior can be applied adaptively, gaining the efficiency of empirical priors and the robustness of ignorance priors. We illustrate this for the simple case of generic good and bad options, using Internet blogs to estimate the relevant priors of inference. Given this combined ignorant/informative prior, the Bayesian probability weighting function is not only robust and efficient but also matches all of the major characteristics of the distortions found in empirical research. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  11. 99m-Tc-aprotinin; a low molecular weight protein for the study of renal function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bianchi, C.; Donadio, C.; Tramonti, G.; Lorusso, P.; Bellitto, L.; Lunghi, F.

    1982-01-01

    Aprotinin (A), a low molecular weight polypeptide (6500 daltons), is a protease inhibitor which is electively accumulated in the kidney of animals. If labelled with Tcsup(99m), A is an excellent agent for renal imaging. Pharmacokinetics of A-Tcsup(99m) was studied in 53 renal patients with different degrees of renal impairment. In patients with normal or slightly impaired renal function the plasma cl of A-Tcsup(99m) was lower than the GFR (mean ratio plasma cl A-Tcsup(99m)/GFR = 0.68+-0.22 SD). In patients with renal failure, the plasma cl exceeded the GFR (mean ratio 3.35). The apparent distribution volume of A-Tcsup(99m) (percent of body weight) was 15.4+-2.5 SD. A-Tcsup(99m) was markedly and rapidly accumulated in the kidneys. In patients with unilateral kidney disease the accumulation curve of the affected kidney was flatter than that of the contralateral kidney. In 4 of these patients the functional difference between the two kidneys as given by renal accumulation of A-Tcsup(99m) (2 hrs after injection) was lower than that of GFR. Urinary excretion of radioactivity in the first 2 hrs after i.v. injection of A-Tcsup(99m) was negligible (2.4+-1.6 SD percent of the dose). Conclusions: Labelled aprotinin is promising for the study of renal handling of low molecular weight proteins and for the measurement of unilateral renal function. (Author)

  12. 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/.

  13. 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.)

  14. 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.

  15. 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, ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Helm, Eric

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

  4. Single-wavelength functional photoacoustic microscopy in biological tissue

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Preliminary biological evaluation of a urea-functionalized dendrimer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazereeuw, M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  8. 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.

  9. Functional imaging of submandibular glands: diffusion-weighted echo-planar MRI before and after stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arndt, C.; Cramer, M.C.; Weiss, F.; Kaul, M.G.; Adam, G.; Habermann, C.R.; Graessner, J.; Petersen, K.; Reitmeier, F.; Jaehne, M.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the feasibility of diffusion-weighted (DWI) echo-planar imaging (EPI) to depict the submandibular glands and to measure different functional conditions. Materials and Methods: Twenty-seven healthy volunteers were examined. Diffusion weighted sequence was performed prior to stimulation. Exactly 30 seconds after a commercially available lemon juice was given orally, the diffusion weighted sequence was repeated. All examinations were performed by using a 1.5-T superconducting system with a 30 mT/m maximum gradient capability and maximum slew rate of 125 mT/m/sec (Magnetom Symphony, Siemens, Erlangen, Germany). The lower part of the circularly polarized (CP) head coil and a standard two-element CP neck array coil were used. The flexibility of the neck array coil allowed positioning the N1 element (upper part of the coil) right next to the submandibular gland. The axial diffusion-weighted EPI (echo planar imaging) sequence was performed using a matrix of 119 x 128, a field of view of 250 x 250 mm (pixel size 2.1 x 1.95 mm), a section thickness of 5 mm with an interslice gap of 1 mm. The b factors used were 0 sec/mm 2 , 500 sec/mm 2 and 1000 sec/mm 2 . Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were digitally transferred to MRIcro (Chris Rorden, University of Nottingham, Great Britain). After detecting the submandibular glands a region of interest (ROI) was placed manually exactly within the boarder of both submandibular glands, excluding the external carotid artery on ADC maps. These procedures were performed on all ADC slices the submandibular glands could be differentiated in before and after oral stimulation. For statistical comparison of results, a student's t-test was performed with an overall two-tailed significance level of p=0.05. Results: The visualization of the submandibular glands using the diffusion-weighted EPI sequence was possible in all of the 27 volunteers. Prior to oral stimulation an ADC of 1.31 x 10 -3 mm 2 /sec (95% CI, 1

  10. Weighted fit of parametric functions to distributions: The new interface of HOBOOK with MINUIT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lessner, E.S.

    1989-08-01

    The fitting routines of the HBOOK package allow weighted fit of parametric functions to the contents of a one, two or N-dimensional distribution, and analysis of the function in the neighborhood of its minimum, through an interface with the MINUIT package. These routines have been rewritten so as to interface the new version of MINUIT and to allow for smooth transitions to future versions of both packages. We discuss the interface and its capabilities: it is more stable than the previous version and presents a more accurate error analysis. The fitting algorithm is based on the Fletcher method, known for its reliability. Exponential, Gaussian and polynomial fitting are provided, as well as arbitrary user-defined fitting, to one, two and N-dimensional distributions. For the latter, the user is required to provide a smooth parametric function and is given the ability to guide the algorithm in finding the desired minimum. Examples are given. 6 refs., 1 fig

  11. 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.

  12. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Biology and Function of Fetal and Pediatric Skin

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Inverse optimization of objective function weights for treatment planning using clinical dose-volume histograms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babier, Aaron; Boutilier, Justin J.; Sharpe, Michael B.; McNiven, Andrea L.; Chan, Timothy C. Y.

    2018-05-01

    We developed and evaluated a novel inverse optimization (IO) model to estimate objective function weights from clinical dose-volume histograms (DVHs). These weights were used to solve a treatment planning problem to generate ‘inverse plans’ that had similar DVHs to the original clinical DVHs. Our methodology was applied to 217 clinical head and neck cancer treatment plans that were previously delivered at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Canada. Inverse plan DVHs were compared to the clinical DVHs using objective function values, dose-volume differences, and frequency of clinical planning criteria satisfaction. Median differences between the clinical and inverse DVHs were within 1.1 Gy. For most structures, the difference in clinical planning criteria satisfaction between the clinical and inverse plans was at most 1.4%. For structures where the two plans differed by more than 1.4% in planning criteria satisfaction, the difference in average criterion violation was less than 0.5 Gy. Overall, the inverse plans were very similar to the clinical plans. Compared with a previous inverse optimization method from the literature, our new inverse plans typically satisfied the same or more clinical criteria, and had consistently lower fluence heterogeneity. Overall, this paper demonstrates that DVHs, which are essentially summary statistics, provide sufficient information to estimate objective function weights that result in high quality treatment plans. However, as with any summary statistic that compresses three-dimensional dose information, care must be taken to avoid generating plans with undesirable features such as hotspots; our computational results suggest that such undesirable spatial features were uncommon. Our IO-based approach can be integrated into the current clinical planning paradigm to better initialize the planning process and improve planning efficiency. It could also be embedded in a knowledge-based planning or adaptive radiation therapy framework to

  16. Dependence of transformer ratio on the shaper weighting function in transformer-coupled low noise preamplifiers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ripamonti, G.

    1987-10-01

    The optimum turn-ratio of transformers used for coupling large capacitance detectors to amplifiers is demonstrated to be dependent on the actual weighting function of the following shaper. As an example, the optimum finite cusp shaping with a flat top is considered. For this case, the optimum turn-ratio is found to be dependent on the flat top duration. As finite magnetizing inductance in real transformers produces diverging noise with unipolar shaping, flat-top tripolar zero-area shapers are also considered.

  17. On weighted hardy inequalities on semiaxis for functions vanishing at the endpoints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Stepanov

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available We study the weighted Hardy inequalities on the semiaxis of the form ‖Fu‖2≤C‖F(kv‖2  (1 for functions vanishing at the endpoints together with derivatives up to the order k−1. The case k=2 is completely characterized.

  18. Calculation of spatial weight functions for WWER-440 ex-core neutron detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Csom, Gy.; Czifrus, Sz.; Feher, S.; Berki, T.

    2001-01-01

    The objective of the work presented in this paper was determination of a spatial weight function for WWER-440 ex-core detectors to be used for the interpretation of reload startup rod drop measurements. In view of the complexity of the geometry of the core as well as the detector, furthermore the presence of a cavity between the vessel and the concrete shield, Monte Carlo calculations were applied. In spite of the fact that in the corresponding literature the use of adjoint methods dominates, in the present case the forward method was chosen and implemented using MCNP4C (Authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  20. 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)

  1. 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

    2014-10-01

    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.

  2. Maternal Concentrations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Fetal Markers of Metabolic Function and Birth Weight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley-Martin, Jillian; Dodds, Linda; Arbuckle, Tye E.; Bouchard, Maryse F.; Fisher, Mandy; Morriset, Anne-Sophie; Monnier, Patricia; Shapiro, Gabriel D.; Ettinger, Adrienne S.; Dallaire, Renee; Taback, Shayne; Fraser, William; Platt, Robert W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous, persistent chemicals that have been widely used in the production of common household and consumer goods for their nonflammable, lipophobic, and hydrophobic properties. Inverse associations between maternal or umbilical cord blood concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonate and birth weight have been identified. This literature has primarily examined each PFAS individually without consideration of the potential influence of correlated exposures. Further, the association between PFAS exposures and indicators of metabolic function (i.e., leptin and adiponectin) has received limited attention. We examined associations between first-trimester maternal plasma PFAS concentrations and birth weight and cord blood concentrations of leptin and adiponectin using data on 1,705 mother-infant pairs from the Maternal Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study, a trans-Canada birth cohort study that recruited women between 2008 and 2011. Bayesian hierarchical models were used to quantify associations and calculate credible intervals. Maternal perfluorooctanoic acid concentrations were inversely associated with birth weight z score, though the null value was included in all credible intervals (log10 β = −0.10, 95% credible interval: −0.34, 0.13). All associations between maternal PFAS concentrations and cord blood adipocytokine concentrations were of small magnitude and centered around the null value. Follow-up in a cohort of children is required to determine how the observed associations manifest in childhood. PMID:28172036

  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. 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

  5. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  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. Biological Functions of the Secretome of Neisseria meningitidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tommassen

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelian, K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. SU-F-BRD-01: A Logistic Regression Model to Predict Objective Function Weights in Prostate Cancer IMRT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boutilier, J; Chan, T; Lee, T; Craig, T; Sharpe, M

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To develop a statistical model that predicts optimization objective function weights from patient geometry for intensity-modulation radiotherapy (IMRT) of prostate cancer. Methods: A previously developed inverse optimization method (IOM) is applied retrospectively to determine optimal weights for 51 treated patients. We use an overlap volume ratio (OVR) of bladder and rectum for different PTV expansions in order to quantify patient geometry in explanatory variables. Using the optimal weights as ground truth, we develop and train a logistic regression (LR) model to predict the rectum weight and thus the bladder weight. Post hoc, we fix the weights of the left femoral head, right femoral head, and an artificial structure that encourages conformity to the population average while normalizing the bladder and rectum weights accordingly. The population average of objective function weights is used for comparison. Results: The OVR at 0.7cm was found to be the most predictive of the rectum weights. The LR model performance is statistically significant when compared to the population average over a range of clinical metrics including bladder/rectum V53Gy, bladder/rectum V70Gy, and mean voxel dose to the bladder, rectum, CTV, and PTV. On average, the LR model predicted bladder and rectum weights that are both 63% closer to the optimal weights compared to the population average. The treatment plans resulting from the LR weights have, on average, a rectum V70Gy that is 35% closer to the clinical plan and a bladder V70Gy that is 43% closer. Similar results are seen for bladder V54Gy and rectum V54Gy. Conclusion: Statistical modelling from patient anatomy can be used to determine objective function weights in IMRT for prostate cancer. Our method allows the treatment planners to begin the personalization process from an informed starting point, which may lead to more consistent clinical plans and reduce overall planning time

  14. SU-F-BRD-01: A Logistic Regression Model to Predict Objective Function Weights in Prostate Cancer IMRT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boutilier, J; Chan, T; Lee, T [University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Craig, T; Sharpe, M [University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre - UHN, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: To develop a statistical model that predicts optimization objective function weights from patient geometry for intensity-modulation radiotherapy (IMRT) of prostate cancer. Methods: A previously developed inverse optimization method (IOM) is applied retrospectively to determine optimal weights for 51 treated patients. We use an overlap volume ratio (OVR) of bladder and rectum for different PTV expansions in order to quantify patient geometry in explanatory variables. Using the optimal weights as ground truth, we develop and train a logistic regression (LR) model to predict the rectum weight and thus the bladder weight. Post hoc, we fix the weights of the left femoral head, right femoral head, and an artificial structure that encourages conformity to the population average while normalizing the bladder and rectum weights accordingly. The population average of objective function weights is used for comparison. Results: The OVR at 0.7cm was found to be the most predictive of the rectum weights. The LR model performance is statistically significant when compared to the population average over a range of clinical metrics including bladder/rectum V53Gy, bladder/rectum V70Gy, and mean voxel dose to the bladder, rectum, CTV, and PTV. On average, the LR model predicted bladder and rectum weights that are both 63% closer to the optimal weights compared to the population average. The treatment plans resulting from the LR weights have, on average, a rectum V70Gy that is 35% closer to the clinical plan and a bladder V70Gy that is 43% closer. Similar results are seen for bladder V54Gy and rectum V54Gy. Conclusion: Statistical modelling from patient anatomy can be used to determine objective function weights in IMRT for prostate cancer. Our method allows the treatment planners to begin the personalization process from an informed starting point, which may lead to more consistent clinical plans and reduce overall planning time.

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-20

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

  17. A functional approach to cerebral visual impairments in very preterm/very-low-birth-weight children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geldof, Christiaan J A; van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, Aleid G; Dik, Marjolein; Kok, Joke H; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2015-08-01

    Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is a major cause of visual impairment, with very preterm birth/very low birth weight (VP/VLBW) being a major risk factor. There is no generally accepted definition of CVI. This study aims to investigate the usefulness of an empirically-based functional definition of CVI. One-hundred-five VP/VLBW children and 67 controls participated. CVI was defined after comprehensive oculomotor, visual sensory and perceptive assessment, and validated against vision problems in daily life and in terms of intellectual, behavioral, emotional and social functioning, as well as use of therapeutic services. Twenty-four per cent of the VP/VLBW children met criteria for CVI, compared to 7% of controls (P = 0.006, OR: 3.86, 95% CI: 1.40-10.70). VP/VLBW children with CVI had lower performance IQ, but not verbal IQ, than those without CVI. Visual problems in daily life were confirmed in VP/VLBW children classified with CVI. Additionally, difficulties in behavioral and social functioning were most prominent among VP/VLBW children with CVI. In VP/VLBW children, CVI defined in terms of visual function deficits is accompanied by intellectual, behavioral, and social impairments, validating our operational definition of CVI. CVI might act as a marker for developmental problems in VP/VLBW children.

  18. Analytic evaluation of the weighting functions for remote sensing of blackbody planetary atmospheres : the case of limb viewing geometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustinov, Eugene A.

    2006-01-01

    In a recent publication (Ustinov, 2002), we proposed an analytic approach to evaluation of radiative and geophysical weighting functions for remote sensing of a blackbody planetary atmosphere, based on general linearization approach applied to the case of nadir viewing geometry. In this presentation, the general linearization approach is applied to the limb viewing geometry. The expressions, similar to those obtained in (Ustinov, 2002), are obtained for weighting functions with respect to the distance along the line of sight. Further on, these expressions are converted to the expressions for weighting functions with respect to the vertical coordinate in the atmosphere. Finally, the numerical representation of weighting functions in the form of matrices of partial derivatives of grid limb radiances with respect to the grid values of atmospheric parameters is used for a convolution with the finite field of view of the instrument.

  19. Sharing Structure and Function in Biological Design with SBOL 2.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Beal, Jacob; Clancy, Kevin; Bartley, Bryan; Misirli, Goksel; Grünberg, Raik; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Bissell, Michael; Madsen, Curtis; Nguyen, Tramy; Zhang, Michael; Zhang, Zhen; Zundel, Zach; Densmore, Douglas; Gennari, John H; Wipat, Anil; Sauro, Herbert M; Myers, Chris J

    2016-06-17

    The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a standard that enables collaborative engineering of biological systems across different institutions and tools. SBOL is developed through careful consideration of recent synthetic biology trends, real use cases, and consensus among leading researchers in the field and members of commercial biotechnology enterprises. We demonstrate and discuss how a set of SBOL-enabled software tools can form an integrated, cross-organizational workflow to recapitulate the design of one of the largest published genetic circuits to date, a 4-input AND sensor. This design encompasses the structural components of the system, such as its DNA, RNA, small molecules, and proteins, as well as the interactions between these components that determine the system's behavior/function. The demonstrated workflow and resulting circuit design illustrate the utility of SBOL 2.0 in automating the exchange of structural and functional specifications for genetic parts, devices, and the biological systems in which they operate.

  20. Active Interaction Mapping as a tool to elucidate hierarchical functions of biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farré, Jean-Claude; Kramer, Michael; Ideker, Trey; Subramani, Suresh

    2017-07-03

    Increasingly, various 'omics data are contributing significantly to our understanding of novel biological processes, but it has not been possible to iteratively elucidate hierarchical functions in complex phenomena. We describe a general systems biology approach called Active Interaction Mapping (AI-MAP), which elucidates the hierarchy of functions for any biological process. Existing and new 'omics data sets can be iteratively added to create and improve hierarchical models which enhance our understanding of particular biological processes. The best datatypes to further improve an AI-MAP model are predicted computationally. We applied this approach to our understanding of general and selective autophagy, which are conserved in most eukaryotes, setting the stage for the broader application to other cellular processes of interest. In the particular application to autophagy-related processes, we uncovered and validated new autophagy and autophagy-related processes, expanded known autophagy processes with new components, integrated known non-autophagic processes with autophagy and predict other unexplored connections.

  1. Diurnal rhythmicity in biological processes involved in bioavailability of functional food factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurusaki, Takashi; Sakakibara, Hiroyuki; Aoshima, Yoshiki; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Sakono, Masanobu; Shimoi, Kayoko

    2013-05-01

    In the past few decades, many types of functional factors have been identified in dietary foods; for example, flavonoids are major groups widely distributed in the plant kingdom. However, the absorption rates of the functional food factors are usually low, and many of these are difficult to be absorbed in the intact forms because of metabolization by biological processes during absorption. To gain adequate beneficial effects, it is therefore mandatory to know whether functional food factors are absorbed in sufficient quantity, and then reach target organs while maintaining beneficial effects. These are the reasons why the bioavailability of functional food factors has been well investigated using rodent models. Recently, many of the biological processes have been reported to follow diurnal rhythms recurring every 24 h. Therefore, absorption and metabolism of functional food factors influenced by the biological processes may vary with time of day. Consequently, the evaluation of the bioavailability of functional food factors using rodent models should take into consideration the timing of consumption. In this review, we provide a perspective overview of the diurnal rhythm of biological processes involved in the bioavailability of functional food factors, particularly flavonoids.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Calculation of spatial weighting functions for ex-core detectors of VVER-440 reactors by Monte Carlo method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berki, T.

    2003-01-01

    The signal of ex-core detectors depends not only on the total power of a reactor but also on the power distribution. The spatial weighting function establishes correspondence between the power distribution and the detector signal. The weighting function is independent of the power distribution. The weighting function is used for detector-response analyses, for example in the case of rod-drop experiments. (1) The paper describes the calculation and analysis of the weighting function of a VVER-440. The three-dimensional Monte Carlo code MCNP is used for the evaluation. Results from forward and adjoint calculations are compared. The effect of the change in the concentration of boric acid is also investigated. The evaluation of the spatial weighting function is a fixed-source neutron transport problem, which can be solved much faster by adjoint calculation, however forward calculations provide more detailed results. It is showed that the effect of boric acid upon the weighting function is negligible. (author)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Tests of potential functional barriers for laminated multilayer food packages. Part I: Low molecular weight permeants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simal-Gándara, J; Sarria-Vidal, M; Koorevaar, A; Rijk, R

    2000-08-01

    The advent of the functional barrier concept in food packaging has brought with it a requirement for fast tests of permeation through potential barrier materials. In such tests it would be convenient for both foodstuffs and materials below the functional barrier (sub-barrier materials) to be represented by standard simulants. By means of inverse gas chromatography, liquid paraffin spiked with appropriate permeants was considered as a potential simulant of sub-barrier materials based on polypropylene (PP) or similar polyolefins. Experiments were performed to characterize the kinetics of the permeation of low molecular weight model permeants (octene, toluene and isopropanol) from liquid paraffin, through a surrogate potential functional barrier (25 microns-thick oriented PP) into the food stimulants olive oil and 3% (w/v) acetic acid. These permeation results were interpreted in terms of three permeation kinetic models regarding the solubility of a particular model permeant in the post-barrier medium (i.e. the food simulant). The results obtained justify the development and evaluation of liquid sub-barrier simulants that would allow flexible yet rigorous testing of new laminated multilayer packaging materials.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A pair of biorthogonal polynomials for the Szegö-Hermite weight function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. K. Thakare

    1988-01-01

    Full Text Available A pair of polynomial sequences {Snμ(x;k} and {Tmμ(x;k} where Snμ(x;k is of degree n in xk and Tmμ(x;k is of degree m in x, is constructed. It is shown that this pair is biorthogonal with respect to the Szegö-Hermite weight function |x|2μexp(−x2, (μ>−1/2 over the interval (−∞,∞ in the sense that∫−∞∞|x|2μexp(−x2Snμ(x;kTmμ(x;kdx=0,   ifm≠n                    ≠0,   ifm=nwhere m,n=0,1,2,… and k is an odd positive integer.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanada, N; Tada, A

    2001-01-01

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

  3. wACSF—Weighted atom-centered symmetry functions as descriptors in machine learning potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gastegger, M.; Schwiedrzik, L.; Bittermann, M.; Berzsenyi, F.; Marquetand, P.

    2018-06-01

    We introduce weighted atom-centered symmetry functions (wACSFs) as descriptors of a chemical system's geometry for use in the prediction of chemical properties such as enthalpies or potential energies via machine learning. The wACSFs are based on conventional atom-centered symmetry functions (ACSFs) but overcome the undesirable scaling of the latter with an increasing number of different elements in a chemical system. The performance of these two descriptors is compared using them as inputs in high-dimensional neural network potentials (HDNNPs), employing the molecular structures and associated enthalpies of the 133 855 molecules containing up to five different elements reported in the QM9 database as reference data. A substantially smaller number of wACSFs than ACSFs is needed to obtain a comparable spatial resolution of the molecular structures. At the same time, this smaller set of wACSFs leads to a significantly better generalization performance in the machine learning potential than the large set of conventional ACSFs. Furthermore, we show that the intrinsic parameters of the descriptors can in principle be optimized with a genetic algorithm in a highly automated manner. For the wACSFs employed here, we find however that using a simple empirical parametrization scheme is sufficient in order to obtain HDNNPs with high accuracy.

  4. Endothelial dysfunction and functional status of intestinal mucosal barrier in asphyxiated low birth weight infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huseynova S.A.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study. The main prpose of present study was to determine the effect of endothelial dysfunction to the levels of markers of functional state of digestive system in infants with perinatal hypoxia. Materials and methods. The neuronal dysfunction was detected basing on the levels of NSE and NR2 antibodies. The functional state of gastrointestinal tract was estimated by IFABP, sLFABP, MUC-2, ITF, LBP. As the markers of endothelial dysfunction it was detected endotelin-1 and NO. The concentrations of markers were determined in peripheral blood of 66 preterm newborns exposure intrauterine hypoxia with 32–36 weeks of gestational age, which were classified as asphyxiated (1st group, n=30, non asphyxiated (2nd group, n=36 infants. Control group consisted of 22 healthy preterm babies. Results. It was not detected significant difference of NSE and NR2 antibodies levels between 1st and 2nd groups. The endothelin-1 concentrations significantly decreased in asphyxiated group in the background of high NO levels. The elevated level of IFABP in asphyxiated infants associated with compensative increasing of ITF and low anti endotoxine immunity. Conclusion. Endothelial dysfunction is one of the main factor resulting in hypoxic-ischemic injury of gastrointestinal tract in asphyxiated low birth weight infants.

  5. 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...... population. METHODS: The Danish Inter99 study is a population-based intervention study in adults aged 30-60 years, providing information on birth weight and lung function on 4428 participants. Of these, 2931 participants performed spirometry at baseline and at five-year follow-up. Multiple linear regression...... models were used to examine the association between birth weight and forced expiratory volume in first second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) and age-related decline in these variables. Analyses were conducted stepwise including sex, age, adult height, abdominal circumference, birth height, mother...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  7. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-14

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

  10. A methodology for evaluating weighting functions using MCNP and its application to PWR ex-core analyses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pecchia, Marco; Vasiliev, Alexander; Ferroukhi, Hakim; Pautz, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Evaluation of neutron source importance for a given tally. • Assessment of ex-core detector response plus its uncertainty. • Direct use of neutron track evaluated by a Monte Carlo neutron transport code. - Abstract: The ex-core neutron detectors are commonly used to control reactor power in light water reactors. Therefore, it is relevant to understand the importance of a neutron source to the ex-core detectors response. In mathematical terms, this information is conveniently represented by the so called weighting functions. A new methodology based on the MCNP code for evaluating the weighting functions starting from the neutron history database is presented in this work. A simultaneous evaluation of the weighting functions in a user-given Cartesian coverage mesh is the main advantage of the method. The capability to generate weighting functions simultaneously in both spatial and energy ranges is the innovative part of this work. Then, an interpolation tool complements the methodology, allowing the generation of weighting functions up to the pin-by-pin fuel segment, where a direct evaluation is not possible due to low statistical precision. A comparison to reference results provides a verification of the methodology. Finally, an application to investigate the role of ex-core detectors spatial location and core burnup for a Swiss nuclear power plant is provided.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

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

  12. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    L Sh Vagapova; O D Konstantinova; Ya I Koz; L M Shukshina; E O Skrynnik

    2011-01-01

    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 bo...

  14. Relations of thyroid function to body weight: cross-sectional and longitudinal observations in a community-based sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Caroline S; Pencina, Michael J; D'Agostino, Ralph B; Murabito, Joanne M; Seely, Ellen W; Pearce, Elizabeth N; Vasan, Ramachandran S

    2008-03-24

    Overt hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may be associated with weight gain and loss. We assessed whether variations in thyroid function within the reference (physiologic) range are associated with body weight. Framingham Offspring Study participants (n=2407) who attended 2 consecutive routine examinations, were not receiving thyroid hormone therapy, and had baseline serum thyrotropin (TSH) concentrations of 0.5 to 5.0 mIU/L and follow-up concentrations of 0.5 to 10.0 mIU/L were included in this study. Baseline TSH concentrations were related to body weight and body weight change during 3.5 years of follow-up. At baseline, adjusted mean weight increased progressively from 64.5 to 70.2 kg in the lowest to highest TSH concentration quartiles in women (Pweight increased by 1.5 (5.6) kg in women and 1.0 (5.0) kg in men. Baseline TSH concentrations were not associated with weight change during follow-up. However, an increase in TSH concentration at follow-up was positively associated with weight gain in women (0.5-2.3 kg across increasing quartiles of TSH concentration change; Pweight in both sexes. Our findings raise the possibility that modest increases in serum TSH concentrations within the reference range may be associated with weight gain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viroj Wiwanitkit

    2008-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Evaluation of renal allograft function early after transplantation with diffusion-weighted MR imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eisenberger, Ute; Frey, Felix J.; Thoeny, Harriet C.; Binser, Tobias; Boesch, Chris; Gugger, Mathias; Vermathen, Peter

    2010-01-01

    To determine the inter-patient variability of apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) and concurrent micro-circulation contributions from diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DW-MRI) in renal allografts early after transplantation, and to obtain initial information on whether these measures are altered in histologically proven acute allograft rejection (AR). DW-MRI was performed in 15 renal allograft recipients 5-19 days after transplantation. Four patients presented with AR and one with acute tubular necrosis (ATN). Total ADC (ADC T ) was determined, which includes diffusion and micro-circulation contributions. Furthermore, diffusion and micro-circulation contributions were separated, yielding the ''perfusion fraction'' (F P ), and ''perfusion-free'' diffusion (ADC D ). Diffusion parameters in the ten allografts with stable function early after transplantation demonstrated low variabilities. Values for ADC T and ADC D were (x 10 -5 mm 2 /s) 228 ± 14 and 203 ± 9, respectively, in cortex and 226 ± 16 and 199 ± 9, respectively, in medulla. F P values were 18 ± 5% in cortex and 19 ± 5% in medulla. F P values were strongly reduced to less than 12% in cortex and medulla of renal transplants with AR and ATN. F P values correlated with creatinine clearance. DW-MRI allows reliable determination of diffusion and micro-circulation contributions in renal allografts shortly after transplantation; deviations in AR indicate potential clinical utility of this method to non-invasively monitor derangements in renal allografts. (orig.)

  19. Functional MRI procedures in the diagnosis of brain tumors. Perfusion- and diffusion-weighted imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartmann, M.; Heiland, S.; Sartor, K.

    2002-01-01

    Despite the increased diagnostic accuracy of contrast material enhanced MR imaging, specification and grading of brain tumors are still only approximate at best: neither morphology, nor relaxation times or contrast material enhancement reliably predict tumor histology or tumor grade. As histology and tumor grade strongly influence which therapy concept is chosen, a more precise diagnosis is mandatory. With diffusion- and perfusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI, PWI) it is now possible to obtain important information regarding the cellular matrix and the relative regional cerebral blood volume (rrCBV) of brain tumors, which cannot be obtained with standard MR techniques. These dynamic-functional imaging techniques are very useful in the preoperative diagnosis of gliomas, lymphomas, and metastases, as well as in the differentiation of these neoplastic lesions from abscesses, atypical ischemic infarctions, and tumor-like manifestations of demyelinating disease. Additionally, they appear suitable for determining glioma grade and regions of active tumor growth which should be the target of stereotactic biopsy and therapy. After therapy these techniques are helpful to better assess the tumor response to therapy, possible therapy failure and therapy complications such as radiation necrosis. (orig.) [de

  20. 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.

  1. Maternal thyroid function, prepregnancy obesity and gestational weight gain-The Generation R Study: A prospective cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collares, Fernanda M; Korevaar, Tim I M; Hofman, Albert; Steegers, Eric A P; Peeters, Robin P; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Gaillard, Romy

    2017-12-01

    Maternal prepregnancy obesity and excessive gestational weight gain are associated with pregnancy complications. Thyroid function is related to differences in body mass index (BMI) in adult populations. We examined the associations of maternal thyroid function in early pregnancy with maternal BMI and weight gain during pregnancy. In a population-based prospective cohort study among 5726 mothers, we measured maternal TSH and FT4 levels at 13.5 weeks of gestation (95% range: 9.7-17.6 weeks). Maternal weight was assessed before pregnancy and in each trimester. Higher maternal TSH levels were associated with higher prepregnancy BMI (difference: 0.18 kg/m 2 [95% CI: 0.01, 0.36] per SD increase in maternal TSH level) and higher total gestational weight gain (difference: 0.02 kg/wk [95% CI: 0.01, 0.03] per SD increase in maternal TSH level). Higher maternal FT4 levels were associated with lower prepregnancy BMI (difference: -0.44 kg/m 2 [95% CI: -0.63, -0.26] per SD increase in maternal FT4 level) and lower total gestational weight gain (difference: -0.01 kg/wk [95% CI: -0.02, -0.01] per SD increase in maternal FT4 level). The associations of maternal thyroid function with weight gain in early pregnancy were stronger than those with weight gain in mid and late-pregnancy. Maternal hypothyroidism was associated with higher prepregnancy BMI and early pregnancy weight gain, whereas opposite effects were observed for maternal hyperthyroidism (Pgain. Further studies are needed to explore maternal and foetal consequences. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Long-range weight functions in fundamental measure theory of the non-uniform hard-sphere fluid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen-Goos, Hendrik

    2016-01-01

    We introduce long-range weight functions to the framework of fundamental measure theory (FMT) of the non-uniform, single-component hard-sphere fluid. While the range of the usual weight functions is equal to the hard-sphere radius R , the modified weight functions have range 3 R . Based on the augmented FMT, we calculate the radial distribution function g (r) up to second order in the density within Percus’ test particle theory. Consistency of the compressibility and virial routes on this level allows us to determine the free parameter γ of the theory. As a side result, we obtain a value for the fourth virial coefficient B 4 which deviates by only 0.01% from the exact result. The augmented FMT is tested for the dense fluid by comparing results for g (r) calculated via the test particle route to existing results from molecular dynamics simulations. The agreement at large distances (r   >  6 R) is significantly improved when the FMT with long-range weight functions is used. In order to improve agreement close to contact (r   =  2 R) we construct a free energy which is based on the accurate Carnahan–Starling equation of state, rather than the Percus–Yevick compressibility equation underlying standard FMT. (paper)

  5. Improved Function With Enhanced Protein Intake per Meal: A Pilot Study of Weight Reduction in Frail, Obese Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter Starr, Kathryn N; Pieper, Carl F; Orenduff, Melissa C; McDonald, Shelley R; McClure, Luisa B; Zhou, Run; Payne, Martha E; Bales, Connie W

    2016-10-01

    Obesity is a significant cause of functional limitations in older adults; yet, concerns that weight reduction could diminish muscle along with fat mass have impeded progress toward an intervention. Meal-based enhancement of protein intake could protect function and/or lean mass but has not been studied during geriatric obesity reduction. In this 6-month randomized controlled trial, 67 obese (body mass index ≥30kg/m(2)) older (≥60 years) adults with a Short Physical Performance Battery score of 4-10 were randomly assigned to a traditional (Control) weight loss regimen or one with higher protein intake (>30g) at each meal (Protein). All participants were prescribed a hypo-caloric diet, and weighed and provided dietary guidance weekly. Physical function (Short Physical Performance Battery) and lean mass (BOD POD), along with secondary measures, were assessed at 0, 3, and 6 months. At the 6-month endpoint, there was significant (p < .001) weight loss in both the Control (-7.5±6.2kg) and Protein (-8.7±7.4kg) groups. Both groups also improved function but the increase in the Protein (+2.4±1.7 units; p < .001) was greater than in the Control (+0.9±1.7 units; p < .01) group (p = .02). Obese, functionally limited older adults undergoing a 6-month weight loss intervention with a meal-based enhancement of protein quantity and quality lost similar amounts of weight but had greater functional improvements relative to the Control group. If confirmed, this dietary approach could have important implications for improving the functional status of this vulnerable population (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01715753). © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. Evaluation of renal allograft function early after transplantation with diffusion-weighted MR imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisenberger, Ute; Frey, Felix J. [University Hospital of Bern, Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Bern (Switzerland); Thoeny, Harriet C. [University Hospital of Bern, Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine, Bern (Switzerland); Binser, Tobias; Boesch, Chris [University Hospital of Bern, Department of Clinical Research, Bern (Switzerland); Gugger, Mathias [University Hospital of Bern, Department of Pathology, Bern (Switzerland); Vermathen, Peter [University Hospital of Bern, Department of Clinical Research, Bern (Switzerland); University Bern, Department of Clinical Research/AMSM, Pavillon 52, Inselspital, P.O. Box 35, Bern (Switzerland)

    2010-06-15

    To determine the inter-patient variability of apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) and concurrent micro-circulation contributions from diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DW-MRI) in renal allografts early after transplantation, and to obtain initial information on whether these measures are altered in histologically proven acute allograft rejection (AR). DW-MRI was performed in 15 renal allograft recipients 5-19 days after transplantation. Four patients presented with AR and one with acute tubular necrosis (ATN). Total ADC (ADC{sub T}) was determined, which includes diffusion and micro-circulation contributions. Furthermore, diffusion and micro-circulation contributions were separated, yielding the ''perfusion fraction'' (F{sub P}), and ''perfusion-free'' diffusion (ADC{sub D}). Diffusion parameters in the ten allografts with stable function early after transplantation demonstrated low variabilities. Values for ADC{sub T} and ADC{sub D} were (x 10{sup -5} mm{sup 2}/s) 228 {+-} 14 and 203 {+-} 9, respectively, in cortex and 226 {+-} 16 and 199 {+-} 9, respectively, in medulla. F{sub P} values were 18 {+-} 5% in cortex and 19 {+-} 5% in medulla. F{sub P} values were strongly reduced to less than 12% in cortex and medulla of renal transplants with AR and ATN. F{sub P} values correlated with creatinine clearance. DW-MRI allows reliable determination of diffusion and micro-circulation contributions in renal allografts shortly after transplantation; deviations in AR indicate potential clinical utility of this method to non-invasively monitor derangements in renal allografts. (orig.)

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-27

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistretta, Charlotte M; Kumari, Archana

    2017-02-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mandolesi

    2018-04-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Neural responses to visual food cues according to weight status: a systematic review of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pursey, Kirrilly M; Stanwell, Peter; Callister, Robert J; Brain, Katherine; Collins, Clare E; Burrows, Tracy L

    2014-01-01

    Emerging evidence from recent neuroimaging studies suggests that specific food-related behaviors 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 across studies in brain areas related to emotion, memory, and learning, including 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 standardization of nutrition variables and fMRI outcomes to enable more direct comparisons between studies.

  4. Improved Function With Enhanced Protein Intake per Meal: A Pilot Study of Weight Reduction in Frail, Obese Older Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Porter Starr, Kathryn N.; Pieper, Carl F.; Orenduff, Melissa C.; McDonald, Shelley R.; McClure, Luisa B.; Zhou, Run; Payne, Martha E.; Bales, Connie W.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Obesity is a significant cause of functional limitations in older adults; yet, concerns that weight reduction could diminish muscle along with fat mass have impeded progress toward an intervention. Meal-based enhancement of protein intake could protect function and/or lean mass but has not been studied during geriatric obesity reduction. Methods: In this 6-month randomized controlled trial, 67 obese (body mass index ?30kg/m2) older (?60 years) adults with a Short Physical Performa...

  5. 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)

  6. Advanced Parental Ages and Low Birth Weight in Autism Spectrum Disorders--Rates and Effect on Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Itzchak, Esther; Lahat, Eli; Zachor, Ditza A.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: (1) To assess the distribution of parental age and birth weight in a large cohort with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to compare them to Israeli national data. (2) To examine possible relationships between these risk factors and functioning. Methods: The study included 529 participants diagnosed with ASD using standardized tests:…

  7. Evaluation of an effect on nuclear characteristics by correcting the weighting function in JFS-3-J3.2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chiba, Gou

    2001-12-01

    The fast reactor group constant set JFS-3-J3.2 based on the newest evaluated nuclear data library JENDL-3.2 has been widely used in the fast reactor analysis. However, it was recently found that there was a serious error in the process of applying the weighting function, a collision density spectrum in the inner core of ''MONJU'' as a representative of fast reactor spectrum. In this report, an effect of the error on nuclear characteristics was evaluated by a comparison with a new reactor group constant set which was produced by a standard reactor group constant set producing system of JNC with a correction of the weighting function. This report shows that the error of weighting function induces incorrect evaluation of neutron energy spectrum due to underestimation of scattering removal cross sections, and hence nuclear characteristics, such as criticality, sample Doppler reactivity, sodium void reactivity and reaction rate in a blanket region, are significantly affected. In addition, this report provides detailed information evaluated by separating ''an effect of new generation reactor group constant'' into more specific effects (i.e. an effect of correcting weighting function, an effect of differences in used cell codes and an effect of ultra fine group constant), which would be useful to investigate further on ''an effect of new generation reactor group constant''. (author)

  8. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  11. Joint Inversion of Gravity and Gravity Tensor Data Using the Structural Index as Weighting Function Rate Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ialongo, S.; Cella, F.; Fedi, M.; Florio, G.

    2011-12-01

    Most geophysical inversion problems are characterized by a number of data considerably higher than the number of the unknown parameters. This corresponds to solve highly underdetermined systems. To get a unique solution, a priori information must be therefore introduced. We here analyze the inversion of the gravity gradient tensor (GGT). Previous approaches to invert jointly or independently more gradient components are by Li (2001) proposing an algorithm using a depth weighting function and Zhdanov et alii (2004), providing a well focused inversion of gradient data. Both the methods give a much-improved solution compared with the minimum length solution, which is invariably shallow and not representative of the true source distribution. For very undetermined problems, this feature is due to the role of the depth weighting matrices used by both the methods. Recently, Cella and Fedi (2011) showed however that for magnetic and gravity data the depth weighting function has to be defined carefully, under a preliminary application of Euler Deconvolution or Depth from Extreme Point methods, yielding the appropriate structural index and then using it as the rate decay of the weighting function. We therefore propose to extend this last approach to invert jointly or independently the GGT tensor using the structural index as weighting function rate decay. In case of a joint inversion, gravity data can be added as well. This multicomponent case is also relevant because the simultaneous use of several components and gravity increase the number of data and reduce the algebraic ambiguity compared to the inversion of a single component. The reduction of such ambiguity was shown in Fedi et al, (2005) decisive to get an improved depth resolution in inverse problems, independently from any form of depth weighting function. The method is demonstrated to synthetic cases and applied to real cases, such as the Vredefort impact area (South Africa), characterized by a complex density

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Dimensional feature weighting utilizing multiple kernel learning for single-channel talker location discrimination using the acoustic transfer function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takashima, Ryoichi; Takiguchi, Tetsuya; Ariki, Yasuo

    2013-02-01

    This paper presents a method for discriminating the location of the sound source (talker) using only a single microphone. In a previous work, the single-channel approach for discriminating the location of the sound source was discussed, where the acoustic transfer function from a user's position is estimated by using a hidden Markov model of clean speech in the cepstral domain. In this paper, each cepstral dimension of the acoustic transfer function is newly weighted, in order to obtain the cepstral dimensions having information that is useful for classifying the user's position. Then, this paper proposes a feature-weighting method for the cepstral parameter using multiple kernel learning, defining the base kernels for each cepstral dimension of the acoustic transfer function. The user's position is trained and classified by support vector machine. The effectiveness of this method has been confirmed by sound source (talker) localization experiments performed in different room environments.

  16. 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

    BACKGROUND: 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. 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......-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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjergved, Lena; Jørgensen, Torben; Perrild, Hans

    2014-01-01

    . Weight increased by 0.3 kg (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1, 0.4, P = 0.005) in women and 0.8 kg (95% CI 0.1, 1.4, P = 0.02) in men for every one unit TSH (mU/L) increase. Conclusions: TSH levels were not a determinant of future weight changes, and BMI was not a determinant for TSH changes......,102 individuals who participated at 11-year follow-up, without current or former treatment for thyroid disease and with measurements of TSH and weight at both examinations. Multiple linear regression models were used, stratified by sex and adjusted for age, smoking status, and leisure time physical activity....... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  19. Temporal Lobe Reactions After Carbon Ion Radiation Therapy: Comparison of Relative Biological Effectiveness–Weighted Tolerance Doses Predicted by Local Effect Models I and IV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gillmann, Clarissa, E-mail: clarissa.gillmann@med.uni-heidelberg.de [Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg (Germany); Jäkel, Oliver [Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg (Germany); Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center (HIT), Heidelberg (Germany); Department of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg (Germany); Schlampp, Ingmar [Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg (Germany); Karger, Christian P. [Department of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg (Germany)

    2014-04-01

    Purpose: To compare the relative biological effectiveness (RBE)–weighted tolerance doses for temporal lobe reactions after carbon ion radiation therapy using 2 different versions of the local effect model (LEM I vs LEM IV) for the same patient collective under identical conditions. Methods and Materials: In a previous study, 59 patients were investigated, of whom 10 experienced temporal lobe reactions (TLR) after carbon ion radiation therapy for low-grade skull-base chordoma and chondrosarcoma at Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany in 2002 and 2003. TLR were detected as visible contrast enhancements on T1-weighted MRI images within a median follow-up time of 2.5 years. Although the derived RBE-weighted temporal lobe doses were based on the clinically applied LEM I, we have now recalculated the RBE-weighted dose distributions using LEM IV and derived dose-response curves with Dmax,V-1 cm³ (the RBE-weighted maximum dose in the remaining temporal lobe volume, excluding the volume of 1 cm³ with the highest dose) as an independent dosimetric variable. The resulting RBE-weighted tolerance doses were compared with those of the previous study to assess the clinical impact of LEM IV relative to LEM I. Results: The dose-response curve of LEM IV is shifted toward higher values compared to that of LEM I. The RBE-weighted tolerance dose for a 5% complication probability (TD{sub 5}) increases from 68.8 ± 3.3 to 78.3 ± 4.3 Gy (RBE) for LEM IV as compared to LEM I. Conclusions: LEM IV predicts a clinically significant increase of the RBE-weighted tolerance doses for the temporal lobe as compared to the currently applied LEM I. The limited available photon data do not allow a final conclusion as to whether RBE predictions of LEM I or LEM IV better fit better clinical experience in photon therapy. The decision about a future clinical application of LEM IV therefore requires additional analysis of temporal lobe reactions in a

  20. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Standing-up exerciser based on functional electrical stimulation and body weight relief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrarin, M; Pavan, E E; Spadone, R; Cardini, R; Frigo, C

    2002-05-01

    The goal of the present work was to develop and test an innovative system for the training of paraplegic patients when they are standing up. The system consisted of a computer-controlled stimulator, surface electrodes for quadricep muscle stimulation, two knee angle sensors, a digital proportional-integrative-derivative (PID) controller and a mechanical device to support, partially, the body weight (weight reliever (WR)). A biomechanical model of the combined WR and patient was developed to find an optimum reference trajectory for the PID controller. The system was tested on three paraplegic patients and was shown to be reliable and safe. One patient completed a 30-session training period. Initially he was able to stand up only with 62% body weight relief, whereas, after the training period, he performed a series of 30 standing-up/sitting-down cycles with 45% body weight relief. The closed-loop controller was able to keep the patient standing upright with minimum stimulation current, to compensate automatically for muscle fatigue and to smooth the sitting-down movement. The limitations of the controller in connection with a highly non-linear system are considered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Quantitative structure-property relationships for chemical functional use and weight fractions in consumer articles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chemical functional use -- the functional role a chemical plays in processes or products -- may be a useful heuristic for predicting human exposure potential in that it comprises information about the compound's likely physical properties and the product formulations or articles ...

  10. Perceived Child Weight Status, Family Structure and Functioning, and Support for Health Behaviors in a Sample of Bariatric Surgery Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, Keeley J; Ferriby, Megan; Noria, Sabrena; Skelton, Joseph; Taylor, Christopher; Needleman, Bradley

    2018-01-29

    The purpose of this study is to describe the associations between bariatric surgery patients' perspectives of their child's weight status, family support for eating and exercise behavior change, and family structure and functioning. A cross-sectional descriptive design with pre- and postsurgery (N = 224) patients was used. Demographics, perceptions of child weight status, family support for eating habits and exercise, and family functioning were assessed from patients at a University Bariatric Clinic. Patients who perceived their child to be overweight/obese reported more impaired family functioning, less family exercise participation, and more discouragement for eating habit change in the family compared to patients who did not perceive their child to be overweight/obese. Single parents more often perceived their children to be overweight/obese, and had more impaired family functioning, and less support for changing eating habits and family exercise participation. Patients with impaired family functioning reported less support for changing eating habits and family exercise participation. Bariatric patients who perceived their child to be overweight/obese and identified as single parents reported more impaired family functioning and less support for eating habits and family participation in exercise. Assessing pre- and postsurgery measures from parents and children will allow the further identification of relationship variables that can be targeted to promote positive family changes that benefit parents and children long-term. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Lee weight enumerators of self-dual codes and theta functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Asch, van A.G.; Martens, F.J.L.

    2008-01-01

    The theory of modular forms, in particular theta functions, and coding theory are in a remarkable way connected. The connection is established by defining a suitable lattice corresponding to the given code, and considering its theta function. First we define some special theta functions, and

  14. The relationship between biological cognitive and psychosocial characteristics of parents and the weight of infant at the time of birth in Isfahan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talebian, Mohammad Hassan; Afrooz, Gholam Ali; Hooman, Heidar Ali; Aghaei, Asghar

    2013-01-01

    The present study was connected in order to evaluate the relationship between biological, cognitive and psychosocial characteristics of mothers and the weight of infant at the time of birth. In order to conduct this research a sample of 910 women among recently delivered mothers of Isfahan province in 2009 were selected. From stratified sampling and cluster sampling according to the percentage of population in each of the cities of Isfahan Province was used. The data was gathered with a questionnaire prepared by the researcher in order to evaluate the biological cognitive and psychosocial characteristics of mothers, in addition to the Enrich marital satisfaction test. After collecting data, the analysis of the data was done with SPSS software in two categories of descriptive and inferential statistics by using logistic regression model. The results showed that the prevalence of low weight infants was 9.5 percent and 38.7 percent of pregnancies was unwanted. Twenty-nine percent of mothers had marital dissatisfaction. 15/6 percent of pregnancies were below 20 years old and 22 percent was above of 35 years old. 38.9 percent of mothers were exposed to cigarette smoke. The average of weight gain during pregnancies was 9 kilograms. Thirty three percent of mothers had high blood pressure during pregnancy, 26.7 percent had history of abortion and 31.9 percent had history of bleeding. 23/1percent of women was employed during pregnancy, 19.8 percent gave twin birth and 21/1 percent of parents were relative of each other, 29.7 percent of deliveries were done in cesarean way. The results of this study showed that severe marital dissatisfaction, abnormal blood pressure during pregnancy, being employed during pregnancy, weight gain less than 5 Kg during pregnancy, pregnancy below the age of 20 can meaning fully increase the possibility of low birth weight in infant (α=0.05). The results were consisting with the previous findings and indicated that some of the applicable

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Strontium-doped calcium polyphosphate/ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene composites: A new class of artificial joint components with enhanced biological efficacy to aseptic loosening

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gu, Zhipeng; Huang, Bingxue; Li, Yiwen; Tian, Meng; Li, Li; Yu, Xixun

    2016-01-01

    To enhance implant stability and prolong the service life of artificial joint component, a new approach was proposed to improve the wear resistance of artificial joint component and endow artificial joint component with the biological efficacy of resistance to aseptic loosening. Strontium calcium polyphosphate (SCPP) were interfused in ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) by a combination of liquid nitrogen ball-milling and flat-panel curing process to prepare the SCPP/UHMWPE composites. The micro-structure, mechanical characterization, tribological characterization and bioactivities of various SCPP/UHMWPE composites were investigated. The results suggested that this method could statistically improve the wear resistance of UHMWPE resulting from a good SCPP particle dispersion. Moreover, it is also observed that the SCPP/UHMWPE composites-wear particles could promote the production of OPG by osteoblasts and decrease the production of RANKL by osteoblasts, and then increase the OPG/RANKL ratio. This indicated that the SCPP/UHMWPE composites had potential efficacy to prevent and treat aseptic loosening. Above all, the SCPP/UHMWPE composites with a suitable SCPP content would be the promising materials for fabricating artificial joint component with ability to resist aseptic loosening. - Highlights: • SCPP/UHMWPE composites could enhance biological efficacy of resistance to aseptic loosening. • SCPP would improve biological efficacy with a few sacrifice of wear resistance. • The results might provide a promising wear-resistant material for fabricating acetabular cup.

  19. Strontium-doped calcium polyphosphate/ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene composites: A new class of artificial joint components with enhanced biological efficacy to aseptic loosening

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gu, Zhipeng [College of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065 (China); Department of Neurosurgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Huang, Bingxue; Li, Yiwen [College of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065 (China); Tian, Meng [Department of Neurosurgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Li, Li [Department of Oncology, the 452 Hospital of Chinese PLA, Chengdu 610021 (China); Yu, Xixun, E-mail: yuxixun@163.com [College of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065 (China)

    2016-04-01

    To enhance implant stability and prolong the service life of artificial joint component, a new approach was proposed to improve the wear resistance of artificial joint component and endow artificial joint component with the biological efficacy of resistance to aseptic loosening. Strontium calcium polyphosphate (SCPP) were interfused in ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) by a combination of liquid nitrogen ball-milling and flat-panel curing process to prepare the SCPP/UHMWPE composites. The micro-structure, mechanical characterization, tribological characterization and bioactivities of various SCPP/UHMWPE composites were investigated. The results suggested that this method could statistically improve the wear resistance of UHMWPE resulting from a good SCPP particle dispersion. Moreover, it is also observed that the SCPP/UHMWPE composites-wear particles could promote the production of OPG by osteoblasts and decrease the production of RANKL by osteoblasts, and then increase the OPG/RANKL ratio. This indicated that the SCPP/UHMWPE composites had potential efficacy to prevent and treat aseptic loosening. Above all, the SCPP/UHMWPE composites with a suitable SCPP content would be the promising materials for fabricating artificial joint component with ability to resist aseptic loosening. - Highlights: • SCPP/UHMWPE composites could enhance biological efficacy of resistance to aseptic loosening. • SCPP would improve biological efficacy with a few sacrifice of wear resistance. • The results might provide a promising wear-resistant material for fabricating acetabular cup.

  20. Glomerular number and function are influenced by spontaneous and induced low birth weight in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schreuder, Michiel F; Nyengaard, Jens Randel; Fodor, M

    2005-01-01

    A link exists between low birth weight and diseases in adulthood, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) has been used to explain this association and has been shown to lead to a nephron endowment in humans. A reduction...... is associated with more proteinuria in the long run. Uterine artery ligation in the pregnant rat is a suitable model to study the effects of IUGR on the kidney....

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Ryusuke; Niwa, Yuko S

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Predicting postnatal renal function of prenatally detected posterior urethral valves using fetal diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging with apparent diffusion coefficient determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Alice; Panait, Nicoleta; Panuel, Michel; Alessandrini, Pierre; D'Ercole, Claude; Chaumoitre, Kathia; Merrot, Thierry

    2017-07-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of fetal diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging with apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) determination to predict postnatal renal function (nadir creatinine at 1 year and eGFR) of men with posterior urethral valves (PUV). Between 2003 and 2014, 11 MRI were performed on fetuses (between 28 and 32 weeks) in whom second trimester sonography suggested severe bilateral urinary tract anomalies, suspected of PUV. The ADC of the 11 fetuses ranged from 1.3 to 2.86 mm 2  s -1 (median = 1.79 mm 2  s -1 , normal range for fetal kidney: 1.1-1.8). Two pregnancies with ADC > 2.6 mm 2  s -1 were interrupted; the autopsy confirmed PUV and Potter syndrome. For the remaining nine babies, the follow-up was 5.4 years (0.8-10). Four children with abnormal ADC (1.8-2.3) had chronic kidney disease. The remaining five cases with normal nadir creatinine and eGFR had normal ADC. One case with unilateral elevated ADC had a poor ipsilateral renal function on dimercaptosuccinic acid scan. Here, it seems that diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging with ADC determination could be useful in accurately evaluating fetal kidneys in PUV and predicting renal function. It may be an additional, non-invasive method when biologic and sonographic findings are inconclusive, especially in the case of oligohydramnios. Further studies are needed to confirm our data. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. In Vivo Biological Evaluation of High Molecular Weight Multifunctional Acid-Degradable Polymeric Drug Carriers with Structurally Different Ketals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenoi, Rajesh A; Abbina, Srinivas; Kizhakkedathu, Jayachandran N

    2016-11-14

    Understanding the influence of degradable chemical moieties on in vivo degradation, tissue distribution, and excretion is critical for the design of novel biodegradable drug carriers. Polyketals have recently emerged as a promising therapeutic delivery platform due to their ability to degrade under mild acidic intracellular compartments and generation of nontoxic degradation products. However, the effect of chemical structure of the ketal groups on the in vivo degradation, biodistribution, and pharmacokinetics of water-soluble ketal-containing polymers has not been explored. In the present work, we synthesized high molecular weight, water-soluble biodegradable hyperbranched polyglycerols (BHPGs) through the incorporation of structurally different ketal groups into the main chain of highly biocompatible polyglycerols. BHPGs showed pH and ketal group structure dependent degradation in buffer solutions. When the polymers were intravenously administered in mice, a strong dependence of in vivo degradation, biodistribution, and clearance on the ketal group structure was observed. All the BHPGs demonstrated degradation and clearance in vivo, with minimal tissue accumulation. Interestingly, an unanticipated degradation behavior of BHPGs with structurally different ketal groups was observed in vivo in comparison to their degradation in buffer solutions. BHPGs with cyclohexyl ketal (CHK) and cyclopentyl ketal (CPK) groups degraded much faster and were cleared from circulation much rapidly, while BHPG with glycerol hydroxy butanone ketal (GHBK) group degraded at a much slower rate and exhibited similar plasma half-life as that of nondegradable HPG. BHPG-GHBK also showed significantly lower tissue accumulation than nondegradable HPG after 30 days of administration. The difference in in vivo degradation may be attributed to the difference in hydrophobic characteristics of different ketal containing polymers, which may change their interaction with proteins and cells in vivo

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [Assessment of external breathing parameters and cardiovascular function in patients with constitutive exogenous obesity and reduced body weight].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merzlikina, N L; Romantsova, T I; Roik, O V; Lobanova, N A; Drapkina, O M; Ivashkin, V T

    2009-01-01

    The study was designed to evaluate external respiratory function (ERF) and cardiovascular function based on AP measurements, results of 24 hour AP monitoring, treadmill test, and ECG during weight loss therapy in patients with excess body mass. A total of 93 patients with grade 2-3 obesity were examined including 41 (39.8%) with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Group 1 consisted of patients with constitutive exogenous obesity, group 2 of patients with constitutive exogenous obesity and DM, group 3 was used as control. Follow-up studies were conducted after 6 and 12 months. Patients of groups 1 and 2 showed positive dynamics of hemodynamic characteristics related to the loss of weight including significant reduction of heart rate, systolic and diastolic indices of hypertonic loading, specific peripheral vascular resistance, and left ventricular mass. Simultaneously, cardiac index and ERF increased while vital lung capacity, forced vital capacity, and forced respiratory volume in the first second returned to normal values. It is concluded that reduction of body weight has positive effect on ERF dynamics and hemodynamic characteristics in patients with constitutive exogenous obesity.

  19. A versatile test for equality of two survival functions based on weighted differences of Kaplan-Meier curves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uno, Hajime; Tian, Lu; Claggett, Brian; Wei, L J

    2015-12-10

    With censored event time observations, the logrank test is the most popular tool for testing the equality of two underlying survival distributions. Although this test is asymptotically distribution free, it may not be powerful when the proportional hazards assumption is violated. Various other novel testing procedures have been proposed, which generally are derived by assuming a class of specific alternative hypotheses with respect to the hazard functions. The test considered by Pepe and Fleming (1989) is based on a linear combination of weighted differences of the two Kaplan-Meier curves over time and is a natural tool to assess the difference of two survival functions directly. In this article, we take a similar approach but choose weights that are proportional to the observed standardized difference of the estimated survival curves at each time point. The new proposal automatically makes weighting adjustments empirically. The new test statistic is aimed at a one-sided general alternative hypothesis and is distributed with a short right tail under the null hypothesis but with a heavy tail under the alternative. The results from extensive numerical studies demonstrate that the new procedure performs well under various general alternatives with a caution of a minor inflation of the type I error rate when the sample size is small or the number of observed events is small. The survival data from a recent cancer comparative study are utilized for illustrating the implementation of the process. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  1. Impact of high-fat diet and voluntary running on body weight and endothelial function in LDL receptor knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langbein, Heike; Hofmann, Anja; Brunssen, Coy; Goettsch, Winfried; Morawietz, Henning

    2015-05-01

    Obesity and physical inactivity are important cardiovascular risk factors. Regular physical exercise has been shown to mediate beneficial effects in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. However, the impact of physical exercise on endothelial function in proatherosclerotic low-density lipoprotein receptor deficient (LDLR(-/-)) mice has not been studied so far. Six-week-old male LDLR(-/-) mice were fed a standard diet or a high-fat diet (39 kcal% fat diet) for 20 weeks. The impact of high-fat diet and voluntary running on body weight and amount of white adipose tissue was monitored. Basal tone and endothelial function was investigated in aortic rings using a Mulvany myograph. LDLR(-/-) mice on high-fat diet had increased cumulative food energy intake, but also higher physical activity compared to mice on control diet. Body weight and amount of visceral and retroperitoneal white adipose tissue of LDLR(-/-) mice were significantly increased by high-fat diet and partially reduced by voluntary running. Endothelial function in aortae of LDLR(-/-) mice was impaired after 20 weeks on standard and high-fat diet and could not be improved by voluntary running. Basal tone showed a trend to be increased by high-fat diet. Voluntary running reduced body weight and amount of white adipose tissue in LDLR(-/-) mice. Endothelial dysfunction in LDLR(-/-) mice could not be improved by voluntary running. In a clinical context, physical exercise alone might not have an influence on functional parameters and LDL-C levels in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia. However, physical activity in these patients may be in general beneficial and should be performed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Strong correlation effects on the d-wave superconductor- spectral weight analysis by variational wave functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chou, C-P; Lee, T K; Ho, C-M

    2009-01-01

    We examine the strong correlation effects of the d-wave superconducting state by including the Gutzwiller projection for no electron double occupancy at each lattice site. The spectral weights (SW's) for adding and removing an electron on the projected superconducting state, the ground state of the 2-dimensional t-t'-t - J model with moderate doped holes describing the high T c cuprates, are studied numerically on finite lattices and compared with the observation made by low-temperature tunneling (particle asymmetry of tunneling conductance) and angle-resolved photoemission (SW transfer from the projected Fermi liquid state) spectroscopies. The contrast with the d-wave case without projection is alo presented.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2015-04-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Torrent

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, Jeffrey C.

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seah Boon-Siew

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

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

  13. 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

  14. Perinatal brain injury, visual motor function and poor school outcome of regional low birth weight survivors at age nine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun; Mahoney, Ashley Darcy; Pinto-Martin, Jennifer A

    2013-08-01

    To explore the relationship between perinatal brain injury, visual motor function (VMF) and poor school outcome. Little is known about the status and underlying mechanism of poor school outcome as experienced by low birth weight survivors. This is a secondary data analysis. The parental study recruited 1104 low birth weight (LBW) infants weighing ≤ 2000 g from three medical centres of Central New Jersey between 1984 and 1987. Seven hundred and seventy-seven infants survived the neonatal period, and their developmental outcomes had been following up regularly until now. The development data of the survivors were used to achieve the research aims. Initial school outcome assessment was carried out in 9-year-old, using the Woodcock-Johnson Academic Achievement Scale. The severity and range of perinatal brain injury was determined by repeated neonatal cranial ultrasound results obtained at 4 hours, 24 hours and 7 days of life. Seventeen and a half per cent of the sample experienced poor school performance at age 9 as defined by lower than one standard deviation (SD) of average performance score. Children with the most severe injury, PL/VE, had the lowest mathematics (F = 14·54, p = 0·000) and reading (anova results: F = 11·56, p = 0·000) performances. Visual motor function had a significant effect on children's overall school performance (Hotelling's trace value was 0·028, F = 3·414, p = 0·018), as well as subtest scores for reading (p = 0·006) and mathematics (p = 0·036). However, visual motor function was not a mediator in the association of perinatal brain injury and school outcome. Perinatal brain injury had a significant long-term effect on school outcome. Low birth weight infants with history of perinatal brain injury need be closely monitored to substantially reduce the rates of poor school outcome and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. [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

  17. 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,...

  18. Sex steroids do not affect muscle weight, oxidative metabolism or cytosolic androgen reception binding of functionally overloaded rat Plantaris muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Max, S. R.; Rance, N.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of sex steroids on muscle weight and oxidative capacity of rat planaris muscles subjected to functional overload by removal of synergistic muscles were investigated. Ten weeks after bilateral synergist removal, plantaris muscles were significantly hypertrophic compared with unoperated controls. After this period, the ability of the muscles to oxide three substrates of oxidative metabolism was assessed. Experimental procedures are discussed and results are presented herein. Results suggest a lack of beneficial effect of sex hormone status on the process of hypertrophy and on biochemical changes in overloaded muscle. Such findings are not consistent with the idea of synergistic effects of sex steroids and muscle usage.

  19. Nutrition management methods effective in increasing weight, survival time and functional status in ALS patients: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Jaylin; Bottman, Lindsey; Arra, Erin J; Selkirk, Stephen M; Kozlowski, Frances

    2018-02-01

    Poor prognosis and decreased survival time correlate with the nutritional status of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Various studies were reviewed which assessed weight, body mass index (BMI), survival time and ALS functional rating scale revised (ALSFRS-R) in order to determine the best nutrition management methods for this patient population. A systematic review was conducted using CINAHL, Medline, and PubMed, and various search terms in order to determine the most recent clinical trials and observational studies that have been conducted concerning nutrition and ALS. Four articles met criteria to be included in the review. Data were extracted from these articles and were inputted into the Data Extraction Tool (DET) provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Results showed that nutrition supplementation does promote weight stabilisation or weight gain in individuals with ALS. Given the low risk and low cost associated with intervention, early and aggressive nutrition intervention is recommended. This systematic review shows that there is a lack of high quality evidence regarding the efficacy of any dietary interventions for promoting survival in ALS or slowing disease progression; therefore more research is necessary related to effects of nutrition interventions.

  20. Biopolymer molecular weight control by radiation treatment for functional property improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lam, Nguyen Duy; Diep, Tran Bang; Quynh, Tran Minh; Hung, Nguyen Manh [Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission, Institute for Nuclear Science and Techniques, Caugiay, Hanoi (Viet Nam); Nagasawa, Naotsugu; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2002-03-01

    Solid-state radiation treatment of chitosan an dose range of 30-100 kGy and of gelatin at dose range of 30-40 kGy significantly improved the water-stability of shrimp feed. In these dose ranges, the viscosity-average molecular weight (Mv) of bioadhesive was reduced from 552,000 to 250,000-130,000 and from 57,000 to 38,000-32,000 for chitosan and gelatin, respectively. Gelatin, which has been irradiated in liquid state, could not be used as bioadhesive due to the forming of higher macromolecules based on chaincrosslinks. Liquid-state radiation treatment, in comparison with solid-state irradiation at 100 kGy, required only dose of 4-6 kGy for similar MW and for the same optimal improvement of adhesive property. Radiation treatment with 60-100 kGy maximally enhanced the anti-microbial activity of chitosan. In addition, the optimal dose required for activity is depended on chitosan origin. Chitosan with initial MW of 830,000 required dose of 100 kGy to reduce to 120,000, while other kind of chitosan with initial MW of 550,000 required dose of 60-75 kGy to reduce to 170,000-150,000 for optimal enhancement. The antimicrobial activity is regulated by not only MW but also by its distribution. Irradiated chitosan that has largest width of MW distribution (Mw/Mn) may possesses highest antimicrobial activity. Result from fractionation by using centrifugal filter devices showed that fraction of 3-5 x 10{sup 4} has mainly contributed to the suppression of microbial growth. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  2. The effect of body weight on distal airway function and airway inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Kant, Kim D G; Paredi, Paolo; Meah, Sally; Kalsi, Harpal S; Barnes, Peter J; Usmani, Omar S

    Obesity is a global health problem that adversely influences the respiratory system. We assessed the effects of body mass index (BMI) on distal airway function and airway inflammation. Impulse oscillometry (IOS) as a measure of distal airway function, together with spirometry, were assessed in adults with a range of different BMIs. Airway inflammation was assessed with the fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and participants exhaled at various exhalation flows to determine alveolar and bronchial NO. In total 34 subjects were enrolled in the study; 19 subjects had a normal BMI (18.50-24.99), whilst 15 subjects were overweight (BMI 25.00-29.99), or obese (BMI ≥30). All subjects had normal spirometry. However, IOS measures of airway resistance (R) at 5Hz, 20Hz and frequency dependence (R 5-20 ) were elevated in overweight/obese individuals, compared to subjects with a normal BMI (median (interquartile range)); 5Hz: 0.41 (0.37, 0.45) vs. 0.32 (0.30, 0.37)kPa/l/s; 20Hz: 0.34 (0.30, 0.37) vs. 0.30 (0.26, 0.33)kPa/l/s; R 5-20 : 0.06 (0.04, 0.11) vs. 0.03 (0.01, 0.05)kPa/l/s; plimitation) and FeNO inflammatory measures, did not differ between groups (p>0.05). Being overweight has significant effects on distal and central airway function as determined by IOS, which is not detected by spirometry. Obesity does not influence airway inflammation as measured by FeNO. IOS is a reliable technique to identify airway abnormalities in the presence of normal spirometry in overweight people. Copyright © 2015 Asia Oceania Association for the Study of Obesity. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin-Yee, Benjamin; Upshur, Ross E G

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinaldo Florencio-Silva

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

    GFR (creatinine-based equations), whereas measured GFR (mGFR) and cystatin C-based eGFR would be unaffected if adjusted for body surface area. METHODS: Prospective, intervention study including 19 patients. All attended a baseline visit before gastric bypass surgery followed by a visit six months post-surgery. m...... for body surface area was unchanged. Estimates of GFR based on creatinine overestimate renal function likely due to changes in muscle mass, whereas cystatin C based estimates are unaffected. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02138565 . Date of registration: March 24, 2014....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Albert Yu-Min

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

  12. Managing Knee Osteoarthritis: The Effects of Body Weight Supported Physical Activity on Joint Pain, Function, and Thigh Muscle Strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeler, Jason; Christian, Mathew; Cooper, Juliette; Leiter, Jeffrey; MacDonald, Peter

    2015-11-01

    To determine the effect of a 12-week lower body positive pressure (LBPP)-supported low-load treadmill walking program on knee joint pain, function, and thigh muscle strength in overweight patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Prospective, observational, repeated measures investigation. Community-based, multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic. Thirty-one patients aged between 55 and 75 years, with a body mass index ≥25 kg/m and mild-to-moderate knee OA. Twelve-week LBPP-supported low-load treadmill walking regimen. Acute knee joint pain (visual analog scale) during full weight bearing treadmill walking, chronic knee pain, and joint function [Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) questionnaire] during normal activities of daily living, and thigh muscle strength (isokinetic testing). Appropriate methods of statistical analysis were used to compare data from baseline and follow-up evaluation. Participants reported significant improvements in knee joint pain and function and demonstrated significant increases in thigh muscle strength about the degenerative knee. Participants also experienced significant reductions in acute knee pain during full weight bearing treadmill walking and required dramatically less LBPP support to walk pain free on the treadmill. Data suggest that an LBPP-supported low-load exercise regimen can be used to significantly diminish knee pain, enhance joint function, and increase thigh muscle strength, while safely promoting pain-free walking exercise in overweight patients with knee OA. These findings have important implications for the development of nonoperative treatment strategies that can be used in the management of joint symptoms associated with progressive knee OA in at-risk patient populations. This research suggests that LBPP-supported low-load walking is a safe user-friendly mode of exercise that can be successfully used in the management of day-to-day joint symptoms associated with knee OA, helping to improve the

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrille Hoarau

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Argot2: a large scale function prediction tool relying on semantic similarity of weighted Gene Ontology terms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falda, Marco; Toppo, Stefano; Pescarolo, Alessandro; Lavezzo, Enrico; Di Camillo, Barbara; Facchinetti, Andrea; Cilia, Elisa; Velasco, Riccardo; Fontana, Paolo

    2012-03-28

    Predicting protein function has become increasingly demanding in the era of next generation sequencing technology. The task to assign a curator-reviewed function to every single sequence is impracticable. Bioinformatics tools, easy to use and able to provide automatic and reliable annotations at a genomic scale, are necessary and urgent. In this scenario, the Gene Ontology has provided the means to standardize the annotation classification with a structured vocabulary which can be easily exploited by computational methods. Argot2 is a web-based function prediction tool able to annotate nucleic or protein sequences from small datasets up to entire genomes. It accepts as input a list of sequences in FASTA format, which are processed using BLAST and HMMER searches vs UniProKB and Pfam databases respectively; these sequences are then annotated with GO terms retrieved from the UniProtKB-GOA database and the terms are weighted using the e-values from BLAST and HMMER. The weighted GO terms are processed according to both their semantic similarity relations described by the Gene Ontology and their associated score. The algorithm is based on the original idea developed in a previous tool called Argot. The entire engine has been completely rewritten to improve both accuracy and computational efficiency, thus allowing for the annotation of complete genomes. The revised algorithm has been already employed and successfully tested during in-house genome projects of grape and apple, and has proven to have a high precision and recall in all our benchmark conditions. It has also been successfully compared with Blast2GO, one of the methods most commonly employed for sequence annotation. The server is freely accessible at http://www.medcomp.medicina.unipd.it/Argot2.

  5. Morning and Evening Blue-Enriched Light Exposure Alters Metabolic Function in Normal Weight Adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivy N Cheung

    Full Text Available 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 (<20lux. Participants were randomized to 3 hours of 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.

  6. 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.

  7. CLA does not impair endothelial function and decreases body weight as compared with safflower oil in overweight and obese male subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeuffer, Maria; Fielitz, Kerstin; Laue, Christiane; Winkler, Petra; Rubin, Diana; Helwig, Ulf; Giller, Katrin; Kammann, Julia; Schwedhelm, Edzard; Böger, Rainer H; Bub, Achim; Bell, Doris; Schrezenmeir, Jürgen

    2011-02-01

    Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) showed a wide range of beneficial biological effects with relevance for cardiovascular health in animal models and humans. Most human studies used olive oil as a reference. This study assessed the effect of CLA as compared with safflower oil on endothelial function and markers of cardiovascular risk in overweight and obese men. Heated safflower oil and olive oil were given for additional descriptive control. Eighty-five overweight men (aged 45-68 years, body mass index 25-35 kg/m(2)) were randomized to receive 4.5 g/d of the CLA isomeric mixture, safflower oil, heated safflower oil, or olive oil in a 4-week double-blind study. Endothelial function was assessed by peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT) index determination in the fasting and postprandial state (i.e., 4 hours after consumption of a fat- and sucrose-rich meal). CLA as compared with safflower oil consumption did not impair fasting or postprandial PAT index but decreased body weight. CLA as compared with safflower oil did not change total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; triglycerides; insulin sensitivity indices; C-reactive protein; soluble adhesion molecules; oxidized LDL; lipoprotein a (Lp[a]); paraoxonase; or platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) activity, but significantly reduced arylesterase activity and increased concentrations of the F(2)-isoprostane 8-iso-prostaglandin F (PGF)(2α). CLA did not impair endothelial function. Other parameters associated with metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress were not changed or were slightly improved. Results suggest that CLA does not increase cardiovascular risk. Increased F(2)-isoprostane concentrations in this context may not indicate increased oxidative stress.

  8. 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.......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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Higher molecular weight polyethylene glycol increases cell proliferation while improving barrier function in an in vitro colon cancer model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharadwaj, Shruthi; Vishnubhotla, Ramana; Shan, Sun; Chauhan, Chinmay; Cho, Michael; Glover, Sarah C

    2011-01-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  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. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omarov R.T.

    2012-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Perchlorate exposure and association with iron homeostasis and other biological functions among NHANES 2005-2008 subjects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perchlorate exposure and association with iron homeostasis and other biological functions among NHANES 2005-2008 subjects Schreinemachers DM, Ghio AJ, Cascio WE, Sobus JR. U.S. EPA, RTP, NC, USA Perchlorate (ClO4-), an environmental pollutant, is a known thyroid toxicant and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  11. White matter alterations and their associations with motor function in young adults born preterm with very low birth weight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Marie Husby Hollund

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Very low birth weight (VLBW: ≤1500 g individuals have an increased risk of white matter alterations and neurodevelopmental problems, including fine and gross motor problems. In this hospital-based follow-up study, the main aim was to examine white matter microstructure and its relationship to fine and gross motor function in 31 VLBW young adults without cerebral palsy compared with 31 term-born controls, at mean age 22.6 ± 0.7 years. The participants were examined with tests of fine and gross motor function (Trail Making Test-5: TMT-5, Grooved Pegboard, Triangle from Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2: MABC-2 and High-level Mobility Assessment Tool: HiMAT and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI. Probabilistic tractography of motor pathways of the corticospinal tract (CST and corpus callosum (CC was performed. Fractional anisotropy (FA was calculated in non-crossing (capsula interna in CST, body of CC and crossing (centrum semiovale fibre regions along the tracts and examined for group differences. Associations between motor test scores and FA in the CST and CC were investigated with linear regression. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS was used to examine group differences in DTI metrics in all major white matter tracts. The VLBW group had lower scores on all motor tests compared with controls, however, only statistically significant for TMT-5. Based on tractography, FA in the VLBW group was lower in non-crossing fibre regions and higher in crossing fibre regions of the CST compared with controls. Within the VLBW group, poorer fine motor function was associated with higher FA in crossing fibre regions of the CST, and poorer bimanual coordination was additionally associated with lower FA in crossing fibre regions of the CC. Poorer gross motor function was associated with lower FA in crossing fibre regions of the CST and CC. There were no associations between motor function and FA in non-crossing fibre regions of the CST and CC within

  12. White matter alterations and their associations with motor function in young adults born preterm with very low birth weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollund, Ingrid Marie Husby; Olsen, Alexander; Skranes, Jon; Brubakk, Ann-Mari; Håberg, Asta K; Eikenes, Live; Evensen, Kari Anne I

    2018-01-01

    Very low birth weight (VLBW: ≤ 1500 g) individuals have an increased risk of white matter alterations and neurodevelopmental problems, including fine and gross motor problems. In this hospital-based follow-up study, the main aim was to examine white matter microstructure and its relationship to fine and gross motor function in 31 VLBW young adults without cerebral palsy compared with 31 term-born controls, at mean age 22.6 ± 0.7 years. The participants were examined with tests of fine and gross motor function (Trail Making Test-5: TMT-5, Grooved Pegboard, Triangle from Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2: MABC-2 and High-level Mobility Assessment Tool: HiMAT) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Probabilistic tractography of motor pathways of the corticospinal tract (CST) and corpus callosum (CC) was performed. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was calculated in non-crossing (capsula interna in CST, body of CC) and crossing (centrum semiovale) fibre regions along the tracts and examined for group differences. Associations between motor test scores and FA in the CST and CC were investigated with linear regression. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to examine group differences in DTI metrics in all major white matter tracts. The VLBW group had lower scores on all motor tests compared with controls, however, only statistically significant for TMT-5. Based on tractography, FA in the VLBW group was lower in non-crossing fibre regions and higher in crossing fibre regions of the CST compared with controls. Within the VLBW group, poorer fine motor function was associated with higher FA in crossing fibre regions of the CST, and poorer bimanual coordination was additionally associated with lower FA in crossing fibre regions of the CC. Poorer gross motor function was associated with lower FA in crossing fibre regions of the CST and CC. There were no associations between motor function and FA in non-crossing fibre regions of the CST and CC within the VLBW

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

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    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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  16. 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).

  17. Barrier Function-Based Neural Adaptive Control With Locally Weighted Learning and Finite Neuron Self-Growing Strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Zi-Jun; Song, Yong-Duan

    2017-06-01

    This paper presents a new approach to construct neural adaptive control for uncertain nonaffine systems. By integrating locally weighted learning with barrier Lyapunov function (BLF), a novel control design method is presented to systematically address the two critical issues in neural network (NN) control field: one is how to fulfill the compact set precondition for NN approximation, and the other is how to use varying rather than a fixed NN structure to improve the functionality of NN control. A BLF is exploited to ensure the NN inputs to remain bounded during the entire system operation. To account for system nonlinearities, a neuron self-growing strategy is proposed to guide the process for adding new neurons to the system, resulting in a self-adjustable NN structure for better learning capabilities. It is shown that the number of neurons needed to accomplish the control task is finite, and better performance can be obtained with less number of neurons as compared with traditional methods. The salient feature of the proposed method also lies in the continuity of the control action everywhere. Furthermore, the resulting control action is smooth almost everywhere except for a few time instants at which new neurons are added. Numerical example illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Association of the relative change in weight and body mass index with lung function in teenagers and adults with cystic fibrosis: Influence of gender and diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cano Megías, Marta; Guisado Vasco, Pablo; González Albarrán, Olga; Lamas Ferreiro, Adelaida; Máiz Carro, Luis

    2015-11-01

    Nutritional status is a prognostic factor in cystic fibrosis. Prevention of nutritional impairment and weigh loss are major clinical objectives because they are associated with worsening of lung function and increased mortality. To identify a potential relationship of clinical nutrition parameters, and their relative changes, with lung function (FEV1%) in a cohort of adolescent and adult patients with CF. A retrospective analysis of 64 patients older than 14years. Weight, height, BMI, and lung function data were collected at a period of disease stability, both in the year of the first abnormal oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and in the previous year. Relative changes in weight and BMI, and their relationship with FEV1%, were determined by linear regression and ANOVA tests; influence of gender and diabetes was also assessed. Mean age of the series (28 females and 36 males) was 26.8years. Normal glucose tolerance (NGT) was found in 26.7%, while 18.3% had diabetes without impaired fasting glucose (CFRD without FPG). Mean BMI was 20.32, with a mean weight of 53.53kg; 32.8% had BMI<18.5, and only 4.7% were overweight. Overall, a positive relative change in weight (≥6%) was associated with an increase in FEV1% (9.31%), as compared to those with a greater weight loss (at least 2%), who had a 12.09% fall in FEV1. Patients with CFRD without FPG had poorer lung function if they had a negative relative change in weight by at least 2% as compared to NGT. In patients with CF, a relative weight gain is positively associated to FEV1%, while a relative weight loss of at least 2% has a significant negative impact on lung function. Copyright © 2015 SEEN. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of breed and feeding system on milk production, body weight, body condition score, reproductive performance, and postpartum ovarian function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, S; Buckley, F; Pierce, K; Byrne, N; Patton, J; Dillon, P

    2008-11-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the potential differences among Holstein-Friesian (HF), Montbéliarde (MB), Normande (NM), Norwegian Red (NRF), Montbéliarde x Holstein-Friesian (MBX), and Normande x Holstein-Friesian (NMX) across 2 seasonal grass-based systems of milk production. The effects of breed and feeding system on milk production, body weight, body condition score, fertility performance, hormone parameters, ovarian function, and survival were determined by using mixed model methodology, generalized linear models, and survival analysis. The 5-yr study comprised up to 749 lactations on 309 cows in one research herd. The HF produced the greatest yield of solids-corrected milk, the MB and NM produced the least yields, and NRF, MBX, and NMX were intermediate. The NRF had the lowest body weight throughout lactation, the NM had the highest, and the other breeds were intermediate. Body condition score was greatest for MB and NM, least for HF, and intermediate for NRF, MBX, and NMX. The HF had a lower submission rate and overall pregnancy rate compared with the NRF. The NRF survived the longest in the herd, the HF survived the shortest, and the NM, MB, MBX, and NMX were intermediate. Breed of dairy cow had no effect on selected milk progesterone parameters from 5 d postpartum until 26 d after first artificial insemination. Breed of dairy cow did not influence insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 around parturition or at the start of the breeding season. Animals offered a high-concentrate diet had greater milk yield, but they did not have improved reproductive performance. Differences observed between the different breeds in this study are a likely consequence of the past selection criteria for the respective breeds.

  2. Initial experience of functional imaging of upper urinary tract neoplasm by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshida, Soichiro; Masuda, Hitoshi; Saito, Kazutaka; Kawakami, Satoru; Kihara, Kazunori; Ishii, Chikako

    2008-01-01

    Diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides functional information widely used in the diagnosis of acute cerebral stroke. We reported our initial experience of this imaging technique of upper urinary tract (UUT) urothelial carcinoma (UC). Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was carried out in 10 consecutive patients with suspected UUT UC. With conventional imaging, seven were diagnosed as having renal pelvic tumors and two were highly suspected of having UUT UC. These nine patients were diagnosed histopathologically as having renal pelvic UC by subsequent operation. The last patient was confirmed as experiencing benign stenosis. DW MRI was obtained with a 1.5-T MR imager without a breath-holding sequence. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of renal parenchyma, dilated collecting system, and tumor were calculated. The differences were analyzed using Wilcoxon t-test. On DW MRI, all nine tumors showed hyperintensity with negligible urinary intensity. Two cases of highly suspected UUT UC with unclear conventional MRI had high signal intensity and contrast. The case of benign stenosis had negative DW MRI. The median (range) ADC value of the tumor (0.803 [0.412-0.958] x 10 -3 mm 2 /s) was significantly lower than those of the dilated collecting system (2.19 [1.42-2.40] x 10 -3 ) and renal parenchyma (1.28 [0.922-1.45] x 10 -3 , respectively (P<0.01 and P<0.01). This is the first report on the application of DW MRI for a series of UUT UC. With this technique, a clear demonstration of UUT UC could be obtained. Moreover, this imaging technique is potentially useful to identify small lesions if they have a low diffusion coefficient. (author)

  3. Numerically Calculated 3D Space-Weighting Functions to Image Crustal Volcanic Structures Using Diffuse Coda Waves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edoardo Del Pezzo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Seismic coda measurements retrieve parameters linked to the physical characteristics of rock volumes illuminated by high frequency scattered waves. Space weighting functions (SWF and kernels are different tools that model the spatial sensitivity of coda envelopes to scattering and absorption anomalies in these rock matrices, allowing coda-wave attenuation ( Q c o d a imaging. This note clarifies the difference between SWF and sensitivity kernels developed for coda wave imaging. It extends the SWF previously developed in 2D to the third dimension by using radiative transfer and the diffusion equation, based on the assumption that variations of Q c o d a depend solely on variations of the extinction length. When applied to active data (Deception Island, Antarctica, 3D SWF images strongly resemble 2D images, making this 3D extension redundant. On the other hand, diffusion does not efficiently model coda waveforms when using earthquake datasets spanning depths between 0 and 20 km, such as at Mount St. Helens volcano. In this setting, scattering attenuation and absorption suffer tradeoffs and cannot be separated by fitting a single seismogram energy envelope for SWF imaging. We propose that an approximate analytical 3D SWF, similar in shape to the common coda kernels used in literature, can still be used in a space weighted back-projection approach. While Q c o d a is not a physical parameter of the propagation medium, its spatially-dependent modeling allows improved reconstruction of crustal-scale tectonic and geological features. It is even more efficient as a velocity independent imaging tool for magma and fluid storage when applied to deep volcanism.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 vs. 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 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 <176 μmol/L. Potential improvement is likely to be mediated by weight loss-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-01-01

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

  9. PedsQL relates to function and behavior in very low and normal birth weight 2- and 3-year-olds from a regional cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palta, Mari; Sadek-Badawi, Mona

    2008-06-01

    To compare PedsQL scores in young children who were very low (2,500 g) and to examine the relationship of the PedsQL score to behavioral and functional scores. The PedsQL, Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist and the PEDI functional scales were telephone administered to parents of a regional cohort of 672 very low birth weight and 455 normal birth weight children, 2- and 3-years old. PedsQL scales were regressed on behavior, function and health conditions. Mean (SD) overall PedsQL score was 91 (8.4) for normal birth weight and 87 (12) for very low birth weight children, and changed little when standardized to the race/ethnicity and maternal education of corresponding Wisconsin births. Mobility function and the CBCL explained 58% of the variance in PedsQL, but the relationship was curvilinear. The PedsQL is sensitive to health problems of very low birth weight in young children. The PedsQL is quite strongly related to mobility and behavior problems, but scales these differently than do standard instruments. Parents either do not think of subtle issues with child function and behavior without specific prompting or do not perceive them as problems affecting quality of life.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-02-17

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

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Irfan Said

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 of gelatin made from goat skins which was produced through a process of acid. The skin of male Bligon goat, 1.5 to 2.5 year old was used as raw materials. Process production of gelatin was using acid type acetic acid (CH3COOH 0.5 M (v/v as curing material. The experimental design applied in this study and commercial gelatin was used as control. The results showed that gelatin produced from goat skin through the process of acid had properties identical with commercial gelatin. It can be concluded that the gelatin has the potential substitute product of commercial gelatin. Keywords: collagen, gelatin, goat skin, curing, acid process

  15. Prediction of heterodimeric protein complexes from weighted protein-protein interaction networks using novel features and kernel functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peiying Ruan

    Full Text Available Since many proteins express their functional activity by interacting with other proteins and forming protein complexes, it is very useful to identify sets of proteins that form complexes. For that purpose, many prediction methods for protein complexes from protein-protein interactions have been developed such as MCL, MCODE, RNSC, PCP, RRW, and NWE. These methods have dealt with only complexes with size of more than three because the methods often are based on some density of subgraphs. However, heterodimeric protein complexes that consist of two distinct proteins occupy a large part according to several comprehensive databases of known complexes. In this paper, we propose several feature space mappings from protein-protein interaction data, in which each interaction is weighted based on reliability. Furthermore, we make use of prior knowledge on protein domains to develop feature space mappings, domain composition kernel and its combination kernel with our proposed features. We perform ten-fold cross-validation computational experiments. These results suggest that our proposed kernel considerably outperforms the naive Bayes-based method, which is the best existing method for predicting heterodimeric protein complexes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    ) 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......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......, Denmark. SUBJECTS: In total, 193 juvenile obese men at draft board examination and 205 randomly selected nonobese controls from the same population. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Lung function measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) and forced vital capacity (FVC), adjusted for age and height...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

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

  20. 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 distribut