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Sample records for biologically plausible mechanistic

  1. Speech recognition employing biologically plausible receptive fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fereczkowski, Michal; Bothe, Hans-Heinrich

    2011-01-01

    spectro-temporal receptive fields to auditory spectrogram input, motivated by the auditory pathway of humans, and ii) the adaptation or learning algorithms involved are biologically inspired. This is in contrast to state-of-the-art combinations of Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients and Hidden Markov...

  2. On the biological plausibility of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Robert V

    2015-01-01

    An emerging environmental health issue relates to potential ill-effects of wind turbine noise. There have been numerous suggestions that the low-frequency acoustic components in wind turbine signals can cause symptoms associated with vestibular system disorders, namely vertigo, nausea, and nystagmus. This constellation of symptoms has been labeled as Wind Turbine Syndrome, and has been identified in case studies of individuals living close to wind farms. This review discusses whether it is biologically plausible for the turbine noise to stimulate the vestibular parts of the inner ear and, by extension, cause Wind Turbine Syndrome. We consider the sound levels that can activate the semicircular canals or otolith end organs in normal subjects, as well as in those with preexisting conditions known to lower vestibular threshold to sound stimulation.

  3. Exposures to airborne particulate matter and adverse perinatal outcomes: a biologically plausible mechanistic framework for exploring potential Exposição à matéria particulada aérea e efeitos perinatais adversos: referencial mecanístico biologicamente plausível para exploração de potenciais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srimathi Kannan

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available This article has three objectives: to describe the biologically plausible mechanistic pathways by which exposure to particulate matter (PM may lead to adverse perinatal outcomes of low birth weight (LBW, intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR, and preterm delivery (PTD; review evidence showing that nutrition affects biologic pathways; and explain mechanisms by which nutrition may modify the impact of PM exposure on perinatal outcomes. We propose an interdisciplinary framework that brings together maternal and infant nutrition, air pollution exposure assessment, and cardiopulmonary and perinatal epidemiology. Five possible biologic mechanisms have been put forth in the emerging environmental sciences literature and provide corollaries for the proposed framework. The literature indicates that the effects of PM on LBW, PTD, and IUGR may manifest through the cardiovascular mechanisms of oxidative stress, inflammation, coagulation, endothelial function, and hemodynamic responses. PM exposure studies relating mechanistic pathways to perinatal outcomes should consider the likelihood that biologic responses and adverse birth outcomes may be derived from both PM and non-PM sources. We present strategies for empirically testing the proposed model and developing future research efforts.São três os objetivos deste artigo: descrever rotas mecanísticas biologicamente plausíveis pelas quais a exposição à matéria particulada (MP pode levar a efeitos perinatais adversos, como baixo peso ao nascer (BPN, retardo do crescimento intra-uterino (RCIU e nascimentos pré-termo (NPT; fazer uma revisão de evidências mostrando que a nutrição afeta rotas biológicas; explicar os mecanismos através dos quais a nutrição pode modificar o impacto da exposição a MP nos efeitos perinatais adversos. Propomos um referencial interdisciplinar que aproxime nutrição materna e infantil, avaliação de poluição do ar e epidemiologia cardiopulmonar e perinatal

  4. Epidemiologic studies of occupational pesticide exposure and cancer: regulatory risk assessments and biologic plausibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acquavella, John; Doe, John; Tomenson, John; Chester, Graham; Cowell, John; Bloemen, Louis

    2003-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies frequently show associations between self-reported use of specific pesticides and human cancers. These findings have engendered debate largely on methodologic grounds. However, biologic plausibility is a more fundamental issue that has received only superficial attention. The purpose of this commentary is to review briefly the toxicology and exposure data that are developed as part of the pesticide regulatory process and to discuss the applicability of this data to epidemiologic research. The authors also provide a generic example of how worker pesticide exposures might be estimated and compared to relevant toxicologic dose levels. This example provides guidance for better characterization of exposure and for consideration of biologic plausibility in epidemiologic studies of pesticides.

  5. Generative mechanistic explanation building in undergraduate molecular and cellular biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn M.; Espindola, Melissa R.; Zaepfel, Samantha D.; Bolger, Molly S.

    2017-09-01

    When conducting scientific research, experts in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) use specific reasoning strategies to construct mechanistic explanations for the underlying causal features of molecular phenomena. We explored how undergraduate students applied this scientific practice in MCB. Drawing from studies of explanation building among scientists, we created and applied a theoretical framework to explore the strategies students use to construct explanations for 'novel' biological phenomena. Specifically, we explored how students navigated the multi-level nature of complex biological systems using generative mechanistic reasoning. Interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division biology students at a large public university in the United States. Results of qualitative coding revealed key features of students' explanation building. Students used modular thinking to consider the functional subdivisions of the system, which they 'filled in' to varying degrees with mechanistic elements. They also hypothesised the involvement of mechanistic entities and instantiated abstract schema to adapt their explanations to unfamiliar biological contexts. Finally, we explored the flexible thinking that students used to hypothesise the impact of mutations on multi-leveled biological systems. Results revealed a number of ways that students drew mechanistic connections between molecules, functional modules (sets of molecules with an emergent function), cells, tissues, organisms and populations.

  6. A swarm intelligence framework for reconstructing gene networks: searching for biologically plausible architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kentzoglanakis, Kyriakos; Poole, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the problem of reverse engineering the topology of gene regulatory networks from temporal gene expression data. We adopt a computational intelligence approach comprising swarm intelligence techniques, namely particle swarm optimization (PSO) and ant colony optimization (ACO). In addition, the recurrent neural network (RNN) formalism is employed for modeling the dynamical behavior of gene regulatory systems. More specifically, ACO is used for searching the discrete space of network architectures and PSO for searching the corresponding continuous space of RNN model parameters. We propose a novel solution construction process in the context of ACO for generating biologically plausible candidate architectures. The objective is to concentrate the search effort into areas of the structure space that contain architectures which are feasible in terms of their topological resemblance to real-world networks. The proposed framework is initially applied to the reconstruction of a small artificial network that has previously been studied in the context of gene network reverse engineering. Subsequently, we consider an artificial data set with added noise for reconstructing a subnetwork of the genetic interaction network of S. cerevisiae (yeast). Finally, the framework is applied to a real-world data set for reverse engineering the SOS response system of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Results demonstrate the relative advantage of utilizing problem-specific knowledge regarding biologically plausible structural properties of gene networks over conducting a problem-agnostic search in the vast space of network architectures.

  7. Particulate air pollution and increased mortality: Biological plausibility for causal relationship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henderson, R.F.

    1995-01-01

    Recently, a number of epidemiological studies have concluded that ambient particulate exposure is associated with increased mortality and morbidity at PM concentrations well below those previously thought to affect human health. These studies have been conducted in several different geographical locations and have involved a range of populations. While the consistency of the findings and the presence of an apparent concentration response relationship provide a strong argument for causality, epidemiological studies can only conclude this based upon inference from statistical associations. The biological plausibility of a causal relationship between low concentrations of PM and daily mortality and morbidity rates is neither intuitively obvious nor expected based on past experimental studies on the toxicity of inhaled particles. Chronic toxicity from inhaled, poorly soluble particles has been observed based on the slow accumulation of large lung burdens of particles, not on small daily fluctuations in PM levels. Acute toxicity from inhaled particles is associated mainly with acidic particles and is observed at much higher concentrations than those observed in the epidemiology studies reporting an association between PM concentrations and morbidity/mortality. To approach the difficult problem of determining if the association between PM concentrations and daily morbidity and mortality is biologically plausible and causal, one must consider (1) the chemical and physical characteristics of the particles in the inhaled atmospheres, (2) the characteristics of the morbidity/mortality observed and the people who are affected, and (3) potential mechanisms that might link the two

  8. Biologically plausible learning in neural networks: a lesson from bacterial chemotaxis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimansky, Yury P

    2009-12-01

    Learning processes in the brain are usually associated with plastic changes made to optimize the strength of connections between neurons. Although many details related to biophysical mechanisms of synaptic plasticity have been discovered, it is unclear how the concurrent performance of adaptive modifications in a huge number of spatial locations is organized to minimize a given objective function. Since direct experimental observation of even a relatively small subset of such changes is not feasible, computational modeling is an indispensable investigation tool for solving this problem. However, the conventional method of error back-propagation (EBP) employed for optimizing synaptic weights in artificial neural networks is not biologically plausible. This study based on computational experiments demonstrated that such optimization can be performed rather efficiently using the same general method that bacteria employ for moving closer to an attractant or away from a repellent. With regard to neural network optimization, this method consists of regulating the probability of an abrupt change in the direction of synaptic weight modification according to the temporal gradient of the objective function. Neural networks utilizing this method (regulation of modification probability, RMP) can be viewed as analogous to swimming in the multidimensional space of their parameters in the flow of biochemical agents carrying information about the optimality criterion. The efficiency of RMP is comparable to that of EBP, while RMP has several important advantages. Since the biological plausibility of RMP is beyond a reasonable doubt, the RMP concept provides a constructive framework for the experimental analysis of learning in natural neural networks.

  9. Profiling the biological activity of oxide nanomaterials with mechanistic models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burello, E.

    2013-01-01

    In this study we present three mechanistic models for profiling the potential biological and toxicological effects of oxide nanomaterials. The models attempt to describe the reactivity, protein adsorption and membrane adhesion processes of a large range of oxide materials and are based on properties

  10. Generative Mechanistic Explanation Building in Undergraduate Molecular and Cellular Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn M.; Espindola, Melissa R.; Zaepfel, Samantha D.; Bolger, Molly S.

    2017-01-01

    When conducting scientific research, experts in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) use specific reasoning strategies to construct mechanistic explanations for the underlying causal features of molecular phenomena. We explored how undergraduate students applied this scientific practice in MCB. Drawing from studies of explanation building among…

  11. Photoinduced catalytic synthesis of biologically important metabolites from formaldehyde and ammonia under plausible "prebiotic" conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delidovich, I. V.; Taran, O. P.; Simonov, A. N.; Matvienko, L. G.; Parmon, V. N.

    2011-08-01

    The article analyzes new and previously reported data on several catalytic and photochemical processes yielding biologically important molecules. UV-irradiation of formaldehyde aqueous solution yields acetaldehyde, glyoxal, glycolaldehyde and glyceraldehyde, which can serve as precursors of more complex biochemically relevant compounds. Photolysis of aqueous solution of acetaldehyde and ammonium nitrate results in formation of alanine and pyruvic acid. Dehydration of glyceraldehyde catalyzed by zeolite HZSM-5-17 yields pyruvaldehyde. Monosaccharides are formed in the course of the phosphate-catalyzed aldol condensation reactions of glycolaldehyde, glyceraldehyde and formaldehyde. The possibility of the direct synthesis of tetroses, keto- and aldo-pentoses from pure formaldehyde due to the combination of the photochemical production of glycolahyde and phosphate-catalyzed carbohydrate chain growth is demonstrated. Erythrulose and 3-pentulose are the main products of such combined synthesis with selectivity up to 10%. Biologically relevant aldotetroses, aldo- and ketopentoses are more resistant to the photochemical destruction owing to the stabilization in hemiacetal cyclic forms. They are formed as products of isomerization of erythrulose and 3-pentulose. The conjugation of the concerned reactions results in a plausible route to the formation of sugars, amino and organic acids from formaldehyde and ammonia under presumed 'prebiotic' conditions.

  12. Bridging Mechanistic and Phenomenological Models of Complex Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transtrum, Mark K; Qiu, Peng

    2016-05-01

    The inherent complexity of biological systems gives rise to complicated mechanistic models with a large number of parameters. On the other hand, the collective behavior of these systems can often be characterized by a relatively small number of phenomenological parameters. We use the Manifold Boundary Approximation Method (MBAM) as a tool for deriving simple phenomenological models from complicated mechanistic models. The resulting models are not black boxes, but remain expressed in terms of the microscopic parameters. In this way, we explicitly connect the macroscopic and microscopic descriptions, characterize the equivalence class of distinct systems exhibiting the same range of collective behavior, and identify the combinations of components that function as tunable control knobs for the behavior. We demonstrate the procedure for adaptation behavior exhibited by the EGFR pathway. From a 48 parameter mechanistic model, the system can be effectively described by a single adaptation parameter τ characterizing the ratio of time scales for the initial response and recovery time of the system which can in turn be expressed as a combination of microscopic reaction rates, Michaelis-Menten constants, and biochemical concentrations. The situation is not unlike modeling in physics in which microscopically complex processes can often be renormalized into simple phenomenological models with only a few effective parameters. The proposed method additionally provides a mechanistic explanation for non-universal features of the behavior.

  13. Diffusion theory in biology: a relic of mechanistic materialism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agutter, P S; Malone, P C; Wheatley, D N

    2000-01-01

    Diffusion theory explains in physical terms how materials move through a medium, e.g. water or a biological fluid. There are strong and widely acknowledged grounds for doubting the applicability of this theory in biology, although it continues to be accepted almost uncritically and taught as a basis of both biology and medicine. Our principal aim is to explore how this situation arose and has been allowed to continue seemingly unchallenged for more than 150 years. The main shortcomings of diffusion theory will be briefly reviewed to show that the entrenchment of this theory in the corpus of biological knowledge needs to be explained, especially as there are equally valid historical grounds for presuming that bulk fluid movement powered by the energy of cell metabolism plays a prominent note in the transport of molecules in the living body. First, the theory's evolution, notably from its origins in connection with the mechanistic materialist philosophy of mid nineteenth century physiology, is discussed. Following this, the entrenchment of the theory in twentieth century biology is analyzed in relation to three situations: the mechanism of oxygen transport between air and mammalian tissues; the structure and function of cell membranes; and the nature of the intermediary metalbolism, with its implicit presumptions about the intracellular organization and the movement of molecules within it. In our final section, we consider several historically based alternatives to diffusion theory, all of which have their precursors in nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy of science.

  14. A biologically plausible transform for visual recognition that is invariant to translation, scale and rotation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel eSountsov

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Visual object recognition occurs easily despite differences in position, size, and rotation of the object, but the neural mechanisms responsible for this invariance are not known. We have found a set of transforms that achieve invariance in a neurally plausible way. We find that a transform based on local spatial frequency analysis of oriented segments and on logarithmic mapping, when applied twice in an iterative fashion, produces an output image that is unique to the object and that remains constant as the input image is shifted, scaled or rotated.

  15. A Biologically Plausible Transform for Visual Recognition that is Invariant to Translation, Scale, and Rotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sountsov, Pavel; Santucci, David M; Lisman, John E

    2011-01-01

    Visual object recognition occurs easily despite differences in position, size, and rotation of the object, but the neural mechanisms responsible for this invariance are not known. We have found a set of transforms that achieve invariance in a neurally plausible way. We find that a transform based on local spatial frequency analysis of oriented segments and on logarithmic mapping, when applied twice in an iterative fashion, produces an output image that is unique to the object and that remains constant as the input image is shifted, scaled, or rotated.

  16. Gene-ontology enrichment analysis in two independent family-based samples highlights biologically plausible processes for autism spectrum disorders.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Anney, Richard J L

    2012-02-01

    Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a range of genes from discrete biological pathways in the aetiology of autism. However, despite the strong influence of genetic factors, association studies have yet to identify statistically robust, replicated major effect genes or SNPs. We apply the principle of the SNP ratio test methodology described by O\\'Dushlaine et al to over 2100 families from the Autism Genome Project (AGP). Using a two-stage design we examine association enrichment in 5955 unique gene-ontology classifications across four groupings based on two phenotypic and two ancestral classifications. Based on estimates from simulation we identify excess of association enrichment across all analyses. We observe enrichment in association for sets of genes involved in diverse biological processes, including pyruvate metabolism, transcription factor activation, cell-signalling and cell-cycle regulation. Both genes and processes that show enrichment have previously been examined in autistic disorders and offer biologically plausibility to these findings.

  17. Depressive symptoms predict head and neck cancer survival: Examining plausible behavioral and biological pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmaro, Lauren A; Sephton, Sandra E; Siwik, Chelsea J; Phillips, Kala M; Rebholz, Whitney N; Kraemer, Helena C; Giese-Davis, Janine; Wilson, Liz; Bumpous, Jeffrey M; Cash, Elizabeth D

    2018-03-01

    Head and neck cancers are associated with high rates of depression, which may increase the risk for poorer immediate and long-term outcomes. Here it was hypothesized that greater depressive symptoms would predict earlier mortality, and behavioral (treatment interruption) and biological (treatment response) mediators were examined. Patients (n = 134) reported depressive symptomatology at treatment planning. Clinical data were reviewed at the 2-year follow-up. Greater depressive symptoms were associated with significantly shorter survival (hazard ratio, 0.868; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.819-0.921; P ratio, 0.865; 95% CI, 0.774-0.966; P = .010), and poorer treatment response (odds ratio, 0.879; 95% CI, 0.803-0.963; P = .005). The poorer treatment response partially explained the depression-survival relation. Other known prognostic indicators did not challenge these results. Depressive symptoms at the time of treatment planning predict overall 2-year mortality. Effects are partly influenced by the treatment response. Depression screening and intervention may be beneficial. Future studies should examine parallel biological pathways linking depression to cancer survival, including endocrine disruption and inflammation. Cancer 2018;124:1053-60. © 2018 American Cancer Society. © 2018 American Cancer Society.

  18. Determining environmental causes of biological effects: the need for a mechanistic physiological dimension in conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seebacher, Frank; Franklin, Craig E

    2012-06-19

    The emerging field of Conservation Physiology links environmental change and ecological success by the application of physiological theory, approaches and tools to elucidate and address conservation problems. Human activity has changed the natural environment to a point where the viability of many ecosystems is now under threat. There are already many descriptions of how changes in biological patterns are correlated with environmental changes. The next important step is to determine the causative relationship between environmental variability and biological systems. Physiology provides the mechanistic link between environmental change and ecological patterns. Physiological research, therefore, should be integrated into conservation to predict the biological consequences of human activity, and to identify those species or populations that are most vulnerable.

  19. MRI Proton Density Fat Fraction Is Robust Across the Biologically Plausible Range of Triglyceride Spectra in Adults With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Cheng William; Mamidipalli, Adrija; Hooker, Jonathan C.; Hamilton, Gavin; Wolfson, Tanya; Chen, Dennis H.; Dehkordy, Soudabeh Fazeli; Middleton, Michael S.; Reeder, Scott B.; Loomba, Rohit; Sirlin, Claude B.

    2017-01-01

    Background Proton density fat fraction (PDFF) estimation requires spectral modeling of the hepatic triglyceride (TG) signal. Deviations in the TG spectrum may occur, leading to bias in PDFF quantification. Purpose To investigate the effects of varying six-peak TG spectral models on PDFF estimation bias. Study Type Retrospective secondary analysis of prospectively acquired clinical research data. Population Forty-four adults with biopsy-confirmed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Field Strength/Sequence Confounder-corrected chemical-shift-encoded 3T MRI (using a 2D multiecho gradient-recalled echo technique with magnitude reconstruction) and MR spectroscopy. Assessment In each patient, 61 pairs of colocalized MRI-PDFF and MRS-PDFF values were estimated: one pair used the standard six-peak spectral model, the other 60 were six-peak variants calculated by adjusting spectral model parameters over their biologically plausible ranges. MRI-PDFF values calculated using each variant model and the standard model were compared, and the agreement between MRI-PDFF and MRS-PDFF was assessed. Statistical Tests MRS-PDFF and MRI-PDFF were summarized descriptively. Bland–Altman (BA) analyses were performed between PDFF values calculated using each variant model and the standard model. Linear regressions were performed between BA biases and mean PDFF values for each variant model, and between MRI-PDFF and MRS-PDFF. Results Using the standard model, mean MRS-PDFF of the study population was 17.9±8.0% (range: 4.1–34.3%). The difference between the highest and lowest mean variant MRI-PDFF values was 1.5%. Relative to the standard model, the model with the greatest absolute BA bias overestimated PDFF by 1.2%. Bias increased with increasing PDFF (P hepatic fat content, PDFF estimation is robust across the biologically plausible range of TG spectra. Although absolute estimation bias increased with higher PDFF, its magnitude was small and unlikely to be clinically meaningful. Level of

  20. 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

  1. Quantitative assessment of biological impact using transcriptomic data and mechanistic network models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomson, Ty M.; Sewer, Alain; Martin, Florian; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Frushour, Brian P.; Gebel, Stephan; Park, Jennifer; Schlage, Walter K.; Talikka, Marja; Vasilyev, Dmitry M.; Westra, Jurjen W.; Hoeng, Julia; Peitsch, Manuel C.

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to biologically active substances such as therapeutic drugs or environmental toxicants can impact biological systems at various levels, affecting individual molecules, signaling pathways, and overall cellular processes. The ability to derive mechanistic insights from the resulting system responses requires the integration of experimental measures with a priori knowledge about the system and the interacting molecules therein. We developed a novel systems biology-based methodology that leverages mechanistic network models and transcriptomic data to quantitatively assess the biological impact of exposures to active substances. Hierarchically organized network models were first constructed to provide a coherent framework for investigating the impact of exposures at the molecular, pathway and process levels. We then validated our methodology using novel and previously published experiments. For both in vitro systems with simple exposure and in vivo systems with complex exposures, our methodology was able to recapitulate known biological responses matching expected or measured phenotypes. In addition, the quantitative results were in agreement with experimental endpoint data for many of the mechanistic effects that were assessed, providing further objective confirmation of the approach. We conclude that our methodology evaluates the biological impact of exposures in an objective, systematic, and quantifiable manner, enabling the computation of a systems-wide and pan-mechanistic biological impact measure for a given active substance or mixture. Our results suggest that various fields of human disease research, from drug development to consumer product testing and environmental impact analysis, could benefit from using this methodology. - Highlights: • The impact of biologically active substances is quantified at multiple levels. • The systems-level impact integrates the perturbations of individual networks. • The networks capture the relationships between

  2. Life at the Common Denominator: Mechanistic and Quantitative Biology for the Earth and Space Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M.

    2010-01-01

    The remarkable challenges and possibilities of the coming few decades will compel the biogeochemical and astrobiological sciences to characterize the interactions between biology and its environment in a fundamental, mechanistic, and quantitative fashion. The clear need for integrative and scalable biology-environment models is exemplified in the Earth sciences by the challenge of effectively addressing anthropogenic global change, and in the space sciences by the challenge of mounting a well-constrained yet sufficiently adaptive and inclusive search for life beyond Earth. Our understanding of the life-planet interaction is still, however, largely empirical. A variety of approaches seek to move from empirical to mechanistic descriptions. One approach focuses on the relationship between biology and energy, which is at once universal (all life requires energy), unique (life manages energy flow in a fashion not seen in abiotic systems), and amenable to characterization and quantification in thermodynamic terms. Simultaneously, a focus on energy flow addresses a critical point of interface between life and its geological, chemical, and physical environment. Characterizing and quantifying this relationship for life on Earth will support the development of integrative and predictive models for biology-environment dynamics. Understanding this relationship at its most fundamental level holds potential for developing concepts of habitability and biosignatures that can optimize astrobiological exploration strategies and are extensible to all life.

  3. Modeling systems-level dynamics: Understanding without mechanistic explanation in integrative systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, Miles; Nersessian, Nancy J

    2015-02-01

    In this paper we draw upon rich ethnographic data of two systems biology labs to explore the roles of explanation and understanding in large-scale systems modeling. We illustrate practices that depart from the goal of dynamic mechanistic explanation for the sake of more limited modeling goals. These processes use abstract mathematical formulations of bio-molecular interactions and data fitting techniques which we call top-down abstraction to trade away accurate mechanistic accounts of large-scale systems for specific information about aspects of those systems. We characterize these practices as pragmatic responses to the constraints many modelers of large-scale systems face, which in turn generate more limited pragmatic non-mechanistic forms of understanding of systems. These forms aim at knowledge of how to predict system responses in order to manipulate and control some aspects of them. We propose that this analysis of understanding provides a way to interpret what many systems biologists are aiming for in practice when they talk about the objective of a "systems-level understanding." Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Contrast normalization contributes to a biologically-plausible model of receptive-field development in primary visual cortex (V1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willmore, Ben D.B.; Bulstrode, Harry; Tolhurst, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal populations in the primary visual cortex (V1) of mammals exhibit contrast normalization. Neurons that respond strongly to simple visual stimuli – such as sinusoidal gratings – respond less well to the same stimuli when they are presented as part of a more complex stimulus which also excites other, neighboring neurons. This phenomenon is generally attributed to generalized patterns of inhibitory connections between nearby V1 neurons. The Bienenstock, Cooper and Munro (BCM) rule is a neural network learning rule that, when trained on natural images, produces model neurons which, individually, have many tuning properties in common with real V1 neurons. However, when viewed as a population, a BCM network is very different from V1 – each member of the BCM population tends to respond to the same dominant features of visual input, producing an incomplete, highly redundant code for visual information. Here, we demonstrate that, by adding contrast normalization into the BCM rule, we arrive at a neurally-plausible Hebbian learning rule that can learn an efficient sparse, overcomplete representation that is a better model for stimulus selectivity in V1. This suggests that one role of contrast normalization in V1 is to guide the neonatal development of receptive fields, so that neurons respond to different features of visual input. PMID:22230381

  5. Iterative Systems Biology for Medicine – time for advancing from network signature to mechanistic equations

    KAUST Repository

    Gomez-Cabrero, David

    2017-05-09

    The rise and growth of Systems Biology following the sequencing of the human genome has been astounding. Early on, an iterative wet-dry methodology was formulated which turned out as a successful approach in deciphering biological complexity. Such type of analysis effectively identified and associated molecular network signatures operative in biological processes across different systems. Yet, it has proven difficult to distinguish between causes and consequences, thus making it challenging to attack medical questions where we require precise causative drug targets and disease mechanisms beyond a web of associated markers. Here we review principal advances with regard to identification of structure, dynamics, control, and design of biological systems, following the structure in the visionary review from 2002 by Dr. Kitano. Yet, here we find that the underlying challenge of finding the governing mechanistic system equations enabling precision medicine remains open thus rendering clinical translation of systems biology arduous. However, stunning advances in raw computational power, generation of high-precision multi-faceted biological data, combined with powerful algorithms hold promise to set the stage for data-driven identification of equations implicating a fundamental understanding of living systems during health and disease.

  6. Ionizing radiation induced cataracts: Recent biological and mechanistic developments and perspectives for future research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainsbury, Elizabeth A; Barnard, Stephen; Bright, Scott; Dalke, Claudia; Jarrin, Miguel; Kunze, Sarah; Tanner, Rick; Dynlacht, Joseph R; Quinlan, Roy A; Graw, Jochen; Kadhim, Munira; Hamada, Nobuyuki

    The lens of the eye has long been considered as a radiosensitive tissue, but recent research has suggested that the radiosensitivity is even greater than previously thought. The 2012 recommendation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) to substantially reduce the annual occupational equivalent dose limit for the ocular lens has now been adopted in the European Union and is under consideration around the rest of the world. However, ICRP clearly states that the recommendations are chiefly based on epidemiological evidence because there are a very small number of studies that provide explicit biological, mechanistic evidence at doses <2Gy. This paper aims to present a review of recently published information on the biological and mechanistic aspects of cataracts induced by exposure to ionizing radiation (IR). The data were compiled by assessing the pertinent literature in several distinct areas which contribute to the understanding of IR induced cataracts, information regarding lens biology and general processes of cataractogenesis. Results from cellular and tissue level studies and animal models, and relevant human studies, were examined. The main focus was the biological effects of low linear energy transfer IR, but dosimetry issues and a number of other confounding factors were also considered. The results of this review clearly highlight a number of gaps in current knowledge. Overall, while there have been a number of recent advances in understanding, it remains unknown exactly how IR exposure contributes to opacification. A fuller understanding of how exposure to relatively low doses of IR promotes induction and/or progression of IR-induced cataracts will have important implications for prevention and treatment of this disease, as well as for the field of radiation protection. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Exposure factors for marine eutrophication impacts assessment based on a mechanistic biological model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cosme, Nuno Miguel Dias; Koski, Marja; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    2015-01-01

    marine ecosystem (LME), five climate zones, and site-generic. The XFs obtained range from 0.45 (Central Arctic Ocean) to 15.9kgO2kgN-1 (Baltic Sea). While LME resolution is recommended, aggregated PE or XF per climate zone can be adopted, but not global aggregation due to high variability. The XF......Emissions of nitrogen (N) from anthropogenic sources enrich marine waters and promote planktonic growth. This newly synthesised organic carbon is eventually exported to benthic waters where aerobic respiration by heterotrophic bacteria results in the consumption of dissolved oxygen (DO......). This pathway is typical of marine eutrophication. A model is proposed to mechanistically estimate the response of coastal marine ecosystems to N inputs. It addresses the biological processes of nutrient-limited primary production (PP), metazoan consumption, and bacterial degradation, in four distinct sinking...

  8. Nicotine dose-concentration relationship and pregnancy outcomes in rat: Biologic plausibility and implications for future research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussein, Jabeen; Farkas, Svetlana; MacKinnon, Yolanda; Ariano, Robert E.; Sitar, Daniel S.; Hasan, Shabih U.

    2007-01-01

    Cigarette smoke (CS) exposure during pregnancy can lead to profound adverse effects on fetal development. Although CS contains several thousand chemicals, nicotine has been widely used as its surrogate as well as in its own right as a neuroteratogen. The justification for the route and dose of nicotine administration is largely based on inferential data suggesting that nicotine 6 mg/kg/day infused continuously via osmotic mini pumps (OMP) would mimic maternal CS exposure. We provide evidence that 6 mg/kg/day nicotine dose as commonly administered to pregnant rats leads to plasma nicotine concentrations that are 3-10-fold higher than those observed in moderate to heavy smokers and pregnant mothers, respectively. Furthermore, the cumulative daily nicotine dose exceeds by several hundred fold the amount consumed by human heavy smokers. Our study does not support the widely accepted notion that regardless of the nicotine dose, a linear nicotine dose-concentration relationship exists in a steady-state OMP model. We also show that total nicotine clearance increases with advancing pregnancy but no significant change is observed between the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Furthermore, nicotine infusion even at this extremely high dose has little effect on a number of maternal and fetal biologic variables and pregnancy outcome suggesting that CS constituents other than nicotine mediate the fetal growth restriction in infants born to smoking mothers. Our current study has major implications for translational research in developmental toxicology and pharmacotherapy using nicotine replacement treatment as an aid to cessation of cigarette smoking in pregnant mothers

  9. Chemical kinetic mechanistic models to investigate cancer biology and impact cancer medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stites, Edward C

    2013-01-01

    Traditional experimental biology has provided a mechanistic understanding of cancer in which the malignancy develops through the acquisition of mutations that disrupt cellular processes. Several drugs developed to target such mutations have now demonstrated clinical value. These advances are unequivocal testaments to the value of traditional cellular and molecular biology. However, several features of cancer may limit the pace of progress that can be made with established experimental approaches alone. The mutated genes (and resultant mutant proteins) function within large biochemical networks. Biochemical networks typically have a large number of component molecules and are characterized by a large number of quantitative properties. Responses to a stimulus or perturbation are typically nonlinear and can display qualitative changes that depend upon the specific values of variable system properties. Features such as these can complicate the interpretation of experimental data and the formulation of logical hypotheses that drive further research. Mathematical models based upon the molecular reactions that define these networks combined with computational studies have the potential to deal with these obstacles and to enable currently available information to be more completely utilized. Many of the pressing problems in cancer biology and cancer medicine may benefit from a mathematical treatment. As work in this area advances, one can envision a future where such models may meaningfully contribute to the clinical management of cancer patients. (paper)

  10. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Kristoffer C; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  11. WE-H-BRA-07: Mechanistic Modelling of the Relative Biological Effectiveness of Heavy Charged Particles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McMahon, S [Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (United States); Queen’s University, Belfast, Belfast (United Kingdom); McNamara, A; Schuemann, J; Paganetti, H [Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (United States); Prise, K [Queen’s University, Belfast, Belfast (United Kingdom)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose Uncertainty in the Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of heavy charged particles compared to photons remains one of the major uncertainties in particle therapy. As RBEs depend strongly on clinical variables such as tissue type, dose, and radiation quality, more accurate individualised models are needed to fully optimise treatments. MethodsWe have developed a model of DNA damage and repair following X-ray irradiation in a number of settings, incorporating mechanistic descriptions of DNA repair pathways, geometric effects on DNA repair, cell cycle effects and cell death. Our model has previously been shown to accurately predict a range of biological endpoints including chromosome aberrations, mutations, and cell death. This model was combined with nanodosimetric models of individual ion tracks to calculate the additional probability of lethal damage forming within a single track. These lethal damage probabilities can be used to predict survival and RBE for cells irradiated with ions of different Linear Energy Transfer (LET). ResultsBy combining the X-ray response model with nanodosimetry information, predictions of RBE can be made without cell-line specific fitting. The model’s RBE predictions were found to agree well with empirical proton RBE models (Mean absolute difference between models of 1.9% and 1.8% for cells with α/β ratios of 9 and 1.4, respectively, for LETs between 0 and 15 keV/µm). The model also accurately recovers the impact of high-LET carbon ion exposures, showing both the reduced efficacy of ions at extremely high LET, as well as the impact of defects in non-homologous end joining on RBE values in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells.ConclusionOur model is predicts RBE without the inclusion of empirical LET fitting parameters for a range of experimental conditions. This approach has the potential to deliver improved personalisation of particle therapy, with future developments allowing for the calculation of individualised RBEs. SJM is

  12. Network-based discovery through mechanistic systems biology. Implications for applications--SMEs and drug discovery: where the action is.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Neil

    2015-08-01

    Phase II attrition remains the most important challenge for drug discovery. Tackling the problem requires improved understanding of the complexity of disease biology. Systems biology approaches to this problem can, in principle, deliver this. This article reviews the reports of the application of mechanistic systems models to drug discovery questions and discusses the added value. Although we are on the journey to the virtual human, the length, path and rate of learning from this remain an open question. Success will be dependent on the will to invest and make the most of the insight generated along the way. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Iterative Systems Biology for Medicine – time for advancing from network signature to mechanistic equations

    KAUST Repository

    Gomez-Cabrero, David; Tegner, Jesper

    2017-01-01

    The rise and growth of Systems Biology following the sequencing of the human genome has been astounding. Early on, an iterative wet-dry methodology was formulated which turned out as a successful approach in deciphering biological complexity

  14. The value of mechanistic biophysical information for systems-level understanding of complex biological processes such as cytokinesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Thomas D

    2014-12-02

    This review illustrates the value of quantitative information including concentrations, kinetic constants and equilibrium constants in modeling and simulating complex biological processes. Although much has been learned about some biological systems without these parameter values, they greatly strengthen mechanistic accounts of dynamical systems. The analysis of muscle contraction is a classic example of the value of combining an inventory of the molecules, atomic structures of the molecules, kinetic constants for the reactions, reconstitutions with purified proteins and theoretical modeling to account for the contraction of whole muscles. A similar strategy is now being used to understand the mechanism of cytokinesis using fission yeast as a favorable model system. Copyright © 2014 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A Biologically Plausible Action Selection System for Cognitive Architectures: Implications of Basal Ganglia Anatomy for Learning and Decision-Making Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocco, Andrea

    2018-01-01

    Several attempts have been made previously to provide a biological grounding for cognitive architectures by relating their components to the computations of specific brain circuits. Often, the architecture's action selection system is identified with the basal ganglia. However, this identification overlooks one of the most important features of…

  16. A mechanistic approach to link biological effects of radioactive substances from molecules to populations in wildlife species - A mechanistic approach to link biological effects of radionuclides from molecules to populations in wildlife species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alonzo, Frederic; Parisot, Florian; Plaire, Delphine; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Garnier- Laplace, Jacqueline [Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV, SERIS, LECO, Cadarache, Saint-Paul- Lez-Durance, 13115 (France)

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how toxic contaminants affect wildlife species at various levels of biological organisation (sub-cellular, histological, physiological, organism, population levels) is a major research goal in both ecotoxicology and radioecology. A mechanistic understanding of the links between the different observed perturbations is necessary to predict consequences for survival, growth and reproduction which are critical for population dynamics. However, time scales at which such links are established in the laboratory are rarely relevant for natural populations. With a small size and short life cycle, the cladoceran micro-crustacean Daphnia magna is a particularly suitable biological model for studying effects of radioactive contaminants over several generations. Multi-generational exposures are much more representative of the environmental context of field populations for which contaminations can last for durations which largely exceed individual longevity and involve exposure of many successive generations. Over the last decade, multi-generational investigations of toxic effects were conducted under controlled conditions in D. magna exposed to various radionuclides including depleted uranium, americium-241 and cesium-137, representing respectively a dominantly chemo-toxic metal, an alpha internal contamination and a gamma external radiation. Results showed in all cases that toxic effects on physiology and life history (survival, body size, fecundity) increased in severity across generations. These observations demonstrated that measured effects in one generation might not be representative of toxicity in the following offspring generations, and ultimately of the population response. Reduction in somatic growth and reproduction induced by uranium were analysed using the mechanistic modelling approach known as DEBtox (model of dynamic energy budget applied to toxicology). Modelling results suggested that uranium primarily affects assimilation. This metabolic mode

  17. The cyclopurine deoxynucleosides: DNA repair, biological effects, mechanistic insights, and unanswered questions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Philip J

    2017-06-01

    Patients with the genetic disease xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) who lack the capacity to carry out nucleotides excision repair (NER) have a dramatically elevated risk of skin cancer on sun exposed areas of the body. NER is the DNA repair mechanism responsible for the removal of DNA lesions resulting from ultraviolet light. In addition, a subset of XP patients develop a progressive neurodegenerative disease, referred to as XP neurologic disease, which is thought to be the result of accumulation of endogenous DNA lesions that are repaired by NER but not other repair pathways. The 8,5-cyclopurine deoxynucleotides (cyPu) have emerged as leading candidates for such lesions, in that they result from the reaction of the hydroxyl radical with DNA, are strong blocks to transcription in human cells, and are repaired by NER but not base excision repair. Here I present a focused perspective on progress into understating the repair and biological effects of these lesions. In doing so, I emphasize the role of Tomas Lindahl and his laboratory in stimulating cyPu research. I also include a critical evaluation of the evidence supporting a role for cyPu lesions in XP neurologic disease, with a focus on outstanding questions, and conceptual and technologic challenges. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Toward Petascale Biologically Plausible Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Lyle

    This talk will describe an approach to achieving petascale neural networks. Artificial intelligence has been oversold for many decades. Computers in the beginning could only do about 16,000 operations per second. Computer processing power, however, has been doubling every two years thanks to Moore's law, and growing even faster due to massively parallel architectures. Finally, 60 years after the first AI conference we have computers on the order of the performance of the human brain (1016 operations per second). The main issues now are algorithms, software, and learning. We have excellent models of neurons, such as the Hodgkin-Huxley model, but we do not know how the human neurons are wired together. With careful attention to efficient parallel computing, event-driven programming, table lookups, and memory minimization massive scale simulations can be performed. The code that will be described was written in C + + and uses the Message Passing Interface (MPI). It uses the full Hodgkin-Huxley neuron model, not a simplified model. It also allows arbitrary network structures (deep, recurrent, convolutional, all-to-all, etc.). The code is scalable, and has, so far, been tested on up to 2,048 processor cores using 107 neurons and 109 synapses.

  19. Optimality and Plausibility in Language Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Levot

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The Minimalist Program in generative syntax has been the subject of much rancour, a good proportion of it stoked by Noam Chomsky’s suggestion that language may represent “a ‘perfect solution’ to minimal design specifications.” A particular flash point has been the application of Minimalist principles to speculations about how language evolved in the human species. This paper argues that Minimalism is well supported as a plausible approach to language evolution. It is claimed that an assumption of minimal design specifications like that employed in MP syntax satisfies three key desiderata of evolutionary and general scientific plausibility: Physical Optimism, Rational Optimism, and Darwin’s Problem. In support of this claim, the methodologies employed in MP to maximise parsimony are characterised through an analysis of recent theories in Minimalist syntax, and those methodologies are defended with reference to practices and arguments from evolutionary biology and other natural sciences.

  20. Heuristic Elements of Plausible Reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudczak, Craig A.

    At least some of the reasoning processes involved in argumentation rely on inferences which do not fit within the traditional categories of inductive or deductive reasoning. The reasoning processes involved in plausibility judgments have neither the formal certainty of deduction nor the imputed statistical probability of induction. When utilizing…

  1. Plausible values in statistical inference

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marsman, M.

    2014-01-01

    In Chapter 2 it is shown that the marginal distribution of plausible values is a consistent estimator of the true latent variable distribution, and, furthermore, that convergence is monotone in an embedding in which the number of items tends to infinity. This result is used to clarify some of the

  2. Assessing uncertainty in mechanistic models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwin J. Green; David W. MacFarlane; Harry T. Valentine

    2000-01-01

    Concern over potential global change has led to increased interest in the use of mechanistic models for predicting forest growth. The rationale for this interest is that empirical models may be of limited usefulness if environmental conditions change. Intuitively, we expect that mechanistic models, grounded as far as possible in an understanding of the biology of tree...

  3. A mechanistic modelling and data assimilation approach to estimate the carbon/chlorophyll and carbon/nitrogen ratios in a coupled hydrodynamical-biological model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Faugeras

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The principal objective of hydrodynamical-biological models is to provide estimates of the main carbon fluxes such as total and export oceanic production. These models are nitrogen based, that is to say that the variables are expressed in terms of their nitrogen content. Moreover models are calibrated using chlorophyll data sets. Therefore carbon to chlorophyll (C:Chl and carbon to nitrogen (C:N ratios have to be assumed. This paper addresses the problem of the representation of these ratios. In a 1D framework at the DYFAMED station (NW Mediterranean Sea we propose a model which enables the estimation of the basic biogeochemical fluxes and in which the spatio-temporal variability of the C:Chl and C:N ratios is fully represented in a mechanical way. This is achieved through the introduction of new state variables coming from the embedding of a phytoplankton growth model in a more classical Redfieldian NNPZD-DOM model (in which the C:N ratio is assumed to be a constant. Following this modelling step, the parameters of the model are estimated using the adjoint data assimilation method which enables the assimilation of chlorophyll and nitrate data sets collected at DYFAMED in 1997.Comparing the predictions of the new Mechanistic model with those of the classical Redfieldian NNPZD-DOM model which was calibrated with the same data sets, we find that both models reproduce the reference data in a comparable manner. Both fluxes and stocks can be equally well predicted by either model. However if the models are coinciding on an average basis, they are diverging from a variability prediction point of view. In the Mechanistic model biology adapts much faster to its environment giving rise to higher short term variations. Moreover the seasonal variability in total production differs from the Redfieldian NNPZD-DOM model to the Mechanistic model. In summer the Mechanistic model predicts higher production values in carbon unit than the Redfieldian NNPZD

  4. MECHANISTIC INDICATORS OF CHILDHOOD ASTHMA (MICA): A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH FOR THE INTEGRATION OF MULTIFACTORIAL EXPOSURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DATA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modem methods in molecular biology and advanced computational tools show promise in elucidating complex interactions that occur between genes and environmental factors in diseases such as asthma. However, appropriately designed studies are critical for these methods to reach the...

  5. Fast Biological Modeling for Voxel-based Heavy Ion Treatment Planning Using the Mechanistic Repair-Misrepair-Fixation Model and Nuclear Fragment Spectra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamp, Florian [Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut (United States); Department of Radiation Oncology, Technische Universität München, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, München (Germany); Physik-Department, Technische Universität München, Garching (Germany); Cabal, Gonzalo [Experimental Physics–Medical Physics, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Garching (Germany); Mairani, Andrea [Medical Physics Unit, Centro Nazionale Adroterapia Oncologica (CNAO), Pavia (Italy); Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Parodi, Katia [Experimental Physics–Medical Physics, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Garching (Germany); Wilkens, Jan J. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Technische Universität München, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, München (Germany); Physik-Department, Technische Universität München, Garching (Germany); Carlson, David J., E-mail: david.j.carlson@yale.edu [Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut (United States)

    2015-11-01

    Purpose: The physical and biological differences between heavy ions and photons have not been fully exploited and could improve treatment outcomes. In carbon ion therapy, treatment planning must account for physical properties, such as the absorbed dose and nuclear fragmentation, and for differences in the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of ions compared with photons. We combined the mechanistic repair-misrepair-fixation (RMF) model with Monte Carlo-generated fragmentation spectra for biological optimization of carbon ion treatment plans. Methods and Materials: Relative changes in double-strand break yields and radiosensitivity parameters with particle type and energy were determined using the independently benchmarked Monte Carlo damage simulation and the RMF model to estimate the RBE values for primary carbon ions and secondary fragments. Depth-dependent energy spectra were generated with the Monte Carlo code FLUKA for clinically relevant initial carbon ion energies. The predicted trends in RBE were compared with the published experimental data. Biological optimization for carbon ions was implemented in a 3-dimensional research treatment planning tool. Results: We compared the RBE and RBE-weighted dose (RWD) distributions of different carbon ion treatment scenarios with and without nuclear fragments. The inclusion of fragments in the simulations led to smaller RBE predictions. A validation of RMF against measured cell survival data reported in published studies showed reasonable agreement. We calculated and optimized the RWD distributions on patient data and compared the RMF predictions with those from other biological models. The RBE values in an astrocytoma tumor ranged from 2.2 to 4.9 (mean 2.8) for a RWD of 3 Gy(RBE) assuming (α/β){sub X} = 2 Gy. Conclusions: These studies provide new information to quantify and assess uncertainties in the clinically relevant RBE values for carbon ion therapy based on biophysical mechanisms. We present results from

  6. Gradient matching methods for computational inference in mechanistic models for systems biology: a review and comparative analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benn eMacdonald

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Parameter inference in mathematical models of biological pathways, expressed as coupled ordinary differential equations (ODEs, is a challenging problem in contemporary systems biology. Conventional methods involve repeatedly solving the ODEs by numerical integration, which is computationally onerous and does not scale up to complex systems. Aimed at reducing the computational costs, new concepts based on gradient matching have recently been proposed in the computational statistics and machine learning literature. In a preliminary smoothing step, the time series data are interpolated; then, in a second step, the parameters of the ODEs are optimised so as to minimise some metric measuring the difference between the slopes of the tangents to the interpolants, and the time derivatives from the ODEs. In this way, the ODEs never have to be solved explicitly. This review provides a concise methodological overview of the current state-of-the-art methods for gradient matching in ODEs, followed by an empirical comparative evaluation based on a set of widely used and representative benchmark data.

  7. Biological and Mechanistic Characterization of Novel Prodrugs of Green Tea Polyphenol Epigallocatechin Gallate Analogs in Human Leiomyoma Cell Lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Reda Saber Ibrahim; Liu, Gang; Renzetti, Andrea; Farshi, Pershang; Yang, Huanjie; Soave, Claire; Saed, Ghassan; El-Ghoneimy, Ashraf Ahmed; El-Banna, Hossny Awad; Foldes, Robert; Chan, Tak-Hang; Dou, Q Ping

    2016-10-01

    Uterine fibroids (leiomyomas) are very common benign tumors grown on the smooth muscle layer of the uterus, present in up to 75% of reproductive-age women and causing significant morbidity in a subset of this population. Although the etiology and biology of uterine fibroids are unclear, strong evidence supports that cell proliferation, angiogenesis and fibrosis are involved in their formation and growth. Currently the only cure for uterine fibroids is hysterectomy; the available alternative therapies have limitations. Thus, there is an urgent need for developing a novel strategy for treating this condition. The green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) inhibits the growth of uterine leiomyoma cells in vitro and in vivo, and the use of a green tea extract (containing 45% EGCG) has demonstrated clinical activity without side effects in women with symptomatic uterine fibroids. However, EGCG has a number of shortcomings, including low stability, poor bioavailability, and high metabolic transformations under physiological conditions, presenting challenges for its development as a therapeutic agent. We developed a prodrug of EGCG (Pro-EGCG or 1) which shows increased stability, bioavailability and biological activity in vivo as compared to EGCG. We also synthesized prodrugs of EGCG analogs, compounds 2a and 4a, in order to potentially reduce their susceptibility to methylation/inhibition by catechol-O-methyltransferase. Here, we determined the effect of EGCG, Pro-EGCG, and 2a and 4a on cultured human uterine leiomyoma cells, and found that 2a and 4a have potent antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, and antifibrotic activities. J. Cell. Biochem. 117: 2357-2369, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Plausibility and evidence: the case of homeopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutten, Lex; Mathie, Robert T; Fisher, Peter; Goossens, Maria; van Wassenhoven, Michel

    2013-08-01

    Homeopathy is controversial and hotly debated. The conclusions of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials of homeopathy vary from 'comparable to conventional medicine' to 'no evidence of effects beyond placebo'. It is claimed that homeopathy conflicts with scientific laws and that homoeopaths reject the naturalistic outlook, but no evidence has been cited. We are homeopathic physicians and researchers who do not reject the scientific outlook; we believe that examination of the prior beliefs underlying this enduring stand-off can advance the debate. We show that interpretations of the same set of evidence--for homeopathy and for conventional medicine--can diverge. Prior disbelief in homeopathy is rooted in the perceived implausibility of any conceivable mechanism of action. Using the 'crossword analogy', we demonstrate that plausibility bias impedes assessment of the clinical evidence. Sweeping statements about the scientific impossibility of homeopathy are themselves unscientific: scientific statements must be precise and testable. There is growing evidence that homeopathic preparations can exert biological effects; due consideration of such research would reduce the influence of prior beliefs on the assessment of systematic review evidence.

  9. Bisimulation for Single-Agent Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; van Ditmarsch, H.

    2013-01-01

    define a proper notion of bisimulation, and prove that bisimulation corresponds to logical equivalence on image-finite models. We relate our results to other epistemic notions, such as safe belief and degrees of belief. Our results imply that there are only finitely many non-bisimilar single......-agent epistemic plausibility models on a finite set of propositions. This gives decidability for single-agent epistemic plausibility planning....

  10. Anatomically Plausible Surface Alignment and Reconstruction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulsen, Rasmus R.; Larsen, Rasmus

    2010-01-01

    With the increasing clinical use of 3D surface scanners, there is a need for accurate and reliable algorithms that can produce anatomically plausible surfaces. In this paper, a combined method for surface alignment and reconstruction is proposed. It is based on an implicit surface representation...

  11. Spectral Mixing in Nervous Systems: Experimental Evidenceand Biologically Plausible Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinfeld, D.; Mehta, S. B.

    The ability to compute the difference frequency for two periodic signals depends on a nonlinear operation that mixes those signals. Behavioral and psychophysical evidence suggest that such mixing is likely to occur in the vertebrate nervous system as a means to compare rhythmic sensory signals, such as occurs in human audition, and as a means to lock an intrinsic rhythm to a sensory input. Electrophysiological data from electroreceptors in the immobilized electric fish and somatosensory cortex in the anesthetized rat yield direct evidence for such mixing, providing a neurological substrate for the modulation and demodulation of rhythmic neuronal signals. We consider an analytical model of spectral mixing that makes use of the threshold characteristics of neuronal firing and which has features consistent with the experimental observations. This model serves as a guide for constructing circuits that isolate given mixture components. In particular, such circuits can generate nearly pure difference tones from sinusoidal inputs without the use of band-pass filters, in analogy to an image-reject mixer in communications engineering. We speculate that such computations may play a role in coding of sensory input and feedback stabilization of motor output in nervous systems.

  12. Intake and time dependence of blueberry flavonoid-induced improvements in vascular function: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study with mechanistic insights into biological activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Mateos, Ana; Rendeiro, Catarina; Bergillos-Meca, Triana; Tabatabaee, Setareh; George, Trevor W; Heiss, Christian; Spencer, Jeremy Pe

    2013-11-01

    There are very limited data regarding the effects of blueberry flavonoid intake on vascular function in healthy humans. We investigated the impact of blueberry flavonoid intake on endothelial function in healthy men and assessed potential mechanisms of action by the assessment of circulating metabolites and neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity. Two randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover human-intervention trials were conducted with 21 healthy men. Initially, the impact of blueberry flavonoid intake on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and polyphenol absorption and metabolism was assessed at baseline and 1, 2, 4, and 6 h after consumption of blueberry containing 766, 1278, and 1791 mg total blueberry polyphenols or a macronutrient- and micronutrient-matched control drink (0 mg total blueberry polyphenols). Second, an intake-dependence study was conducted (from baseline to 1 h) with 319, 637, 766, 1278, and 1791 mg total blueberry polyphenols and a control. We observed a biphasic time-dependent increase in FMD, with significant increases at 1-2 and 6 h after consumption of blueberry polyphenols. No significant intake-dependence was observed between 766 and 1791 mg. However, at 1 h after consumption, FMD increased dose dependently to ≤766 mg total blueberry polyphenol intake, after which FMD plateaued. Increases in FMD were closely linked to increases in circulating metabolites and by decreases in neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity at 1-2 and 6 h. Blueberry intake acutely improves vascular function in healthy men in a time- and intake-dependent manner. These benefits may be mechanistically linked to the actions of circulating phenolic metabolites on neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01292954 and NCT01829542.

  13. Analytic models of plausible gravitational lens potentials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baltz, Edward A.; Marshall, Phil; Oguri, Masamune

    2009-01-01

    Gravitational lenses on galaxy scales are plausibly modelled as having ellipsoidal symmetry and a universal dark matter density profile, with a Sérsic profile to describe the distribution of baryonic matter. Predicting all lensing effects requires knowledge of the total lens potential: in this work we give analytic forms for that of the above hybrid model. Emphasising that complex lens potentials can be constructed from simpler components in linear combination, we provide a recipe for attaining elliptical symmetry in either projected mass or lens potential. We also provide analytic formulae for the lens potentials of Sérsic profiles for integer and half-integer index. We then present formulae describing the gravitational lensing effects due to smoothly-truncated universal density profiles in cold dark matter model. For our isolated haloes the density profile falls off as radius to the minus fifth or seventh power beyond the tidal radius, functional forms that allow all orders of lens potential derivatives to be calculated analytically, while ensuring a non-divergent total mass. We show how the observables predicted by this profile differ from that of the original infinite-mass NFW profile. Expressions for the gravitational flexion are highlighted. We show how decreasing the tidal radius allows stripped haloes to be modelled, providing a framework for a fuller investigation of dark matter substructure in galaxies and clusters. Finally we remark on the need for finite mass halo profiles when doing cosmological ray-tracing simulations, and the need for readily-calculable higher order derivatives of the lens potential when studying catastrophes in strong lenses

  14. Stages in the development of a model organism as a platform for mechanistic models in developmental biology: Zebrafish, 1970-2000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, Robert

    2012-06-01

    Model organisms became an indispensable part of experimental systems in molecular developmental and cell biology, constructed to investigate physiological and pathological processes. They are thought to play a crucial role for the elucidation of gene function, complementing the sequencing of the genomes of humans and other organisms. Accordingly, historians and philosophers paid considerable attention to various issues concerning this aspect of experimental biology. With respect to the representational features of model organisms, that is, their status as models, the main focus was on generalization of phenomena investigated in such experimental systems. Model organisms have been said to be models for other organisms or a higher taxon. This, however, presupposes a representation of the phenomenon in question. I will argue that prior to generalization, model organisms allow researchers to built generative material models of phenomena - structures, processes or the mechanisms that explain them - through their integration in experimental set-ups that carve out the phenomena from the whole organism and thus represent them. I will use the history of zebrafish biology to show how model organism systems, from around 1970 on, were developed to construct material models of molecular mechanisms explaining developmental or physiological processes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Fractal growth of tumors and other cellular populations: Linking the mechanistic to the phenomenological modeling and vice versa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Onofrio, Alberto

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we study and extend the mechanistic mean field theory of growth of cellular populations proposed by Mombach et al. [Mombach JCM, Lemke N, Bodmann BEJ, Idiart MAP. A mean-field theory of cellular growth. Europhys Lett 2002;59:923-928] (MLBI model), and we demonstrate that the original model and our generalizations lead to inferences of biological interest. In the first part of this paper, we show that the model in study is widely general since it admits, as particular cases, the main phenomenological models of cellular growth. In the second part of this work, we generalize the MLBI model to a wider family of models by allowing the cells to have a generic unspecified biologically plausible interaction. Then, we derive a relationship between this generic microscopic interaction function and the growth rate of the corresponding macroscopic model. Finally, we propose to use this relationship in order to help the investigation of the biological plausibility of phenomenological models of cancer growth.

  16. N-acetylcolchinol O-methyl ether and thiocolchicine, potent analogs of colchicine modified in the C ring. Evaluation of the mechanistic basis for their enhanced biological properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, G.J.; Getahun, Z.; Muzaffar, A.; Brossi, A.; Hamel, E.

    1990-01-01

    Two colchicine analogs with modifications only in the C ring are better inhibitors than colchicine of cell growth and tubulin polymerization. Radiolabeled thiocolchicine (with a thiomethyl instead of a methoxy group at position C-10) and N-acetylcolchinol O-methyl ether (NCME) (with a methoxy-substituted benzenoid instead of the methoxy-substituted tropone C ring) were prepared for comparison with colchicine. Scatchard analysis indicated a single binding site with KD values of 1.0-2.3 microM. Thiocolchicine was bound 2-4 times as rapidly as colchicine, but the activation energies of the reactions were nearly identical (18 kcal/mol for colchicine, 20 kcal/mol for thiocolchicine). NCME bound to tubulin in a biphasic reaction. The faster phase was 60 times as fast as colchicine binding at 37 degrees C, and a substantial reaction occurred at 0 degrees C. The rate of the faster phase of NCME binding changed relatively little as a function of temperature, so the activation energy was only 7.0 kcal/mol. Dissociation reactions were also evaluated, and at 37 degrees C the half-lives of the tubulin-drug complexes were 11 min for NCME, 24 h for thiocolchicine, and 27 h for colchicine. Relative dissociation rates as a function of temperature varied little among the drug complexes. Activation energies for the dissociation reactions were 30 kcal/mol for thiocolchicine, 27 kcal/mol for NCME, and 24 kcal/mol for colchicine. Comparison of the activation energies of association and dissociation yielded free energies for the binding reactions of -20 kcal/mol for NCME, -10 kcal/mol for thiocolchicine, and -6 kcal/mol for colchicine. The greater effectiveness of NCME and thiocolchicine as compared with colchicine in biological assays probably derives from their more rapid binding to tubulin and the lower free energies of their binding reactions

  17. Application of plausible reasoning to AI-based control systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenji, Hamid; Lum, Henry, Jr.

    1987-01-01

    Some current approaches to plausible reasoning in artificial intelligence are reviewed and discussed. Some of the most significant recent advances in plausible and approximate reasoning are examined. A synergism among the techniques of uncertainty management is advocated, and brief discussions on the certainty factor approach, probabilistic approach, Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence, possibility theory, linguistic variables, and fuzzy control are presented. Some extensions to these methods are described, and the applications of the methods are considered.

  18. Pilgrims sailing the Titanic: plausibility effects on memory for misinformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinze, Scott R; Slaten, Daniel G; Horton, William S; Jenkins, Ryan; Rapp, David N

    2014-02-01

    People rely on information they read even when it is inaccurate (Marsh, Meade, & Roediger, Journal of Memory and Language 49:519-536, 2003), but how ubiquitous is this phenomenon? In two experiments, we investigated whether this tendency to encode and rely on inaccuracies from text might be influenced by the plausibility of misinformation. In Experiment 1, we presented stories containing inaccurate plausible statements (e.g., "The Pilgrims' ship was the Godspeed"), inaccurate implausible statements (e.g., . . . the Titanic), or accurate statements (e.g., . . . the Mayflower). On a subsequent test of general knowledge, participants relied significantly less on implausible than on plausible inaccuracies from the texts but continued to rely on accurate information. In Experiment 2, we replicated these results with the addition of a think-aloud procedure to elicit information about readers' noticing and evaluative processes for plausible and implausible misinformation. Participants indicated more skepticism and less acceptance of implausible than of plausible inaccuracies. In contrast, they often failed to notice, completely ignored, and at times even explicitly accepted the misinformation provided by plausible lures. These results offer insight into the conditions under which reliance on inaccurate information occurs and suggest potential mechanisms that may underlie reported misinformation effects.

  19. Testing mechanistic models of growth in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maino, James L; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-11-22

    Insects are typified by their small size, large numbers, impressive reproductive output and rapid growth. However, insect growth is not simply rapid; rather, insects follow a qualitatively distinct trajectory to many other animals. Here we present a mechanistic growth model for insects and show that increasing specific assimilation during the growth phase can explain the near-exponential growth trajectory of insects. The presented model is tested against growth data on 50 insects, and compared against other mechanistic growth models. Unlike the other mechanistic models, our growth model predicts energy reserves per biomass to increase with age, which implies a higher production efficiency and energy density of biomass in later instars. These predictions are tested against data compiled from the literature whereby it is confirmed that insects increase their production efficiency (by 24 percentage points) and energy density (by 4 J mg(-1)) between hatching and the attainment of full size. The model suggests that insects achieve greater production efficiencies and enhanced growth rates by increasing specific assimilation and increasing energy reserves per biomass, which are less costly to maintain than structural biomass. Our findings illustrate how the explanatory and predictive power of mechanistic growth models comes from their grounding in underlying biological processes. © 2015 The Author(s).

  20. Searching for Plausible N-k Contingencies Endangering Voltage Stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weckesser, Johannes Tilman Gabriel; Van Cutsem, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a novel search algorithm using time-domain simulations to identify plausible N − k contingencies endangering voltage stability. Starting from an initial list of disturbances, progressively more severe contingencies are investigated. After simulation of a N − k contingency......, the simulation results are assessed. If the system response is unstable, a plausible harmful contingency sequence has been found. Otherwise, components affected by the contingencies are considered as candidate next event leading to N − (k + 1) contingencies. This implicitly takes into account hidden failures...

  1. A Stochastic Model of Plausibility in Live Virtual Constructive Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-14

    from the model parameters that are inputs to the computer model ( mathematical model) but whose exact values are unknown to experimentalists and...Environments Jeremy R. Millar Follow this and additional works at: https://scholar.afit.edu/etd Part of the Computer Sciences Commons This Dissertation...25 3.3 Computing Plausibility Exceedance Probabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 IV

  2. Endocrine distrupting chemicals and human health: The plausibility ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plausibility of research results on DDT and reproductive health ... cals in the environment and that human health is inextri- cably linked to the health of .... periods of folliculo-genesis or embryo-genesis that increases risk for adverse effects.

  3. Probabilistic reasoning in intelligent systems networks of plausible inference

    CERN Document Server

    Pearl, Judea

    1988-01-01

    Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems is a complete and accessible account of the theoretical foundations and computational methods that underlie plausible reasoning under uncertainty. The author provides a coherent explication of probability as a language for reasoning with partial belief and offers a unifying perspective on other AI approaches to uncertainty, such as the Dempster-Shafer formalism, truth maintenance systems, and nonmonotonic logic. The author distinguishes syntactic and semantic approaches to uncertainty--and offers techniques, based on belief networks, that provid

  4. Generation of Plausible Hurricane Tracks for Preparedness Exercises

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-25

    product kernel. KDE with a beta kernel gene- rates maximum sustained winds, and linear regression simulates minimum central pressure. Maximum significant...the Storm level models the number of waypoints M , birth and death locations w1 and wM , and total number of steps L. The Stage level models the...MATLAB and leverages HURDAT2 to construct data-driven statistical models that can generate plausible yet never-before-seen storm behaviors. For a

  5. Credibility judgments of narratives: language, plausibility, and absorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nahari, Galit; Glicksohn, Joseph; Nachson, Israel

    2010-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted in order to find out whether textual features of narratives differentially affect credibility judgments made by judges having different levels of absorption (a disposition associated with rich visual imagination). Participants in both experiments were exposed to a textual narrative and requested to judge whether the narrator actually experienced the event he described in his story. In Experiment 1, the narrative varied in terms of language (literal, figurative) and plausibility (ordinary, anomalous). In Experiment 2, the narrative varied in terms of language only. The participants' perceptions of the plausibility of the story described and the extent to which they were absorbed in reading were measured. The data from both experiments together suggest that the groups applied entirely different criteria in credibility judgments. For high-absorption individuals, their credibility judgment depends on the degree to which the text can be assimilated into their own vivid imagination, whereas for low-absorption individuals it depends mainly on plausibility. That is, high-absorption individuals applied an experiential mental set while judging the credibility of the narrator, whereas low-absorption individuals applied an instrumental mental set. Possible cognitive mechanisms and implications for credibility judgments are discussed.

  6. "Gum bug, leave my heart alone!"--epidemiologic and mechanistic evidence linking periodontal infections and atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebschull, M; Demmer, R T; Papapanou, P N

    2010-09-01

    Evidence from epidemiologic studies suggests that periodontal infections are independently associated with subclinical and clinical atherosclerotic vascular disease. Although the strength of the reported associations is modest, the consistency of the data across diverse populations and a variety of exposure and outcome variables suggests that the findings are not spurious or attributable only to the effects of confounders. Analysis of limited data from interventional studies suggests that periodontal treatment generally results in favorable effects on subclinical markers of atherosclerosis, although such analysis also indicates considerable heterogeneity in responses. Experimental mechanistic in vitro and in vivo studies have established the plausibility of a link between periodontal infections and atherogenesis, and have identified biological pathways by which these effects may be mediated. However, the utilized models are mostly mono-infections of host cells by a limited number of 'model' periodontal pathogens, and therefore may not adequately portray human periodontitis as a polymicrobial, biofilm-mediated disease. Future research must identify in vivo pathways in humans that may (i) lead to periodontitis-induced atherogenesis, or (ii) result in treatment-induced reduction of atherosclerosis risk. Data from these studies will be essential for determining whether periodontal interventions have a role in the primary or secondary prevention of atherosclerosis.

  7. Phthalates impact human health: Epidemiological evidences and plausible mechanism of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Sailas; Masai, Eiji; Kamimura, Naofumi; Takahashi, Kenji; Anderson, Robin C; Faisal, Panichikkal Abdul

    2017-10-15

    Disregarding the rising alarm on the hazardous nature of various phthalates and their metabolites, ruthless usage of phthalates as plasticizer in plastics and as additives in innumerable consumer products continues due low their cost, attractive properties, and lack of suitable alternatives. Globally, in silico computational, in vitro mechanistic, in vivo preclinical and limited clinical or epidemiological human studies showed that over a dozen phthalates and their metabolites ingested passively by man from the general environment, foods, drinks, breathing air, and routine household products cause various dysfunctions. Thus, this review addresses the health hazards posed by phthalates on children and adolescents, epigenetic modulation, reproductive toxicity in women and men; insulin resistance and type II diabetes; overweight and obesity, skeletal anomalies, allergy and asthma, cancer, etc., coupled with the description of major phthalates and their general uses, phthalate exposure routes, biomonitoring and risk assessment, special account on endocrine disruption; and finally, a plausible molecular cross-talk with a unique mechanism of action. This clinically focused comprehensive review on the hazards of phthalates would benefit the general population, academia, scientists, clinicians, environmentalists, and law or policy makers to decide upon whether usage of phthalates to be continued swiftly without sufficient deceleration or regulated by law or to be phased out from earth forever. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Non-specific effects of vaccines: plausible and potentially important, but implications uncertain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Andrew J; Finn, Adam; Curtis, Nigel

    2017-11-01

    Non-specific effects (NSE) or heterologous effects of vaccines are proposed to explain observations in some studies that certain vaccines have an impact beyond the direct protection against infection with the specific pathogen for which the vaccines were designed. The importance and implications of such effects remain controversial. There are several known immunological mechanisms which could lead to NSE, since it is widely recognised that the generation of specific immunity is initiated by non-specific innate immune mechanisms that may also have wider effects on adaptive immune function. However, there are no published studies that demonstrate a mechanistic link between such immunological phenomena and clinically relevant NSE in humans. While it is highly plausible that some vaccines do have NSE, their magnitude and duration, and thus importance, remain uncertain. Although the WHO recently concluded that current evidence does not justify changes to immunisation policy, further studies of sufficient size and quality are needed to assess the importance of NSE for all-cause mortality. This could provide insights into vaccine immunobiology with important implications for infant health and survival. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  9. Mechanistic Mathematical Modeling Tests Hypotheses of the Neurovascular Coupling in fMRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Lundengård

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI measures brain activity by detecting the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD response to neural activity. The BOLD response depends on the neurovascular coupling, which connects cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, and deoxyhemoglobin level to neuronal activity. The exact mechanisms behind this neurovascular coupling are not yet fully investigated. There are at least three different ways in which these mechanisms are being discussed. Firstly, mathematical models involving the so-called Balloon model describes the relation between oxygen metabolism, cerebral blood volume, and cerebral blood flow. However, the Balloon model does not describe cellular and biochemical mechanisms. Secondly, the metabolic feedback hypothesis, which is based on experimental findings on metabolism associated with brain activation, and thirdly, the neurotransmitter feed-forward hypothesis which describes intracellular pathways leading to vasoactive substance release. Both the metabolic feedback and the neurotransmitter feed-forward hypotheses have been extensively studied, but only experimentally. These two hypotheses have never been implemented as mathematical models. Here we investigate these two hypotheses by mechanistic mathematical modeling using a systems biology approach; these methods have been used in biological research for many years but never been applied to the BOLD response in fMRI. In the current work, model structures describing the metabolic feedback and the neurotransmitter feed-forward hypotheses were applied to measured BOLD responses in the visual cortex of 12 healthy volunteers. Evaluating each hypothesis separately shows that neither hypothesis alone can describe the data in a biologically plausible way. However, by adding metabolism to the neurotransmitter feed-forward model structure, we obtained a new model structure which is able to fit the estimation data and successfully predict new

  10. Neural networks, nativism, and the plausibility of constructivism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quartz, S R

    1993-09-01

    Recent interest in PDP (parallel distributed processing) models is due in part to the widely held belief that they challenge many of the assumptions of classical cognitive science. In the domain of language acquisition, for example, there has been much interest in the claim that PDP models might undermine nativism. Related arguments based on PDP learning have also been given against Fodor's anti-constructivist position--a position that has contributed to the widespread dismissal of constructivism. A limitation of many of the claims regarding PDP learning, however, is that the principles underlying this learning have not been rigorously characterized. In this paper, I examine PDP models from within the framework of Valiant's PAC (probably approximately correct) model of learning, now the dominant model in machine learning, and which applies naturally to neural network learning. From this perspective, I evaluate the implications of PDP models for nativism and Fodor's influential anti-constructivist position. In particular, I demonstrate that, contrary to a number of claims, PDP models are nativist in a robust sense. I also demonstrate that PDP models actually serve as a good illustration of Fodor's anti-constructivist position. While these results may at first suggest that neural network models in general are incapable of the sort of concept acquisition that is required to refute Fodor's anti-constructivist position, I suggest that there is an alternative form of neural network learning that demonstrates the plausibility of constructivism. This alternative form of learning is a natural interpretation of the constructivist position in terms of neural network learning, as it employs learning algorithms that incorporate the addition of structure in addition to weight modification schemes. By demonstrating that there is a natural and plausible interpretation of constructivism in terms of neural network learning, the position that nativism is the only plausible model of

  11. The ethical plausibility of the 'Right To Try' laws.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrieri, D; Peccatori, F A; Boniolo, G

    2018-02-01

    'Right To Try' (RTT) laws originated in the USA to allow terminally ill patients to request access to early stage experimental medical products directly from the producer, removing the oversight and approval of the Food and Drug Administration. These laws have received significant media attention and almost equally unanimous criticism by the bioethics, clinical and scientific communities. They touch indeed on complex issues such as the conflict between individual and public interest, and the public understanding of medical research and its regulation. The increased awareness around RTT laws means that healthcare providers directly involved in the management of patients with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, infective, or neurologic conditions will deal more frequently with patients' requests of access to experimental medical products. This paper aims to assess the ethical plausibility of the RTT laws, and to suggest some possible ethical tools and considerations to address the main issues they touch. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Plausible scenarios for the radiography profession in Sweden in 2025

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Björkman, B.; Fridell, K.; Tavakol Olofsson, P.

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Radiography is a healthcare speciality with many technical challenges. Advances in engineering and information technology applications may continue to drive and be driven by radiographers. The world of diagnostic imaging is changing rapidly and radiographers must be proactive in order to survive. To ensure sustainable development, organisations have to identify future opportunities and threats in a timely manner and incorporate them into their strategic planning. Hence, the aim of this study was to analyse and describe plausible scenarios for the radiography profession in 2025. Method: The study has a qualitative design with an inductive approach based on focus group interviews. The interviews were inspired by the Scenario-Planning method. Results: Of the seven trends identified in a previous study, the radiographers considered two as the most uncertain scenarios that would have the greatest impact on the profession should they occur. These trends, labelled “Access to career advancement” and “A sufficient number of radiographers”, were inserted into the scenario cross. The resulting four plausible future scenarios were: The happy radiographer, the specialist radiographer, the dying profession and the assembly line. Conclusion: It is suggested that “The dying profession” scenario could probably be turned in the opposite direction by facilitating career development opportunities for radiographers within the profession. Changing the direction would probably lead to a profession composed of “happy radiographers” who are specialists, proud of their profession and competent to carry out advanced tasks, in contrast to being solely occupied by “the assembly line”. - Highlights: • The world of radiography is changing rapidly and radiographers must be proactive in order to survive. • Future opportunities and threats should be identified and incorporated into the strategic planning. • Appropriate actions can probably change the

  13. Why did Jacques Monod make the choice of mechanistic determinism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loison, Laurent

    2015-06-01

    The development of molecular biology placed in the foreground a mechanistic and deterministic conception of the functioning of macromolecules. In this article, I show that this conception was neither obvious, nor necessary. Taking Jacques Monod as a case study, I detail the way he gradually came loose from a statistical understanding of determinism to finally support a mechanistic understanding. The reasons of the choice made by Monod at the beginning of the 1950s can be understood only in the light of the general theoretical schema supported by the concept of mechanistic determinism. This schema articulates three fundamental notions for Monod, namely that of the rigidity of the sequence of the genetic program, that of the intrinsic stability of macromolecules (DNA and proteins), and that of the specificity of molecular interactions. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Cognitive science as an interface between rational and mechanistic explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chater, Nick

    2014-04-01

    Cognitive science views thought as computation; and computation, by its very nature, can be understood in both rational and mechanistic terms. In rational terms, a computation solves some information processing problem (e.g., mapping sensory information into a description of the external world; parsing a sentence; selecting among a set of possible actions). In mechanistic terms, a computation corresponds to causal chain of events in a physical device (in engineering context, a silicon chip; in biological context, the nervous system). The discipline is thus at the interface between two very different styles of explanation--as the papers in the current special issue well illustrate, it explores the interplay of rational and mechanistic forces. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  15. Plausible inference: A multi-valued logic for problem solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, L.

    1979-01-01

    A new logic is developed which permits continuously variable strength of belief in the truth of assertions. Four inference rules result, with formal logic as a limiting case. Quantification of belief is defined. Propagation of belief to linked assertions results from dependency-based techniques of truth maintenance so that local consistency is achieved or contradiction discovered in problem solving. Rules for combining, confirming, or disconfirming beliefs are given, and several heuristics are suggested that apply to revising already formed beliefs in the light of new evidence. The strength of belief that results in such revisions based on conflicting evidence are a highly subjective phenomenon. Certain quantification rules appear to reflect an orderliness in the subjectivity. Several examples of reasoning by plausible inference are given, including a legal example and one from robot learning. Propagation of belief takes place in directions forbidden in formal logic and this results in conclusions becoming possible for a given set of assertions that are not reachable by formal logic.

  16. Liderazgo preventivo para la universidad. Una experiencia plausible

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Rodríguez Rodríguez

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available El desarrollo del liderazgo, en el ámbito educativo superior, busca soluciones de aplicación inmediata a contextos en que todo líder se desenvuelve, pero se diluye el sustento teórico-práctico en la formación del líder que posibilite entender los procesos intelectivos durante la toma de decisiones. El paradigma de convergencia entre el método antropológico lonerganiano, la comunidad de aprendizaje vygotskiana y una relectura del sistema preventivo salesiano se presentan como propuesta plausible de formación al liderazgo preventivo entre los diversos actores de una comunidad universitaria. Un estudio de caso de la Universidad Salesiana en México empleando un método mixto de investigación, facilita una relectura del liderazgo desde una óptica preventiva como posibilidad de convergencia en un diálogo interdisciplinar. Los resultados teórico-práctico propuestos y examinados se muestran como herramienta útil para evaluar, enriquecer y renovar la teoría sobre el líder y el desarrollo de liderazgo en las universidades frente a una sociedad globalizada.

  17. Improving the International Agency for Research on Cancer's consideration of mechanistic evidence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goodman, Julie; Lynch, Heather

    2017-01-01

    Background: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently developed a framework for evaluating mechanistic evidence that includes a list of 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. This framework is useful for identifying and organizing large bodies of literature on carcinogenic mechanisms, but it lacks sufficient guidance for conducting evaluations that fully integrate mechanistic evidence into hazard assessments. Objectives: We summarize the framework, and suggest approaches to strengthen the evaluation of mechanistic evidence using this framework. Discussion: While the framework is useful for organizing mechanistic evidence, its lack of guidance for implementation limits its utility for understanding human carcinogenic potential. Specifically, it does not include explicit guidance for evaluating the biological significance of mechanistic endpoints, inter- and intra-individual variability, or study quality and relevance. It also does not explicitly address how mechanistic evidence should be integrated with other realms of evidence. Because mechanistic evidence is critical to understanding human cancer hazards, we recommend that IARC develop transparent and systematic guidelines for the use of this framework so that mechanistic evidence will be evaluated and integrated in a robust manner, and concurrently with other realms of evidence, to reach a final human cancer hazard conclusion. Conclusions: IARC does not currently provide a standardized approach to evaluating mechanistic evidence. Incorporating the recommendations discussed here will make IARC analyses of mechanistic evidence more transparent, and lead to assessments of cancer hazards that reflect the weight of the scientific evidence and allow for scientifically defensible decision-making. - Highlights: • IARC has a revised framework for evaluating literature on carcinogenic mechanisms. • The framework is based on 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. • IARC should develop transparent

  18. Improving the International Agency for Research on Cancer's consideration of mechanistic evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goodman, Julie, E-mail: jgoodman@gradientcorp.com; Lynch, Heather

    2017-03-15

    Background: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently developed a framework for evaluating mechanistic evidence that includes a list of 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. This framework is useful for identifying and organizing large bodies of literature on carcinogenic mechanisms, but it lacks sufficient guidance for conducting evaluations that fully integrate mechanistic evidence into hazard assessments. Objectives: We summarize the framework, and suggest approaches to strengthen the evaluation of mechanistic evidence using this framework. Discussion: While the framework is useful for organizing mechanistic evidence, its lack of guidance for implementation limits its utility for understanding human carcinogenic potential. Specifically, it does not include explicit guidance for evaluating the biological significance of mechanistic endpoints, inter- and intra-individual variability, or study quality and relevance. It also does not explicitly address how mechanistic evidence should be integrated with other realms of evidence. Because mechanistic evidence is critical to understanding human cancer hazards, we recommend that IARC develop transparent and systematic guidelines for the use of this framework so that mechanistic evidence will be evaluated and integrated in a robust manner, and concurrently with other realms of evidence, to reach a final human cancer hazard conclusion. Conclusions: IARC does not currently provide a standardized approach to evaluating mechanistic evidence. Incorporating the recommendations discussed here will make IARC analyses of mechanistic evidence more transparent, and lead to assessments of cancer hazards that reflect the weight of the scientific evidence and allow for scientifically defensible decision-making. - Highlights: • IARC has a revised framework for evaluating literature on carcinogenic mechanisms. • The framework is based on 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. • IARC should develop transparent

  19. Structure before meaning: sentence processing, plausibility, and subcategorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kizach, Johannes; Nyvad, Anne Mette; Christensen, Ken Ramshøj

    2013-01-01

    Natural language processing is a fast and automatized process. A crucial part of this process is parsing, the online incremental construction of a syntactic structure. The aim of this study was to test whether a wh-filler extracted from an embedded clause is initially attached as the object of the matrix verb with subsequent reanalysis, and if so, whether the plausibility of such an attachment has an effect on reaction time. Finally, we wanted to examine whether subcategorization plays a role. We used a method called G-Maze to measure response time in a self-paced reading design. The experiments confirmed that there is early attachment of fillers to the matrix verb. When this attachment is implausible, the off-line acceptability of the whole sentence is significantly reduced. The on-line results showed that G-Maze was highly suited for this type of experiment. In accordance with our predictions, the results suggest that the parser ignores (or has no access to information about) implausibility and attaches fillers as soon as possible to the matrix verb. However, the results also show that the parser uses the subcategorization frame of the matrix verb. In short, the parser ignores semantic information and allows implausible attachments but adheres to information about which type of object a verb can take, ensuring that the parser does not make impossible attachments. We argue that the evidence supports a syntactic parser informed by syntactic cues, rather than one guided by semantic cues or one that is blind, or completely autonomous.

  20. Structure before meaning: sentence processing, plausibility, and subcategorization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Kizach

    Full Text Available Natural language processing is a fast and automatized process. A crucial part of this process is parsing, the online incremental construction of a syntactic structure. The aim of this study was to test whether a wh-filler extracted from an embedded clause is initially attached as the object of the matrix verb with subsequent reanalysis, and if so, whether the plausibility of such an attachment has an effect on reaction time. Finally, we wanted to examine whether subcategorization plays a role. We used a method called G-Maze to measure response time in a self-paced reading design. The experiments confirmed that there is early attachment of fillers to the matrix verb. When this attachment is implausible, the off-line acceptability of the whole sentence is significantly reduced. The on-line results showed that G-Maze was highly suited for this type of experiment. In accordance with our predictions, the results suggest that the parser ignores (or has no access to information about implausibility and attaches fillers as soon as possible to the matrix verb. However, the results also show that the parser uses the subcategorization frame of the matrix verb. In short, the parser ignores semantic information and allows implausible attachments but adheres to information about which type of object a verb can take, ensuring that the parser does not make impossible attachments. We argue that the evidence supports a syntactic parser informed by syntactic cues, rather than one guided by semantic cues or one that is blind, or completely autonomous.

  1. The Processing of Biologically Plausible and Implausible forms in American Sign Language: Evidence for Perceptual Tuning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language (ASL) signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality.

  2. Protein Intake and Muscle Health in Old Age: From Biological Plausibility to Clinical Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Landi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The provision of sufficient amounts of dietary proteins is central to muscle health as it ensures the supply of essential amino acids and stimulates protein synthesis. Older persons, in particular, are at high risk of insufficient protein ingestion. Furthermore, the current recommended dietary allowance for protein (0.8 g/kg/day might be inadequate for maintaining muscle health in older adults, probably as a consequence of “anabolic resistance” in aged muscle. Older individuals therefore need to ingest a greater quantity of protein to maintain muscle function. The quality of protein ingested is also essential to promoting muscle health. Given the role of leucine as the master dietary regulator of muscle protein turnover, the ingestion of protein sources enriched with this essential amino acid, or its metabolite β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, is thought to offer the greatest benefit in terms of preservation of muscle mass and function in old age.

  3. On the Biological Plausibility of Grandmother Cells: Implications for Neural Network Theories in Psychology and Neuroscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Jeffrey S.

    2009-01-01

    A fundamental claim associated with parallel distributed processing (PDP) theories of cognition is that knowledge is coded in a distributed manner in mind and brain. This approach rejects the claim that knowledge is coded in a localist fashion, with words, objects, and simple concepts (e.g. "dog"), that is, coded with their own dedicated…

  4. Cannabis and psychosis: an update on course and biological plausible mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linszen, Don; van Amelsvoort, Therese

    2007-01-01

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cannabis use is the most commonly abused illicit substance. Its relation with psychosis remains a topic of debate. Epidemiological studies suggest that cannabis is a component cause accounting for approximately 10% of cases. An increasing number of studies have been published on

  5. Anticholinergic drugs and negative outcomes in the older population: from biological plausibility to clinical evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collamati, Agnese; Martone, Anna Maria; Poscia, Andrea; Brandi, Vincenzo; Celi, Michela; Marzetti, Emanuele; Cherubini, Antonio; Landi, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The use of medication with anticholinergic properties is widespread among older subjects. Many drugs of common use such as antispasmodics, bronchodilators, antiarrhythmics, antihistamines, anti-hypertensive drugs, antiparkinson agents, skeletal muscle relaxants, and psychotropic drugs have been demonstrated to have an anticholinergic activity. The most frequent adverse effects are dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, urinary retention, blurred vision, tachycardia and neurologic impairment such as confusion, agitation and coma. A growing evidence from experimental studies and clinical observations suggests that drugs with anticholinergic properties can cause physical and mental impairment in the elderly population. However, the morbidity and management issues associated with unwanted anticholinergic activity are underestimated and frequently overlooked. Moreover, their possible relation with specific negative outcome in the elderly population is still not firmly established. The aim of the present review was to evaluate the relationship between the use of drugs with anticholinergic activity and negative outcomes in older persons. We searched PubMed and Cochrane combining the search terms "anticholinergic", "delirium", "cognitive impairment", "falls", "mortality" and "discontinuation". Medicines with anticholinergic properties may increase the risks of functional and cognitive decline, morbidity, institutionalization and mortality in older people. However, such evidences are still not conclusive probably due to possible confounding factors. In particular, more studies are needed to investigate the effects of discontinuation of drug with anticholinergic properties. Overall, minimizing anticholinergic burden should always be encouraged in clinical practice to improve short-term memory, confusion and delirium, quality of life and daily functioning.

  6. Detection of Low-order Curves in Images using Biologically-plausible Hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-29

    the intersections of iso-eccentricity and iso-polar contours were entered into the computer via a graphics tablet . In regions where there was...functional mri . Cerebral Cortex, 7:181 – 192, 1997. [25] Jacob Feldman. Bayesian contour integration. Perception and Psychophysics, 63:1171 – 1182, 2001. [26

  7. A plausible neural circuit for decision making and its formation based on reinforcement learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hui; Dai, Dawei; Bu, Yijie

    2017-06-01

    A human's, or lower insects', behavior is dominated by its nervous system. Each stable behavior has its own inner steps and control rules, and is regulated by a neural circuit. Understanding how the brain influences perception, thought, and behavior is a central mandate of neuroscience. The phototactic flight of insects is a widely observed deterministic behavior. Since its movement is not stochastic, the behavior should be dominated by a neural circuit. Based on the basic firing characteristics of biological neurons and the neural circuit's constitution, we designed a plausible neural circuit for this phototactic behavior from logic perspective. The circuit's output layer, which generates a stable spike firing rate to encode flight commands, controls the insect's angular velocity when flying. The firing pattern and connection type of excitatory and inhibitory neurons are considered in this computational model. We simulated the circuit's information processing using a distributed PC array, and used the real-time average firing rate of output neuron clusters to drive a flying behavior simulation. In this paper, we also explored how a correct neural decision circuit is generated from network flow view through a bee's behavior experiment based on the reward and punishment feedback mechanism. The significance of this study: firstly, we designed a neural circuit to achieve the behavioral logic rules by strictly following the electrophysiological characteristics of biological neurons and anatomical facts. Secondly, our circuit's generality permits the design and implementation of behavioral logic rules based on the most general information processing and activity mode of biological neurons. Thirdly, through computer simulation, we achieved new understanding about the cooperative condition upon which multi-neurons achieve some behavioral control. Fourthly, this study aims in understanding the information encoding mechanism and how neural circuits achieve behavior control

  8. Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA): piloting ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: Modem methods in molecular biology and advanced computational tools show promise in elucidating complex interactions that occur between genes and environmental factors in diseases such as asthma; however appropriately designed studies are critical for these methods to reach their full potential. Objective: We used a case-control study to investigate whether genomic data (blood gene expression), viewed together with a spectrum of exposure effects and susceptibility markers (blood, urine and nail), can provide a mechanistic explanation for the increased susceptibility of asthmatics to ambient air pollutants. Methods: We studied 205 non-asthmatic and asthmatic children, (9-12 years of age) who participated in a clinical study in Detroit, Michigan. The study combines a traditional epidemiological design with an integrative approach to investigate the environmental exposure of children to indoor-outdoor air. The study includes measurements of internal dose (metals, allergen specific IgE, PAH and VOC metabolites) and clinical measures of health outcome (immunological, cardiovascular and respiratory). Results: Expected immunological indications of asthma have been obtained. In addition, initial results from our analyses point to the complex nature of childhood health and risk factors linked to metabolic syndrome (obesity, blood pressure and dyslipidemia). For example, 31% and 34% of the asthmatic MICA subjects were either overweight (BMI > 25) o

  9. Rational and Mechanistic Perspectives on Reinforcement Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chater, Nick

    2009-01-01

    This special issue describes important recent developments in applying reinforcement learning models to capture neural and cognitive function. But reinforcement learning, as a theoretical framework, can apply at two very different levels of description: "mechanistic" and "rational." Reinforcement learning is often viewed in mechanistic terms--as…

  10. Nutritional links to plausible mechanisms underlying pancreatic cancer: a conference report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hine, R Jean; Srivastava, Sudhir; Milner, John A; Ross, Sharon A

    2003-11-01

    Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is one of most catastrophic and least understood of cancers. Evidence from clinical studies indicates that the development of pancreas cancer progresses over many years before symptoms appear. Most people with pancreatic cancer die within six months of diagnosis. The lack of early disease markers, the paucity of direct subject/patient interview data and limited availability of high quality biological samples have slowed progress toward identifying environmental and genetic disease risk factors. Much remains to be learned about the development of pancreatic cancer and about potential interventions for disease prevention. Epidemiological and mechanistic studies examining risk factors for pancreatic cancer supply little consistent or strong evidence to provide a cohesive prevention strategy for this cancer, but offer clues for future research concerning the prevention and early detection of this devastating disease. This Executive Summary provides background discussion on pancreatic cancer and summaries of each of the topics discussed at the workshop, including 1) Molecular aspects, 2) Dietary and other risk factors for pancreatic cancer, 3) The metabolic hypothesis for pancreatic cancer, 4) Preclinical studies on pancreatic cancer, 5) Methylation, 6) Oxidative stress and 7) Biomarker Profiling. This document also contains a compilation of recommendations for future research, concluding remarks, a list of speakers and participants attending the workshop, and a selection of key references to aid future research into nutritional links to mechanisms underlying pancreas cancer. The recommendations section suggests gaps in current knowledge and articulates future directions for this area of investigation.

  11. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-11-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's cognitive plausibility. We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition model can aim to be cognitively plausible in multiple ways. We discuss these cognitive plausibility checkpoints generally and then apply them to a case study in word segmentation, investigating a promising Bayesian segmentation strategy. We incorporate cognitive plausibility by using an age-appropriate unit of perceptual representation, evaluating the model output in terms of its utility, and incorporating cognitive constraints into the inference process. Our more cognitively plausible model shows a beneficial effect of cognitive constraints on segmentation performance. One interpretation of this effect is as a synergy between the naive theories of language structure that infants may have and the cognitive constraints that limit the fidelity of their inference processes, where less accurate inference approximations are better when the underlying assumptions about how words are generated are less accurate. More generally, these results highlight the utility of incorporating cognitive plausibility more fully into computational models of language acquisition. Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  12. Bio-physically plausible visualization of highly scattering fluorescent neocortical models for in silico experimentation

    KAUST Repository

    Abdellah, Marwan

    2017-02-15

    Background We present a visualization pipeline capable of accurate rendering of highly scattering fluorescent neocortical neuronal models. The pipeline is mainly developed to serve the computational neurobiology community. It allows the scientists to visualize the results of their virtual experiments that are performed in computer simulations, or in silico. The impact of the presented pipeline opens novel avenues for assisting the neuroscientists to build biologically accurate models of the brain. These models result from computer simulations of physical experiments that use fluorescence imaging to understand the structural and functional aspects of the brain. Due to the limited capabilities of the current visualization workflows to handle fluorescent volumetric datasets, we propose a physically-based optical model that can accurately simulate light interaction with fluorescent-tagged scattering media based on the basic principles of geometric optics and Monte Carlo path tracing. We also develop an automated and efficient framework for generating dense fluorescent tissue blocks from a neocortical column model that is composed of approximately 31000 neurons. Results Our pipeline is used to visualize a virtual fluorescent tissue block of 50 μm3 that is reconstructed from the somatosensory cortex of juvenile rat. The fluorescence optical model is qualitatively analyzed and validated against experimental emission spectra of different fluorescent dyes from the Alexa Fluor family. Conclusion We discussed a scientific visualization pipeline for creating images of synthetic neocortical neuronal models that are tagged virtually with fluorescent labels on a physically-plausible basis. The pipeline is applied to analyze and validate simulation data generated from neuroscientific in silico experiments.

  13. Membrane Binding of Recoverin: From Mechanistic Understanding to Biological Functionality

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Timr, Štěpán; Pleskot, Roman; Kadlec, Jan; Kohagen, Miriam; Magarkar, Aniket; Jungwirth, Pavel

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 8 (2017), s. 868-874 ISSN 2374-7943 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP208/12/G016 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : recoverin * membrane * myristoyl * molecular dynamics Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry Impact factor: 7.481, year: 2016 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acscentsci.7b00210

  14. Mechanistic modeling for mammography screening risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bijwaard, Harmen

    2008-01-01

    Full text: Western populations show a very high incidence of breast cancer and in many countries mammography screening programs have been set up for the early detection of these cancers. Through these programs large numbers of women (in the Netherlands, 700.000 per year) are exposed to low but not insignificant X-ray doses. ICRP based risk estimates indicate that the number of breast cancer casualties due to mammography screening can be as high as 50 in the Netherlands per year. The number of lives saved is estimated to be much higher, but for an accurate calculation of the benefits of screening a better estimate of these risks is indispensable. Here it is attempted to better quantify the radiological risks of mammography screening through the application of a biologically based model for breast tumor induction by X-rays. The model is applied to data obtained from the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. These concern epidemiological data of female TB patients who received high X-ray breast doses in the period 1930-1950 through frequent fluoroscopy of their lungs. The mechanistic model that is used to describe the increased breast cancer incidence is based on an earlier study by Moolgavkar et al. (1980), in which the natural background incidence of breast cancer was modeled. The model allows for a more sophisticated extrapolation of risks to the low dose X-ray exposures that are common in mammography screening and to the higher ages that are usually involved. Furthermore, it allows for risk transfer to other (non-western) populations. The results have implications for decisions on the frequency of screening, the number of mammograms taken at each screening, minimum and maximum ages for screening and the transfer to digital equipment. (author)

  15. Stereotyping to infer group membership creates plausible deniability for prejudice-based aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, William T L; Devine, Patricia G

    2014-02-01

    In the present study, participants administered painful electric shocks to an unseen male opponent who was either explicitly labeled as gay or stereotypically implied to be gay. Identifying the opponent with a gay-stereotypic attribute produced a situation in which the target's group status was privately inferred but plausibly deniable to others. To test the plausible deniability hypothesis, we examined aggression levels as a function of internal (personal) and external (social) motivation to respond without prejudice. Whether plausible deniability was present or absent, participants high in internal motivation aggressed at low levels, and participants low in both internal and external motivation aggressed at high levels. The behavior of participants low in internal and high in external motivation, however, depended on experimental condition. They aggressed at low levels when observers could plausibly attribute their behavior to prejudice and aggressed at high levels when the situation granted plausible deniability. This work has implications for both obstacles to and potential avenues for prejudice-reduction efforts.

  16. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  17. High School Students' Evaluations, Plausibility (Re) Appraisals, and Knowledge about Topics in Earth Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Doug; Bickel, Elliot S.; Bailey, Janelle M.; Burrell, Shondricka

    2018-01-01

    Evaluation is an important aspect of science and is receiving increasing attention in science education. The present study investigated (1) changes to plausibility judgments and knowledge as a result of a series of instructional scaffolds, called model-evidence link activities, that facilitated evaluation of scientific and alternative models in…

  18. Preview Effects of Plausibility and Character Order in Reading Chinese Transposed Words: Evidence from Eye Movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jinmian

    2013-01-01

    The current paper examined the role of plausibility information in the parafovea for Chinese readers by using two-character transposed words (in which the order of the component characters is reversed but are still words). In two eye-tracking experiments, readers received a preview of a target word that was (1) identical to the target word, (2) a…

  19. The Radical Promise of Reformist Zeal: What Makes "Inquiry for Equity" Plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lashaw, Amanda

    2010-01-01

    Education reform movements often promise more than they deliver. Why are such promises plausible in light of seemingly perpetual education reform? Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork based in a nonprofit education reform organization, this article explores the appeal of popular notions about "using data to close the racial achievement…

  20. Mechanistic model for microbial growth on hydrocarbons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mallee, F M; Blanch, H W

    1977-12-01

    Based on available information describing the transport and consumption of insoluble alkanes, a mechanistic model is proposed for microbial growth on hydrocarbons. The model describes the atypical growth kinetics observed, and has implications in the design of large scale equipment for single cell protein (SCP) manufacture from hydrocarbons. The model presents a framework for comparison of the previously published experimental kinetic data.

  1. Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) Study has been designed to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies to examine the physiological and environmental factors that interact to increase the risk of asthmatic responses. MICA is primarily a clinically-bases obser...

  2. Mechanistic aspects of ionic reactions in flames

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Egsgaard, H.; Carlsen, L.

    1993-01-01

    Some fundamentals of the ion chemistry of flames are summarized. Mechanistic aspects of ionic reactions in flames have been studied using a VG PlasmaQuad, the ICP-system being substituted by a simple quartz burner. Simple hydrocarbon flames as well as sulfur-containing flames have been investigated...

  3. Mechanistic modelling of genetic and epigenetic events in radiation carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreev, S. G.; Eidelman, Y. A.; Salnikov, I. V.; Khvostunov, I. K.

    2006-01-01

    Methodological problems arise on the way of radiation carcinogenesis modelling with the incorporation of radiobiological and cancer biology mechanistic data. The results of biophysical modelling of different endpoints [DNA DSB induction, repair, chromosome aberrations (CA) and cell proliferation] are presented and applied to the analysis of RBE-LET relationships for radiation-induced neoplastic transformation (RINT) of C3H/10T1/2 cells in culture. Predicted values for some endpoints correlate well with the data. It is concluded that slowly repaired DSB clusters, as well as some kind of CA, may be initiating events for RINT. As an alternative interpretation, it is possible that DNA damage can induce RINT indirectly via epigenetic process. A hypothetical epigenetic pathway for RINT is discussed. (authors)

  4. From information processing to decisions: Formalizing and comparing psychologically plausible choice models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Daniel W; Hilbig, Benjamin E; Moshagen, Morten

    2017-08-01

    Decision strategies explain how people integrate multiple sources of information to make probabilistic inferences. In the past decade, increasingly sophisticated methods have been developed to determine which strategy explains decision behavior best. We extend these efforts to test psychologically more plausible models (i.e., strategies), including a new, probabilistic version of the take-the-best (TTB) heuristic that implements a rank order of error probabilities based on sequential processing. Within a coherent statistical framework, deterministic and probabilistic versions of TTB and other strategies can directly be compared using model selection by minimum description length or the Bayes factor. In an experiment with inferences from given information, only three of 104 participants were best described by the psychologically plausible, probabilistic version of TTB. Similar as in previous studies, most participants were classified as users of weighted-additive, a strategy that integrates all available information and approximates rational decisions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Of paradox and plausibility: the dynamic of change in medical law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, John

    2014-01-01

    This article develops a model of change in medical law. Drawing on systems theory, it argues that medical law participates in a dynamic of 'deparadoxification' and 'reparadoxification' whereby the underlying contingency of the law is variously concealed through plausible argumentation, or revealed by critical challenge. Medical law is, thus, thoroughly rhetorical. An examination of the development of the law on abortion and on the sterilization of incompetent adults shows that plausibility is achieved through the deployment of substantive common sense and formal stylistic devices. It is undermined where these elements are shown to be arbitrary and constructed. In conclusion, it is argued that the politics of medical law are constituted by this antagonistic process of establishing and challenging provisionally stable normative regimes. © The Author [2014]. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. L’Analyse du Risque Géopolitique: du Plausible au Probable

    OpenAIRE

    Adib Bencherif

    2015-01-01

    This paper is going to explore the logical process behind risk analysis, particularly in geopolitics. The main goal is to demonstrate the ambiguities behind risk calculation and to highlight the continuum between plausibility and probability in risk analysis. To demonstrate it, the author introduces two notions: the inference of abduction, often neglected in the social sciences literature, and the Bayesian calculation. Inspired by the works of Louise Amoore, this paper tries to go further by ...

  7. Resolution of cosmological singularity and a plausible mechanism of the big bang

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhury, D.C.

    2002-01-01

    The initial cosmological singularity in the framework of the general theory of relativity is resolved by introducing the effect of the uncertainty principle of quantum theory without violating conventional laws of physics. A plausible account of the mechanism of the big bang, analogous to that of a nuclear explosion, is given and the currently accepted Planck temperature of ≅10 32 K at the beginning of the big bang is predicted

  8. Conceptual models for waste tank mechanistic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allemann, R.T.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Eyler, L.L.; Liljegren, L.M.; Roberts, J.S.

    1992-02-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is conducting a study for Westinghouse Hanford Company (Westinghouse Hanford), a contractor for the US Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the work is to study possible mechanisms and fluid dynamics contributing to the periodic release of gases from double-shell waste storage tanks at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. This interim report emphasizing the modeling work follows two other interim reports, Mechanistic Analysis of Double-Shell Tank Gas Release Progress Report -- November 1990 and Collection and Analysis of Existing Data for Waste Tank Mechanistic Analysis Progress Report -- December 1990, that emphasized data correlation and mechanisms. The approach in this study has been to assemble and compile data that are pertinent to the mechanisms, analyze the data, evaluate physical properties and parameters, evaluate hypothetical mechanisms, and develop mathematical models of mechanisms

  9. Toward mechanistic classification of enzyme functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almonacid, Daniel E; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2011-06-01

    Classification of enzyme function should be quantitative, computationally accessible, and informed by sequences and structures to enable use of genomic information for functional inference and other applications. Large-scale studies have established that divergently evolved enzymes share conserved elements of structure and common mechanistic steps and that convergently evolved enzymes often converge to similar mechanisms too, suggesting that reaction mechanisms could be used to develop finer-grained functional descriptions than provided by the Enzyme Commission (EC) system currently in use. Here we describe how evolution informs these structure-function mappings and review the databases that store mechanisms of enzyme reactions along with recent developments to measure ligand and mechanistic similarities. Together, these provide a foundation for new classifications of enzyme function. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Supporting Mechanistic Reasoning in Domain-Specific Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinberg, Paul J.

    2017-01-01

    Mechanistic reasoning is an epistemic practice central within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Although there has been some work on mechanistic reasoning in the research literature and standards documents, much of this work targets domain-general characterizations of mechanistic reasoning; this study provides…

  11. Plausibility of stromal initiation of epithelial cancers without a mutation in the epithelium: a computer simulation of morphostats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cappuccio Antonio

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is experimental evidence from animal models favoring the notion that the disruption of interactions between stroma and epithelium plays an important role in the initiation of carcinogenesis. These disrupted interactions are hypothesized to be mediated by molecules, termed morphostats, which diffuse through the tissue to determine cell phenotype and maintain tissue architecture. Methods We developed a computer simulation based on simple properties of cell renewal and morphostats. Results Under the computer simulation, the disruption of the morphostat gradient in the stroma generated epithelial precursors of cancer without any mutation in the epithelium. Conclusion The model is consistent with the possibility that the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes found in tumors could arise after the formation of a founder population of aberrant cells, defined as cells that are created by low or insufficient morphostat levels and that no longer respond to morphostat concentrations. Because the model is biologically plausible, we hope that these results will stimulate further experiments.

  12. Bacterially-Associated Transcriptional Remodelling in a Distinct Genomic Subtype of Colorectal Cancer Provides a Plausible Molecular Basis for Disease Development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie S Lennard

    Full Text Available The relevance of specific microbial colonisation to colorectal cancer (CRC disease pathogenesis is increasingly recognised, but our understanding of possible underlying molecular mechanisms that may link colonisation to disease in vivo remains limited. Here, we investigate the relationships between the most commonly studied CRC-associated bacteria (Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis, pks+ Escherichia coli, Fusobacterium spp., afaC+ E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis & Enteropathogenic E. coli and altered transcriptomic and methylation profiles of CRC patients, in order to gain insight into the potential contribution of these bacteria in the aetiopathogenesis of CRC. We show that colonisation by E. faecalis and high levels of Fusobacterium is associated with a specific transcriptomic subtype of CRC that is characterised by CpG island methylation, microsatellite instability and a significant increase in inflammatory and DNA damage pathways. Analysis of the significant, bacterially-associated changes in host gene expression, both at the level of individual genes as well as pathways, revealed a transcriptional remodeling that provides a plausible mechanistic link between specific bacterial colonisation and colorectal cancer disease development and progression in this subtype; these included upregulation of REG3A, REG1A and REG1P in the case of high-level colonization by Fusobacterium, and CXCL10 and BMI1 in the case of colonisation by E. faecalis. The enrichment of both E. faecalis and Fusobacterium in this CRC subtype suggests that polymicrobial colonisation of the colonic epithelium may well be an important aspect of colonic tumourigenesis.

  13. Comprehensive analysis of schizophrenia-associated loci highlights ion channel pathways and biologically plausible candidate causal genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pers, Tune H; Timshel, Pascal; Ripke, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    Over 100 associated genetic loci have been robustly associated with schizophrenia. Gene prioritization and pathway analysis have focused on a priori hypotheses and thus may have been unduly influenced by prior assumptions and missed important causal genes and pathways. Using a data-driven approac...

  14. Resolution of Cosmological Singularity and a Plausible Mechanism of the Big Bang

    OpenAIRE

    Choudhury, D. C.

    2001-01-01

    The initial cosmological singularity in the framework of the general theory of relativity is resolved by introducing the effect of the uncertainty principle of quantum theory without violating conventional laws of physics. A plausible account of the mechanism of the big bang, analogous to that of a nuclear explosion, is given and the currently accepted Planck temperature of about 10^(32)K at the beginning of the big bang is predicted. Subj-class: cosmology: theory-pre-big bang; mechanism of t...

  15. Mechanistic studies of carbon monoxide reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geoffroy, G.L.

    1990-06-12

    The progress made during the current grant period (1 January 1988--1 April 1990) in three different areas of research is summarized. The research areas are: (1) oxidatively-induced double carbonylation reactions to form {alpha}-ketoacyl complexes and studies of the reactivity of the resulting compounds, (2) mechanistic studies of the carbonylation of nitroaromatics to form isocyanates, carbamates, and ureas, and (3) studies of the formation and reactivity of unusual metallacycles and alkylidene ligands supported on binuclear iron carbonyl fragments. 18 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  16. Mechanistic facility safety and source term analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    PLYS, M.G.

    1999-01-01

    A PC-based computer program was created for facility safety and source term analysis at Hanford The program has been successfully applied to mechanistic prediction of source terms from chemical reactions in underground storage tanks, hydrogen combustion in double contained receiver tanks, and proccss evaluation including the potential for runaway reactions in spent nuclear fuel processing. Model features include user-defined facility room, flow path geometry, and heat conductors, user-defined non-ideal vapor and aerosol species, pressure- and density-driven gas flows, aerosol transport and deposition, and structure to accommodate facility-specific source terms. Example applications are presented here

  17. Melanie Klein's metapsychology: phenomenological and mechanistic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, N

    1981-01-01

    Freud's metapsychology is the subject of an important debate. This is over whether psychoanalysis is best construed as a science of the natural science type or as a special human science. The same debate applies to Melanie Klein's work. In Klein's metapsychology are two different and incompatible models of explanation. One is taken over from Freud's structural theory and appears to be similarly mechanistic. The other is clinically based and phenomenological. These two are discussed with special reference to the concepts of "phantasy" and "internal object".

  18. Rapid Discrimination Among Putative Mechanistic Models of Biochemical Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomnitz, Jason G; Savageau, Michael A

    2016-08-31

    An overarching goal in molecular biology is to gain an understanding of the mechanistic basis underlying biochemical systems. Success is critical if we are to predict effectively the outcome of drug treatments and the development of abnormal phenotypes. However, data from most experimental studies is typically noisy and sparse. This allows multiple potential mechanisms to account for experimental observations, and often devising experiments to test each is not feasible. Here, we introduce a novel strategy that discriminates among putative models based on their repertoire of qualitatively distinct phenotypes, without relying on knowledge of specific values for rate constants and binding constants. As an illustration, we apply this strategy to two synthetic gene circuits exhibiting anomalous behaviors. Our results show that the conventional models, based on their well-characterized components, cannot account for the experimental observations. We examine a total of 40 alternative hypotheses and show that only 5 have the potential to reproduce the experimental data, and one can do so with biologically relevant parameter values.

  19. The Sarrazin effect: the presence of absurd statements in conspiracy theories makes canonical information less plausible.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, Marius Hans; Auer, Nikolas; Ortlieb, Stefan A; Carbon, Claus-Christian

    2013-01-01

    Reptile prime ministers and flying Nazi saucers-extreme and sometimes off-wall conclusion are typical ingredients of conspiracy theories. While individual differences are a common research topic concerning conspiracy theories, the role of extreme statements in the process of acquiring and passing on conspiratorial stories has not been regarded in an experimental design so far. We identified six morphological components of conspiracy theories empirically. On the basis of these content categories a set of narrative elements for a 9/11 story was compiled. These elements varied systematically in terms of conspiratorial allegation, i.e., they contained official statements concerning the events of 9/11, statements alleging to a conspiracy limited in time and space as well as extreme statements indicating an all-encompassing cover-up. Using the method of narrative construction, 30 people were given a set of cards with these statements and asked to construct the course of events of 9/11 they deem most plausible. When extreme statements were present in the set, the resulting stories were more conspiratorial; the number of official statements included in the narrative dropped significantly, whereas the self-assessment of the story's plausibility did not differ between conditions. This indicates that blatant statements in a pool of information foster the synthesis of conspiracy theories on an individual level. By relating these findings to one of Germany's most successful (and controversial) non-fiction books, we refer to the real-world dangers of this effect.

  20. Neural correlates of early-closure garden-path processing: Effects of prosody and plausibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Ouden, Dirk-Bart; Dickey, Michael Walsh; Anderson, Catherine; Christianson, Kiel

    2016-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate neural correlates of early-closure garden-path sentence processing and use of extrasyntactic information to resolve temporary syntactic ambiguities. Sixteen participants performed an auditory picture verification task on sentences presented with natural versus flat intonation. Stimuli included sentences in which the garden-path interpretation was plausible, implausible because of a late pragmatic cue, or implausible because of a semantic mismatch between an optionally transitive verb and the following noun. Natural sentence intonation was correlated with left-hemisphere temporal activation, but also with activation that suggests the allocation of more resources to interpretation when natural prosody is provided. Garden-path processing was associated with upregulation in bilateral inferior parietal and right-hemisphere dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior frontal cortex, while differences between the strength and type of plausibility cues were also reflected in activation patterns. Region of interest (ROI) analyses in regions associated with complex syntactic processing are consistent with a role for posterior temporal cortex supporting access to verb argument structure. Furthermore, ROI analyses within left-hemisphere inferior frontal gyrus suggest a division of labour, with the anterior-ventral part primarily involved in syntactic-semantic mismatch detection, the central part supporting structural reanalysis, and the posterior-dorsal part showing a general structural complexity effect.

  1. Morality Principles for Risk Modelling: Needs and Links with the Origins of Plausible Inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solana-Ortega, Alberto; Solana, Vicente

    2009-12-01

    In comparison with the foundations of probability calculus, the inescapable and controversial issue of how to assign probabilities has only recently become a matter of formal study. The introduction of information as a technical concept was a milestone, but the most promising entropic assignment methods still face unsolved difficulties, manifesting the incompleteness of plausible inference theory. In this paper we examine the situation faced by risk analysts in the critical field of extreme events modelling, where the former difficulties are especially visible, due to scarcity of observational data, the large impact of these phenomena and the obligation to assume professional responsibilities. To respond to the claim for a sound framework to deal with extremes, we propose a metafoundational approach to inference, based on a canon of extramathematical requirements. We highlight their strong moral content, and show how this emphasis in morality, far from being new, is connected with the historic origins of plausible inference. Special attention is paid to the contributions of Caramuel, a contemporary of Pascal, unfortunately ignored in the usual mathematical accounts of probability.

  2. Fuel swelling importance in PCI mechanistic modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arimescu, V.I.

    2005-01-01

    Under certain conditions, fuel pellet swelling is the most important factor in determining the intensity of the pellet-to-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI). This is especially true during power ramps, which lead to a temperature increase to a higher terminal plateau that is maintained for hours. The time-dependent gaseous swelling is proportional to temperature and is also enhanced by the increased gas atom migration to the grain boundary during the power ramp. On the other hand, gaseous swelling is inhibited by a compressive hydrostatic stress in the pellet. Therefore, PCMI is the net result of combining gaseous swelling and pellet thermal expansion with the opposing feedback from the cladding mechanical reaction. The coupling of the thermal and mechanical processes, mentioned above, with various feedback loops is best simulated by a mechanistic fuel code. This paper discusses a mechanistic swelling model that is coupled with a fission gas release model as well as a mechanical model of the fuel pellet. The role of fuel swelling is demonstrated for typical power ramps at different burn-ups. Also, fuel swelling plays a significant role in avoiding the thermal instability for larger gap fuel rods, by limiting the potentially exponentially increasing gap due to the positive feedback loop effect of increasing fission gas release and the associated over-pressure inside the cladding. (author)

  3. The evidence for biologic immunotherapy in Sarcoidosis: A systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pooja Shah

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammatory disease with a myriad of clinical manifestations. Treatment involves immunosuppression with corticosteroids or steroid-sparing agents. A proportion of patients does not respond to or are intolerant to therapy. Targeted immunotherapy with biologic agents has emerged as a novel approach with plausible mechanistic reasons to warrant study. Aims The aim of this review was to evaluate the evidence for the efficacy of biological therapy in sarcoidosis. Methods We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of all published randomised-controlled trials (RCT evaluating biological therapy in sarcoidosis, using MEDLINE and Embase databases, through to September 2017. The search terms included sarcoidosis, infliximab, adalimumab, etanercept, golimumab, certolizumab, rituximab, abatacept, tocilizumab, anakinra, ustekinumab, secukinumab. Only articles reporting RCTs were selected. Improvements in respiratory disease were assessed by changes in forced vital capacity (FVC by weighted mean difference (WMD. There were insufficient data on outcome measures in other organ systems to comparatively assess efficacy. Results The search identified 2,324 studies of which only 5 provided relevant and original data. This comprised a total of 364 patients, evaluating pulmonary, cutaneous and ocular sarcoidosis. One study in pulmonary disease and one study in cutaneous disease demonstrated improvements in the primary outcome. In pulmonary disease, meta-analysis of the treatment effect of anti-TNF therapy versus placebo on FVC revealed a WMD of 1.69 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval, 1.44–1.94. Conclusion There are insufficient data to suggest the long-term efficacy of anti-TNFα inhibitors in the treatment of sarcoidosis. This may be due to heterogeneity, small sample sizes and the lack of consistent reporting of outcome measures.

  4. Appropriateness of mechanistic and non-mechanistic models for the application of ultrafiltration to mixed waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foust, Henry; Ghosehajra, Malay

    2007-01-01

    This study asks two questions: (1) How appropriate is the use of a basic filtration equation to the application of ultrafiltration of mixed waste, and (2) How appropriate are non-parametric models for permeate rates (volumes)? To answer these questions, mechanistic and non-mechanistic approaches are developed for permeate rates and volumes associated with an ultrafiltration/mixed waste system in dia-filtration mode. The mechanistic approach is based on a filtration equation which states that t/V vs. V is a linear relationship. The coefficients associated with this linear regression are composed of physical/chemical parameters of the system and based the mass balance equation associated with the membrane and associated developing cake layer. For several sets of data, a high correlation is shown that supports the assertion that t/V vs. V is a linear relationship. It is also shown that non-mechanistic approaches, i.e., the use of regression models to are not appropriate. One models considered is Q(p) = a*ln(Cb)+b. Regression models are inappropriate because the scale-up from a bench scale (pilot scale) study to full-scale for permeate rates (volumes) is not simply the ratio of the two membrane surface areas. (authors)

  5. Mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) protein expression in the tumor and its microenvironment correlates with more aggressive pathology at cystectomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winters, B.R. (Brian R.); Vakar-Lopez, F. (Funda); Brown, L. (Lisha); Montgomery, B. (Bruce); Seiler, R. (Roland); P.C. Black (Peter C.); J.L. Boormans (Joost); Dall′Era, M. (Marc); Davincioni, E. (Elai); Douglas, J. (James); Gibb, E.A. (Ewan A.); B.W. van Rhijn (Bas); M.S. van der Heijden (Michiel); Hsieh, A.C. (Andrew C.); Wright, J.L. (Jonathan L.); Lam, H.-M. (Hung-Ming)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been implicated in driving tumor biology in multiple malignancies, including urothelial carcinoma (UC). We investigate how mTOR and phosphorylated mTOR (pmTOR) protein expression correlate with chemoresponsiveness in the tumor

  6. The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution: a mechanistic appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaston, Kevin J; Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W; Hopkins, John

    2013-11-01

    The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution have been a longstanding source of concern, accentuated by realized and projected growth in electrical lighting. As human communities and lighting technologies develop, artificial light increasingly modifies natural light regimes by encroaching on dark refuges in space, in time, and across wavelengths. A wide variety of ecological implications of artificial light have been identified. However, the primary research to date is largely focused on the disruptive influence of nighttime light on higher vertebrates, and while comprehensive reviews have been compiled along taxonomic lines and within specific research domains, the subject is in need of synthesis within a common mechanistic framework. Here we propose such a framework that focuses on the cross-factoring of the ways in which artificial lighting alters natural light regimes (spatially, temporally, and spectrally), and the ways in which light influences biological systems, particularly the distinction between light as a resource and light as an information source. We review the evidence for each of the combinations of this cross-factoring. As artificial lighting alters natural patterns of light in space, time and across wavelengths, natural patterns of resource use and information flows may be disrupted, with downstream effects to the structure and function of ecosystems. This review highlights: (i) the potential influence of nighttime lighting at all levels of biological organisation (from cell to ecosystem); (ii) the significant impact that even low levels of nighttime light pollution can have; and (iii) the existence of major research gaps, particularly in terms of the impacts of light at population and ecosystem levels, identification of intensity thresholds, and the spatial extent of impacts in the vicinity of artificial lights. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  7. Causation at Different Levels: Tracking the Commitments of Mechanistic Explanations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fazekas, Peter; Kertész, Gergely

    2011-01-01

    connections transparent. These general commitments get confronted with two claims made by certain proponents of the mechanistic approach: William Bechtel often argues that within the mechanistic framework it is possible to balance between reducing higher levels and maintaining their autonomy at the same time...... their autonomy at the same time than standard reductive accounts are, and that what mechanistic explanations are able to do at best is showing that downward causation does not exist....

  8. Network Analyses in Systems Biology: New Strategies for Dealing with Biological Complexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara; Serban, Maria; Scholl, Raphael

    2018-01-01

    of biological networks using tools from graph theory to the application of dynamical systems theory to understand the behavior of complex biological systems. We show how network approaches support and extend traditional mechanistic strategies but also offer novel strategies for dealing with biological...... strategies? When and how can network and mechanistic approaches interact in productive ways? In this paper we address these questions by focusing on how biological networks are represented and analyzed in a diverse class of case studies. Our examples span from the investigation of organizational properties...

  9. Signature of Plausible Accreting Supermassive Black Holes in Mrk 261/262 and Mrk 266

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gagik Ter-Kazarian

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We address the neutrino radiation of plausible accreting supermassive black holes closely linking to the 5 nuclear components of galaxy samples of Mrk 261/262 and Mrk 266. We predict a time delay before neutrino emission of the same scale as the age of the Universe. The ultrahigh energy neutrinos are produced in superdense protomatter medium via simple (quark or pionic reactions or modified URCA processes (G. Gamow was inspired to name the process URCA after the name of a casino in Rio de Janeiro. The resulting neutrino fluxes for quark reactions are ranging from to , where is the opening parameter. For pionic and modified URCA reactions, the fluxes are and , respectively. These fluxes are highly beamed along the plane of accretion disk, peaked at ultrahigh energies, and collimated in smaller opening angle .

  10. Nitrogenous Derivatives of Phosphorus and the Origins of Life: Plausible Prebiotic Phosphorylating Agents in Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megha Karki

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Phosphorylation under plausible prebiotic conditions continues to be one of the defining issues for the role of phosphorus in the origins of life processes. In this review, we cover the reactions of alternative forms of phosphate, specifically the nitrogenous versions of phosphate (and other forms of reduced phosphorus species from a prebiotic, synthetic organic and biochemistry perspective. The ease with which such amidophosphates or phosphoramidate derivatives phosphorylate a wide variety of substrates suggests that alternative forms of phosphate could have played a role in overcoming the “phosphorylation in water problem”. We submit that serious consideration should be given to the search for primordial sources of nitrogenous versions of phosphate and other versions of phosphorus.

  11. Quantum theory as plausible reasoning applied to data obtained by robust experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Raedt, H; Katsnelson, M I; Michielsen, K

    2016-05-28

    We review recent work that employs the framework of logical inference to establish a bridge between data gathered through experiments and their objective description in terms of human-made concepts. It is shown that logical inference applied to experiments for which the observed events are independent and for which the frequency distribution of these events is robust with respect to small changes of the conditions under which the experiments are carried out yields, without introducing any concept of quantum theory, the quantum theoretical description in terms of the Schrödinger or the Pauli equation, the Stern-Gerlach or Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bohm experiments. The extraordinary descriptive power of quantum theory then follows from the fact that it is plausible reasoning, that is common sense, applied to reproducible and robust experimental data. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. Reciprocity-based reasons for benefiting research participants: most fail, the most plausible is problematic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofaer, Neema

    2014-11-01

    A common reason for giving research participants post-trial access (PTA) to the trial intervention appeals to reciprocity, the principle, stated most generally, that if one person benefits a second, the second should reciprocate: benefit the first in return. Many authors consider it obvious that reciprocity supports PTA. Yet their reciprocity principles differ, with many authors apparently unaware of alternative versions. This article is the first to gather the range of reciprocity principles. It finds that: (1) most are false. (2) The most plausible principle, which is also problematic, applies only when participants experience significant net risks or burdens. (3) Seldom does reciprocity support PTA for participants or give researchers stronger reason to benefit participants than equally needy non-participants. (4) Reciprocity fails to explain the common view that it is bad when participants in a successful trial have benefited from the trial intervention but lack PTA to it. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. The Combined Use of Correlative and Mechanistic Species Distribution Models Benefits Low Conservation Status Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thibaud Rougier

    Full Text Available Species can respond to climate change by tracking appropriate environmental conditions in space, resulting in a range shift. Species Distribution Models (SDMs can help forecast such range shift responses. For few species, both correlative and mechanistic SDMs were built, but allis shad (Alosa alosa, an endangered anadromous fish species, is one of them. The main purpose of this study was to provide a framework for joint analyses of correlative and mechanistic SDMs projections in order to strengthen conservation measures for species of conservation concern. Guidelines for joint representation and subsequent interpretation of models outputs were defined and applied. The present joint analysis was based on the novel mechanistic model GR3D (Global Repositioning Dynamics of Diadromous fish Distribution which was parameterized on allis shad and then used to predict its future distribution along the European Atlantic coast under different climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. We then used a correlative SDM for this species to forecast its distribution across the same geographic area and under the same climate change scenarios. First, projections from correlative and mechanistic models provided congruent trends in probability of habitat suitability and population dynamics. This agreement was preferentially interpreted as referring to the species vulnerability to climate change. Climate change could not be accordingly listed as a major threat for allis shad. The congruence in predicted range limits between SDMs projections was the next point of interest. The difference, when noticed, required to deepen our understanding of the niche modelled by each approach. In this respect, the relative position of the northern range limit between the two methods strongly suggested here that a key biological process related to intraspecific variability was potentially lacking in the mechanistic SDM. Based on our knowledge, we hypothesized that local

  14. Mechanistic modelling of cancer: some reflections from software engineering and philosophy of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañete-Valdeón, José M; Wieringa, Roel; Smallbone, Kieran

    2012-12-01

    There is a growing interest in mathematical mechanistic modelling as a promising strategy for understanding tumour progression. This approach is accompanied by a methodological change of making research, in which models help to actively generate hypotheses instead of waiting for general principles to become apparent once sufficient data are accumulated. This paper applies recent research from philosophy of science to uncover three important problems of mechanistic modelling which may compromise its mainstream application, namely: the dilemma of formal and informal descriptions, the need to express degrees of confidence and the need of an argumentation framework. We report experience and research on similar problems from software engineering and provide evidence that the solutions adopted there can be transferred to the biological domain. We hope this paper can provoke new opportunities for further and profitable interdisciplinary research in the field.

  15. Mechanistic modeling of aberrant energy metabolism in human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vineet eSangar

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Dysfunction in energy metabolism—including in pathways localized to the mitochondria—has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide array of disorders, ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases to type II diabetes. The inherent complexities of energy and mitochondrial metabolism present a significant obstacle in the effort to understand the role that these molecular processes play in the development of disease. To help unravel these complexities, systems biology methods have been applied to develop an array of computational metabolic models, ranging from mitochondria-specific processes to genome-scale cellular networks. These constraint-based models can efficiently simulate aspects of normal and aberrant metabolism in various genetic and environmental conditions. Development of these models leverages—and also provides a powerful means to integrate and interpret—information from a wide range of sources including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and enzyme kinetics. Here, we review a variety of mechanistic modeling studies that explore metabolic functions, deficiency disorders, and aberrant biochemical pathways in mitochondria and related regions in the cell.

  16. Enzymatic Halogenation and Dehalogenation Reactions: Pervasive and Mechanistically Diverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Vinayak; Miles, Zachary D; Winter, Jaclyn M; Eustáquio, Alessandra S; El Gamal, Abrahim A; Moore, Bradley S

    2017-04-26

    Naturally produced halogenated compounds are ubiquitous across all domains of life where they perform a multitude of biological functions and adopt a diversity of chemical structures. Accordingly, a diverse collection of enzyme catalysts to install and remove halogens from organic scaffolds has evolved in nature. Accounting for the different chemical properties of the four halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine) and the diversity and chemical reactivity of their organic substrates, enzymes performing biosynthetic and degradative halogenation chemistry utilize numerous mechanistic strategies involving oxidation, reduction, and substitution. Biosynthetic halogenation reactions range from simple aromatic substitutions to stereoselective C-H functionalizations on remote carbon centers and can initiate the formation of simple to complex ring structures. Dehalogenating enzymes, on the other hand, are best known for removing halogen atoms from man-made organohalogens, yet also function naturally, albeit rarely, in metabolic pathways. This review details the scope and mechanism of nature's halogenation and dehalogenation enzymatic strategies, highlights gaps in our understanding, and posits where new advances in the field might arise in the near future.

  17. Multiscale mechanistic modeling in pharmaceutical research and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuepfer, Lars; Lippert, Jörg; Eissing, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Discontinuation of drug development projects due to lack of efficacy or adverse events is one of the main cost drivers in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Investments have to be written-off and contribute to the total costs of a successful drug candidate receiving marketing authorization and allowing return on invest. A vital risk for pharmaceutical innovator companies is late stage clinical failure since costs for individual clinical trials may exceed the one billion Euro threshold. To guide investment decisions and to safeguard maximum medical benefit and safety for patients recruited in clinical trials, it is therefore essential to understand the clinical consequences of all information and data generated. The complexity of the physiological and pathophysiological processes and the sheer amount of information available overcharge the mental capacity of any human being and prevent a prediction of the success in clinical development. A rigorous integration of knowledge, assumption, and experimental data into computational models promises a significant improvement of the rationalization of decision making in pharmaceutical industry. We here give an overview of the current status of modeling and simulation in pharmaceutical R&D and outline the perspectives of more recent developments in mechanistic modeling. Specific modeling approaches for different biological scales ranging from intracellular processes to whole organism physiology are introduced and an example for integrative multiscale modeling of therapeutic efficiency in clinical oncology trials is showcased.

  18. Confinement effects and mechanistic aspects for montmorillonite nanopores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiong; Zhu, Chang; Jia, Zengqiang; Yang, Gang

    2018-08-01

    Owing to the ubiquity, critical importance and special properties, confined microenvironments have recently triggered overwhelming interest. In this work, all-atom molecular dynamics simulations have been conducted to address the confinement effects and ion-specific effects for electrolyte solutions within montmorillonite nanopores, where the pore widths vary with a wide range. The adsorption number, structure, dynamics and stability of inner- and outer-sphere metal ions are affected by the change of pore widths (confinement effects), while the extents are significantly dependent on the type of adsorbed species. The type of adsorbed species is, however, not altered by the magnitude of confinement effects, and confinement effects are similar for different electrolyte concentrations. Ion-specific effects are pronounced for all magnitudes of confinement effects (from non- to strong confined conditions), and Hofmeister sequences of outer-sphere species are closely associated with the magnitude of confinement effects while those of inner-sphere species remain consistent. In addition, mechanistic aspects of confinement have been posed using the electrical double layer theories, and the results can be generalized to other confined systems that are ubiquitous in biology, chemistry, geology and nanotechnology. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Mechanistic curiosity will not kill the Bayesian cat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borsboom, D.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.; Romeijn, J.-W.

    2011-01-01

    Jones & Love (J&L) suggest that Bayesian approaches to the explanation of human behavior should be constrained by mechanistic theories. We argue that their proposal misconstrues the relation between process models, such as the Bayesian model, and mechanisms. While mechanistic theories can answer

  20. Mechanistic curiosity will not kill the Bayesian cat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borsboom, Denny; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan; Romeijn, Jan-Willem

    Jones & Love (J&L) suggest that Bayesian approaches to the explanation of human behavior should be constrained by mechanistic theories. We argue that their proposal misconstrues the relation between process models, such as the Bayesian model, and mechanisms. While mechanistic theories can answer

  1. "Ratio via Machina": Three Standards of Mechanistic Explanation in Sociology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aviles, Natalie B.; Reed, Isaac Ariail

    2017-01-01

    Recently, sociologists have expended much effort in attempts to define social mechanisms. We intervene in these debates by proposing that sociologists in fact have a choice to make between three standards of what constitutes a good mechanistic explanation: substantial, formal, and metaphorical mechanistic explanation. All three standards are…

  2. Modeling Bird Migration under Climate Change: A Mechanistic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A.

    2009-01-01

    How will migrating birds respond to changes in the environment under climate change? What are the implications for migratory success under the various accelerated climate change scenarios as forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? How will reductions or increased variability in the number or quality of wetland stop-over sites affect migratory bird species? The answers to these questions have important ramifications for conservation biology and wildlife management. Here, we describe the use of continental scale simulation modeling to explore how spatio-temporal changes along migratory flyways affect en-route migration success. We use an individually based, biophysical, mechanistic, bird migration model to simulate the movement of shorebirds in North America as a tool to study how such factors as drought and wetland loss may impact migratory success and modify migration patterns. Our model is driven by remote sensing and climate data and incorporates important landscape variables. The energy budget components of the model include resting, foraging, and flight, but presently predation is ignored. Results/Conclusions We illustrate our model by studying the spring migration of sandpipers through the Great Plains to their Arctic breeding grounds. Why many species of shorebirds have shown significant declines remains a puzzle. Shorebirds are sensitive to stop-over quality and spacing because of their need for frequent refueling stops and their opportunistic feeding patterns. We predict bird "hydrographs that is, stop-over frequency with latitude, that are in agreement with the literature. Mean stop-over durations predicted from our model for nominal cases also are consistent with the limited, but available data. For the shorebird species simulated, our model predicts that shorebirds exhibit significant plasticity and are able to shift their migration patterns in response to changing drought conditions. However, the question remains as to whether this

  3. On the plausibility of socioeconomic mortality estimates derived from linked data: a demographic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerch, Mathias; Spoerri, Adrian; Jasilionis, Domantas; Viciana Fernandèz, Francisco

    2017-07-14

    Reliable estimates of mortality according to socioeconomic status play a crucial role in informing the policy debate about social inequality, social cohesion, and exclusion as well as about the reform of pension systems. Linked mortality data have become a gold standard for monitoring socioeconomic differentials in survival. Several approaches have been proposed to assess the quality of the linkage, in order to avoid the misclassification of deaths according to socioeconomic status. However, the plausibility of mortality estimates has never been scrutinized from a demographic perspective, and the potential problems with the quality of the data on the at-risk populations have been overlooked. Using indirect demographic estimation (i.e., the synthetic extinct generation method), we analyze the plausibility of old-age mortality estimates according to educational attainment in four European data contexts with different quality issues: deterministic and probabilistic linkage of deaths, as well as differences in the methodology of the collection of educational data. We evaluate whether the at-risk population according to educational attainment is misclassified and/or misestimated, correct these biases, and estimate the education-specific linkage rates of deaths. The results confirm a good linkage of death records within different educational strata, even when probabilistic matching is used. The main biases in mortality estimates concern the classification and estimation of the person-years of exposure according to educational attainment. Changes in the census questions about educational attainment led to inconsistent information over time, which misclassified the at-risk population. Sample censuses also misestimated the at-risk populations according to educational attainment. The synthetic extinct generation method can be recommended for quality assessments of linked data because it is capable not only of quantifying linkage precision, but also of tracking problems in

  4. Iron diminishes the in vitro biological effect of vanadium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mechanistic pathways underlying inflammatory injury following exposures to vanadium-containing compounds are not defined. We tested the postulate that the in vitro biological effect of vanadium results from its impact on iron homeostasis. Human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells ex...

  5. Mechanistic Basis of Cocrystal Dissolution Advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Fengjuan; Amidon, Gordon L; Rodríguez-Hornedo, Naír; Amidon, Gregory E

    2018-01-01

    Current interest in cocrystal development resides in the advantages that the cocrystal may have in solubility and dissolution compared with the parent drug. This work provides a mechanistic analysis and comparison of the dissolution behavior of carbamazepine (CBZ) and its 2 cocrystals, carbamazepine-saccharin (CBZ-SAC) and carbamazepine-salicylic acid (CBZ-SLC) under the influence of pH and micellar solubilization. A simple mathematical equation is derived based on the mass transport analyses to describe the dissolution advantage of cocrystals. The dissolution advantage is the ratio of the cocrystal flux to drug flux and is defined as the solubility advantage (cocrystal to drug solubility ratio) times the diffusivity advantage (cocrystal to drug diffusivity ratio). In this work, the effective diffusivity of CBZ in the presence of surfactant was determined to be different and less than those of the cocrystals. The higher effective diffusivity of drug from the dissolved cocrystals, the diffusivity advantage, can impart a dissolution advantage to cocrystals with lower solubility than the parent drug while still maintaining thermodynamic stability. Dissolution conditions where cocrystals can display both thermodynamic stability and a dissolution advantage can be obtained from the mass transport models, and this information is useful for both cocrystal selection and formulation development. Copyright © 2018 American Pharmacists Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Mechanistic movement models to understand epidemic spread.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fofana, Abdou Moutalab; Hurford, Amy

    2017-05-05

    An overlooked aspect of disease ecology is considering how and why animals come into contact with one and other resulting in disease transmission. Mathematical models of disease spread frequently assume mass-action transmission, justified by stating that susceptible and infectious hosts mix readily, and foregoing any detailed description of host movement. Numerous recent studies have recorded, analysed and modelled animal movement. These movement models describe how animals move with respect to resources, conspecifics and previous movement directions and have been used to understand the conditions for the occurrence and the spread of infectious diseases when hosts perform a type of movement. Here, we summarize the effect of the different types of movement on the threshold conditions for disease spread. We identify gaps in the literature and suggest several promising directions for future research. The mechanistic inclusion of movement in epidemic models may be beneficial for the following two reasons. Firstly, the estimation of the transmission coefficient in an epidemic model is possible because animal movement data can be used to estimate the rate of contacts between conspecifics. Secondly, unsuccessful transmission events, where a susceptible host contacts an infectious host but does not become infected can be quantified. Following an outbreak, this enables disease ecologists to identify 'near misses' and to explore possible alternative epidemic outcomes given shifts in ecological or immunological parameters.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Event-based plausibility immediately influences on-line language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuki, Kazunaga; Chow, Tracy; Hare, Mary; Elman, Jeffrey L; Scheepers, Christoph; McRae, Ken

    2011-07-01

    In some theories of sentence comprehension, linguistically relevant lexical knowledge, such as selectional restrictions, is privileged in terms of the time-course of its access and influence. We examined whether event knowledge computed by combining multiple concepts can rapidly influence language understanding even in the absence of selectional restriction violations. Specifically, we investigated whether instruments can combine with actions to influence comprehension of ensuing patients of (as in Rayner, Warren, Juhuasz, & Liversedge, 2004; Warren & McConnell, 2007). Instrument-verb-patient triplets were created in a norming study designed to tap directly into event knowledge. In self-paced reading (Experiment 1), participants were faster to read patient nouns, such as hair, when they were typical of the instrument-action pair (Donna used the shampoo to wash vs. the hose to wash). Experiment 2 showed that these results were not due to direct instrument-patient relations. Experiment 3 replicated Experiment 1 using eyetracking, with effects of event typicality observed in first fixation and gaze durations on the patient noun. This research demonstrates that conceptual event-based expectations are computed and used rapidly and dynamically during on-line language comprehension. We discuss relationships among plausibility and predictability, as well as their implications. We conclude that selectional restrictions may be best considered as event-based conceptual knowledge rather than lexical-grammatical knowledge.

  8. The missing link between sleep disorders and age-related dementia: recent evidence and plausible mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Feng; Zhong, Rujia; Li, Song; Chang, Raymond Chuen-Chung; Le, Weidong

    2017-05-01

    Sleep disorders are among the most common clinical problems and possess a significant concern for the geriatric population. More importantly, while around 40% of elderly adults have sleep-related complaints, sleep disorders are more frequently associated with co-morbidities including age-related neurodegenerative diseases and mild cognitive impairment. Recently, increasing evidence has indicated that disturbed sleep may not only serve as the consequence of brain atrophy, but also contribute to the pathogenesis of dementia and, therefore, significantly increase dementia risk. Since the current therapeutic interventions lack efficacies to prevent, delay or reverse the pathological progress of dementia, a better understanding of underlying mechanisms by which sleep disorders interact with the pathogenesis of dementia will provide possible targets for the prevention and treatment of dementia. In this review, we briefly describe the physiological roles of sleep in learning/memory, and specifically update the recent research evidence demonstrating the association between sleep disorders and dementia. Plausible mechanisms are further discussed. Moreover, we also evaluate the possibility of sleep therapy as a potential intervention for dementia.

  9. Mindfulness and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: State of the Evidence, Plausible Mechanisms, and Theoretical Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuman-Olivier, Zev; Britton, Willoughby B.; Fresco, David M.; Desbordes, Gaelle; Brewer, Judson A.; Fulwiler, Carl

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to provide (1) a synopsis on relations of mindfulness with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and major CVD risk factors, and (2) an initial consensus-based overview of mechanisms and theoretical framework by which mindfulness might influence CVD. Initial evidence, often of limited methodological quality, suggests possible impacts of mindfulness on CVD risk factors including physical activity, smoking, diet, obesity, blood pressure, and diabetes regulation. Plausible mechanisms include (1) improved attention control (e.g., ability to hold attention on experiences related to CVD risk, such as smoking, diet, physical activity, and medication adherence), (2) emotion regulation (e.g., improved stress response, self-efficacy, and skills to manage craving for cigarettes, palatable foods, and sedentary activities), and (3) self-awareness (e.g., self-referential processing and awareness of physical sensations due to CVD risk factors). Understanding mechanisms and theoretical framework should improve etiologic knowledge, providing customized mindfulness intervention targets that could enable greater mindfulness intervention efficacy. PMID:26482755

  10. A plausible mechanism of biosorption in dual symbioses by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmat, Rafia; Hamid, Neelofer

    2015-03-01

    Dual symbioses of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi with growth of Momordica charantia were elucidated in terms of plausible mechanism of biosorption in this article. The experiment was conducted in green house and mixed inoculum of the VAM fungi was used in the three replicates. Results demonstrated that the starch contents were the main source of C for the VAM to builds their hyphae. The increased plant height and leaves surface area were explained in relation with an increase in the photosynthetic rates to produce rapid sugar contents for the survival of plants. A decreased in protein, and amino acid contents and increased proline and protease activity in VAM plants suggested that these contents were the main bio-indicators of the plants under biotic stress. The decline in protein may be due to the degradation of these contents, which later on converted into dextrose where it can easily be absorbed by for the period of symbioses. A mechanism of C chemisorption in relation with physiology and morphology of plant was discussed.

  11. Semantics-based plausible reasoning to extend the knowledge coverage of medical knowledge bases for improved clinical decision support.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadhassanzadeh, Hossein; Van Woensel, William; Abidi, Samina Raza; Abidi, Syed Sibte Raza

    2017-01-01

    Capturing complete medical knowledge is challenging-often due to incomplete patient Electronic Health Records (EHR), but also because of valuable, tacit medical knowledge hidden away in physicians' experiences. To extend the coverage of incomplete medical knowledge-based systems beyond their deductive closure, and thus enhance their decision-support capabilities, we argue that innovative, multi-strategy reasoning approaches should be applied. In particular, plausible reasoning mechanisms apply patterns from human thought processes, such as generalization, similarity and interpolation, based on attributional, hierarchical, and relational knowledge. Plausible reasoning mechanisms include inductive reasoning , which generalizes the commonalities among the data to induce new rules, and analogical reasoning , which is guided by data similarities to infer new facts. By further leveraging rich, biomedical Semantic Web ontologies to represent medical knowledge, both known and tentative, we increase the accuracy and expressivity of plausible reasoning, and cope with issues such as data heterogeneity, inconsistency and interoperability. In this paper, we present a Semantic Web-based, multi-strategy reasoning approach, which integrates deductive and plausible reasoning and exploits Semantic Web technology to solve complex clinical decision support queries. We evaluated our system using a real-world medical dataset of patients with hepatitis, from which we randomly removed different percentages of data (5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%) to reflect scenarios with increasing amounts of incomplete medical knowledge. To increase the reliability of the results, we generated 5 independent datasets for each percentage of missing values, which resulted in 20 experimental datasets (in addition to the original dataset). The results show that plausibly inferred knowledge extends the coverage of the knowledge base by, on average, 2%, 7%, 12%, and 16% for datasets with, respectively, 5%, 10%, 15

  12. Bio-physically plausible visualization of highly scattering fluorescent neocortical models for in silico experimentation

    KAUST Repository

    Abdellah, Marwan; Bilgili, Ahmet; Eilemann, Stefan; Shillcock, Julian; Markram, Henry; Schü rmann, Felix

    2017-01-01

    to visualize the results of their virtual experiments that are performed in computer simulations, or in silico. The impact of the presented pipeline opens novel avenues for assisting the neuroscientists to build biologically accurate models of the brain

  13. Mechanistic Systems Modeling to Improve Understanding and Prediction of Cardiotoxicity Caused by Targeted Cancer Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaehee V. Shim

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs are highly potent cancer therapeutics that have been linked with serious cardiotoxicity, including left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, and QT prolongation. TKI-induced cardiotoxicity is thought to result from interference with tyrosine kinase activity in cardiomyocytes, where these signaling pathways help to control critical processes such as survival signaling, energy homeostasis, and excitation–contraction coupling. However, mechanistic understanding is limited at present due to the complexities of tyrosine kinase signaling, and the wide range of targets inhibited by TKIs. Here, we review the use of TKIs in cancer and the cardiotoxicities that have been reported, discuss potential mechanisms underlying cardiotoxicity, and describe recent progress in achieving a more systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity via the use of mechanistic models. In particular, we argue that future advances are likely to be enabled by studies that combine large-scale experimental measurements with Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP models describing biological mechanisms and dynamics. As such approaches have proven extremely valuable for understanding and predicting other drug toxicities, it is likely that QSP modeling can be successfully applied to cardiotoxicity induced by TKIs. We conclude by discussing a potential strategy for integrating genome-wide expression measurements with models, illustrate initial advances in applying this approach to cardiotoxicity, and describe challenges that must be overcome to truly develop a mechanistic and systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity caused by TKIs.

  14. Identifying mechanistic similarities in drug responses

    KAUST Repository

    Zhao, C.

    2012-05-15

    Motivation: In early drug development, it would be beneficial to be able to identify those dynamic patterns of gene response that indicate that drugs targeting a particular gene will be likely or not to elicit the desired response. One approach would be to quantitate the degree of similarity between the responses that cells show when exposed to drugs, so that consistencies in the regulation of cellular response processes that produce success or failure can be more readily identified.Results: We track drug response using fluorescent proteins as transcription activity reporters. Our basic assumption is that drugs inducing very similar alteration in transcriptional regulation will produce similar temporal trajectories on many of the reporter proteins and hence be identified as having similarities in their mechanisms of action (MOA). The main body of this work is devoted to characterizing similarity in temporal trajectories/signals. To do so, we must first identify the key points that determine mechanistic similarity between two drug responses. Directly comparing points on the two signals is unrealistic, as it cannot handle delays and speed variations on the time axis. Hence, to capture the similarities between reporter responses, we develop an alignment algorithm that is robust to noise, time delays and is able to find all the contiguous parts of signals centered about a core alignment (reflecting a core mechanism in drug response). Applying the proposed algorithm to a range of real drug experiments shows that the result agrees well with the prior drug MOA knowledge. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  15. Knowledge-fused differential dependency network models for detecting significant rewiring in biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Ye; Zhang, Bai; Hoffman, Eric P; Clarke, Robert; Zhang, Zhen; Shih, Ie-Ming; Xuan, Jianhua; Herrington, David M; Wang, Yue

    2014-07-24

    Modeling biological networks serves as both a major goal and an effective tool of systems biology in studying mechanisms that orchestrate the activities of gene products in cells. Biological networks are context-specific and dynamic in nature. To systematically characterize the selectively activated regulatory components and mechanisms, modeling tools must be able to effectively distinguish significant rewiring from random background fluctuations. While differential networks cannot be constructed by existing knowledge alone, novel incorporation of prior knowledge into data-driven approaches can improve the robustness and biological relevance of network inference. However, the major unresolved roadblocks include: big solution space but a small sample size; highly complex networks; imperfect prior knowledge; missing significance assessment; and heuristic structural parameter learning. To address these challenges, we formulated the inference of differential dependency networks that incorporate both conditional data and prior knowledge as a convex optimization problem, and developed an efficient learning algorithm to jointly infer the conserved biological network and the significant rewiring across different conditions. We used a novel sampling scheme to estimate the expected error rate due to "random" knowledge. Based on that scheme, we developed a strategy that fully exploits the benefit of this data-knowledge integrated approach. We demonstrated and validated the principle and performance of our method using synthetic datasets. We then applied our method to yeast cell line and breast cancer microarray data and obtained biologically plausible results. The open-source R software package and the experimental data are freely available at http://www.cbil.ece.vt.edu/software.htm. Experiments on both synthetic and real data demonstrate the effectiveness of the knowledge-fused differential dependency network in revealing the statistically significant rewiring in biological

  16. Linking spring phenology with mechanistic models of host movement to predict disease transmission risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkle, Jerod A.; Cross, Paul C.; Scurlock, Brandon M.; Cole, Eric K.; Courtemanch, Alyson B.; Dewey, Sarah R.; Kauffman, Matthew J.

    2018-01-01

    Disease models typically focus on temporal dynamics of infection, while often neglecting environmental processes that determine host movement. In many systems, however, temporal disease dynamics may be slow compared to the scale at which environmental conditions alter host space-use and accelerate disease transmission.Using a mechanistic movement modelling approach, we made space-use predictions of a mobile host (elk [Cervus Canadensis] carrying the bacterial disease brucellosis) under environmental conditions that change daily and annually (e.g., plant phenology, snow depth), and we used these predictions to infer how spring phenology influences the risk of brucellosis transmission from elk (through aborted foetuses) to livestock in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.Using data from 288 female elk monitored with GPS collars, we fit step selection functions (SSFs) during the spring abortion season and then implemented a master equation approach to translate SSFs into predictions of daily elk distribution for five plausible winter weather scenarios (from a heavy snow, to an extreme winter drought year). We predicted abortion events by combining elk distributions with empirical estimates of daily abortion rates, spatially varying elk seroprevelance and elk population counts.Our results reveal strong spatial variation in disease transmission risk at daily and annual scales that is strongly governed by variation in host movement in response to spring phenology. For example, in comparison with an average snow year, years with early snowmelt are predicted to have 64% of the abortions occurring on feedgrounds shift to occurring on mainly public lands, and to a lesser extent on private lands.Synthesis and applications. Linking mechanistic models of host movement with disease dynamics leads to a novel bridge between movement and disease ecology. Our analysis framework offers new avenues for predicting disease spread, while providing managers tools to proactively mitigate

  17. Climate change impacts on agriculture in 2050 under a range of plausible socioeconomic and emissions scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiebe, Keith; Islam, Shahnila; Mason-D’Croz, Daniel; Robertson, Richard; Robinson, Sherman; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Biewald, Anne; Bodirsky, Benjamin; Müller, Christoph; Popp, Alexander; Sands, Ronald; Tabeau, Andrzej; Van Meijl, Hans; Van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique; Kavallari, Aikaterini; Willenbockel, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have combined climate, crop and economic models to examine the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security, but results have varied widely due to differences in models, scenarios and input data. Recent work has examined (and narrowed) these differences through systematic model intercomparison using a high-emissions pathway to highlight the differences. This paper extends that analysis to explore a range of plausible socioeconomic scenarios and emission pathways. Results from multiple climate and economic models are combined to examine the global and regional impacts of climate change on agricultural yields, area, production, consumption, prices and trade for coarse grains, rice, wheat, oilseeds and sugar crops to 2050. We find that climate impacts on global average yields, area, production and consumption are similar across shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP 1, 2 and 3, as we implement them based on population, income and productivity drivers), except when changes in trade policies are included. Impacts on trade and prices are higher for SSP 3 than SSP 2, and higher for SSP 2 than for SSP 1. Climate impacts for all variables are similar across low to moderate emissions pathways (RCP 4.5 and RCP 6.0), but increase for a higher emissions pathway (RCP 8.5). It is important to note that these global averages may hide regional variations. Projected reductions in agricultural yields due to climate change by 2050 are larger for some crops than those estimated for the past half century, but smaller than projected increases to 2050 due to rising demand and intrinsic productivity growth. Results illustrate the sensitivity of climate change impacts to differences in socioeconomic and emissions pathways. Yield impacts increase at high emissions levels and vary with changes in population, income and technology, but are reduced in all cases by endogenous changes in prices and other variables. (paper)

  18. Evaporative water loss is a plausible explanation for mortality of bats from white-nose syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Craig K R; Menzies, Allyson K; Boyles, Justin G; Wojciechowski, Michal S

    2011-09-01

    White-nose syndrome (WNS) has caused alarming declines of North American bat populations in the 5 years since its discovery. Affected bats appear to starve during hibernation, possibly because of disruption of normal cycles of torpor and arousal. The importance of hydration state and evaporative water loss (EWL) for influencing the duration of torpor bouts in hibernating mammals recently led to "the dehydration hypothesis," that cutaneous infection of the wing membranes of bats with the fungus Geomyces destructans causes dehydration which in turn, increases arousal frequency during hibernation. This hypothesis predicts that uninfected individuals of species most susceptible to WNS, like little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), exhibit high rates of EWL compared to less susceptible species. We tested the feasibility of this prediction using data from the literature and new data quantifying EWL in Natterer's bats (Myotis nattereri), a species that is, like other European bats, sympatric with G. destructans but does not appear to suffer significant mortality from WNS. We found that little brown bats exhibited significantly higher rates of normothermic EWL than did other bat species for which comparable EWL data are available. We also found that Natterer's bats exhibited significantly lower rates of EWL, in both wet and dry air, compared with values predicted for little brown bats exposed to identical relative humidity (RH). We used a population model to show that the increase in EWL required to cause the pattern of mortality observed for WNS-affected little brown bats was small, equivalent to a solitary bat hibernating exposed to RH of ∼95%, or clusters hibernating in ∼87% RH, as opposed to typical near-saturation conditions. Both of these results suggest the dehydration hypothesis is plausible and worth pursuing as a possible explanation for mortality of bats from WNS.

  19. Flux-based transport enhancement as a plausible unifying mechanism for auxin transport in meristem development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Stoma

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants continuously generate new organs through the activity of populations of stem cells called meristems. The shoot apical meristem initiates leaves, flowers, and lateral meristems in highly ordered, spiralled, or whorled patterns via a process called phyllotaxis. It is commonly accepted that the active transport of the plant hormone auxin plays a major role in this process. Current hypotheses propose that cellular hormone transporters of the PIN family would create local auxin maxima at precise positions, which in turn would lead to organ initiation. To explain how auxin transporters could create hormone fluxes to distinct regions within the plant, different concepts have been proposed. A major hypothesis, canalization, proposes that the auxin transporters act by amplifying and stabilizing existing fluxes, which could be initiated, for example, by local diffusion. This convincingly explains the organised auxin fluxes during vein formation, but for the shoot apical meristem a second hypothesis was proposed, where the hormone would be systematically transported towards the areas with the highest concentrations. This implies the coexistence of two radically different mechanisms for PIN allocation in the membrane, one based on flux sensing and the other on local concentration sensing. Because these patterning processes require the interaction of hundreds of cells, it is impossible to estimate on a purely intuitive basis if a particular scenario is plausible or not. Therefore, computational modelling provides a powerful means to test this type of complex hypothesis. Here, using a dedicated computer simulation tool, we show that a flux-based polarization hypothesis is able to explain auxin transport at the shoot meristem as well, thus providing a unifying concept for the control of auxin distribution in the plant. Further experiments are now required to distinguish between flux-based polarization and other hypotheses.

  20. A plausible (overlooked) super-luminous supernova in the Sloan digital sky survey stripe 82 data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Kozłowski, Szymon; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Djorgovski, S. George; Mahabal, Ashish A.; Glikman, Eilat; Koposov, Sergey

    2013-01-01

    We present the discovery of a plausible super-luminous supernova (SLSN), found in the archival data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82, called PSN 000123+000504. The supernova (SN) peaked at m g < 19.4 mag in the second half of 2005 September, but was missed by the real-time SN hunt. The observed part of the light curve (17 epochs) showed that the rise to the maximum took over 30 days, while the decline time lasted at least 70 days (observed frame), closely resembling other SLSNe of SN 2007bi type. The spectrum of the host galaxy reveals a redshift of z = 0.281 and the distance modulus of μ = 40.77 mag. Combining this information with the SDSS photometry, we found the host galaxy to be an LMC-like irregular dwarf galaxy with an absolute magnitude of M B = –18.2 ± 0.2 mag and an oxygen abundance of 12+log [O/H]=8.3±0.2; hence, the SN peaked at M g < –21.3 mag. Our SLSN follows the relation for the most energetic/super-luminous SNe exploding in low-metallicity environments, but we found no clear evidence for SLSNe to explode in low-luminosity (dwarf) galaxies only. The available information on the PSN 000123+000504 light curve suggests the magnetar-powered model as a likely scenario of this event. This SLSN is a new addition to a quickly growing family of super-luminous SNe.

  1. Is knowing believing? The role of event plausibility and background knowledge in planting false beliefs about the personal past.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezdek, Kathy; Blandon-Gitlin, Iris; Lam, Shirley; Hart, Rhiannon Ellis; Schooler, Jonathan W

    2006-12-01

    False memories are more likely to be planted for plausible than for implausible events, but does just knowing about an implausible event make individuals more likely to think that the event happened to them? Two experiments assessed the independent contributions o f plausibility a nd background knowledge to planting false beliefs. In Experiment 1, subjects rated 20 childhood events as to the likelihood of each event having happened to them. The list included the implausible target event "received an enema," a critical target event of Pezdek, Finger, and Hodge (1997). Two weeks later, subjects were presented with (1) information regarding the high prevalence rate of enemas; (2) background information on how to administer an enema; (3) neither type of information; or (4) both. Immediately or 2 weeks later, they rated the 20 childhood events again. Only plausibility significantly increased occurrence ratings. In Experiment 2, the target event was changed from "barium enema administered in a hospital" to "home enema for constipation"; significant effects of both plausibility and background knowledge resulted. The results suggest that providing background knowledge can increase beliefs about personal events, but that its impact is limited by the extent of the individual's familiarity with the context of the suggested target event.

  2. Isolation, characterization, and mechanistic studies of (-)-alpha-gurjunene synthase from Solidago canadensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, C O; Bouwmeester, H J; Bülow, N; König, W A

    1999-04-15

    The leaves of the composite Solidago canadensis (goldenrod) were shown to contain (-)-alpha-gurjunene synthase activity. This sesquiterpene is likely to be the precursor for cyclocolorenone, a sesquiterpene ketone present in high amounts in S. canadensis leaves. (-)-alpha-Gurjunene synthase was purified to apparent homogeneity (741-fold) by anion-exchange chromatography (on several matrices), dye ligand chromatography, hydroxylapatite chromatography, and gel filtration. Chromatography on a gel filtration matrix indicated a native molecular mass of 48 kDa, and SDS-PAGE showed the enzyme to be composed of one subunit with a denatured mass of 60 kDa. Its maximum activity was observed at pH 7.8 in the presence of 10 mM Mg2+ and the KM value for the substrate farnesyl diphosphate was 5.5 microM. Over a range of purification steps (-)-alpha-gurjunene and (+)-gamma-gurjunene synthase activities copurified. In addition, the product ratio of the enzyme activity under several different assay conditions was always 91% (-)-alpha-gurjunene and 9% (+)-gamma-gurjunene. This suggests that the formation of these two structurally related products is catalyzed by one enzyme. For further confirmation, we carried out a number of mechanistic studies with (-)-alpha-gurjunene synthase, in which an enzyme preparation was incubated with deuterated substrate analogues. Based on mass spectrometry analysis of the products formed, a cyclization mechanism was postulated which makes it plausible that the synthase catalyzes the formation of both sesquiterpenes. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  3. Mechanistic Implications for the Ni(I-Catalyzed Kumada Cross-Coupling Reaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Iffland

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Herein we report on the cross-coupling reaction of phenylmagnesium bromide with aryl halides using the well-defined tetrahedral Ni(I complex, [(TriphosNiICl] (Triphos = 1,1,1-tris(diphenylphosphinomethylethane. In the presence of 0.5 mol % [(TriphosNiICl], good to excellent yields (75–97% of the respective coupling products within a reaction time of only 2.5 h at room temperature were achieved. Likewise, the tripodal Ni(IIcomplexes [(κ2-TriphosNiIICl2] and [(κ3-TriphosNiIICl](X (X = ClO4, BF4 were tested as potential pre-catalysts for the Kumada cross-coupling reaction. While the Ni(II complexes also afford the coupling products in comparable yields, mechanistic investigations by UV/Vis and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy indicate a Ni(I intermediate as the catalytically active species in the Kumada cross-coupling reaction. Based on experimental findings and density functional theory (DFT calculations, a plausible Ni(I-catalyzed reaction mechanism for the Kumada cross-coupling reaction is presented.

  4. Kinetics and Mechanistic Chemistry of Oxidation of Butacaine Sulfate by Chloramine-B in Acid Medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shubha, Jayachamarajapura Pranesh; Kotabagi, Vinutha; Puttaswamy

    2012-01-01

    Butacaine sulfate is an ester of p-aminobenzoic acid which has been widely used as a local anaesthetic and it is a long standing agent particularly for spinal anaesthesia. For this reason, a kinetic study of oxidation of butacaine sulfate by sodium N-chlorobenzenesulfonamide (chloramine-B or CAB) has been carried out in HClO 4 medium at 303 K in order to explore this redox system mechanistic chemistry. The rate shows a first-order dependence on both [CAB] o , and [substrate] o , and a fractional-order dependence on acid concentration. Decrease of dielectric constant of the medium, by adding methanol, increases the rate of the reaction. Variation of ionic strength and addition of benzenesulfonamide or NaCl have no significant effect on the rate. The reaction was studied at different temperatures and the activation parameters have been evaluated. The stoichiometry of the reaction has been found to be 1:2 and the oxidation products have been identified by spectral analysis. The observed results have been explained by plausible mechanism and the related rate law has been deduced

  5. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SOIL MICROBIAL BIOMASS, AGGREGATE STABILITY AND AGGREGATE ASSOCIATED-C: A MECHANISTIC APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrizia Guidi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available For the identification of C pools involved in soil aggregation, a physically-based aggregate fractionation was proposed, and  additional pretreatments were used in the measurement of the 1-2 mm aggregate stability in order to elucidate the relevance of the role of soil microorganisms with respect to the different aggregate breakdown mechanisms. The study was carried out on three clay loam Regosols, developed on calcareous shales, known history of organic cultivation.Our results showed that the soil C pool controlling the process of stabilisation of aggregates was related to the microbial community. We identified the resistance to fast wetting as the major mechanism of aggregate stability driven by microorganims. The plausible hypothesis is that organic farming promotes fungi growth, improving water repellency of soil aggregates by fungal hydrophobic substances. By contrast, we failed in the identification of C pools controlling the formation of aggregates, probably because of the disturbance of mechanical tillage which contributes to the breakdown of soil aggregates.The physically-based aggregate fractionation proposed in this study resulted useful in the  mechanistically understanding of the role of microorganisms in soil aggregation and it might be suggested for studying the impact of management on C pools, aggregates properties and their relationships in agricultural soils.

  6. Overview of the South African mechanistic pavement design analysis method

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Theyse, HL

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available A historical overview of the South African mechanistic pavement design method, from its development in the early 1970s to the present, is presented. Material characterization, structural analysis, and pavement life prediction are discussed...

  7. Mechanistic insights on the cycloisomerization of polyunsaturated precursors catalyzed by platinum and gold complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Elena; Marco-Contelles, José

    2009-08-18

    Organometallic chemistry provides powerful tools for the stereocontrolled synthesis of heterocycles and carbocycles. The electrophilic transition metals Pt(II) and Au(I, III) are efficient catalysts in these transitions and promote a variety of organic transformations of unsaturated precursors. These reactions produce functionalized cyclic and acyclic scaffolds for the synthesis of natural and non-natural products efficiently, under mild conditions, and with excellent chemoselectivity. Because these transformations are strongly substrate-dependent, they are versatile and may yield diverse molecular scaffolds. Therefore, synthetic chemists need a mechanistic interpretation to optimize this reaction process and design a new generation of catalysts. However, so far, no intermediate species has been isolated or characterized, so the formulated mechanistic hypotheses have been primarily based on labeling studies or trapping reactions. Recently, theoretical DFT studies have become a useful tool in our research, giving us insights into the key intermediates and into a variety of plausible reaction pathways. In this Account, we present a comprehensive mechanistic overview of transformations promoted by Pt and Au in a non-nucleophilic medium based on quantum-mechanical studies. The calculations are consistent with the experimental observations and provide fundamental insights into the versatility of these reaction processes. The reactivity of these metals results from their peculiar Lewis acid properties: the alkynophilic character of these soft metals and the pi-acid activation of unsaturated groups promotes the intra- or intermolecular attack of a nucleophile. 1,n-Enynes (n = 3-8) are particularly important precursors, and their transformation may yield a variety of cycloadducts depending on the molecular structure. However, the calculations suggest that these different cyclizations would have closely related reaction mechanisms, and we propose a unified mechanistic

  8. Mechanistic Links Between PARP, NAD, and Brain Inflammation After TBI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    1 AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-13-2-0091 TITLE: Mechanistic Links Between PARP, NAD , and Brain Inflammation After TBI PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR...COVERED 25 Sep 2014 - 24 Sep 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Mechanistic Links Between PARP, NAD , and Brain Inflammation After TBI 5b. GRANT...efficacy of veliparib and NAD as agents for suppressing inflammation and improving outcomes after traumatic brain injury. The animal models include

  9. Mechanistic Understanding of Lanthipeptide Biosynthetic Enzymes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Lanthipeptides are ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) that display a wide variety of biological activities, from antimicrobial to antiallodynic. Lanthipeptides that display antimicrobial activity are called lantibiotics. The post-translational modification reactions of lanthipeptides include dehydration of Ser and Thr residues to dehydroalanine and dehydrobutyrine, a transformation that is carried out in three unique ways in different classes of lanthipeptides. In a cyclization process, Cys residues then attack the dehydrated residues to generate the lanthionine and methyllanthionine thioether cross-linked amino acids from which lanthipeptides derive their name. The resulting polycyclic peptides have constrained conformations that confer their biological activities. After installation of the characteristic thioether cross-links, tailoring enzymes introduce additional post-translational modifications that are unique to each lanthipeptide and that fine-tune their activities and/or stability. This review focuses on studies published over the past decade that have provided much insight into the mechanisms of the enzymes that carry out the post-translational modifications. PMID:28135077

  10. Effective Teacher Practice on the Plausibility of Human-Induced Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niepold, F.; Sinatra, G. M.; Lombardi, D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change education programs in the United States seek to promote a deeper understanding of the science of climate change, behavior change and stewardship, and support informed decision making by individuals, organizations, and institutions--all of which are summarized under the term 'climate literacy.' The ultimate goal of climate literacy is to enable actors to address climate change, both in terms of stabilizing and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, but also an increased capacity to prepare for the consequences and opportunities of climate change. However, the long-term nature of climate change and the required societal response involve the changing students' ideas about controversial scientific issues which presents unique challenges for educators (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010; Sinatra & Mason, 2008). This session will explore how the United States educational efforts focus on three distinct, but related, areas: the science of climate change, the human-climate interaction, and using climate education to promote informed decision making. Each of these approaches are represented in the Atlas of Science Literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2007) and in the conceptual framework for science education developed at the National Research Council (NRC) in 2012. Instruction to develop these fundamental thinking skills (e.g., critical evaluation and plausibility reappraisal) has been called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2013), an innovative and research based way to address climate change education within the decentralized U.S. education system. However, the promise of the NGSS is that students will have more time to build mastery on the subjects, but the form of that instructional practice has been show to be critical. Research has show that effective instructional activities that promote evaluation of evidence improve students' understanding and acceptance toward the scientifically accepted model of human

  11. Semantics-based plausible reasoning to extend the knowledge coverage of medical knowledge bases for improved clinical decision support

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammadhassanzadeh, Hossein; Van Woensel, William; Abidi, Samina Raza; Abidi, Syed Sibte Raza

    2017-01-01

    Background Capturing complete medical knowledge is challenging-often due to incomplete patient Electronic Health Records (EHR), but also because of valuable, tacit medical knowledge hidden away in physicians? experiences. To extend the coverage of incomplete medical knowledge-based systems beyond their deductive closure, and thus enhance their decision-support capabilities, we argue that innovative, multi-strategy reasoning approaches should be applied. In particular, plausible reasoning mech...

  12. Systematic reviews need to consider applicability to disadvantaged populations: inter-rater agreement for a health equity plausibility algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, Vivian; Brand, Kevin; Kristjansson, Elizabeth; Smylie, Janet; Wells, George; Tugwell, Peter

    2012-12-19

    Systematic reviews have been challenged to consider effects on disadvantaged groups. A priori specification of subgroup analyses is recommended to increase the credibility of these analyses. This study aimed to develop and assess inter-rater agreement for an algorithm for systematic review authors to predict whether differences in effect measures are likely for disadvantaged populations relative to advantaged populations (only relative effect measures were addressed). A health equity plausibility algorithm was developed using clinimetric methods with three items based on literature review, key informant interviews and methodology studies. The three items dealt with the plausibility of differences in relative effects across sex or socioeconomic status (SES) due to: 1) patient characteristics; 2) intervention delivery (i.e., implementation); and 3) comparators. Thirty-five respondents (consisting of clinicians, methodologists and research users) assessed the likelihood of differences across sex and SES for ten systematic reviews with these questions. We assessed inter-rater reliability using Fleiss multi-rater kappa. The proportion agreement was 66% for patient characteristics (95% confidence interval: 61%-71%), 67% for intervention delivery (95% confidence interval: 62% to 72%) and 55% for the comparator (95% confidence interval: 50% to 60%). Inter-rater kappa, assessed with Fleiss kappa, ranged from 0 to 0.199, representing very low agreement beyond chance. Users of systematic reviews rated that important differences in relative effects across sex and socioeconomic status were plausible for a range of individual and population-level interventions. However, there was very low inter-rater agreement for these assessments. There is an unmet need for discussion of plausibility of differential effects in systematic reviews. Increased consideration of external validity and applicability to different populations and settings is warranted in systematic reviews to meet this

  13. Uncertain socioeconomic projections used in travel demand and emissions models: could plausible errors result in air quality nonconformity?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodier, C.J.; Johnston, R.A.

    2002-01-01

    A sensitivity analysis of plausible errors in population, employment, fuel price, and income projections is conducted using the travel demand and emissions models of the Sacramento, CA, USA, region for their transportation plan. The results of the analyses indicate that plausible error ranges for household income and fuel prices are not a significant source of uncertainty with respect to the region's travel demand and emissions projections. However, plausible errors in population and employment projections (within approximately one standard deviation) may result in the region's transportation plan not meeting the conformity test for nitrogens of oxides (NO x ) in the year 2005 (i.e., an approximately 16% probability). This outcome is also possible in the year 2015 but less likely (within approximately two standard deviations or a 2.5% probability). Errors in socioeconomic projections are only one of many sources of error in travel demand and emissions models. These results have several policy implications. First, regions like Sacramento that meet their conformity tests by a very small margin should rethink new highway investment and consider contingency transportation plans that incorporate more aggressive emissions reduction policies. Second, regional transportation planning agencies should conduct sensitivity analyses as part of their conformity analysis to make explicit significant uncertainties in the methods and to identify the probability of their transportation plan not conforming. Third, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should clarify the interpretation of ''demonstrate'' conformity of transportation plans; that is, specify the level of certainty that it considers a sufficient demonstration of conformity. (author)

  14. Vulnerabilities to agricultural production shocks: An extreme, plausible scenario for assessment of risk for the insurance sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Lunt

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate risks pose a threat to the function of the global food system and therefore also a hazard to the global financial sector, the stability of governments, and the food security and health of the world’s population. This paper presents a method to assess plausible impacts of an agricultural production shock and potential materiality for global insurers. A hypothetical, near-term, plausible, extreme scenario was developed based upon modules of historical agricultural production shocks, linked under a warm phase El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO meteorological framework. The scenario included teleconnected floods and droughts in disparate agricultural production regions around the world, as well as plausible, extreme biotic shocks. In this scenario, global crop yield declines of 10% for maize, 11% for soy, 7% for wheat and 7% for rice result in quadrupled commodity prices and commodity stock fluctuations, civil unrest, significant negative humanitarian consequences and major financial losses worldwide. This work illustrates a need for the scientific community to partner across sectors and industries towards better-integrated global data, modeling and analytical capacities, to better respond to and prepare for concurrent agricultural failure. Governments, humanitarian organizations and the private sector collectively may recognize significant benefits from more systematic assessment of exposure to agricultural climate risk.

  15. Predicting interactions from mechanistic information: Can omic data validate theories?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borgert, Christopher J.

    2007-01-01

    To address the most pressing and relevant issues for improving mixture risk assessment, researchers must first recognize that risk assessment is driven by both regulatory requirements and scientific research, and that regulatory concerns may expand beyond the purely scientific interests of researchers. Concepts of 'mode of action' and 'mechanism of action' are used in particular ways within the regulatory arena, depending on the specific assessment goals. The data requirements for delineating a mode of action and predicting interactive toxicity in mixtures are not well defined from a scientific standpoint due largely to inherent difficulties in testing certain underlying assumptions. Understanding the regulatory perspective on mechanistic concepts will be important for designing experiments that can be interpreted clearly and applied in risk assessments without undue reliance on extrapolation and assumption. In like fashion, regulators and risk assessors can be better equipped to apply mechanistic data if the concepts underlying mechanistic research and the limitations that must be placed on interpretation of mechanistic data are understood. This will be critically important for applying new technologies to risk assessment, such as functional genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. It will be essential not only for risk assessors to become conversant with the language and concepts of mechanistic research, including new omic technologies, but also, for researchers to become more intimately familiar with the challenges and needs of risk assessment

  16. Explanation and inference: Mechanistic and functional explanations guide property generalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania eLombrozo

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The ability to generalize from the known to the unknown is central to learning and inference. Two experiments explore the relationship between how a property is explained and how that property is generalized to novel species and artifacts. The experiments contrast the consequences of explaining a property mechanistically, by appeal to parts and processes, with the consequences of explaining the property functionally, by appeal to functions and goals. The findings suggest that properties that are explained functionally are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions, with a weaker relationship between mechanistic explanations and generalization on the basis of shared parts and processes. The influence of explanation type on generalization holds even though all participants are provided with the same mechanistic and functional information, and whether an explanation type is freely generated (Experiment 1, experimentally provided (Experiment 2, or experimentally induced (Experiment 2. The experiments also demonstrate that explanations and generalizations of a particular type (mechanistic or functional can be experimentally induced by providing sample explanations of that type, with a comparable effect when the sample explanations come from the same domain or from a different domains. These results suggest that explanations serve as a guide to generalization, and contribute to a growing body of work supporting the value of distinguishing mechanistic and functional explanations.

  17. Explanation and inference: mechanistic and functional explanations guide property generalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Gwynne, Nicholas Z

    2014-01-01

    The ability to generalize from the known to the unknown is central to learning and inference. Two experiments explore the relationship between how a property is explained and how that property is generalized to novel species and artifacts. The experiments contrast the consequences of explaining a property mechanistically, by appeal to parts and processes, with the consequences of explaining the property functionally, by appeal to functions and goals. The findings suggest that properties that are explained functionally are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions, with a weaker relationship between mechanistic explanations and generalization on the basis of shared parts and processes. The influence of explanation type on generalization holds even though all participants are provided with the same mechanistic and functional information, and whether an explanation type is freely generated (Experiment 1), experimentally provided (Experiment 2), or experimentally induced (Experiment 2). The experiments also demonstrate that explanations and generalizations of a particular type (mechanistic or functional) can be experimentally induced by providing sample explanations of that type, with a comparable effect when the sample explanations come from the same domain or from a different domains. These results suggest that explanations serve as a guide to generalization, and contribute to a growing body of work supporting the value of distinguishing mechanistic and functional explanations.

  18. Bird Migration Under Climate Change - A Mechanistic Approach Using Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A.; Blattner, Tim; Messmer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    The broad-scale reductions and shifts that may be expected under climate change in the availability and quality of stopover habitat for long-distance migrants is an area of increasing concern for conservation biologists. Researchers generally have taken two broad approaches to the modeling of migration behaviour to understand the impact of these changes on migratory bird populations. These include models based on causal processes and their response to environmental stimulation, "mechanistic models", or models that primarily are based on observed animal distribution patterns and the correlation of these patterns with environmental variables, i.e. "data driven" models. Investigators have applied the latter technique to forecast changes in migration patterns with changes in the environment, for example, as might be expected under climate change, by forecasting how the underlying environmental data layers upon which the relationships are built will change over time. The learned geostatstical correlations are then applied to the modified data layers.. However, this is problematic. Even if the projections of how the underlying data layers will change are correct, it is not evident that the statistical relationships will remain the same, i.e. that the animal organism may not adapt its' behaviour to the changing conditions. Mechanistic models that explicitly take into account the physical, biological, and behaviour responses of an organism as well as the underlying changes in the landscape offer an alternative to address these shortcomings. The availability of satellite remote sensing observations at multiple spatial and temporal scales, coupled with advances in climate modeling and information technologies enable the application of the mechanistic models to predict how continental bird migration patterns may change in response to environmental change. In earlier work, we simulated the impact of effects of wetland loss and inter-annual variability on the fitness of

  19. Consciousness and biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, B I

    1997-08-21

    It has been suggested that if the preservation and development of consciousness in the biological evolution is a result of natural selection, it is plausible that consciousness not only has been influenced by neural processes, but has had a survival value itself; and it could only have had this, if it had also been efficacious. This argument for mind-brain interaction is examined, both as the argument has been developed by William James and Karl Popper and as it has been discussed by C.D. Broad. The problem of identifying mental phenomena with certain neural phenomena is also addressed. The main conclusion of the analysis is that an explanation of the evolution of consciousness in Darwinian terms of natural selection does not rule out that consciousness may have evolved as a mere causally inert effect of the evolution of the nervous system, or that mental phenomena are identical with certain neural phenomena. However, the interactionistic theory still seems, more plausible and more fruitful for other reasons brought up in the discussion.

  20. Managing mechanistic and organic structure in health care organizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olden, Peter C

    2012-01-01

    Managers at all levels in a health care organization must organize work to achieve the organization's mission and goals. This requires managers to decide the organization structure, which involves dividing the work among jobs and departments and then coordinating them all toward the common purpose. Organization structure, which is reflected in an organization chart, may range on a continuum from very mechanistic to very organic. Managers must decide how mechanistic versus how organic to make the entire organization and each of its departments. To do this, managers should carefully consider 5 factors for the organization and for each individual department: external environment, goals, work production, size, and culture. Some factors may push toward more mechanistic structure, whereas others may push in the opposite direction toward more organic structure. Practical advice can help managers at all levels design appropriate structure for their departments and organization.

  1. Mechanistic Insights of Vitamin D Anticancer Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yingyu; Johnson, Candace S; Trump, Donald L

    2016-01-01

    Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone that regulates many biological functions in addition to its classical role in maintaining calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism. Vitamin D deficiency appears to predispose individuals to increased risk of developing a number of cancers. Compelling epidemiological and experimental evidence supports a role for vitamin D in cancer prevention and treatment in many types of cancers. Preclinical studies show that 1,25D3, the active metabolite of vitamin D, and its analogs have antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo through multiple mechanisms including the induction of cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, differentiation and the suppression of inflammation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. 1,25D3 also potentiates the effect of chemotherapeutic agents and other agents in the combination treatment. In this review, the antitumor effects of 1,25D3 and the potential underlying mechanisms will be discussed. The current findings support the application of 1,25D3 in cancer prevention and treatment. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Mechanistic considerations in benzene physiological model development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medinsky, M A; Kenyon, E M; Seaton, M J; Schlosser, P M

    1996-12-01

    Benzene, an important industrial solvent, is also present in unleaded gasoline and cigarette smoke. The hematotoxic effects of benzene in humans are well documented and include aplastic anemia, pancytopenia, and acute myelogenous leukemia. However, the risks of leukemia at low exposure concentrations have not been established. A combination of metabolites (hydroquinone and phenol, for example) may be necessary to duplicate the hematotoxic effect of benzene, perhaps due in part to the synergistic effect of phenol on myeloperoxidase-mediated oxidation of hydroquinone to the reactive metabolite benzoquinone. Because benzene and its hydroxylated metabolites (phenol, hydroquinone, and catechol) are substrates for the same cytochrome P450 enzymes, competitive interactions among the metabolites are possible. In vivo data on metabolite formation by mice exposed to various benzene concentrations are consistent with competitive inhibition of phenol oxidation by benzene. In vitro studies of the metabolic oxidation of benzene, phenol, and hydroquinone are consistent with the mechanism of competitive interaction among the metabolites. The dosimetry of benzene and its metabolites in the target tissue, bone marrow, depends on the balance of activation processes such as enzymatic oxidation and deactivation processes such as conjugation and excretion. Phenol, the primary benzene metabolite, can undergo both oxidation and conjugation. Thus the potential exists for competition among various enzymes for phenol. Zonal localization of phase I and phase II enzymes in various regions of the liver acinus also impacts this competition. Biologically based dosimetry models that incorporate the important determinants of benzene flux, including interactions with other chemicals, will enable prediction of target tissue doses of benzene and metabolites at low exposure concentrations relevant for humans.

  3. Mechanistic aspects of failure of mineralized tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nalla, Ravi Kiran

    Over the past few decades, there has been increased interest in the structure and properties of mineralized biological tissues like bone and dentin (a structurally simpler analogue of bone that makes up the bulk of the human tooth). In particular, there has been considerable research into the mechanical properties of such tissues and into how they fracture. An understanding of these properties is of great importance from the perspective of developing a realistic framework for life prediction, particularly in light of the effect of microstructural modifications from aging, disease, remodeling, etc. Central to these issues is the resistance to fracture of these materials, and the microstructural mechanisms that are the source of such resistance. Understanding such properties in the context of the inherent hierarchical complexity of the microstructure of these tissues is of obvious importance. However, surprisingly, such questions have largely remained unanswered and to a large extent, even uninvestigated. The present study initially seeks to focus on the fracture and fatigue behavior of dentin and to extend the observations to cortical bone. Accordingly, fracture mechanics based experiments were conducted to evaluate the fracture toughness of dentin in the context of the anisotropy with respect to the underlying microstructure, and discussed in terms of the salient toughening mechanisms active in this material. In light of the presence of such mechanisms, the fracture toughness properties were then evaluated in terms of resistance-curve (R-curve) behavior, i.e., fracture resistance increasing with crack extension. Furthermore, dentin is known to be susceptible to failure under cyclic loading. The "stress-life" and fatigue-crack propagation data obtained through a systematic investigation of the effects of prolonged cyclical loading are discussed. It is concluded that the presence of small incipient flaws in human teeth of the order of 250 mum in size will not

  4. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddy, James A; Funk, Cory C; Price, Nathan D

    2015-08-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules, predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes, generating hypotheses and guiding experimental design, and highlighting knowledge gaps and refining understanding. In turn, incorporating domain expertise and experimental data is crucial for building towards whole cell models. An iterative cycle of interaction between cell and systems biologists advances the goals of both fields and establishes a framework for mechanistic understanding of the genome-to-phenome relationship. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Descriptive and mechanistic models of crop–weed competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaans, L.; Storkey, J.

    2017-01-01

    Crop-weed competitive relations are an important element of agroecosystems. Quantifying and understanding them helps to design appropriate weed management at operational, tactical and strategic level. This chapter presents and discusses simple descriptive and more mechanistic models for crop-weed

  6. A mechanistic model on methane oxidation in the rice rhizosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodegom, van P.M.; Leffelaar, P.A.; Goudriaan, J.

    2001-01-01

    A mechanistic model is presented on the processes leading to methane oxidation in rice rhizosphere. The model is driven by oxygen release from a rice root into anaerobic rice soil. Oxygen is consumed by heterotrophic and methanotrophic respiration, described by double Monod kinetics, and by iron

  7. Precision and accuracy of mechanistic-empirical pavement design

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Theyse, HL

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available are discussed in general. The effects of variability and error on the design accuracy and design risk are lastly illustrated at the hand of a simple mechanistic-empirical design problem, showing that the engineering models alone determine the accuracy...

  8. The mechanistic bases of the power-time relationship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vanhatalo, Anni; Black, Matthew I; DiMenna, Fred J

    2016-01-01

    .025) and inversely correlated with muscle type IIx fibre proportion (r = -0.76, P = 0.01). There was no relationship between W' (19.4 ± 6.3 kJ) and muscle fibre type. These data indicate a mechanistic link between the bioenergetic characteristics of different muscle fibre types and the power-duration relationship...

  9. Advanced reach tool (ART) : Development of the mechanistic model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fransman, W.; Tongeren, M. van; Cherrie, J.W.; Tischer, M.; Schneider, T.; Schinkel, J.; Kromhout, H.; Warren, N.; Goede, H.; Tielemans, E.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the development of the mechanistic model within a collaborative project, referred to as the Advanced REACH Tool (ART) project, to develop a tool to model inhalation exposure for workers sharing similar operational conditions across different industries and locations in Europe.

  10. Mathematical Description and Mechanistic Reasoning: A Pathway toward STEM Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinberg, Paul J.

    2017-01-01

    Because reasoning about mechanism is critical to disciplined inquiry in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) domains, this study focuses on ways to support the development of this form of reasoning. This study attends to how mechanistic reasoning is constituted through mathematical description. This study draws upon Smith's…

  11. Does Mechanistic Thinking Improve Student Success in Organic Chemistry?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Nathaniel P.; Cooper, Melanie M.; Cox, Elizabeth L.

    2012-01-01

    The use of the curved-arrow notation to depict electron flow during mechanistic processes is one of the most important representational conventions in the organic chemistry curriculum. Our previous research documented a disturbing trend: when asked to predict the products of a series of reactions, many students do not spontaneously engage in…

  12. Sex ratio meiotic drive as a plausible evolutionary mechanism for hybrid male sterility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linbin Zhang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome--two patterns widely observed across animals.

  13. Plausible Roles for RAGE in Conditions Exacerbated by Direct and Indirect (Secondhand) Smoke Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Joshua B; Hirschi, Kelsey M; Arroyo, Juan A; Bikman, Benjamin T; Kooyman, David L; Reynolds, Paul R

    2017-03-17

    Approximately 1 billion people smoke worldwide, and the burden placed on society by primary and secondhand smokers is expected to increase. Smoking is the leading risk factor for myriad health complications stemming from diverse pathogenic programs. First- and second-hand cigarette smoke contains thousands of constituents, including several carcinogens and cytotoxic chemicals that orchestrate chronic inflammatory responses and destructive remodeling events. In the current review, we outline details related to compromised pulmonary and systemic conditions related to smoke exposure. Specifically, data are discussed relative to impaired lung physiology, cancer mechanisms, maternal-fetal complications, cardiometabolic, and joint disorders in the context of smoke exposure exacerbations. As a general unifying mechanism, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) and its signaling axis is increasingly considered central to smoke-related pathogenesis. RAGE is a multi-ligand cell surface receptor whose expression increases following cigarette smoke exposure. RAGE signaling participates in the underpinning of inflammatory mechanisms mediated by requisite cytokines, chemokines, and remodeling enzymes. Understanding the biological contributions of RAGE during cigarette smoke-induced inflammation may provide critically important insight into the pathology of lung disease and systemic complications that combine during the demise of those exposed.

  14. Sex ratio meiotic drive as a plausible evolutionary mechanism for hybrid male sterility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Linbin; Sun, Tianai; Woldesellassie, Fitsum; Xiao, Hailian; Tao, Yun

    2015-03-01

    Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s) that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome--two patterns widely observed across animals.

  15. The apoptotic effect and the plausible mechanism of microwave radiation on rat myocardial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wenhe; Cui, Yan; Feng, Xianmin; Li, Yan; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Junjie; Wang, Huiyan; Lv, Shijie

    2016-08-01

    Microwaves may exert adverse biological effects on the cardiovascular system at the integrated system and cellular levels. However, the mechanism underlying such effects remains poorly understood. Here, we report a previously uncharacterized mechanism through which microwaves damage myocardial cells. Rats were treated with 2450 MHz microwave radiation at 50, 100, 150, or 200 mW/cm(2) for 6 min. Microwave treatment significantly enhanced the levels of various enzymes in serum. In addition, it increased the malondialdehyde content while decreasing the levels of antioxidative stress enzymes, activities of enzyme complexes I-IV, and ATP in myocardial tissues. Notably, irradiated myocardial cells exhibited structural damage and underwent apoptosis. Furthermore, Western blot analysis revealed significant changes in expression levels of proteins involved in oxidative stress regulation and apoptotic signaling pathways, indicating that microwave irradiation could induce myocardial cell apoptosis by interfering with oxidative stress and cardiac energy metabolism. Our findings provide useful insights into the mechanism of microwave-induced damage to the cardiovascular system.

  16. Comparative ecophysiology of two sympatric lizards. Laying the groundwork for mechanistic distribution models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique García-Muñoz

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution modelling usually makes inferences correlating species presence and environmental variables but does not take biotic relations into account. Alternative approaches based on a mechanistic understanding of biological processes are now being applied. Regarding lacertid lizards, physiological traits such as preferred body temperature (Tp are well known to correlate with several physiological optima. Much less is known about their water ecology although body temperature and evaporative water loss (Wl may trade-off. Two saxicolous lacertids, Algyroides marchi and Podarcis hispanica ss are sympatric in the Subbetic Mountains (SE Spain were they can be found in syntopy. Previous distribution modelling indicates the first species is associated with mountains, low temperatures; high precipitation and forest cover whereas the second one is more generalistic. Here, we perform two ecophysiological tests with both species: a Tp experiment in thermal gradient and a Wl experiment in sealed chambers. Although both species attained similar body temperatures, A. marchi lost more water and more uniformly in time than P. hispanica ss that displayed an apparent response to dehydration. These results suggest that water loss rather temperature is crucial to explain the distribution patterns of A. marchi in relation to P. hispanica ss, the former risking dehydration in dry areas no matter what temperature is. Ecophysiological traits represent a promising tool to build future mechanistic models for (lacertid lizards. Additionally, the implications for their biogeography and conservation are discussed.

  17. Virtual Neurorobotics (VNR) to Accelerate Development of Plausible Neuromorphic Brain Architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Philip H; Buntha, Sermsak; Zou, Quan; Dascalu, Sergiu-Mihai

    2007-01-01

    Traditional research in artificial intelligence and machine learning has viewed the brain as a specially adapted information-processing system. More recently the field of social robotics has been advanced to capture the important dynamics of human cognition and interaction. An overarching societal goal of this research is to incorporate the resultant knowledge about intelligence into technology for prosthetic, assistive, security, and decision support applications. However, despite many decades of investment in learning and classification systems, this paradigm has yet to yield truly "intelligent" systems. For this reason, many investigators are now attempting to incorporate more realistic neuromorphic properties into machine learning systems, encouraged by over two decades of neuroscience research that has provided parameters that characterize the brain's interdependent genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, anatomic, and electrophysiological networks. Given the complexity of neural systems, developing tenable models to capture the essence of natural intelligence for real-time application requires that we discriminate features underlying information processing and intrinsic motivation from those reflecting biological constraints (such as maintaining structural integrity and transporting metabolic products). We propose herein a conceptual framework and an iterative method of virtual neurorobotics (VNR) intended to rapidly forward-engineer and test progressively more complex putative neuromorphic brain prototypes for their ability to support intrinsically intelligent, intentional interaction with humans. The VNR system is based on the viewpoint that a truly intelligent system must be driven by emotion rather than programmed tasking, incorporating intrinsic motivation and intentionality. We report pilot results of a closed-loop, real-time interactive VNR system with a spiking neural brain, and provide a video demonstration as online supplemental material.

  18. Virtual neurorobotics (VNR to accelerate development of plausible neuromorphic brain architectures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip H Goodman

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Traditional research in artificial intelligence and machine learning has viewed the brain as a specially adapted information-processing system. More recently the field of social robotics has been advanced to capture the important dynamics of human cognition and interaction. An overarching societal goal of this research is to incorporate the resultant knowledge about intelligence into technology for prosthetic, assistive, security, and decision support applications. However, despite many decades of investment in learning and classification systems, this paradigm has yet to yield truly “intelligent” systems. For this reason, many investigators are now attempting to incorporate more realistic neuromorphic properties into machine learning systems, encouraged by over two decades of neuroscience research that has provided parameters that characterize the brain’s interdependent genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, anatomic, and electrophysiological networks. Given the complexity of neural systems, developing tenable models to capture the essence of natural intelligence for real-time application requires that we discriminate features underlying information processing and intrinsic motivation from those reflecting biological constraints (such as maintaining structural integrity and transporting metabolic products. We propose herein a conceptual framework and an iterative method of virtual neurorobotics (VNR intended to rapidly forward-engineer and test progressively more complex putative neuromorphic brain prototypes for their ability to support intrinsically intelligent, intentional interaction with humans. The VNR system is based on the viewpoint that a truly intelligent system must be driven by emotion rather than programmed tasking, incorporating intrinsic motivation and intentionality. We report pilot results of a closed-loop, real-time interactive VNR system with a spiking neural brain, and provide a video demonstration as online supplemental

  19. A Note on Unified Statistics Including Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein, and Tsallis Statistics, and Plausible Extension to Anisotropic Effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christianto V.

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In the light of some recent hypotheses suggesting plausible unification of thermostatistics where Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein and Tsallis statistics become its special subsets, we consider further plausible extension to include non-integer Hausdorff dimension, which becomes realization of fractal entropy concept. In the subsequent section, we also discuss plausible extension of this unified statistics to include anisotropic effect by using quaternion oscillator, which may be observed in the context of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Further observation is of course recommended in order to refute or verify this proposition.

  20. Metal-Free α-C(sp3–H Functionalized Oxidative Cyclization of Tertiary N,N-Diaryl Amino Alcohols: Theoretical Approach for Mechanistic Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zakir Ullah

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The mechanistic pathway of TEMPO/I2-mediated oxidative cyclization of N,N-diaryl amino alcohols 1 was investigated. Based on direct empirical experiments, three key intermediates (aminium radical cation 3, α-aminoalkyl radical 4, and iminium 5, four types of reactive species (radical TEMPO, cationic TEMPO, TEMPO-I, and iodo radical, and three types of pathways ((1 SET/PCET mechanism; (2 HAT/1,6-H transfer mechanism; (3 ionic mechanism were assumed. Under the assumption, nine free energy diagrams were acquired through density functional theory calculations. From the comparison of solution-phase free energy, some possible mechanisms were excluded, and then the chosen plausible mechanisms were concretized using the more stable intermediate 7.

  1. Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ripke, Stephan; Neale, Benjamin M.; Corvin, Aiden

    2014-01-01

    and 113,075 controls. We identify 128 independent associations spanning 108 conservatively defined loci that meet genome-wide significance, 83 of which have not been previously reported. Associations were enriched among genes expressed in brain, providing biological plausibility for the findings. Many...

  2. Mechanistic Fermentation Models for Process Design, Monitoring, and Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mears, Lisa; Stocks, Stuart M.; Albæk, Mads Orla

    2017-01-01

    Mechanistic models require a significant investment of time and resources, but their application to multiple stages of fermentation process development and operation can make this investment highly valuable. This Opinion article discusses how an established fermentation model may be adapted...... for application to different stages of fermentation process development: planning, process design, monitoring, and control. Although a longer development time is required for such modeling methods in comparison to purely data-based model techniques, the wide range of applications makes them a highly valuable tool...... for fermentation research and development. In addition, in a research environment, where collaboration is important, developing mechanistic models provides a platform for knowledge sharing and consolidation of existing process understanding....

  3. Evaluation of mechanistic DNB models using HCLWR CHF data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwamura, Takamichi; Watanabe, Hironori; Okubo, Tsutomu; Araya, Fumimasa; Murao, Yoshio.

    1992-03-01

    An onset of departure from nucleate boiling (DNB) in light water reactor (LWR) has been generally predicted with empirical correlations. Since these correlations have less physical bases and contain adjustable empirical constants determined by best fitting of test data, applicable geometries and flow conditions are limited within the original experiment ranges. In order to obtain more universal prediction method, several mechanistic DNB models based on physical approaches have been proposed in recent years. However, the predictive capabilities of mechanistic DNB models have not been verified successfully especially for advanced LWR design purposes. In this report, typical DNB mechanistic models are reviewed and compared with critical heat flux (CHF) data for high conversion light water reactor (HCLWR). The experiments were performed using triangular 7-rods array with non-uniform axial heat flux distribution. Test pressure was 16 MPa, mass velocities ranged from 800 t0 3100 kg/s·m 2 and exit qualities from -0.07 to 0.19. The evaluated models are: 1) Wisman-Pei, 2) Chang-Lee, 3) Lee-Mudawwar, 4) Lin-Lee-Pei, and 5) Katto. The first two models are based on near-wall bubble crowding model and the other three models on sublayer dryout model. The comparison with experimental data indicated that the Weisman-Pei model agreed relatively well with the CHF data. Effects of empirical constants in each model on CHF calculation were clarified by sensitivity studies. It was also found that the magnitudes of physical quantities obtained in the course of calculation were significantly different for each model. Therefore, microscopic observation of the onset of DNB on heated surface is essential to clarify the DNB mechanism and establish a general DNB mechanistic model based on physical phenomenon. (author)

  4. Mechanistic modeling analysis of micro-evolutive responses from a Caenorhabditis elegans population exposed to a radioactive metallic stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goussen, Benoit

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of toxic effects at a relevant scale is an important challenge for the ecosystem protection. Indeed, pollutants may impact populations over long-term and represent a new evolutionary force which can be adding itself to the natural selection forces. Thereby, it is necessary to acquire knowledge on the phenotypics and genetics changes that may appear in populations submitted to stress over several generations. Usually statistical analyses are performed to analyse such multi-generational studies. The use of a mechanistic mathematical model may provide a way to fully understand the impact of pollutants on the populations' dynamics. Such kind of model allows the integration of biological and toxic processes into the analysis of eco-toxicological data and the assessment of interactions between these processes. The aim of this Ph.D. project was to assess the contributions of the mechanistic modelling to the analysis of evolutionary experiment assessing long-term exposure. To do so, a three step strategy has been developed. Foremost, a multi-generational study was performed to assess the evolution of two populations of the ubiquitous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in control conditions or exposed to 1.1 mM of uranium. Several generations were selected to assess growth, reproduction, and dose-responses relationships, through exposure to a range of concentrations (from 0 to 1.2 mM U) with all endpoints measured daily. A first statistical analysis was then performed. In a second step, a bio-energetic model adapted to the assessment of eco-toxicological data (DEBtox) was developed on C. elegans. Its numerical behaviour was analysed. Finally, this model was applied to all the selected generations in order to infer parameters values for the two populations and to assess their evolutions. Results highlighted an impact of the uranium starting from 0.4 mM U on both C. elegans' growth and reproduction. Results from the mechanistic analysis indicate this effect is due

  5. Specialists without spirit: limitations of the mechanistic biomedical model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewa, S; Hetherington, R W

    1995-06-01

    This paper examines the origin and the development of the mechanistic model of the human body and health in terms of Max Weber's theory of rationalization. It is argued that the development of Western scientific medicine is a part of the broad process of rationalization that began in sixteenth century Europe as a result of the Reformation. The development of the mechanistic view of the human body in Western medicine is consistent with the ideas of calculability, predictability, and control-the major tenets of the process of rationalization as described by Weber. In recent years, however, the limitations of the mechanistic model have been the topic of many discussions. George Engel, a leading advocate of general systems theory, is one of the leading proponents of a new medical model which includes the general quality of life, clean environment, and psychological, or spiritual stability of life. The paper concludes with consideration of the potential of Engel's proposed new model in the context of the current state of rationalization in modern industrialized society.

  6. Numerical simulation in steam injection process by a mechanistic approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Souza, J.C.Jr.; Campos, W.; Lopes, D.; Moura, L.S.S. [Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2008-10-15

    Steam injection is a common thermal recovery method used in very viscous oil reservoirs. The method involves the injection of heat to reduce viscosity and mobilize oil. A steam generation and injection system consists primarily of a steam source, distribution lines, injection wells and a discarding tank. In order to optimize injection and improve the oil recovery factor, one must determine the parameters of steam flow such as pressure, temperature and steam quality. This study focused on developing a unified mathematical model by means of a mechanistic approach for two-phase steam flow in pipelines and wells. The hydrodynamic and heat transfer mechanistic model was implemented in a computer simulator to model the parameters of steam injection while trying to avoid the use of empirical correlations. A marching algorithm was used to determine the distribution of pressure and temperature along the pipelines and wellbores. The mathematical model for steam flow in injection systems, developed by a mechanistic approach (VapMec) performed well when the simulated values of pressures and temperatures were compared with the values measured during field tests. The newly developed VapMec model was incorporated in the LinVap-3 simulator that constitutes an engineering supporting tool for steam injection wells operated by Petrobras. 23 refs., 7 tabs., 6 figs.

  7. Biological Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... E-Tools Safety and Health Topics / Biological Agents Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... 202) 693-2300 if additional assistance is required. Biological Agents Menu Overview In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. ...

  8. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  9. Microwave mediated synthesis of spiro-(indoline-isoxazolidines): mechanistic study and biological activity evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raunak, R.; Kumar, Vineet; Mukherjee, Shubhasish

    2005-01-01

    Regioisomeric spiro-(indoline-isoxazolidines) have been synthesized in moderate yields by the cycloaddition reaction between ethyl (3-indolylidene)acetate and various substituted α,N-diphenylnitrones, using environmentally benign microwave technology. A novel concerted reaction mechanism is descr......Regioisomeric spiro-(indoline-isoxazolidines) have been synthesized in moderate yields by the cycloaddition reaction between ethyl (3-indolylidene)acetate and various substituted α,N-diphenylnitrones, using environmentally benign microwave technology. A novel concerted reaction mechanism...

  10. Pathways to plausibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo

    2008-01-01

    Herbal medicine has long been contrasted to modern medicine in terms of a holistic approach to healing, vitalistic theories of health and illness and an emphasis on the body’s innate self-healing capacities. At the same time, since the early 20th century, the cultivation, preparation and mass...... production of herbal medicines have become increasingly industrialised, scientificised and commercialised. What is more, phytochemical efforts to identify and isolate particular ‘active ingredients’ from whole-plant extracts have intensified, often in response to increasing regulatory scrutiny of the safety...... and quality of herbal medicinal products. In this paper, I examine whether describing these developments in terms of a biomedical ‘colonisation’ of herbal medicine, as has been common, allows us to sufficiently account for the mundane collaborative efforts of herbalists, botanists, phytochemists...

  11. Emerging role of Hippo signalling in pancreatic biology: YAP re-expression and plausible link to islet cell apoptosis and replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Anjana; Yerra, Veera Ganesh; Kumar, Ashutosh

    2017-02-01

    Diabetes mellitus is an ailment that develops when the functional capacity of the pancreas does not meet the metabolic requirements of the whole body, either due to insulin insufficiency or resistance to insulin action. Current therapies that control glycaemia are limited by their unwanted effects or their inability to prevent the development of long-term complications. Regeneration and replacement of beta cell therapies are shaping the goals of future management of diabetes. The Hippo pathway, first discovered in Drosophila melanogaster, plays a vital role in controlling the organ size. Nuclear recruitment of YAP/TAZ (Yes-associated protein/transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif), a mammalian analogue of Yorkie protein found in Drosophila, activates cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis. YAP was found to regulate early pancreatic development followed by downregulation during Ngn3-specific endocrine lineage maturation corresponding to their mitotic quiescence. Recent evidences have shown that optimum modulation of upstream kinases in the Hippo signalling pathway may lead to apoptosis inhibition and renewal of progenitor as well as stem cells in case of tissue or cell injury. This article reviews the evidences linking the role of various components of the Hippo pathway to pancreatic regeneration. In particular, the focus is on the beneficial role of induced YAP expression and its nuclear distribution on apoptosis and replication of adult pancreatic β islets. This approach may be of immense significance towards our fight against diabetes; thus, more insightful research is warranted in the area of Hippo signalling pathway and its involvement in pancreatic regeneration. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  12. A genome-wide association meta-analysis of diarrhoeal disease in young children identifies FUT2 locus and provides plausible biological pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bustamante, Mariona; Standl, Marie; Bassat, Quique

    2016-01-01

    implicated in the susceptibility to infections, including Rotavirus and Norovirus Gene-set enrichment analysis suggested pathways related to the histo-blood group antigen production, and the regulation of ion transport and blood pressure. Among others, the gastrointestinal tract, and the immune and neuro...

  13. LASSIM-A network inference toolbox for genome-wide mechanistic modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasmus Magnusson

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent technological advancements have made time-resolved, quantitative, multi-omics data available for many model systems, which could be integrated for systems pharmacokinetic use. Here, we present large-scale simulation modeling (LASSIM, which is a novel mathematical tool for performing large-scale inference using mechanistically defined ordinary differential equations (ODE for gene regulatory networks (GRNs. LASSIM integrates structural knowledge about regulatory interactions and non-linear equations with multiple steady state and dynamic response expression datasets. The rationale behind LASSIM is that biological GRNs can be simplified using a limited subset of core genes that are assumed to regulate all other gene transcription events in the network. The LASSIM method is implemented as a general-purpose toolbox using the PyGMO Python package to make the most of multicore computers and high performance clusters, and is available at https://gitlab.com/Gustafsson-lab/lassim. As a method, LASSIM works in two steps, where it first infers a non-linear ODE system of the pre-specified core gene expression. Second, LASSIM in parallel optimizes the parameters that model the regulation of peripheral genes by core system genes. We showed the usefulness of this method by applying LASSIM to infer a large-scale non-linear model of naïve Th2 cell differentiation, made possible by integrating Th2 specific bindings, time-series together with six public and six novel siRNA-mediated knock-down experiments. ChIP-seq showed significant overlap for all tested transcription factors. Next, we performed novel time-series measurements of total T-cells during differentiation towards Th2 and verified that our LASSIM model could monitor those data significantly better than comparable models that used the same Th2 bindings. In summary, the LASSIM toolbox opens the door to a new type of model-based data analysis that combines the strengths of reliable mechanistic models

  14. Mechanistic species distribution modeling reveals a niche shift during invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Daniel S; Scalone, Romain; Štefanić, Edita; Bullock, James M

    2017-06-01

    Niche shifts of nonnative plants can occur when they colonize novel climatic conditions. However, the mechanistic basis for niche shifts during invasion is poorly understood and has rarely been captured within species distribution models. We quantified the consequence of between-population variation in phenology for invasion of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) across Europe. Ragweed is of serious concern because of its harmful effects as a crop weed and because of its impact on public health as a major aeroallergen. We developed a forward mechanistic species distribution model based on responses of ragweed development rates to temperature and photoperiod. The model was parameterized and validated from the literature and by reanalyzing data from a reciprocal common garden experiment in which native and invasive populations were grown within and beyond the current invaded range. It could therefore accommodate between-population variation in the physiological requirements for flowering, and predict the potentially invaded ranges of individual populations. Northern-origin populations that were established outside the generally accepted climate envelope of the species had lower thermal requirements for bud development, suggesting local adaptation of phenology had occurred during the invasion. The model predicts that this will extend the potentially invaded range northward and increase the average suitability across Europe by 90% in the current climate and 20% in the future climate. Therefore, trait variation observed at the population scale can trigger a climatic niche shift at the biogeographic scale. For ragweed, earlier flowering phenology in established northern populations could allow the species to spread beyond its current invasive range, substantially increasing its risk to agriculture and public health. Mechanistic species distribution models offer the possibility to represent niche shifts by varying the traits and niche responses of individual

  15. A dynamic, mechanistic model of metabolism in adipose tissue of lactating dairy cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, J P; Huber, K; Kenéz, A

    2016-07-01

    Research in dairy cattle biology has resulted in a large body of knowledge on nutrition and metabolism in support of milk production and efficiency. This quantitative knowledge has been compiled in several model systems to balance and evaluate rations and predict requirements. There are also systems models for metabolism and reproduction in the cow that can be used to support research programs. Adipose tissue plays a significant role in the success and efficiency of lactation, and recent research has resulted in several data sets on genomic differences and changes in gene transcription of adipose tissue in dairy cattle. To fully use this knowledge, we need to build and expand mechanistic, dynamic models that integrate control of metabolism and production. Therefore, we constructed a second-generation dynamic, mechanistic model of adipose tissue metabolism of dairy cattle. The model describes the biochemical interconversions of glucose, acetate, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), glycerol, C16 fatty acids, and triacylglycerols. Data gathered from our own research and published references were used to set equation forms and parameter values. Acetate, glucose, BHB, and fatty acids are taken up from blood. The fatty acids are activated to the acyl coenzyme A moieties. Enzymatically catalyzed reactions are explicitly described with parameters including maximal velocity and substrate sensitivity. The control of enzyme activity is partially carried out by insulin and norepinephrine, portraying control in the cow. Model behavior was adequate, with sensitive responses to changing substrates and hormones. Increased nutrient uptake and increased insulin stimulate triacylglycerol synthesis, whereas a reduction in nutrient availability or increase in norepinephrine increases triacylglycerol hydrolysis and free fatty acid release to blood. This model can form a basis for more sophisticated integration of existing knowledge and future studies on metabolic efficiency of dairy cattle

  16. A Mechanistic Beta-Binomial Probability Model for mRNA Sequencing Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Gregory R; Birtwistle, Marc R

    2016-01-01

    A main application for mRNA sequencing (mRNAseq) is determining lists of differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) between two or more conditions. Several software packages exist to produce DEGs from mRNAseq data, but they typically yield different DEGs, sometimes markedly so. The underlying probability model used to describe mRNAseq data is central to deriving DEGs, and not surprisingly most softwares use different models and assumptions to analyze mRNAseq data. Here, we propose a mechanistic justification to model mRNAseq as a binomial process, with data from technical replicates given by a binomial distribution, and data from biological replicates well-described by a beta-binomial distribution. We demonstrate good agreement of this model with two large datasets. We show that an emergent feature of the beta-binomial distribution, given parameter regimes typical for mRNAseq experiments, is the well-known quadratic polynomial scaling of variance with the mean. The so-called dispersion parameter controls this scaling, and our analysis suggests that the dispersion parameter is a continually decreasing function of the mean, as opposed to current approaches that impose an asymptotic value to the dispersion parameter at moderate mean read counts. We show how this leads to current approaches overestimating variance for moderately to highly expressed genes, which inflates false negative rates. Describing mRNAseq data with a beta-binomial distribution thus may be preferred since its parameters are relatable to the mechanistic underpinnings of the technique and may improve the consistency of DEG analysis across softwares, particularly for moderately to highly expressed genes.

  17. Mechanistic Insights into Dye-Decolorizing Peroxidase Revealed by Solvent Isotope and Viscosity Effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shrestha, Ruben [Department; Huang, Gaochao [Department; Meekins, David A. [Department; Geisbrecht, Brian V. [Department; Li, Ping [Department

    2017-08-18

    Dye-decolorizing peroxidases (DyPs) are a family of H2O2-dependent heme peroxidases that have shown potential applications in lignin degradation and valorization. However, the DyP kinetic mechanism remains underexplored. Using structural biology and solvent isotope (sKIE) and viscosity effects, many mechanistic characteristics have been determined for the B-class ElDyP from Enterobacter lignolyticus. Its structure revealed that a water molecule acts as the sixth axial ligand and two channels at diameters of ~3.0 and 8.0 Å lead to the heme center. A conformational change of ERS* to ERS, which have identical spectral characteristics, was proposed as the final step in DyPs’ bisubstrate Ping-Pong mechanism. This step is also the rate-determining step in ABTS oxidation. The normal KIE of wild-type ElDyP with D2O2 at pD 3.5 suggested that compound 0 deprotonation by the distal aspartate is rate-limiting in the formation of compound I, which is more reactive under acidic pH than under neutral or alkaline pH. The viscosity effects and other biochemical methods implied that the reducing substrate binds with compound I instead of the free enzyme. The significant inverse sKIEs of kcat/KM and kERS* suggested that the aquo release in ElDyP is mechanistically important and may explain the enzyme’s adoption of two-electron reduction for compound I. The distal aspartate is catalytically more important than the distal arginine and plays key roles in determining ElDyP’s optimum acidic pH. The kinetic mechanism of D143H-ElDyP was also briefly studied. The results obtained will pave the way for future protein engineering to improve DyPs’ lignolytic activity.

  18. Development of Improved Mechanistic Deterioration Models for Flexible Pavements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ullidtz, Per; Ertman, Hans Larsen

    1998-01-01

    The paper describes a pilot study in Denmark with the main objective of developing improved mechanistic deterioration models for flexible pavements based on an accelerated full scale test on an instrumented pavement in the Danish Road Tessting Machine. The study was the first in "International...... Pavement Subgrade Performance Study" sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), USA. The paper describes in detail the data analysis and the resulting models for rutting, roughness, and a model for the plastic strain in the subgrade.The reader will get an understanding of the work needed...

  19. Mechanistic study of aerosol dry deposition on vegetated canopies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petroff, A.

    2005-04-01

    The dry deposition of aerosols onto vegetated canopies is modelled through a mechanistic approach. The interaction between aerosols and vegetation is first formulated by using a set of parameters, which are defined at the local scale of one surface. The overall deposition is then deduced at the canopy scale through an up-scaling procedure based on the statistic distribution parameters. This model takes into account the canopy structural and morphological properties, and the main characteristics of the turbulent flow. Deposition mechanisms considered are Brownian diffusion, interception, initial and turbulent impaction, initially with coniferous branches and then with entire canopies of different roughness, such as grass, crop field and forest. (author)

  20. Mechanistic modeling of CHF in forced-convection subcooled boiling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Podowski, M.Z.; Alajbegovic, A.; Kurul, N.; Drew, D.A.; Lahey, R.T. Jr.

    1997-05-01

    Because of the complexity of phenomena governing boiling heat transfer, the approach to solve practical problems has traditionally been based on experimental correlations rather than mechanistic models. The recent progress in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), combined with improved experimental techniques in two-phase flow and heat transfer, makes the use of rigorous physically-based models a realistic alternative to the current simplistic phenomenological approach. The objective of this paper is to present a new CFD model for critical heat flux (CHF) in low quality (in particular, in subcooled boiling) forced-convection flows in heated channels

  1. Mechanistic CHF modeling for natural circulation applications in SMR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luitjens, Jeffrey [Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, Oregon State University, 3451 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Wu, Qiao, E-mail: qiao.wu@oregonstate.edu [Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, Oregon State University, 3451 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Greenwood, Scott; Corradini, Michael [Department of Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706 (United States)

    2016-12-15

    A mechanistic critical heat flux correlation has been developed for a wide range of operating conditions which include low mass fluxes of 540–890 kg/m{sup 2}-s, high pressures of 12–13 MPa, and critical heat fluxes of 835–1100 kW/m{sup 2}. Eleven experimental data points have been collected over these conditions to inform the development of the model using bundle geometry. Errors of within 15% have been obtained with the proposed model for predicting the critical heat flux value, location, and critical pin power for a non-uniform heat flux applied to a 2 × 2 bundle configuration.

  2. Mechanistic modelling of the drying behaviour of single pharmaceutical granules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thérèse F.C. Mortier, Séverine; Beer, Thomas De; Gernaey, Krist

    2012-01-01

    The trend to move towards continuous production processes in pharmaceutical applications enhances the necessity to develop mechanistic models to understand and control these processes. This work focuses on the drying behaviour of a single wet granule before tabletting, using a six...... phase (submodel 2), the water inside the granule evaporates. The second submodel contains an empirical power coefficient, b. A sensitivity analysis was performed to study the influence of parameters on the moisture content of single pharmaceutical granules, which clearly points towards the importance...

  3. RNA-Seq-based toxicogenomic assessment of fresh frozen and formalin-fixed tissues yields similar mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auerbach, Scott S; Phadke, Dhiral P; Mav, Deepak; Holmgren, Stephanie; Gao, Yuan; Xie, Bin; Shin, Joo Heon; Shah, Ruchir R; Merrick, B Alex; Tice, Raymond R

    2015-07-01

    Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) pathology specimens represent a potentially vast resource for transcriptomic-based biomarker discovery. We present here a comparison of results from a whole transcriptome RNA-Seq analysis of RNA extracted from fresh frozen and FFPE livers. The samples were derived from rats exposed to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1 ) and a corresponding set of control animals. Principal components analysis indicated that samples were separated in the two groups representing presence or absence of chemical exposure, both in fresh frozen and FFPE sample types. Sixty-five percent of the differentially expressed transcripts (AFB1 vs. controls) in fresh frozen samples were also differentially expressed in FFPE samples (overlap significance: P < 0.0001). Genomic signature and gene set analysis of AFB1 differentially expressed transcript lists indicated highly similar results between fresh frozen and FFPE at the level of chemogenomic signatures (i.e., single chemical/dose/duration elicited transcriptomic signatures), mechanistic and pathology signatures, biological processes, canonical pathways and transcription factor networks. Overall, our results suggest that similar hypotheses about the biological mechanism of toxicity would be formulated from fresh frozen and FFPE samples. These results indicate that phenotypically anchored archival specimens represent a potentially informative resource for signature-based biomarker discovery and mechanistic characterization of toxicity. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Self-focused and other-focused resiliency: Plausible mechanisms linking early family adversity to health problems in college women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Sulamunn R M; Zawadzki, Matthew J; Heron, Kristin E; Vartanian, Lenny R; Smyth, Joshua M

    2016-01-01

    This study examined whether self-focused and other-focused resiliency help explain how early family adversity relates to perceived stress, subjective health, and health behaviors in college women. Female students (N = 795) participated between October 2009 and May 2010. Participants completed self-report measures of early family adversity, self-focused (self-esteem, personal growth initiative) and other-focused (perceived social support, gratitude) resiliency, stress, subjective health, and health behaviors. Using structural equation modeling, self-focused resiliency associated with less stress, better subjective health, more sleep, less smoking, and less weekend alcohol consumption. Other-focused resiliency associated with more exercise, greater stress, and more weekend alcohol consumption. Early family adversity was indirectly related to all health outcomes, except smoking, via self-focused and other-focused resiliency. Self-focused and other-focused resiliency represent plausible mechanisms through which early family adversity relates to stress and health in college women. This highlights areas for future research in disease prevention and management.

  5. Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Joseph R; Burke, Andrea; Dunbar, Nelia W; Köhler, Peter; Thomas, Jennie L; Arienzo, Monica M; Chellman, Nathan J; Maselli, Olivia J; Sigl, Michael; Adkins, Jess F; Baggenstos, Daniel; Burkhart, John F; Brook, Edward J; Buizert, Christo; Cole-Dai, Jihong; Fudge, T J; Knorr, Gregor; Graf, Hans-F; Grieman, Mackenzie M; Iverson, Nels; McGwire, Kenneth C; Mulvaney, Robert; Paris, Guillaume; Rhodes, Rachael H; Saltzman, Eric S; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Taylor, Kendrick C; Winckler, Gisela

    2017-09-19

    Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ∼17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ∼192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found >2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics-similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica-plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ∼17.7 ka.

  6. The Plausibility of Tonal Evolution in the Malay Dialect Spoken in Thailand: Evidence from an Acoustic Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phanintra Teeranon

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The F0 values of vowels following voiceless consonants are higher than those of vowels following voiced consonants; high vowels have a higher F0 than low vowels. It has also been found that when high vowels follow voiced consonants, the F0 values decrease. In contrast, low vowels following voiceless consonants show increasing F0 values. In other words, the voicing of initial consonants has been found to counterbalance the intrinsic F0 values of high and low vowels (House and Fairbanks 1953, Lehiste and Peterson 1961, Lehiste 1970, Laver 1994, Teeranon 2006. To test whether these three findings are applicable to a disyllabic language, the F0 values of high and low vowels following voiceless and voiced consonants were studied in a Malay dialect of the Austronesian language family spoken in Pathumthani Province, Thailand. The data was collected from three male informants, aged 30-35. The Praat program was used for acoustic analysis. The findings revealed the influence of the voicing of initial consonants on the F0 of vowels to be greater than that of the influence of vowel height. Evidence from this acoustic study shows the plausibility for the Malay dialect spoken in Pathumthani to become a tonal language by the influence of initial consonants rather by the influence of the high-low vowel dimension.

  7. Bilinguals' Plausibility Judgments for Phrases with a Literal vs. Non-literal Meaning: The Influence of Language Brokering Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belem G. López

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous work has shown that prior experience in language brokering (informal translation may facilitate the processing of meaning within and across language boundaries. The present investigation examined the influence of brokering on bilinguals' processing of two word collocations with either a literal or a figurative meaning in each language. Proficient Spanish-English bilinguals classified as brokers or non-brokers were asked to judge if adjective+noun phrases presented in each language made sense or not. Phrases with a literal meaning (e.g., stinging insect were interspersed with phrases with a figurative meaning (e.g., stinging insult and non-sensical phrases (e.g., stinging picnic. It was hypothesized that plausibility judgments would be facilitated for literal relative to figurative meanings in each language but that experience in language brokering would be associated with a more equivalent pattern of responding across languages. These predictions were confirmed. The findings add to the body of empirical work on individual differences in language processing in bilinguals associated with prior language brokering experience.

  8. Mechanistic and Economical Characteristics of Asphalt Rubber Mixtures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mena I. Souliman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Load associated fatigue cracking is one of the major distress types occurring in flexible pavement systems. Flexural bending beam fatigue laboratory test has been used for several decades and is considered to be an integral part of the new superpave advanced characterization procedure. One of the most significant solutions to prolong the fatigue life for an asphaltic mixture is to utilize flexible materials as rubber. A laboratory testing program was performed on a conventional and Asphalt Rubber- (AR- gap-graded mixtures to investigate the impact of added rubber on the mechanical, mechanistic, and economical attributes of asphaltic mixtures. Strain controlled fatigue tests were conducted according to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO procedures. The results from the beam fatigue tests indicated that the AR-gap-graded mixtures would have much longer fatigue life compared with the reference (conventional mixtures. In addition, a mechanistic analysis using 3D-Move software coupled with a cost analysis study based on the fatigue performance on the two mixtures was performed. Overall, analysis showed that AR modified asphalt mixtures exhibited significantly lower cost of pavement per 1000 cycles of fatigue life per mile compared to conventional HMA mixture.

  9. Trichloroethylene: Mechanistic, epidemiologic and other supporting evidence of carcinogenic hazard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusyn, Ivan; Chiu, Weihsueh A; Lash, Lawrence H; Kromhout, Hans; Hansen, Johnni; Guyton, Kathryn Z

    2014-01-01

    The chlorinated solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant. The carcinogenic hazard of TCE was the subject of a 2012 evaluation by a Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Information on exposures, relevant data from epidemiologic studies, bioassays in experimental animals, and toxicity and mechanism of action studies was used to conclude that TCE is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). This article summarizes the key evidence forming the scientific bases for the IARC classification. Exposure to TCE from environmental sources (including hazardous waste sites and contaminated water) is common throughout the world. While workplace use of TCE has been declining, occupational exposures remain of concern, especially in developing countries. The strongest human evidence is from studies of occupational TCE exposure and kidney cancer. Positive, although less consistent, associations were reported for liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. TCE is carcinogenic at multiple sites in multiple species and strains of experimental animals. The mechanistic evidence includes extensive data on the toxicokinetics and genotoxicity of TCE and its metabolites. Together, available evidence provided a cohesive database supporting the human cancer hazard of TCE, particularly in the kidney. For other target sites of carcinogenicity, mechanistic and other data were found to be more limited. Important sources of susceptibility to TCE toxicity and carcinogenicity were also reviewed by the Working Group. In all, consideration of the multiple evidence streams presented herein informed the IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenicity of TCE. © 2013.

  10. The coefficient of restitution of pressurized balls: a mechanistic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgallas, Alex; Landry, Gaëtan

    2016-01-01

    Pressurized, inflated balls used in professional sports are regulated so that their behaviour upon impact can be anticipated and allow the game to have its distinctive character. However, the dynamics governing the impacts of such balls, even on stationary hard surfaces, can be extremely complex. The energy transformations, which arise from the compression of the gas within the ball and from the shear forces associated with the deformation of the wall, are examined in this paper. We develop a simple mechanistic model of the dependence of the coefficient of restitution, e, upon both the gauge pressure, P_G, of the gas and the shear modulus, G, of the wall. The model is validated using the results from a simple series of experiments using three different sports balls. The fits to the data are extremely good for P_G > 25 kPa and consistent values are obtained for the value of G for the wall material. As far as the authors can tell, this simple, mechanistic model of the pressure dependence of the coefficient of restitution is the first in the literature. *%K Coefficient of Restitution, Dynamics, Inflated Balls, Pressure, Impact Model

  11. New web-based applications for mechanistic case diagramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fred R. Dee

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The goal of mechanistic case diagraming (MCD is to provide students with more in-depth understanding of cause and effect relationships and basic mechanistic pathways in medicine. This will enable them to better explain how observed clinical findings develop from preceding pathogenic and pathophysiological events. The pedagogic function of MCD is in relating risk factors, disease entities and morphology, signs and symptoms, and test and procedure findings in a specific case scenario with etiologic pathogenic and pathophysiological sequences within a flow diagram. In this paper, we describe the addition of automation and predetermined lists to further develop the original concept of MCD as described by Engelberg in 1992 and Guerrero in 2001. We demonstrate that with these modifications, MCD is effective and efficient in small group case-based teaching for second-year medical students (ratings of ~3.4 on a 4.0 scale. There was also a significant correlation with other measures of competency, with a ‘true’ score correlation of 0.54. A traditional calculation of reliability showed promising results (α =0.47 within a low stakes, ungraded environment. Further, we have demonstrated MCD's potential for use in independent learning and TBL. Future studies are needed to evaluate MCD's potential for use in medium stakes assessment or self-paced independent learning and assessment. MCD may be especially relevant in returning students to the application of basic medical science mechanisms in the clinical years.

  12. Silicene catalyzed reduction of nitrobenzene to aniline: A mechanistic study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrissey, Christopher; He, Haiying

    2018-03-01

    The reduction of nitrobenzene to aniline has broad applications in chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The high reaction temperatures and pressures and unavoidable hazardous chemicals of current metal catalysts call for more environmentally friendly non-metal catalysts. In this study, the plausibility of silicene as a potential catalyst for nitrobenzene reduction is investigated with a focus on the distinct reaction mechanism based on the density functional theory. The direct reaction pathway was shown to be distinctly different from the Haber mechanism following PhNO2∗ → PhNO∗ → PhNHO∗ → PhNH2O∗ → PhNH2∗. The hydroxyl groups remain bound to silicene after aniline is formed and acquire a high activation barrier to remove.

  13. Modern Biology

    OpenAIRE

    ALEKSIC, Branko

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this course is to learn the philosophy, principles, and techniques of modern biology. The course is particularly designed for those who have not learned biology previously or whose major is other than biology, and who may think that they do not need to know any biology at all. The topics are covered in a rather general, overview manner, but certain level of diligence in grasping concepts and memorizing the terminology is expected.

  14. Mechanistic Studies of the Iron and Molybdenum Nitrogenases

    OpenAIRE

    Harris, Derek

    2017-01-01

    As a basic building block in many biological molecules the element nitrogen (N) is essential for life. Dinitrogen (N2) is abundant in Earth’s atmosphere, but this form is biologically unavailable. To be biologically available N2 must undergo an energy demanding reduction reaction to the fixed form, ammonia (NH3). The industrial Haber-Bosch process, which accounts for approximately 50% of the worlds fixed nitrogen, uses energy from fossil fuels to achieve high pressures and temperatures to fac...

  15. Application of mechanistic models to fermentation and biocatalysis for next-generation processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gernaey, Krist; Eliasson Lantz, Anna; Tufvesson, Pär

    2010-01-01

    of variables required for measurement, control and process design. In the near future, mechanistic models with a higher degree of detail will play key roles in the development of efficient next-generation fermentation and biocatalytic processes. Moreover, mechanistic models will be used increasingly......Mechanistic models are based on deterministic principles, and recently, interest in them has grown substantially. Herein we present an overview of mechanistic models and their applications in biotechnology, including future perspectives. Model utility is highlighted with respect to selection...

  16. The Mediterranean dietary pattern as the diet of choice for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Evidence and plausible mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelber-Sagi, Shira; Salomone, Federico; Mlynarsky, Liat

    2017-07-01

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become a major global health burden, leading to increased risk for cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle intervention aiming at weight reduction is the most established treatment. However, changing the dietary composition even without weight loss can also reduce steatosis and improve metabolic alterations as insulin resistance and lipid profile. The Mediterranean diet (MD) pattern has been proposed as appropriate for this goal, and was recommended as the diet of choice for the treatment of NAFLD by the EASL-EASD-EASO Clinical Practice Guidelines. The MD has an established superiority in long term weight reduction over low fat diet, but it improves metabolic status and steatosis even without it. However, the effect on liver inflammation and fibrosis was tested only in few observational studies with positive results. Furthermore, considering the strong association between NAFLD and diabetes and CVD, the MD has a highly established advantage in prevention of these diseases, demonstrated in randomized clinical trials. The individual components of the MD such as olive oil, fish, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, have been shown to beneficially effect or negatively correlate with NAFLD, while consumption of components that characterize a Western dietary pattern as soft drinks, fructose, meat and saturated fatty acids have been shown to have detrimental association with NAFLD. In this review we will cover the epidemiological evidence and the plausible molecular mechanisms by which the MD as a whole and each of its components can be of benefit in NAFLD. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Developing spatially explicit footprints of plausible land-use scenarios in the Santa Cruz Watershed, Arizona and Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Laura M.; Feller, Mark; Villarreal, Miguel L.

    2012-01-01

    The SLEUTH urban growth model is applied to a binational dryland watershed to envision and evaluate plausible future scenarios of land use change into the year 2050. Our objective was to create a suite of geospatial footprints portraying potential land use change that can be used to aid binational decision-makers in assessing the impacts relative to sustainability of natural resources and potential socio-ecological consequences of proposed land-use management. Three alternatives are designed to simulate different conditions: (i) a Current Trends Scenario of unmanaged exponential growth, (ii) a Conservation Scenario with managed growth to protect the environment, and (iii) a Megalopolis Scenario in which growth is accentuated around a defined international trade corridor. The model was calibrated with historical data extracted from a time series of satellite images. Model materials, methodology, and results are presented. Our Current Trends Scenario predicts the footprint of urban growth to approximately triple from 2009 to 2050, which is corroborated by local population estimates. The Conservation Scenario results in protecting 46% more of the Evergreen class (more than 150,000 acres) than the Current Trends Scenario and approximately 95,000 acres of Barren Land, Crops, Deciduous Forest (Mesquite Bosque), Grassland/Herbaceous, Urban/Recreational Grasses, and Wetlands classes combined. The Megalopolis Scenario results also depict the preservation of some of these land-use classes compared to the Current Trends Scenario, most notably in the environmentally important headwaters region. Connectivity and areal extent of land cover types that provide wildlife habitat were preserved under the alternative scenarios when compared to Current Trends.

  18. On Matrix Sampling and Imputation of Context Questionnaires with Implications for the Generation of Plausible Values in Large-Scale Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, David; Su, Dan

    2016-01-01

    This article presents findings on the consequences of matrix sampling of context questionnaires for the generation of plausible values in large-scale assessments. Three studies are conducted. Study 1 uses data from PISA 2012 to examine several different forms of missing data imputation within the chained equations framework: predictive mean…

  19. Mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Murray, James D

    1993-01-01

    The book is a textbook (with many exercises) giving an in-depth account of the practical use of mathematical modelling in the biomedical sciences. The mathematical level required is generally not high and the emphasis is on what is required to solve the real biological problem. The subject matter is drawn, e.g. from population biology, reaction kinetics, biological oscillators and switches, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction, reaction-diffusion theory, biological wave phenomena, central pattern generators, neural models, spread of epidemics, mechanochemical theory of biological pattern formation and importance in evolution. Most of the models are based on real biological problems and the predictions and explanations offered as a direct result of mathematical analysis of the models are important aspects of the book. The aim is to provide a thorough training in practical mathematical biology and to show how exciting and novel mathematical challenges arise from a genuine interdisciplinary involvement with the biosci...

  20. From patterns to emerging processes in mechanistic urban ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shochat, Eyal; Warren, Paige S; Faeth, Stanley H; McIntyre, Nancy E; Hope, Diane

    2006-04-01

    Rapid urbanization has become an area of crucial concern in conservation owing to the radical changes in habitat structure and loss of species engendered by urban and suburban development. Here, we draw on recent mechanistic ecological studies to argue that, in addition to altered habitat structure, three major processes contribute to the patterns of reduced species diversity and elevated abundance of many species in urban environments. These activities, in turn, lead to changes in animal behavior, morphology and genetics, as well as in selection pressures on animals and plants. Thus, the key to understanding urban patterns is to balance studying processes at the individual level with an integrated examination of environmental forces at the ecosystem scale.

  1. Mechanistic model for void distribution in flashing flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riznic, J.; Ishii, M.; Afgan, N.

    1987-01-01

    A problem of discharging of an initially subcooled liquid from a high pressure condition into a low pressure environment is quite important in several industrial systems such as nuclear reactors and chemical reactors. A new model for the flashing process is proposed here based on the wall nucleation theory, bubble growth model and drift-flux bubble transport model. In order to calculate the bubble number density, the bubble number transport equation with a distributed source from the wall nucleation sites is used. The model predictions in terms of the void fraction are compared to Moby Dick and BNL experimental data. It shows that satisfactory agreements could be obtained from the present model without any floating parameter to be adjusted with data. This result indicates that, at least for the experimental conditions considered here, the mechanistic prediction of the flashing phenomenon is possible based on the present wall nucleation based model. 43 refs., 4 figs

  2. Toward a Rational and Mechanistic Account of Mental Effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenhav, Amitai; Musslick, Sebastian; Lieder, Falk; Kool, Wouter; Griffiths, Thomas L; Cohen, Jonathan D; Botvinick, Matthew M

    2017-07-25

    In spite of its familiar phenomenology, the mechanistic basis for mental effort remains poorly understood. Although most researchers agree that mental effort is aversive and stems from limitations in our capacity to exercise cognitive control, it is unclear what gives rise to those limitations and why they result in an experience of control as costly. The presence of these control costs also raises further questions regarding how best to allocate mental effort to minimize those costs and maximize the attendant benefits. This review explores recent advances in computational modeling and empirical research aimed at addressing these questions at the level of psychological process and neural mechanism, examining both the limitations to mental effort exertion and how we manage those limited cognitive resources. We conclude by identifying remaining challenges for theoretical accounts of mental effort as well as possible applications of the available findings to understanding the causes of and potential solutions for apparent failures to exert the mental effort required of us.

  3. Mechanistic failure mode investigation and resolution of parvovirus retentive filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaCasse, Daniel; Lute, Scott; Fiadeiro, Marcus; Basha, Jonida; Stork, Matthew; Brorson, Kurt; Godavarti, Ranga; Gallo, Chris

    2016-07-08

    Virus retentive filters are a key product safety measure for biopharmaceuticals. A simplistic perception is that they function solely based on a size-based particle removal mechanism of mechanical sieving and retention of particles based on their hydrodynamic size. Recent observations have revealed a more nuanced picture, indicating that changes in viral particle retention can result from process pressure and/or flow interruptions. In this study, a mechanistic investigation was performed to help identify a potential mechanism leading to the reported reduced particle retention in small virus filters. Permeate flow rate or permeate driving force were varied and analyzed for their impact on particle retention in three commercially available small virus retentive filters. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:959-970, 2016. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

  4. A mechanistic model for the evolution of multicellularity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amado, André; Batista, Carlos; Campos, Paulo R. A.

    2018-02-01

    Through a mechanistic approach we investigate the formation of aggregates of variable sizes, accounting mechanisms of aggregation, dissociation, death and reproduction. In our model, cells can produce two metabolites, but the simultaneous production of both metabolites is costly in terms of fitness. Thus, the formation of larger groups can favor the aggregates to evolve to a configuration where division of labor arises. It is assumed that the states of the cells in a group are those that maximize organismal fitness. In the model it is considered that the groups can grow linearly, forming a chain, or compactly keeping a roughly spherical shape. Starting from a population consisting of single-celled organisms, we observe the formation of groups with variable sizes and usually much larger than two-cell aggregates. Natural selection can favor the formation of large groups, which allows the system to achieve new and larger fitness maxima.

  5. Mechanistic systems modeling to guide drug discovery and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Brian J; Papin, Jason A; Musante, Cynthia J

    2013-02-01

    A crucial question that must be addressed in the drug development process is whether the proposed therapeutic target will yield the desired effect in the clinical population. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies place a large investment on research and development, long before confirmatory data are available from human trials. Basic science has greatly expanded the computable knowledge of disease processes, both through the generation of large omics data sets and a compendium of studies assessing cellular and systemic responses to physiologic and pathophysiologic stimuli. Given inherent uncertainties in drug development, mechanistic systems models can better inform target selection and the decision process for advancing compounds through preclinical and clinical research. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Synthetic and mechanistic aspects of titanium-mediated carbonyl olefinations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petasis, N.A.; Staszewski, J.P.; Hu, Yong-Han; Lu, Shao-Po [Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)

    1995-12-31

    A new method for the olefination of carbonyl compounds with dimethyl titanocene, and other related bishydrocarbyl titanocene derivatives has been recently developed in the author`s laboratories. This process is experimentally convenient and works with various types of carbonyl compounds, including aldehydes, ketones, esters, lactones, carbonates, anhydrides, amides, imides, lactams, thioesters, selenoesters, and acylsilanes. More recent studies have focused on the scope and utility of this reaction, including mechanistic studies and synthetic applications. In addition to varying the reaction conditions, the authors have examined several mixed titanocene derivatives and have found ways for carrying out this type of olefination at room temperature, such as the use of tris(trimethylsilyl) titanacyclobutene. The authors have also employed this reaction in the modification of carbohydrates and cyclobutenediones. This olefination was also followed-up with subsequent transformations to produce carbocycles and heterocycles, including tetrahydrofurans and tetrahydropyrans.

  7. Behavioural Procedural Models – a multipurpose mechanistic account

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Ivarola

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we outline an epistemological defence of what wecall Behavioural Procedural Models (BPMs, which represent the processes of individual decisions that lead to relevant economic patterns as psychologically (rather than rationally driven. Their general structure, and the way in which they may be incorporated to a multipurpose view of models, where the representational and interventionist goals are combined, is shown. It is argued that BPMs may provide “mechanistic-based explanations” in the sense defended by Hedström and Ylikoski (2010, which involve invariant regularities in Woodward’s sense. Such mechanisms provide a causal sort of explanation of anomalous economic patterns, which allow for extra marketintervention and manipulability in order to correct and improve some key individual decisions. This capability sets the basis for the so called libertarian paternalism (Sunstein and Thaler 2003.

  8. Toxic neuropathies: Mechanistic insights based on a chemical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoPachin, Richard M; Gavin, Terrence

    2015-06-02

    2,5-Hexanedione (HD) and acrylamide (ACR) are considered to be prototypical among chemical toxicants that cause central-peripheral axonopathies characterized by distal axon swelling and degeneration. Because the demise of distal regions was assumed to be causally related to the onset of neurotoxicity, substantial effort was devoted to deciphering the respective mechanisms. Continued research, however, revealed that expression of the presumed hallmark morphological features was dependent upon the daily rate of toxicant exposure. Indeed, many studies reported that the corresponding axonopathic changes were late developing effects that occurred independent of behavioral and/or functional neurotoxicity. This suggested that the toxic axonopathy classification might be based on epiphenomena related to dose-rate. Therefore, the goal of this mini-review is to discuss how quantitative morphometric analyses and the establishment of dose-dependent relationships helped distinguish primary, mechanistically relevant toxicant effects from non-specific consequences. Perhaps more importantly, we will discuss how knowledge of neurotoxicant chemical nature can guide molecular-level research toward a better, more rational understanding of mechanism. Our discussion will focus on HD, the neurotoxic γ-diketone metabolite of the industrial solvents n-hexane and methyl-n-butyl ketone. Early investigations suggested that HD caused giant neurofilamentous axonal swellings and eventual degeneration in CNS and PNS. However, as our review will point out, this interpretation underwent several iterations as the understanding of γ-diketone chemistry improved and more quantitative experimental approaches were implemented. The chemical concepts and design strategies discussed in this mini-review are broadly applicable to the mechanistic studies of other chemicals (e.g., n-propyl bromine, methyl methacrylate) that cause toxic neuropathies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Structural and mechanistic principles of intramembrane proteolysis - lessons from rhomboids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stříšovský, Kvido; Vinothkumar, K. R.; Sharpe, H.; Adrain, C.; Stevens, E.; Freeman, M.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 1 (2013), s. 18-18 ISSN 1211-5894. [Discussions in Structural Molecular Biology. Annual Meeting of the Czech Society for Structural Biology /11./. 14.03.2013-16.03.2013, Nové Hrady] Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : intramembrane protease * rhomboid * crystal structure Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry

  10. Predicting soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides with a mechanistic model (BioRUR)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casadesus, J. [Servei de Camps Experimentals, Universitat de Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Sauras-Yera, T. [Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)], E-mail: msauras@ub.edu; Vallejo, V.R. [Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterraneo, Charles Darwin 14, Parc Tecnologic, 46980 Paterna, Valencia (Spain)

    2008-05-15

    BioRUR model has been developed for the simulation of radionuclide (RN) transfer through physical and biological compartments, based on the available information on the transfer of their nutrient analogues. The model assumes that radionuclides are transferred from soil to plant through the same pathways as their nutrient analogues, where K and Ca are the analogues of Cs and Sr, respectively. Basically, the transfer of radionuclide between two compartments is calculated as the transfer of nutrient multiplied by the ratio of concentrations of RN to nutrient, corrected by a selectivity coefficient. Hydroponic experiments showed the validity of this assumption for root uptake of Cs and Sr and reported a selectivity coefficient around 1.0 for both. However, the application of this approach to soil-to-plant transfer raises some questions on which are the effective concentrations of RN and nutrient detected by the plant uptake mechanism. This paper describes the evaluation of two configurations of BioRUR, one which simplifies the soil as an homogeneous pool, and the other which considers that some concentration gradients develop around roots and therefore ion concentrations at the root surface are different from those of the bulk soil. The results show a good fit between the observed Sr transfer and the mechanistic simulations, even when a homogeneous soil is considered. On the other hand, Cs transfer is overestimated by two orders of magnitude if the development of a decreasing K profile around roots is not taken into account.

  11. Drug-disease modeling in the pharmaceutical industry - where mechanistic systems pharmacology and statistical pharmacometrics meet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helmlinger, Gabriel; Al-Huniti, Nidal; Aksenov, Sergey; Peskov, Kirill; Hallow, Karen M; Chu, Lulu; Boulton, David; Eriksson, Ulf; Hamrén, Bengt; Lambert, Craig; Masson, Eric; Tomkinson, Helen; Stanski, Donald

    2017-11-15

    Modeling & simulation (M&S) methodologies are established quantitative tools, which have proven to be useful in supporting the research, development (R&D), regulatory approval, and marketing of novel therapeutics. Applications of M&S help design efficient studies and interpret their results in context of all available data and knowledge to enable effective decision-making during the R&D process. In this mini-review, we focus on two sets of modeling approaches: population-based models, which are well-established within the pharmaceutical industry today, and fall under the discipline of clinical pharmacometrics (PMX); and systems dynamics models, which encompass a range of models of (patho-)physiology amenable to pharmacological intervention, of signaling pathways in biology, and of substance distribution in the body (today known as physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models) - which today may be collectively referred to as quantitative systems pharmacology models (QSP). We next describe the convergence - or rather selected integration - of PMX and QSP approaches into 'middle-out' drug-disease models, which retain selected mechanistic aspects, while remaining parsimonious, fit-for-purpose, and able to address variability and the testing of covariates. We further propose development opportunities for drug-disease systems models, to increase their utility and applicability throughout the preclinical and clinical spectrum of pharmaceutical R&D. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Mechanistic aspects of ingested chlorine dioxide on thyroid function: impact of oxidants on iodide metabolism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bercz, J.P.; Jones, L.L.; Harrington, R.M.; Bawa, R.; Condie, L.

    1986-01-01

    Toxicological studies dealing with recent findings of health effects of drinking water disinfectants are reviewed. Experiments with monkeys and rodents indicate that the biological activity of ingested disinfectants is expressed via their chemical interaction with the mucosal epithelia, secretory products, and nutritional contents of the alimentary tract. Evidence exists that a principal partner of this redox interaction is the iodide of nutritional origin that is ubiquitous in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus the observation that subchronic exposure to chlorine dioxide (ClO 2 ) in drinking water decreases serum thyroxine levels in mammalian species can be best explained with changes produced in the chemical form of the bioavailable iodide. Ongoing and previously reported mechanistic studies indicate that oxidizing agents such as chlorine-based disinfectants oxidize the basal iodide content of the gastrointestinal tract. The resulting reactive iodine species readily attaches to organic matter by covalent bonding. Evidence suggests that the extent to which such iodinated organics are formed is proportional to the magnitude of the electromotive force and stoichiometry of the redox couple between iodide and the disinfectant. Because the extent of thyroid uptake of the bioavailable iodide does not decrease during ClO 2 ingestion, it seems that ClO 2 does not cause iodide deficiency of sufficient magnitude to account for the decease in hormonogenesis. Absorption of one or more of iodinated molecules, e.g., nutrient, hormones, or cellular constituents of the alimentary tract having thyromimetic or thyroid inhibitory properties, is a better hypothesis for the effects seen

  13. [Mechanistic modelling allows to assess pathways of DNA lesion interactions underlying chromosome aberration formation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eĭdel'man, Iu A; Slanina, S V; Sal'nikov, I V; Andreev, S G

    2012-12-01

    The knowledge of radiation-induced chromosomal aberration (CA) mechanisms is required in many fields of radiation genetics, radiation biology, biodosimetry, etc. However, these mechanisms are yet to be quantitatively characterised. One of the reasons is that the relationships between primary lesions of DNA/chromatin/chromosomes and dose-response curves for CA are unknown because the pathways of lesion interactions in an interphase nucleus are currently inaccessible for direct experimental observation. This article aims for the comparative analysis of two principally different scenarios of formation of simple and complex interchromosomal exchange aberrations: by lesion interactions at chromosome territories' surface vs. in the whole space of the nucleus. The analysis was based on quantitative mechanistic modelling of different levels of structures and processes involved in CA formation: chromosome structure in an interphase nucleus, induction, repair and interactions of DNA lesions. It was shown that the restricted diffusion of chromosomal loci, predicted by computational modelling of chromosome organization, results in lesion interactions in the whole space of the nucleus being impossible. At the same time, predicted features of subchromosomal dynamics agrees well with in vivo observations and does not contradict the mechanism of CA formation at the surface of chromosome territories. On the other hand, the "surface mechanism" of CA formation, despite having certain qualities, proved to be insufficient to explain high frequency of complex exchange aberrations observed by mFISH technique. The alternative mechanism, CA formation on nuclear centres is expected to be sufficient to explain frequent complex exchanges.

  14. Predicting soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides with a mechanistic model (BioRUR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casadesus, J.; Sauras-Yera, T.; Vallejo, V.R.

    2008-01-01

    BioRUR model has been developed for the simulation of radionuclide (RN) transfer through physical and biological compartments, based on the available information on the transfer of their nutrient analogues. The model assumes that radionuclides are transferred from soil to plant through the same pathways as their nutrient analogues, where K and Ca are the analogues of Cs and Sr, respectively. Basically, the transfer of radionuclide between two compartments is calculated as the transfer of nutrient multiplied by the ratio of concentrations of RN to nutrient, corrected by a selectivity coefficient. Hydroponic experiments showed the validity of this assumption for root uptake of Cs and Sr and reported a selectivity coefficient around 1.0 for both. However, the application of this approach to soil-to-plant transfer raises some questions on which are the effective concentrations of RN and nutrient detected by the plant uptake mechanism. This paper describes the evaluation of two configurations of BioRUR, one which simplifies the soil as an homogeneous pool, and the other which considers that some concentration gradients develop around roots and therefore ion concentrations at the root surface are different from those of the bulk soil. The results show a good fit between the observed Sr transfer and the mechanistic simulations, even when a homogeneous soil is considered. On the other hand, Cs transfer is overestimated by two orders of magnitude if the development of a decreasing K profile around roots is not taken into account

  15. Mechanistic insights of intestinal absorption and renal conservation of folate in chronic alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wani, Nissar Ahmad; Thakur, Shilpa; Najar, Rauf Ahmad; Nada, Ritambhara; Khanduja, Krishan Lal; Kaur, Jyotdeep

    2013-03-01

    Folate mediated one-carbon metabolism is of fundamental importance for various cellular processes, including DNA synthesis and methylation of biological molecules. Due to the exogenous requirement of folate in mammals, there exists a well developed epithelial folate transport system for regulation of normal folate homeostasis. The intestinal and renal folate uptake is tightly and diversely regulated and disturbances in folate homeostasis like in alcoholism have pathological consequences. The study was sought to delineate the regulatory mechanism of folate uptake in intestine and reabsorption in renal tubular cells that could evaluate insights of malabsorption during alcoholism. The folate transporters PCFT and RFC were found to be associated with lipid rafts of membrane surfaces in intestine and kidney. Importantly, the observed lower intestinal and renal folate uptake was associated with decreased levels of folate transporter viz. PCFT and RFC in lipid rafts of intestinal and renal membrane surfaces. The decreased association of folate transporters in lipid rafts was associated with decreased protein and mRNA levels. In addition, immunohistochemical studies showed that alcoholic conditions deranged that localization of PCFT and RFC. These findings could explain the possible mechanistic insights that may result in folate malabsorption during alcoholism. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Biological therapeutics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Greenstein, Ben; Brook, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Proceedings of the international workshop on mechanistic understanding of radionuclide migration in compacted/intact systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tachi, Yukio; Yui, Mikazu

    2010-03-01

    The international workshop on mechanistic understanding of radionuclide migration in compacted / intact systems was held at ENTRY, JAEA, Tokai on 21st - 23rd January, 2009. This workshop was hosted by Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) as part of the project on the mechanistic model/database development for radionuclide sorption and diffusion behavior in compacted / intact systems. The overall goal of the project is to develop the mechanistic model / database for a consistent understanding and prediction of migration parameters and its uncertainties for performance assessment of geological disposal of radioactive waste. The objective of the workshop is to integrate the state-of-the-art of mechanistic sorption and diffusion model in compacted / intact systems, especially in bentonite / clay systems, and discuss the JAEA's mechanistic approaches and future challenges, especially the following discussions points; 1) What's the status and difficulties for mechanistic model/database development? 2) What's the status and difficulties for applicability of mechanistic model to the compacted/intact system? 3) What's the status and difficulties for obtaining evidences for mechanistic model? 4) What's the status and difficulties for standardization of experimental methodology for batch sorption and diffusion? 5) What's the uncertainties of transport parameters in radionuclides migration analysis due to a lack of understanding/experimental methodologies, and how do we derive them? This report includes workshop program, overview and materials of each presentation, summary of discussions. (author)

  18. From systems biology to systems biomedicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antony, Paul M A; Balling, Rudi; Vlassis, Nikos

    2012-08-01

    Systems Biology is about combining theory, technology, and targeted experiments in a way that drives not only data accumulation but knowledge as well. The challenge in Systems Biomedicine is to furthermore translate mechanistic insights in biological systems to clinical application, with the central aim of improving patients' quality of life. The challenge is to find theoretically well-chosen models for the contextually correct and intelligible representation of multi-scale biological systems. In this review, we discuss the current state of Systems Biology, highlight the emergence of Systems Biomedicine, and highlight some of the topics and views that we think are important for the efficient application of Systems Theory in Biomedicine. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Recent advances in mathematical modeling of developmental abnormalities using mechanistic information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavlock, R J

    1997-01-01

    During the last several years, significant changes in the risk assessment process for developmental toxicity of environmental contaminants have begun to emerge. The first of these changes is the development and beginning use of statistically based dose-response models [the benchmark dose (BMD) approach] that better utilize data derived from existing testing approaches. Accompanying this change is the greater emphasis placed on understanding and using mechanistic information to yield more accurate, reliable, and less uncertain risk assessments. The next stage in the evolution of risk assessment will be the use of biologically based dose-response (BBDR) models that begin to build into the statistically based models factors related to the underlying kinetic, biochemical, and/or physiologic processes perturbed by a toxicant. Such models are now emerging from several research laboratories. The introduction of quantitative models and the incorporation of biologic information into them has pointed to the need for even more sophisticated modifications for which we offer the term embryologically based dose-response (EBDR) models. Because these models would be based upon the understanding of normal morphogenesis, they represent a quantum leap in our thinking, but their complexity presents daunting challenges both to the developmental biologist and the developmental toxicologist. Implementation of these models will require extensive communication between developmental toxicologists, molecular embryologists, and biomathematicians. The remarkable progress in the understanding of mammalian embryonic development at the molecular level that has occurred over the last decade combined with advances in computing power and computational models should eventually enable these as yet hypothetical models to be brought into use.

  20. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

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

  1. On the antibacterial effects of manuka honey: mechanistic insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberts AEL

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Aled Edward Lloyd Roberts,* Helen Louise Brown,* Rowena Eleri Jenkins Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales, UK *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR is an increasing clinical problem precipitated by the inappropriate use of antibiotics in the later parts of the 20th Century. This problem, coupled with the lack of novel therapeutics in the development pipeline, means AMR is reaching crisis point, with an expected annual death rate of ten million people worldwide by 2050. To reduce, and to potentially remedy this problem, many researchers are looking into natural compounds with antimicrobial and/or antivirulence activity. Manuka honey is an ancient antimicrobial remedy with a good track record against a wide range of nosocomial pathogens that have increased AMR. Its inhibitory effects are the result of its constituent components, which add varying degrees of antimicrobial efficacy to the overall activity of manuka honey. The antimicrobial efficacy of manuka honey and some of its constituent components (such as methylglyoxal and leptosperin are known to bestow some degree of antimicrobial efficacy to manuka honey. Despite growing in vitro evidence of its antimicrobial efficacy, the in vivo use of manuka honey (especially in a clinical environment has been unexpectedly slow, partly due to the lack of mechanistic data. The mechanism by which manuka honey achieves its inhibitory efficacy has recently been identified against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, with both of these contrasting organisms being inhibited through different mechanisms. Manuka honey inhibits S. aureus by interfering with the cell division process, whereas P. aeruginosa cells lyse in its presence due to the reduction of a key structural protein. In addition to these inhibitory effects, manuka honey is known to reduce virulence, motility, and biofilm formation. With this

  2. Sensitivity of Anopheles gambiae population dynamics to meteo-hydrological variability: a mechanistic approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilioli Gianni

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mechanistic models play an important role in many biological disciplines, and they can effectively contribute to evaluate the spatial-temporal evolution of mosquito populations, in the light of the increasing knowledge of the crucial driving role on vector dynamics played by meteo-climatic features as well as other physical-biological characteristics of the landscape. Methods In malaria eco-epidemiology landscape components (atmosphere, water bodies, land use interact with the epidemiological system (interacting populations of vector, human, and parasite. In the background of the eco-epidemiological approach, a mosquito population model is here proposed to evaluate the sensitivity of An. gambiae s.s. population to some peculiar thermal-pluviometric scenarios. The scenarios are obtained perturbing meteorological time series data referred to four Kenyan sites (Nairobi, Nyabondo, Kibwesi, and Malindi representing four different eco-epidemiological settings. Results Simulations highlight a strong dependence of mosquito population abundance on temperature variation with well-defined site-specific patterns. The upper extreme of thermal perturbation interval (+ 3°C gives rise to an increase in adult population abundance at Nairobi (+111% and Nyabondo (+61%, and a decrease at Kibwezi (-2% and Malindi (-36%. At the lower extreme perturbation (-3°C is observed a reduction in both immature and adult mosquito population in three sites (Nairobi -74%, Nyabondo -66%, Kibwezi -39%, and an increase in Malindi (+11%. A coherent non-linear pattern of population variation emerges. The maximum rate of variation is +30% population abundance for +1°C of temperature change, but also almost null and negative values are obtained. Mosquitoes are less sensitive to rainfall and both adults and immature populations display a positive quasi-linear response pattern to rainfall variation. Conclusions The non-linear temperature-dependent response is in

  3. Mechanistic studies of neoplastic cell transformation by ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, T.C.; Craise, L.M.; Tobias, C.A.

    1982-01-01

    As part of the Biology and Medicine heavy-ion radiation program, we are systematically investigating the potential carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of high- and low-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation at the cellular level. From these studies, we anticipate additional insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of radiation carcinogenesis. Such results should provide quantitative information useful for assessing the undesirable biological effects of cosmic rays in space. Some of our recent experimental results are presented here

  4. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  6. Metastasis in renal cell carcinoma: Biology and implications for therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Gong

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Although multiple advances have been made in systemic therapy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC, metastatic RCC remains incurable. In the current review, we focus on the underlying biology of RCC and plausible mechanisms of metastasis. We further outline evolving strategies to combat metastasis through adjuvant therapy. Finally, we discuss clinical patterns of metastasis in RCC and how distinct systemic therapy approaches may be considered based on the anatomic location of metastasis.

  7. Evolutionary cell biology: two origins, one objective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C; Goodson, Holly V; Malik, Harmit S; Pereira-Leal, José B; Roos, David S; Turkewitz, Aaron P; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-12-02

    All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology.

  8. Adapting to Biology: Maintaining Container-Closure System Compatibility with the Therapeutic Biologic Revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrazio, Dominick

    Many pharmaceutical companies are transitioning their research and development drug product pipeline from traditional small-molecule injectables to the dimension of evolving therapeutic biologics. Important concerns associated with this changeover are becoming forefront, as challenges develop of varying complexity uncommon with the synthesis and production of traditional drugs. Therefore, alternative measures must be established that aim to preserve the efficacy and functionality of a biologic that might not be implemented for small molecules. Conserving protein stability is relative to perpetuating a net equilibrium of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Key to sustaining this balance is the ability of container-closure systems to maintain their compatibility with the ever-changing dynamics of therapeutic biologics. Failure to recognize and adjust the material properties of packaging components to support compatibility with therapeutic biologics can compromise patient safety, drug productivity, and biological stability. This review will examine the differences between small-molecule drugs and therapeutic biologics, lay a basic foundation for understanding the stability of therapeutic biologics, and demonstrate potential sources of container-closure systems' incompatibilities with therapeutic biologics at a mechanistic level. Many pharmaceutical companies are transitioning their research and development drug product pipeline from traditional small-molecule injectables to recombinantly derived therapeutic biologics. Concerns associated with this transformation are becoming prominent, as therapeutic biologics are uncharacteristic to small-molecule drugs. Maintaining the stability of a therapeutic biologic is a combination of balancing intrinsic factors and external elements within the biologic's microenvironment. An important aspect of this balance is relegated to the overall compatibility of primary, parenteral container-closure systems with therapeutic biologics

  9. Mechanistic insight into neurotoxicity induced by developmental insults

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamm, Christoffer; Ceccatelli, Sandra

    2017-01-01

    Epidemiological and/or experimental studies have shown that unfavorable prenatal environmental factors, such as stress or exposure to certain neurotoxic environmental contaminants, may have adverse consequences for neurodevelopment. Alterations in neurogenesis can have harmful effects not only for the developing nervous system, but also for the adult brain where neurogenesis is believed to play a role in learning, memory, and even in depression. Many recent advances in the understanding of the complex process of nervous system development can be integrated into the field of neurotoxicology. In the past 15 years we have been using cultured neural stem or progenitor cells to investigate the effects of neurotoxic stimuli on cell survival, proliferation and differentiation, with special focus on heritable effects. This is an overview of the work performed by our group in the attempt to elucidate the mechanisms of developmental neurotoxicity and possibly provide relevant information for the understanding of the etiopathogenesis of complex brain disorders. - Highlights: • The developing nervous system is highly sensitive to toxic insults. • Neural stem cells are relevant models for mechanistic studies as well as for identifying heritable effects due to epigenetic changes. • Depending on the dose, the outcome of exposure to neurotoxicants ranges from altered proliferation and differentiation to cell death. • The elucidation of neurotoxicity mechanisms is relevant for understanding the etiopathogenesis of developmental and adult nervous system disorders.

  10. A mechanistic approach to postirradiation spoilage kinetics of fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tukenmez, I.

    2004-01-01

    Full text: In order to simulate postirradiation spoilage of fish, the mechanistic aspects of the growth of surviving microorganisms during chill storage and their product formation in irradiated fish were analyzed. Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicholus) samples those unirradiated and irradiated at 1, 2 and 3 kGy doses of gamma radiation were stored at +2 o C for 21 days. Total bacterial counts (TBC) and trimethylamine (TMA) analysis of the samples were done periodically during storage. Depending on the proposed spoilage mechanism, kinetic model equations were derived. By using experimental data of TBC and TMA in the developed model, the postirradiation spoilage parameters including growth rate constant, inital and maximum attainable TBC, lag time and TMA yield were evaluated and microbial spoilage of fish was simulated for postirradiation storage. Shelf life of irradiated fish was estimated depending on the spoilage kinetics. Dose effects on the kinetic parameters were analyzed. It is suggested that the kinetic evaluation method developed in this study may be used for quality assessment, shelf life determination and dose optimization for radiation preservation of fish

  11. Ancient Chinese medicine and mechanistic evidence of acupuncture physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Edward S; Li, Pei-Wen; Nilius, Bernd; Li, Geng

    2011-11-01

    Acupuncture has been widely used in China for three millennia as an art of healing. Yet, its physiology is not yet understood. The current interest in acupuncture started in 1971. Soon afterward, extensive research led to the concept of neural signaling with possible involvement of opioid peptides, glutamate, adenosine and identifying responsive parts in the central nervous system. In the last decade scientists began investigating the subject with anatomical and molecular imaging. It was found that mechanical movements of the needle, ignored in the past, appear to be central to the method and intracellular calcium ions may play a pivotal role. In this review, we trace the technique of clinical treatment from the first written record about 2,200 years ago to the modern time. The ancient texts have been used to introduce the concepts of yin, yang, qi, de qi, and meridians, the traditional foundation of acupuncture. We explore the sequence of the physiological process, from the turning of the needle, the mechanical wave activation of calcium ion channel to beta-endorphin secretion. By using modern terminology to re-interpret the ancient texts, we have found that the 2nd century B.C.: physiologists were meticulous investigators and their explanation fits well with the mechanistic model derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and confocal microscopy. In conclusion, the ancient model appears to have withstood the test of time surprisingly well confirming the popular axiom that the old wine is better than the new.

  12. Mechanistic Perspectives of Maslinic Acid in Targeting Inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Hsum Yap

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic inflammation drives the development of various pathological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. The arachidonic acid pathway represents one of the major mechanisms for inflammation. Prostaglandins (PGs are lipid products generated from arachidonic acid by the action of cyclooxygenase (COX enzymes and their activity is blocked by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS. The use of natural compounds in regulation of COX activity/prostaglandins production is receiving increasing attention. In Mediterranean diet, olive oil and table olives contain significant dietary sources of maslinic acid. Maslinic acid is arising as a safe and novel natural pentacyclic triterpene which has protective effects against chronic inflammatory diseases in various in vivo and in vitro experimental models. Understanding the anti-inflammatory mechanism of maslinic acid is crucial for its development as a potential dietary nutraceutical. This review focuses on the mechanistic action of maslinic acid in regulating the inflammation pathways through modulation of the arachidonic acid metabolism including the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB/COX-2 expression, upstream protein kinase signaling, and phospholipase A2 enzyme activity. Further investigations may provide insight into the mechanism of maslinic acid in regulating the molecular targets and their associated pathways in response to specific inflammatory stimuli.

  13. A mechanistic compartmental model for total antibody uptake in tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Greg M; Dane Wittrup, K

    2012-12-07

    Antibodies are under development to treat a variety of cancers, such as lymphomas, colon, and breast cancer. A major limitation to greater efficacy for this class of drugs is poor distribution in vivo. Localization of antibodies occurs slowly, often in insufficient therapeutic amounts, and distributes heterogeneously throughout the tumor. While the microdistribution around individual vessels is important for many therapies, the total amount of antibody localized in the tumor is paramount for many applications such as imaging, determining the therapeutic index with antibody drug conjugates, and dosing in radioimmunotherapy. With imaging and pretargeted therapeutic strategies, the time course of uptake is critical in determining when to take an image or deliver a secondary reagent. We present here a simple mechanistic model of antibody uptake and retention that captures the major rates that determine the time course of antibody concentration within a tumor including dose, affinity, plasma clearance, target expression, internalization, permeability, and vascularization. Since many of the parameters are known or can be estimated in vitro, this model can approximate the time course of antibody concentration in tumors to aid in experimental design, data interpretation, and strategies to improve localization. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Mechanistic Modeling of Water Replenishment Rate of Zeer Refrigerator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. N. Nwankwojike

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available A model for predicting the water replenishment rate of zeer pot refrigerator was developed in this study using mechanistic modeling approach and evaluated at Obowo, Imo State, Nigeria using six fruits, tomatoes, guava, okra, banana, orange and avocado pear. The developed model confirmed zeer pot water replenishment rate as a function of ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, thermal conductivity of the pot materials and sand, density of air and water vapor, permeability coefficient of clay and heat transfer coefficient of water into air, circumferential length, height of pot, geometrical profile of the pot, heat load of the food preserved, heat flow into the device and gradient at which the pot is placed above ground level. Compared to the conventional approach of water replenishment, performance analysis results revealed 44% to 58% water economy when the zeer pot’s water was replenished based on the model’s prediction; while there was no significant difference in the shelf-life of the fruits preserved with both replenishment methods. Application of the developed water replenishment model facilitates optimal water usage in this system, thereby reducing operational cost of zeer pot refrigerator.

  15. Polymerization kinetics of wheat gluten upon thermosetting. A mechanistic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domenek, Sandra; Morel, Marie-Hélène; Bonicel, Joëlle; Guilbert, Stéphane

    2002-10-09

    Size exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography analysis was carried out on wheat gluten-glycerol blends subjected to different heat treatments. The elution profiles were analyzed in order to follow the solubility loss of protein fractions with specific molecular size. Owing to the known biochemical changes involved during the heat denaturation of gluten, a mechanistic mathematical model was developed, which divided the protein denaturation into two distinct reaction steps: (i) reversible change in protein conformation and (ii) protein precipitation through disulfide bonding between initially SDS-soluble and SDS-insoluble reaction partners. Activation energies of gluten unfolding, refolding, and precipitation were calculated with the Arrhenius law to 53.9 kJ x mol(-1), 29.5 kJ x mol(-1), and 172 kJ x mol(-1), respectively. The rate of protein solubility loss decreased as the cross-linking reaction proceeded, which may be attributed to the formation of a three-dimensional network progressively hindering the reaction. The enhanced susceptibility to aggregation of large molecules was assigned to a risen reaction probability due to their higher number of cysteine residues and to the increased percentage of unfolded and thereby activated proteins as complete protein refolding seemed to be an anticooperative process.

  16. Mechanistic studies of ethylene biosynthesis in higher plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGeehan, G.M.

    1986-01-01

    Ethylene is a plant hormone that elicits a wide variety of responses in plant tissue. Among these responses are the hastening of abscission, ripening and senescence. In 1979 it was discovered that 1-amino-1-cyclopropane carboxylic acid is the immediate biosynthetic precursor to ethylene. Given the obvious economic significance of ethylene production the authors concentrated their studies on the conversion of ACC to ethylene. They delved into mechanistic aspects of ACC oxidation and they studied potential inhibitors of ethylene forming enzyme (EFE). They synthesized various analogs of ACC and found that EFE shows good stereodiscrimination among alkyl substituted ACC analogs with the 1R, 2S stereoisomer being processed nine times faster than the 1S, 2R isomer in the MeACC series. They also synthesized 2-cyclopropyl ACC which is a good competitive inhibitor of EFE. This compound also causes time dependent loss of EFE activity leading us to believe it is an irreversible inhibitor of ethylene formation. The synthesis of these analogs has also allowed them to develop a spectroscopic technique to assign the relative stereochemistry of alkyl groups. 13 C NMR allows them to assign the alkyl stereochemistry based upon gamma-shielding effects on the carbonyl resonance. Lastly, they measured kinetic isotope effects on the oxidation of ACC in vivo and in vitro and found that ACC is oxidized by a rate-determining 1-electron removal from nitrogen in close accord with mechanisms for the oxidation of other alkyl amines

  17. Refined pipe theory for mechanistic modeling of wood development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deckmyn, Gaby; Evans, Sam P; Randle, Tim J

    2006-06-01

    We present a mechanistic model of wood tissue development in response to changes in competition, management and climate. The model is based on a refinement of the pipe theory, where the constant ratio between sapwood and leaf area (pipe theory) is replaced by a ratio between pipe conductivity and leaf area. Simulated pipe conductivity changes with age, stand density and climate in response to changes in allocation or pipe radius, or both. The central equation of the model, which calculates the ratio of carbon (C) allocated to leaves and pipes, can be parameterized to describe the contrasting stem conductivity behavior of different tree species: from constant stem conductivity (functional homeostasis hypothesis) to height-related reduction in stem conductivity with age (hydraulic limitation hypothesis). The model simulates the daily growth of pipes (vessels or tracheids), fibers and parenchyma as well as vessel size and simulates the wood density profile and the earlywood to latewood ratio from these data. Initial runs indicate the model yields realistic seasonal changes in pipe radius (decreasing pipe radius from spring to autumn) and wood density, as well as realistic differences associated with the competitive status of trees (denser wood in suppressed trees).

  18. Mechanistic understanding of monosaccharide-air flow battery electrochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Daniel M.; Tsang, Tsz Ho; Chetty, Leticia; Aloi, Sekotilani; Liaw, Bor Yann

    Recently, an inexpensive monosaccharide-air flow battery configuration has been demonstrated to utilize a strong base and a mediator redox dye to harness electrical power from the partial oxidation of glucose. Here the mechanistic understanding of glucose oxidation in this unique glucose-air power source is further explored by acid-base titration experiments, 13C NMR, and comparison of results from chemically different redox mediators (indigo carmine vs. methyl viologen) and sugars (fructose vs. glucose) via studies using electrochemical techniques. Titration results indicate that gluconic acid is the main product of the cell reaction, as supported by evidence in the 13C NMR spectra. Using indigo carmine as the mediator dye and fructose as the energy source, an abiotic cell configuration generates a power density of 1.66 mW cm -2, which is greater than that produced from glucose under similar conditions (ca. 1.28 mW cm -2). A faster transition from fructose into the ene-diol intermediate than from glucose likely contributed to this difference in power density.

  19. Four Mechanistic Models of Peer Influence on Adolescent Cannabis Use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caouette, Justin D; Feldstein Ewing, Sarah W

    2017-06-01

    Most adolescents begin exploring cannabis in peer contexts, but the neural mechanisms that underlie peer influence on adolescent cannabis use are still unknown. This theoretical overview elucidates the intersecting roles of neural function and peer factors in cannabis use in adolescents. Novel paradigms using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in adolescents have identified distinct neural mechanisms of risk decision-making and incentive processing in peer contexts, centered on reward-motivation and affect regulatory neural networks; these findings inform a theoretical model of peer-driven cannabis use decisions in adolescents. We propose four "mechanistic profiles" of social facilitation of cannabis use in adolescents: (1) peer influence as the primary driver of use; (2) cannabis exploration as the primary driver, which may be enhanced in peer contexts; (3) social anxiety; and (4) negative peer experiences. Identification of "neural targets" involved in motivating cannabis use may inform clinicians about which treatment strategies work best in adolescents with cannabis use problems, and via which social and neurocognitive processes.

  20. Mechanistic modeling of insecticide risks to breeding birds in ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insecticide usage in the United States is ubiquitous in urban, suburban, and rural environments. In evaluating data for an insecticide registration application and for registration review, scientists at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) assess the fate of the insecticide and the risk the insecticide poses to the environment and non-target wildlife. At the present time, current USEPA risk assessments do not include population-level endpoints. In this paper, we present a new mechanistic model, which allows risk assessors to estimate the effects of insecticide exposure on the survival and seasonal productivity of birds known to use agricultural fields during their breeding season. The new model was created from two existing USEPA avian risk assessment models, the Terrestrial Investigation Model (TIM v.3.0) and the Markov Chain Nest Productivity model (MCnest). The integrated TIM/MCnest model has been applied to assess the relative risk of 12 insecticides used to control corn pests on a suite of 31 avian species known to use cornfields in midwestern agroecosystems. The 12 insecticides that were assessed in this study are all used to treat major pests of corn (corn root worm borer, cutworm, and armyworm). After running the integrated TIM/MCnest model, we found extensive differences in risk to birds among insecticides, with chlorpyrifos and malathion (organophosphates) generally posing the greatest risk, and bifenthrin and ë-cyhalothrin (

  1. Mechanistic approach to the sodium leakage and fire analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaguchi, Akira; Muramatsu, Toshiharu; Ohira, Hiroaki; Ida, Masao

    1997-04-01

    In December 1995, a thermocouple well was broken and liquid sodium leaked out of the intermediate heat transport system of the prototype fast breeder reactor Monju. In the initiating process of the incident, liquid sodium flowed out through the hollow thermocouple well, nipple and connector. As a result, liquid sodium, following ignition and combustion, was dropping from the connector to colide with the duct and grating placed below. The collision may cause fragmentation and scattering of the sodium droplet that finally was piled up on the floor. This report deals with the development of computer programs for the phenomena based on mechanistics approach. Numerical analyses are also made for fundamental sodium leakage and combustion phenomenon, sodium combustion experiment, and Monju incident condition. The contents of this report is listed below: (1) Analysis of chemical reaction process based on molecular orbital method, (2) Thermalhy draulic analysis of the sodium combustion experiment II performed in 1996 at O-arai Engineering Center, PNC, (3) Thermalhy draulic analysis of room A-446 of Monju reactor when the sodium leakage took place, (4) Direct numerical simulation of sodium droplet, (5) Sodium leakage and scattering analysis using three dimensional particle method, (6) Multi-dimensional combustion analysis and multi-point approximation combustion analysis code. Subsequent to the development work of the programs, they are to be applied to the safety analysis of the Fast Breeder Reactor. (author)

  2. A mechanistic approach to the generation of sorption databases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bradbury, M.H.; Baeyens, B.

    1992-01-01

    Sorption of radionuclides in the near and far fields of an underground nuclear waste repository is one of the most important processes retarding their release to the environment. In the vast majority of cases sorption data have been presented in terms of empirical parameters such as distribution coefficients and isotherm equations. A consequence of this empirical methodology is that the sorption data are only strictly valid under the experimental conditions at which they were measured. Implicit in this approach is the need to generate large amounts of data and fitting parameters necessary for an empirical description of sorption under all realistically conceivable conditions which may arise in space and time along the migration pathway to Man. An alternative approach to the problem is to try to understand, and develop model descriptions of, underlying retention mechanisms and to identify those systems parameters which essentially determine the extent of sorption. The aim of this work is to see to what extent currently existing mechanistic models, together with their associated data, can be applied to predict sorption data from laboratory experiments on natural systems. This paper describes the current status of this work which is very much in an early stage of development. An example is given whereby model predictions are compared with laboratory results for the sorption of Np at trace concentrations under oxidizing conditions on a series of minerals relevant to granite formations. 31 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs

  3. MECHANISTIC STUDY OF COLCHICINE’s ELECTROCHEMICAL OXIDATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bodoki, Ede; Chira, Ruxandra; Zaharia, Valentin; Săndulescu, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Colchicine, as one of the most ancient drugs of human kind, is still in the focal point of the current research due to its multimodal mechanism of action. The elucidation of colchicine’s still unknown redox properties may play an important role in deciphering its beneficial and harmful implications over the human body. Therefore, a systematic mechanistic study of colchicine’s oxidation has been undertaken by electrochemistry coupled to mass spectrometry using two different types of electrolytic cells, in order to clarify the existing inconsistencies with respect to this topic. At around 1 V vs. Pd/H 2 , initiated by a one-electron transfer, the oxidation of colchicine sets off leading to a cation radical, whose further oxidation may evolve on several different pathways. The main product of the anodic electrochemical reaction, regardless of the carrier solution’s pH is represented by a 7-hydroxy derivative of colchicine. At more anodic potentials (above 1.4 V vs. Pd/H 2 ) compounds arising from epoxidation and/or multiple hydroxylation occur. No di- or tridemethylated quinone structures, as previously suggested in the literature for the electrolytic oxidation of colchicine, has been detected in the mass spectra.

  4. Analytical techniques for mechanistic characterization of EUV photoresists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grzeskowiak, Steven; Narasimhan, Amrit; Murphy, Michael; Ackerman, Christian; Kaminsky, Jake; Brainard, Robert L.; Denbeaux, Greg

    2017-03-01

    Extreme ultraviolet (EUV, 13.5 nm) lithography is the prospective technology for high volume manufacturing by the microelectronics industry. Significant strides towards achieving adequate EUV source power and availability have been made recently, but a limited rate of improvement in photoresist performance still delays the implementation of EUV. Many fundamental questions remain to be answered about the exposure mechanisms of even the relatively well understood chemically amplified EUV photoresists. Moreover, several groups around the world are developing revolutionary metal-based resists whose EUV exposure mechanisms are even less understood. Here, we describe several evaluation techniques to help elucidate mechanistic details of EUV exposure mechanisms of chemically amplified and metal-based resists. EUV absorption coefficients are determined experimentally by measuring the transmission through a resist coated on a silicon nitride membrane. Photochemistry can be evaluated by monitoring small outgassing reaction products to provide insight into photoacid generator or metal-based resist reactivity. Spectroscopic techniques such as thin-film Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy can measure the chemical state of a photoresist system pre- and post-EUV exposure. Additionally, electrolysis can be used to study the interaction between photoresist components and low energy electrons. Collectively, these techniques improve our current understanding of photomechanisms for several EUV photoresist systems, which is needed to develop new, better performing materials needed for high volume manufacturing.

  5. Mechanistic Features of Nanodiamonds in the Lapping of Magnetic Heads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xionghua Jiang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Nanodiamonds, which are the main components of slurry in the precision lapping process of magnetic heads, play an important role in surface quality. This paper studies the mechanistic features of nanodiamond embedment into a Sn plate in the lapping process. This is the first study to develop mathematical models for nanodiamond embedment. Such models can predict the optimum parameters for particle embedment. From the modeling calculations, the embedded pressure satisfies p0=3/2·W/πa2 and the indentation depth satisfies δ=k1P/HV. Calculation results reveal that the largest embedded pressure is 731.48 GPa and the critical indentation depth δ is 7 nm. Atomic force microscopy (AFM, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES were used to carry out surface quality detection and analysis of the disk head. Both the formation of black spots on the surface and the removal rate have an important correlation with the size of nanodiamonds. The results demonstrate that an improved removal rate (21 nm·min−1 can be obtained with 100 nm diamonds embedded in the plate.

  6. Mechanistic features of nanodiamonds in the lapping of magnetic heads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xionghua; Chen, Zhenxing; Wolfram, Joy; Yang, Zhizhou

    2014-01-01

    Nanodiamonds, which are the main components of slurry in the precision lapping process of magnetic heads, play an important role in surface quality. This paper studies the mechanistic features of nanodiamond embedment into a Sn plate in the lapping process. This is the first study to develop mathematical models for nanodiamond embedment. Such models can predict the optimum parameters for particle embedment. From the modeling calculations, the embedded pressure satisfies p 0 = (3/2) · (W/πa (2)) and the indentation depth satisfies δ = k1√P/HV. Calculation results reveal that the largest embedded pressure is 731.48 GPa and the critical indentation depth δ is 7 nm. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) were used to carry out surface quality detection and analysis of the disk head. Both the formation of black spots on the surface and the removal rate have an important correlation with the size of nanodiamonds. The results demonstrate that an improved removal rate (21 nm · min(-1)) can be obtained with 100 nm diamonds embedded in the plate.

  7. The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario: Improving Resilience for California from a Plausible M9 Earthquake near the Alaska Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, S.; Jones, L.; Wilson, R. I.; Bahng, B.; Barberopoulou, A.; Borrero, J. C.; Brosnan, D.; Bwarie, J.; Geist, E. L.; Johnson, L.; Kirby, S. H.; Knight, W.; Long, K.; Lynett, P. J.; Miller, K.; Mortensen, C. E.; Nicolsky, D.; Oglesby, D. D.; Perry, S. C.; Plumlee, G. S.; Porter, K. A.; Real, C. R.; Ryan, K. J.; Suleimani, E.; Thio, H. K.; Titov, V.; Wein, A. M.; Whitmore, P.; Wood, N. J.

    2013-12-01

    The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario models a hypothetical but plausible tsunami, created by an Mw9.1 earthquake occurring offshore from the Alaskan peninsula, and its impacts on the California coast. We present the likely inundation areas, current velocities in key ports and harbors, physical damage and repair costs, economic consequences, environmental impacts, social vulnerability, emergency management, and policy implications for California associated with the tsunami scenario. The intended users are those who must make mitigation decisions before and rapid decisions during future tsunamis. Around a half million people would be present in the scenario's inundation area in residences, businesses, public venues, parks and beaches. Evacuation would likely be ordered for the State of California's maximum mapped tsunami inundation zone, evacuating an additional quarter million people from residences and businesses. Some island and peninsula communities would face particular evacuation challenges because of limited access options and short warning time, caused by the distance between Alaska and California. Evacuations may also be a challenge for certain dependent-care populations. One third of the boats in California's marinas could be damaged or sunk, costing at least 700 million in repairs to boats and docks, and potentially much more to address serious issues due to sediment transport and environmental contamination. Fires would likely start at many sites where fuel and petrochemicals are stored in ports and marinas. Tsunami surges and bores may travel several miles inland up coastal rivers. Debris clean-up and recovery of inundated and damaged areas will take days, months, or years depending on the severity of impacts and the available resources for recovery. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (POLA/LB) would be shut down for a miniμm of two days due to strong currents. Inundation of dry land in the ports would result in 100 million damages to cargo and additional

  8. Dysplasia and overgrowth. Magnetic resonance imaging of pediatric brain abnormalities secondary to alterations in the mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shrot, Shai [Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Radiology and Pediatric Neuroradiology, Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Baltimore, MD (United States); Sheba Medical Center, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Ramat-Gan (Israel); Hwang, Misun; Huisman, Thierry A.G.M.; Soares, Bruno P. [Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Radiology and Pediatric Neuroradiology, Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Baltimore, MD (United States); Stafstrom, Carl E. [Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Neurology, Baltimore, MD (United States)

    2018-02-15

    The current classification of malformations of cortical development is based on the type of disrupted embryological process (cell proliferation, migration, or cortical organization/post-migrational development) and the resulting morphological anomalous pattern of findings. An ideal classification would include knowledge of biological pathways. It has recently been demonstrated that alterations affecting the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway result in diverse abnormalities such as dysplastic megalencephaly, hemimegalencephaly, ganglioglioma, dysplastic cerebellar gangliocytoma, focal cortical dysplasia type IIb, and brain lesions associated with tuberous sclerosis. We review the neuroimaging findings in brain abnormalities related to alterations in the mTOR pathway, following the emerging trend from morphology towards genetics in the classification of malformations of cortical development. This approach improves the understanding of anomalous brain development and allows precise diagnosis and potentially targeted therapies that may regulate mTOR pathway function. (orig.)

  9. Dysplasia and overgrowth. Magnetic resonance imaging of pediatric brain abnormalities secondary to alterations in the mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shrot, Shai; Hwang, Misun; Huisman, Thierry A.G.M.; Soares, Bruno P.; Stafstrom, Carl E.

    2018-01-01

    The current classification of malformations of cortical development is based on the type of disrupted embryological process (cell proliferation, migration, or cortical organization/post-migrational development) and the resulting morphological anomalous pattern of findings. An ideal classification would include knowledge of biological pathways. It has recently been demonstrated that alterations affecting the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway result in diverse abnormalities such as dysplastic megalencephaly, hemimegalencephaly, ganglioglioma, dysplastic cerebellar gangliocytoma, focal cortical dysplasia type IIb, and brain lesions associated with tuberous sclerosis. We review the neuroimaging findings in brain abnormalities related to alterations in the mTOR pathway, following the emerging trend from morphology towards genetics in the classification of malformations of cortical development. This approach improves the understanding of anomalous brain development and allows precise diagnosis and potentially targeted therapies that may regulate mTOR pathway function. (orig.)

  10. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

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

  11. Looking for a Location: Dissociated Effects of Event-Related Plausibility and Verb–Argument Information on Predictive Processing in Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickey, Michael Walsh; Warren, Tessa

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This study examined the influence of verb–argument information and event-related plausibility on prediction of upcoming event locations in people with aphasia, as well as older and younger, neurotypical adults. It investigated how these types of information interact during anticipatory processing and how the ability to take advantage of the different types of information is affected by aphasia. Method This study used a modified visual-world task to examine eye movements and offline photo selection. Twelve adults with aphasia (aged 54–82 years) as well as 44 young adults (aged 18–31 years) and 18 older adults (aged 50–71 years) participated. Results Neurotypical adults used verb argument status and plausibility information to guide both eye gaze (a measure of anticipatory processing) and image selection (a measure of ultimate interpretation). Argument status did not affect the behavior of people with aphasia in either measure. There was only limited evidence of interaction between these 2 factors in eye gaze data. Conclusions Both event-related plausibility and verb-based argument status contributed to anticipatory processing of upcoming event locations among younger and older neurotypical adults. However, event-related likelihood had a much larger role in the performance of people with aphasia than did verb-based knowledge regarding argument structure. PMID:27997951

  12. Looking for a Location: Dissociated Effects of Event-Related Plausibility and Verb-Argument Information on Predictive Processing in Aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Rebecca A; Dickey, Michael Walsh; Warren, Tessa

    2016-12-01

    This study examined the influence of verb-argument information and event-related plausibility on prediction of upcoming event locations in people with aphasia, as well as older and younger, neurotypical adults. It investigated how these types of information interact during anticipatory processing and how the ability to take advantage of the different types of information is affected by aphasia. This study used a modified visual-world task to examine eye movements and offline photo selection. Twelve adults with aphasia (aged 54-82 years) as well as 44 young adults (aged 18-31 years) and 18 older adults (aged 50-71 years) participated. Neurotypical adults used verb argument status and plausibility information to guide both eye gaze (a measure of anticipatory processing) and image selection (a measure of ultimate interpretation). Argument status did not affect the behavior of people with aphasia in either measure. There was only limited evidence of interaction between these 2 factors in eye gaze data. Both event-related plausibility and verb-based argument status contributed to anticipatory processing of upcoming event locations among younger and older neurotypical adults. However, event-related likelihood had a much larger role in the performance of people with aphasia than did verb-based knowledge regarding argument structure.

  13. Biological desulfurisation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-03-01

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

  14. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

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

  15. Mechanistic features of isomerizing alkoxycarbonylation of methyl oleate

    KAUST Repository

    Roesle, Philipp

    2012-10-24

    The weakly coordinated triflate complex [(P̂P)Pd(OTf)] +(OTf)- (1) (P̂P = 1,3-bis(di-tert- butylphosphino)propane) is a suitable reactive precursor for mechanistic studies of the isomerizing alkoxcarbonylation of methyl oleate. Addition of CH 3OH or CD3OD to 1 forms the hydride species [(P ̂P)PdH(CH3OH)]+(OTf)- (2-CH3OH) or the deuteride [(P̂P)PdD(CD 3OD)]+(OTf)- (2D-CD3OD), respectively. Further reaction with pyridine cleanly affords the stable and isolable hydride [(P̂P)PdH(pyridine)]+(OTf) - (2-pyr). This complex yields the hydride fragment free of methanol by abstraction of pyridine with BF3OEt2, and thus provides an entry to mechanistic observations including intermediates reactive toward methanol. Exposure of methyl oleate (100 equiv) to 2D-CD 3OD resulted in rapid isomerization to the thermodynamic isomer distribution, 94.3% of internal olefins, 5.5% of α,β-unsaturated ester and <0.2% of terminal olefin. Reaction of 2-pyr/BF3OEt 2 with a stoichiometric amount of 1-13C-labeled 1-octene at -80 °C yields a 50:50 mixture of the linear alkyls [(P ̂P)Pd13CH2(CH2) 6CH3]+ and [(P̂P)PdCH 2(CH2)6 13CH3] + (4a and 4b). Further reaction with 13CO yields the linear acyls [(P̂P)Pd13C(=O)12/13CH 2(CH2)6 12/13CH3(L)] + (5-L; L = solvent or 13CO). Reaction of 2-pyr/BF 3·OEt2 with a stoichiometric amount of methyl oleate at -80 °C also resulted in fast isomerization to form a linear alkyl species [(P̂P)PdCH2(CH2) 16C(=O)OCH3]+ (6) and a branched alkyl stabilized by coordination of the ester carbonyl group as a four membered chelate [(P̂P)PdCH{(CH2)15CH 3}C(=O)OCH3]+ (7). Addition of carbon monoxide (2.5 equiv) at -80 °C resulted in insertion to form the linear acyl carbonyl [(P̂P)PdC(=O)(CH2)17C(=O)OCH 3(CO)]+ (8-CO) and the five-membered chelate [(P ̂P)PdC(=O)CH{(CH2)15CH3}C(=O) OCH3]+ (9). Exposure of 8-CO and 9 to 13CO at -50 °C results in gradual incorporation of the 13C label. Reversibility of 7 + CO ⇄ 9 is also evidenced by ΔG = -2.9 kcal mol-1 and

  16. The Biology of REM Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peever, John; Fuller, Patrick M.

    2018-01-01

    Considerable advances in our understanding of the mechanisms and functions of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep have occurred over the past decade. Much of this progress can be attributed to the development of new neuroscience tools that have enabled high-precision interrogation of brain circuitry linked with REM sleep control, in turn revealing how REM sleep mechanisms themselves impact processes such as sensorimotor function. This review is intended to update the general scientific community about the recent mechanistic, functional and conceptual developments in our current understanding of REM sleep biology and pathobiology. Specifically, this review outlines the historical origins of the discovery of REM sleep, the diversity of REM sleep expression across and within species, the potential functions of REM sleep (e.g., memory consolidation), the neural circuits that control REM sleep, and how dysfunction of REM sleep mechanisms underlie debilitating sleep disorders such as REM sleep behaviour disorder and narcolepsy. PMID:26766231

  17. Toward a mechanistic modeling of nitrogen limitation on vegetation dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chonggang Xu

    Full Text Available Nitrogen is a dominant regulator of vegetation dynamics, net primary production, and terrestrial carbon cycles; however, most ecosystem models use a rather simplistic relationship between leaf nitrogen content and photosynthetic capacity. Such an approach does not consider how patterns of nitrogen allocation may change with differences in light intensity, growing-season temperature and CO(2 concentration. To account for this known variability in nitrogen-photosynthesis relationships, we develop a mechanistic nitrogen allocation model based on a trade-off of nitrogen allocated between growth and storage, and an optimization of nitrogen allocated among light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, and respiration. The developed model is able to predict the acclimation of photosynthetic capacity to changes in CO(2 concentration, temperature, and radiation when evaluated against published data of V(c,max (maximum carboxylation rate and J(max (maximum electron transport rate. A sensitivity analysis of the model for herbaceous plants, deciduous and evergreen trees implies that elevated CO(2 concentrations lead to lower allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation but higher allocation to storage. Higher growing-season temperatures cause lower allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation, due to higher nitrogen requirements for light capture pigments and for storage. Lower levels of radiation have a much stronger effect on allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation for herbaceous plants than for trees, resulting from higher nitrogen requirements for light capture for herbaceous plants. As far as we know, this is the first model of complete nitrogen allocation that simultaneously considers nitrogen allocation to light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, respiration and storage, and the responses of each to altered environmental conditions. We expect this model could potentially improve our confidence in simulations of carbon-nitrogen interactions and the

  18. The attention schema theory: a mechanistic account of subjective awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graziano, Michael S A; Webb, Taylor W

    2015-01-01

    We recently proposed the attention schema theory, a novel way to explain the brain basis of subjective awareness in a mechanistic and scientifically testable manner. The theory begins with attention, the process by which signals compete for the brain's limited computing resources. This internal signal competition is partly under a bottom-up influence and partly under top-down control. We propose that the top-down control of attention is improved when the brain has access to a simplified model of attention itself. The brain therefore constructs a schematic model of the process of attention, the 'attention schema,' in much the same way that it constructs a schematic model of the body, the 'body schema.' The content of this internal model leads a brain to conclude that it has a subjective experience. One advantage of this theory is that it explains how awareness and attention can sometimes become dissociated; the brain's internal models are never perfect, and sometimes a model becomes dissociated from the object being modeled. A second advantage of this theory is that it explains how we can be aware of both internal and external events. The brain can apply attention to many types of information including external sensory information and internal information about emotions and cognitive states. If awareness is a model of attention, then this model should pertain to the same domains of information to which attention pertains. A third advantage of this theory is that it provides testable predictions. If awareness is the internal model of attention, used to help control attention, then without awareness, attention should still be possible but should suffer deficits in control. In this article, we review the existing literature on the relationship between attention and awareness, and suggest that at least some of the predictions of the theory are borne out by the evidence.

  19. The attention schema theory: a mechanistic account of subjective awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor W. Webb

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available We recently proposed the attention schema theory, a novel way to explain the brain basis of subjective awareness in a mechanistic and scientifically testable manner. The theory begins with attention, the process by which signals compete for the brain’s limited computing resources. This internal signal competition is partly under a bottom-up influence and partly under top-down control. We propose that the top-down control of attention is improved when the brain has access to a simplified model of attention itself. The brain therefore constructs a schematic model of the process of attention, the ‘attention schema’, in much the same way that it constructs a schematic model of the body, the ‘body schema’. The content of this internal model leads a brain to conclude that it has a subjective experience. One advantage of this theory is that it explains how awareness and attention can sometimes become dissociated; the brain’s internal models are never perfect, and sometimes a model becomes dissociated from the object being modeled. A second advantage of this theory is that it explains how we can be aware of both internal and external events. The brain can apply attention to many types of information including external sensory information and internal information about emotions and cognitive states. If awareness is a model of attention, then this model should pertain to the same domains of information to which attention pertains. A third advantage of this theory is that it provides testable predictions. If awareness is the internal model of attention, used to help control attention, then without awareness, attention should still be possible but should suffer deficits in control. In this article, we review the existing literature on the relationship between attention and awareness, and suggest that at least some of the predictions of the theory are borne out by the evidence.

  20. Conceptualising population health: from mechanistic thinking to complexity science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayasinghe Saroj

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The mechanistic interpretation of reality can be traced to the influential work by René Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton. Their theories were able to accurately predict most physical phenomena relating to motion, optics and gravity. This paradigm had at least three principles and approaches: reductionism, linearity and hierarchy. These ideas appear to have influenced social scientists and the discourse on population health. In contrast, Complexity Science takes a more holistic view of systems. It views natural systems as being 'open', with fuzzy borders, constantly adapting to cope with pressures from the environment. These are called Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS. The sub-systems within it lack stable hierarchies, and the roles of agency keep changing. The interactions with the environment and among sub-systems are non-linear interactions and lead to self-organisation and emergent properties. Theoretical frameworks such as epi+demos+cracy and the ecosocial approach to health have implicitly used some of these concepts of interacting dynamic sub-systems. Using Complexity Science we can view population health outcomes as an emergent property of CAS, which has numerous dynamic non-linear interactions among its interconnected sub-systems or agents. In order to appreciate these sub-systems and determinants, one should acquire a basic knowledge of diverse disciplines and interact with experts from different disciplines. Strategies to improve health should be multi-pronged, and take into account the diversity of actors, determinants and contexts. The dynamic nature of the system requires that the interventions are constantly monitored to provide early feedback to a flexible system that takes quick corrections.

  1. A mechanistic nitrogen limitation model for CLM(ED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, A. A.; Xu, C.; McDowell, N. G.; Rogers, A.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Fisher, R.; Vrugt, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Photosynthetic capacity is a key plant trait that determines the rate of photosynthesis; however, in Earth System Models it is either a fixed value or derived from a linear function of leaf nitrogen content. A mechanistic leaf nitrogen allocation model have been developed for a DOE-sponsored Community Land Model coupled to the Ecosystem Demography model (CLM-ED) to predict the photosynthetic capacity [Vc,max25 (μmol CO2 m-2 s-1)] under different environmental conditions at the global scale. We collected more than 800 data points of photosynthetic capacity (Vc,max25) for 124 species from 57 studies with the corresponding leaf nitrogen content and environmental conditions (temperature, radiation, humidity and day length) from literature and the NGEE arctic site (Barrow). Based on the data, we found that environmental control of Vc,max25 is about 4 times stronger than the leaf nitrogen content. Using the Markov-Chain Monte Carlo simulation approach, we fitted the collected data to our newly developed nitrogen allocation model, which predict the leaf nitrogen investment in different components including structure, storage, respiration, light capture, carboxylation and electron transport at different environmental conditions. Our results showed that our nitrogen allocation model explained 52% of variance in observed Vc,max25 and 65% variance in observed Jmax25 using a single set of fitted model parameters for all species. Across the growing season, we found that the modeled Vc,max25 explained 49% of the variability in measured Vc,max25. In the context of future global warming, our model predicts that a temperature increase by 5oC and the doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide reduced the Vc,max25 by 5%, 11%, respectively.

  2. Toward a mechanistic modeling of nitrogen limitation on vegetation dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chonggang; Fisher, Rosie; Wullschleger, Stan D; Wilson, Cathy J; Cai, Michael; McDowell, Nate G

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen is a dominant regulator of vegetation dynamics, net primary production, and terrestrial carbon cycles; however, most ecosystem models use a rather simplistic relationship between leaf nitrogen content and photosynthetic capacity. Such an approach does not consider how patterns of nitrogen allocation may change with differences in light intensity, growing-season temperature and CO(2) concentration. To account for this known variability in nitrogen-photosynthesis relationships, we develop a mechanistic nitrogen allocation model based on a trade-off of nitrogen allocated between growth and storage, and an optimization of nitrogen allocated among light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, and respiration. The developed model is able to predict the acclimation of photosynthetic capacity to changes in CO(2) concentration, temperature, and radiation when evaluated against published data of V(c,max) (maximum carboxylation rate) and J(max) (maximum electron transport rate). A sensitivity analysis of the model for herbaceous plants, deciduous and evergreen trees implies that elevated CO(2) concentrations lead to lower allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation but higher allocation to storage. Higher growing-season temperatures cause lower allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation, due to higher nitrogen requirements for light capture pigments and for storage. Lower levels of radiation have a much stronger effect on allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation for herbaceous plants than for trees, resulting from higher nitrogen requirements for light capture for herbaceous plants. As far as we know, this is the first model of complete nitrogen allocation that simultaneously considers nitrogen allocation to light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, respiration and storage, and the responses of each to altered environmental conditions. We expect this model could potentially improve our confidence in simulations of carbon-nitrogen interactions and the vegetation

  3. Toward a Mechanistic Modeling of Nitrogen Limitation on Vegetation Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chonggang; Fisher, Rosie; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Wilson, Cathy J.; Cai, Michael; McDowell, Nate G.

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen is a dominant regulator of vegetation dynamics, net primary production, and terrestrial carbon cycles; however, most ecosystem models use a rather simplistic relationship between leaf nitrogen content and photosynthetic capacity. Such an approach does not consider how patterns of nitrogen allocation may change with differences in light intensity, growing-season temperature and CO2 concentration. To account for this known variability in nitrogen-photosynthesis relationships, we develop a mechanistic nitrogen allocation model based on a trade-off of nitrogen allocated between growth and storage, and an optimization of nitrogen allocated among light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, and respiration. The developed model is able to predict the acclimation of photosynthetic capacity to changes in CO2 concentration, temperature, and radiation when evaluated against published data of Vc,max (maximum carboxylation rate) and Jmax (maximum electron transport rate). A sensitivity analysis of the model for herbaceous plants, deciduous and evergreen trees implies that elevated CO2 concentrations lead to lower allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation but higher allocation to storage. Higher growing-season temperatures cause lower allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation, due to higher nitrogen requirements for light capture pigments and for storage. Lower levels of radiation have a much stronger effect on allocation of nitrogen to carboxylation for herbaceous plants than for trees, resulting from higher nitrogen requirements for light capture for herbaceous plants. As far as we know, this is the first model of complete nitrogen allocation that simultaneously considers nitrogen allocation to light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, respiration and storage, and the responses of each to altered environmental conditions. We expect this model could potentially improve our confidence in simulations of carbon-nitrogen interactions and the vegetation feedbacks

  4. Conceptualising population health: from mechanistic thinking to complexity science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayasinghe, Saroj

    2011-01-20

    The mechanistic interpretation of reality can be traced to the influential work by René Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton. Their theories were able to accurately predict most physical phenomena relating to motion, optics and gravity. This paradigm had at least three principles and approaches: reductionism, linearity and hierarchy. These ideas appear to have influenced social scientists and the discourse on population health. In contrast, Complexity Science takes a more holistic view of systems. It views natural systems as being 'open', with fuzzy borders, constantly adapting to cope with pressures from the environment. These are called Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). The sub-systems within it lack stable hierarchies, and the roles of agency keep changing. The interactions with the environment and among sub-systems are non-linear interactions and lead to self-organisation and emergent properties. Theoretical frameworks such as epi+demos+cracy and the ecosocial approach to health have implicitly used some of these concepts of interacting dynamic sub-systems. Using Complexity Science we can view population health outcomes as an emergent property of CAS, which has numerous dynamic non-linear interactions among its interconnected sub-systems or agents. In order to appreciate these sub-systems and determinants, one should acquire a basic knowledge of diverse disciplines and interact with experts from different disciplines. Strategies to improve health should be multi-pronged, and take into account the diversity of actors, determinants and contexts. The dynamic nature of the system requires that the interventions are constantly monitored to provide early feedback to a flexible system that takes quick corrections.

  5. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven Bryant; Larry Britton

    2008-09-30

    Microbial plugging has been proposed as an effective low cost method of permeability reduction. Yet there is a dearth of information on the fundamental processes of microbial growth in porous media, and there are no suitable data to model the process of microbial plugging as it relates to sweep efficiency. To optimize the field implementation, better mechanistic and volumetric understanding of biofilm growth within a porous medium is needed. In particular, the engineering design hinges upon a quantitative relationship between amount of nutrient consumption, amount of growth, and degree of permeability reduction. In this project experiments were conducted to obtain new data to elucidate this relationship. Experiments in heterogeneous (layered) beadpacks showed that microbes could grow preferentially in the high permeability layer. Ultimately this caused flow to be equally divided between high and low permeability layers, precisely the behavior needed for MEOR. Remarkably, classical models of microbial nutrient uptake in batch experiments do not explain the nutrient consumption by the same microbes in flow experiments. We propose a simple extension of classical kinetics to account for the self-limiting consumption of nutrient observed in our experiments, and we outline a modeling approach based on architecture and behavior of biofilms. Such a model would account for the changing trend of nutrient consumption by bacteria with the increasing biomass and the onset of biofilm formation. However no existing model can explain the microbial preference for growth in high permeability regions, nor is there any obvious extension of the model for this observation. An attractive conjecture is that quorum sensing is involved in the heterogeneous bead packs.

  6. Mechanistic kinetic models of enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis-A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeoh, Tina; Cardona, Maria J; Karuna, Nardrapee; Mudinoor, Akshata R; Nill, Jennifer

    2017-07-01

    Bioconversion of lignocellulose forms the basis for renewable, advanced biofuels, and bioproducts. Mechanisms of hydrolysis of cellulose by cellulases have been actively studied for nearly 70 years with significant gains in understanding of the cellulolytic enzymes. Yet, a full mechanistic understanding of the hydrolysis reaction has been elusive. We present a review to highlight new insights gained since the most recent comprehensive review of cellulose hydrolysis kinetic models by Bansal et al. (2009) Biotechnol Adv 27:833-848. Recent models have taken a two-pronged approach to tackle the challenge of modeling the complex heterogeneous reaction-an enzyme-centric modeling approach centered on the molecularity of the cellulase-cellulose interactions to examine rate limiting elementary steps and a substrate-centric modeling approach aimed at capturing the limiting property of the insoluble cellulose substrate. Collectively, modeling results suggest that at the molecular-scale, how rapidly cellulases can bind productively (complexation) and release from cellulose (decomplexation) is limiting, while the overall hydrolysis rate is largely insensitive to the catalytic rate constant. The surface area of the insoluble substrate and the degrees of polymerization of the cellulose molecules in the reaction both limit initial hydrolysis rates only. Neither enzyme-centric models nor substrate-centric models can consistently capture hydrolysis time course at extended reaction times. Thus, questions of the true reaction limiting factors at extended reaction times and the role of complexation and decomplexation in rate limitation remain unresolved. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1369-1385. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. A Mechanistic Link from GABA to Cortical Architecture and Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolasinski, James; Logan, John P; Hinson, Emily L; Manners, Daniel; Divanbeighi Zand, Amir P; Makin, Tamar R; Emir, Uzay E; Stagg, Charlotte J

    2017-06-05

    Understanding both the organization of the human cortex and its relation to the performance of distinct functions is fundamental in neuroscience. The primary sensory cortices display topographic organization, whereby receptive fields follow a characteristic pattern, from tonotopy to retinotopy to somatotopy [1]. GABAergic signaling is vital to the maintenance of cortical receptive fields [2]; however, it is unclear how this fine-grain inhibition relates to measurable patterns of perception [3, 4]. Based on perceptual changes following perturbation of the GABAergic system, it is conceivable that the resting level of cortical GABAergic tone directly relates to the spatial specificity of activation in response to a given input [5-7]. The specificity of cortical activation can be considered in terms of cortical tuning: greater cortical tuning yields more localized recruitment of cortical territory in response to a given input. We applied a combination of fMRI, MR spectroscopy, and psychophysics to substantiate the link between the cortical neurochemical milieu, the tuning of cortical activity, and variability in perceptual acuity, using human somatosensory cortex as a model. We provide data that explain human perceptual acuity in terms of both the underlying cellular and metabolic processes. Specifically, higher concentrations of sensorimotor GABA are associated with more selective cortical tuning, which in turn is associated with enhanced perception. These results show anatomical and neurochemical specificity and are replicated in an independent cohort. The mechanistic link from neurochemistry to perception provides a vital step in understanding population variability in sensory behavior, informing metabolic therapeutic interventions to restore perceptual abilities clinically. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Mechanistic basis of infertility of mouse intersubspecific hybrids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Tanmoy; Gregorova, Sona; Mihola, Ondrej; Anger, Martin; Sebestova, Jaroslava; Denny, Paul; Simecek, Petr; Forejt, Jiri

    2013-01-01

    According to the Dobzhansky–Muller model, hybrid sterility is a consequence of the independent evolution of related taxa resulting in incompatible genomic interactions of their hybrids. The model implies that the incompatibilities evolve randomly, unless a particular gene or nongenic sequence diverges much faster than the rest of the genome. Here we propose that asynapsis of heterospecific chromosomes in meiotic prophase provides a recurrently evolving trigger for the meiotic arrest of interspecific F1 hybrids. We observed extensive asynapsis of chromosomes and disturbance of the sex body in >95% of pachynemas of Mus m. musculus × Mus m. domesticus sterile F1 males. Asynapsis was not preceded by a failure of double-strand break induction, and the rate of meiotic crossing over was not affected in synapsed chromosomes. DNA double-strand break repair was delayed or failed in unsynapsed autosomes, and misexpression of chromosome X and chromosome Y genes was detected in single pachynemas and by genome-wide expression profiling. Oocytes of F1 hybrid females showed the same kind of synaptic problems but with the incidence reduced to half. Most of the oocytes with pachytene asynapsis were eliminated before birth. We propose the heterospecific pairing of homologous chromosomes as a preexisting condition of asynapsis in interspecific hybrids. The asynapsis may represent a universal mechanistic basis of F1 hybrid sterility manifested by pachytene arrest. It is tempting to speculate that a fast-evolving subset of the noncoding genomic sequence important for chromosome pairing and synapsis may be the culprit. PMID:23329330

  9. Labor Inhibits Placental Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 Signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    LAGER, Susanne; AYE, Irving L.M.H.; GACCIOLI, Francesca; RAMIREZ, Vanessa I.; JANSSON, Thomas; POWELL, Theresa L.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Labor induces a myriad of changes in placental gene expression. These changes may represent a physiological adaptation inhibiting placental cellular processes associated with a high demand for oxygen and energy (e.g., protein synthesis and active transport) thereby promoting oxygen and glucose transfer to the fetus. We hypothesized that mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling, a positive regulator of trophoblast protein synthesis and amino acid transport, is inhibited by labor. Methods Placental tissue was collected from healthy, term pregnancies (n=15 no-labor; n=12 labor). Activation of Caspase-1, IRS1/Akt, STAT, mTOR, and inflammatory signaling pathways was determined by Western blot. NFκB p65 and PPARγ DNA binding activity was measured in isolated nuclei. Results Labor increased Caspase-1 activation and mTOR complex 2 signaling, as measured by phosphorylation of Akt (S473). However, mTORC1 signaling was inhibited in response to labor as evidenced by decreased phosphorylation of mTOR (S2448) and 4EBP1 (T37/46 and T70). Labor also decreased NFκB and PPARγ DNA binding activity, while having no effect on IRS1 or STAT signaling pathway. Discussion and conclusion Several placental signaling pathways are affected by labor, which has implications for experimental design in studies of placental signaling. Inhibition of placental mTORC1 signaling in response to labor may serve to down-regulate protein synthesis and amino acid transport, processes that account for a large share of placental oxygen and glucose consumption. We speculate that this response preserves glucose and oxygen for transfer to the fetus during the stressful events of labor. PMID:25454472

  10. Mechanistic analysis of cavitation assisted transesterification on biodiesel characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajjadi, Baharak; Abdul Aziz, A R; Ibrahim, Shaliza

    2015-01-01

    The influence of sonoluminescence transesterification on biodiesel physicochemical properties was investigated and the results were compared to those of traditional mechanical stirring. This study was conducted to identify the mechanistic features of ultrasonication by coupling statistical analysis of the experiments into the simulation of cavitation bubble. Different combinations of operational variables were employed for alkali-catalysis transesterification of palm oil. The experimental results showed that transesterification with ultrasound irradiation could change the biodiesel density by about 0.3kg/m(3); the viscosity by 0.12mm(2)/s; the pour point by about 1-2°C and the flash point by 5°C compared to the traditional method. Furthermore, 93.84% of yield with alcohol to oil molar ratio of 6:1 could be achieved through ultrasound assisted transesterification within only 20min. However, only 89.09% of reaction yield was obtained by traditional macro mixing/heating under the same condition. Based on the simulated oscillation velocity value, the cavitation phenomenon significantly contributed to generation of fine micro emulsion and was able to overcome mass transfer restriction. It was found that the sonoluminescence bubbles reached the temperature of 758-713K, pressure of 235.5-159.55bar, oscillation velocity of 3.5-6.5cm/s, and equilibrium radius of 17.9-13.7 times greater than its initial size under the ambient temperature of 50-64°C at the moment of collapse. This showed that the sonoluminescence bubbles were in the condition in which the decomposition phenomena were activated and the reaction rate was accelerated together with a change in the biodiesel properties. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Advanced glycation end-products: a biological consequence of lifestyle contributing to cancer disparity

    OpenAIRE

    Turner, David P.

    2015-01-01

    Low income, poor diet, obesity and a lack of exercise are inter-related lifestyle factors that can profoundly alter our biological make-up to increase cancer risk, growth and development. We recently reported a potential mechanistic link between carbohydrate derived metabolites and cancer which may provide a biological consequence of lifestyle that can directly impact tumor biology. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are reactive metabolites produced as a by-product of sugar metabolism. F...

  12. Mechanistic Insights to the Cytotoxicity of Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nair, J. J.; Rárová, L.; Strnad, Miroslav; Bastida, J.; van Staden, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 1 (2015), s. 171-182 ISSN 1934-578X Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) ED0007/01/01 Program:ED Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Alkaloid * Amaryllidaceae * Apoptosis Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 0.884, year: 2015 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25920242

  13. Mechanistic modelling of the vertical soil organic matter profile

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braakhekke, M.C.

    2014-01-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) constitutes a large global pool of carbon that may play a considerable role for future climate. The vertical distribution of SOM in the profile may be important due to depth-dependence of physical, chemical, and biological conditions, and links to physical processes

  14. Risks of radon and smoking. Some considerations from a mechanistic perspective; Risico`s van radon en roken. Enige beschouwingen vanuit mechanistisch perspectief

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leenhouts, H.P.; Harris, M. [Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieuhygiene RIVM, Bilthoven (Netherlands)

    1997-12-01

    At the authors` institute (RIVM) a mechanistic model for the forming of tumors by radiation is in use by means of which epidemiological data can be evaluated. The purpose of the model is to study the possible consequences for risk assessment. Some of the results of the model are discussed in this article. It is concluded that most of the epidemiological research methods on the relation between lung cancer and radon can be improved, if the biological mechanism of the origin of lung cancer, caused by radon exposure, is taken into account more thoroughly. 5 refs.

  15. Synthetic biology and its alternatives. Descartes, Kant and the idea of engineering biological machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogge, Werner; Richter, Michael

    2013-06-01

    The engineering-based approach of synthetic biology is characterized by an assumption that 'engineering by design' enables the construction of 'living machines'. These 'machines', as biological machines, are expected to display certain properties of life, such as adapting to changing environments and acting in a situated way. This paper proposes that a tension exists between the expectations placed on biological artefacts and the notion of producing such systems by means of engineering; this tension makes it seem implausible that biological systems, especially those with properties characteristic of living beings, can in fact be produced using the specific methods of engineering. We do not claim that engineering techniques have nothing to contribute to the biotechnological construction of biological artefacts. However, drawing on Descartes's and Kant's thinking on the relationship between the organism and the machine, we show that it is considerably more plausible to assume that distinctively biological artefacts emerge within a paradigm different from the paradigm of the Cartesian machine that underlies the engineering approach. We close by calling for increased attention to be paid to approaches within molecular biology and chemistry that rest on conceptions different from those of synthetic biology's engineering paradigm. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Biological mechanisms, one molecule at a time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinoco, Ignacio; Gonzalez, Ruben L.

    2011-01-01

    The last 15 years have witnessed the development of tools that allow the observation and manipulation of single molecules. The rapidly expanding application of these technologies for investigating biological systems of ever-increasing complexity is revolutionizing our ability to probe the mechanisms of biological reactions. Here, we compare the mechanistic information available from single-molecule experiments with the information typically obtained from ensemble studies and show how these two experimental approaches interface with each other. We next present a basic overview of the toolkit for observing and manipulating biology one molecule at a time. We close by presenting a case study demonstrating the impact that single-molecule approaches have had on our understanding of one of life's most fundamental biochemical reactions: the translation of a messenger RNA into its encoded protein by the ribosome. PMID:21685361

  17. Mechanistic-empirical subgrade design model based on heavy vehicle simulator test results

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Theyse, HL

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Although Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT) is often done with specific objectives, valuable pavement performance data is generated over the long-term that may be used to investigate pavement behaviour in general and calibrate mechanistic...

  18. Use of Gene Expression Changes in Blood to Elucidate Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risk assessment increasingly relies more heavily on mode of action, thus the identification of human bioindicators of disease becomes all the more important. Genomic methods represent a tool for both mode of action determination and bioindicator identification. The Mechanistic In...

  19. INCORPORATION OF MECHANISTIC INFORMATION IN THE ARSENIC PBPK MODEL DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

    Science.gov (United States)

    INCORPORATING MECHANISTIC INSIGHTS IN A PBPK MODEL FOR ARSENICElaina M. Kenyon, Michael F. Hughes, Marina V. Evans, David J. Thomas, U.S. EPA; Miroslav Styblo, University of North Carolina; Michael Easterling, Analytical Sciences, Inc.A physiologically based phar...

  20. Existing pavement input information for the mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

    The objective of this study is to systematically evaluate the Iowa Department of Transportations (DOTs) existing Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) with respect to the input information required for Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Des...

  1. Consequentialism and the Synthetic Biology Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavey, Patrick

    2017-04-01

    This article analyzes the ethics of synthetic biology (synbio) from a consequentialist perspective, examining potential effects on food and agriculture, and on medicine, fuel, and the advancement of science. The issues of biosafety and biosecurity are also examined. A consequentialist analysis offers an essential road map to policymakers and regulators as to how to deal with synbio. Additionally, the article discusses the limitations of consequentialism as a tool for analysing synbioethics. Is it possible to predict, with any degree of plausibility, what the consequences of synthetic biology will be in 50 years, or in 100, or in 500? Synbio may take humanity to a place of radical departure from what is known or knowable.

  2. [Medical and biological consequences of nuclear disasters].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stalpers, Lukas J A; van Dullemen, Simon; Franken, N A P Klaas

    2012-01-01

    Medical risks of radiation exaggerated; psychological risks underestimated. The discussion about atomic energy has become topical again following the nuclear accident in Fukushima. There is some argument about the gravity of medical and biological consequences of prolonged exposure to radiation. The risk of cancer following a low dose of radiation is usually estimated by linear extrapolation of the incidence of cancer among survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The radiobiological linear-quadratic model (LQ-model) gives a more accurate description of observed data, is radiobiologically more plausible and is better supported by experimental and clinical data. On the basis of this model there is less risk of cancer being induced following radiation exposure. The gravest consequence of Chernobyl and Fukushima is not the medical and biological damage, but the psychological and economical impact on rescue workers and former inhabitants.

  3. Meeting report - Intercellular interactions in context: towards a mechanistic understanding of cells in organs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, David; Johnson, Aaron

    2017-07-01

    The Company of Biologists held the workshop 'Intercellular interactions in context: towards a mechanistic understanding of cells in organs' at historic Wiston House in West Sussex, UK, 5-8 February 2017. The meeting brought together around 30 scientists from disparate backgrounds - yet with a common interest of how tissue morphogenesis occurs and its dysregulation leads to pathologies - to intensively discuss their latest research, the current state of the field, as well as any challenges for the future. This report summarises the concepts and challenges that arose as key questions for the fields of cell, cancer and developmental biology. By design of the organizers - Andrew Ewald (John Hopkins University, MA), John Wallingford (University of Texas at Austin, TX) and Peter Friedl (Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands) - the attendee makeup was cross-sectional: both in terms of career stage and scientific background. This intermingling was mirrored in the workshop format; all participants - irrespective of career stage - were given equal speaking and question time, and all early-career researchers also chaired a session, which promoted an atmosphere for discussions that were open, egalitarian and supportive. This was particularly evident in the scheduled 'out-of-the-box' sessions, which provided an avenue for participants to raise ideas and concepts or to discuss specific problems they wanted feedback or clarification on. In the following, rather than act as court reporters and convey chronological accounting of presentations, we present the questions that arose from the workshop and should be posed to the field at large, by discussing the presentations as they relate to these concepts. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Structural and mechanistic analysis of a β-glycoside phosphorylase identified by screening a metagenomic library.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, Spencer S; Patel, Ankoor; Larmour, Veronica L C; Morgan-Lang, Connor; Hallam, Steven J; Mark, Brian L; Withers, Stephen G

    2018-03-02

    Glycoside phosphorylases have considerable potential as catalysts for the assembly of useful glycans for products ranging from functional foods and prebiotics to novel materials. However, the substrate diversity of currently identified phosphorylases is relatively small, limiting their practical applications. To address this limitation, we developed a high-throughput screening approach using the activated substrate 2,4-dinitrophenyl β-d-glucoside (DNPGlc) and inorganic phosphate for identifying glycoside phosphorylase activity and used it to screen a large insert metagenomic library. The initial screen, based on release of 2,4-dinitrophenyl from DNPGlc in the presence of phosphate, identified the gene bglP, encoding a retaining β-glycoside phosphorylase from the CAZy GH3 family. Kinetic and mechanistic analysis of the gene product, BglP, confirmed a double displacement ping-pong mechanism involving a covalent glycosyl-enzyme intermediate. X-ray crystallographic analysis provided insights into the phosphate-binding mode and identified a key glutamine residue in the active site important for substrate recognition. Substituting this glutamine for a serine swapped the substrate specificity from glucoside to N -acetylglucosaminide. In summary, we present a high-throughput screening approach for identifying β-glycoside phosphorylases, which was robust, simple to implement, and useful in identifying active clones within a metagenomics library. Implementation of this screen enabled discovery of a new glycoside phosphorylase class and has paved the way to devising simple ways in which enzyme specificity can be encoded and swapped, which has implications for biotechnological applications. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. [Biological agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Koichi

    2009-03-01

    There are two types of biological agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins. Among the latter, etanercept, a recombinant fusion protein of soluble TNF receptor and IgG was approved in 2005 in Japan. The post-marketing surveillance of 13,894 RA patients revealed the efficacy and safety profiles of etanercept in the Japanese population, as well as overseas studies. Abatacept, a recombinant fusion protein of CTLA4 and IgG, is another biological agent for RA. Two clinical trials disclosed the efficacy of abatacept for difficult-to-treat patients: the AIM for MTX-resistant cases and the ATTAIN for patients who are resistant to anti-TNF. The ATTEST trial suggested abatacept might have more acceptable safety profile than infliximab. These biologics are also promising for the treatment of RA for not only relieving clinical symptoms and signs but retarding structural damage.

  6. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-09

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

  7. Mechanistic species distribution modelling as a link between physiology and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Tyler G; Diamond, Sarah E; Kelly, Morgan W

    2015-01-01

    Climate change conservation planning relies heavily on correlative species distribution models that estimate future areas of occupancy based on environmental conditions encountered in present-day ranges. The approach benefits from rapid assessment of vulnerability over a large number of organisms, but can have poor predictive power when transposed to novel environments and reveals little in the way of causal mechanisms that define changes in species distribution or abundance. Having conservation planning rely largely on this single approach also increases the risk of policy failure. Mechanistic models that are parameterized with physiological information are expected to be more robust when extrapolating distributions to future environmental conditions and can identify physiological processes that set range boundaries. Implementation of mechanistic species distribution models requires knowledge of how environmental change influences physiological performance, and because this information is currently restricted to a comparatively small number of well-studied organisms, use of mechanistic modelling in the context of climate change conservation is limited. In this review, we propose that the need to develop mechanistic models that incorporate physiological data presents an opportunity for physiologists to contribute more directly to climate change conservation and advance the field of conservation physiology. We begin by describing the prevalence of species distribution modelling in climate change conservation, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of both mechanistic and correlative approaches. Next, we emphasize the need to expand mechanistic models and discuss potential metrics of physiological performance suitable for integration into mechanistic models. We conclude by summarizing other factors, such as the need to consider demography, limiting broader application of mechanistic models in climate change conservation. Ideally, modellers, physiologists and

  8. A computational approach to mechanistic and predictive toxicology of pesticides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kongsbak, Kristine Grønning; Vinggaard, Anne Marie; Hadrup, Niels

    2014-01-01

    Emerging challenges of managing and interpreting large amounts of complex biological data have given rise to the growing field of computational biology. We investigated the applicability of an integrated systems toxicology approach on five selected pesticides to get an overview of their modes...... of action in humans, to group them according to their modes of action, and to hypothesize on their potential effects on human health. We extracted human proteins associated to prochloraz, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole, procymidone, and mancozeb and enriched each protein set by using a high confidence human......, and procymidone exerted their effects mainly via interference with steroidogenesis and nuclear receptors. Prochloraz was associated to a large number of human diseases, and together with tebuconazole showed several significant associations to Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome. Mancozeb showed a differential mode...

  9. Fungal chitinases: diversity, mechanistic properties and biotechnological potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartl, Lukas; Zach, Simone; Seidl-Seiboth, Verena

    2012-01-01

    Chitin derivatives, chitosan and substituted chito-oligosaccharides have a wide spectrum of applications ranging from medicine to cosmetics and dietary supplements. With advancing knowledge about the substrate-binding properties of chitinases, enzyme-based production of these biotechnologically relevant sugars from biological resources is becoming increasingly interesting. Fungi have high numbers of glycoside hydrolase family 18 chitinases with different substrate-binding site architectures. As presented in this review, the large diversity of fungal chitinases is an interesting starting point for protein engineering. In this review, recent data about the architecture of the substrate-binding clefts of fungal chitinases, in connection with their hydrolytic and transglycolytic abilities, and the development of chitinase inhibitors are summarized. Furthermore, the biological functions of chitinases, chitin and chitosan utilization by fungi, and the effects of these aspects on biotechnological applications, including protein overexpression and autolysis during industrial processes, are discussed in this review.

  10. Toward a mechanistic modeling of nitrogen limitation for photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, C.; Fisher, R. A.; Travis, B. J.; Wilson, C. J.; McDowell, N. G.

    2011-12-01

    The nitrogen limitation is an important regulator for vegetation growth and global carbon cycle. Most current ecosystem process models simulate nitrogen effects on photosynthesis based on a prescribed relationship between leaf nitrogen and photosynthesis; however, there is a large amount of variability in this relationship with different light, temperature, nitrogen availability and CO2 conditions, which can affect the reliability of photosynthesis prediction under future climate conditions. To account for the variability in nitrogen-photosynthesis relationship under different environmental conditions, in this study, we developed a mechanistic model of nitrogen limitation for photosynthesis based on nitrogen trade-offs among light absorption, electron transport, carboxylization and carbon sink. Our model shows that strategies of nitrogen storage allocation as determined by tradeoff among growth and persistence is a key factor contributing to the variability in relationship between leaf nitrogen and photosynthesis. Nitrogen fertilization substantially increases the proportion of nitrogen in storage for coniferous trees but much less for deciduous trees, suggesting that coniferous trees allocate more nitrogen toward persistence compared to deciduous trees. The CO2 fertilization will cause lower nitrogen allocation for carboxylization but higher nitrogen allocation for storage, which leads to a weaker relationship between leaf nitrogen and maximum photosynthesis rate. Lower radiation will cause higher nitrogen allocation for light absorption and electron transport but less nitrogen allocation for carboxylyzation and storage, which also leads to weaker relationship between leaf nitrogen and maximum photosynthesis rate. At the same time, lower growing temperature will cause higher nitrogen allocation for carboxylyzation but lower allocation for light absorption, electron transport and storage, which leads to a stronger relationship between leaf nitrogen and maximum

  11. Mechanistic, kinetic, and processing aspects of tungsten chemical mechanical polishing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, David

    This dissertation presents an investigation into tungsten chemical mechanical polishing (CMP). CMP is the industrially predominant unit operation that removes excess tungsten after non-selective chemical vapor deposition (CVD) during sub-micron integrated circuit (IC) manufacture. This work explores the CMP process from process engineering and fundamental mechanistic perspectives. The process engineering study optimized an existing CMP process to address issues of polish pad and wafer carrier life. Polish rates, post-CMP metrology of patterned wafers, electrical test data, and synergy with a thermal endpoint technique were used to determine the optimal process. The oxidation rate of tungsten during CMP is significantly lower than the removal rate under identical conditions. Tungsten polished without inhibition during cathodic potentiostatic control. Hertzian indenter model calculations preclude colloids of the size used in tungsten CMP slurries from indenting the tungsten surface. AFM surface topography maps and TEM images of post-CMP tungsten do not show evidence of plow marks or intergranular fracture. Polish rate is dependent on potassium iodate concentration; process temperature is not. The colloid species significantly affects the polish rate and process temperature. Process temperature is not a predictor of polish rate. A process energy balance indicates that the process temperature is predominantly due to shaft work, and that any heat of reaction evolved during the CMP process is negligible. Friction and adhesion between alumina and tungsten were studied using modified AFM techniques. Friction was constant with potassium iodate concentration, but varied with applied pressure. This corroborates the results from the energy balance. Adhesion between the alumina and the tungsten was proportional to the potassium iodate concentration. A heuristic mechanism, which captures the relationship between polish rate, pressure, velocity, and slurry chemistry, is presented

  12. Mechanistic, Mutational, and Structural Evaluation of a Taxus Phenylalanine Aminomutase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Lei; Wanninayake, Udayanga; Strom, Susan; Geiger, James; Walker, Kevin D. (MSU)

    2014-10-02

    The structure of a phenylalanine aminomutase (TcPAM) from Taxus canadensis has been determined at 2.4 {angstrom} resolution. The active site of the TcPAM contains the signature 4-methylidene-1H-imidazol-5(4H)-one prosthesis, observed in all catalysts of the class I lyase-like family. This catalyst isomerizes (S)-{alpha}-phenylalanine to the (R)-{beta}-isomer by exchange of the NH{sub 2}/H pair. The stereochemistry of the TcPAM reaction product is opposite of the (S)-{beta}-tyrosine made by the mechanistically related tyrosine aminomutase (SgTAM) from Streptomyces globisporus. Since TcPAM and SgTAM share similar tertiary- and quaternary-structures and have several highly conserved aliphatic residues positioned analogously in their active sites for substrate recognition, the divergent product stereochemistries of these catalysts likely cannot be explained by differences in active site architecture. The active site of the TcPAM structure also is in complex with (E)-cinnamate; the latter functions as both a substrate and an intermediate. To account for the distinct (3R)-{beta}-amino acid stereochemistry catalyzed by TcPAM, the cinnamate skeleton must rotate the C{sub 1}-C{sub {alpha}} and C{sub ipso}-C{sub {beta}} bonds 180{sup o} in the active site prior to exchange and rebinding of the NH{sub 2}/H pair to the cinnamate, an event that is not required for the corresponding acrylate intermediate in the SgTAM reaction. Moreover, the aromatic ring of the intermediate makes only one direct hydrophobic interaction with Leu-104. A L104A mutant of TcPAM demonstrated an 1.5-fold increase in k{sub cat} and a decrease in K{sub M} values for sterically demanding 3'-methyl-{alpha}-phenylalanine and styryl-{alpha}-alanine substrates, compared to the kinetic parameters for TcPAM. These parameters did not change significantly for the mutant with 4'-methyl-{alpha}-phenylalanine compared to those for TcPAM.

  13. Mechanistic Studies of Flavivirus Inhibition and Nanoparticle-Catalyzed Decontamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    Chemistry, Ph.D. Program in Chemistry, Vanderbilt University Nicholas Forster – undergraduate student in Biology Megan Fox – undergraduate student / B.A...C. Si and X. O. Tan (2008) Solar photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue in carbon-doped TiO2 nanoparticles suspension. Sol. Energy 82, 706–713...Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL 33965, USA b Communicable Disease Center, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore 308433, Singapore c National

  14. Neural nets for the plausibility check of measured values in the integrated measurement and information system for the surveillance of environmental radioactivity (IMIS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haase, G.

    2003-01-01

    Neural nets to the plausibility check of measured values in the ''integrated measurement and information system for the surveillance of environmental radioactivity, IMIS'' is a research project supported by the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. A goal of this project was the automatic recognition of implausible measured values in the data base ORACLE, which measured values from surveillance of environmental radioactivity of most diverse environmental media contained. The conversion of this project [ 1 ] was realized by institut of logic, complexity and deduction systems of the university Karlsruhe under the direction of Professor Dr. Menzel, Dr. Martin Riedmueller and Martin Lauer. (orig.)

  15. Environmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tschumi, P.A.

    1981-01-01

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

  16. Biological timekeeping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lloyd, David

    2016-01-01

    , the networks that connect differenttime domains and the oscillations, rhythms and biological clocks that coordinate andsynchronise the complexity of the living state.“It is the pattern maintained by this homeostasis, which is the touchstone ofour personal identity. Our tissues change as we live: the food we...

  17. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Biological digestion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosevear, A.

    1988-01-01

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

  19. Marine Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

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

  20. Cortically-controlled population stochastic facilitation as a plausible substrate for guiding sensory transfer across the thalamic gateway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Béhuret

    Full Text Available The thalamus is the primary gateway that relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex. While a single recipient cortical cell receives the convergence of many principal relay cells of the thalamus, each thalamic cell in turn integrates a dense and distributed synaptic feedback from the cortex. During sensory processing, the influence of this functional loop remains largely ignored. Using dynamic-clamp techniques in thalamic slices in vitro, we combined theoretical and experimental approaches to implement a realistic hybrid retino-thalamo-cortical pathway mixing biological cells and simulated circuits. The synaptic bombardment of cortical origin was mimicked through the injection of a stochastic mixture of excitatory and inhibitory conductances, resulting in a gradable correlation level of afferent activity shared by thalamic cells. The study of the impact of the simulated cortical input on the global retinocortical signal transfer efficiency revealed a novel control mechanism resulting from the collective resonance of all thalamic relay neurons. We show here that the transfer efficiency of sensory input transmission depends on three key features: i the number of thalamocortical cells involved in the many-to-one convergence from thalamus to cortex, ii the statistics of the corticothalamic synaptic bombardment and iii the level of correlation imposed between converging thalamic relay cells. In particular, our results demonstrate counterintuitively that the retinocortical signal transfer efficiency increases when the level of correlation across thalamic cells decreases. This suggests that the transfer efficiency of relay cells could be selectively amplified when they become simultaneously desynchronized by the cortical feedback. When applied to the intact brain, this network regulation mechanism could direct an attentional focus to specific thalamic subassemblies and select the appropriate input lines to the cortex according to the descending

  1. Theories and models on the biological of cells in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, P.; Klaus, D. M.

    1996-01-01

    A wide variety of observations on cells in space, admittedly made under constraining and unnatural conditions in may cases, have led to experimental results that were surprising or unexpected. Reproducibility, freedom from artifacts, and plausibility must be considered in all cases, even when results are not surprising. The papers in symposium on 'Theories and Models on the Biology of Cells in Space' are dedicated to the subject of the plausibility of cellular responses to gravity -- inertial accelerations between 0 and 9.8 m/sq s and higher. The mechanical phenomena inside the cell, the gravitactic locomotion of single eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, and the effects of inertial unloading on cellular physiology are addressed in theoretical and experimental studies.

  2. Radioprotective and antioxidant action of caffeine: mechanistic considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devasagayam, T.P.A.; Kesavan, P.C.

    1996-01-01

    Caffeine, a major constituent of coffee and other beverages has significant abilities to scavenge highly reactive free radicals and excited states of oxygen and to protect crucial biological molecules against these species. This is one of the possible reasons why caffeine acts as a radioprotector against oxygen-dependent (oxic) pathway of radiation damage and as an anti mutagen/anti carcinogen under certain conditions. The possible physicochemical and molecular mechanisms of caffeine action are briefly reviewed in the light of the recent finding. (author). 69 refs., 1 fig

  3. Anodic Cyclization Reactions and the Mechanistic Strategies That Enable Optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ruozhu; Smith, Jake A; Moeller, Kevin D

    2017-09-19

    Oxidation reactions are powerful tools for synthesis because they allow us to reverse the polarity of electron-rich functional groups, generate highly reactive intermediates, and increase the functionality of molecules. For this reason, oxidation reactions have been and continue to be the subject of intense study. Central to these efforts is the development of mechanism-based strategies that allow us to think about the reactive intermediates that are frequently central to the success of the reactions and the mechanistic pathways that those intermediates trigger. For example, consider oxidative cyclization reactions that are triggered by the removal of an electron from an electron-rich olefin and lead to cyclic products that are functionalized for further elaboration. For these reactions to be successful, the radical cation intermediate must first be generated using conditions that limit its polymerization and then channeled down a productive desired pathway. Following the cyclization, a second oxidation step is necessary for product formation, after which the resulting cation must be quenched in a controlled fashion to avoid undesired elimination reactions. Problems can arise at any one or all of these steps, a fact that frequently complicates reaction optimization and can discourage the development of new transformations. Fortunately, anodic electrochemistry offers an outstanding opportunity to systematically probe the mechanism of oxidative cyclization reactions. The use of electrochemical methods allows for the generation of radical cations under neutral conditions in an environment that helps prevent polymerization of the intermediate. Once the intermediates have been generated, a series of "telltale indicators" can be used to diagnose which step in an oxidative cyclization is problematic for less successful transformation. A set of potential solutions to address each type of problem encountered has been developed. For example, problems with the initial

  4. Experimental investigation and mechanistic modelling of dilute bubbly bulk boiling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutnjak, Josip

    2013-06-27

    During evaporation the geometric shape of the vapour is not described using thermodynamics. In bubbly flows the bubble shape is considered spheric with small diameters and changing into various shapes upon growth. The heat and mass transfer happens at the interfacial area. The forces acting on the bubbles depend on the bubble diameter and shape. In this work the prediction of the bubble diameter and/or bubble number density in bulk boiling was considered outside the vicinity of the heat input area. Thus the boiling effects that happened inside the nearly saturated bulk were under investigation. This situation is relevant for nuclear safety analysis concerning a stagnant coolant in the spent fuel pool. In this research project a new experimental set-up to investigate was built. The experimental set-up consists of an instrumented, partly transparent, high and slender boiling container for visual observation. The direct visual observation of the boiling phenomena is necessary for the identification of basic mechanisms, which should be incorporated in the simulation model. The boiling process has been recorded by means of video images and subsequently was evaluated by digital image processing methods, and by that data concerning the characteristics of the boiling process were generated for the model development and validation. Mechanistic modelling is based on the derivation of relevant mechanisms concluded from observation, which is in line with physical knowledge. In this context two mechanisms were identified; the growth/-shrink mechanism (GSM) of the vapour bubbles and sudden increases of the bubble number density. The GSM was implemented into the CFD-Code ANSYS-CFX using the CFX Expression Language (CEL) by calculation of the internal bubble pressure using the Young-Laplace-Equation. This way a hysteresis is realised as smaller bubbles have an increased internal pressure. The sudden increases of the bubble number density are explainable by liquid super

  5. Experimental investigation and mechanistic modelling of dilute bubbly bulk boiling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutnjak, Josip

    2013-01-01

    During evaporation the geometric shape of the vapour is not described using thermodynamics. In bubbly flows the bubble shape is considered spheric with small diameters and changing into various shapes upon growth. The heat and mass transfer happens at the interfacial area. The forces acting on the bubbles depend on the bubble diameter and shape. In this work the prediction of the bubble diameter and/or bubble number density in bulk boiling was considered outside the vicinity of the heat input area. Thus the boiling effects that happened inside the nearly saturated bulk were under investigation. This situation is relevant for nuclear safety analysis concerning a stagnant coolant in the spent fuel pool. In this research project a new experimental set-up to investigate was built. The experimental set-up consists of an instrumented, partly transparent, high and slender boiling container for visual observation. The direct visual observation of the boiling phenomena is necessary for the identification of basic mechanisms, which should be incorporated in the simulation model. The boiling process has been recorded by means of video images and subsequently was evaluated by digital image processing methods, and by that data concerning the characteristics of the boiling process were generated for the model development and validation. Mechanistic modelling is based on the derivation of relevant mechanisms concluded from observation, which is in line with physical knowledge. In this context two mechanisms were identified; the growth/-shrink mechanism (GSM) of the vapour bubbles and sudden increases of the bubble number density. The GSM was implemented into the CFD-Code ANSYS-CFX using the CFX Expression Language (CEL) by calculation of the internal bubble pressure using the Young-Laplace-Equation. This way a hysteresis is realised as smaller bubbles have an increased internal pressure. The sudden increases of the bubble number density are explainable by liquid super

  6. Alterations in glucocorticoid negative feedback following maternal Pb, prenatal stress and the combination: A potential biological unifying mechanism for their corresponding disease profiles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossi-George, A.; Virgolini, M.B.; Weston, D.; Cory-Slechta, D.A.

    2009-01-01

    Combined exposures to maternal lead (Pb) and prenatal stress (PS) can act synergistically to enhance behavioral and neurochemical toxicity in offspring. Maternal Pb itself causes permanent dysfunction of the body's major stress system, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. The current study sought to determine the potential involvement of altered negative glucocorticoid feedback as a mechanistic basis of the effects in rats of maternal Pb (0, 50 or 150 ppm in drinking water beginning 2 mo prior to breeding), prenatal stress (PS; restraint on gestational days 16-17) and combined maternal Pb + PS in 8 mo old male and female offspring. Corticosterone changes were measured over 24 h following an i.p. injection stress containing vehicle or 100 or 300 μg/kg (females) or 100 or 150 μg/kg (males) dexamethasone (DEX). Both Pb and PS prolonged the time course of corticosterone reduction following vehicle injection stress. Pb effects were non-monotonic, with a greater impact at 50 vs. 150 ppm, particularly in males, where further enhancement occurred with PS. In accord with these findings, the efficacy of DEX in suppressing corticosterone was reduced by Pb and Pb + PS in both genders, with Pb efficacy enhanced by PS in females, over the first 6 h post-administration. A marked prolongation of DEX effects was found in males. Thus, Pb, PS and Pb + PS, sometimes additively, produced hypercortisolism in both genders, followed by hypocortisolism in males, consistent with HPA axis dysfunction. These findings may provide a plausible unifying biological mechanism for the reported links between Pb exposure and stress-associated diseases and disorders mediated via the HPA axis, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, schizophrenia and depression. They also suggest broadening of Pb screening programs to pregnant women in high stress environments

  7. Interpretation of proton relative biological effectiveness using lesion induction, lesion repair, and cellular dose distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paganetti, H.

    2005-01-01

    Phenomenological biophysical models have been successfully used to estimate the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of ions. The predictive power of these models is limited because they require measured dose-response data that are not necessarily available for all clinically relevant end points. Furthermore, input parameters often lack mechanistic interpretation. In order to link RBE to more fundamental biological parameters we combine the concepts of two well-established biophysical models, i.e., the phenomenological 'track structure' model and the more mechanistic 'lethal lesion/potentially lethal lesion' (LPL) model. We parametrize a relation between RBE, dose homogeneity in the cell nucleus and induction rates for different lesion types. The macroscopic dose-response relationship is described in the LPL model and the microscopic, subcellular, relationship is determined by the local dose deposition pattern. The formalism provides a framework for a mechanistic interpretation of RBE values

  8. Mechanistic studies on the reaction of 0-phthaladehyde

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maliha, B.; Siddiqui, H.L.; Hussain, I.; Ilyas, M.

    2009-01-01

    Urea and its N-alkyl/aryl derivatives react with o-phthalaldehyde (OPT A) to yield blue to purple coloration along-with isoindoline compounds (VII a,b,c) in acidic media. The color is unstable and changes into various shades with the passage of the time. The assay of urea which entirely depends upon this color does not suggest its determination with OPTA present in biological and non-biological fluids. Moreover, it is found that compounds which enhance color stability have nothing to do with determination of urea. The structures of isoindolines (VII a,b,c) have been confirmed by IH-, 13C-NMR and mass spectrometry techniques. The absolute authenticity comes from their (VII a,b,c) X-ray crystallography. The colors resulting from the said reactions fall in between 585-595 nm in UV/VIS spectra. As the use of OPTA for urea determination is known, hence, in this study, we are presenting chemistry for urea determination with OPTA. (author)

  9. Mechanistic models for cancer development after short time radiation exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kottbauer, M. M.

    1997-12-01

    In this work two biological based models were developed. First the single-hit model for solid tumors (SHM-S) and second the single-hit model for leukemia (SHM-L). These models are a further development of the Armitage-Doll model for the special case of a short time radiation exposure. The basis of the models is the multistage process of carcinogeneses. The single-hit models provide simultaneously the age-dependent cancer-rate of spontaneous and radiation induced tumors as well as the dose-effect relationships at any age after exposure. The SHM-S leads to a biological based dose-effect relationship, which is similar to the relative risk model suggested by the ICRP 60. The SHM-S describes the increased mortality rate of the bomb survivors more accurate than the relative risk model. The SHM-L results in an additive dose-effect relationship. It is shown that only small differences in the derivation of the two models lead to the two dose-effect relationships. Beside the radiation exposure the new models consider the decrease of the cancer mortality rate at higher ages (age>75) which can be traced back mainly to three causes: competitive causes of death, reduction of cell proliferation and reduction of risk groups. The single-hit models also consider children cancer, the different rates of incidence and mortality, influence of the immune system and the cell-killing effect. (author)

  10. Synthesis and mechanistic studies of phosphoraziridines as radiation sensitizers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perlman, M.E.

    1982-01-01

    Ethyl bis(2,2-dimethyl-1-aziridinyl)phosphinyl carbamate (AB-132) and ethyl bis(2,2-dimethyl-1-aziridinyl)phosphinate (AB-163) are potent antitumor agents which have also been demonstrated to be radiation sensitizers in experimental and clinical studies. Monophenyl aziridines and various isomers of diphenylaziridines were utilized. Optically active 2-phenyl aziridine was also employed in order to prepare diastereomerically homogeneous compounds. Para-substituted phenylaziridines were prepared as well and converted to the corresponding phosphoraziridines in order to probe electronic effects of such substituents on biological activity and chemical reactivity. The hydrolysis of 2,2-dimethylaziridine-type compounds including AB-132 and AB-163 was studied by NMR in order to gain further insight into the hydrolytic intermediates which may be responsible for the known cholinesterase inhibition and the suspected phosphorylation of radiation-damaged DNA. Comparative reactivities of the compounds prepared in this study with p-nitrobenzylpyridine were investigated so as to provide some indication of potential alkylating activity, in the hope of obtaining a correlation with biological activity. Electron spin resonance was utilized to study the effects of radiation on phosphoraziridine crystals

  11. Biological radioprotector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  13. Structural Biology Fact Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... NIGMS NIGMS Home > Science Education > Structural Biology Structural Biology Tagline (Optional) Middle/Main Content Area PDF Version (688 KB) Other Fact Sheets What is structural biology? Structural biology is the study of how biological ...

  14. Mechanistic basis of infertility of mouse intersubspecific hybrids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bhattacharyya, Tanmoy; Gregorová, Soňa; Mihola, Ondřej; Anger, Martin; Šebestová, J.; Denny, P.; Šimeček, Petr; Forejt, Jiří

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 110, č. 6 (2013), E468-E477 ISSN 0027-8424 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LD11079; GA MŠk(CZ) 1M0520; GA MŠk ED1.1.00/02.0109; GA ČR(CZ) GPP305/11/P630; GA ČR GA523/09/0743 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) Premium Academiae of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0068 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae; ED Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 ; RVO:67985904 Keywords : meiosis * meiotic sex chromosome inactivation * Prdm9 * chromosome substitution strains * Haldane's rule Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 9.809, year: 2013 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3568299/

  15. Mechanistic basis of otolith formation during teleost inner ear development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, David; Freund, Jonathan B; Fraser, Scott E; Vermot, Julien

    2011-02-15

    Otoliths, which are connected to stereociliary bundles in the inner ear, serve as inertial sensors for balance. In teleostei, otolith development is critically dependent on flow forces generated by beating cilia; however, the mechanism by which flow controls otolith formation remains unclear. Here, we have developed a noninvasive flow probe using optical tweezers and a viscous flow model in order to demonstrate how the observed hydrodynamics influence otolith assembly. We show that rotational flow stirs and suppresses precursor agglomeration in the core of the cilia-driven vortex. The velocity field correlates with the shape of the otolith and we provide evidence that hydrodynamics is actively involved in controlling otolith morphogenesis. An implication of this hydrodynamic effect is that otolith self-assembly is mediated by the balance between Brownian motion and cilia-driven flow. More generally, this flow feature highlights an alternative biological strategy for controlling particle localization in solution. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. From masochistic enzymology to mechanistic physiology and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, Dennis E

    2017-10-20

    The pioneering work of Eugene Kennedy in the 1950s established the choline pathway for phosphatidylcholine (PC) biosynthesis. However, the regulation of PC biosynthesis was poorly understood at that time. When I started my lab at the University of British Columbia in the 1970s, this was the focus of my research. This article provides my reflections on these studies that began with enzymology and the use of cultured mammalian cells, and progressed to utilize the techniques of molecular biology and gene-targeted mice. The research in my lab and others demonstrated that the regulated and rate-limiting step in the choline pathway for PC biosynthesis was catalyzed by CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase. This enzyme is regulated by its movement from a soluble form (largely in the nucleus) to a membrane-associated form where the enzyme becomes activated. Gene targeting in mice subsequently demonstrated that this gene is essential for development of mouse embryos. The other mammalian pathway for PC biosynthesis is catalyzed by phosphatidylethanolamine N -methyltransferase (PEMT) that converts phosphatidylethanolamine to PC. Understanding of the regulation and function of the integral membrane protein PEMT was improved when the enzyme was purified (a masochistic endeavor) in 1987, leading to the cloning of the Pemt cDNA. Generation of knock-out mice that lacked PEMT showed that they were protected from atherosclerosis, diet-induced obesity, and insulin resistance. The protection from atherosclerosis appears to be due to decreased secretion of lipoproteins from the liver. We continue to investigate the mechanism(s) by which Pemt -/- mice are protected from weight gain and insulin resistance. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  17. A preliminary study of mechanistic approach in pavement design to accommodate climate change effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harnaeni, S. R.; Pramesti, F. P.; Budiarto, A.; Setyawan, A.

    2018-03-01

    Road damage is caused by some factors, including climate changes, overload, and inappropriate procedure for material and development process. Meanwhile, climate change is a phenomenon which cannot be avoided. The effects observed include air temperature rise, sea level rise, rainfall changes, and the intensity of extreme weather phenomena. Previous studies had shown the impacts of climate changes on road damage. Therefore, several measures to anticipate the damage should be considered during the planning and construction in order to reduce the cost of road maintenance. There are three approaches generally applied in the design of flexible pavement thickness, namely mechanistic approach, mechanistic-empirical (ME) approach and empirical approach. The advantages of applying mechanistic approach or mechanistic-empirical (ME) approaches are its efficiency and reliability in the design of flexible pavement thickness as well as its capacity to accommodate climate changes in compared to empirical approach. However, generally, the design of flexible pavement thickness in Indonesia still applies empirical approach. This preliminary study aimed to emphasize the importance of the shifting towards a mechanistic approach in the design of flexible pavement thickness.

  18. Biological effects of low-dose ionizing radiation exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reinoehl-Kompa, Sabine; Baldauf, Daniela; Heller, Horst

    2009-01-01

    The report on the meeting of the Strahlenschutzkommission 2007 concerning biological effects of low-dose ionizing radiation exposure includes the following contributions: Adaptive response. The importance of DNA damage mechanisms for the biological efficiency of low-energy photons. Radiation effects in mammography: the relative biological radiation effects of low-energy photons. Radiation-induced cataracts. Carcinomas following prenatal radiation exposure. Intercellular apoptosis induction and low-dose irradiation: possible consequences for the oncogenesis control. Mechanistic models for the carcinogenesis with radiation-induced cell inactivation: application to all solid tumors in the Japanese atomic bomb survivors. Microarrays at low radiation doses. Mouse models for the analysis of biological effects of low-dose ionizing radiation. The bystander effect: observations, mechanisms and implications. Lung carcinoma risk of Majak workers - modeling of carcinogenesis and the bystander effect. Microbeam studies in radiation biology - an overview. Carcinogenesis models with radiation-induced genomic instability. Application to two epidemiological cohorts.

  19. Developing optimal input design strategies in cancer systems biology with applications to microfluidic device engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Menolascina, F.; Bellomo, D.; Maiwald, T.; Bevilacqua, V.; Ciminelli, C.; Paradiso, A.; Tommasi, S.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Mechanistic models are becoming more and more popular in Systems Biology; identification and control of models underlying biochemical pathways of interest in oncology is a primary goal in this field. Unfortunately the scarce availability of data still limits our understanding of the

  20. Anticipating and Communicating Plausible Environmental and Health Concerns Associated with Future Disasters: The ShakeOut and ARkStorm Scenarios as Examples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Morman, S. A.; Alpers, C. N.; Hoefen, T. M.; Meeker, G. P.

    2010-12-01

    Disasters commonly pose immediate threats to human safety, but can also produce hazardous materials (HM) that pose short- and long-term environmental-health threats. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has helped assess potential environmental health characteristics of HM produced by various natural and anthropogenic disasters, such as the 2001 World Trade Center collapse, 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2007-2009 southern California wildfires, various volcanic eruptions, and others. Building upon experience gained from these responses, we are now developing methods to anticipate plausible environmental and health implications of the 2008 Great Southern California ShakeOut scenario (which modeled the impacts of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault, http://urbanearth.gps.caltech.edu/scenario08/), and the recent ARkStorm scenario (modeling the impacts of a major, weeks-long winter storm hitting nearly all of California, http://urbanearth.gps.caltech.edu/winter-storm/). Environmental-health impacts of various past earthquakes and extreme storms are first used to identify plausible impacts that could be associated with the disaster scenarios. Substantial insights can then be gleaned using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach to link ShakeOut and ARkStorm effects maps with data extracted from diverse database sources containing geologic, hazards, and environmental information. This type of analysis helps constrain where potential geogenic (natural) and anthropogenic sources of HM (and their likely types of contaminants or pathogens) fall within areas of predicted ShakeOut-related shaking, firestorms, and landslides, and predicted ARkStorm-related precipitation, flooding, and winds. Because of uncertainties in the event models and many uncertainties in the databases used (e.g., incorrect location information, lack of detailed information on specific facilities, etc.) this approach should only be considered as the first of multiple steps

  1. Biology Branch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldwin, W F

    1974-12-31

    Progress is reported on the following studies in biochemistry and molecular biology: study of long pyrimidine polynucleotides in DNA; isolation of thymine dimers from Schizosaccharomyces pombe; thermal stability of high molecular weight RNA; nucleases of Micrococcus radiodurans; effect of ionizing radiation on M. radiodurans cell walls and cell membranes; chemical modification of nucleotides; exonucleases of M. radiodurans; and enzymatic basis of repair of radioinduced damage in M. radiodurans. Genetics, development, and population studies include repair pathways and mutation induction in yeast; induction of pure mutant clones in yeast; radiosensitivity of bacteriophage T4; polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of bacteriophage T4; radiation genetics of Dahibominus; and radiation studies on bitting flies. (HLW)

  2. Biological biomaterials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jorge-Herrero, E. [Servicio de Cirugia Experimental. Clinica Puerta de Hierro, Madrid (Spain)

    1997-05-01

    There are a number of situations in which substances of biological origin are employed as biomaterials. Most of them are macromolecules derived from isolated connective tissue or the connective tissue itself in membrane form, in both cases, the tissue can be used in its natural form or be chemically treated. In other cases, certain blood vessels can be chemically pretreated and used as vascular prostheses. Proteins such as albumin, collagen and fibrinogen are employed to coat vascular prostheses. Certain polysaccharides have also been tested for use in controlled drug release systems. Likewise, a number of tissues, such as dura mater, bovine pericardium, procine valves and human valves, are used in the preparation of cardiac prostheses. We also use veins from animals or humans in arterial replacement. In none of these cases are the tissues employed dissimilar to the native tissues as they have been chemically modified, becoming a new bio material with different physical and biochemical properties. In short, we find that natural products are being utilized as biomaterials and must be considered as such; thus, it is necessary to study both their chemicobiological and physicomechanical properties. In the present report, we review the current applications, problems and future prospects of some of these biological biomaterials. (Author) 84 refs.

  3. Requirements on mechanistic NPP models used in CSS for diagnostics and predictions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juslin, K.

    1996-01-01

    Mechanistic models have for several years with good experience been used for operators' support in electric power dispatching centres. Some models of limited scope have already been in use at nuclear power plants. It is considered that also advanced mechanistic models in combination with present computer technology with preference could be used in Computerized Support Systems (CSS) for the assistance of Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) operators. Requirements with respect to accuracy, validity range, speed flexibility and level of detail on the models used for such purposes are discussed. Quality Assurance, Verification and Validation efforts are considered. A long term commitment in the field of mechanistic modelling and real time simulation is considered as the key to successful implementations. The Advanced PROcess Simulation (APROS) code system and simulation environment developed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) is intended also for CSS applications in NPP control rooms. (author). 4 refs

  4. The use of mechanistic descriptions of algal growth and zooplankton grazing in an estuarine eutrophication model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, M. E.; Walker, S. J.; Wallace, B. B.; Webster, I. T.; Parslow, J. S.

    2003-03-01

    A simple model of estuarine eutrophication is built on biomechanical (or mechanistic) descriptions of a number of the key ecological processes in estuaries. Mechanistically described processes include the nutrient uptake and light capture of planktonic and benthic autotrophs, and the encounter rates of planktonic predators and prey. Other more complex processes, such as sediment biogeochemistry, detrital processes and phosphate dynamics, are modelled using empirical descriptions from the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Study (PPBES) ecological model. A comparison is made between the mechanistically determined rates of ecological processes and the analogous empirically determined rates in the PPBES ecological model. The rates generally agree, with a few significant exceptions. Model simulations were run at a range of estuarine depths and nutrient loads, with outputs presented as the annually averaged biomass of autotrophs. The simulations followed a simple conceptual model of eutrophication, suggesting a simple biomechanical understanding of estuarine processes can provide a predictive tool for ecological processes in a wide range of estuarine ecosystems.

  5. Mechanistic Models for Process Development and Optimization of Fed-batch Fermentation Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mears, Lisa; Stocks, Stuart M.; Albæk, Mads O.

    2016-01-01

    This work discusses the application of mechanistic models to pilot scale filamentous fungal fermentation systems operated at Novozymes A/S. For on-line applications, a state estimator model is developed based on a stoichiometric balance in order to predict the biomass and product concentration....... This is based on on-line gas measurements and ammonia addition flow rate measurements. Additionally, a mechanistic model is applied offline as a tool for batch planning, based on definition of the process back pressure, aeration rate and stirrer speed. This allows the batch starting fill to be planned, taking...... into account the oxygen transfer conditions, as well as the evaporation rates of the system. Mechanistic models are valuable tools which are applicable for both process development and optimization. The state estimator described will be a valuable tool for future work as part of control strategy development...

  6. Melatonin as an angiogenesis inhibitor to combat cancer: Mechanistic evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goradel, Nasser Hashemi; Asghari, Mohammad Hossein; Moloudizargari, Milad; Negahdari, Babak; Haghi-Aminjan, Hamed; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2017-11-15

    Melatonin, a pineal indolamine, participates in different body functions and is shown to possess diverse biological activities such as anti-tumor action. Angiogenesis inhibition is one of the mechanisms by which melatonin exerts its oncostatic effects. Increased angiogenesis is a major feature of tumor progression, thus angiogenesis inhibition is a critical step in cancer therapy. Melatonin employs a variety of mechanisms to target nutrients and oxygen supply to cancer cells. At the transcriptional level, hypoxia induced factor-1α (HIF-1α) and the genes under its control, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are the main targets of melatonin for inhibition of angiogenesis. Melatonin prevents translocation of HIF-1α into the nucleus thereby hindering VEGF expression and also prevents the formation of HIF-1α, phospho-STAT3 and CBP/p300 complex which is involved in the expression of angiogenesis-related genes. Angiostatic properties of melatonin could be also due to its ability to inhibit VEGFR2's activation and expression. Other angiostatic mechanisms of melatonin include the inhibition of endothelial cell migration, invasion, and tube formation. In the present study, we have reviewed the molecular anti-angiogenesis pathways mediated by melatonin and the responsible mechanisms in various types of cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. RITA Mimics: Synthesis and Mechanistic Evaluation of Asymmetric Linked Trithiazoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietkiewicz, Adrian L; Zhang, Yuqi; Rahimi, Marwa N; Stramandinoli, Michael; Teusner, Matthew; McAlpine, Shelli R

    2017-04-13

    The established cytotoxic agent RITA contains a thiophene-furan-thiophene backbone and two terminal alcohol groups. Herein we investigate the effect of using thiazoles as the backbone in RITA-like molecules and modifying the terminal groups of these trithiazoles, thereby generating 41 unique structures. Incorporating side chains with varied steric bulk allowed us to investigate how size and a stereocenter impacted biological activity. Subjecting compounds to growth inhibition assays on HCT-116 cells showed that the most potent compounds 7d , 7e , and 7h had GI 50 values of 4.4, 4.4, and 3.4 μM, respectively, versus RITA (GI 50 of 800 nM). Analysis of these compounds in apoptosis assays proved that 7d , 7e , and 7h were as effective as RITA at inducing apoptosis. Evaluating the impact of 7h on proteins targeted by RITA (p53, c-Myc, and Mcl-1) indicated that it acts via a different mechanism of action to that of RITA. RITA suppressed Mcl-1 protein via p53, whereas compound 7h suppressed Mcl-1 expression via an alternative mechanism independent of p53.

  8. Mechanistic controls on diverse fates of terrestrial organic components in the East China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Chun; Wagner, Thomas; Talbot, Helen M.; Weijers, Johan W. H.; Pan, Jian-Ming; Pancost, Richard D.

    2013-09-01

    Terrestrial carbon transferred from the land to sea is a critical component of the global carbon cycle. A range of geochemical proxies has been developed to fingerprint the fate of terrestrial organic matter (TOM) in marine sediments. However, discrepancies among different proxies limit our ability to quantify and interpret the terrestrial signals in marine sediments, with consequences for the investigation of both the modern carbon cycle and past environmental change. To mechanistically understand these discrepancies, we examined the distributions of a range of terrestrial proxies and their aquatic counterparts (i.e. marine proxies) in the Yangtze river-East China Sea (YR-ECS) shelf system, where TOM experiences extensive modification during transport and burial. TOM proxies in the YR-ECS system collectively fit a power-law model but with distinct attenuation rates (the a∗ values) for individual molecular proxy groups. Among a range of TOM proxies, the modeled a∗ values decrease in the order: soil-marker BHPs > triterpenols > lignin > HMW n-alkanols > branched GDGTs > HMW n-alkanes for biomarkers; and Rsoil > BIT > %TOMiso for proxies tracing %TOM. Rapid loss of TOM components through dissociation in the narrow estuary, followed by oxidation over the wide open shelf, are best described by power curves. Inherent chemical reactivity (i.e. the number of functional groups), responses to hydraulic sorting, and in situ production regulate the individual attenuation rates. Of them, chemical reactivity plays the most important role on proxy behavior, supported by a strong correlation between a∗ values and standard molal Gibbs energies. Both, physical protection and chemical reactivity fundamentally control the overall behavior of TOM components, with the relative importance being setting-dependant: The former is relatively important in the estuary, whereas the later is the primary control over the open shelf. Moreover, regional variation of different marine

  9. Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Is a Novel Molecular Mechanism Linking Folate Availability and Cell Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Elena; Rosario, Fredrick J; Powell, Theresa L; Jansson, Thomas

    2017-07-01

    Folate deficiency has been linked to a wide range of disorders, including cancer, neural tube defects, and fetal growth restriction. Folate regulates cellular function mediated by its involvement in the synthesis of nucleotides, which are needed for DNA synthesis, and its function as a methyl donor, which is critical for DNA methylation. Here we review current data showing that folate sensing by mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) constitutes a novel and distinct pathway by which folate modulates cell functions such as nutrient transport, protein synthesis, and mitochondrial respiration. The mTOR signaling pathway responds to growth factors and changes in nutrient availability to control cell growth, proliferation, and metabolism. mTOR exists in 2 complexes, mTOR complex (mTORC) 1 and mTORC2, which have distinct upstream regulators and downstream targets. Folate deficiency in pregnant mice caused a marked inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling in multiple maternal and fetal tissues, downregulation of placental amino acid transporters, and fetal growth restriction. In addition, folate deficiency in primary human trophoblast (PHT) cells resulted in inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling and decreased the activity of key amino acid transporters. Folate sensing by mTOR in PHT cells is independent of the accumulation of homocysteine and requires the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT; solute carrier 46A1). Furthermore, mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate trophoblast folate uptake by modulating the cell surface expression of folate receptor α and the reduced folate carrier. These findings, which provide a novel link between folate availability and cell function, growth, and proliferation, may have broad biological significance given the critical role of folate in normal cell function and the multiple diseases that have been associated with decreased or excessive folate availability. Low maternal folate concentrations are linked to restricted fetal growth, and we

  10. Mechanistic modelling of Middle Eocene atmospheric carbon dioxide using fossil plant material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grein, Michaela; Roth-Nebelsick, Anita; Wilde, Volker; Konrad, Wilfried; Utescher, Torsten

    2010-05-01

    Various proxies (such as pedogenic carbonates, boron isotopes or phytoplankton) and geochemical models were applied in order to reconstruct palaeoatmospheric carbon dioxide, partially providing conflicting results. Another promising proxy is the frequency of stomata (pores on the leaf surface used for gaseous exchange). In this project, fossil plant material from the Messel Pit (Hesse, Germany) is used to reconstruct atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in the Middle Eocene by analyzing stomatal density. We applied the novel mechanistic-theoretical approach of Konrad et al. (2008) which provides a quantitative derivation of the stomatal density response (number of stomata per leaf area) to varying atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. The model couples 1) C3-photosynthesis, 2) the process of diffusion and 3) an optimisation principle providing maximum photosynthesis (via carbon dioxide uptake) and minimum water loss (via stomatal transpiration). These three sub-models also include data of the palaeoenvironment (temperature, water availability, wind velocity, atmospheric humidity, precipitation) and anatomy of leaf and stoma (depth, length and width of stomatal porus, thickness of assimilation tissue, leaf length). In order to calculate curves of stomatal density as a function of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, various biochemical parameters have to be borrowed from extant representatives. The necessary palaeoclimate data are reconstructed from the whole Messel flora using Leaf Margin Analysis (LMA) and the Coexistence Approach (CA). In order to obtain a significant result, we selected three species from which a large number of well-preserved leaves is available (at least 20 leaves per species). Palaeoclimate calculations for the Middle Eocene Messel Pit indicate a warm and humid climate with mean annual temperature of approximately 22°C, up to 2540 mm mean annual precipitation and the absence of extended periods of drought. Mean relative air

  11. Mineralogical characteristics of the silica polymorphs in relation to their biological activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guthrie, G.D. Jr. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Heaney, P.J. [Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Dept. of Geological and Geophysical Sciences

    1993-10-01

    Numerous aspects of minerals (including the silica polymorphs) can effect their biological activities. These include periodic structures, compositional variations, dissolution characteristics, surface properties, and particle size/shape. In order to understand mineral-induced pathogenesis in a mechanistic way, the links between these properties and biochemical processes must be elucidated. This paper presents some of the basic properties of the silica polymorphs that may relate to pathogenicity and mineralogical strategies for designing biological assays to evaluate these properties.

  12. Biological effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trott, K.R.

    1973-01-01

    Following an introduction into the field of cellular radiation effect considering the most important experimental results, the biological significance of the colony formation ability is brought out. The inactivation concept of stem cells does not only prove to be good, according to the present results, in the interpretation of the pathogenesis of acute radiation effects on moult tissue, it also enables chronicle radiation injuries to be interpreted through changes in the fibrous part of the organs. Radiation therapy of tumours can also be explained to a large extent by the radiation effect on the unlimited reproductiveness of tumour cells. The more or less similar dose effect curves for healthy and tumour tissue in practice lead to intermittent irradiation. The dependence of the intermittent doses and intervals on factors such as Elkind recovery, synchronisation, redistribution, reoxygenation, repopulation and regeneration are reviewed. (ORU/LH) [de

  13. Systems biology and biomarker discovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodland, Karin D.

    2010-12-01

    Medical practitioners have always relied on surrogate markers of inaccessible biological processes to make their diagnosis, whether it was the pallor of shock, the flush of inflammation, or the jaundice of liver failure. Obviously, the current implementation of biomarkers for disease is far more sophisticated, relying on highly reproducible, quantitative measurements of molecules that are often mechanistically associated with the disease in question, as in glycated hemoglobin for the diagnosis of diabetes [1] or the presence of cardiac troponins in the blood for confirmation of myocardial infarcts [2]. In cancer, where the initial symptoms are often subtle and the consequences of delayed diagnosis often drastic for disease management, the impetus to discover readily accessible, reliable, and accurate biomarkers for early detection is compelling. Yet despite years of intense activity, the stable of clinically validated, cost-effective biomarkers for early detection of cancer is pathetically small and still dominated by a handful of markers (CA-125, CEA, PSA) first discovered decades ago. It is time, one could argue, for a fresh approach to the discovery and validation of disease biomarkers, one that takes full advantage of the revolution in genomic technologies and in the development of computational tools for the analysis of large complex datasets. This issue of Disease Markers is dedicated to one such new approach, loosely termed the 'Systems Biology of Biomarkers'. What sets the Systems Biology approach apart from other, more traditional approaches, is both the types of data used, and the tools used for data analysis - and both reflect the revolution in high throughput analytical methods and high throughput computing that has characterized the start of the twenty first century.

  14. Biological formal counterparts of logical machines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moreno-diaz, R; Hernandez Guarch, F

    1983-01-01

    The significance of the McCulloch-Pitts formal neural net theory (1943) is still nowadays frequently misunderstood, and their basic units are wrongly considered as factual models for neurons. As a consequence, the whole original theory and its later addenda are unreasonably criticized for their simplicity. But, as it was proved then and since, the theory is after the modular neurophysiological counterpart of logical machines, so that it actually provides biologically plausible models for automata, turing machines, etc., and not vice versa. In its true context, no theory has surpassed its proposals. In McCulloch and Pitts memoriam and for the sake of future theoretical research, the authors stress this important historical point, including also some recent results on the neurophysiological counterparts of modular arbitrary probabilistic automata. 16 references.

  15. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems. (review)

  16. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  17. Characteristics of genomic signatures derived using univariate methods and mechanistically anchored functional descriptors for predicting drug- and xenobiotic-induced nephrotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Weiwei; Bugrim, Andrej; Nikolsky, Yuri; Nikolskya, Tatiana; Brennan, Richard J

    2008-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ideal toxicity biomarker is composed of the properties of prediction (is detected prior to traditional pathological signs of injury), accuracy (high sensitivity and specificity), and mechanistic relationships to the endpoint measured (biological relevance). Gene expression-based toxicity biomarkers ("signatures") have shown good predictive power and accuracy, but are difficult to interpret biologically. We have compared different statistical methods of feature selection with knowledge-based approaches, using GeneGo's database of canonical pathway maps, to generate gene sets for the classification of renal tubule toxicity. The gene set selection algorithms include four univariate analyses: t-statistics, fold-change, B-statistics, and RankProd, and their combination and overlap for the identification of differentially expressed probes. Enrichment analysis following the results of the four univariate analyses, Hotelling T-square test, and, finally out-of-bag selection, a variant of cross-validation, were used to identify canonical pathway maps-sets of genes coordinately involved in key biological processes-with classification power. Differentially expressed genes identified by the different statistical univariate analyses all generated reasonably performing classifiers of tubule toxicity. Maps identified by enrichment analysis or Hotelling T-square had lower classification power, but highlighted perturbed lipid homeostasis as a common discriminator of nephrotoxic treatments. The out-of-bag method yielded the best functionally integrated classifier. The map "ephrins signaling" performed comparably to a classifier derived using sparse linear programming, a machine learning algorithm, and represents a signaling network specifically involved in renal tubule development and integrity. Such functional descriptors of toxicity promise to better integrate predictive toxicogenomics with mechanistic analysis, facilitating the interpretation and risk assessment of

  18. Plausibility Arguments and Universal Gravitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Ricardo F. F.; Tort, A. C.

    2017-01-01

    Newton's law of universal gravitation underpins our understanding of the dynamics of the Solar System and of a good portion of the observable universe. Generally, in the classroom or in textbooks, the law is presented initially in a qualitative way and at some point during the exposition its mathematical formulation is written on the blackboard…

  19. Towards a more plausible dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efthimiou, Costas

    2014-08-01

    Wizards, mermaids, dragons and aliens. Walking, running, flying and space travel. A hi-tech elevator, a computer, a propulsion engine and a black hole. What do all of these things have in common? This might seem like a really hard brainteaser but the answer is simple: they all obey the fundamental laws of our universe.

  20. Plausibility orderings in dynamic games

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perea ý Monsuwé, A.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we explore game-theoretic reasoning in dynamic games within the framework of belief revision theory. More precisely, we focus on the forward induction concept of ‘common strong belief in rationality’ (Battigalli and Siniscalchi (2002) and the backward induction concept of ‘common

  1. Corrigendum: Free Will and Punishment: A Mechanistic View of Human Nature Reduces Retribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-02-01

    Original article: Shariff, A. F., Greene, J. D., Karremans, J. C., Luguri, J. B., Clark, C. J., Schooler, J. W., . . . Vohs, K. D. (2014). Free will and punishment: A mechanistic view of human nature reduces retribution. Psychological Science, 25, 1563-1570. doi:10.1177/0956797614534693.

  2. Corrigendum: Free will and punishment: A mechanistic view of human nature reduces retribution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shariff, A.F.; Greene, J.D.; Karremans, J.C.T.M.; Luguri, J.B.; Clark, C.J.; Schooler, J.W.; Baumeister, R.F.; Vohs, K.D.

    2018-01-01

    Original article: Shariff, A. F., Greene, J. D., Karremans, J. C., Luguri, J. B., Clark, C. J., Schooler, J. W., . . . Vohs, K. D. (2014). Free will and punishment: A mechanistic view of human nature reduces retribution. Psychological Science, 25, 1563-1570. doi:10.1177/0956797614534693

  3. Mechanistic-Empirical (M-E) Design Implementation & Monitoring for Flexible Pavements : 2018 PROJECT SUMMARY

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-06-01

    This document is a summary of the tasks performed for Project ICT-R27-149-1. Mechanistic-empirical (M-E)based flexible pavement design concepts and procedures were previously developed in Illinois Cooperative Highway Research Program projects IHR-...

  4. A Mechanistic Study of Arsenic (III) Rejection by Reverse Osmosis and Nanofiltration Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Tasuma

    2009-01-01

    Reverse osmosis/nanofiltration (RO/NF) membranes are capable to provide an effective barrier for a wide range of contaminants (including disinfection by-products precursors) in a single treatment step. However, solute rejection mechanisms by RO/NF membranes are not well understood. The lack of mechanistic information arises from experimental…

  5. Atomization of bismuthane in a dielectric barrier discharge: A mechanistic study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kratzer, Jan; Zelina, Ondřej; Svoboda, Milan; Sturgeon, R. E.; Mester, Z.; Dědina, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 88, č. 3 (2016), s. 1804-1811 ISSN 0003-2700 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-23532S Grant - others:GA AV ČR(CZ) M200311202 Institutional support: RVO:68081715 Keywords : dielectric barrier discharge * hydride generation * mechanistic study Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 6.320, year: 2016

  6. Productivity of "Collisions Generate Heat" for Reconciling an Energy Model with Mechanistic Reasoning: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherr, Rachel E.; Robertson, Amy D.

    2015-01-01

    We observe teachers in professional development courses about energy constructing mechanistic accounts of energy transformations. We analyze a case in which teachers investigating adiabatic compression develop a model of the transformation of kinetic energy to thermal energy. Among their ideas is the idea that thermal energy is generated as a…

  7. Growth and lipid production of Umbelopsis isabellina on a solid substrate - Mechanistic modeling and validation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meeuwse, P.; Klok, A.J.; Haemers, S.; Tramper, J.; Rinzema, A.

    2012-01-01

    Microbial lipids are an interesting feedstock for biodiesel. Their production from agricultural waste streams by fungi cultivated in solid-state fermentation may be attractive, but the yield of this process is still quite low. In this article, a mechanistic model is presented that describes growth,

  8. A mechanistic model for electricity consumption on dairy farms: Definition, validation, and demonstration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Upton, J.R.; Murphy, M.; Shallo, L.; Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G.; Boer, de I.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to define and demonstrate a mechanistic model that enables dairy farmers to explore the impact of a technical or managerial innovation on electricity consumption, associated CO2 emissions, and electricity costs. We, therefore, (1) defined a model for electricity consumption on

  9. Atomization of bismuthane in a dielectric barrier discharge: A mechanistic study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kratzer, Jan; Zelina, Ondřej; Svoboda, Milan; Sturgeon, R. E.; Mester, Z.; Dědina, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 88, č. 3 (2016), s. 1804-1811 ISSN 0003-2700 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-23532S Grant - others:GA AV ČR(CZ) M200311202 Institutional support: RVO:68081715 Keywords : dielectric barrier discharge * hydride generation * mechanistic study Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry , Separation Impact factor: 6.320, year: 2016

  10. Permanent deformation testing for a new South African mechanistic pavement design method

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The South Africa National Road Agency Limited together with the CSIR are undertaking a research and development project to support the revision of the South African mechanistic-empirical pavement design method. An important part of this project...

  11. Mechanistic applicability domain classification of a local lymph node assay dataset for skin sensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David W; Patlewicz, Grace; Kern, Petra S; Gerberick, Frank; Kimber, Ian; Dearman, Rebecca J; Ryan, Cindy A; Basketter, David A; Aptula, Aynur O

    2007-07-01

    The goal of eliminating animal testing in the predictive identification of chemicals with the intrinsic ability to cause skin sensitization is an important target, the attainment of which has recently been brought into even sharper relief by the EU Cosmetics Directive and the requirements of the REACH legislation. Development of alternative methods requires that the chemicals used to evaluate and validate novel approaches comprise not only confirmed skin sensitizers and non-sensitizers but also substances that span the full chemical mechanistic spectrum associated with skin sensitization. To this end, a recently published database of more than 200 chemicals tested in the mouse local lymph node assay (LLNA) has been examined in relation to various chemical reaction mechanistic domains known to be associated with sensitization. It is demonstrated here that the dataset does cover the main reaction mechanistic domains. In addition, it is shown that assignment to a reaction mechanistic domain is a critical first step in a strategic approach to understanding, ultimately on a quantitative basis, how chemical properties influence the potency of skin sensitizing chemicals. This understanding is necessary if reliable non-animal approaches, including (quantitative) structure-activity relationships (Q)SARs, read-across, and experimental chemistry based models, are to be developed.

  12. Assessing Metal Levels in Children from the Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma(MICA) study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxic and essential metals levels can be used as health indicators. Here, we quantitatively compare and contrast toxic and essential metals levels in vacuum dust, urine, and fingernail samples of 109 children in Detroit, Michigan as part of The Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood...

  13. Mechanistic investigation on the oxidation of kinetin by Ag(III)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Chemical Sciences; Volume 122; Issue 6. Mechanistic investigation on the oxidation of kinetin by Ag(III) periodate complex in aqueous alkaline media: A kinetic approach. S D Lamani A M Tatagar S T Nandibewoor. Full Papers Volume 122 Issue 6 November 2010 pp 891-900 ...

  14. Ruthenium-Catalyzed Transformations of Alcohols: Mechanistic Investigations and Methodology Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makarov, Ilya; Madsen, Robert; Fristrup, Peter

    with dimethoxyisopropylidene and pyridilidene ligands could be more active than RuCl2(IiPr)(p-cymene) used in the mechanistic investigation. Two analogs of the calculated complexes were synthesized but were not isolated in a pure form. The amidation reaction catalyzed by a mixture containing the N-ethyl pyridilidene...

  15. Mechanistic and kinetic aspects of pentose dehydration towards furfural in aqueous media employing homogeneous catalysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Danon, B.; Marcotullio, G.; De Jong, W.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper both the mechanistic and kinetic aspects of furfural formation from pentoses in aqueous acidic media have been reviewed. Based on the reviewed literature, a comprehensive reaction mechanism has been proposed consisting of more than one route, all starting from acyclic xylose, and

  16. Lipids, adiposity and tendinopathy : is there a mechanistic link? Critical review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scott, Alex; Zwerver, Johannes; Grewal, Navi; de Sa, Agnetha; Alktebi, Thuraya; Granville, David J.; Hart, David A.

    Being overweight or obese is associated with an elevated risk of tendon pathology. However, for sportspeople the epidemiological data linking weight or adiposity on one hand, and risk of tendon pathology on the other, are less consistent. Indeed, the mechanistic links between diet, adiposity and

  17. Mechanistic assessment of hillslope transpiration controls of diel subsurface flow: a steady-state irrigation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    H.R. Barnard; C.B. Graham; W.J. van Verseveld; J.R. Brooks; B.J. Bond; J.J. McDonnell

    2010-01-01

    Mechanistic assessment of how transpiration influences subsurface flow is necessary to advance understanding of catchment hydrology. We conducted a 24-day, steady-state irrigation experiment to quantify the relationships among soil moisture, transpiration and hillslope subsurface flow. Our objectives were to: (1) examine the time lag between maximum transpiration and...

  18. A MECHANISTIC STUDY OF RHODIUM TRI(ORTHO-TERT-BUTYLPHENYL)PHOSPHITE COMPLEXES AS HYDROFORMYLATION CATALYSTS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    JONGSMA, T; CHALLA, G; VANLEEUWEN, PWNM

    1991-01-01

    A mechanistic study of the hydroformylation cycle with a rhodium tri(o-t-butylphenyl)phosphite complex as catalyst is presented. Spectroscopic experiments prove that under hydroformylation conditions this complex is coordinated by only one phosphite. The complex has a high activity in the

  19. An Emphasis on Perception: Teaching Image Formation Using a Mechanistic Model of Vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Sue; And Others

    An effective way to teach the concept of image is to give students a model of human vision which incorporates a simple mechanism of depth perception. In this study two almost identical versions of a curriculum in geometrical optics were created. One used a mechanistic, interpretive eye model, and in the other the eye was modeled as a passive,…

  20. From Source to Sink: Mechanistic Reasoning Using the Electron-Pushing Formalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Gautam

    2013-01-01

    Since the introduction of Morrison and Boyd's textbook in organic chemistry over 50 years ago, reaction mechanisms and mechanistic reasoning using the electron-pushing formalism (EPF) have become a mainstay of organic chemistry courses. In recent years there have even been several papers in this Journal and others detailing research on how…

  1. Students' Interpretations of Mechanistic Language in Organic Chemistry before Learning Reactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloway, Kelli R.; Stoyanovich, Carlee; Flynn, Alison B.

    2017-01-01

    Research on mechanistic thinking in organic chemistry has shown that students attribute little meaning to the electron-pushing (i.e., curved arrow) formalism. At the University of Ottawa, a new curriculum has been developed in which students are taught the electron-pushing formalism prior to instruction on specific reactions--this formalism is…

  2. A mechanistic model of an upper bound on oceanic carbon export as a function of mixed layer depth and temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Li

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Export production reflects the amount of organic matter transferred from the ocean surface to depth through biological processes. This export is in large part controlled by nutrient and light availability, which are conditioned by mixed layer depth (MLD. In this study, building on Sverdrup's critical depth hypothesis, we derive a mechanistic model of an upper bound on carbon export based on the metabolic balance between photosynthesis and respiration as a function of MLD and temperature. We find that the upper bound is a positively skewed bell-shaped function of MLD. Specifically, the upper bound increases with deepening mixed layers down to a critical depth, beyond which a long tail of decreasing carbon export is associated with increasing heterotrophic activity and decreasing light availability. We also show that in cold regions the upper bound on carbon export decreases with increasing temperature when mixed layers are deep, but increases with temperature when mixed layers are shallow. A meta-analysis shows that our model envelopes field estimates of carbon export from the mixed layer. When compared to satellite export production estimates, our model indicates that export production in some regions of the Southern Ocean, particularly the subantarctic zone, is likely limited by light for a significant portion of the growing season.

  3. Viruses' life history: towards a mechanistic basis of a trade-off between survival and reproduction among phages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne De Paepe

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Life history theory accounts for variations in many traits involved in the reproduction and survival of living organisms, by determining the constraints leading to trade-offs among these different traits. The main life history traits of phages-viruses that infect bacteria-are the multiplication rate in the host, the survivorship of virions in the external environment, and their mode of transmission. By comparing life history traits of 16 phages infecting the bacteria Escherichia coli, we show that their mortality rate is constant with time and positively [corrected] correlated to their multiplication rate in the bacterial host. Even though these viruses do not age, this result is in line with the trade-off between survival and reproduction previously observed in numerous aging organisms. Furthermore, a multiple regression shows that the combined effects of two physical parameters, namely, the capsid thickness and the density of the packaged genome, account for 82% of the variation in the mortality rate. The correlations between life history traits and physical characteristics of virions may provide a mechanistic explanation of this trade-off. The fact that this trade-off is present in this very simple biological situation suggests that it might be a fundamental property of evolving entities produced under constraints. Moreover, such a positive correlation between mortality and multiplication reveals an underexplored trade-off in host-parasite interactions.

  4. A Mechanistic Neural Field Theory of How Anesthesia Suppresses Consciousness: Synaptic Drive Dynamics, Bifurcations, Attractors, and Partial State Equipartitioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Saing Paul; Haddad, Wassim M; Meskin, Nader; Bailey, James M

    2015-12-01

    With the advances in biochemistry, molecular biology, and neurochemistry there has been impressive progress in understanding the molecular properties of anesthetic agents. However, there has been little focus on how the molecular properties of anesthetic agents lead to the observed macroscopic property that defines the anesthetic state, that is, lack of responsiveness to noxious stimuli. In this paper, we use dynamical system theory to develop a mechanistic mean field model for neural activity to study the abrupt transition from consciousness to unconsciousness as the concentration of the anesthetic agent increases. The proposed synaptic drive firing-rate model predicts the conscious-unconscious transition as the applied anesthetic concentration increases, where excitatory neural activity is characterized by a Poincaré-Andronov-Hopf bifurcation with the awake state transitioning to a stable limit cycle and then subsequently to an asymptotically stable unconscious equilibrium state. Furthermore, we address the more general question of synchronization and partial state equipartitioning of neural activity without mean field assumptions. This is done by focusing on a postulated subset of inhibitory neurons that are not themselves connected to other inhibitory neurons. Finally, several numerical experiments are presented to illustrate the different aspects of the proposed theory.

  5. A Brief Introduction to Chinese Biological Biological

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Chinese Biological Abstracts sponsored by the Library, the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the Biological Documentation and Information Network, all of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, commenced publication in 1987 and was initiated to provide access to the Chinese information in the field of biology.

  6. Mechanistic insights into phosphoprotein-binding FHA domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Xiangyang; Van Doren, Steven R

    2008-08-01

    [Structure: see text]. FHA domains are protein modules that switch signals in diverse biological pathways by monitoring the phosphorylation of threonine residues of target proteins. As part of the effort to gain insight into cellular avoidance of cancer, FHA domains involved in the cellular response to DNA damage have been especially well-characterized. The complete protein where the FHA domain resides and the interaction partners determine the nature of the signaling. Thus, a key biochemical question is how do FHA domains pick out their partners from among thousands of alternatives in the cell? This Account discusses the structure, affinity, and specificity of FHA domains and the formation of their functional structure. Although FHA domains share sequence identity at only five loop residues, they all fold into a beta-sandwich of two beta-sheets. The conserved arginine and serine of the recognition loops recognize the phosphorylation of the threonine targeted. Side chains emanating from loops that join beta-strand 4 with 5, 6 with 7, or 10 with 11 make specific contacts with amino acids of the ligand that tailor sequence preferences. Many FHA domains choose a partner in extended conformation, somewhat according to the residue three after the phosphothreonine in sequence (pT + 3 position). One group of FHA domains chooses a short carboxylate-containing side chain at pT + 3. Another group chooses a long, branched aliphatic side chain. A third group prefers other hydrophobic or uncharged polar side chains at pT + 3. However, another FHA domain instead chooses on the basis of pT - 2, pT - 3, and pT + 1 positions. An FHA domain from a marker of human cancer instead chooses a much longer protein fragment that adds a beta-strand to its beta-sheet and that presents hydrophobic residues from a novel helix to the usual recognition surface. This novel recognition site and more remote sites for the binding of other types of protein partners were predicted for the entire family

  7. Regulatory Technology Development Plan - Sodium Fast Reactor: Mechanistic Source Term - Trial Calculation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grabaskas, David

    2016-01-01

    The potential release of radioactive material during a plant incident, referred to as the source term, is a vital design metric and will be a major focus of advanced reactor licensing. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated an expectation for advanced reactor vendors to present a mechanistic assessment of the potential source term in their license applications. The mechanistic source term presents an opportunity for vendors to realistically assess the radiological consequences of an incident, and may allow reduced emergency planning zones and smaller plant sites. However, the development of a mechanistic source term for advanced reactors is not without challenges, as there are often numerous phenomena impacting the transportation and retention of radionuclides. This project sought to evaluate U.S. capabilities regarding the mechanistic assessment of radionuclide release from core damage incidents at metal fueled, pool-type sodium fast reactors (SFRs). The purpose of the analysis was to identify, and prioritize, any gaps regarding computational tools or data necessary for the modeling of radionuclide transport and retention phenomena. To accomplish this task, a parallel-path analysis approach was utilized. One path, led by Argonne and Sandia National Laboratories, sought to perform a mechanistic source term assessment using available codes, data, and models, with the goal to identify gaps in the current knowledge base. The second path, performed by an independent contractor, performed sensitivity analyses to determine the importance of particular radionuclides and transport phenomena in regards to offsite consequences. The results of the two pathways were combined to prioritize gaps in current capabilities.

  8. Regulatory Technology Development Plan - Sodium Fast Reactor: Mechanistic Source Term – Trial Calculation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grabaskas, David [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Bucknor, Matthew [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Jerden, James [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Brunett, Acacia J. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Denman, Matthew [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Clark, Andrew [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Denning, Richard S. [Consultant, Columbus, OH (United States)

    2016-10-01

    The potential release of radioactive material during a plant incident, referred to as the source term, is a vital design metric and will be a major focus of advanced reactor licensing. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated an expectation for advanced reactor vendors to present a mechanistic assessment of the potential source term in their license applications. The mechanistic source term presents an opportunity for vendors to realistically assess the radiological consequences of an incident, and may allow reduced emergency planning zones and smaller plant sites. However, the development of a mechanistic source term for advanced reactors is not without challenges, as there are often numerous phenomena impacting the transportation and retention of radionuclides. This project sought to evaluate U.S. capabilities regarding the mechanistic assessment of radionuclide release from core damage incidents at metal fueled, pool-type sodium fast reactors (SFRs). The purpose of the analysis was to identify, and prioritize, any gaps regarding computational tools or data necessary for the modeling of radionuclide transport and retention phenomena. To accomplish this task, a parallel-path analysis approach was utilized. One path, led by Argonne and Sandia National Laboratories, sought to perform a mechanistic source term assessment using available codes, data, and models, with the goal to identify gaps in the current knowledge base. The second path, performed by an independent contractor, performed sensitivity analyses to determine the importance of particular radionuclides and transport phenomena in regards to offsite consequences. The results of the two pathways were combined to prioritize gaps in current capabilities.

  9. Toward synthesizing executable models in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Jasmin; Piterman, Nir; Bodik, Rastislav

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decade, executable models of biological behaviors have repeatedly provided new scientific discoveries, uncovered novel insights, and directed new experimental avenues. These models are computer programs whose execution mechanistically simulates aspects of the cell's behaviors. If the observed behavior of the program agrees with the observed biological behavior, then the program explains the phenomena. This approach has proven beneficial for gaining new biological insights and directing new experimental avenues. One advantage of this approach is that techniques for analysis of computer programs can be applied to the analysis of executable models. For example, one can confirm that a model agrees with experiments for all possible executions of the model (corresponding to all environmental conditions), even if there are a huge number of executions. Various formal methods have been adapted for this context, for example, model checking or symbolic analysis of state spaces. To avoid manual construction of executable models, one can apply synthesis, a method to produce programs automatically from high-level specifications. In the context of biological modeling, synthesis would correspond to extracting executable models from experimental data. We survey recent results about the usage of the techniques underlying synthesis of computer programs for the inference of biological models from experimental data. We describe synthesis of biological models from curated mutation experiment data, inferring network connectivity models from phosphoproteomic data, and synthesis of Boolean networks from gene expression data. While much work has been done on automated analysis of similar datasets using machine learning and artificial intelligence, using synthesis techniques provides new opportunities such as efficient computation of disambiguating experiments, as well as the ability to produce different kinds of models automatically from biological data.

  10. Towards Synthesizing Executable Models in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmin eFisher

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Over the last decade, executable models of biological behaviors have repeatedly provided new scientific discoveries, uncovered novel insights, and directed new experimental avenues. These models are computer programs whose execution mechanistically simulates aspects of the cell’s behaviors. If the observed behavior of the program agrees with the observed biological behavior, then the program explains the phenomena. This approach has proven beneficial for gaining new biological insights and directing new experimental avenues. One advantage of this approach is that techniques for analysis of computer programs can be applied to the analysis of executable models. For example, one can confirm that a model agrees with experiments for all possible executions of the model (corresponding to all environmental conditions, even if there are a huge number of executions. Various formal methods have been adapted for this context, for example, model checking or symbolic analysis of state spaces. To avoid manual construction of executable models, one can apply synthesis, a method to produce programs automatically from high-level specifications. In the context of biological modelling, synthesis would correspond to extracting executable models from experimental data. We survey recent results about the usage of the techniques underlying synthesis of computer programs for the inference of biological models from experimental data. We describe synthesis of biological models from curated mutation experiment data, inferring network connectivity models from phosphoproteomic data, and synthesis of Boolean networks from gene expression data. While much work has been done on automated analysis of similar datasets using machine learning and artificial intelligence, using synthesis techniques provides new opportunities such as efficient computation of disambiguating experiments, as well as the ability to produce different kinds of models automatically from biological data.

  11. Understanding the influence of biofilm accumulation on the hydraulic properties of soils: a mechanistic approach based on experimental data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carles Brangarí, Albert; Sanchez-Vila, Xavier; Freixa, Anna; Romaní, Anna M.; Fernàndez-Garcia, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    The distribution, amount, and characteristics of biofilms and its components govern the capacity of soils to let water through, to transport solutes, and the reactions occurring. Therefore, unraveling the relationship between microbial dynamics and the hydraulic properties of soils is of concern for the management of natural systems and many technological applications. However, the increased complexity of both the microbial communities and the geochemical processes entailed by them causes that the phenomenon of bioclogging remains poorly understood. This highlights the need for a better understanding of the microbial components such as live and dead bacteria and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), as well as of their spatial distribution. This work tries to shed some light on these issues, providing experimental data and a new mechanistic model that predicts the variably saturated hydraulic properties of bio-amended soils based on these data. We first present a long-term laboratory infiltration experiment that aims at studying the temporal variation of selected biogeochemical parameters along the infiltration path. The setup consists of a 120-cm-high soil tank instrumented with an array of sensors plus soil and liquid samplers. Sensors measured a wide range of parameters in continuous, such as volumetric water content, electrical conductivity, temperature, water pressure, soil suction, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Samples were kept for chemical and biological analyses. Results indicate that: i) biofilm is present at all depths, denoting the potential for deep bioclogging, ii) the redox conditions profile shows different stages, indicating that the community was adapted to changing redox conditions, iii) bacterial activity, richness and diversity also exhibit zonation with depth, and iv) the hydraulic properties of the soil experienced significant changes as biofilm proliferated. Based on experimental evidences, we propose a tool to predict changes in the

  12. Dissecting Redox Biology Using Fluorescent Protein Sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarzländer, Markus; Dick, Tobias P; Meyer, Andreas J; Morgan, Bruce

    2016-05-01

    Fluorescent protein sensors have revitalized the field of redox biology by revolutionizing the study of redox processes in living cells and organisms. Within one decade, a set of fundamental new insights has been gained, driven by the rapid technical development of in vivo redox sensing. Redox-sensitive yellow and green fluorescent protein variants (rxYFP and roGFPs) have been the central players. Although widely used as an established standard tool, important questions remain surrounding their meaningful use in vivo. We review the growing range of thiol redox sensor variants and their application in different cells, tissues, and organisms. We highlight five key findings where in vivo sensing has been instrumental in changing our understanding of redox biology, critically assess the interpretation of in vivo redox data, and discuss technical and biological limitations of current redox sensors and sensing approaches. We explore how novel sensor variants may further add to the current momentum toward a novel mechanistic and integrated understanding of redox biology in vivo. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 24, 680-712.

  13. More on Grandmother Cells and the Biological Implausibility of PDP Models of Cognition: A Reply to Plaut and McClelland (2010) and Quian Quiroga and Kreiman (2010)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Jeffrey S.

    2010-01-01

    Plaut and McClelland (2010) and Quian Quiroga and Kreiman both challenged my characterization of localist and distributed representations. They also challenged the biological plausibility of grandmother cells on conceptual and empirical grounds. This reply addresses these issues in turn. The premise of my argument is that grandmother cells in…

  14. Proposed key characteristics of male reproductive toxicants as a method for organizing and screening mechanistic evidence for non-cancer outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The adoption of systematic review practices for risk assessment includes integration of evidence obtained from experimental, epidemiological, and mechanistic studies. Although mechanistic evidence plays an important role in mode of action analysis, the process of sorting and anal...

  15. Inferring the Impact of Regulatory Mechanisms that Underpin CD8+ T Cell Control of B16 Tumor Growth In vivo Using Mechanistic Models and Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinke, David J; Wang, Qing

    2016-01-01

    A major barrier for broadening the efficacy of immunotherapies for cancer is identifying key mechanisms that limit the efficacy of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. Yet, identifying these mechanisms using human samples and mouse models for cancer remains a challenge. While interactions between cancer and the immune system are dynamic and non-linear, identifying the relative roles that biological components play in regulating anti-tumor immunity commonly relies on human intuition alone, which can be limited by cognitive biases. To assist natural intuition, modeling and simulation play an emerging role in identifying therapeutic mechanisms. To illustrate the approach, we developed a multi-scale mechanistic model to describe the control of tumor growth by a primary response of CD8+ T cells against defined tumor antigens using the B16 C57Bl/6 mouse model for malignant melanoma. The mechanistic model was calibrated to data obtained following adenovirus-based immunization and validated to data obtained following adoptive transfer of transgenic CD8+ T cells. More importantly, we use simulation to test whether the postulated network topology, that is the modeled biological components and their associated interactions, is sufficient to capture the observed anti-tumor immune response. Given the available data, the simulation results also provided a statistical basis for quantifying the relative importance of different mechanisms that underpin CD8+ T cell control of B16F10 growth. By identifying conditions where the postulated network topology is incomplete, we illustrate how this approach can be used as part of an iterative design-build-test cycle to expand the predictive power of the model.

  16. Large-scale GWAS identifies multiple loci for hand grip strength providing biological insights into muscular fitness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willems, Sara M; Wright, Daniel J.; Day, Felix R

    2017-01-01

    with involvement of psychomotor impairment (PEX14, LRPPRC and KANSL1). Mendelian randomization analyses are consistent with a causal effect of higher genetically predicted grip strength on lower fracture risk. In conclusion, our findings provide new biological insight into the mechanistic underpinnings of grip...... strength and the causal role of muscular strength in age-related morbidities and mortality....

  17. Biological effects of radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-01-01

    This fourth chapter presents: cell structure and metabolism; radiation interaction with biological tissues; steps of the production of biological effect of radiation; radiosensitivity of tissues; classification of biological effects; reversibility, transmissivity and influence factors; pre-natal biological effects; biological effects in therapy and syndrome of acute irradiation

  18. Mechanistic models for the evaluation of biocatalytic reaction conditions and biosensor design optimization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Semenova, Daria

    . In the first case study a mechanistic model was developed to describe the enzymatic reaction of glucose oxidase and glucose in the presence of catalase inside a commercial microfluidic platform with integrated oxygen sensor spots. The simplicity of the proposed model allowed an easy calibration of the reaction...... the microfluidic device. In the second case study the flexible microfluidic platform with integrated amperometric glucose biosensors was developed for continuous monitoring of glucose consumption rates. The integration of the mixing chamber inside the platform allowed performing sample dilutions which subsequently......BRs. In the third case study the mechanistic model of the cyclic voltammetry response of the first generation glucose biosensors was developed and applied for the biosensor design optimization. Furthermore the obtained qualitative and quantitative dependencies between the model output and experimental results were...

  19. Conceptual models for waste tank mechanistic analysis. Status report, January 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allemann, R. T.; Antoniak, Z. I.; Eyler, L. L.; Liljegren, L. M.; Roberts, J. S.

    1992-02-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is conducting a study for Westinghouse Hanford Company (Westinghouse Hanford), a contractor for the US Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the work is to study possible mechanisms and fluid dynamics contributing to the periodic release of gases from double-shell waste storage tanks at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. This interim report emphasizing the modeling work follows two other interim reports, Mechanistic Analysis of Double-Shell Tank Gas Release Progress Report -- November 1990 and Collection and Analysis of Existing Data for Waste Tank Mechanistic Analysis Progress Report -- December 1990, that emphasized data correlation and mechanisms. The approach in this study has been to assemble and compile data that are pertinent to the mechanisms, analyze the data, evaluate physical properties and parameters, evaluate hypothetical mechanisms, and develop mathematical models of mechanisms.

  20. An improved mechanistic critical heat flux model for subcooled flow boiling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Young Min [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of); Chang, Soon Heung [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    1997-12-31

    Based on the bubble coalescence adjacent to the heated wall as a flow structure for CHF condition, Chang and Lee developed a mechanistic critical heat flux (CHF) model for subcooled flow boiling. In this paper, improvements of Chang-Lee model are implemented with more solid theoretical bases for subcooled and low-quality flow boiling in tubes. Nedderman-Shearer`s equations for the skin friction factor and universal velocity profile models are employed. Slip effect of movable bubbly layer is implemented to improve the predictability of low mass flow. Also, mechanistic subcooled flow boiling model is used to predict the flow quality and void fraction. The performance of the present model is verified using the KAIST CHF database of water in uniformly heated tubes. It is found that the present model can give a satisfactory agreement with experimental data within less than 9% RMS error. 9 refs., 5 figs. (Author)

  1. An improved mechanistic critical heat flux model for subcooled flow boiling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Young Min [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of); Chang, Soon Heung [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    1998-12-31

    Based on the bubble coalescence adjacent to the heated wall as a flow structure for CHF condition, Chang and Lee developed a mechanistic critical heat flux (CHF) model for subcooled flow boiling. In this paper, improvements of Chang-Lee model are implemented with more solid theoretical bases for subcooled and low-quality flow boiling in tubes. Nedderman-Shearer`s equations for the skin friction factor and universal velocity profile models are employed. Slip effect of movable bubbly layer is implemented to improve the predictability of low mass flow. Also, mechanistic subcooled flow boiling model is used to predict the flow quality and void fraction. The performance of the present model is verified using the KAIST CHF database of water in uniformly heated tubes. It is found that the present model can give a satisfactory agreement with experimental data within less than 9% RMS error. 9 refs., 5 figs. (Author)

  2. FOAM3D: A numerical simulator for mechanistic prediciton of foam displacement in multidimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kovscek, A.R.; Patzek, T.W. [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (United States); Radke, C.J. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1995-03-01

    Field application of foam is a technically viable enhanced oil recovery process (EOR) as demonstrated by recent steam-foam field studies. Traditional gas-displacement processes, such as steam drive, are improved substantially by controlling gas mobility and thereby improving volumetric displacement efficiency. For instance, Patzek and Koinis showed major oil-recovery response after about two years of foam injection in two different pilot studies at the Kern River field. They report increased production of 5.5 to 14% of the original oil in place over a five year period. Because reservoir-scale simulation is a vital component of the engineering and economic evaluation of any EOR project, efficient application of foam as a displacement fluid requires a predictive numerical model of foam displacement. A mechanistic model would also expedite scale-up of the process from the laboratory to the field scale. No general, mechanistic, field-scale model for foam displacement is currently in use.

  3. How phenyl makes a difference: mechanistic insights into the ruthenium( ii )-catalysed isomerisation of allylic alcohols

    KAUST Repository

    Manzini, Simone

    2013-10-16

    [RuCl(η5-3-phenylindenyl)(PPh3)2] (1) has been shown to be a highly active catalyst for the isomerisation of allylic alcohols to the corresponding ketones. A variety of substrates undergo the transformation, typically with 0.25-0.5 mol% of catalyst at room temperature, outperforming commonly-used complexes such as [RuCl(Cp)(PPh3) 2] and [RuCl(η5-indenyl)(PPh3) 2]. Mechanistic experiments and density functional theory have been employed to investigate the mechanism and understand the effect of catalyst structure on reactivity. These investigations suggest a oxo-π-allyl mechanism is in operation, avoiding intermediate ruthenium hydride complexes and leading to a characteristic 1,3-deuterium shift. Important mechanistic insights from DFT and experiments also allowed for the design of a protocol that expands the scope of the transformation to include primary allylic alcohols. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  4. How phenyl makes a difference: mechanistic insights into the ruthenium( ii )-catalysed isomerisation of allylic alcohols

    KAUST Repository

    Manzini, Simone; Poater, Albert; Nelson, David J.; Cavallo, Luigi; Nolan, Steven P.

    2013-01-01

    [RuCl(η5-3-phenylindenyl)(PPh3)2] (1) has been shown to be a highly active catalyst for the isomerisation of allylic alcohols to the corresponding ketones. A variety of substrates undergo the transformation, typically with 0.25-0.5 mol% of catalyst at room temperature, outperforming commonly-used complexes such as [RuCl(Cp)(PPh3) 2] and [RuCl(η5-indenyl)(PPh3) 2]. Mechanistic experiments and density functional theory have been employed to investigate the mechanism and understand the effect of catalyst structure on reactivity. These investigations suggest a oxo-π-allyl mechanism is in operation, avoiding intermediate ruthenium hydride complexes and leading to a characteristic 1,3-deuterium shift. Important mechanistic insights from DFT and experiments also allowed for the design of a protocol that expands the scope of the transformation to include primary allylic alcohols. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  5. Radiation physics, biophysics, and radiation biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, E.J.; Zaider, M.

    1991-05-01

    Research at the Radiological Research Laboratory is a blend of physics, chemistry, and biology, involving research at the basic level with the admixture of a small proportion of pragmatic or applied research in support of radiation protection and/or radiotherapy. Current research topics include: oncogenic transformation assays, mutation studies involving interactions between radiation and environmental contaminants, isolation, characterization and sequencing of a human repair gene, characterization of a dominant transforming gene found in C3H 10T1/2 cells, characterize ab initio the interaction of DNA and radiation, refine estimates of the radiation quality factor Q, a new mechanistic model of oncogenesis showing the role of long-term low dose medium LET radiation, and time dependent modeling of radiation induced chromosome damage and subsequent repair or misrepair

  6. Cell Biology of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Nicola J; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-11-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian brain, are critical regulators of brain development and physiology through dynamic and often bidirectional interactions with neuronal synapses. Despite the clear importance of astrocytes for the establishment and maintenance of proper synaptic connectivity, our understanding of their role in brain function is still in its infancy. We propose that this is at least in part due to large gaps in our knowledge of the cell biology of astrocytes and the mechanisms they use to interact with synapses. In this review, we summarize some of the seminal findings that yield important insight into the cellular and molecular basis of astrocyte-neuron communication, focusing on the role of astrocytes in the development and remodeling of synapses. Furthermore, we pose some pressing questions that need to be addressed to advance our mechanistic understanding of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Protection by caffeine against oxic radiation damage and chemical carcinogens : mechanistic considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kesavan, P.C.

    1992-01-01

    There is little doubt that caffeine administered after exposure to UV light enhances the damage to cells and organisms by inhibiting photoreactivation, excision and/or recombinational repair. However, when already present in the system, it affords remarkable protection not only against O 2 -dependent component of radiation damage, but also against chemical carcinogens that require metabolic activation. Possible mechanistic aspects are discussed briefly. (author). 81 refs

  8. Mechanistic rationalization of unusual sigmoidal kinetic profiles in the Machetti-De Sarlo cycloaddition reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mower, Matthew P; Blackmond, Donna G

    2015-02-18

    Unusual sigmoidal kinetic profiles in the Machetti-De Sarlo base-catalyzed 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of acrylamide to N-methylnitroacetamide are rationalized by detailed in situ kinetic analysis. A dual role is uncovered in which a substrate acts as a precursor to catalyze its own reaction. Such kinetic studies provide a general protocol for distinguishing among different mechanistic origins of induction periods in complex organic reactions.

  9. A mechanistic model for electricity consumption on dairy farms: Definition, validation, and demonstration

    OpenAIRE

    Upton, J.R.; Murphy, M.; Shallo, L.; Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G.; Boer, de, I.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to define and demonstrate a mechanistic model that enables dairy farmers to explore the impact of a technical or managerial innovation on electricity consumption, associated CO2 emissions, and electricity costs. We, therefore, (1) defined a model for electricity consumption on dairy farms (MECD) capable of simulating total electricity consumption along with related CO2 emissions and electricity costs on dairy farms on a monthly basis; (2) validated the MECD using empirical d...

  10. Mechanistic Oral Absorption Modeling and Simulation for Formulation Development and Bioequivalence Evaluation: Report of an FDA Public Workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X; Duan, J; Kesisoglou, F; Novakovic, J; Amidon, G L; Jamei, M; Lukacova, V; Eissing, T; Tsakalozou, E; Zhao, L; Lionberger, R

    2017-08-01

    On May 19, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted a public workshop, entitled "Mechanistic Oral Absorption Modeling and Simulation for Formulation Development and Bioequivalence Evaluation." The topic of mechanistic oral absorption modeling, which is one of the major applications of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and simulation, focuses on predicting oral absorption by mechanistically integrating gastrointestinal transit, dissolution, and permeation processes, incorporating systems, active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), and the drug product information, into a systemic mathematical whole-body framework. © 2017 The Authors CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  11. Mechanistic kinetic modeling generates system-independent P-glycoprotein mediated transport elementary rate constants for inhibition and, in combination with 3D SIM microscopy, elucidates the importance of microvilli morphology on P-glycoprotein mediated efflux activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellens, Harma; Meng, Zhou; Le Marchand, Sylvain J; Bentz, Joe

    2018-06-01

    In vitro transporter kinetics are typically analyzed by steady-state Michaelis-Menten approximations. However, no clear evidence exists that these approximations, applied to multiple transporters in biological membranes, yield system-independent mechanistic parameters needed for reliable in vivo hypothesis generation and testing. Areas covered: The classical mass action model has been developed for P-glycoprotein (P-gp) mediated transport across confluent polarized cell monolayers. Numerical integration of the mass action equations for transport using a stable global optimization program yields fitted elementary rate constants that are system-independent. The efflux active P-gp was defined by the rate at which P-gp delivers drugs to the apical chamber, since as much as 90% of drugs effluxed by P-gp partition back into nearby microvilli prior to reaching the apical chamber. The efflux active P-gp concentration was 10-fold smaller than the total expressed P-gp for Caco-2 cells, due to their microvilli membrane morphology. The mechanistic insights from this analysis are readily extrapolated to P-gp mediated transport in vivo. Expert opinion: In vitro system-independent elementary rate constants for transporters are essential for the generation and validation of robust mechanistic PBPK models. Our modeling approach and programs have broad application potential. They can be used for any drug transporter with minor adaptations.

  12. Mechanistic and "natural" body metaphors and their effects on attitudes to hormonal contraception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Susan

    2012-01-01

    A small, self-selected convenience sample of male and female contraceptive users in the United Kingdom (n = 34) were interviewed between 2006 and 2008 concerning their feelings about the body and their contraceptive attitudes and experiences. The interviewees were a sub-sample of respondents (n = 188) who completed a paper-based questionnaire on similar topics, who were recruited through a poster placed in a family planning clinic, web-based advertisements on workplace and university websites, and through direct approaches to social groups. The bodily metaphors used when discussing contraception were analyzed using an interpretative phenomenological analytical approach facilitated by Atlas.ti software. The dominant bodily metaphor was mechanistic (i.e.,"body as machine"). A subordinate but influential bodily metaphor was the "natural" body, which had connotations of connection to nature and a quasi-sacred bodily order. Interviewees drew upon this "natural" metaphorical image in the context of discussing their anxieties about hormonal contraception. Drawing upon a "natural," non-mechanistic body image in the context of contraceptive decision-making contributed to reluctance to use a hormonal form of contraception. This research suggests that clinicians could improve communication and advice about contraception by recognizing that some users may draw upon non-mechanistic body imagery.

  13. INTEGRATION OF QSAR AND SAR METHODS FOR THE MECHANISTIC INTERPRETATION OF PREDICTIVE MODELS FOR CARCINOGENICITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalja Fjodorova

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge-based Toxtree expert system (SAR approach was integrated with the statistically based counter propagation artificial neural network (CP ANN model (QSAR approach to contribute to a better mechanistic understanding of a carcinogenicity model for non-congeneric chemicals using Dragon descriptors and carcinogenic potency for rats as a response. The transparency of the CP ANN algorithm was demonstrated using intrinsic mapping technique specifically Kohonen maps. Chemical structures were represented by Dragon descriptors that express the structural and electronic features of molecules such as their shape and electronic surrounding related to reactivity of molecules. It was illustrated how the descriptors are correlated with particular structural alerts (SAs for carcinogenicity with recognized mechanistic link to carcinogenic activity. Moreover, the Kohonen mapping technique enables one to examine the separation of carcinogens and non-carcinogens (for rats within a family of chemicals with a particular SA for carcinogenicity. The mechanistic interpretation of models is important for the evaluation of safety of chemicals.

  14. Mechanistic effect modeling for ecological risk assessment: where to go from here?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Volker; Martin, Benjamin T

    2013-07-01

    Mechanistic effect models (MEMs) consider the mechanisms of how chemicals affect individuals and ecological systems such as populations and communities. There is an increasing awareness that MEMs have high potential to make risk assessment of chemicals more ecologically relevant than current standard practice. Here we discuss what kinds of MEMs are needed to improve scientific and regulatory aspects of risk assessment. To make valid predictions for a wide range of environmental conditions, MEMs need to include a sufficient amount of emergence, for example, population dynamics emerging from what individual organisms do. We present 1 example where the life cycle of individuals is described using Dynamic Energy Budget theory. The resulting individual-based population model is thus parameterized at the individual level but correctly predicts multiple patterns at the population level. This is the case for both control and treated populations. We conclude that the state-of-the-art in mechanistic effect modeling has reached a level where MEMs are robust and predictive enough to be used in regulatory risk assessment. Mechanistic effect models will thus be used to advance the scientific basis of current standard practice and will, if their development follows Good Modeling Practice, be included in a standardized way in future regulatory risk assessments. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  15. Mechanistic model of mass-specific basal metabolic rate: evaluation in healthy young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z; Bosy-Westphal, A; Schautz, B; Müller, M

    2011-12-01

    Mass-specific basal metabolic rate (mass-specific BMR), defined as the resting energy expenditure per unit body mass per day, is an important parameter in energy metabolism research. However, a mechanistic explanation for magnitude of mass-specific BMR remains lacking. The objective of the present study was to validate the applicability of a proposed mass-specific BMR model in healthy adults. A mechanistic model was developed at the organ-tissue level, mass-specific BMR = Σ( K i × F i ), where Fi is the fraction of body mass as individual organs and tissues, and K i is the specific resting metabolic rate of major organs and tissues. The Fi values were measured by multiple MRI scans and the K i values were suggested by Elia in 1992. A database of healthy non-elderly non-obese adults (age 20 - 49 yrs, BMI BMR of all subjects was 21.6 ± 1.9 (mean ± SD) and 21.7 ± 1.6 kcal/kg per day, respectively. The measured mass-specific BMR was correlated with the predicted mass-specific BMR (r = 0.82, P BMR, versus the average of measured and predicted mass-specific BMR. In conclusion, the proposed mechanistic model was validated in non-elderly non-obese adults and can help to understand the inherent relationship between mass-specific BMR and body composition.

  16. Electrochemical processes and mechanistic aspects of field-effect sensors for biomolecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Weiguo; Diallo, Abdou Karim; Dailey, Jennifer L.; Besar, Kalpana

    2017-01-01

    Electronic biosensing is a leading technology for determining concentrations of biomolecules. In some cases, the presence of an analyte molecule induces a measured change in current flow, while in other cases, a new potential difference is established. In the particular case of a field effect biosensor, the potential difference is monitored as a change in conductance elsewhere in the device, such as across a film of an underlying semiconductor. Often, the mechanisms that lead to these responses are not specifically determined. Because improved understanding of these mechanisms will lead to improved performance, it is important to highlight those studies where various mechanistic possibilities are investigated. This review explores a range of possible mechanistic contributions to field-effect biosensor signals. First, we define the field-effect biosensor and the chemical interactions that lead to the field effect, followed by a section on theoretical and mechanistic background. We then discuss materials used in field-effect biosensors and approaches to improving signals from field-effect biosensors. We specifically cover the biomolecule interactions that produce local electric fields, structures and processes at interfaces between bioanalyte solutions and electronic materials, semiconductors used in biochemical sensors, dielectric layers used in top-gated sensors, and mechanisms for converting the surface voltage change to higher signal/noise outputs in circuits. PMID:29238595

  17. A Physics-Inspired Mechanistic Model of Migratory Movement Patterns in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revell, Christopher; Somveille, Marius

    2017-08-29

    In this paper, we introduce a mechanistic model of migratory movement patterns in birds, inspired by ideas and methods from physics. Previous studies have shed light on the factors influencing bird migration but have mainly relied on statistical correlative analysis of tracking data. Our novel method offers a bottom up explanation of population-level migratory movement patterns. It differs from previous mechanistic models of animal migration and enables predictions of pathways and destinations from a given starting location. We define an environmental potential landscape from environmental data and simulate bird movement within this landscape based on simple decision rules drawn from statistical mechanics. We explore the capacity of the model by qualitatively comparing simulation results to the non-breeding migration patterns of a seabird species, the Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris). This minimal, two-parameter model was able to capture remarkably well the previously documented migration patterns of the Black-browed Albatross, with the best combination of parameter values conserved across multiple geographically separate populations. Our physics-inspired mechanistic model could be applied to other bird and highly-mobile species, improving our understanding of the relative importance of various factors driving migration and making predictions that could be useful for conservation.

  18. On the analysis of complex biological supply chains: From Process Systems Engineering to Quantitative Systems Pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Rohit T; Scherholz, Megerle L; Hartmanshenn, Clara; Bae, Seul-A; Androulakis, Ioannis P

    2017-12-05

    The use of models in biology has become particularly relevant as it enables investigators to develop a mechanistic framework for understanding the operating principles of living systems as well as in quantitatively predicting their response to both pathological perturbations and pharmacological interventions. This application has resulted in a synergistic convergence of systems biology and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling techniques that has led to the emergence of quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP). In this review, we discuss how the foundational principles of chemical process systems engineering inform the progressive development of more physiologically-based systems biology models.

  19. Incorporation of lysosomal sequestration in the mechanistic model for prediction of tissue distribution of basic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assmus, Frauke; Houston, J Brian; Galetin, Aleksandra

    2017-11-15

    The prediction of tissue-to-plasma water partition coefficients (Kpu) from in vitro and in silico data using the tissue-composition based model (Rodgers & Rowland, J Pharm Sci. 2005, 94(6):1237-48.) is well established. However, distribution of basic drugs, in particular into lysosome-rich lung tissue, tends to be under-predicted by this approach. The aim of this study was to develop an extended mechanistic model for the prediction of Kpu which accounts for lysosomal sequestration and the contribution of different cell types in the tissue of interest. The extended model is based on compound-specific physicochemical properties and tissue composition data to describe drug ionization, distribution into tissue water and drug binding to neutral lipids, neutral phospholipids and acidic phospholipids in tissues, including lysosomes. Physiological data on the types of cells contributing to lung, kidney and liver, their lysosomal content and lysosomal pH were collated from the literature. The predictive power of the extended mechanistic model was evaluated using a dataset of 28 basic drugs (pK a ≥7.8, 17 β-blockers, 11 structurally diverse drugs) for which experimentally determined Kpu data in rat tissue have been reported. Accounting for the lysosomal sequestration in the extended mechanistic model improved the accuracy of Kpu predictions in lung compared to the original Rodgers model (56% drugs within 2-fold or 88% within 3-fold of observed values). Reduction in the extent of Kpu under-prediction was also evident in liver and kidney. However, consideration of lysosomal sequestration increased the occurrence of over-predictions, yielding overall comparable model performances for kidney and liver, with 68% and 54% of Kpu values within 2-fold error, respectively. High lysosomal concentration ratios relative to cytosol (>1000-fold) were predicted for the drugs investigated; the extent differed depending on the lysosomal pH and concentration of acidic phospholipids among

  20. Urine: Waste product or biologically active tissue?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-03-01

    Historically, urine has been viewed primarily as a waste product with little biological role in the overall health of an individual. Increasingly, data suggest that urine plays a role in human health beyond waste excretion. For example, urine might act as an irritant and contribute to symptoms through interaction with-and potential compromise of-the urothelium. To explore the concept that urine may be a vehicle for agents with potential or occult bioactivity and to discuss existing evidence and novel research questions that may yield insight into such a role, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease invited experts in the fields of comparative evolutionary physiology, basic science, nephrology, urology, pediatrics, metabolomics, and proteomics (among others) to a Urinology Think Tank meeting on February 9, 2015. This report reflects ideas that evolved from this meeting and current literature, including the concept of urine quality, the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of urine, including the microbiota, cells, exosomes, pH, metabolites, proteins, and specific gravity (among others). Additionally, the manuscript presents speculative, and hopefully testable, ideas about the functional roles of urine constituents in health and disease. Moving forward, there are several questions that need further understanding and pursuit. There were suggestions to consider actively using various animal models and their biological specimens to elaborate on basic mechanistic information regarding human bladder dysfunction. Published 2018. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  1. The metaphysical lessons of synthetic biology and neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baertschi, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, I examine some important metaphysical lessons that are often presented as derived from two new scientific disciplines: synthetic biology and neuroscience. I analyse four of them: the nature of life, the existence of a soul (the mind-body problem), personhood, and free will. Many caveats are in order, and each 'advance' or each case should be assessed for itself. I conclude that a main lesson can nevertheless be learned: in conjunction with modern science, neuroscience and synthetic biology allow us to enrich old metaphysical debates, to deepen and even renew them. In particular, it becomes less and less plausible to consider life, mind, person, and agency as non-natural or non-physical entities. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. The role of biological fertility in predicting family size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joffe, M; Key, J; Best, N

    2009-01-01

    for the first child. CONCLUSIONS: Within the limits of the available data quality, family size appears to be predicted by biological fertility, even after adjustment for maternal age, if the woman was at least 20 years old when the couple's first attempt at conception started. The contribution of behavioural......BACKGROUND: It is plausible that a couple's ability to achieve the desired number of children is limited by biological fertility, especially if childbearing is postponed. Family size has declined and semen quality may have deteriorated in much of Europe, although studies have found an increase....... Potential confounders were maternal age when unprotected sex began prior to the first birth, and maternal smoking. Desired family size was available in only one of the datasets. RESULTS: Couples with a TTP of at least 12 months tended to have smaller families, with odds ratios for the risk of not having...

  3. Establishing appropriate inputs when using the mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide to design rigid pavements in Pennsylvania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    Each design input in the Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide (MEPDG) required for the design of Jointed Plain Concrete : Pavements (JPCPs) is introduced and discussed in this report. Best values for Pennsylvania conditions were established and : recom...

  4. Toward a mechanistic understanding of patterns in biomineralization and new insights for old dogmas in geological settings (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, P. M.; Hamm, L.; Giuffre, A. J.; Han, N.; De Yoreo, J. J.

    2013-12-01

    The ability of organisms to mineralize tissues into skeletons and other functional structures is a remarkable achievement of biology. Yet, the physical basis for how macromolecules regulate the placement and onset of mineral formation is not well established. Efforts to understand nucleation onto organic substrates have produced two, seemingly contradictory, lines of thought: The biomineralization community widely assumes the organic matrix promotes nucleation through stereochemical matching to guide the organization of solute ions, while materials synthesis groups use simple binding assays to correlate high binding strength with good promoters of nucleation. This study reconciles the two views and provides a mechanistic explanation for template-directed nucleation by correlating heterogeneous nucleation barriers with crystal-substrate binding free energies. Using surface assembled monolayers (SAM) as simple model systems, we first measure the kinetics of calcite nucleation onto model substrates that present different functional group chemistries (carboxyl, thiol, phosphate, hydroxyl) and conformations (C11, C16 chain lengths). We find rates are substrate-specific and obey predictions of classical nucleation theory at supersaturations that extend above the solubility of amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC). Analysis of the kinetic data shows the thermodynamic barrier to nucleation is reduced by minimizing the interfacial free energy of the system, γ. We then use dynamic force spectroscopy to independently measure calcite-substrate binding free energies, ΔGb. Moreover, we show that within the classical theory of nucleation, γ and ΔGb should be linearly related. The results bear out this prediction and demonstrate that low energy barriers to nucleation correlate with strong crystal-substrate binding. This relationship is general to all functional group chemistries and conformations. These findings reconcile the long-standing concept of templated nucleation through

  5. Dynamin-dependent amino acid endocytosis activates mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibutani, Shusaku; Okazaki, Hana; Iwata, Hiroyuki

    2017-11-03

    The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a master regulator of protein synthesis and potential target for modifying cellular metabolism in various conditions, including cancer and aging. mTORC1 activity is tightly regulated by the availability of extracellular amino acids, and previous studies have revealed that amino acids in the extracellular fluid are transported to the lysosomal lumen. There, amino acids induce recruitment of cytoplasmic mTORC1 to the lysosome by the Rag GTPases, followed by mTORC1 activation by the small GTPase Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb). However, how the extracellular amino acids reach the lysosomal lumen and activate mTORC1 remains unclear. Here, we show that amino acid uptake by dynamin-dependent endocytosis plays a critical role in mTORC1 activation. We found that mTORC1 is inactivated when endocytosis is inhibited by overexpression of a dominant-negative form of dynamin 2 or by pharmacological inhibition of dynamin or clathrin. Consistently, the recruitment of mTORC1 to the lysosome was suppressed by the dynamin inhibition. The activity and lysosomal recruitment of mTORC1 were rescued by increasing intracellular amino acids via cycloheximide exposure or by Rag overexpression, indicating that amino acid deprivation is the main cause of mTORC1 inactivation via the dynamin inhibition. We further show that endocytosis inhibition does not induce autophagy even though mTORC1 inactivation is known to strongly induce autophagy. These findings open new perspectives for the use of endocytosis inhibitors as potential agents that can effectively inhibit nutrient utilization and shut down the upstream signals that activate mTORC1. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin-Independent Antidepressant Effects of (R)-Ketamine in a Social Defeat Stress Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chun; Ren, Qian; Qu, Youge; Zhang, Ji-Chun; Ma, Min; Dong, Chao; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2018-01-01

    The role of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in the antidepressant effects of ketamine is controversial. In addition to mTOR, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is a key signaling molecule in prominent pathways that regulate protein synthesis. (R)-Ketamine has a greater potency and longer-lasting antidepressant effects than (S)-ketamine. Here we investigated whether mTOR signaling and ERK signaling play a role in the antidepressant effects of two enantiomers. The effects of mTOR inhibitors (rapamycin and AZD8055) and an ERK inhibitor (SL327) on the antidepressant effects of ketamine enantiomers in the chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) model (n = 7 or 8) and on those of ketamine enantiomers in these signaling pathways in mouse brain regions were examined. The intracerebroventricular infusion of rapamycin or AZD8055 blocked the antidepressant effects of (S)-ketamine, but not (R)-ketamine, in the CSDS model. Furthermore, (S)-ketamine, but not (R)-ketamine, significantly attenuated the decreased phosphorylation of mTOR and its downstream effector, ribosomal protein S6 kinase, in the prefrontal cortex of susceptible mice after CSDS. Pretreatment with SL327 blocked the antidepressant effects of (R)-ketamine but not (S)-ketamine. Moreover, (R)-ketamine, but not (S)-ketamine, significantly attenuated the decreased phosphorylation of ERK and its upstream effector, mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase, in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampal dentate gyrus of susceptible mice after CSDS. This study suggests that mTOR plays a role in the antidepressant effects of (S)-ketamine, but not (R)-ketamine, and that ERK plays a role in (R)-ketamine's antidepressant effects. Thus, it is unlikely that the activation of mTOR signaling is necessary for antidepressant actions of (R)-ketamine. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Long ligands reinforce biological adhesion under shear flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belyaev, Aleksey V.

    2018-04-01

    In this work, computer modeling has been used to show that longer ligands allow biological cells (e.g., blood platelets) to withstand stronger flows after their adhesion to solid walls. A mechanistic model of polymer-mediated ligand-receptor adhesion between a microparticle (cell) and a flat wall has been developed. The theoretical threshold between adherent and non-adherent regimes has been derived analytically and confirmed by simulations. These results lead to a deeper understanding of numerous biophysical processes, e.g., arterial thrombosis, and to the design of new biomimetic colloid-polymer systems.

  8. The Biological carbon pump in the North Atlantic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sanders, Richard; Henson, Stephanie A.; Koski, Marja

    2014-01-01

    Mediated principally by the sinking of organic rich particles from the upper ocean, the Biological Carbon Pump (BCP) is a significant component of the global carbon cycle. It transfers roughly 11 Gt C yr−1 into the ocean’s interior and maintains atmospheric carbon dioxide at significantly lower......, including both the magnitude of the downward flux and the ecological, chemical and physical processes by which it is sustained and controlled. Our lack of detailed mechanistic understanding has also hindered modelling attempts to quantify and predict changes to the BCP. In this paper, we assess current...

  9. Dyneins: structure, biology and disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Stephen M

    2012-01-01

    .... From bench to bedside, Dynein: Structure, Biology and Disease offers research on fundamental cellular processes to researchers and clinicians across developmental biology, cell biology, molecular biology, biophysics, biomedicine...

  10. Biological conversion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, C.D.

    A system for bioconversion of organic material comprises a primary bioreactor column wherein a biological active agent (zymomonas mobilis) converts the organic material (sugar) to a product (alcohol), a rejuvenator column wherein the biological activity of said biological active agent is enhanced, and means for circulating said biological active agent between said primary bioreactor column and said rejuvenator column.

  11. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2014-05-01

    Typically, findings from cell biology have been beneficial for preventing human disease. However, translational applications from cell biology can also be applied to conservation efforts, such as protecting coral reefs. Recent efforts to understand the cell biological mechanisms maintaining coral health such as innate immunity and acclimatization have prompted new developments in conservation. Similar to biomedicine, we urge that future efforts should focus on better frameworks for biomarker development to protect coral reefs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Computational Systems Chemical Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Oprea, Tudor I.; May, Elebeoba E.; Leitão, Andrei; Tropsha, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology, SCB (Oprea et al., 2007).

  13. Calibrating mechanistic-empirical pavement performance models with an expert matrix

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tighe, S.; AlAssar, R.; Haas, R. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Civil Engineering; Zhiwei, H. [Stantec Consulting Ltd., Cambridge, ON (Canada)

    2001-07-01

    Proper management of pavement infrastructure requires pavement performance modelling. For the past 20 years, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has used the Ontario Pavement Analysis of Costs (OPAC) system for pavement design. Pavement needs, however, have changed substantially during that time. To address this need, a new research contract is underway to enhance the model and verify the predictions, particularly at extreme points such as low and high traffic volume pavement design. This initiative included a complete evaluation of the existing OPAC pavement design method, the construction of a new set of pavement performance prediction models, and the development of the flexible pavement design procedure that incorporates reliability analysis. The design was also expanded to include rigid pavement designs and modification of the existing life cycle cost analysis procedure which includes both the agency cost and road user cost. Performance prediction and life-cycle costs were developed based on several factors, including material properties, traffic loads and climate. Construction and maintenance schedules were also considered. The methodology for the calibration and validation of a mechanistic-empirical flexible pavement performance model was described. Mechanistic-empirical design methods combine theory based design such as calculated stresses, strains or deflections with empirical methods, where a measured response is associated with thickness and pavement performance. Elastic layer analysis was used to determine pavement response to determine the most effective design using cumulative Equivalent Single Axle Loads (ESALs), below grade type and layer thickness.The new mechanistic-empirical model separates the environment and traffic effects on performance. This makes it possible to quantify regional differences between Southern and Northern Ontario. In addition, roughness can be calculated in terms of the International Roughness Index or Riding comfort Index

  14. A metabonomic approach for mechanistic exploration of pre-clinical toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coen, Muireann

    2010-12-30

    Metabonomics involves the application of advanced analytical tools to profile the diverse metabolic complement of a given biofluid or tissue. Subsequent statistical modelling of the complex multivariate spectral profiles enables discrimination between phenotypes of interest and identifies panels of discriminatory metabolites that represent candidate biomarkers. This review article presents an overview of recent developments in the field of metabonomics with a focus on application to pre-clinical toxicology studies. Recent research investigations carried out as part of the international COMET 2 consortium project on the hepatotoxic action of the aminosugar, galactosamine (galN) are presented. The application of advanced, high-field NMR spectroscopy is demonstrated, together with complementary application of a targeted mass spectrometry platform coupled with ultra-performance liquid chromatography. Much novel mechanistic information has been gleaned on both the mechanism of galN hepatotoxicity in multiple biofluids and tissues, and on the protection afforded by co-administration of glycine and uridine. The simultaneous identification of both the metabolic fate of galN and its associated endogenous consequences in spectral profiles is demonstrated. Furthermore, metabonomic assessment of inter-animal variability in response to galN presents enhanced mechanistic insight on variable response phentoypes and is relevant to understanding wider aspects of individual variability in drug response. This exemplar highlights the analytical and statistical tools commonly applied in metabonomic studies and notably, the approach is applicable to the study of any toxin/drug or intervention of interest. The metabonomic approach holds considerable promise and potential to significantly advance our understanding of the mechanistic bases for adverse drug reactions. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. ReactionPredictor: prediction of complex chemical reactions at the mechanistic level using machine learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayala, Matthew A; Baldi, Pierre

    2012-10-22

    Proposing reasonable mechanisms and predicting the course of chemical reactions is important to the practice of organic chemistry. Approaches to reaction prediction have historically used obfuscating representations and manually encoded patterns or rules. Here we present ReactionPredictor, a machine learning approach to reaction prediction that models elementary, mechanistic reactions as interactions between approximate molecular orbitals (MOs). A training data set of productive reactions known to occur at reasonable rates and yields and verified by inclusion in the literature or textbooks is derived from an existing rule-based system and expanded upon with manual curation from graduate level textbooks. Using this training data set of complex polar, hypervalent, radical, and pericyclic reactions, a two-stage machine learning prediction framework is trained and validated. In the first stage, filtering models trained at the level of individual MOs are used to reduce the space of possible reactions to consider. In the second stage, ranking models over the filtered space of possible reactions are used to order the reactions such that the productive reactions are the top ranked. The resulting model, ReactionPredictor, perfectly ranks polar reactions 78.1% of the time and recovers all productive reactions 95.7% of the time when allowing for small numbers of errors. Pericyclic and radical reactions are perfectly ranked 85.8% and 77.0% of the time, respectively, rising to >93% recovery for both reaction types with a small number of allowed errors. Decisions about which of the polar, pericyclic, or radical reaction type ranking models to use can be made with >99% accuracy. Finally, for multistep reaction pathways, we implement the first mechanistic pathway predictor using constrained tree-search to discover a set of reasonable mechanistic steps from given reactants to given products. Webserver implementations of both the single step and pathway versions of Reaction

  16. A dynamic and mechanistic model of PCB bioaccumulation in the European hake ( Merluccius merluccius)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodiguel, Xavier; Maury, Olivier; Mellon-Duval, Capucine; Roupsard, François; Le Guellec, Anne-Marie; Loizeau, Véronique

    2009-08-01

    Bioaccumulation is difficult to document because responses differ among chemical compounds, with environmental conditions, and physiological processes characteristic of each species. We use a mechanistic model, based on the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory, to take into account this complexity and study factors impacting accumulation of organic pollutants in fish through ontogeny. The bioaccumulation model proposed is a comprehensive approach that relates evolution of hake PCB contamination to physiological information about the fish, such as diet, metabolism, reserve and reproduction status. The species studied is the European hake ( Merluccius merluccius, L. 1758). The model is applied to study the total concentration and the lipid normalised concentration of 4 PCB congeners in male and female hakes from the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean sea) and the Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic ocean). Outputs of the model compare consistently to measurements over the life span of fish. Simulation results clearly demonstrate the relative effects of food contamination, growth and reproduction on the PCB bioaccumulation in hake. The same species living in different habitats and exposed to different PCB prey concentrations exhibit marked difference in the body accumulation of PCBs. At the adult stage, female hakes have a lower PCB concentration compared to males for a given length. We successfully simulated these sex-specific PCB concentrations by considering two mechanisms: a higher energy allocation to growth for females and a transfer of PCBs from the female to its eggs when allocating lipids from reserve to eggs. Finally, by its mechanistic description of physiological processes, the model is relevant for other species and sets the stage for a mechanistic understanding of toxicity and ecological effects of organic contaminants in marine organisms.

  17. Simulating the effects of climate change on the distribution of an invasive plant, using a high resolution, local scale, mechanistic approach: challenges and insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, Mark; Murphy, James E; Gallagher, Tommy; Osborne, Bruce

    2013-04-01

    The growing economic and ecological damage associated with biological invasions, which will likely be exacerbated by climate change, necessitates improved projections of invasive spread. Generally, potential changes in species distribution are investigated using climate envelope models; however, the reliability of such models has been questioned and they are not suitable for use at local scales. At this scale, mechanistic models are more appropriate. This paper discusses some key requirements for mechanistic models and utilises a newly developed model (PSS[gt]) that incorporates the influence of habitat type and related features (e.g., roads and rivers), as well as demographic processes and propagule dispersal dynamics, to model climate induced changes in the distribution of an invasive plant (Gunnera tinctoria) at a local scale. A new methodology is introduced, dynamic baseline benchmarking, which distinguishes climate-induced alterations in species distributions from other potential drivers of change. Using this approach, it was concluded that climate change, based on IPCC and C4i projections, has the potential to increase the spread-rate and intensity of G. tinctoria invasions. Increases in the number of individuals were primarily due to intensification of invasion in areas already invaded or in areas projected to be invaded in the dynamic baseline scenario. Temperature had the largest influence on changes in plant distributions. Water availability also had a large influence and introduced the most uncertainty in the projections. Additionally, due to the difficulties of parameterising models such as this, the process has been streamlined by utilising methods for estimating unknown variables and selecting only essential parameters. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Mechanistic approach for the kinetics of the decomposition of nitrous oxide over calcined hydrotalcites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dandl, H.; Emig, G. [Lehrstuhl fuer Technische Chemie I, Erlangen (Germany)

    1998-03-27

    A highly active catalyst for the decomposition of N{sub 2}O was prepared by the thermal treatment of CoLaAl-hydrotalcite. For this catalyst the reaction rate was determined at various partial pressures of N{sub 2}O, O{sub 2} and H{sub 2}O in a temperature range from 573K to 823K. The kinetic simulation resulted in a mechanistic model. The energies of activation and rate coefficients are estimated for the main steps of the reaction

  19. Mechanistic differences between methanol and dimethyl ether carbonylation in side pockets and large channels of mordenite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boronat, Mercedes; Martínez, Cristina; Corma, Avelino

    2011-02-21

    The activity and selectivity towards carbonylation presented by Brønsted acid sites located inside the 8MR pockets or in the main 12MR channels of mordenite is studied by means of quantum-chemical calculations, and the mechanistic differences between methanol and DME carbonylation are investigated. The selectivity towards carbonylation is higher inside the 8MR pockets, where the competitive formation of DME and hydrocarbons that finally leads to catalyst deactivation is sterically impeded. Moreover, inclusion of dispersion interactions in the calculations leads to agreement between the calculated activation barriers for the rate determining step and the experimentally observed higher reactivity of methoxy groups located inside the 8MR channels.

  20. Mechanistic phenotypes: an aggregative phenotyping strategy to identify disease mechanisms using GWAS data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan D Mosley

    Full Text Available A single mutation can alter cellular and global homeostatic mechanisms and give rise to multiple clinical diseases. We hypothesized that these disease mechanisms could be identified using low minor allele frequency (MAF<0.1 non-synonymous SNPs (nsSNPs associated with "mechanistic phenotypes", comprised of collections of related diagnoses. We studied two mechanistic phenotypes: (1 thrombosis, evaluated in a population of 1,655 African Americans; and (2 four groupings of cancer diagnoses, evaluated in 3,009 white European Americans. We tested associations between nsSNPs represented on GWAS platforms and mechanistic phenotypes ascertained from electronic medical records (EMRs, and sought enrichment in functional ontologies across the top-ranked associations. We used a two-step analytic approach whereby nsSNPs were first sorted by the strength of their association with a phenotype. We tested associations using two reverse genetic models and standard additive and recessive models. In the second step, we employed a hypothesis-free ontological enrichment analysis using the sorted nsSNPs to identify functional mechanisms underlying the diagnoses comprising the mechanistic phenotypes. The thrombosis phenotype was solely associated with ontologies related to blood coagulation (Fisher's p = 0.0001, FDR p = 0.03, driven by the F5, P2RY12 and F2RL2 genes. For the cancer phenotypes, the reverse genetics models were enriched in DNA repair functions (p = 2×10-5, FDR p = 0.03 (POLG/FANCI, SLX4/FANCP, XRCC1, BRCA1, FANCA, CHD1L while the additive model showed enrichment related to chromatid segregation (p = 4×10-6, FDR p = 0.005 (KIF25, PINX1. We were able to replicate nsSNP associations for POLG/FANCI, BRCA1, FANCA and CHD1L in independent data sets. Mechanism-oriented phenotyping using collections of EMR-derived diagnoses can elucidate fundamental disease mechanisms.

  1. Mechanistic modeling of reactive soil nitrogen emissions across agricultural management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasool, Q. Z.; Miller, D. J.; Bash, J. O.; Venterea, R. T.; Cooter, E. J.; Hastings, M. G.; Cohan, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The global reactive nitrogen (N) budget has increased by a factor of 2-3 from pre-industrial levels. This increase is especially pronounced in highly N fertilized agricultural regions in summer. The reactive N emissions from soil to atmosphere can be in reduced (NH3) or oxidized (NO, HONO, N2O) forms, depending on complex biogeochemical transformations of soil N reservoirs. Air quality models like CMAQ typically neglect soil emissions of HONO and N2O. Previously, soil NO emissions estimated by models like CMAQ remained parametric and inconsistent with soil NH3 emissions. Thus, there is a need to more mechanistically and consistently represent the soil N processes that lead to reactive N emissions to the atmosphere. Our updated approach estimates soil NO, HONO and N2O emissions by incorporating detailed agricultural fertilizer inputs from EPIC, and CMAQ-modeled N deposition, into the soil N pool. EPIC addresses the nitrification, denitrification and volatilization rates along with soil N pools for agricultural soils. Suitable updates to account for factors like nitrite (NO2-) accumulation not addressed in EPIC, will also be made. The NO and N2O emissions from nitrification and denitrification are computed mechanistically using the N sub-model of DAYCENT. These mechanistic definitions use soil water content, temperature, NH4+ and NO3- concentrations, gas diffusivity and labile C availability as dependent parameters at various soil layers. Soil HONO emissions found to be most probable under high NO2- availability will be based on observed ratios of HONO to NO emissions under different soil moistures, pH and soil types. The updated scheme will utilize field-specific soil properties and N inputs across differing manure management practices such as tillage. Comparison of the modeled soil NO emission rates from the new mechanistic and existing schemes against field measurements will be discussed. Our updated framework will help to predict the diurnal and daily variability

  2. The Cycloaddition of the Benzimidazolium Ylides with Alkynes: New Mechanistic Insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costel Moldoveanu

    Full Text Available New insights concerning the reaction mechanism in the cycloaddition reaction of benzimidazolium ylides to activated alkynes are presented. The proposed pathway leading both to 2-(1H-pyrrol-1-ylanilines and to pyrrolo[1,2-a]quinoxalin-4(5H-ones involves an opening of the imidazole ring from the cycloaddition product, followed by a nucleophilic attack of the aminic nitrogen to a proximal carbonyl group and the elimination of a leaving group. The mechanistic considerations are fully supported by experimental data, including the XRD resolved structure of the key reaction intermediate.

  3. The Cycloaddition of the Benzimidazolium Ylides with Alkynes: New Mechanistic Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moldoveanu, Costel; Zbancioc, Gheorghita; Mantu, Dorina; Maftei, Dan; Mangalagiu, Ionel

    2016-01-01

    New insights concerning the reaction mechanism in the cycloaddition reaction of benzimidazolium ylides to activated alkynes are presented. The proposed pathway leading both to 2-(1H-pyrrol-1-yl)anilines and to pyrrolo[1,2-a]quinoxalin-4(5H)-ones involves an opening of the imidazole ring from the cycloaddition product, followed by a nucleophilic attack of the aminic nitrogen to a proximal carbonyl group and the elimination of a leaving group. The mechanistic considerations are fully supported by experimental data, including the XRD resolved structure of the key reaction intermediate.

  4. Development of a mechanistically based computer simulation of nitrogen oxide absorption in packed towers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Counce, R.M.

    1981-01-01

    A computer simulation for nitrogen oxide (NO/sub x/) scrubbing in packed towers was developed for use in process design and process control. This simulation implements a mechanistically based mathematical model, which was formulated from (1) an exhaustive literature review; (2) previous NO/sub x/ scrubbing experience with sieve-plate towers; and (3) comparisons of sequential sets of experiments. Nitrogen oxide scrubbing is characterized by simultaneous absorption and desorption phenomena: the model development is based on experiments designed to feature these two phenomena. The model was then successfully tested in experiments designed to put it in jeopardy

  5. Arsenic Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes: MicroRNAs as Mechanistic Links?

    OpenAIRE

    Beck, Rowan; Styblo, Miroslav; Sethupathy, Praveen

    2017-01-01

    Purpose of Review The goal of this review is to delineate the following: (1) the primary means of inorganic arsenic (iAs) exposure for human populations, (2) the adverse public health outcomes associated with chronic iAs exposure, (3) the pathophysiological connection between arsenic and type 2 diabetes (T2D), and (4) the incipient evidence for microRNAs as candidate mechanistic links between iAs exposure and T2D. Recent Findings Exposure to iAs in animal models has been associated with the d...

  6. Problems in mechanistic theoretical models for cell transformation by ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Aloke; Holley, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    A mechanistic model based on yields of double strand breaks has been developed to determine the dose response curves for cell transformation frequencies. At its present stage the model is applicable to immortal cell lines and to various qualities (X-rays, Neon and Iron) of ionizing radiation. Presently, we have considered four types of processes which can lead to activation phenomena: (i) point mutation events on a regulatory segment of selected oncogenes, (ii) inactivation of suppressor genes, through point mutation, (iii) deletion of a suppressor gene by a single track, and (iv) deletion of a suppressor gene by two tracks. (author)

  7. Mechanistic and kinetic insights into the thermally induced rearrangement of alpha-pinene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolle, Achim; Ondruschka, Bernd; Findeisen, Matthias

    2008-11-07

    The thermal rearrangement of alpha-pinene (1) is interesting from mechanistic as well as kinetic point of view. Carrier gas pyrolyses with 1 and its acyclic isomers ocimene (2) and alloocimene (3) were performed to investigate the thermal network of these hydrocarbons. Kinetic analysis of the major reaction steps allows for a deeper insight in the reaction mechanism. Thus it was possible to explain the racemization of 1, the formation of racemic limonene (4), and the absence of the primary pyrolysis product 2 in the reaction mixture resulting from thermal rearrangement of 1. Results supported the conclusion that the reactions starting with 1 involve biradical transition states.

  8. Radiation physics, biophysics and radiation biology. Progress report, October 1, 1982-November 1983

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1983-07-01

    A wide range of research is carried out at the Radiological Research Laboratory, from computer simulation of particle tracks to the determination of oncogenic transformation in mammalian cells. Mechanistic studies remain the central mission in an attempt to understand the biological action of ionizing radiations. Collaborative research is carried out on the use of radiosensitizers on chemosensitizers on the effect of hormones on oncogenic transformation and on cataractogenesis

  9. Semi-mechanistic partial buffer approach to modeling pH, the buffer properties, and the distribution of ionic species in complex solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Daniel P; Da Conceicao Neta, Edith Ramos; McFeeters, Roger F; Lubkin, Sharon R; Breidt, Frederick

    2006-08-09

    In many biological science and food processing applications, it is very important to control or modify pH. However, the complex, unknown composition of biological media and foods often limits the utility of purely theoretical approaches to modeling pH and calculating the distributions of ionizable species. This paper provides general formulas and efficient algorithms for predicting the pH, titration, ionic species concentrations, buffer capacity, and ionic strength of buffer solutions containing both defined and undefined components. A flexible, semi-mechanistic, partial buffering (SMPB) approach is presented that uses local polynomial regression to model the buffering influence of complex or undefined components in a solution, while identified components of known concentration are modeled using expressions based on extensions of the standard acid-base theory. The SMPB method is implemented in a freeware package, (pH)Tools, for use with Matlab. We validated the predictive accuracy of these methods by using strong acid titrations of cucumber slurries to predict the amount of a weak acid required to adjust pH to selected target values.

  10. Models for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N

    2007-11-06

    Synthetic biological engineering is emerging from biology as a distinct discipline based on quantification. The technologies propelling synthetic biology are not new, nor is the concept of designing novel biological molecules. What is new is the emphasis on system behavior. The objective is the design and construction of new biological devices and systems to deliver useful applications. Numerous synthetic gene circuits have been created in the past decade, including bistable switches, oscillators, and logic gates, and possible applications abound, including biofuels, detectors for biochemical and chemical weapons, disease diagnosis, and gene therapies. More than fifty years after the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, molecular biology is mature enough for real quantification that is useful for biological engineering applications, similar to the revolution in modeling in chemistry in the 1950s. With the excitement that synthetic biology is generating, the engineering and biological science communities appear remarkably willing to cross disciplinary boundaries toward a common goal.

  11. Redox-capacitor to connect electrochemistry to redox-biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunkyoung; Leverage, W Taylor; Liu, Yi; White, Ian M; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2014-01-07

    It is well-established that redox-reactions are integral to biology for energy harvesting (oxidative phosphorylation), immune defense (oxidative burst) and drug metabolism (phase I reactions), yet there is emerging evidence that redox may play broader roles in biology (e.g., redox signaling). A critical challenge is the need for tools that can probe biologically-relevant redox interactions simply, rapidly and without the need for a comprehensive suite of analytical methods. We propose that electrochemistry may provide such a tool. In this tutorial review, we describe recent studies with a redox-capacitor film that can serve as a bio-electrode interface that can accept, store and donate electrons from mediators commonly used in electrochemistry and also in biology. Specifically, we (i) describe the fabrication of this redox-capacitor from catechols and the polysaccharide chitosan, (ii) discuss the mechanistic basis for electron exchange, (iii) illustrate the properties of this redox-capacitor and its capabilities for promoting redox-communication between biology and electrodes, and (iv) suggest the potential for enlisting signal processing strategies to "extract" redox information. We believe these initial studies indicate broad possibilities for enlisting electrochemistry and signal processing to acquire "systems level" redox information from biology.

  12. Biologic relativity: Who is the observer and what is observed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2016-05-01

    When quantum physics and biological phenomena are analogously explored, it emerges that biologic causation must also be understood independently of its overt appearance. This is similar to the manner in which Bohm characterized the explicate versus the implicate order as overlapping frames of ambiguity. Placed in this context, the variables affecting epigenetic inheritance can be properly assessed as a key mechanistic principle of evolution that significantly alters our understanding of homeostasis, pleiotropy, and heterochrony, and the purposes of sexual reproduction. Each of these become differing manifestations of a new biological relativity in which biologic space-time becomes its own frame. In such relativistic cellular contexts, it is proper to question exactly who has observer status, and who and what are being observed. Consideration within this frame reduces biology to cellular information sharing through cell-cell communication to resolve ambiguities at every scope and scale. In consequence, it becomes implicit that eukaryotic evolution derives from the unicellular state, remaining consistently adherent to it in a continuous evolutionary arc based upon elemental, non-stochastic physiologic first principles. Furthermore, the entire cell including its cytoskeletal apparatus and membranes that participate in the resolution of biological uncertainties must be considered as having equivalent primacy with genomes in evolutionary terms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Novel approaches to develop community-built biological network models for potential drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talikka, Marja; Bukharov, Natalia; Hayes, William S; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Alexopoulos, Leonidas; Peitsch, Manuel C; Hoeng, Julia

    2017-08-01

    Hundreds of thousands of data points are now routinely generated in clinical trials by molecular profiling and NGS technologies. A true translation of this data into knowledge is not possible without analysis and interpretation in a well-defined biology context. Currently, there are many public and commercial pathway tools and network models that can facilitate such analysis. At the same time, insights and knowledge that can be gained is highly dependent on the underlying biological content of these resources. Crowdsourcing can be employed to guarantee the accuracy and transparency of the biological content underlining the tools used to interpret rich molecular data. Areas covered: In this review, the authors describe crowdsourcing in drug discovery. The focal point is the efforts that have successfully used the crowdsourcing approach to verify and augment pathway tools and biological network models. Technologies that enable the building of biological networks with the community are also described. Expert opinion: A crowd of experts can be leveraged for the entire development process of biological network models, from ontologies to the evaluation of their mechanistic completeness. The ultimate goal is to facilitate biomarker discovery and personalized medicine by mechanistically explaining patients' differences with respect to disease prevention, diagnosis, and therapy outcome.

  14. Effects of Asphalt Mix Design Properties on Pavement Performance: A Mechanistic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad M. Abu Abdo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of hot mix asphalt material properties on the performance of flexible pavements via mechanistic approach. 3D Move Analysis software was utilized to determine rutting and cracking distresses in an asphalt concrete (AC layer. Fourteen different Superpave mixes were evaluated by utilizing results of the Dynamic Modulus (|E⁎| Test and the Dynamic Shear Modulus (|G⁎| Test. Results showed that with the increase of binder content, the tendency of rutting in AC layer increased. However, with the increase of binder content, the cracking of AC layer lessened. Furthermore, when different binder grades were evaluated, results showed that with the increase of the upper binder grade number, rutting decreased, and with the increase of the lower binder grade number, rutting increased. Furthermore, analysis showed that with the increase of the lower binder grade number, higher percent of bottom up cracks would result. As a result of the analysis, binder grade should not be solely considered for cracking in AC layer; binder content and aggregate structure play a big role. Finally, results illustrated that the mechanistic approach is a better tool to determine the performance of asphalt pavement than commonly used methods.

  15. Application of mechanistic empirical approach to predict rutting of superpave mixtures in Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qasim Zaynab

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In Iraq rutting is considered as a real distress in flexible pavements as a result of high summer temperature, and increased axle loads. This distress majorly affects asphalt pavement performance, lessens the pavement useful service life and makes serious hazards for highway users. Performance of HMA mixtures against rutting using Mechanistic- Empirical approach is predicted by considering Wheel-Tracking test and employing the Superpave mix design requirements. Roller Wheel Compactor has been locally manufactured to prepare slab specimens. In view of study laboratory outcomes that are judged to be simulative of field loading conditions, models are developed for predicting permanent strain of compacted samples of local asphalt concrete mixtures after considering the stress level, properties of local material and environmental impacts variables. All in all, laboratory results were produced utilizing statistical analysis with the aid of SPSS software. Permanent strain models for asphalt concrete mixtures were developed as a function of: number of passes, temperature, asphalt content, viscosity, air voids and additive content. Mechanistic Empirical design approach through the MnPAVE software was applied to characterize rutting in HMA and to predict allowable number of loading repetitions of mixtures as a function of expected traffic loads, material properties, and environmental temperature.

  16. Mutual Dependence Between Sedimentary Organic Carbon and Infaunal Macrobenthos Resolved by Mechanistic Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenyan; Wirtz, Kai

    2017-10-01

    The mutual dependence between sedimentary total organic carbon (TOC) and infaunal macrobenthos is here quantified by a mechanistic model. The model describes (i) the vertical distribution of infaunal macrobenthic biomass resulting from a trade-off between nutritional benefit (quantity and quality of TOC) and the costs of burial (respiration) and mortality, and (ii) the variable vertical distribution of TOC being in turn shaped by bioturbation of local macrobenthos. In contrast to conventional approaches, our model emphasizes variations of bioturbation both spatially and temporally depending on local food resources and macrobenthic biomass. Our implementation of the dynamic interaction between TOC and infaunal macrobenthos is able to capture a temporal benthic response to both depositional and erosional environments and provides improved estimates of the material exchange flux at the sediment-water interface. Applications to literature data for the North Sea demonstrate the robustness and accuracy of the model and its potential as an analysis tool for the status of TOC and macrobenthos in marine sediments. Results indicate that the vertical distribution of infaunal biomass is shaped by both the quantity and the quality of OC, while the community structure is determined only by the quality of OC. Bioturbation intensity may differ by 1 order of magnitude over different seasons owing to variations in the OC input, resulting in a significant modulation on the distribution of OC. Our relatively simple implementation may further improve models of early diagenesis and marine food web dynamics by mechanistically connecting the vertical distribution of both TOC and macrobenthic biomass.

  17. Mechanistic study of manganese-substituted glycerol dehydrogenase using a kinetic and thermodynamic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Baishan; Niu, Jin; Ren, Hong; Guo, Yingxia; Wang, Shizhen

    2014-01-01

    Mechanistic insights regarding the activity enhancement of dehydrogenase by metal ion substitution were investigated by a simple method using a kinetic and thermodynamic analysis. By profiling the binding energy of both the substrate and product, the metal ion's role in catalysis enhancement was revealed. Glycerol dehydrogenase (GDH) from Klebsiella pneumoniae sp., which demonstrated an improvement in activity by the substitution of a zinc ion with a manganese ion, was used as a model for the mechanistic study of metal ion substitution. A kinetic model based on an ordered Bi-Bi mechanism was proposed considering the noncompetitive product inhibition of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and the competitive product inhibition of NADH. By obtaining preliminary kinetic parameters of substrate and product inhibition, the number of estimated parameters was reduced from 10 to 4 for a nonlinear regression-based kinetic parameter estimation. The simulated values of time-concentration curves fit the experimental values well, with an average relative error of 11.5% and 12.7% for Mn-GDH and GDH, respectively. A comparison of the binding energy of enzyme ternary complex for Mn-GDH and GDH derived from kinetic parameters indicated that metal ion substitution accelerated the release of dioxyacetone. The metal ion's role in catalysis enhancement was explicated.

  18. Mechanistic study of manganese-substituted glycerol dehydrogenase using a kinetic and thermodynamic analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baishan Fang

    Full Text Available Mechanistic insights regarding the activity enhancement of dehydrogenase by metal ion substitution were investigated by a simple method using a kinetic and thermodynamic analysis. By profiling the binding energy of both the substrate and product, the metal ion's role in catalysis enhancement was revealed. Glycerol dehydrogenase (GDH from Klebsiella pneumoniae sp., which demonstrated an improvement in activity by the substitution of a zinc ion with a manganese ion, was used as a model for the mechanistic study of metal ion substitution. A kinetic model based on an ordered Bi-Bi mechanism was proposed considering the noncompetitive product inhibition of dihydroxyacetone (DHA and the competitive product inhibition of NADH. By obtaining preliminary kinetic parameters of substrate and product inhibition, the number of estimated parameters was reduced from 10 to 4 for a nonlinear regression-based kinetic parameter estimation. The simulated values of time-concentration curves fit the experimental values well, with an average relative error of 11.5% and 12.7% for Mn-GDH and GDH, respectively. A comparison of the binding energy of enzyme ternary complex for Mn-GDH and GDH derived from kinetic parameters indicated that metal ion substitution accelerated the release of dioxyacetone. The metal ion's role in catalysis enhancement was explicated.

  19. Evolutionary and mechanistic drivers of laterality: A review and new synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiper, Mallory L

    2017-11-01

    Laterality, best understood as asymmetries of bilateral structures or biases in behaviour, has been demonstrated in species from all major vertebrate classes, and in many invertebrates, showing a large degree of evolutionary conservation across vertebrate groups. Despite the establishment of this phenomenon in so many species, however, the evolutionary and mechanistic study of laterality is uneven with numerous areas in this field requiring greater attention. Here, I present a partial review of how far the study of laterality has come, outlining previous pioneering work, I discuss the hypothesized costs and benefits of a lateralized brain and the suggested path of the evolution of laterality for populations and individuals. I propose an expansion of laterality research into areas that have been touched upon in the past but require stronger evidence from which the field will greatly benefit. Namely, I suggest a continuation of the phylogenetic approach to investigating laterality to better understand its evolutionary path; and a further focus on mechanistic drivers, with special attention to genetic and environmental effects. Putting together the puzzle of laterality using as many pieces as possible will provide a stronger understanding of this field, allowing us to continue to expand the field in novel ways.

  20. Mechanistic Insight into the Dehydro-Diels-Alder Reaction of Styrene-Ynes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocsis, Laura S; Kagalwala, Husain N; Mutto, Sharlene; Godugu, Bhaskar; Bernhard, Stefan; Tantillo, Dean J; Brummond, Kay M

    2015-12-04

    The Diels-Alder reaction represents one of the most thoroughly studied and well-understood synthetic transformations for the assembly of six-membered rings. Although intramolecular dehydro-Diels-Alder (IMDDA) reactions have previously been employed for the preparation of naphthalene and dihydronaphthalene substrates, low yields and product mixtures have reduced the impact and scope of this reaction. Through the mechanistic studies described within, we have confirmed that the thermal IMDDA reaction of styrene-ynes produces a naphthalene product via loss of hydrogen gas from the initially formed cycloadduct, a tetraenyl intermediate. Alternatively, the dihydronaphthalene product is afforded from the same tetraenyl intermediate via a radical isomerization process. Moreover, we have identified conditions that can be used to achieve efficient, high-yielding, and selective IMDDA reactions of styrene-ynes to form either naphthalene or dihydronaphthalene products. The operational simplicity and retrosynthetic orthogonality of this method for the preparation of naphthalenes and dihydronaphthalenes makes this transformation appealing for the synthesis of medicinal and material targets. The mechanistic studies within may impact the development of other thermal transformations.

  1. A Mechanistic Reliability Assessment of RVACS and Metal Fuel Inherent Reactivity Feedbacks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grabaskas, David; Brunett, Acacia J.; Passerini, Stefano; Grelle, Austin

    2017-09-24

    GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) participated in a two year collaboration to modernize and update the probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) for the PRISM sodium fast reactor. At a high level, the primary outcome of the project was the development of a next-generation PRA that is intended to enable risk-informed prioritization of safety- and reliability-focused research and development. A central Argonne task during this project was a reliability assessment of passive safety systems, which included the Reactor Vessel Auxiliary Cooling System (RVACS) and the inherent reactivity feedbacks of the metal fuel core. Both systems were examined utilizing a methodology derived from the Reliability Method for Passive Safety Functions (RMPS), with an emphasis on developing success criteria based on mechanistic system modeling while also maintaining consistency with the Fuel Damage Categories (FDCs) of the mechanistic source term assessment. This paper provides an overview of the reliability analyses of both systems, including highlights of the FMEAs, the construction of best-estimate models, uncertain parameter screening and propagation, and the quantification of system failure probability. In particular, special focus is given to the methodologies to perform the analysis of uncertainty propagation and the determination of the likelihood of violating FDC limits. Additionally, important lessons learned are also reviewed, such as optimal sampling methodologies for the discovery of low likelihood failure events and strategies for the combined treatment of aleatory and epistemic uncertainties.

  2. A tissue-engineered gastric cancer model for mechanistic study of anti-tumor drugs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Ming; Cai, Yiting; Wu, Wei; Shi, Yazhou; Fei, Zhewei

    2013-01-01

    The use of the traditional xenograft subcutaneous tumor model has been contested because of its limitations, such as a slow tumorigenesis, inconsistent chemotherapeutic results, etc. In light of these challenges, we aim to revamp the traditional model by employing an electrospun scaffold composed of polydioxanone, gelatin and elastin to boost the tumorigenesis. The scaffold featured a highly porous microstructure and successfully supported the growth of tumor cells in vitro without provoking apoptosis. In vivo studies showed that in the scaffold model the tumor volume increased by 43.27% and the weight by 75.58%, respectively, within a 12-week period. In addition, the scaffold model saw an increase of CD24 + and CD44 + cells in the tumor mass by 42% and 313%, respectively. The scaffolding materials did not lead to phenotypic changes during the tumorigenesis. Thereafter, in the scaffold model, we found that the chemotherapeutic regimen of docetaxel, cisplatin and fluorouracil unleashed a stronger capability than the regimen comprising cisplatin and fluorouracil to deplete the CD44 + subpopulation. This discovery sheds mechanistic lights on the role of docetaxel for its future chemotherapeutic applications. This revamped model affords cancer scientists a convenient and reliable platform to mechanistically investigate the chemotherapeutic drugs on gastric cancer stem cells. (paper)

  3. Simulating the Risk of Liver Fluke Infection using a Mechanistic Hydro-epidemiological Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrame, Ludovica; Dunne, Toby; Rose, Hannah; Walker, Josephine; Morgan, Eric; Vickerman, Peter; Wagener, Thorsten

    2016-04-01

    Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) is a common parasite found in livestock and responsible for considerable economic losses throughout the world. Risk of infection is strongly influenced by climatic and hydrological conditions, which characterise the host environment for parasite development and transmission. Despite on-going control efforts, increases in fluke outbreaks have been reported in recent years in the UK, and have been often attributed to climate change. Currently used fluke risk models are based on empirical relationships derived between historical climate and incidence data. However, hydro-climate conditions are becoming increasingly non-stationary due to climate change and direct anthropogenic impacts such as land use change, making empirical models unsuitable for simulating future risk. In this study we introduce a mechanistic hydro-epidemiological model for Liver Fluke, which explicitly simulates habitat suitability for disease development in space and time, representing the parasite life cycle in connection with key environmental conditions. The model is used to assess patterns of Liver Fluke risk for two catchments in the UK under current and potential future climate conditions. Comparisons are made with a widely used empirical model employing different datasets, including data from regional veterinary laboratories. Results suggest that mechanistic models can achieve adequate predictive ability and support adaptive fluke control strategies under climate change scenarios.

  4. Mechanistic aspects of the metal catalyzed alternating copolymerization of epoxides and carbon monoxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allmendinger, Markus; Molnar, Ferenc; Zintl, Manuela; Luinstra, Gerrit A; Preishuber-Pflügl, Peter; Rieger, Bernhard

    2005-09-05

    The cobalt-catalyzed alternating copolymerization of epoxides and CO is a novel, direct approach to aliphatic polyesters, such as poly(hydroxybutyrate) (PHB). This reaction was found to be catalyzed by Ph3Si[Co(CO)4] (4) and pyridine affording in a first step the stable mono-insertion product Ph3Si-O-CH(CH3)-CH2-CO-Co(CO)4 (5). However, a profound mechanistic understanding, especially of the role of pyridine as the key component for the polymerization reaction was missing. ATR-IR online monitoring under catalytic conditions and DFT calculations were used to show that an acylpyridinium cation is formed by cleavage of the cobalt-acyl bond of 5 in the presence of pyridine. The Lewis acid thus generated activates the next incoming epoxide monomer for ring opening through [Co(CO)4]-. The catalytic cycle is completed by a subsequent CO insertion in the new cobalt-alkyl bond. The calculations are used to explore the energetic hypersurface of the polymerization reaction and are complemented by extended experimental investigations that also support the mechanistic hypotheses.

  5. SITE-94. Adaptation of mechanistic sorption models for performance assessment calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arthur, R.C.

    1996-10-01

    Sorption is considered in most predictive models of radionuclide transport in geologic systems. Most models simulate the effects of sorption in terms of empirical parameters, which however can be criticized because the data are only strictly valid under the experimental conditions at which they were measured. An alternative is to adopt a more mechanistic modeling framework based on recent advances in understanding the electrical properties of oxide mineral-water interfaces. It has recently been proposed that these 'surface-complexation' models may be directly applicable to natural systems. A possible approach for adapting mechanistic sorption models for use in performance assessments, using this 'surface-film' concept, is described in this report. Surface-acidity parameters in the Generalized Two-Layer surface complexation model are combined with surface-complexation constants for Np(V) sorption ob hydrous ferric oxide to derive an analytical model enabling direct calculation of corresponding intrinsic distribution coefficients as a function of pH, and Ca 2+ , Cl - , and HCO 3 - concentrations. The surface film concept is then used to calculate whole-rock distribution coefficients for Np(V) sorption by altered granitic rocks coexisting with a hypothetical, oxidized Aespoe groundwater. The calculated results suggest that the distribution coefficients for Np adsorption on these rocks could range from 10 to 100 ml/g. Independent estimates of K d for Np sorption in similar systems, based on an extensive review of experimental data, are consistent, though slightly conservative, with respect to the calculated values. 31 refs

  6. Physiologically induced color-pattern changes in butterfly wings: mechanistic and evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otaki, Joji M

    2008-07-01

    A mechanistic understanding of the butterfly wing color-pattern determination can be facilitated by experimental pattern changes. Here I review physiologically induced color-pattern changes in nymphalid butterflies and their mechanistic and evolutionary implications. A type of color-pattern change can be elicited by elemental changes in size and position throughout the wing, as suggested by the nymphalid groundplan. These changes of pattern elements are bi-directional and bi-sided dislocation toward or away from eyespot foci and in both proximal and distal sides of the foci. The peripheral elements are dislocated even in the eyespot-less compartments. Anterior spots are more severely modified, suggesting the existence of an anterior-posterior gradient. In one species, eyespots are transformed into white spots with remnant-like orange scales, and such patterns emerge even at the eyespot-less "imaginary" foci. A series of these color-pattern modifications probably reveal "snap-shots" of a dynamic morphogenic signal due to heterochronic uncoupling between the signaling and reception steps. The conventional gradient model can be revised to account for these observed color-pattern changes.

  7. Productivity of "collisions generate heat" for reconciling an energy model with mechanistic reasoning: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherr, Rachel E.; Robertson, Amy D.

    2015-06-01

    We observe teachers in professional development courses about energy constructing mechanistic accounts of energy transformations. We analyze a case in which teachers investigating adiabatic compression develop a model of the transformation of kinetic energy to thermal energy. Among their ideas is the idea that thermal energy is generated as a byproduct of individual particle collisions, which is represented in science education research literature as an obstacle to learning. We demonstrate that in this instructional context, the idea that individual particle collisions generate thermal energy is not an obstacle to learning, but instead is productive: it initiates intellectual progress. Specifically, this idea initiates the reconciliation of the teachers' energy model with mechanistic reasoning about adiabatic compression, and leads to a canonically correct model of the transformation of kinetic energy into thermal energy. We claim that the idea's productivity is influenced by features of our particular instructional context, including the instructional goals of the course, the culture of collaborative sense making, and the use of certain representations of energy.

  8. Comparison of Two-Phase Pipe Flow in OpenFOAM with a Mechanistic Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shuard, Adrian M; Mahmud, Hisham B; King, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Two-phase pipe flow is a common occurrence in many industrial applications such as power generation and oil and gas transportation. Accurate prediction of liquid holdup and pressure drop is of vast importance to ensure effective design and operation of fluid transport systems. In this paper, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study of a two-phase flow of air and water is performed using OpenFOAM. The two-phase solver, interFoam is used to identify flow patterns and generate values of liquid holdup and pressure drop, which are compared to results obtained from a two-phase mechanistic model developed by Petalas and Aziz (2002). A total of 60 simulations have been performed at three separate pipe inclinations of 0°, +10° and -10° respectively. A three dimensional, 0.052m diameter pipe of 4m length is used with the Shear Stress Transport (SST) k - ω turbulence model to solve the turbulent mixtures of air and water. Results show that the flow pattern behaviour and numerical values of liquid holdup and pressure drop compare reasonably well to the mechanistic model. (paper)

  9. Comparison of Two-Phase Pipe Flow in OpenFOAM with a Mechanistic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuard, Adrian M.; Mahmud, Hisham B.; King, Andrew J.

    2016-03-01

    Two-phase pipe flow is a common occurrence in many industrial applications such as power generation and oil and gas transportation. Accurate prediction of liquid holdup and pressure drop is of vast importance to ensure effective design and operation of fluid transport systems. In this paper, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study of a two-phase flow of air and water is performed using OpenFOAM. The two-phase solver, interFoam is used to identify flow patterns and generate values of liquid holdup and pressure drop, which are compared to results obtained from a two-phase mechanistic model developed by Petalas and Aziz (2002). A total of 60 simulations have been performed at three separate pipe inclinations of 0°, +10° and -10° respectively. A three dimensional, 0.052m diameter pipe of 4m length is used with the Shear Stress Transport (SST) k - ɷ turbulence model to solve the turbulent mixtures of air and water. Results show that the flow pattern behaviour and numerical values of liquid holdup and pressure drop compare reasonably well to the mechanistic model.

  10. Coupling of terminal alkynes and isonitriles by organo-actinide complexes: Scope and mechanistic insights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnea, E.; Andrea, T.; Eisen, M. S.; Berthet, J.C.; Ephritikhine, M.

    2008-01-01

    The coupling reaction of terminal alkynes with several isonitriles, catalyzed by the neutral organo-actinide complexes Cp * 2 AnMe 2 (Cp * = C 5 Me 5 , An = Th, U) or the cationic complex [(Et 2 N) 3 U][BPh 4 ], yielded substituted α, β-acetylenic aldimines, in good to excellent yields. The reaction proceeded via a 1,1-insertion of the isonitrile carbon into a metal-acetylide bond, followed by a protonolysis by the acidic proton of the terminal alkyne. Additional insertion products were obtained by altering the catalyst and the reactant ratios. A plausible mechanism for the catalytic reaction is also presented, based on kinetics measurements and thermodynamic studies of the coupling reaction with Cp * 2 ThMe 2 or [(Et 2 N) 3 U][BPh 4 ] as catalysts. The reaction is first-order in catalyst and isonitrile and zero-order in alkyne. (authors)

  11. Mechanistic Studies at the Interface Between Organometallic Chemistry and Homogeneous Catalysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casey, Charles P

    2012-11-14

    Mechanistic Studies at the Interface Between Organometallic Chemistry and Homogeneous Catalysis Charles P. Casey, Principal Investigator Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 Phone 608-262-0584 FAX: 608-262-7144 Email: casey@chem.wisc.edu http://www.chem.wisc.edu/main/people/faculty/casey.html Executive Summary. Our goal was to learn the intimate mechanistic details of reactions involved in homogeneous catalysis and to use the insight we gain to develop new and improved catalysts. Our work centered on the hydrogenation of polar functional groups such as aldehydes and ketones and on hydroformylation. Specifically, we concentrated on catalysts capable of simultaneously transferring hydride from a metal center and a proton from an acidic oxygen or nitrogen center to an aldehyde or ketone. An economical iron based catalyst was developed and patented. Better understanding of fundamental organometallic reactions and catalytic processes enabled design of energy and material efficient chemical processes. Our work contributed to the development of catalysts for the selective and mild hydrogenation of ketones and aldehydes; this will provide a modern green alternative to reductions by LiAlH4 and NaBH4, which require extensive work-up procedures and produce waste streams. (C5R4OH)Ru(CO)2H Hydrogenation Catalysts. Youval Shvo described a remarkable catalytic system in which the key intermediate (C5R4OH)Ru(CO)2H (1) has an electronically coupled acidic OH unit and a hydridic RuH unit. Our efforts centered on understanding and improving upon this important catalyst for reduction of aldehydes and ketones. Our mechanistic studies established that the reduction of aldehydes by 1 to produce alcohols and a diruthenium bridging hydride species occurs much more rapidly than regeneration of the ruthenium hydride from the diruthenium bridging hydride species. Our mechanistic studies require simultaneous transfer of hydride from ruthenium to

  12. Biological effects of low-dose ionizing radiation exposure; Biologische Wirkungen niedriger Dosen ionisierender Strahlung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reinoehl-Kompa, Sabine; Baldauf, Daniela; Heller, Horst (comps.)

    2009-07-01

    The report on the meeting of the Strahlenschutzkommission 2007 concerning biological effects of low-dose ionizing radiation exposure includes the following contributions: Adaptive response. The importance of DNA damage mechanisms for the biological efficiency of low-energy photons. Radiation effects in mammography: the relative biological radiation effects of low-energy photons. Radiation-induced cataracts. Carcinomas following prenatal radiation exposure. Intercellular apoptosis induction and low-dose irradiation: possible consequences for the oncogenesis control. Mechanistic models for the carcinogenesis with radiation-induced cell inactivation: application to all solid tumors in the Japanese atomic bomb survivors. Microarrays at low radiation doses. Mouse models for the analysis of biological effects of low-dose ionizing radiation. The bystander effect: observations, mechanisms and implications. Lung carcinoma risk of Majak workers - modeling of carcinogenesis and the bystander effect. Microbeam studies in radiation biology - an overview. Carcinogenesis models with radiation-induced genomic instability. Application to two epidemiological cohorts.

  13. Biology of Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... switch to the Professional version Home Blood Disorders Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Resources In This ... Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Components of Blood ...

  14. Biological basis of detoxication

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caldwell, John; Jakoby, William B

    1983-01-01

    This volume considers that premise that most of the major patterns of biological conversion of foreign compounds are known and may have predictive value in assessing the biological course for novel compounds...

  15. Emerging concepts for management of river ecosystems and challenges to applied integration of physical and biological sciences in the Pacific Northwest, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce E. Rieman; Jason B. Dunham; James L. Clayton

    2006-01-01

    Integration of biological and physical concepts is necessary to understand and conserve the ecological integrity of river systems. Past attempts at integration have often focused at relatively small scales and on mechanistic models that may not capture the complexity of natural systems leaving substantial uncertainty about ecological responses to management actions....

  16. Fusion of biological membranes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Pramana – Journal of Physics; Volume 64; Issue 6. Fusion of biological membranes. K Katsov M Müller M Schick. Invited Talks:- Topic 11. Biologically motivated problems (protein-folding models, dynamics at the scale of the cell; biological networks, evolution models, etc.) Volume 64 Issue 6 June 2005 pp ...

  17. Biology Myth-Killers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, Evan

    2014-01-01

    "Biology Myth-Killers" is an activity designed to identify and correct common misconceptions for high school and college introductory biology courses. Students identify common myths, which double as biology misconceptions, and use appropriate sources to share the "truth" about the myths. This learner-centered activity is a fun…

  18. Designing synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agapakis, Christina M

    2014-03-21

    Synthetic biology is frequently defined as the application of engineering design principles to biology. Such principles are intended to streamline the practice of biological engineering, to shorten the time required to design, build, and test synthetic gene networks. This streamlining of iterative design cycles can facilitate the future construction of biological systems for a range of applications in the production of fuels, foods, materials, and medicines. The promise of these potential applications as well as the emphasis on design has prompted critical reflection on synthetic biology from design theorists and practicing designers from many fields, who can bring valuable perspectives to the discipline. While interdisciplinary connections between biologists and engineers have built synthetic biology via the science and the technology of biology, interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, and social theorists can provide insight on the connections between technology and society. Such collaborations can open up new avenues and new principles for research and design, as well as shed new light on the challenging context-dependence-both biological and social-that face living technologies at many scales. This review is inspired by the session titled "Design and Synthetic Biology: Connecting People and Technology" at Synthetic Biology 6.0 and covers a range of literature on design practice in synthetic biology and beyond. Critical engagement with how design is used to shape the discipline opens up new possibilities for how we might design the future of synthetic biology.

  19. Radiation biology. Chapter 20

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wondergem, J. [International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)

    2014-09-15

    Radiation biology (radiobiology) is the study of the action of ionizing radiations on living matter. This chapter gives an overview of the biological effects of ionizing radiation and discusses the physical, chemical and biological variables that affect dose response at the cellular, tissue and whole body levels at doses and dose rates relevant to diagnostic radiology.

  20. General Biology Syllabus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Scott; Watthews, Thomas

    This syllabus has been developed as an alternative to Regents biology and is intended for the average student who could benefit from an introductory biology course. It is divided into seven major units dealing with, respectively: (1) similarities among living things; (2) human biology (focusing on nutrition, transport, respiration, excretion, and…